You Are What You Were When

You Are What You Were When

By Kathy Clark

 

Great characters…that’s what several of our REALITY ROMANCE Blogs have been about.  What makes characters memorable and what makes people love or hate them?  They have to be real.  They have to be people you want to know or who are similar to people you already know.  Nothing kills a book faster than a character you don’t care about.  Love them or hate them, they have to make an impact.

The lead characters of most romance novels are in their early twenties to late thirties range.  But the supporting characters can be all ages, shapes, colors, and personalities.  If there wasn’t a variety, the story would be pretty one-dimensional.  You’ll see authors add babies, teenagers, parents, grand-parents, and even animals.  They all make interesting additions as long as you, the writer, makes sure that they’re consistent, real, and important to the plot.

When we were creating our Austin Heroes series, we knew the three books were to each feature one of the Archer brothers.  How do you balance a cocky DEA agent, a golden-boy Texas Ranger, and a prodigal son Homeland Security officer?  One of our favorite TV shows is Blue Bloods that each week ends with a big family dinner.  Well, we decided to adapt that meal idea to a family of alpha men who are supposed to leave their guns at the door, but almost never stop talking shop.  Who could be strong enough to counteract these powerful personalities?

Their feisty grandmother, of course.  Grammy grew up in the Sixties as a young musician turned hippie, immersed in the culture of Haight Asbury.  She still enjoys smoking pot on the porch and living on the edge of society.  What better conflict for three grandsons who have sworn to uphold the law?  One even has a drug dog who definitely has a conflict of interest every time they come for dinner at Grammy’s.

The fun part about writing Grammy was that we could make her bigger than life.  The challenging part was that we had to keep her in character and have her appropriately represent her generation.  There are plenty of Baby Boomers out there who would spot anything disingenuous or incorrect.

Equally important was when we were writing Another Chance, the third book in the series.  The premise is that Luke (the Homeland Security officer) returns home to Austin on an assignment and bumps into his high school sweetheart, Bella.  So, while not actually having two sets of characters, we had to deal with Luke and Bella as emotional teenagers and as cynical adults.  That involved going back to the Eighties and staying true to that era, as well.  Do you remember that there were no cell phones, DVDs, CDs, or internet back then?

Working with all those characters at various stages of their lives was a lot of fun.  Their lives, loves, emotions, heartbreaks, and ambitions were all woven into the plot, making a complex, but realistic view of a family.

My husband heard a wonderful speech by a man named Morris Massey, a marketing professor and sociologist.  His decades-long work is focused on values, generations, and what he calls Significant Emotional Events, or SEE’s.  Some of his most noteworthy, useful and entertaining topics include:

  • The Original Massey Tapes – 1: What You Are Is Where You Were When
  • The Original Massey Tapes – 3: What You Are Is
  • The Original Massey Tapes – 4: What You Are Is Where You See
  • What You Are Is What You Choose…So Don’t Screw It Up
  • Dancing With The Bogeyman

They tell how to make characters that are true to their backgrounds and beliefs.

Authors tell you character background by several means:

  • What their pop culture is about [music, words, films, books, art etc.]
  • Reference points [age of family members, what grade they are in school, if they are on social security or in the military are the obvious examples]
  • And the obvious clue, the author just tells you

Dr. Massey’s findings will help you create wonderful characters that are consistent with their age and upbringing.  When a senior citizen acts like a teenager or a college student dresses like a grade school kid, the reader is thrown out of the book.  These incongruities, unless there are “payoffs” later in the book, just show you didn’t do your homework and you didn’t really know your own characters.

Following are some quotes from Another Chance that illustrate our point.

“Grammy took us everywhere in that bus.  When the engine burned up for the third time just two years ago, she had it towed back to this field, then held a wake for it.  Hundreds of people came out.  It was the event of the year.”  Nick shook his head and smiled as the memory of that crazy party flashed through his mind.

“She has lots of friends?”

“Everyone from the 60s who was involved in music…that is, anyone still alive…showed up.  It was…colorful.”  Nick glanced over at Jamie.  “I have to warn you…Grammy is not a typical grandmother.”

“And this must be Harley.”  She looked down at the dog that was sitting at attention next to her, his gaze focused on her with burning intensity.  She wore a long prairie skirt and tie-dyed T-shirt with her curly steel-gray hair pulled back into a ponytail.

“Grammy, you’re killing me,” Nick said.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You’ve got a joint in your pocket, don’t you?” Nick asked.

“I might,” she admitted with an unapologetic grin.

 “I’m a DEA agent, and Harley’s a drug dog.  What are we supposed to do with you?”

“Arrest me,” Grammy challenged nonchalantly.  She leaned over and petted Harley whose concentration didn’t waiver.

“I should.  Maybe a night in jail would be good for you,” Nick retorted.

“Ha!  Like I haven’t been to jail before.”  She chuckled.  “The first time was back in ’67…or was it ’68?  Anyway, me and a bunch of other women burned our bras in the street outside The Playboy Club in San Francisco.  I haven’t worn a bra since.”

