Interview Transcripts

Kayla Perrin: Bestselling author of romance and women's fiction. 3/10/05

Event start time:

Thu Mar 10 18:58:04 2005

Event end time:

Thu Mar 10 20:59:09 2005



Legend:
Questions from the Audience are presented in red.
Answers by the Speaker are in black.
The Moderator's comments are in blue.

Mary Rosenblum

Hello everyone.

 

I hope you've all had a good week.

 

Welcome to our Professional Connection live interview.

 

Kayla Perrin is the USA Today and Essence Bestselling author of 16 novels and four novellas. She writes romances for Harper Collins, and mainstream women's fiction for St. Martin's Press. She also recently signed a contract with Harlequin to write for their new "Spice" line. She has twice had books land on Romance Writers of America's Top Ten Favorite Books of the Year list, and was the first AA author to make this list. Her novel, SWEET HONESTY, was optioned by BET to be made into a movie of the week.

 

For a list of her books and a closer look at the author, you can visit her website at www.kaylaperrin.com

 

For those of you who don't know, Kayla just got back from a trip late last night

 

so I really appreciate her willingness to be here tonight.

 

Kayla welcome!

Kayla Perrin

Yes, it was a later night than I expected. But here I am.

Mary Rosenblum

Well, let's begin at the beginning! Want to tell folks who haven't get visited your very nice website

 

a bit about your writing? You have an impressive list of publications.

Kayla Perrin

Okay. I have 20 releases at this point, 4 novellas and 16 novels. I'm writing.

 

for St. Martin's Press, HarperCollins, and Harlequin now as well.

 

I've also written for Kensington Books and BET Books, and my first release was with Genesis Press.

 

So, I've had a lot of experience with many publishers!

Mary Rosenblum

That's very impressive...and don't forget the best seller lists you have appeared on!

 

Several, as I recall.

 

How did you get started writing?

Kayla Perrin

Ah, how could I forget! I hit the USA Today list last year, and I've been on the Essence Bestseller list as well. One of my books was optioned to be made into a TV movie.

 

As for how I got started, I've always been writing. I knew from the time I could first hold a pencil

 

that I wanted to tell stories. In fact, I sent my first book to a publisher when I was just 13, and the next year, I sent the publisher

 

two more children's books that I had illustrated myself. I came close to my first sale

 

as the publisher wrote me back and said they were seriously considering publishing both books. Several months passed and they ended up rejecting them, but I was more encouraged as opposed to discouraged.

 

It took me another 13 years to finally get to my first sale. Let me know if you need more details, as I'm glossing over stuff.

Mary Rosenblum

Well, I’m impressed with your determination. It would be easy for a 13 year old to feel that the rejection meant she wasn't good

 

and it would be easy to give up during that 13 years before your first sale.

 

Determination matters!

Kayla Perrin

Yes, and my father said as much. He was worried that I'd feel bad about myself. I told him that if you don't try, you can't succeed. Not sure where I got that determination.

Mary Rosenblum

Well, it's a critical attitude for aspiring writers, that's for sure. So what WAS that first sale?

Kayla Perrin

I should also mention that I write mainstream, romance and children's fiction.

 

As for my first sale, it was a romance novel called AGAIN, MY LOVE to Genesis Press. I feel the turning point for me was joining a writer's organization, and going to a national conference.

 

I went to the Romance Writers of America conference in Dallas in 1996 and ended up meeting an editor from Genesis Press and they were hungry for new authors. That's where I got my break.

 

You have to be willing to network, and go where the opportunities are.

Mary Rosenblum

Oh, I'll attest to that! I feel that it's worth the cost of conferences if you can go and network.

 

I'm not familiar with Genesis...is that a Romance publisher?

Kayla Perrin

I completely agree. I've had a lot of opportunities come my way from conferences.

 

Genesis Press is a small press in Mississippi, and they publish non fiction and some children's fiction, but mostly romance. Oh--and I have to say, while I was wary of working with a small press, it was a great foot in the door and that led to me working with bigger, NY publishers.

Mary Rosenblum

What kind of children's fiction do you write?

