Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Guest Blogger: Kristi Gold

In 2002 I stumbled across a Desire authors' chat and one of the participating authors was Kristi Gold. I was new to reading romance and had never read any of her books. But the one she was promoting sounded interesting and I bought it. Then I went searching for her backlist. I loved her voice, her style and the way her books are liberally sprinkled with humor and passion. Her Alpha heroes, especially the sheikhs, are to die for. A few dozen fan letters later, we decided we'd one day collaborate on a romance based on our common Alabama background. I still have a photo she sent me with the following printed on it: Dearest Marilyn, I would be honored to star in the film version of your blockbuster novel Twisted Redneck Love. Please keep me in mind. Love, Mel

That's Gibson. However I'm thinking Matthew McConaughey might be more to my liking these days. But thus was born a friendship and every year at RWA we gather in the "Executive Conference Room" as she likes to call it and catch up, have fun and oh yeah... talk a little about writing. Please welcome Kristi Gold to the Writing Playground blog.



I’m so happy to be back on the Playground and a belated Happy New Year to all! I must confess that I wasn’t exactly sad to see the end of 2006, although I learned quite a bit the past year. I learned I can eat fast food three nights in a row and not feel too guilty. I learned that laundry can pile up and the world doesn’t come to a stop until I’m almost out of underwear. I learned I have fingers that will ache if I over do it at the keyboard. Most important, I learned that life happens and that chaos is inevitable at times.

That chaos began mid-summer when my husband and I decided to put our house on the market in order to downsize right before we moved our last kid to college out-of-state. I resigned myself to the fact that once prime real estate selling season was up, i.e. August, we wouldn’t have an offer until next spring. Wrong. We sold the house in October, made a mad dash to find a replacement, then moved the first of November—right in the midst of finishing one deadline with another looming. Of course, it was my bright idea to renovate our new abode while trying to write during the process. I’m proud to report I did get the book finished and turned it in two weeks before Christmas. I also somehow managed to locate the tree two days before the holiday among the boxes that I’ve only recently unpacked and apparently multiplied when left alone to their own devices. I’ve now decided that the old adage “that which does not kill us makes us stronger” is patently true, otherwise I might be on life support.:)

As far as my career is concerned, I’ve recently made a move from Silhouette Desire into Special Edition. Admittedly that was scary, leaving a line that has been my mainstay for some seven years. But as life is a series of changes and challenges, so are decisions writers sometimes have to make for the sake of their craft and the need to grow and explore other venues. Through Jenna’s Eyes (written to the sounds of hammers and drills) will be out in June and features another sibling from the O’Brien family I introduced in my November and December Desires.


Speaking of growth, I also have a February release that will launch the new Everlasting Love program, Fall From Grace. This was actually a story I began ten years ago but set aside when I turned from writing more mainstream romance to series books. Fortunately it survived several computer crashes and a lack of direction to find a home with Everlasting, which just goes to show timing can really be everything—and it’s not such a bad thing to be a hard drive packrat.

Now I have a favor to ask all of you. My extremely talented web designer, Roxann Delaney, has developed a Fall From Grace book trailer that opens immediately when you go to my website. If you have a moment, take a look and be sure you have the volume turned on. Not only am I proud of the finished product, I’m very curious to know if this trailer serves as an enticement to learn more about the book. Your comments are more than welcome and greatly encouraged.:)

Again, I’m so glad I’ve been given the opportunity to come out and play!

Kristi

A postscript from Kristi:

Acck!! I've blown out my bandwith? I knew I should've laid off the holiday chocolate! And did I mention I've crashed several computers?:)

Okay, another burning question. How much does a cover influence your purchase of a book? I ask because I had an, uh, unusual cover back in May. Just wondering if that comes into play for some of you, even if the author is normally an auto buy.

Hopefully our problems with the website will be resolved by day's end. If not, my sincerest apologies.:)

Kristi


P.S. One person who visits Kristi's website and comments on the trailer will win a copy of Fall From Grace, which is not yet available in stores. Lucky you! I've read the book twice already and loved it! Or comment on her question about covers and qualify too.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

well such an interesting post... i loved the information that has been shared here... i would surely drop by Kristi's website and check out the trailer ... u can too visit My Friendship Blog sometime...hope u will like it....!!!

KimW said...

Nice to see you out and about, Kristi. I tried to go to your website and got this error:

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit. Please try again later.

I'll try back when I get home from work.

Linda Winstead Jones said...

Hi Kristi!

Nice to see you here. :-)

I'm afraid I got the same error message when I tried to check out your trailer. I'll certainly try again later.

LJ

Teresa said...

I'm afraid I got the error too when I tried to go to your site. Will try again later when I get home from work!

Kristi Gold said...

Acck!! I've blown out my bandwith? I knew I should've laid off the holiday chocolate! And did I mention I've crashed several computers?:)

Okay, another burning question. How much does a cover influence your purchase of a book? I ask because I had an, uh, unusual cover back in May. Just wondering if that comes into play for some of you, even if the author is normally an auto buy.

Hopefully our problems with the website will be resolved by day's end. If not, my sincerest apologies.:)

Kristi

Meljprincess said...

