Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kay Stockham: Romance from the heart

interviewed by Donna MacMeans

Many years ago, I remember sharing Golden Heart anxieties with Kay as we both waited to hear if we made the finalist cut. Then Kay received the call from Harlequin and her writing career has taken off like a rocket. Known for her powerful emotion-packed Superromances, Kay delivers on her tag line "romance from my heart to yours" by tackling gritty topics like breast cancer and past sexual abuse. In the process she's been nominated for the Holt medallion, Book Buyer's Best, and last year - a RITA. Please welcome Kay Stockham to the Lair.

Kay, as a group that has either recently received "the call," or will in the near future, we always love a call story. Can you share yours?

Ah, memories. I got the call of February 11, 2005, about 1:34 - not that I remember or anything. I was curling my hair after a morning spent baking cupcakes for my daughter's Valentine's Day party at school. My husband gave me the phone and said, "It says Harlequin." My heart stopped. Seriously. I knew there was NO reason for anyone from Harlequin to be calling unless it was THE call. Johanna Raisanen, associate editor for Superromance, was on the other end, and sure enough those were the first words she said. She wanted to buy Saving Grace which would later be retitled MONTANA SECRETS. I was her first crier. LOL. After managing to explain that they were happy tears, she laughed, congratulated me again and said that she'd call back later after I'd had a chance to process things. LOL. She called back, we talked and the rest is history. Ten sales later, I'm on my third editor but Johanna will always hold a special place in my heart because she was the first one to really "get" my writing.

Ah, an insightful editor. I'm glad Johanna recognized your talent. MAN WITH A PAST was nominated for a RITA in 2007. What was that like?

It was thrilling! Thank goodness for Caller ID because the day the calls went out, I picked up the phone, looked at the screen and immediately sat down. I had to. No way was RWA calling me about the RITAs, right? LOL I received a lot of emails congratulating me, flowers from my agent, champagne from my publisher. Such a great, great time. Oh, and the dinner out with my editor and the other RITA noms from Superromance - it was fabulous! We had such a great time. Super had a wonderful showing last year, holding four of the eight spots. The downside for me was having my RITA flag stolen. I "still" get angry whenever I think about it. I want it back! Sigh. RWA told me they'd replace it at the SF conference and I'm going to guard that flag like it was 24 kt gold. If anyone even so much as looks at it twice, they're going to have one angry woman to deal with.

LOL - I doubt that will be your last RITA flag, Kay, but a warning for any banditas that might be nominated in 2008. Guard your flags! Of course, we have the heavily armed Cassondra watching our backs so maybe that won't be a concern.So what do you have on tap for this year?

My recent project has been The Tulanes of Tennessee series with Harlequin Superromance.

The first book in the five book series debuted yesterday with ANOTHER MAN'S BABY. (I laugh every time I type that - for two reasons. One: I'm still psyched that the series I pitched almost two years ago is going to be one on the shelves. Two: my father HATES the title. LOL Every time he sees it he shakes his head and scowls.)HANNAH'S CHOICE in the POWER OF LOVE will be released in June.

And after that is HIS SON'S TEACHER in July 2008. It features a recently divorced, overweight school teacher desperate to find her inner diva and take her dream vacation to Paradise Island, and Nick Tulane, the black sheep of the Tulane family introduced in book 1. We find out exactly what kinds of secrets Nick is hiding and, boy, they're doozies! Following them are Luke (March 2009, Ethan (July 2009) and Alexandra (November 2009).

Good Heavens, girl - When do you sleep! That's quite a line-up. Can you tell us more about the POWER OF LOVE?

Absolutely! The POWER OF LOVE anthology is the brainchild of NYT Bestselling author Lori Foster. Lori and Dianne Castell put on this great reader/author event every June and they pick a local charity to receive the proceeds of the event. The idea snowballed and Lori wanted to do something special for the Battered Women's Shelter. She chose twelve lucky authors to contribute novellas to THE POWER OF LOVE and the authors and their agents have ALL donated their earnings to the cause. Each of the novellas for THE POWER OF LOVE focus on women being empowered in their lives, and I am so thrilled to be asked to be a part of it. Hannah's Choice is my contribution, and begins with Hannah Pruitt jumping off a bridge to retrieve a large bag she's seen a man dump into the canal. Given her past, Hannah is suspicious of what might be inside. She's no longer a victim and jumping in just proves it. Hannah's come home to Orchard, Ohio to face her past and the man she was too afraid to love, but the question is whether or not she's strong enough now to make the right choice.

One of the absolute wonders of publishing a book is fan mail. With your emotional stories, I'm sure they've touched many hearts. Are you receiving lots of fan mail?