Kayla Perrin

I wrote a children's mystery, a chapter book called THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALLISON JONES. I've always loved mystery, and blend a mystery story into most of my romances too,

Mary Rosenblum

Cool. :-)

sailor

Your bio says you had 9 books published in your first 3 years as a writer. Very impressive! Did you follow a formula for romance or did you ignore that and write what you wanted?

Kayla Perrin

I always wrote what I wanted, and I have to credit my publishers with allowing me to do so. I didn't know the "rules" about the romance genre until after I was published. For example,

 

you're supposedly never supposed to write about actors or athletes. Well, my first book featured a heroine who was an actress--much like myself at the time. I submitted the book and got it published, but had I known the "rules" I might have c hanged the story or not submitted it for fear it wasn't right.

 

And my most recent book features a star football player, so there you go!

Mary Rosenblum

That's super, Kayla. You're a marvelous example of someone who wrote what they wanted and succeeded in spite of the rules

 

and by the way, I thought the description of 'Gimme an O' was way cool. Gonna have to read that. :-)

Kayla Perrin

Yes, and I really believe that you have to follow your heart. LOL about GIMME AN O! That book was reviewed in Entertainment Weekly magazine, and just went back to print!  People are really loving it.

forest elf

To quote a movie "more like guidelines than actual rules"?

genesis

Is Gimme an O the one about the football player?

Kayla Perrin

Yes--there are definitely guidelines. I never understood when people asked about "rules" for romance, or implied there was a structured formula. That's just not true. Yes, you have to write within the limits of the genre, but that's like any other genre. I.e., a mystery or suspense novel has to be "solved". But, how you get to that is up to you.

 

Yes, Gimme An O! stars Anthony Beals, a quarterback for the Oakland Raiders.

 

He meets up with a sex therapist...and sparks fly on THE TONIGHT SHOW! It's a funny story.

Mary Rosenblum

Oh, it sounds like it! And that seems to be so rare in most of the genres. Do you use humor and a light tone often?

Kayla Perrin

I never used to use humor and a light tone. In fact, I didn't think I could write humor. My first books were a bit more angsty--although they had more suspense--but somewhere along the way I found my humorous tone and I'm loving it!

 

The books are so much fun to write.

Mary Rosenblum

No kidding, what a gift. Maybe I'll figure that out one day, myself. There IS hope! LOL

speckledorf

Do you think your writing ability let you get away with breaking those "rules" or was there some other reason?

Kayla Perrin

LOL. Actually, one of my books, SAY YOU NEED ME, was voted a Top Ten Favorite Book of the Year by RWA. Quite funny.

 

I always forget to mention the good stuff. Anyway, as for my writing ability, I'd have to say yes. And not just mine, but I constantly see writers write stuff that is supposed to be against the rules and they sell it, so I think if you can tell a good story, you can get it published. If you can't, you won't.

Mary Rosenblum

There's a lot of truth in that...and don't forget the determination factor!

slyforce

Did you have to ask permission to use the Raiders name?

Kayla Perrin

Yes, you can't give up. As for the Raiders, no I didn't ask permission. I don't think you have to, unless you're writing something bad about them. The great thing about publishers is that their legal teams are on everything, so if something seems problematic, they'll have you change it...

 

That said, if you were going to write that people ate McDonald's burgers and died (in a mystery story, for example) I’m sure you couldn't do that because McDonald's would not be happy.

Mary Rosenblum

No kidding, and they have good lawyers, too! Actually

 

the legality of this is that celebrities, public figures

 

are open season...you CAN use their names as long as you don't libel them.

deb1234

Do you think you'll ever try one of those new paranormal romances that are becoming so popular?

Kayla Perrin

Yes, that's true. I use Jay Leno in the story as well. Now, I have to get a copy of the book into his hands. :-)

Mary Rosenblum

Oh, do!

Kayla Perrin

Paranormal... Hmm, I want to say no, but then I think about a story I started and never finished (something I always used to do) that was a paranormal. IN fact, I've written a couple paranormals. Why am I not trying to sell them? :-) But I don't think you should write something just because the market is hot...

 

Your passion for that type of story has to shine through. If you're writing just because it's "hot" but not what you like, then you won't likely sell it.