 

So what does the teaching of an expert in this field, Dr. Morris Massey, tell us?  Dr. Massey’s credentials are on line.  In his book What Works At Work (Lakewood Publications, 1988) he was cited as one of the most influential workplace experts of the time.  And to fully understand why people believe what they do and have the values they do, you have to understand where they’ve come from.

Morris Massey has described three major periods during which our values are developed.

 

The Imprint Period

Up to the age of seven, we are like sponges, absorbing everything around us and accepting much of it as true, especially when it comes from our parents. The confusion and blind belief of this period can also lead to the early formation of trauma and other deep problems. The critical thing here is to learn a sense of right and wrong, good and bad. This is a human construction which we nevertheless often assume would exist even if we were not here (which is an indication of how deeply imprinted it has become).  If parents are poor their kids often will value wealth.  If they’re jobs are a t risk and they’re unemployed the kids will value job security and when they’re older days off without pay is a significant.

 

The Modeling Period

Between the ages of eight and thirteen, we copy people, often our parents, but also other people. Rather than blind acceptance, we are trying on things like suit of clothes, to see how they feel. We may be much impressed with religion or our teachers. You may remember being particularly influenced by junior school teachers who seemed so knowledgeable—maybe even more so than your parents.

 

The Socialization Period

Between 13 and 21, we are very largely influenced by our peers. As we develop as individuals and look for ways to get away from the earlier programming, we naturally turn to people who seem more like us. Other influences at these ages include the media, especially those parts which seem to resonate with the values of our peer groups.

 

So your kids or even you at about age seven, between eight and thirteen or between thirteen and twenty one, are primary time periods that mold us.  Is it any wonder therefore that kids growing up in the fifties explained a lot about the existence of the hippies of the sixties and seventies and the push back the baby boomer generation always seemed to be doing in the sixties through to today.

 

Kind of makes you wonder what imprints kids in the early twenty-first century will value as adults.  The point of this blog?  Be sure your characters are consistent with their age and era.  Of course, not everything you know about your characters will come out on the page.  But it impacts who they are and how they will react to whatever conflicts you’re going to throw in their path.

 

Our series novels are in three different age ranges for example:

  • The young adult series, TIME SHIFTERS, is about four sixteen year olds.
  • The new adult series, SCANDALS, is about five adults age eighteen to twenty five
  • Romantic Suspense, both the Denver Heroes and Austin Heroes series, is about characters in their mid to late twenties.

 

AFTER LOVE COVER

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LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS; Where have you gone Michael Keaton?

Our award winning book is finishing a promo run on Amazon and is looking to move on to the BIG screen!

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Here’s the chapters and the music play list posted on Twitter, GOOGLE +  and Face Book for the last week.

Prologue “Try To Remember [The Kind Of September]” – The Sandpipers

Chapter One “It’s Your Thing” – The Isley Brothers

Chapter Two “Dizzy” – Tommy Roe

Chapter Three “I Got You Babe” – Sonny & Cher

Chapter Four “Mighty Quinn” – Manfred Mann

Chapter Five “Midnight Confessions” – The Grass Roots

Chapter Six “The Monkees Theme” – The Monkees

Chapter Seven “Tired Of Waiting” – The Kinks

Chapter Eight “Those Were The Days” Mary Hopkin

Chapter Nine “Catch The Wind” – Donovan

Chapter Ten “My Way” – Frank Sinatra

Chapter Eleven “Come Together” – The Beatles

Chapter Twelve “Time of the Season” – The Zombies

Chapter Thirteen “Leaving on a Jet Plane” – Peter, Paul and Mary

Chapter Fourteen “Everybody’s Talkin’” – Nilsson

Chapter Fifteen “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” – Neil Sedaka

Chapter Sixteen “Day Tripper” – The Beatles

Chapter Seventeen “It Takes Two” – Kim Weston

Chapter Eighteen “Bottle of Wine” – The Fireballs

Chapter Nineteen “Bad Moon Rising” – Creedance Clearwater Revival

Chapter Twenty “Kind of a Drag” – The Buckinghams

Chapter Twenty-One “Jumping Jack Flash” – The Rolling Stones

Chapter Twenty-Two “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye

Chapter Twenty-Three “Red Rubber Ball” – The Cyrkle

Chapter Twenty-Four “Always You” – The Sundowners

Chapter Twenty-Five “Na Na Hey Hey [Kiss Him Goodbye]” – Steam

Chapter Twenty-Six “Is That All There Is?” – Peggy Lee

Chapter Twenty-Seven “1-2-3 . . .” – Len Barry

Chapter Twenty-Eight “The Cat In The Window [The Bird In The Sky]” Petula Clark

Chapter Twenty-Nine “We Got To Get Out Of This Place” – The Animals

Chapter Thirty “This Magic Moment” – Jay and the Americans

Chapter Thirty-One “You’ve Got Your Troubles” – The Fortunes

Chapter Thirty-Two “P.S. I Love You” – The Beatles

Chapter Thirty-Three “It’s My Party” – Lesley Gore

Chapter Thirty-Four “Both Sides Now” – Judy Collins

Chapter Thirty-Five “Yesterday’s Gone” – Chad & Jeremy

Chapter Thirty-Six “Worst That Could Happen” – Brooklyn Bridge

Chapter Thirty-Seven “Reflections Of My Life” – The Marmalade

Chapter Thirty-Eight “The Fool On The Hill” – The Beatles

Chapter Thirty-Nine “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” – The Hollies