I'm not sure I'd say "a lot" but I get my fair share. I love the letters and notes, too. I keep every one of them and post some of them on my website under my Reader Comments section. I've only written a couple authors about their books, so I feel very special to be on the receiving end of those notes. Which makes me wonder... We all know blogs are supposed to end with a thought-provoking question so here's mine:
How many of you have written an author to tell them how much you've enjoyed their book? And if you haven't, why not? I'd love to hear the different views on this. To help entice comments, I'll choose a name from those who post and they'll receive an autographed copy of ANOTHER MAN'S BABY.
Enjoy your day! Here in Ohio we're still digging out of the snow. I'll be popping in to chat and hope you'll keep me company.


flchen1 said...

Welcome, Kay! Yes, I've started e-mailing (usually) authors to let them know when I've really enjoyed their writing--why not? :)

flchen1 said...

Sorry, I hope that didn't sound flippant--if an author's writing has touched me or if I've especially enjoyed the characters or something, I want the writer to know that it was meaningful to me since she took the time to pour her heart into her work. I always enjoy hearing thank you or other positive feedback for things I've done, and I imagine writers would feel the same :)

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey Fichen1 - You're a fast one. That GR is a traveling bird! Congratulations!

I must say that before I was published, I'd only actually written one author to say how much I enjoyed her work. That was to Patricia Gaffney back in 1998. To my amazement she answered my letter. I have it framed in my office.

Now, I love to get emails from readers and I try to answer every single one. Gotta love email.

flchen1 said...

I imagine that for some authors it might get overwhelming or too time consuming, but I guess if someone's writing has moved me, it creates a sort of connection, and if I contact them, that builds on that a bit. Not that I'd imagine that I'd become friends with all these busy writers, but life's full of little connections, and e-mail does make it especially easy to reach out to someone.

Anna Campbell said...

Kay and Donna, what a great interview. And Kay, congratulations on the skyrocketing career. Your books sound great - I particularly love the sound of the black sheep boy meeting his destiny! One of the things that's really surprised me in this gig is how many people actually DO write to you and tell you they enjoyed their books. It's such a thrill for me to receive these letters and to think people took time to express their appreciation. Before I made a lot of friends in romance, I never wrote to an author. I still don't do it nearly as much as I should although obviously if I know the person, I drop them a note and tell them if I've really enjoyed a book of theirs. Clearly I should practice what I preach and write more often! These authors have really made a difference to my life - I should tell them that.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, congratulations on the bird, Fedora!

Helen said...

Congrats flchen have fun

Loved the interview and I love the sound of these books you really work hard Kay.
When I have read a book that I have really enjoyed I do email the author to let them know how much I loved it and congratulate them on the book. It took me a while to do it but I do it a lot lately because I have read so many good books. I don't alway express myself very well but I do like to let them know how much I enjoyed it and I love it when they email me back most of them do email back only a couple haven't
Have Fun

Maureen said...

Hi Kay!
I have written authors but not for a while although it's something I should remember to do more often.

Caren Crane said...

Fedora, congrats on nabbing the Golden Rooster! He must have a guest room at your house by now. *g*

Kay, welcome to the Lair! Your call really was inspirational and I am livid on your behalf about your RITA flag! I hope it burns a hole through someone's trophy shelf. *eg*

Before I wrote, I never even considered writing to tell an author how much I loved a book. Since I've been writing, I know how much reader feedback means. When we write, we are flinging our work into the world and just...waiting. Sometimes we hear only the deafening silence we secretly, in our dark heart of hearts, expect. When we are lucky, we may hear a rejection. Only the most fortunate get positive feedback from an editor or agent.

So, dear readers, you see what reader feedback is? Absolute icing on the cake of a writer's career!

Best of luck in this year's RITA contest, Kay. I'm sure you'll nab another flag!

Kay Stockham said...

Hi, Bandits! It's good to be here. Thanks for the warm, warm welcome.

Flchen1, congrats on nabbing the GR! :)

Donna, I've missed you! How's tax season?

I'll be honest, I've only ever written to a handful of authors. I always figured they were too busy, I was too busy. Why bother? But now that I'm on the other end of things, I try to take more time to give them my thanks for their stories.

Sorry for the typos, guys! I need an editor ;) --and glasses, I think. My eyes aren't what they used to be. LOL


Donna MacMeans said...

Helen - I think you express yourself beautifully.

Back when I wrote to Patricia Gaffney, email and email addresses weren't as prevalent as they are today. Amazing what a difference ten years can make. So when I said I wrote her - I'm talking longhand. I didn't have know an address at which to reach her, so I mailed it to her publisher. From her reply, they didn't forward on the note in a timely manner, so I had forgotten that I even mailed the darn thing when I received a reply.

Email, however, is so fast and easy. I keep forgetting small fact. I think I should make it more of a happen to tell authors when I enjoy their books. Yeah - I'll do that.

Kay Stockham said...

Anna, Helen and Maureen--I think it's hard for readers to put themselves out there, too. Sort of the "I like this author. What if I write and don't like what I hear/see?"

