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.

Party On!

Authors in costume "Ready to Take Flight"

Authors in costume “Ready to Take Flight”

 

I’m sitting here on this Monday morning trying desperately to plug back in and get some much needed work done, but frankly I’m finding being productive a bit difficult. You see, I’m suffering from a major FUN HANGOVER!

 

I just returned from the 15th Annual Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend hosted by the outrageous Kathy L. Murphy and her sidekick, Jamie Ford (author of New York Times bestselling Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.)

Kathy L. Murphy and Jamie Ford

I go to a lot of really fun gatherings where authors and readers get a chance to connect, but this is one of my favorites. This year, the event was held in Nacogdoches, Texas and showcased author panels, costumes, fun book club members who are some of the most supportive readers I know, and BOOKS!

Kathy announced some exciting news . . . Dreamworks is working to make a movie about the Pulpwood Queens. I, for one, can’t wait!

Here’s a few more photos for you to enjoy. I hope you’ll all consider attending next year!

Kellie Coates Gilbert on the author panel

Kellie Coates Gilbert on the author panel

ClubMembers

Pulpwood Queen bookclub members in costume at the Big Hair Ball

Pulpwood Queen members listening to author panels

Pulpwood Queen members listening to author panels

Pulpwood Queen bookclub members enjoying Girlfriend Weekend

Pulpwood Queen bookclub members enjoying Girlfriend Weekend

And the Golden Globe goes to…..

golden-globes Okay, I admit it . . . I’m an award show junky! The Academy Awards. The Golden Globes. The Emmys. I’ve watched for years.

I love the dresses and all the glamour. The hairstyles and the hosts’ antics.

When I was little, my sister and I used to wear our mother’s long nightgowns and her high heels. We’d pin our hair up and fasten with Barbie barrettes, even sneak and put on lipstick. We’d march up the “red carpet” in our living room and accept our Prell Shampoo bottle, thanking our adoring fans. We had so much fun!

This week, I got a little surprise from my publisher. They sent me the final version of the book video for my upcoming WHERE RIVERS PART, a story about an ambitious water quality control director who finds herself in the middle of a corporate scandal and soon learns her success comes at a very high price. (The book is now available for pre-order!)

I think the video deserves at least a Prell bottle, don’t you?

A Fresh Start

New-year-image I love new beginnings! And there’s no better time to turn the page and start new than at the first of the year.

In 2014, I primarily blogged with several fellow authors over at Southern Belle View. It was so fun to get to know some of the best authors in the business and to connect with the readers there. But frankly, I often found myself missing posting here. So  going forward, this is where you’ll find me.

With a busy publishing year ahead, I elected to focus on some NEW things. We’ll be releasing two books this year:  WHERE RIVERS PART in February and A REASON TO STAY in October. I’ll be appearing at PULPWOOD QUEENS on an author panel later this month and co-hosting a special tour out to Southfork Ranch (film site of the Dallas television show) in conjunction with the big RT BOOKLOVERS CONVENTION in May.

ENTER TO WIN!

ENTER TO WIN!

On top of that, we’ve started something new and really fun . . . MONTHLY CONTESTS!  We wanted to do something that would get the word out about these books in a way that would include my readers and provide an opportunity for you to win some really neat prizes. I hope you enjoy this . . . and I think you do, because in the first week of the January contest, nearly 300 of you entered!  You can find out all about the SPA PACKAGE GIVE-AWAY by going to the CONTEST tab on this website.

I’m also going to be blogging here every Monday, often featuring other popular authors or people who I find interesting. I hope you’ll check back often. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletters (to the left of this post) because there will be some big announcements coming soon!

Thank you to each one of you who have purchased and read my books. Each time you do so, you send the message to my publisher that you want them to sign me for another book. I appreciate that, and all the supportive emails and Facebook messages you send, more than I can possibly express.

Here’s to 2015 and beyond!

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