Hello, Carina Press Friends! I’m Kelly Lynn Parra and I will be debuting my first Romantic Suspense Criminal Instinct with Carina Press in June. It is such an honor to be part of Carina’s launch and to be chatting with you. I thought I’d kick off today by sharing my journey from reader to Carina…
What’s a girl who once lived to draw and paint, who found school reading a chore, doing writing novels?
Good question, and one I still sometimes hear from friends and family. You see, it wasn’t until I was round with my first baby–trying to entertain myself during maternity leave–that I was given a book that went on to change my life’s path.
Now this wasn’t just any book, although I did not know this at the time. It was a romance novel, obviously loved by someone else, yellowed from time, and bent around the edges.
From the first page, I was swept away to Ireland. Where I quickly learned more about those two main characters than I knew about some of my own family members. I rooted for this man and woman, envisioned them in my mind so clearly that it seemed they had to be real. Yes, I was pregnant, I needed my sleep, but how could I not find out what would happen next?
Soon, I finished that book, closing it with a contented sigh. I was in love. Yes, I was in love with romance, and with Nora Roberts!
I went straight to the bookstore and waddled through the aisles until I found the other two books in the series. The manager of the store was a Nora Roberts fan too. She showed me entire shelves of her books and backlist. *Instant reader bonding took place*
Can you take a guess of the trilogy?
The Born In trilogy: Born in Fire, Born in Ice, and Born in Shame. I did not know at the time, but I had started the series out of order.
The first magical romance I read was Born in Ice.
And there I became a voracious and dedicated romance reader. Once I worked my way through all the Nora Roberts backlist I could find, I read her J.D. Robb books and fell in love all over again! I think my husband thought I lost my mind. From there, I read many Harlequin’s series books and that was when I read an author bio about a mom who was staying at home with her children and had become a romance writer.
My son was born and I continued reading more than ever. My little home was becoming packed with as many books and bookshelves as Pampers and bibs! So the idea of idea of writing while I stayed at home with him seemed like a daring, but doable venture.
Maybe just for fun. Fun turned into passion.
I joined Romance Writers of America and on-line sister chapters. I researched and took on-line workshops. This passion had soared into a dream of publication! I think my family humored me, sure, write your stories, they said. Well, I did and I met other great aspiring writers on-line. We learned to support each other and share our experiences. I found a fabulous critique partner and wrote a very rough first book called Deadly Adam. Then I met a wonderful mentor on-line who told me I had a good voice and I should write the next draft of this book to the best of my ability and submit it to agents. It took me a year to rewrite it, and then it was time to query. Many rejections and two offers of representation I had an agent. After another year of many rejections from publishers and rewrites, Deadly Adam sold to Harlequin Bombshell.
Yes, yes, YES!! I couldn’t believe it!! My hard work had finally paid off. My dream would come true!!
Meanwhile, I had started writing young adult stories. Reflecting on my own teen years, there were never any books I was interested in during school. I wanted to write something kids could relate to today. I wrote Graffiti Girl and it sold, meanwhile I received some bad news. The Bombshell line closed its doors. My first book, which I spent nearly two years writing and a year trying to sell, would not be published.
It was devastating not only to me, but the other Bombshell writers for their unpublished stories. I cried like a baby. I had grown to love my characters Ana and Jonas, their faults and their good qualities after all this time with them. Yes, I would be published in young adult but it was tough to say goodbye to them. I wiped my tears and continued to write.
So jump ahead a few years later. I heard about this new and fresh e-press opening called Carina Press. I thought about Deadly Adam. I thought about Ana and Jonas, and I took a chance and submitted the novel after some sprucing up and gave it a new name of Criminal Instinct. The day I received the good news email from Angela James my chest tightened and my eyes watered.
My first romance would finally be published.
Thank you, Carina Press, you helped a writer complete a long-sought-after journey. And in support of Carina, I will treat one visitor today to any pick of a Carina Press’s digital launch titles. All you have to do to enter is leave a blog comment.
I hope when Criminal Instinct is released in June you’ll meet Ana and Jonas… Stay tuned for my next post so I can introduce them to you.
~ Kelly Lynn Parra
**reminder: Commenting on an author’s blog entry/entries for the day will enter you to win a digital copy of their Carina Press title. One winner daily. Commenting on any of the Countdown entries will enter you into the big giveaway for a Carina Press promo prize pack. One winner at end of Countdown.**
Kelly Lynn Parra’s earliest stories were told with paintbrushes, but upon discovering the drama, forbidden love, and danger of romance and suspense novels, those paintbrushes were replaced with a keyboard. Now a multi-published author, she has created memorable characters such as a graffiti artist, a psychic teen, and a tough undercover narc. A two-time RITA finalist, she divides her time between her novels, freelance writing, and the adventures of motherhood, where she juggles her home life with two children, a tattooed husband, a sweet poodle, and a stealth turtle. Kelly loves to chat with readers and other writers through facebook, twitter, and her website, www.KellyParra.com.