I've heard of this happening. I actually witnessed it once. An avid fan took about five books up to an author during a signing to have them autographed. I was waiting in line for the author sitting beside her, several people back and witnessed the scene. I couldn't believe my ears/eyes. Anyway, the author looked at the books, gave the poor woman this down-the-nose glare and said,"I hope you don't expect me to sign all of those." The fan was crushed. Crushed! There was no one in line behind her, and because she did have more than one book to be signed the fan had stood there for a long time letting others go in front of her--now this?

On my way out of the signing I heard the fan speaking to friends, very upset, and she swore she'd never buy another of the author's books. Since the author kept to her dictate and would only sign one, the fan had left them all on a table outside because she refused to even take them back home. Not exactly the impression anyone wants of their favorite author, eh?

Caron, thanks for the hugs on the flag. I was so very upset. I know it's just a flag but it was MY flag, you know? *sigh* Next time (notice I didn't say if ;) ) I'll be much more careful with it and guard it like my first born. LOL


Donna MacMeans said...

Hey Kay - Nope typos are my fault. Should be corrected now. Unfortunately, typos aren't a rare occurrence for me. I just need an editor (instead of a critic) to sit on my shoulder.

However, that aside, can you tell us about ANOTHER MAN'S BABY? I noticed last night that we don't have the premise. I love the tag line: "What happens when you finally find THE ONE and it's two."

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Congrats flchen1!! Take care of our feathery friend.
Kay, I am glad to say that I have written authors but I am going to qualify and state that it is usually "new" authors. After visiting here in the lair so much I should have realized that established authors need to hear the good stuff too.
So far I have had only good experiences in writing (e-mailing) but I have heard some negative experiences from others. The first time I wrote an author I didn't really expect a reply (sorry guys, I didn't know then just how super cool most of you are) and was very pleasantly surprised when not only did I receive a reply, I got a case of the warm fuzzies because of that reply. She was so very gracious in her response, and seemed to think my little e-mail was the best thing since sliced bread.

PJ said...

Hi Kay! This is the second straight day I've had the pleasure of finding you at one of my favorite cyber places. I'll be checking the store for your book when I go out later today.

I've written many authors but only romance authors, only via email and only in the past three years since I started frequenting author blogs. The responses I've received have been warm, gracious and have encouraged me to contact even more authors whose books I have enjoyed. Every single author I've written has written back and I can't tell you how much that means to me as a reader.

For the past three years I have written to a certain author after every new book she has published to let her know my thoughts. She always writes back and, last May, I walked to my mailbox one day and found a totally unexpected package from her that contained an ARC of her next book. The inscription inside thanked me for being a loyal supporter of her books. I've told every reading friend (IRL and Cyber) about that and encouraged them to buy her books. Too bad that author at the booksigning couldn't have taken a minute of her precious time to do something nice for her loyal reader. I hope that woman told every person she knows just how rudely she was treated.

Christie Kelley said...

Welcome to the lair, Kay and great interview, Donna.

I have to admit, every time I open an email from a reader I get a little thrill.

I have written to a couple of authors but, like Anna, I could definitely do better.

I also had the rude author at a signing. I came up to her and told her how much I loved her writing and all she said in a cold voice was, "who do you want this made out to." I have to say, that was the last book I bought of hers.

When I said the same thing to another (NYT bestselling) author, she thanked me with a big smile and hugged me.

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Kay! Many congrats on your success! I've heard great things about Another Man's Baby--I'm definitely adding it to the after-this-dang book-is-done pile

I do write authors whose books touch me--mostly since email became so prevalent. I figure so many people with negative opinions never hold back, why should we keep the good stuff to ourselves?

And now that my first baby is out there on the shelves, I'm so appreciative of the readers who write to say they enjoyed it--it really energizes me as I move forward on the wip!

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hey, Kay--Thanks for dropping by the lair. I loved your call story. It's always so good to hear that other people have trouble harnessing their emotions at such times. I'm not a crier myself, but I recently won my first contest & when the woman called to tell me, I said, with great skepticism, "Seriously?" Like I thought she was going to punk me or something. :-) If an editor or agent ever calls, I imagine I'll be even worse.

As for writing fan mail, I've stopped myself from writing gushing fangirl letters on several occasions because I know I'd just ramble like the gushing fangirl I am. And I know I wouldn't be able to resist mentioning that I'm an aspiring writer, which makes me even more impressed by what the author has pulled off because I know exactly how hard it is now. But I'm worried they'll read aspiring writer & roll their eyes, waiting for the inevitable "...and if you'd like to see my manuscript/reccomend me to your agent/further my career somehow." Do you get that alot?? Any of you published authors out there? Is fan mail really the unadulterated joy I like to think it might be??

Kay Stockham said...

Oh, wow, this is going to be hard to keep up with! :) Let's see if I remember everyone's questions/comments. I should've taken notes!

