Labor Pains

The biggest joys of my entire life were the mornings I birthed my baby boys. After months of wearing maternity clothes, doctor appointments, baby showers and reading stacks of parenting books . . . the big days finally arrived. Contractions turned to holding my sweet infants in my arms. Nothing on earth compared!

277347_WhereRiversPartGilbert_newsletterheader While I very much anticipated holding my newborns and bringing them into the world . . . a surprising amount of pain was involved leading up to the big days.

Birthing a book, and releasing my story babies into the world, is much the same.

Months of plotting, writing, revising, editing turn into more months of marketing meetings with my team at the publishing house where we plan the promotions, the graphics, the advertising, and my appearances . . . all to get the books onto YOUR READING SHELVES!

The entire event is exhilarating . . . and painful.

Fear creeps in.

What if no one BUYS the book and all the money my publishing house has invested does not result in profit?  What if the book doesn’t sell and they don’t contract me again? What if the readers and reviewers don’t like the story?  What if . . . what if . . . what if ???

See what I mean?  This is the HARD PART of being a novelist.

My author friends share this sentiment. One says she always has dreams of being on stage and needing to go potty. One says nightmares of walking down the street naked haunt her in the days before release. Doesn’t take a genius to decipher the meanings.

So . . . all that to say, WHERE RIVERS PART releases this week–on Tuesday, February 17, to be exact. And I feel like I’m in labor. I’m trying to breathe through the fear (hoo hoo–hee hee) and I’m praying a lot.

Ultimately, YOU THE READER will meet my story baby soon. I hope you think WHERE RIVERS PART is the prettiest baby you’ve ever seen!

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An Old Song

GrammyAward I’m sitting here watching the Grammy Awards on television . . . wondering why I don’t recognize names like Iggy Azalea, Bastille, and Haim. To my husband: “Honey, do you even know who that is?” He shakes his head no.

Nothing makes me feel older than realizing the Soul Train has left the station.

When did we become our parents–the ones who watch the music award shows with scowls and comments like: “Shouldn’t those girls be wearing more clothes?”

Gone are the GOOD OLD DAYS along with music that really captured our hearts and souls. Remember any of these?

LionelRichie

Remember ONCE, TWICE, THREE TIMES A LADY? Oh, now that was a love song!

EltonJohn

UH, UH, UH……BENNY AND THE JETS! (cherry cokes and Elton John….never better!)

FleetwoodMac

Okay….this one is my ALL TIME FAVORITE. Not a bad song on the whole album. Definitely made loving fun…..

CarlySimons

Admit it…..YOU’RE SO VAIN got you through some bad break-ups too.

HEART

My mom didn’t believe he was a MAGIC MAN either! Just saying’….

So, tell me . . . what was your favorite album to listen to when growing up (or was it an eight-track? *winks*) Tell us in the comments!

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Be A Winner!

FEB15Contest Happy Superbowl Sunday, everybody!

I’m sitting here waiting for the big game to begin and thought I’d shoot out a quick blog post telling everybody about my new MONTHLY CONTESTS. If you haven’t been following my give-away promotions, you are missing out.  Last month, Nancy from Kentucky won a beautiful Spa Package. Clap, clap, clap!!

This month we’re running TWO contests . . . the first is available now. Click on over to the CONTEST tab here on the website and follow the directions for a chance to win:

1.    A Godiva hot chocolate package

2.    A lantern with a flameless candle

3.    A complimentary copy of my new release WHERE RIVERS PART.

Then, on the official release day FEBRUARY 17 we’ll be starting another contest. My publishing house won’t let me share all the details quite yet, but let me just tell you–this is BIG!  So be watching and make sure to check back on this website then to enter for prizes worth hundreds of dollars!

A Morning Chat

10629873_10152739961034308_4602144329251533479_n Every morning, as writing partners, Lynne Gentry and I talk for about a half hour on the phone. Today, we thought we’d invite our readers to “listen in” on our chat. Welcome!