Chapter Forty “For What It’s Worth (Stop, Hey What’s That Sound)” – Buffalo Springfield

Chapter Forty-One “Good Vibrations” – The Beach Boys

Chapter Forty-Two “98.6” – Keith

Chapter Forty-Three “Up-Up And Away” – The 5th Dimension

Chapter Forty-Four “Easy Come, Easy Go” – Bobby Sherman

Chapter Forty-Five “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – The Beach Boys

Chapter Forty-Six “Subterranean Homesick Blues” – Bob Dylan

Chapter Forty-Seven “Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Simon and Garfunkel

Chapter Forty-Eight “Something’s Burning” – Kenny Rogers and the First  Edition

Chapter Forty-Nine “One Tin Soldier” – The Original Caste

Chapter Fifty “Last Train to Clarksville” – The Monkees

Chapter Fifty-One “The Beat Goes On” – Sonny & Cher

Chapter Fifty-Two “When I Die” – Motherlode

Chapter Fifty-Three “Things We Said Today” – The Beatles

 

 

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AUTHOR US NOV 2014 FINAL

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Life's What Happens Amazon sized

What do Bill Ayers, Megan Kelly, Training Wheels and New Adult Romantic Drama Have In Common?

The interview of Bill Ayers got me thinking about the back story that erupted to become the story in LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS. Part 2 is on tomorrow night. The mistakes of the 1960’s impact three generations today. What he help start is what made the backdrop of life on campus in 1969 when you’re 20 something become life itself.

My 24th book, LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS was a New Adult Romantic Drama and is available from these eight [8] book sellers and others.

It is a NA without training wheels as the book pundits day.

The tile below is the answer to the blog title.  And it you’re not sure the relationship exists then read the book then talk with Bob!  He was there.  He saw it go down.

LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS Being a New Adult, 20 something in 1969 meant there were no training wheels.

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Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/LIFES-WHAT-HAPPENS-Alex-Parker-ebook/dp/B00A14STPS/
SMASHWORDS – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/367841
iTunes / Apple – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id703617147
Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lifes-what-happens-bob-kat/1114076899?ean=2940148411116&itm=1&usri=2940148411116
Kobo- http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/life-s-what-happens
All Romance – https://www.omnilit.com/product-life039swhathappens-1333594-344.html
GOOGLE Play / Books –https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Bob_Kat_Life_s_What_Happens?id=ez6XjHNKBz8C&hl=en

FOR PAPER BACK
CREATE SPACE – http://www.amazon.com/Lifes-What-Happens-Bob-Kat/dp/1480296678/
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Time To Lose The NEW ADULT Training Wheels

1 training wheels

I got started in writing due to Janet Dailey.  She was my hero and, to a large degree, my mentor.

But this isn’t about her but rather what she did to romance and what part of history applies to New Adult!  Read on…

I can only dream of having the longevity and talent needed to drive my 3 million romance and women’s fiction book sales to even remotely come close to her 100 million plus in sales.  I don’t think she is given enough credit for all she did to completely change the publishing industry.  Janet was known for adhering to the conventions of romance fiction — one man, one woman, happy ending.  But her books broke the mold because they featured independent women who weren’t simpering virgins waiting for their rich prince to sweep them off their feet, plus they were set in America rather than in the old-world Europe of traditional romances.  Janet was the first American writer published by the Toronto-based Harlequin publishing empire and her new bold changes became the foundation of the industry to this day.

Why do I bring this up?  All genres go through an evolution not unlike the romance genre did starting in the 1980s.  Romance was still always the major plot, but suddenly the characters had real lives with a back story and careers.   The romance (i.e. the man) wasn’t all that defined them.

My husband and I just attended the #TexasWriter’sLeague annual Editors and Agent’s Conference where we paid super close attention to the speakers, discussions and meetings that surrounded the New Adult genre.  I noticed that there is still a lot of confusion about exactly what the NA market is and what the audience wants.  The one thing that is clear is that it is evolving, just as romance did, into something more substantial than just bad boy meets good girl, which has been the norm up to now.

After the Saturday sessions ended and before we got back to working on book #2 in the SCANDALS New Adult Series, KILLER DATE, we set out to see where the evolution in the genre is today. Surprisingly, we found numerous blogs, surveys and discussions about new adult literature and how it is finally moving from books focused on New Adult angst to solid stories where the protagonists are in their new adult sweet spot, age 19 to 25 who have more than just boy troubles.  Why deal with just that one element of the complications of transition that most new adults are going through?