I think the fan in my story *was* telling everyone how rude this person was. I don't have a doubt the author lost a few people that day.

Donna, bless you! It's been such a traumatic week (my son broke his hand on Monday, spent Tuesday getting it cast.) I didn't even realize I'd left that out. See what a marketing guru I am? ;)

Another Man's Baby is about a single woman seven and a half months pregnant who is on her way to her hometown to be close to her mother when she gives birth, despite the fact that Darcy's mother wasn't the shining example of motherhood and really doesn't want her there. Along the way Darcy gets stranded in a snowstorm and finds herself rescued by a man who is ALL about family and responsibilities--which is why he's nearly engaged to his boss' daughter. His near-fiance is great, a woman any man would want. And this is where the tag line comes in: What if you finally find The One...and it's two? With everyone depending on Garret to follow through with his duties and responsibilities, things are a little complicated in Beauty, TN.

Kay Stockham said...

PJ, glad you're hanging with me. I'm doing a Blog Tour this week but I've tried to be very different with the topics each day. Let me know if you find me tomorrow. ;)

Also, before I forget I hope it's okay to post that I'll be chatting at Romance Junkies ( tonight at 9PM EST. I hope you'll come out and join me. No author wants to chat to herself. LOL

Thanks to all of you who've posted!


Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Fedora, you rascal, you nabbed him again! Congrats on the GR. :>

Kay, welcome to the Lair! Its so delightful to have you here. I love the call story and am a big fan of the Superromance line.

Like Caren, I'm incensed FOR you about the Rita flag. Good gracious! I'm glad to know they'll be replacing it in SF.

I've written authors quite a bit, but I'm a chatty one and an extrovert. Grins. I've gotten unfailing warm and genuine replies. One of the funniest, which I keep up on my desk is from Mercedes Lackey. Mind you, it's from what seems like 100 years ago and on dot-matrix printer paper which is curling and fading. I had gushed over her work and asked her if she had advice for aspiring writers. Her reply: "Thank you very much for your warm words of praise. It's great to hear from enthusiastic readers. As to advice:
Write. Write. Write. Write. Write."

Snork! I totally get it now, but then? I was quite puzzled. Tells you how green I was when I asked the question.

I winced to hear the "bad writer" stories because I know the result -NO sales. Word SO gets around about that sort of thing, especially with the 'net.

Farrah Rochon said...

What a great interview. I have several of Kay's Superromances on my mountainous TBR pile, and realize that it's time to dig into them.

So not cool about the RITA flag. Who would do that? Seriously, what's the point of having a flag if you're not nominated?

Kay Stockham said...


I've had several people ask me that question, and one person take blatant advantage of me until I put a stop to it. I have a hard time speaking up for myself and allowed it to happen, but I eventually had enough and distanced myself. It's amazing what those kind of situations can do to your creativity. It was like I'd hit a wall and was struggling with my writing etc because I knew the things this person was doing/saying. But I just couldn't speak up. I was raised to be a good girl and good girls didn't cause a stir. Ever. Fellow good girls, you know what I mean, don't you? You just smile and keep going, no matter what.

But until I separated myself from the drama I didn't realize what a huge impact it was having on me.

I think every author has to decide for themselves what they're capable of doing, want to do etc without feeling taken advantage of. When given an inch, some people take a mile and then some. It's sad, but true. But, I've had wonderful experiences as well and don't want to be the nay-sayer, gloom-and-doom author. I think there are just those who take advantage, but they're certainly not confined to the writing world. These type of people can be found in every kind of business, our personal lives etc.

Hmmm.... more than what you wanted to hear? LOL


Kirsten said...

Hi Kay! Thanks for visiting the Lair! :-)

I haven't had a chance to read any of your books before now, but they sound great -- more to add to the TBR pile! I'm curious about your overweight heroine. What did your editors think about that, and was it harder to write? So many of our romance conventions are built on the heroine being GORGEOUS. I wonder if having a normal looking heroine changes things at all.

As for writing authors, I don't usually do that, but now that we're getting such wonderful authors in the Lair, I get to compliment them to their (cyber)face, which is even more fun! And we're inviting all my favorites, so I get to thank them all.

But speaking of fangirl, we've got to get Johanna Lindsey to visit us. I know there's lots of Lindsey fans in the Lair. I hear she's very private and doesn't get out much for publicity stuff. Not even (GASP!) a member of RWA. But a good challenge for us!

Have a great day everyone!

Cindi Myers said...

The Tulanes of Tennessee series sounds great, Kay!


Kay Stockham said...

Jeanne, that's a very good point. I think those who exhibit this type of behavior have a short shelf life. Period. Word does get around and it reflects not only the person, but the writing. Authors are their books, IMHO.

Farrah! Good to see you again. I hope you like the stories. I have one of yours on my shelf as well! You have a lovely website, too.

