This Tuesday, our special guest is Kay Stockham. Kay sold her seventh completed manuscript to Harlequin Superromance on February 11, 2005, and eight months later hit the Waldenbooks Series Bestseller List with her debut. In the time since she's contracted an additional nine stories to Superromance, as well as a novella featured in THE POWER OF LOVE with Berkley Publishing.
A HOLT Medallion, Book Buyers Best and RITA finalist, Kay is a happily married wife of seventeen years and mother of two who now makes her home in southern Ohio. For more information on her books, fabulous contests, excerpts and book trailers, surf to her website or friend her over at myspace.
Recently, I asked Kay about how her series the Tulane's of Tennessee came to be. Here's what she had to say......
Two years and a few months after I sold to Harlequin Superromance, I went to RWA's national conference to meet with my editor. I had a couple books under my belt, a couple releases in the works and a great idea percolating in my head. So, in our one-on-one meeting I decided to do the unthinkable as a rookie author--I pitched five books.
That's right. Even though I hadn't been published all that long, I had a great idea for a series. Even more surprising? My editor loved it and wanted to see more.
Putting together the proposals took some work. Since I was so new, the senior editor didn't want to contract all five stories at one time so the series was broken down into two three-book contracts.. But wait a minute, I said five books, right? Before I confuse anyone, the extra book was actually my December 2007 release A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER. ACTR was included in the first contract along with the first two books of my proposed series the Tulanes of Tennessee. Months passed, my editor moved to a new line and I was handed off to another. If you know anything about publishing then you know this is a normal occurrence. But what did it mean for my series? What if the new editor didn't like where I was headed? I admit, I had some scary moments but things worked out perfectly in the end.
I've been asked how I came up with the name, the setting etc. The setting was easy--I love Tennessee. Yes, I'm an Ohio gal and I was raised in Kentucky, but my family has made quite a few trips south to the gorgeous mountains of Tennessee. If you've never been--go. You won't regret it. (Note: Make sure you take a drive to Cade's Cove. Beautiful! Pick a sunny day, blast the radio and hit those windy roads!)
As to the name... When I was fleshing out my proposals Katrina made her appearance. My family was safe and accounted for, but on television I watched as frantic parents evacuated their children from Tulane University. Yes, my Tennessee family was named after that school and those kids because as a mom I felt the terror those parents were going through in trying to locate their children. So, in honor of them, my Tulane family was born.
On March 10, book three of my Tulanes of Tennessee series hits the shelves with HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER. Each of the stories stands alone so if you haven't read the series so far, no worries. You can still order ANOTHER MAN'S BABY and HIS SON'S TEACHER online (or you just might win them here at Author Island!). Also, mark your calendars because in September, 2009, SIMON SAYS MOMMY will showcase the eldest brother, Ethan, and in spring of 2010 the baby of the family, Alexandra, will wrap things up.
RT gave HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER 4.5 stars which designates it as a "Keeper" and they also chose it as a RT Top Pick. To say I'm thrilled is putting it mildly. Although I'd never compare a book to one of my children, I feel like a proud parent and I hope you'll pick up HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER and give it a look. For a sneak peek, go to my website to view the trailer and read an excerpt.
I've put a lot of time and thought into this series. Even though I thought I knew my characters pretty well when I pitched them, they've given me a lot of surprises. The Tulanes are honorable, sexy, down-to-earth and yet go-getters. And best of all? When they find love, they do everything in their power to keep it. I'm writing the last story now, and yeah, I'm going to miss them. *sniffle*
So, that's how I broke a rookie rule and pitched five stories at once. I'm hoping some of you have been following along with the series and have questions. If so, please post them here. And if you haven't, well, there's no time like the present to get started reading. I think DeNita has come up with a great contest and I hope you'll play along!
The Tulanes of Tennessee series-Five stories, five ways to fall in love!
HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER, March 2009
SIMON SAYS MOMMY, September 2009
Friend me on Facebook & Myspace!