Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Rockville 8 welcomes USA Today bestseller Kieran Kramer!







Double Rita®-finalist and USA Today bestseller Kieran Kramer is the author of the
lighthearted Regency historical romance series, The Impossible Bachelors, published by
St. Martin’s Press. She has a new six-book contract with St. Martin’s for another
Regency series called The House of Brady, premiering in August 2012 with LOVING
LADY MARCIA. A former CIA employee, journalist, and English teacher, Kieran’s also
a game show veteran, karaoke enthusiast, and general adventurer. Without doubt her
greatest adventure, which she’s taken hand-in-hand with her husband of 23 years, a
commander in the US Navy Reserves, has been mothering their three children.



     What drew you to write historical romance? 
My love of reading Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. And then I fell in love with Victoria Holt and the early Signet Regencies. I also had a favorite Regency writer named Marion Chesney. She writes mysteries as M.C. Beaton now. I’m one of the few Regency writers who hasn’t read a lot of Georgette Heyer. Should I admit that out loud?

How much time do you spend on research?
That’s hard to gauge. I have lots of books I look through and many sites on the Internet I read regularly. And every single day I’m on etymonline.com researching whether a word was used back in the Regency days.

I research whenever something comes up that I’m not sure what to do with…for example, the other day, I had to catch up on what sort of spectacles were worn during the Regency.
And then sometimes I stumble across some really interesting facts that I can’t use at the moment but will keep in mind for future books. It could be something about cooking or medicine or fashion that catches my eye.


     How much of the historical detail is it important for you to get right?
I can’t imagine any historical author with integrity thinking it’s okay to get even a fraction of the historical detail wrong. Every historical author I know is completely dedicated to getting her facts straight. Of course, mistakes are made, but no one intentionally sets out to make them.

As for taking liberties in historical romance fiction, I think it’s perfectly acceptable for me to take a well-known historical figure and weave that character into my stories. I had Prinny in When Harry Met Molly establishing a licentious bet between my obviously fictitious Bachelors. Of course, he didn’t do that in real life! But in my story, written for people who are perfectly intelligent, he did arrange a bet between my made-up gentlemen--and I felt I stayed true to his character.

If you’d rather not read stories that “rewrite” history—Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter is an extreme example—stick to nonfiction tomes or other historical fiction novels that deal only with completely invented characters. To each his own, I say. There’s something for everyone.

I love your titles. You seem to pull on contemporary cultural references, but twist them for the historical novel you're writing. I find the titles fascinating. Can you speak to why you've done this and how you think the play on the cultural reference impacts your readers (if at all) and sales of the books? 
     Some readers hate seeing pop culture references in historical romance titles. Others LOVE them. There tend to be many more of the latter than the former. I don’t know exactly how my titles have affected sales, but they certainly have brought my books attention. I had no idea that anyone else was using such fun, “modern” titles (Sarah MacLean’s books hadn’t come out yet) except for Julia Quinn, who wrote THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME.

I’ve always been a huge fan of pop culture, so it naturally came to me that I wanted to weave some of my love for the modern world into my historical fiction. I figured that bringing the two worlds together was my goal. After all, my readers are all present-day women who enjoy history!

A woman's life was often hard during the Regency time period. How do you make historical heroines relevant to today's woman? Is that something you consciously do? Or is it more of a subconscious thing?
Women are women, whatever age they live in. There are brilliant, creative women in every time. I tend to focus on female characters who want more than what’s offered them. They want to grab opportunities, and they have to fight the status quo to get them. I’m sure there were plenty of obedient, contented women in the Regency. But they’re not characters I want to follow. The same way I’m happiest hanging out with clever, talented, self-starting women in my own personal life, I want to hang out with that type of woman in my books!

What encouraging words do you have for unpublished writers who are trying to make it in today's romance market?
The market has never been more open. Take advantage of that fact. Seek out the path meant for you. When I was starting, self-publishing wasn’t at all common. E-books were a mere blip on the horizon. The author has a lot of power these days that she never used to have. Be fearless! You really can’t lose. I have a friend who died of cancer years ago, and four months before she passed away, she said, “Kieran, I only wanted to get published before I die.” That was heartbreaking to hear. Dammit, these days she would have had that book out there! So be grateful for what’s happening now. Don’t whine about where you are. You are very, very lucky to be living in a time where it’s never been easier to find an outlet for your work.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? 
Committing to the actual writing. I can distract myself easily with working on promo.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Yes, outlining the story in detail. I despise it. But I can get down chunks of the story at a time. I tend to gravitate to Blake Snyder’s 15-beat scene structure and Michael Hauge’s story structure to get me started. After that, I can’t do much more than open that document and start writing.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  My core theme is “Love changes everything.” I want my readers to feel the power of that message in all my stories!

What is your writing process?  Do you follow a regular routine?
It’s about to change . I can’t keep up the way I’m going now, which is, I write when I can. During the school year, that’s writing 9 to 3 and then sometimes at night.

Starting tomorrow—literally—I’m blocking out a specific time five days a week to write—which means I’ll no longer schedule doctors’ appointments or lunch dates or exercise classes during those times or do anything else but write. That also means I can’t go online or work on business.

Working on promo has taken up so much of my time now, I had to hire an assistant. It’s the best thing I ever did, though, with my writing! Why? Because now I have no excuse not to make writing pages my main priority. You can’t get better PR than producing more pages of quality writing.