Thanks for stopping by, ladies!


Kay Stockham said...

Kirsten, my editor had no problem at all with my heroine being overweight. It's something so many of us can identify with. Some of us may only be a few pounds but it all takes a toll. As to romance standards, I made it very clear in HIS SON'S TEACHER that Nick wasn't like the men out there who think a little weight detracts from a woman's attractiveness. Jenn's self-esteem had taken a hard hit with her nasty divorce and the embarrassment of her husband's infidelity, and that emotional hit was something Nick identifies with. (Whoops--can't give too much away!) :)


doglady said...

What a great interview, Kay! Loved your call story.

fichen, nice snatch on the GR!

Maybe we can lend the GR to Kay to keep her next Rita flag safe. After all, Cassondra and p226 have trained the bird in commando tactics.

Are you kidding? I am the ultimate fan letter writer. I have always appreciated the places romance writers take me. I want them to know how much they have done for my sanity and the safety of others!LOL

And when they write back I ALWAYS keep it, be it e-mail or otherwise. The walls of my writing studio hold many framed notes from authors, coverflats, you name it. Life is too short not to express appreciation for the gift of entertainment.

Now that I am writing so many of the authors with whom I have corresponded have been a fount of information, help and encouragement. I have said before it is very much like a big sorority.

Kay, I LOVE your hero. What a great guy. And you are definitely a busy writer. Can't wait to read these!

Linda Barrett said...

Hi Kay,

I have to admit that when I admire an author, I usually tell him/her in person rather than write when I see them at conferences, etc. Having said that, I absolutely LOVE receiving reader letters. I still keep a P.O. box, too, - I know it's old-fashioned with email and everything - but I do get a couple of snail mail letters with every book.

I've got several of your books on my keeper shelf, Kay. Good luck as you roll ahead with your new projects.

MaryKate said...

Hi Kay - Congratulations on your wonderful success, sounds like you deserve ever second of it.

Oh yeah, I'm a BIG writer to authors. I have this reputation as a book pimp (LOL) so not only do I end up writing to authors, but I also very often will blog about what I'm reading, and also will pimp the books at several romance related sites where I hang out.

But I'm a big believer in writing an author when they've written something I love. And a couple of really, really lovely friendships have come out those letters. I recently read Robyn Carr's Virgin River and closed the book and immediately wrote to Robyn, who couldn't have been kinder or more gracious about my gushing. She, like you Kay, writes about people who are facing personal challenges. I'm reading her second in the Virgin River series, Shelter Mountain, and this morning on the train, I had to bite my lip to keep from crying on the train. Embarrassing. But what a gift to be able to move people that way!

Anyway, I think if you appreciate the work of the artist, you should tell them and others you know. If nothing else, I've found that it makes the author's day when they get fan mail.

tomg said...

Someone stole your Rita flag?? That's horrible, Kay. I almost can't believe it. How could someone stoop that low?? (sigh)

I'm glad RWA is going to replace it. And if someone tries to take it this time, jab them with the pointy end. (LOL - Okay, so sometimes I can be bloodthirsty.)

Susan Gable (who knows it says Tom G at the top, but that would my DH. How his blogger ID got on my computer, I don't know. LOL)

Donna MacMeans said...

Kay - Hugs on the kid's injuries. You hurt right along with them with injuries like that.

Deb - You are SO RIGHT!! There is so much negative comments flying about. Why not send more positive vibes out there! I'm going to email an author today and say I loved their book.

Susan - You can email me and ramble any time you want *g* I LOVE you voice. We'd have a great time.

Christie - Must say I am FLOORED that you & Kay witnessed rude behavior from an author at a booksigning. Heck, I think they put a table between me and the readers to keep me from kissing their feet! Readers and booksellers - they should have wings and halos.

Dianna - Had to chuckle about the "super cool" comment. Makes me want to dig out my sunglasses.

MsHellion said...

I've written several authors about how much I love their work. (Apparently I'm convinced of my own good opinion and that you want to hear it.) I don't write authors, though, and say: "You shouldn't have had the HEROINE end up with this HERO" (though it's been extremely tempting a couple times). If I don't care for a book, I just don't say anything; after all, it wasn't my book and I'm sure the author is very proud of the book as it was. *shrugs*

I do find it easier to email authors who I don't "completely idolize". Someone with like Nicole Kidman or Mel Gibson status I don't usually email; but if they have...oh, Topher Grace or Patricia Arquette level status (popular, definitely going to be Idol status one day), I don't feel so intimidated to gush at them.

Kay Stockham said...

Ah! A Super sister! Linda, thanks for stopping by!

MaryKate, I love you. LOL Keep writing those authors. On their behalf, I thank you and everyone else who has ever written to say how a book has touched your life. Those letters are gold!