Mary Rosenblum

That's certainly sound advice!

paja

Hi, Kayla. Have you found significant differences/similarities among your several publishers?

Kayla Perrin

Yes and no in many ways. I loved Kensington for its editorial freedom. HarperCollins/Avon was not as great that way, but they paid much more. :-) St. Martin's is a great house and I have one of the best (and most coveted) editors in the business, but I'm finding she has a strong vision for what my stories should be. So, there are pluses and minuses, and I think it's wise to write for more than one house.

Mary Rosenblum

I like St. Martins...one of the few independents...who's your editor there?

Kayla Perrin

Jennifer Enderlin. She's so sweet! To her credit, she's got great vision.

 

I don't always agree with her at first, and then the book is published and I see she was right.

Mary Rosenblum

I haven't met her, but good editors are really worth gold, and St. Martin’s tends to have good editors.

Kayla Perrin

Yes, they do. Really personable, which matters. Some people I know are afraid to call up their editors, and that shouldn't be the case.

Mary Rosenblum

I've found that most of them do become your friend as you work together...you have a single goal in mind...your book as good as it can be.

Kayla Perrin

Yes, that's true.

sailor

How did you end up with so many publishers? I thought it was rare to have more than one or two.

Kayla Perrin

It certainly can be rare, and it's all about the option clause. The option clause has to be structured so that you can write different kinds of stories for different publishing houses, or you'll be in violation of your contract...

 

So, when I was writing for BET, they were getting my "multicultural romances of 80-90,000 words". Harper Collins had my romances of 100,000 words, and St. Martin's had my mainstream stories of 100,000 words. I was free to write novellas for any publisher.

tory

Sounds like you have a good agent, Kayla. Did you have one at the beginning?

Kayla Perrin

I do have a good agent. I love her! No, I didn't have one before my first sale. In fact, it's often much harder to get an agent than a publisher. Agents want to see that you have a track record, or that you can finish a book in a timely manner--basically that you can make them money...

 

It sucks, and it makes it so much harder when you have publishers saying they won't accept unsolicited manuscripts. ...

 

That's why it's really great to go to conferences. If you get to pitch to an editor personally, then when they ask to see your book, it is now SOLICITED, and you can mark that on your package--believe me, otherwise you might just get a rejection letter real quick and not know why.

 

The funny thing is that I met my agent at my first conference, but she rejected my children's book. Then, when I got my first sale, I contacted her to represent me. Well, now I had a contract offer, and she quickly jumped at the chance to represent me. For the record, she's no longer my agent. She wasn’t' that great for me in the end. I'm happy with my current agent.

 

Having a bad agent is worse than no agent!

Mary Rosenblum

Does your agent handle all your different genres? And no kidding about bad agents!

Kayla Perrin

Yes, my agent handles all my stuff. She didn't handle children's fiction at first, but now she's doing a lot of sales in that area.

babbles

Did you make that first sale on your own or with an agent?

Kayla Perrin

I made the first sale on my own, by sending my story directly to the publisher after meeting one of their editors at a conference. Then, an agent was only too happy to represent me. It was an easy 15% commission!

 

You have to treat this as a business. I learned that from being in a writer's group. I could have easily said yes to Genesis Press on the phone, without hearing or dealing with the contract terms, but every writer I knew said, GET AN AGENT. So, I then called up some of the agents I'd met, and hired one to deal with the fine print. She ended up getting me about 50% more in an advance than the publisher originally offered me.

Mary Rosenblum

Good for you. A lot of novice writers are just so thrilled to have that sale, that they quickly say 'yes' to everything.

Kayla Perrin

Yes, and I've heard some horror stories where writers are locked into contracts for several years that they can't get out of--unfair contracts, but they signed them because they were so happy to have a publisher. In the end, they might not even see their books released! It can be a nightmare.

Mary Rosenblum

Or movie rights. Most 'boiler plate' contracts include movie rights, and if the book sells as a movie, the author gets very little.

 

And bringing up the subject,

M

how did you get the option? Did someone approach you?

