Guest blogger: Kris Pearson
I lead a double life. I’ve always written—including book reviews for the children’s session on the radio and my autobiography at twelve (why?) For many years I was an advertising copywriter and then retail ad manager.
But these days I’m both a romance author and a curtain installer, and it suits me just fine.
I joined Romance Writers of New Zealand ten years ago when The Clendon Award was in full swing. The Clendon was a full-novel contest. I assumed everyone was supposed to enter so I got going on a novel while I was stuck in bed for a week after a knee operation. Talk about getting hooked! It was a very bad novel and will never see the light of day. But the next one was better. And the one after that was better again.
I finalled in the contest three times but never won it—much to my disappointment. It was the launching pad for Nalini Singh, Kylie Griffin, and Karina Bliss among others. I also joined Romance Writers of Australia and Romance Writers of America, and sent many hopeful partials off to Harlequin who always liked my voice, often suggested revisions, but ultimately never felt the story was quite right for them. (Sound familiar to you other writers?)
And then, about three years ago, indie publishing became a viable alternative. I had several novels in good shape, several more that could be wrestled into submission, and I felt this might be the best way to finally share my stories with real readers. I had nothing to lose.
Did I need a pen-name? I decided against it, although I did have one little foray into being a rather rude someone else. It was such a bind being two people with two websites etc that I pretty rapidly reverted to just being me.
I had no idea what would happen, and was amazed and delighted when the books started selling rather well on Amazon. Then I uploaded them on iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords, and was soon able to buy my husband a new van with some of my book money. He has so far refused to relinquish my services as his assistant curtain installer. It’s fun out on the road though, and we meet very interesting people and see ravishing homes, so there’s plenty of inspiration for me there.
My stories are on the sexy side. Philip puts up with the ribbing about being the inspiration for the love scenes—but what man is going to complain about that? My parents have been dead for a few years, my sister has a different surname from me, and no one else in the family seems too offended about having me around. I enjoyed Elizabeth M Darcy/HC Brown’s comments about this in last week’s blog. Yes, people do look at you with different eyes once they know you write novels with a bit of sizzle, but to be honest I rather enjoy my new racy reputation.
The books are all contemporary stories, and they’re almost all set in New Zealand. This delights me because for years I was told I’d have to use locations in the US and Europe to have any hope of being published. Well, ya-boo-sucks to them! Now I get emails from readers saying that reading one of my books is as good as taking a foreign holiday. Never give up what you truly believe in.
Iceberg Eyes is a passionate story of misplaced trust, set in the South Island alpine resort of Queenstown. Is Kate spying for her famous father or should Matthew believe she’s for real?
In Christmas Holiday Husband, set on a huge back-country farm, Ellie’s dream job becomes her worst nightmare when she discovers the wealthy widower she’ll be working for is the father of her son. He’s also Matthew’s good friend.
And More than the Money rounds out the series when Ellie’s shy neighbour Alfie is told by her autocratic grandfather that marrying brash Texan cowboy Rory is the only way she’ll keep ownership of beautiful Glenleighton Estate.
Currently my keyboard is producing another sheikh novel (oops—forgot to tell you my all-time best-seller is Taken by the Sheikh) and a holiday novella that will be part of an anthology that Annie Seaton is putting together. As the Christmas curtains are rolling in from the workrooms it’s going to be ladder by day, novels by night for the next few weeks.
Do visit my website and check out all my colourful distinctive covers. There are so many books out there now that I feel branding is really important. Mine may not the classiest covers in the world but they show up wonderfully on the lists, and you always know it’s a Kris.