Hi Kristi!
I read one of your doctor books and loved it.
Cover isn't what's important. Story is. Off to try and view your trailer.

Jill James said...

A cover may be the first thing I notice, but certainly not the last. A bright color or a cool dress on the heroine may catch my attention, but it won't hold it if the back cover blurb doesn't sound like a book I would enjoy.

Great post.

Carol said...

I buy books because I've read the author and enjoy her/his books or because the back blurb makes the story sound good. The cover may make me pick up the book though.

Problem Child said...

Hi Kristi! So glad you're here.

It never fails--technical difficulties when it's least convenient. I've watched the trailer already, so I'll vouch for its coolness. :-)

I liked the book with the "interesting" cover--but I can see how when readers are faced with six books to choose from and they can only afford four, they'll start letting covers affect their choices. Do authors have any recourse when a book has a not-so-great cover?

Kathy said...

Hey, Kristi, so glad you came to play! Like everyone else I tried to get onto your website early this morning, and just now, and couldn't. This must be terribly frustrating for you.

I just received your book Fall From Grace but haven't had time to read it yet. I can't wait until my DH and I can stand on the beach, just the two of us, and stare out to sea.

For an art major I find covers do play a visually important role. Titles, also, attract curiosity and make readers flip the book over to read the back cover blurb. Then, for me, if I'm interested, I'll read an exerpt in front. If a writer is someone I know or have read before, usually I don't pay such close attention and will buy no matter what.

As a writer, I am interested in your answer to PC's question about what an author can do when they aren't pleased with their book cover? I've heard so many authors say that they had to learn to live with the results. Has that been true for you? And of all your covers, have there been many you didn't like?

Kathy

Anonymous said...

I went to Books a Million to see about ordering the book and they show a different cover there. Did they do two different covers for different markets?

Can't wait to read it! And bummer on the website glitch.

Lainie

robynl said...

I will try later but also can not access the site. Here I was eagerly awaiting accessing it. Ugh!!
I love covers to be ones I enjoy; to me it adds to the 'art' collection, lol. They are not a breaker as to 'buy' or 'not to buy' but I love great covers.

krissyinva said...

I love nice covers, but they don't influence me. I buy books by authors I already love, Blurb on the back and by recommendations. I always have too many books I want to buy to just pick one up because I like the cover. Horrible covers will not keep me from a great story either, it's really the story that makes all the difference!

Kristi Gold said...

Thanks, gang, for responding to the cover question so eloquently! And in answer to a few of your questions, plus some bonus commentary I couldn't resist:

We can't do much of anything about covers except mutter to ourselves and issue complaints to people who are willing to listen to us whine.:)

I've only kept two original titles in twenty-seven books.

I don't see the back blurbs until the readers see it, and I've had a few that I've read and said, huh? I know innacurate blurbs grate on readers nerves, and rightfully so.

Fall From Grace's original cover depicted the Amalfi coast before marketing felt the books needed a better, i.e. category, look. However, the replacement was very nice, IMO, although I do favor the coastline.

Actually, I try not to complain too loudly as I'm still happy to be selling books in order to have covers. But I have had a couple that I'd like to take back, including Dr. Desireable (is that the one you read, MP?) where the hero has the heroine thrown over his desk and she's wearing these hideous white shoes. I call it The White Shoes Diary. One of my sheikh books had a heroine who joked about being flat chested yet on the cover, she looked as if she could go to work for Hooter's. And lastly, my May book, House of Midnight Fantasies, a gothic. I pictured my dark, gorgeous, mysterious Cajun hero standing before a creepy house. I got Chevy Chase and Harrison Ford's love child, standing in a brothel.:)

Go ahead and post it, PC. I know you're dying to.:)

Has the embarassment factor ever come into play with any of you? In other words, you thought,I'm not going to be seen with that book, I don't care what it's about or who wrote it.:)

A little more about Everlasting Love, as soon as I catch my breath and you all recover from your eye strain....:)

Playground Monitor said...

Scroll down below the original post and I put the love-child-in-the-brothel cover, the white shoes cover, the original to Fall from Grace and the one I think is the Hooters girl.

Teresa said...

Love the cover for House of the Midnight Fantasies! I have to admit when I'm browsing through books the covers do catch my eye. If it's a book by an author I've never read before the cover usually peaks my interest. But the story is whats important.

Angel said...

Yay!!! I'm actually using my own computer again after the extended carpet ordeal!!! Can you tell I'm happy?

Kristi, I got to see the trailer before today, so I can vouch for the fact that it is gorgeous!!! I loved it and it really had the long-term feel Everlasting is supposed to contain. Can't wait to read the book.

I know you might not have liked the cover, but they don't matter to me much. :) So I didn't pay much attention when I picked up House of Midnight Fantasies. I loved that book!! Really good.

Time to catch up on the 50 emails I have waiting for me. Things must be slow this week! I expected much more. :)

alissa said...

I check out the author first and them read the back cover of the book and that normally is my way of determining if I will read the book and enjoy it.

ellie said...