Kayla Perrin

Exactly. There's so much an author won't understand about a contract, so once you have an offer, get an agent to negotiate the details for you.

 

As for my option, BET (the TV station) bought out the line of books that Kensington was publishing. They did that with the idea that they'd turn some of the books into movies. The first batch they did (10) were just awful. But, they switched producers

 

and then optioned 5 more. They made the first 3 before Viacom bought them out, and everything was put on hold. These next 3 were much, much better, but unfortunately, they never did the last two--and mine was the last scheduled to be produced!

Mary Rosenblum

Oh, too bad. But in TV-land, what goes around often goes around again, so maybe it'll get made yet.

Kayla Perrin

I haven't given up hope. :-) So many books get optioned but never made into movies, so you have to take the extra money and hope for the best. :-)

Mary Rosenblum

Oh, MOST books get optioned and never made! Nice money and you just don't hold your breath. :-)

Kayla Perrin

Exactly!

babbles

Kayla do you write your story intended for a specific publisher or do you just write what pops into your head then find a publisher?

Kayla Perrin

I think it's very smart, in this competitive market, to research a publisher. Or, at least research the best publisher for your story.

 

For example, since I'm writing for 3 houses, I know what each wants, so I do tend to think in terms of story ideas that will fit that house. I have to, because otherwise it will mean lots of revisions.

 

That said, you don't have to NOT write the story of your heart. Just write it, and then research which publishers tend to publish those stories, as you'll be more likely to have success that way.

 

I hope that makes sense.

Mary Rosenblum

Good advice again...and you can do that research in the bookstore.

 

You know what your novel is about...go skim the shelves and see who is publishing similar books.

Kayla Perrin

Exactly! The books you're reading that may be similar to what you're writing--see who published them.

babbles

When you first started, did you send in sample chapters to editors? If so, were they excerpts of different areas of your story?

Mary Rosenblum

Or did you send in the entire ms?

Kayla Perrin

Never, ever send sample excerpts!

 

If you're going to send samples, send consecutive chapters from the beginning. I sent the entire manuscript, because I was invited to submit a full manuscript. Also, when you send your sample chapters and synopsis, don't end the synopsis with a cliffhanger.

 

Don't say, "and if you want to know how this ends, I can send you the book."

 

I hate to admit this, but I did that at least once, and when I joined a writers group I learned that many people have tried this "gimmick." Editors aren't reading your proposal to be left at a cliffhanger. They want to know how the story will progress from beginning to end, so you need to give them all the details.

 

That way, they'll know if the idea will work!

Mary Rosenblum

Oh, I'm laughing! ALL editors get tons of these and they hate 'em!

tory

Kayla, any suggestions on getting novellas published? Seems a much smaller market.

Kayla Perrin

I know. And then people try to stand out by sending stuff on colored paper, etc. They stand out all right--and are rejected quickly.

Mary Rosenblum

Yeah, all the gimmicks have been tried...and none of them work.

Kayla Perrin

Novellas are much harder to sell without having published a novel first. Most of the time, an author is invited to participate in an anthology.

 

If you find a contest for novellas, that's a good way to start. Lori Foster held one (and I think she still does) and a few people got their start that way and are still publishing. {note from Mary…Lori has discontinued the contest, alas}

Mary Rosenblum

I'll look for that one, Kayla, and post it on the website, thanks.

Kayla Perrin

Great. :-)

babbles

Thank you in advance for all the good advice Kayla.

writeaway

Kayla, what length synopsis do you usually send... or does it depend on the complexity of the book?

Kayla Perrin

You're welcome! The length of synopsis does depend, but I tend to do no less than 10 double spaced pages.

 

If a publisher asks for less, like Harlequin which wants two single spaced pages, then you have to try to condense. I hate synopses, and I hate short ones, because I never know what details to cut out.

Mary Rosenblum

And to be honest, most writers write better books than they do synopses!

Kayla Perrin

I was going to say the same thing! Publishers understand this, but want an idea of where your story will go from beginning to end.

deb1234

Do novellas occur because the story doesn't invite longer length?

Kayla Perrin

Deb, no that's not true.

 

Novellas are just a teaser of a story I guess, for readers who like the idea of a short read and variety.