Now we’re talking…don’t just saddle the poor new adult characters with relationship baggage.  Let them actually deal with college, family, jobs, roommates, housing and finances.  Let them struggle, but ultimately survive and succeed in the story.  How “new adults”, born between 1989 and 1996, will propel a story set in 2014 forward is what makes a story great and if told and written well, will deliver a best seller.

Of considerable note I came across the blogging of Lauren Sarner at the #Huffington Post and her 2013 blog on new adult books.  I loved it and it summarized very well all the blogs and reviews and face-to-face discussions I’ve had for long time.  She wrote that “New Adult is a new genre whose target audience is people like me–young twenty-something’s, overwhelmingly of the female variety.  A New Adult book is basically a Young Adult book with sex and cursing thrown in.  A typical plot line features two brooding, damaged souls with damaged pasts (typical examples include characters whose entire families have tragically died, characters who have grown up in abusive homes, characters suffering from manic depression or panic attacks) who meet, sparks fly, and drama ensues. The books are often titled something like “Damaged” or “Broken” or “Smashed with a Sledgehammer”

She notes she may have made that last one up, but she was sure it exists somewhere.

Lauren continued.  “New Adult is a label that is condescending to readers and authors alike.  It implies that the books act as training wheels between Young Adult and Adult.  For the New Adult books that are particularly childish, the label implies that they are a step above Young Adult–which is insulting to the Young Adult books that are far superior.  For the New Adult books that are particularly sophisticated, the label implies that they are not worthy of being considered “adult.”  It’s a lose-lose situation for everyone.”

She closed with a challenge for me, as a writer of three series currently…a YA Time Travel Mystery, New Adult Suspense and Romantic Suspense, and it should be for all writers of the NA genre. Lauren explained, “Books are supposed to expand your world; expose you to people, places, emotions, and ideas you might not otherwise experience.  Suggesting that you need training wheels for such a thing is like suggesting that a child needs training wheels to walk.  You’ve just got to do it.  Good fiction is supposed to hold the mirror up to reality, regardless of the genre–and reality does not have training wheels.”

 

So my challenge is not how to write a NA novel that is actually an entertaining book where the characters can be brooding or damaged, but there is more going on in their lives than wondering the if boy is going to call.  That was my goal when I created the New Adult SCANDALS series.  Book #1, DUES DATES, has the usual female and male relationship issue, but her life didn’t start and end with him.  They both have baggage, but there’s a real world going on around them that they also have to deal with that adds complications, drama and humor.  A new adult’s life is not just about male/female relationships, but about their relationships with everyone around them.

Now my challenge is crafting the blurb and discussions about DUE DATES to attract the New Adult reader with the typical relationship of brooding, damaged souls, but then capture them with the complications of being a new adult in a complicated world.

That’s why the title of the blog is  …and yes it is a total rip off of the intellectual capital of Lauren #Sarner at the #Huffington Post.  It’s time for the NA genre to move to the next level that deals with young people that are not just defined by romantic relationships, but have dreams and problems and friends and lots of other things impacting their lives.

So I’m proud to be ahead of the curve with of our two training wheel-free NA novels.

Our current New Adult series, SCANDALS, book #1 DUE DATES was released a few months ago.  Find DUE DATES at http://www.amazon.com/DUE-DATES-SCANDALS-Kathy-Clark-ebook/dp/B00GQC1S3O/

DUE DATES AMAZON

An inheritance brought her more than she ever could have imagined…

Killeen Ames has it all…beauty, brains, a college softball scholarship and a rich and handsome boyfriend who has helped to stretch her college funds and fill her social calendar. He is the only boy she ever allowed past second base and now he’s her baby daddy. However, being a father was not in his short-range plans. He graduates, then he splits, leaving Killeen to decide what she wants to do about the pregnancy…and to worry about how she’s going to keep her scholarship. With no marketable skills, no job, no home and medical bills for her and the baby on the horizon, she knows she must move forward. A knock at the door of her boyfriend’s apartment changes the game forever when an attorney gives her the news of an inheritance from an unknown dead relative and another due date looming.

After traveling to Austin, Killeen walks into the meeting and is surprised to find out that the relative was actually her birth father, and he had been a popular music star who recently died of an overdose. Even more shocking are the four strangers who share the same absentee dad. He has left them a highly successful private investigation agency, Scandals. The catch is…they have to make the commitment to work there.

Their introduction to the P.I. business almost gets them killed when a bomb goes off in the warehouse that sends Killeen to the hospital. She has kept the secret of her pregnancy from everyone, including Christopher, the totally irresistible manager of Scandals. Their hot night of wild sex in the office was a one-time thing…right? She chalks up her attraction to him as just raging hormones. They have no chance of a future together. He’s gorgeous, intelligent and successful. He would never want anyone with so much baggage.