Kellie: Morning, Lynne!  How many years have we been talking every morning? Four? I don’t know about you, but grabbing a cup of coffee and dialing your number is the highlight of my day!

Lynne:  Ditto, friend. It’s always so good to start the day talking to a real person because it seems the rest of my day is spent having conversations with the imaginary people in my head. Besides, if you didn’t call me, how would I ever know the latest industry scoop? So, what is new in publishing?

Kellie:  I saw this morning that bookstore sales were up considerably from last year. That is good news for authors AND readers. We want those brick and mortar retailers to remain open. I don’t know about you, but even though ordering online is convenient, I love to enter a real bookstore. I still love to browse the aisles and run my fingers across the spines of all those books. Now that I’m a published author, I know the many hours of work those books represent. What is your favorite aisle to hang out in?

Lynne: I love the smell of a bookstore. It’s as if all of those words wrap me up and take me to another world. I’m hopeful paper books never go away. I know this, we don’t hang out in the same aisle, girlfriend. I love adventure, time travel, and anything closely resembling Hunger Games. Don’t make that face at me, Kellie Gilbert. I can get as lost as any woman in a good women’s fiction story. Relationships matter to me. But I think it’s through talking with you that I’ve really come to understand the impact of these relationships upon us. I’m like really, who digs into the lie the character believes better than you? Tell me again about Juliette and the lie she believes. It is fascinating.

Kellie: I get what you’re saying, Lynne. I love going on a great adventure via the pages of a great book, and you craft some of the most surprising adventures! When I read your CARTHAGE CHRONICLES series, I feel like I’ve been dropped into third century Rome right along with Lisbeth. Not afraid to tell you and our readers, I would NOT have liked to have lived back then. Yes, the togas were pretty, but that was a dog-eat-dog world. And we take our medical care for granted. My heart broke as I experienced with your characters the devastation of a measles outbreak.

As far as relationships in fiction, yes I definitely lean toward the complexities of how people react in life-changing circumstances. How highly emotional those events can be. What is most surprising is how inauthentic characters can be when they have personal agendas. Thankfully, my characters often come face-to-face with how ineffective their efforts really are, and they change. My stories always end with a beacon of light shining brightly. Juliette is no different in WHERE RIVERS PART. She finds she must link arms with the one man who has hurt her most to expose a far reaching corporate conspiracy that threatens to take down not only her career, but the well-being of the entire San Antonio area.

I’m always impressed with the level of research you do to create your story worlds. Tell our readers more about that process and all you discovered about ancient Rome.

Lynne: Don’t underestimate the comfort of a silk stola or the pleasure of having someone wash your feet. But you’re right, there’s plenty about the third century that I would never want to experience personally. No phone. No Facebook. No Keurig. But readers don’t have to go to the third century for a nail-biting experience. I’ve seen you throw your characters into some pretty tough spots in the contemporary world. Untangling a corporate conspiracy before it tanks your career is almost as scary as facing an angry bull in the arena. Like you, I spend hours researching. I love it when I stumble across something that lifts the hair on the back of my neck. Of course, anything that delicious has to go into the story. That’s the beauty of reading fiction. You can experience all sorts of things from the comfort and safety of your favorite reading chair. To me, it’s always inspiring to see broken characters discover the path to healing.

Hey, let’s watch your video one more time, okay?

Kellie: Sure! I never tire of watching the great book video my publisher put together.

Now, show our readers yours! I love it.

Lynne: Here’s the book trailer for my CARTHAGE CHRONICLES series.

 

Lynne: So readers, do you wonder how two very different writers became such good friends? That’s a story for another day.

Kellie: Well, I hate to be the one to cut the discussion short, but my deadline is looming and I have a daily word count to meet. Thank you everyone, for joining us this morning. Be sure to check out our books, and I hope you’ll visit our blogs often. We truly treasure you . . . our readers!

Lynne: Dear readers, feel free to eavesdrop on us on a regular basis. Back to piles of books I’m digging through for my next project. Catch you later, Kellie.