 

For example, PERFECT FOR THE BEACH, is an anthology with 6 novellas, each can be easily read in a sitting on the beach. Some people prefer this format if they don't have time to get into a longer book.

sailor

When you write a synopsis, do you describe the main plot first, then the subplots, or do you describe it the way the book is written with everything woven together?

Kayla Perrin

Good question, Sailor. I tend to write the synopsis in sequence--explaining the main and subplots as they weave through the story. I give an initial set up of the story at the beginning of the synopsis

 

and then I go from there. You need to hit the major points--conflict (internal and external), plot development, bad guy, etc, resolution.

Mary Rosenblum

And if you do it that way, the editor knows what the book is about on one read.

Kayla Perrin

And that's what they want and need to know! Your chapters could indicate the story is going one way, but the synopsis says something else.

 

I hope that made sense.

Mary Rosenblum

It sure did, Kayla. :-)

dale

Do you think there is a market for men in romance writing

Kayla Perrin

Dale, absolutely! There are several men who write romances, most under a pseudonym.

Mary Rosenblum

I'm curious, does anyone write Romance with a male name?

 

Or do male writers always use a female pen name?

Kayla Perrin

Leigh Greenwood is a man. When I first saw him, I was shocked. He's about 6'2, had a cowboy hat on. Not the image of a romance writer. :-)

Mary Rosenblum

Oh, I LOVE it!

 

But I would have assumed Leigh was a woman's name! Ha!

 

Shows you what I know.

deb1234

Does anyone write romance with a male POV?

Kayla Perrin

I think because the market is mostly dominated by women, men tend to use pseudonyms. Then, you have the Nicholas Sparks types who use their names and write "love stories." A different stigma, I guess.

 

Sorry--Leigh is his pseudonym.

Mary Rosenblum

Ah, okay. Yes, I bet it was a shock, meeting him. LOL

Kayla Perrin

Deb, writers use the male POV all the time. In days of old, female writers tended to write from just one POV--the woman's. But, readers wanted more, and now most books include the male POV, and other characters' as well.

 

Mary--Leigh's real name is "Harold."

writeaway

I think it was one of his books that I read.  It was in first person written as a woman and it threw me.

Kayla Perrin

You mean Nicholas?

 

Or Leigh Greenwood??

writeaway

No I think it was Leigh, but I read his bio first.

Kayla Perrin

In any case, yes, writers are experimenting with POVs, and why can't a man write a woman's POV when we're writing men's?

 

Leigh had a very successful series, from what I understand.

Mary Rosenblum

A lot of those old 'rules' are relaxing.

Kayla Perrin

Yes, times are a changin'.

prettysmile76

Kayla, What is your writing schedule like?

Kayla Perrin

Hectic! LOL. I have a two year old, and she's thrown a wrench into my schedule! I used to get more creative at night, now I have to be creative when she naps. :-)

 

It was an adjustment. But, I still tend to work well at night, when there are less distractions. I can write for several hours a day if I'm close to deadline--or, I used to be able to, before becoming a mother!

Mary Rosenblum

Yeah, the mother thing does indeed bite into the writing time !

Kayla Perrin

It sure does! Somehow, I'm still prolific.

Mary Rosenblum

What kind of publishing schedule are you keeping now...two books a year? More?

Kayla Perrin

Last year I had two books. This year, I have one original, one novella, one re-release. I was supposed to have another novel, but that's been pushed back till next year, which means I might have 3 releases next year. Yes, I will have three--all full novels.

 

(It's a good thing it was pushed back. I needed the extra time to get it written!)

Mary Rosenblum

That should keep you busy, working with a two year old.

Kayla Perrin

Understatement of the year!!!!!!!!

 

*And* I moved last month. Ugh.

Mary Rosenblum

Oh, know that SOOO well. I was a single mom with a three year old and a six year old when I started writing seriously...at least I didn't have to move!

Kayla Perrin

LOL! I understand your pain, but I can't imagine two! :-)

 

I'm a single mom, too. So, that makes it even harder to write. But, where there's a will, there's a way.

