My guest on Vintage Vonnie this week is gutsy, talented and sweetly ambitious author, Kristin Tualla. I first began reading about her new marketing philosophy a couple weeks ago and immediately knew I wanted her to guestblog. As you will see by her offers below, she is also a generous person--especially to her potential readers. Welcome Kris...
Kilted heroes abound. But there's a new option.
I remember it well: Aug 1, 2006 - the day I sat down with my brand new laptop and began to type my first novel intended for publication. I sure didn't know much - and that is no exaggeration. I hadn't made a habit of reading novels for years. The idea of writing one had never occurred to me - until I read Diana Gabaldon's Outlandish Companion. There she says that the best way to learn to write a book is to write one.
That sounded logical. So where to begin?
What I DID know:
1. I loved reading historical romances, so I would write one.
2. I, too, am a sucker for a man in a plaid - but I didn't think the world needed another romance about one. The key was the man IN the kilt. He needs to be sexy hero material.
3. Norsemen are sexy! Big, blond, buff, and beautiful, with oceanic eyes.
4. Missouri. I set him in my childhood home of Missouri, but before statehood when it was a little rougher.
I completed my first manuscript in just 10 weeks. It was 100,000+ words long; over 400 pages in a mass-market paperback book. Let's be clear - while the plot and characters were good, the writing itself had serious issues. But I was on fire!
Now - for what I did NOT know:
1. The kilted warrior is a marketing machine.
2. Publishers like marketing machines because they are safe bets.
3. They think Norwegian heroes are risky.
4. Especially in Missouri. Or Norway.
5. In the 1800s.
While I learned, edited, re-wrote, learned more, re-edited and re-wrote I wondered, what was NEXT?
I was driving past IKEA when I heard a commercial on the radio: H&M was coming soon! "Hmm," I thought. "These are both Scandinavian stores… I guess that's the next big thing."
And then it hit me. My hook. My brand. My big, blond, buff, beautiful heroes with oceanic eyes! Norwegian men are the next big thing. "Norway is the new Scotland" was born.
And I have been fighting this battle ever since!
Traditional publishers retreated behind their 'machines' saying, "But we can't sell Scandinavia." Oh? And when, exactly, did you try? Don't readers deserve a choice? Don't interesting and unique characters deserve a chance to find a fan base?
Because Norway is the new Scotland, I decided that the common thread through all of my books would be the Hansen men. Different generations, different centuries, different continents - but the same Viking blood. And all of these men are unique and fascinating. Strong. Stunning. Smart. Spectacular.
So. Is it time you found a new brand of hero?
Please allow me to help.
For every 10 people who comment here, I will give away one free e-copy of A Woman of Choice - the beginning of the trilogy. And, yes. Commenter #11 warrants 2 copies! Comment #21? I'll give away three.
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!
In February at the end of my blog tour, I'll give away one SIGNED PAPERBACK SET of the trilogy. Here's how you can get in on that deal:
1. Go to http://www.kristualla.com/ and find the "Secret Word" on my home page.
2. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Signed Trilogy Giveaway" in the subject line. Put the secret word in the body.
3. Comment on any blog at any time in the tour to activate your entry. Each day's blog location is listed at http://kristualla.wordpress.com/blog-tour-dates-locations/
A Woman of Choice, A Prince of Norway, and A Matter of Principle are all available at http://www.goodnightpublishing.com/
A Woman of Choice - Missouri Territory, 1819
A woman is viciously betrayed and abandoned by her unfaithful husband. She is rescued by a widower uninterested in love. In desperation, she becomes engaged to his best friend. One woman, three very different men. Life is about choices.
A Prince of Norway - Christiania, Norway, 1820
American-born Nicolas Hansen has been asked to candidate for his great-grandfather's throne. His new wife Sydney isn't about to let him go to Norway and face that possibility alone. The moment they arrive at Akershus Castle, the political intrigue and maneuvering begin. Can Sydney trust anyone? Will Nicolas resist the seduction of power? Or will he claim the throne for himself? Most importantly: will their young marriage survive the malicious mischief of the ambitious royal family?
A Matter of Principle - St. Louis, State of Missouri, 1821
Nicolas Hansen has returned from Norway determined to change the world. But when he runs for State Legislator in the brand-new state of Missouri, the enemies he made over the past two years aren't about to step quietly aside. Sydney has made enemies of her own, both by marrying Nicolas and by practicing midwifery. When a newspaper reporter makes it his goal to destroy them, Nicolas must rethink his path once again. But this time, it's a matter of principle.