Susan! Another Super sister! Yes, my flag was stolen. I packed it (thinking I'd risk getting it taken by airport security because of the heavy, sandy base) in a box of books I was shipping home. The problem was that I didn't have packing tape (Note to self: Take your own tape!) so I carried the box down to the hotel's mail center. No sooner did I get things taken care of payment-wise when a slew of people came into the center to mail things themselves. The person set my OPEN box aside with some others to tape after the rush was over. When I left, the flag was in the box. When I got the box, the flag was gone--along with a few books. Whomever took it could've had the whole box of books if they'd just left my flag. :(


Donna MacMeans said...

Hey Kay - So let me get this straight. Your book about a woman getting caught in a snowstorm is released immediately after we have the biggest snow storm of the century - is this mere coincidence? Or the result of an incredibly astute marketing program *g*?

LOL on the one being two tagline. I thought the two referred to the baby. I mean the woman is obviously pregnant. So two means -two fabulous women are lusting after the same man. Hmmmm... well that puts a different spin on it.

MsHellion said...

What totally RUDE behavior from the author! I would have to side with the reader on this one; I would have abandoned her books too. That's just so sad.

Although I've also heard another author who was signing books (very long line) and when a certain reader got her turn, she proceeded to ream the author for turning the series into porn, etc, etc...and how she wasn't recommending her books anymore. I mean, WHY buy her book then and stand in line for hours to say that? Was that necessary?

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Yes Donna, you all need to dig out the sunglasses :-) Way cool! as my son would say.

Kay Stockham said...

LOL Donna! I think it technically DOES mean the baby, but... ;) Yeah, there are two women in his life but (oh, you're going to make me give a spoiler!)...

mshellion, how horrible! Oh, I feel so badly for that author. I don't know what I would've done if put on the spot like that. I hope the others in line tried to make up for the reader's rudeness.

See? There are all kinds of people out there and in the small community we live in, it's hard to stay focused.


terrio said...

I have emailed a couple of authors but back when I started reading romance (*cough* years ago), I never would have thought to write an author because they were like movie stars to me. I know now how wonderful and generous they all are, but back then I still considered them glamorous and out of reach.

I'm also from Ohio and I keep hearing about your books, Kay. I think the book gods are trying to tell me something. They're going on the TBB list!

Kay Stockham said...

Terrio, welcome! LOL I've got quite a TBB list myself. To be honest, I'm still sort of that way myself. There's a photo of me and Susan Elizabeth Phillips on my website (2007 RWA National) and I can tell you I was SO starstruck! Seriously. The woman is amazing and I remember when I walked up to see if I could snag a picture thinking, "She probably ready to leave and you're a schmuck and why would she want to talk to you." LOL But she was so very gracious and kind. Every author out there was a fan first. It's a given.


Beth said...

Great interview, ladies!

Welcome to the lair, Kay! I'm so looking forward to reading Another Man's Baby *g* And I'm loving the Supers covers! So gorgeous :-)

I've only written a few authors and only since I've been writing myself although at conferences I'll often tell an author face-to-face how much I enjoy their work *g*

Sorry to hear about your son, Kay. Hope he's okay!

rebekah said...

I have never written an author to tell them that I love there books. I just started to find out how much is on the internet when it comes to authors. I really let them know though. I bet it is great for them to hear about how much people have enjoyed their books.

terrio said...

Kay - I'm sure I could never approach SEP. I just couldn't. A little over a year ago I attended a Nora Roberts booksigning and was so distracted by one of my other favorite authors there (Eloisa James!) that I never even said hello to Nora. She just signed my books while I talked to EJ and then I picked them up and walked away. I'm sure she thinks I'm the most horrible fan ever. LOL! But I was really just nervous and excited.

Cassondra said...

Hi Kay, and Welcome!

We're so pleased you could spend time with us. I love Super as a line, and one day, if I can ever write tightly enough, want to write for them. How you all weave such a tear-jerking, happy-smiling story into such a short book--well--I'm just awestruck.

I admit that I've never written to an author. That's terrible I guess. I think it's my music business background. I've had to get between so many recording artists and people who were over-zealous, and I've seen the recording artists be gracious but I knew how tired they were and how much they'd just like to be left alone to have dinner with their families. Until I finaled and became a Bandita, I'd always equated the amazing authors whose work I love with those music stars. Now I realize it's not the same--at least not for most authors.

Beyond that, I grew up with the "don't bother people--stay out of the way" upbringing. I bet I'm not the only one who doesn't write to people for that reason. But how rotten because as a writer, now, I know how much I'd love to hear from people if my book touched them.

I do tell writers at conferences when I meet them, but I need to get over it and start writing people whose work I love. Maybe Susan can give me lessons in how to gush???? Smoov? You there?

Your books sound fabulous and...well..gosh...I just HAPPEN to be going by the mall today...well...whaddayaknow? Another book or two on the TBR pile! (grin) Hey, it's what keeps us alive!