Christopher has a secret of his own. He’s been investigation the possibility that, despite popular opinion, their father’s death hadn’t been an accidental overdose. He thinks it was murder.

Even though the five siblings still haven’t accepted the fact that they have a father who made no attempt to be a part of their lives, they join together to discover the truth about his death. The search throws Killeen and Christopher together and their passion grows hotter. As her feelings for him slowly become more serious, she knows she must tell him about the baby.

After a fun day in the sun, an event happens that outs Killeen’s secret. Christopher, as expected, doesn’t take the news well. But they must continue to work together to track down a killer, especially since the killer has now focused on them.

Someone doesn’t want them to stay and take over the business. In fact, someone wants them all dead and now the decision on whether or not to be a part of the agency seems very unimportant compared to the job of trying to stop from being killed.

They set up a trap that goes terribly wrong. Suddenly, Killeen must make a big decision. Who should she save? Her baby? Christopher? Her new brothers and sisters? Their lives are in her hands.

Due Dates is the first book in the Scandals New Adult series of romantic suspense. Each book of the series will focus on one of the offspring of Roger Elliott, a famous musician who left them with a legacy they weren’t expecting. Killer Date, the second book in this series will be released in Summer, 2014 and will tell Reno’s story.

 

Life’s What Happens is a 1969-1970 story told in flashback, where the super bowl of angst plays out and life in college when failing a course could land you in a war on the other side of the planet, brooding, sparks and romance flew in between classes, relationships, graduation, career planning and finding draft loopholes that would soon be shut.  Find Life’s What Happens on all the usual book seller sites including Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/LIFES-WHAT-HAPPENS-Kathy-Clark-ebook/dp/B00A14STPS/

Life's What Happens Amazon

Scandals Changing Face For The Future; Starting Now!

After much deliberation, market sampling , sales analysis and plain ole pondering I have changed the cover on the recently released book, BABY DADDY. This is book #1 in the SCANDALS new adult romantic suspense series.

BABY DADDY  AMAZON NEW

An inheritance brought her more than she ever could have imagined…

Killeen Ames has it all…beauty, brains, a college softball scholarship and a rich and handsome boyfriend who has helped to stretch her college funds and fill her social calendar. He is the only boy she ever allowed past second base and now he’s her baby daddy. However, being a father was not in his short-range plans. He graduates, then he splits, leaving Killeen to decide what she wants to do about the pregnancy…and to worry about how she’s going to keep her scholarship. With no marketable skills, no job, no home and medical bills for her and the baby on the horizon, she knows she must move forward. A knock at the door of her boyfriend’s apartment changes the game forever when an attorney gives her the news of an inheritance from an unknown dead relative.

After traveling to Austin, Killeen walks into the meeting and is surprised to find out that the relative was actually her birth father, and he had been a popular music star who recently died of an overdose. Even more shocking are the four strangers who share the same absentee dad. He has left them a highly successful private investigation agency, Scandals. The catch is…they have to make the commitment to work there.

Their introduction to the P.I. business almost gets them killed when a bomb goes off in the warehouse that sends Killeen to the hospital. She has kept the secret of her pregnancy from everyone, including Christopher, the totally irresistible manager of Scandals. Their hot night of wild sex in the office was a one-time thing…right? She chalks up her attraction to him as just raging hormones. They have no chance of a future together. He’s gorgeous, intelligent and successful. He would never want anyone with so much baggage.

Christopher has a secret of his own. He’s been investigation the possibility that, despite popular opinion, their father’s death hadn’t been an accidental overdose. He thinks it was murder.

Even though the five siblings still haven’t accepted the fact that they have a father who made no attempt to be a part of their lives, they join together to discover the truth about his death. The search throws Killeen and Christopher together and their passion grows hotter. As her feelings for him slowly become more serious, she knows she must tell him about the baby.

After a fun day in the sun, an event happens that outs Killeen’s secret. Christopher, as expected, doesn’t take the news well. But they must continue to work together to track down a killer, especially since the killer has now focused on them.

Someone doesn’t want them to stay and take over the business. In fact, someone wants them all dead and now the decision on whether or not to be a part of the agency seems very unimportant compared to the job of trying to stop from being killed.

They set up a trap that goes terribly wrong. Suddenly, Killeen must make a big decision. Who should she save? Her baby? Christopher? Her new brothers and sisters? Their lives are in her hands.