Mary Rosenblum

Well, the first draft of one novel got written ...literally...on scraps of paper. And yep, you've clearly demonstrated the will part of that.

Kayla Perrin

(And when the bills have to be paid...you know how it goes!)

Mary Rosenblum

Oh yeah...those bills! Talk about motivation, LOL.

Kayla Perrin

Look at JK Rowling. And she's amazingly successful.

Mary Rosenblum

No kidding!

sailor

Harlequin has a reputation for strict guidelines for their different imprints. Is Harlequin allowing you the freedom you're used to for their Spice line? What differentiates their Spice imprint from the others?

Mary Rosenblum

That's a good question!

 

HQ tends to be VERY strict.

Kayla Perrin

Yes, HQ can be very strict, but the great thing about the Spice line is that it's a single title line. I.e., it's not one of their category romances, where you have to practically write in a box.

 

This is going to be like their Mira line, although hotter. The thing is, the stories don't necessarily have to be romance. Mine was submitted to Mira, although it could have been submitted to Red Dress Ink for their chick lit line

 

because the title is GETTING EVEN. It's about 3 women who are burned by their men and plan some delicious revenge.

 

It's got a sexy tone, more than lots of sex.

Mary Rosenblum

I got the impression that Spice was one of their sexier, less restricted lines.

 

As is the chick lit.

Kayla Perrin

It was the sexy tone of my story that had HQ wanting it to be part of the launch for the Spice Line. Yes, you’re right about that--less restricted and very different stories from one to the next.

 

With their regular lines, the stories have to be similar in tone.

Mary Rosenblum

They are getting away from that, now. Their Luna line is very relaxed. Fantasy romance.

Kayla Perrin

I think they've realized that readers want more. Some are still traditional, but a lot are reading other things, and HQ wants that market as well. :-)

Mary Rosenblum

OH yes, and they are definitely crossing over into mystery, sf, and fantasy readers. I'm all for it.

Kayla Perrin

I am, too.

deb1234

OK. What is a chick lit?

Kayla Perrin

Hi, Deb. For a definition of chick lit, think Bridget Jones. A heroine who is not perfect, can't find the right man, may date many Mr. Wrongs before finding her soul mate. The book is more of a journey of her misadventures in dating.

 

Think Sex and the City as well.

 

The traditional romance reader wants a one-man one-woman story, so they might not like chick lit.

Mary Rosenblum

It's targeting younger readers, from what I hear...women in their 20s.

Kayla Perrin

Yes, I'd agree. The books tend to be more hip, more fun.

rachel

Do you have a certain audience in mind when you write? Age? A certain type of person?

Kayla Perrin

You know, that's a tough question. I can't really say that I do, though I figure most of my readers will be women in their twenties to forties. I really just try to come up with an entertaining concept that I hope many people will be able to enjoy,

writeaway

Do you have a goal of so many pages or hours a day writing?

Kayla Perrin

Another good question! I tend to go by pages, and it depends on how close my deadline is. If I'm close to deadline, I usually try for 20 to 25 pages a day. Now, being a mother, I'm happy with 10 pages a day, but don't always reach that goal.

Mary Rosenblum

How much revision do you usually do?

Kayla Perrin

I am better with my later books, in that I can do a pretty good first draft--but it all depends on the story. Sometimes, I want to get it written and get it to my editor so I can think about it while she's reading it, and have ways to improve it in mind when we chat. I usually do a few drafts, at least for parts of the book. I.e., not all of the book necessarily has to be revised, but some parts will need more work than others.

Mary Rosenblum

Do you do a final revision of the entire ms before you send it off?

Kayla Perrin

By the time I am writing a story, I tend to have a pretty good idea of where it will be going. As for your question, Mary, not always. With my St. Martin's book (the last two), I sent them out without the revisions being complete, as I wanted my editor's input.

 

It was more of a rough draft that I knew she could help me shape.

 

My Harper books tend to be easier. :-)

Mary Rosenblum

I do want to introduce a word of caution here, since most members of our audience are unpublished novelists

 

and that is while Kayla can do that...she has worked with her editor before and the editor understands that it is a rough draft.