I cannot believe somebody stole a Rita flag. What on Earth for? Good that RWA will replace it. And hey, this time, The Banditas have got your back. That flag will have its own security detail!

Donna what a wonderful interview, and lucky you, knowing Kay for all this time!

Kay Stockham said...

Cassondra, thanks for chatting with me! I know exactly what you mean as to growing up with the 'don't bother people' attitude. That's exactly how I was raised, and probably why I've written to so few people.

As to my flag, well... I'm guessing it might have been one of those things where they figured they'd take it to keep--until they could replace it with their own? Who knows? I can't imagine stealing anything because I never have, so I won't pretend to know the whys of it. Thanks for volunteering for guard duty. ;) I just might take you up on it!

BTW, Donna is a wonderful friend. If anything I'm the lucky one because she's such a sweet person.


Cassondra said...

Kay said:

BTW, Donna is a wonderful friend. If anything I'm the lucky one because she's such a sweet person.

She IS a wonderful person. I feel priviledged to know her also. A real encourager, our Donna.

Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome to the Lair, Kay! And BIG THANX to Donna for inviting you and for the wonderful interview!

I'm LIVING for the day that I actually get FAN MAIL! The whole point of this writing biz is to have somebody read your story, and to know that the story touched them is some way is THE ULTIMATE!


Aunty Cindy said...

HEY! It's my bday twin!(Waves to Susan G.)
Thanx for stopping by the Lair,


Anna Campbell said...

MK, lovely to see you back again!

Kay, I'm absolutely fuming about that RITA flag getting stolen. That's something so precious and so few of us get the opportunity to have such a wonderful souvenir. How rotten can people be?

Boggling at the idea of that author telling that poor woman off. That poor reader!

Kay, you've brought us a lot of new visitors today. Yay, you!

MsHellion, I hate to feed into your delusions of grandeur, but in my experience, authors ADORE to hear from readers who have loved their books. Don't stop!

Terri, I'm sorry, I'm snorting at the idea of writers being like movie stars. If only we had video blogging. Hmm, maybe it's better for all concerned if we don't!

Kay, so sorry to hear about your son's hand. Hope he's OK.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Kay. Great interview. Yes, I have emailed authors and told them I liked their books. Books are such a joy to me and I want to express my gratitude for providing me with many hours of enjoyment.

Donna MacMeans said...

Well - Golly gosh shucks y'all. Thanks for the compliments, but truth be told Kay knows better than to hang too close to me for fear of embarrassment. I have absolutely no fear of talking to complete strangers which has landed us in...interesting predicaments. I'm thinking of the time we waited in the Chicago airport and I struck up a conversation with the woman who "doesn't read bodice-rippers."

Hey Terrio - You do know that Susan Elizabeth-Phillips is from Ohio, right? She doesn't live here now, but she used to be a high school English teacher here in Columbus. Wouldn't you have loved to be in THAT class!

And Nora - Good heavens - the lady is the poster child of good grace and generosity.

mcrowley41 said...

Kay: Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I wrote Nora Roberts, asking if hse needed a research intern because I loved her books so much I wanted to help write them! When I think back on it now, I just laugh. BTW, she sent a very nice note back thanking me and saying she preferred to do her own research. LOL

terrio said...

AC - You get fan comments everytime you write a blog. We love you. The books can't be far behind. *g*

Anna - you're a movie star and you know it. LOL! You can't hide that feather boa. Oh my, you don't wear that when the GR is around, do you?

Donna - I did NOT know that? I wonder if I could strike up a conversation about the home state without turning total fan girl. LOL! I grew up on the eastern border of the state but I'd have moved to Columbus for that chance.

Minna said...

Well, I have sent e-mails to some authors, and then there are these blogs and discussion forums...

Nathalie said...

It is funny that your Dad does not like the title... it is true that iot is a bit stereotyped!

Lily said...

I have never e-mailed an author to tell them that I liked their books...

PJ said...

Ok, Terri, we're going to have to work on this because it would be a shame if you had the opportunity to meet SEP and didn't take it. She's a lovely, gracious lady and seems genuinely delighted to chat with readers. At least that was my experience in Atlanta.

Kay, I'm home from grocery shopping with your book in hand. Can't wait to dive in!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Terri, you HAVE got video blog! Here I am sitting in my Chanel evening gown and feather boa (hide your eyes, GR) and my Manolos wondering whether I wear the red lipstick or the pink today. Hmm, no sex coming up in the next few pages - clearly pink! ;-)

Christine Wells said...

Hi Kay! Welcome to the lair and thanks also to Donna for a great interview.

Congratulations on that Rita nomination, Kay, it sounds like you had a royal treat!

To answer your question, I've only written one fan letter that I recall--and that was to Mary Balogh. She answered a question of mine on the Beau Monde loop and I wrote to thank her and gush a little over her wonderful books. Don't really know what possessed me. I think I'd just read A Summer to Remember. Adored that book!