Baby Daddy is the first book in the Scandals New Adult series of romantic suspense. Each book of the series will focus on one of the offspring of Roger Elliott, a famous musician who left them with a legacy they weren’t expecting. This book is about Killeen Ames who must deal with an unexpected pregnancy, an absentee baby daddy, an irresistible attraction to a hot new guy and four new half-brothers and sisters. Tramp Stamp, the second book in this series will be released in Spring, 2014 and will tell Reno’s story.
SMASHWORDS – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/379398
iTunes / Apple – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id757465403
Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/baby-daddy-kathy-clark-aka-bob-kat/1117448913?ean=2940149013364&itm=1&usri=2940149013364
Kobo http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/baby-daddy-scandals-1
All Romance – https://www.omnilit.com/product-babydaddy-1360180-149.html
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/BABY-DADDY-SCANDALS-Kathy-Clark-ebook/dp/B00GQC1S3O/
GOOGLE Play / Books – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kathy_Clark_Baby_Daddy?id=MjIuAgAAQBAJ&hl=en
DIESEL eBooks – http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/item/SW00000379398/Clark-a.-k.-a.-Bob-Kat-Kathy-Baby-Daddy/1.html
SONY eReader – https://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/kathy-clark-a-k-a-bob-kat/baby-daddy/_/R-400000000000001164631

FOR PAPER BACK
CREATE SPACE – http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Daddy-Scandals-Volume-1/dp/1493512978

WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

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Friends, Debt and Tattoos; New Adults, the Educated Homeless

There’s been a lot of discussion over the reality, need and description of the new adult genre.  This age group, at least in the Euro-western culture is between about 18 years and 25 years old usually and is characterized by several items most notably has been termed “an age of transition”.  A time to transition by moving out of their parent’s house, to their first serious relationship, or transition to their first meaningful job in their chosen career, and of course transitioning from high school to college and so on.

In the UK for example earlier this year, psychologists have even discovered additional reasons why this is a uniquely different group of people when compared with those in their late teens or age 30 and over.  But I believe there is yet another set of circumstances that make the 18 to 25 or maybe even 35 year olds different than those younger or older.  In fact different than how anyone born before 1960 were when they were in the 18 years to 35 year old range.

In a word, ECONOMICS.  TIME Inc. has supplied the lion’s share of the next set of facts.  Facts that cause the 18 to 25 year old age group to be different culturally and therefore represent a unique genre to be addressed in literature, music and entertainment.

My blog, like all blogs, has a global reach so this is being written from an American perspective.  In the U.S. the “kids” coming of age in the last 5 to 8 years have overall not been typical of the generations before them.

For years, retailers, marketers and businesses of all shapes and sizes have gone out of their way to try to win over that “all-important” 18-to-34-year-old demographic.  Now that this age group is broke and facing huge student loans and a lackluster job market, though, the realization is setting in that perhaps it’s not such a good idea to focus on a bunch of consumers with little disposable income and increasingly frugal habits.

The perfect customer is one who is young (and has the potential to keep being a customer for decades), hip (so others will follow in his footsteps and also become customers) and always supplied with plenty of money to blow on the latest products and services. Thanks to the Great Recession and its fallout, however, it’s unlikely that someone who is young and hip also has all that much cash to throw around.

Here’s a handful of facts about this age group:

It’s no mystery why so many young Americans are now living with their parents: What with unemployment rates high, and the jobs that are widely available to young workers tending to be those with meager salaries (and few or no benefits), more of today’s young adults are too poor and ill-prepared to leave home and head off on their own.

These factors have trickled down to the young adult generation as well.  If you were born before 1955 for example one of the rights of passage was to get your driver’s license.  The number of teen drivers has dramatically decreased over the past couple of decades. Consider this:

  • In 1983, 69% of all 17-year-olds had driver’s licenses.
  • By 2008, only half of 17-year-olds had licenses.

How can these kinds of changes where first upward mobility was impacted and now horizontal mobility is being impacted not impact their leisure time entertainment?

Pew Research provided even more background for this blog.  The 18 to 29 year old age group is unique in other ways as well and these differences drive their “new adult” genre needs:

  • 75% have created a profile on a social networking site.
  • 20% have posted a video of themselves online.
  • Almost 40% have a tattoo (and for most who do, one is not enough: about half of those with tattoos have two to five and 18% have six or more).
  • Almost 25% have a piercing in some place other than an earlobe — about six times the share of older adults who’ve done this. But 70% say their tattoos are hidden beneath clothing.
  • About 90% either say that they currently have enough money or that they will eventually meet their long-term financial goals. But at the moment, fully 37% of 18- to 29-year-olds are unemployed or out of the workforce, the highest share among this age group in more than three decades.

Research shows that young people who graduate from college in a bad economy typically suffer long-term consequences — with effects on their careers and earnings that linger as long as 15 years.

When my husband and I sat down to develop our new adult series, SCANDALS, we factored as much of this background into the story lines of the books as possible.  The voice of the new adults is different, decisive and entertaining and any author who writes these characters as just another adult age group is missing real opportunities as well as a very large market that will remain unique for decades.  Book #1, BABY DADDY, was released a couple of weeks ago.   Here’s the blurb for the new adult book, BABY DADDY, a SCANDALS Romantic Suspense, book #1.

