Interview with Kerrelyn Sparks:
Hi Kerrelyn. Thank you for doing this interview especially with the trauma of the hurricane so recently at your door. I would like to welcome you to the Romance at Heart Interview and Author Grilling session. *bg* We are interested to find out as much about you as we possibly can, so lets get started...
- Please tell us about your latest book.
How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire is my first vampire comedy thriller. Hereís a small blurb:
Welcome to the dangerousóand hilariousóworld of modern day vampires. There are vampire cable channels, a celebrity magazine called Live with the Undead, and just like the living, vampires have dental emergencies. Thatís how dentist Shanna Whelan, a mortal female, meets the smolderingly undead Roman Draganesti, and finds her life turning absolutely battyÖ
You can read the first chapter at www.kerrelynsparks.com.
- What can we expect from you in the future?
More vampire comedies! Vamps and the City releases May 2006. It features the same vampire world as the Millionaire Vampire book, but with a different hero and heroine. And since the series is off to a smashing start, Avon asked me to write three more vampire comedies.
- How do we find out about you and your books?
Please visit me at www.kerrelynsparks.com. I post excerpts from books and occasionally run contests. In the Vampire World, you can see the bonus features (deleted scenes, a character list, and how to run off your very own Vampire I.D. card). You can join my online newsletter from the website or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Do your fans' comments and letters influence you in any way?
They sure do! Writing can be a lonesome job. Each book is a long and sometimes, tortuous journey. Sometimes I really need to be reminded that someone will appreciate and enjoy my efforts. Those letters and emails really make my day!
A lot of times, readers will identify which characters are their favorites, and that does inspire me to write that characterís story.
- Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?
Most everyone asks the same thingóis How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire the beginning of a series? The answer is YES!
They also tell me how much they enjoyed the book, and that really makes me happy. I love to make people laugh. I feel very strongly that love and laughter have healing qualities. If I can lighten someoneís day, or help them decompress from our overly stressful lives, then I am thrilled and encouraged to keep on writing.
- What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
I love to read and watch movies. I also judge a lot of writing contests, because I learn so much by doing that. Iím also crazy about a few television shows like LOST. The writing is so fantastic! It inspires me to get to work and do my best.
- Are you a member of any author groups - RWA, critique groups, etc.?
Iím a member of RWA and several chapters. My local chapters are West Houston and Northwest Houston. Iím a long-distance member of Rose City (Portland OR) and Lake Country (central NY). And Iím currently the president of PASIC (Published Authors Special Interest Chapter). Iím in a critique group-- they are all wonderful writers and know just how to support me or slap me into shape, depending on my needs at the time. Online, Iím one of the Vampire Vixens at www.vampire-vixens.com.
- Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?
The characters come first for me. Once they come to life, their problems and conflicts become apparent. I love playing matchmaker for them. If I ever get stuck in my writing and find it impossible to move forward, itís because Iíve forced a character to do something he/she didnít want to do. I have to go back and let them have their way. They can be very stubborn! (and no, I donít live in a padded cell). Seriously, if the characters donít seem real to me, how will I ever convince the reader that they are?
- Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Never give up! Keep reading and writing and learning your craft. Whatever you write, even if itís rejected, is never a waste of time. It was a necessary part of your learning experience, and you have grown as a writer because of it. Grow a tough skinórejection is part of the business. Let those rejections inspire you to dig deeper and work harder. Join a writing organization (like RWA), so you can experience the wonderful support and camaraderie of other writers. Youíll also learn a lot and discover some great opportunities in an organization like RWA. My first sale was due to entering contests sponsored by RWA chapters.
Give yourself permission to write poorly each day. Donít expect perfection. You can always edit later, but you canít edit a blank page. Pour your heart into your story, but be smart about it, too. Donít be afraid to be bold and different. Editors are looking for someone with a fresh and original voice. And never, ever give up!
Thank you very much Kerrelyn for taking the time with us and answering our questions. I really appreciate this interruption to your busy schedule. Good Luck, and we will be looking forward to Vamps And The City, the next delightful creation from your talented imagination coming in May 2006!
Yours in good reading,