I love dramatic covers but that doesn't mean that the book is for me. I read the back blurb and then make the decision.

pearl said...

I love great artwork on covers and I think that it enhances the story but I read the back cover for the input. That allows me to get insight into the story.

joelle said...

Covers don't influence me since I will read many authors' books. I think the right combination of colors though will definitely make the book stand out and people will notice it more.

Anonymous said...

I find covers interesting to compare but it does not matter to me since I rely upon the author or the story to interest my taste. I do think that a particular type of cover make or break the selling aspect a book. Your Amlfi cover sure would have been a hit with me since I love anything at all set in Italy especially on the coast.

Anonymous said...

I don't buy a book solely on the cover, but I might pick up a book that isn't on my list to buy if I didn't know about it and maybe it's a person or two dressed in Regency outfits type of thing. But other than that, it's purely the blurb. :) But I certainly love looking at covers and collecting those coverflats! :)

Lois

catslady said...

Of those 4 covers I like your new one best - Fall from Grace. Personally I like people on the cover if you don't see the faces clearly - but that could just be me lol. I usually stay away from some of the cutsy covers unless I know the author and babies don't do it for me either lol.

I'll try the trailer later too.

Jennifer Y. said...

Welcome! The Everlasting Love series sounds great!

I don't really pay attention to covers when I am buying a book...I care more about the story. The cover may grab my attention, but they don't influence my purchase. I usually know what I am looking for when I go book shopping...I also look books up online and find out more.

I have never been embarrassed by a cover of a book that I am reading...although in high school I had to put post-its on the more risque covers so the teachers and other students wouldn't say anything.

Jennifer Y. said...

Oh, and I was trying to find out why your name sounded so familiar...it was because I had just ordered His E-Mail Order Wife online the other day.

sharon said...

Hi Kristi,
I just love the original cover of Fall from Grace. It really depicts what is the beauty of a scene in Italy which is an important ingredient. I love scene covers and I do read the blurb to verify if that book will interest me.

Jeanette J said...

Covers are more important to me if it's an author I haven't read yet. With so many books to choose from I usually pick up the books with covers that catch my eye first

KimW said...

Sometime when I see a cover I like at the bookstore, I pick it up and read about it. I generally don't buy it. I write down the title and go home and read more about it. Then if I like it, it goes on my list. Other than that, the covers don't influence my purchasing decision. I use a book cover to protect the books I read so when the only time I see the cover is when I first buy it.

Playground Monitor said...

I'm wondering if Kristi isn't making snowballs about now or eating peanut butter sandwiches by candlelight because the power's gone out. She had ice and intermittent internet access yesterday and sleet all last night. I checked the forecast for her area of Texas and it didn't look nice.

So maybe she'll get back in to visit with us again.

Meanwhile the problem with her website isn't solved yet. :-(

PM

Kristi Gold said...

Sorry for the delay but it got a little busy around here this afternoon. Unfortunately the server issue isn't going away anytime soon, so again my apologies. But on a positive note, it's been explained to me that a large number of hits can directly impact bandwith. I'm going to take their word on that.:)

And thanks so much for your thoughts on covers. It does make me feel somewhat better since I have seen some negative buzz on the May cover (the other two were mostly for fun and sales were not affected by bad shoes).

In regard to Everlasting Love, I failed to mention that a prequel to Fall From Grace, Promises Kept, is online at http://eharlequin.com as a serial with one chapter posted Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the month of January. This story features characters from Fall From Grace and gives a flavor of what Everlasting Love is all about. It's also a fast read as the chapters are very short, so take a look if you're so inclined.:)

I do want to mention that Everlasting Love is different from typical category fare. The books focus on the history of a love story and are sometimes told through the point of view of characters not directly involved in the love story. FFG has more mainstream elements, particularly in regard to language and taking a hero down to a very low point,but for the most part, it is a reunion romance that goes back and forth from present to past throughout the story.

For any of you who might be interested in writing this type of book, I encourage you to consider Everlasting Love. Linda Cardillo, who wrote Dancing On Sunday Afternoons(the other Everlasting out with FFG in Feb.) is a debut author, so they are definitely looking for new talent.

I'll be popping in throughout the evening if anyone has questions about Everlasting or anything else. I truly, truly appreciate the participation. This is a great group!:)

Kristi

Anonymous said...

A bad cover won't make not buy a book, but a good cover will make me pick one up to see if its one I want to buy. But I'll get my auto buy authors no matter what the cover is like :o)

What's the general time span in an everlasting? I remember reading a bit about the line when it was first announced but not a lot since.

Kristi Gold said...

Hi lis,
Everlasting varies in time span. My book begins in the present yet covers 1983 to 2007. Some stories travel back several years into the past. For the most part, editorial is looking for long-term relationships that cover years, not weeks. The Notebook is a good example of the kind of stories they're favoring, but it's not limited to only that type of format.

Hope that helps!

I'll bid you all a good night now and again many thanks for having me!

Kristi

Pat said...

I too like FAll From Grace the best. A cover is what draws me, but then I go to the back blurb and go from there. Of course if is an author I love and the story looks interesting, it is a go.