An inheritance brought her more than she ever could have imagined…

Killeen Ames has it all…beauty, brains, a college softball scholarship and a rich and handsome boyfriend who has helped to stretch her college funds and fill her social calendar.  He is the only boy she ever allowed past second base and now he’s her baby daddy.  However, being a father was not in his short-range plans.  He graduates, then he splits, leaving Killeen to decide what she wants to do about the pregnancy…and to worry about how she’s going to keep her scholarship.  With no marketable skills, no job, no home and medical bills for her and the baby on the horizon, she knows she must move forward.  A knock at the door of her boyfriend’s apartment changes the game forever when an attorney gives her the news of an inheritance from an unknown dead relative.

After traveling to Austin, Killeen walks into the meeting and is surprised to find out that the relative was actually her birth father, and he had been a popular music star who recently died of an overdose.  Even more shocking are the four strangers who share the same absentee dad.  He has left them a highly successful private investigation agency, Scandals.  The catch is…they have to make the commitment to work there.

Their introduction to the P.I. business almost gets them killed when a bomb goes off in the warehouse that sends Killeen to the hospital.  She has kept the secret of her pregnancy from everyone, including Christopher, the totally irresistible manager of Scandals.  Their hot night of wild sex in the office was a one-time thing…right?  She chalks up her attraction to him as just raging hormones.  They have no chance of a future together.  He’s gorgeous, intelligent and successful.  He would never want anyone with so much baggage.

Christopher has a secret of his own.  He’s been investigation the possibility that, despite popular opinion, their father’s death hadn’t been an accidental overdose.  He thinks it was murder.

Even though the five siblings still haven’t accepted the fact that they have a father who made no attempt to be a part of their lives, they join together to discover the truth about his death.  The search throws Killeen and Christopher together and their passion grows hotter.  As her feelings for him slowly become more serious, she knows she must tell him about the baby.

After a fun day in the sun, an event happens that outs Killeen’s secret.  Christopher, as expected, doesn’t take the news well.  But they must continue to work together to track down a killer, especially since the killer has now focused on them.

Someone doesn’t want them to stay and take over the business.  In fact, someone wants them all dead and now the decision on whether or not to be a part of the agency seems very unimportant compared to the job of trying to stop from being killed.

They set up a trap that goes terribly wrong.  Suddenly, Killeen must make a big decision.  Who should she save?  Her baby?  Christopher?  Her new brothers and sisters?  Their lives are in her hands.

Baby Daddy is the first book in the Scandals New Adult series of romantic suspense.  Each book of the series will focus on one of the offspring of Roger Elliott, a famous musician who left them with a legacy they weren’t expecting.  This book is about Killeen Ames who must deal with an unexpected pregnancy, an absentee baby daddy, an irresistible attraction to a hot new guy and four new half-brothers and sisters.  Tramp Stamp, the second book in this series will be released in Spring, 2014 and will tell Reno’s story.

It is currently available on a number of book retailers:

SMASHWORDS – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/379398

iTunes / Apple – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id757465403

Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/baby-daddy-kathy-clark-aka-bob-kat/1117448913?ean=2940149013364&itm=1&usri=2940149013364

Kobo http://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=9780988343672

All Romance – https://www.omnilit.com/product-babydaddy-1360180-149.html

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/BABY-DADDY-SCANDALS-Kathy-Clark-ebook/dp/B00GQC1S3O/

PAPER BACK – http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Daddy-Scandals-Volume-1/dp/1493512978

This blog only touches the surface of the impact of the economy on growing up in America.  Bottom line “kids” 18 to 25 or even 30 are a unique demographic and authors and screenwriters are ahead of the curve in many cases but some publishers and studios have yet to invest.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, BABY DADDY, like many of the new adult genre books, is written in first person.  While it changes the way the book has to be written the ability to place the reader deep inside the story is amazing.  It’s one thing to describe how someone is attacked by a killer it’s totally another to describe how the character felt about being attacked.

WEB TILE BABY DADDY

Young Adult Mystery Series 2013 Awards and 88% FIVE Star Review Rate

As we near the end of 2013 I wanted to take a minute and take stock of the Young Adult Mystery Series CUL8R [See You Later].  Three books have been released thus far with the fourth book in the series releasing in late January, 2014.

First.  Thank you readers for your purchases, glowing reviews and continued loyalty.

The CUL8R Time Travel Mystery Series is a different type of time travel where the protagonists aim to change the past and save the future. Four high school friends are able to do two things no one else on the planet can do . . . talk with dead people and time travel to the past.  The question would be early on would readers embrace this series and the answer is yes.  Great reviews, sales and contest winning results happened in 2013.

WEB TILE CUL8R OMG

In book #1, OMG Kelly has a major adjustment to move from the only life she has ever known in Texas to live with her aunt in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida. She quickly makes friends with her quirky next door neighbor, Scott and his best friend, Austin. In her aunt’s garage, they find a long-lost invention of Thomas Edison called “The Telephone to the Dead”. Edison had abandoned the project and given it to Kelly’s great-great-grandfather.