Who cares how good you are at Facebook and Twitter? I love Facebook and Twitter, but they’re like recalcitrant children, always wanting my attention. My incredibly supportive readers online would much rather I spend my time writing new stories for them to read. They’ve told me so! So I’m going to listen to them.

Hey, I’m on a learning curve—always--so I tend not to beat myself up when I make mistakes. Getting the writing/PR ratio out of balance was one of them. I’m back on track now. And I don’t even regret learning this lesson the hard way. Sometimes that’s the only way to figure out what you should be doing.


Marcia gets schooled…
Of the three Brady sisters, Lady Marcia has always seemed the girl most likely to lead a perfectly charmed life. But after a handsome cad breaks her heart, she swears off love and devotes her life to teaching girls at a private school. In spite of her family’s wish for a London debut, Marcia is happy where she is—until terrible news sends her back to the Brady clan…and into the arms of an unexpected suitor.



On the subject of love
A dark and dashing earl who knows Marcia’s past, Duncan Lattimore is surprised by what a fascinating and independent woman she’s become. Marcia, too, is surprised—by the fiery attraction she feels for Duncan. But why—why—must he be the brother of the scoundrel who broke her heart? Why must Marcia’s rival at school forbid her from seeing him? How can this lady possibly resist this fellow—when they know that it’s much more than a hunch…?



Links:


Buy Links:

Loving Lady Marcia Ch.1:

Loving Lady Marcia Blog Tour Schedule:

Giveaway details:
A swag package containing the following:
●    1 pink Loving Lady Marcia Pen
●    1 Loving Lady Marcia wine charm
●    1 Loving Lady Marcia bookmark
●    1 Kieran Kramer post-it notes
●    1 set of Impossible Bachelors romance trading cards
●    1 Loving Lady Marcia romance trading card
●    1 signed bookplate
●    1 “Autographed by the Author” gold sticker

Giveaway is open to US/CA readers

11 comments:

  1. I loved your questions!! Thanks so much for having me on the blog today!!!

    Hugs,

    Kieran :>)

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  2. Kieran, it's been such a pleasure to have you here! (And thanks to Lisa McQuay for getting the R8 organized to host you!) I really feel I got to know you better through your answers here, today. Thanks so much for being so open!

    Balancing writing with PR is, as you know, something we writers are advised to figure out how to do. The fact that you're still learning that balance, and that you're not afraid to hire on outside help in order to get you there, is encouraging! Taking a peek at your new writing and PR plan has given me food for thought. Thanks again!

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  3. Terrific interview! :)

    I do love your titles... They are catchy and fun. :) Just like your books! :)

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  4. Kieran,

    I loved reading about how you do your research and come up with your stories. I am quite creative in my own way, but I've never been one for writing. I think people who are able to get their ideas down on paper are amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your stories with the world. I look forward to many more to come!

    Lynsey

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  5. Kieran ~ Thank you so much for hanging with us this week! What a great interview. And I love the cover of Loving Lady Marcia. It's gorgeous. Good luck with your tour and the new series!

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  6. Thank you again for having me here! Nichole, it took me a while to figure out I needed help, but it's been a huge blessing to me to have an assistant--esp. one like Kati who is so familiar with the romance blogging world. I also felt it was important that anyone I work with truly love romance! And Kati so does. She rocks! I also consult with someone about my Facebook page and website--she manages those and gives me tips for making them better. Good luck to you! One of the best things I ever learned about this writing career was to not hesitate to put 10% back into your career--that it is actually imperative if you want to grow that career. Debbie Macomber said that, and I listened...and it's helped.

    May, YOU'RE fun, and it's always a delight to see you on my blog tour!! Thanks for stopping by!!!

    Lynsey, what a gracious compliment! Thank you so much! My readers mean the world to me. I'm always thinking of them as I write.

    Candy, thanks very much for the kind words--and I'm glad you like that pink cover! I had so much fun going pink with my promo items, like those LOVING LADY MARCIA pens!!

    Everyone, have a fabulous week, and I hope you can squeeze in a couple more books before summer officially ends!! But no worries if you can't. Fall is always promising...cozy hours before a fire or with a softly burning candle on the coffee table, a mug of something hot, or a glass of wine, a lap quilt and maybe a cat curled nearby...whatever the nesting is that you choose to do, get ready to read some fabulous books! I especially love getting Christmas anthologies early. (grin)

    Hugs,

    Kieran :>)

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  7. Hi Kieran - Thank you for taking the time to visit us! I read When Harry Met Molly while I was in Yellowstone. I really loved the characters.

    Thanks for your honest and illuminating answers to our questions. I look forward to seeing you again soon!

    Hugs, Lisa

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  8. Kieran, what a fun interview! Loved reading about your process and we're starting a new M.O. together! I've also decided to block out the first three hours of my day for writing. Life gets in the way, I've discovered, so I simply have to plan to write.

    I'm not really a Regency romance reader, but I love yours! They're fun and different and they make me happy. Thanks!!

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  9. It seems Jane Austen is the popular inspiration for historical romance..

    I like the creative and brilliant women that you focus on :) that seems to be the theme of most (if not all) historical romance novels

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  10. Marion Chesney! Oh! I loved her back in the day. I remember one story where the heroine hides in the library and pretends to be a ghost. I think she actually says "boo" or something close. So cute. I re-read that book frequently. Sweet and LOL funny at moments.

    Kieran - I love your books and can't wait to see what all the Regency Brady clan is up to!

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