Congrats, Fedora! I hope you'll keep the GR nice and warm:)

Christine Wells said...

Hey, PJ! Love the tiara!

PJ said...

LOL! Thanks, Christine. That's my Goddess tiara. I won it at The Goddess Blogs and wore it at CR in honor of Sabrina Jeffries. She was Sunday's keynote speaker. If you check out my photos at RNTV you'll see me, Gannon, Karen Hawkins and Sabrina all wearing our tiaras. :)

Donna MacMeans said...

Margaret - You wrote to La Nora and offered to do research!! And she wrote back!!!!

Actually I'm not surprised she replied because she is a kind, gentle lady but you're certainly a braver (and smarter) woman than I. Neat idea to offer.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hello Kay and welcome to the Bandit Lair! We're so glad to have you join us.

I read your interview after getting home from lunch with my cp and another friend, with required trip to the bookstore. Apparently I'll be heading back tomorrow or the next day to pick up your newest release.

Are there any topics you feel would require a single title format, or do you think you can address them all in the category size books?

Kay Stockham said...

Ladies, thanks so much for the comments. BTW, I LOVE the tiara. We have a 'tiara club' at Supers. LOL We decided tiaras are certainly not for little girls and we needed to celebrate the princess in all of us. :)

Margaret! Hey, lady. Thanks for stopping by. Have you dug yourself out of the snow yet?

Suzanne, you've asked a great question. Topic-wise I don't think there's much Superromance doesn't cover. I've had some pretty gritty plotlines. I hope to write a ST one day and am working on one now in my (cough) down time. For me the trick is learning to keep the writing just as tight, but expanding the story and fleshing out every aspect of it.


jo robertson said...

Welcome to the Lair, Kay. Your books sound like tugging emotional reads. Good interview, Donna.

Ah, flchen1, you could never be flippant and congrats on the GR catpure.

I confess to having never written an author about her book until I read Victoria Dahl's To Tempt a Scotsman. I enjoyed it so much I brassily (LOL) invited her to guest blog with us.

I've wanted to write authors many times, but I always felt that it was an imposition.

No more, though!

Christie Kelley said...


A friend of mine felt the same way about SEP. She walked up to her during an RWA conference and just gushed about how much she loved her books. SEP was the sweetest person ever!

She talked to my friend for about 15 minutes about her writing and writing process. Then, and here is where it gets good, another friend was at the airport with SEP waiting for the same flight home. My other friend asked SEP to give a wake up call to our mutual friend. SEP did it.

Just about scared the you know what out of my friend.

Aunty Cindy said...

AWWW! BIG MWAH to you, Terrio! And all our other BBs (Bandit Buddies) who read our blogs and comment.

We NEVER DREAMED how much fun this blog would be when we started out many months ago. Writing can be so solitary and as most of us Banditas will tell you, full of dreaded "Pits O Despair" and other negative stuff. That's what makes it so wonderful to connect with other writers and readers!

GOOD ON YOU, Crystal and Minna for writing to authors. And a-fix your courage to that 'sticking place' Lily and take the plunge. We LURVE having you drop by and comment here and other authors will LURVE hearing from you too!;-)


Kim said...

Howdy Kay!

Absolutely I write gushing fan letters to authors. That's actually what lead to my current career*g*

This is just my opinion but I think its very important to give positive feedback. There are so many people who are quick to write "I hated your book" or "you made this mistake in your book" or write a horrible review on Amazon. Personally, if I didn't like a book I'd prefer to close the cover and leave it at that. Why invest more time? Now if I love a book/author, I want to invest more time in them and their books with writing a review or a positive email. But then my mom always taught me--if you can't say anything nice, shut the *bleep* up. LOL

And I can vouch for SEP, she's a darling. I made a total fool of myself to her. TWICE. The first time I actually bowed to her. LOL. She's extremely kind.

Anna Campbell said...

Kim, I'd love to hear the lowdown on how a gushy fan letter led to your current career. If you get a chance, please tell us!

Kay Stockham said...

Hey, ladies! I'm out of here for now but I thank each and every one of you for stopping by and keeping me company. I'm going to leave the choosing of the winner up to Donna (she needs some fun during tax time, you know? ;))

If you get a chance, please stop by tonight at 9PM EST. I

I hope you'll join me and thanks for a wonderful day!


Anna Campbell said...

Kay, thanks for coming by the lair. It's been great hearing about your books and your career. And good luck for another RITA flag!!!

patricia sargeant said...

Hi, Kay! Just stopping by to say, "Great interview!" And, "Very best wishes for continued writing success!

Donna MacMeans said...

And the winner is....Minna. YAY!

Minna - if you could, please send an email to or go to my website at and send your contact information so Kay can ship her book to you.

Thanks everyone!