 

As a first time novelist, you must send in your STRONGEST story possible, not a rough draft! That's a pro perk you'll earn!

Kayla Perrin

Absolutely, Mary. You can't do that without a proven track record. I did many more revisions with my first book before I sent it out, and with subsequent ones with new editors, but now things are different, and if I want to turn the book in and see if there's a different direction or suggestions my editor would like to make, then I do that when I know the book isn’t at its best...

 

but it's still workable, and it's just the way I work with my editors.

writeaway

When do you know you've revised enough?

Kayla Perrin

I open one of my published books in a store and will wish I'd re-written a sentence! But, at some point, you have to let the book go. When you believe you've tied up all the loose ends, fixed all your grammar, etc--i.e., the book is in damn good shape, reads well, and it's only minor things that you'd tweak--send it out, before you revise the life out of it. And that does happen.

Mary Rosenblum

Oh it sure does! That's the key.

 

When you're just 'fiddling' with words...you're done!

Kayla Perrin

Good description, Mary. When you start to fiddle, head to the post office!

deb1234

Is there a division in Romance such as Contemporary and Mainstream as there is in regular fiction?

Kayla Perrin

Yes, there is. There are many divisions in romance! With Harlequin and Silhouette, you have long contemporary stories and short contemporaries, and traditional romances. Then, within the mainstream romance genre you have single title contemporaries, single title historicals, and then there is more general fiction with strong romantic elements.... The list goes on!

 

None of which you should obsess about, unless you're trying to write for one of Harlequin's lines.

Mary Rosenblum

Bookstore research! Go browse the shelves and see who publishes what on those Romance aisles!

Kayla Perrin

Sometimes new writers do obsess about all the different publishers, and lines, and this and that until the point where they're crippled. You have to remember that you should be concentrating most on your story. If you know you're going to send to Harlequin, then read a lot of the line you plan to submit to. But as for single title, it's a bit different. Not as restricting, I guess.

Mary Rosenblum

That's very well put. You really do need to write what YOU want to write, first and foremost. Nothing less will have the same amount of passion and heart.

 

And Kayla, you're an example of the fact that you can write what you love and find a publisher.

Kayla Perrin

Exactly. And that's so obvious to editors!

Mary Rosenblum

Kayla, you've been a great guest, and I'm going to let you go a bit early

 

because I know you're catching up from your trip...

 

but can you offer one last piece of advice to our audience?

Kayla Perrin

Thanks, Mary. You have to write a good book, and then believe me, it won't be that hard to find a publisher. Unless the subject matter is totally obscure or something.

 

My best advice--join a writer's group.

 

Not only will you be around people who are passionate about writing like you are, you will be motivated to write more.

 

And not only will you be motivated to write more, you'll get information on the market firsthand

 

because writer's groups tend to get this kind of info from publishers.

 

It's really helpful, and I know of several people who, being part of a writer's group, learned of new lines starting at differnet houses and were able to immediately submit, and voila, they got a contract.

 

So, network--and never give up!

Mary Rosenblum

What can we look forward to finding on the bookshelves soon? Your work I mean.

Kayla Perrin

My latest, GIMME AN O!, is still on the shelves, and I really love that story, so if you haven't looked for it, go ahead! :-) AN ALL NIGHT MAN is an anthology that just was released (last month). Next month, the trade paperback version of THE DELTA SISTERS (a mainstream story) will be released as a hardcover.

 

This book hit the Dallas Morning News bestseller list the week it was first released.

 

I should give the website for Romance Writers of America... It's www.rwanational.org  There's lots of info there on how to join the organization, and local chapters.

Mary Rosenblum

It's worth the dues. It's an excellent organization.

 

That's a great lineup of coming attractions, Kayla! We'll look for them.

 

Thank you so much for coming in tonight!

 

And thank your daughter for being patient!

Kayla Perrin

Yes, and you have access to publishers and agents who publish much more than romance. That's what I love about RWA.

 

You're welcome! I had a great time, and I hope everyone learned a lot.

Mary Rosenblum

I think everyone did, Kayla!

 

Thanks so much for coming!

 

And good night!

Kayla Perrin

Good night, all.

 

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