Scott tinkers with it until they can hear sounds coming from it. But instead of broadcasting music . . . it picks up conversations from the dead. As they slowly turn the dial they hear hundreds of sad, lonely voices of souls that have passed but apparently never moved on, pleading for help.

A teenager’s voice separates from the rest and begs for their help to clear her reputation. They are shocked to find out that she had gone to their own high school . . . 47 years ago. They research the girl’s story and discover that her name was Wendy and she had been a popular cheerleader who had apparently committed suicide.

The teens are touched by Wendy’s cries and pleas, but they have no way to go back in time to help her. That is, until Scott reveals an invention of his own . . . a time travel app. Kelly and Austin are very skeptical. Even Scott isn’t sure it will work, so they try it out on his sister’s pet turtle. Amazingly, the turtle disappears. But did it travel to the past or just wander off?

Finally, they decide to humor Scott and go along with his claims of time travel. They meet on the beach after everyone else has gone home. They stand in the formation Scott insists will create the perfect vortex for time travel. At the last moment, a fourth person runs forward and is pulled into their adventure back to 1966.

They figure out a way to get close to Wendy without her asking too many questions that they can’t answer. But as they discover the secret to her death, they find it’s not as clear-cut as it would seem. A romance gone wrong, an over-attentive teacher and a young girl’s dreams for the future are all twisted into a mystery that causes the teens to take greater risks than they could have imagined. It all becomes very real when their own lives are in danger and they realize they may never make it back to the present.

OMG – Winner of the Best Indie Book of 2013 for Young Adults and Finalist in the 2013 Beverly Hills Book Awards.

             BIB OMG Small Medallion   Beverly Hiss Finalist

And the reviews have been solid.

Reviews OMG

 

WEB TILE CUL8R BRB

In book #1, BRB, Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey gather in Scott’s lab, listening to the old radio that Thomas Edison had invented and called “The Telephone to the Dead”. As they slowly turn the dial they hear hundreds of sad, lonely voices of souls that have passed but apparently never moved on, pleading for help. When they first discovered the radio in Kelly’s aunt’s garage, they had been touched by the cries and pleas coming from its speakers, but they had no way to go back in time to help them. That is, until Scott reveals an invention of his own . . . a time travel app. They’ve tested it only once, but that first trip had been successful . . . if you ignore the fact that Zoey and Kelly had almost gotten killed by a serial killer. Even though they returned with a few scrapes and bruises, they are eager to go on a new adventure and help solve another mystery.

A very young girl’s voice comes through, saying that her whole family has been murdered on an island just off the east coast of Florida.

The teens look the island up on Google Maps and see that it is completely deserted which contradicts the story they’re getting from the Spirit Radio. But it’s a beautiful island called Crystal Key with a stretch of beach that, unlike Ft. Myers Beach, is not crowded with tourists and kids. The teens decide to pop in, spend a nice day on the beach, check out the island to see if there is any truth to the girl’s story, then pop right back. It sounds like a great plan.

From the very beginning, things go wrong when Scott miscalculates their landing and they end up splashing into the Atlantic Ocean. After swimming for their lives, they collapse on the beach that is, indeed, beautiful. But it isn’t deserted. They find the little girl, her family and a half dozen more people living in a sprawling Florida-style home owned by a menacing man named Manuel. He gives them no opportunity to escape and insists that they stay in the house. What they discover during their visit is enough to almost get them all killed.

As they struggle to survive, Kelly tries to ignore her attraction to Austin, who clearly isn’t interested in a romance. Besides, just days before she went on her very first date . . . with Scott. How could she have such strong feelings for two boys? And then there is Zoey who is hot for Austin, but flirting shamelessly with Scott. Then people start dying and all they can think about is saving the families and themselves. Are they destined to be a madman’s latest victims? Their time travel adventure to a tropical paradise may turn out to be their last.

It’s difficult to investigate a crime that hasn’t happened yet.

BRB won top honors in the Readers’ Favorite awards.

readers favorite silver

and the reviews have been amazing!

Reviews BRB

 

 

WEB TILE CUL8R BION

Finally, in BION, Book #3, they surprise Kelly on her birthday and soon they are back in Scott’s lab, listening to the old radio that Thomas Edison had invented and called “The Telephone to the Dead”. As they slowly turn the dial Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey hear hundreds of sad, lonely voices of souls that have passed but apparently never moved on, pleading for help. When they first discovered the radio in Kelly’s aunt’s garage, they had been touched by the cries and pleas coming from its speakers, but they had no way to go back in time to help them. That is, until Scott reveals an invention of his own . . . a time travel app. They’ve already tested it twice, with both trips being very successful, but not without danger. Even though they returned with a few scrapes and bruises, and even a gunshot wound, they are eager to go on a new adventure and help solve a mystery.

A young woman’s voice comes through and asks them to find her twin brother, Jesse, who had run away to the circus in 1927, then disappeared and was never heard from again. Going back and living with a circus sounds like fun. Plus an old book written by his sister provides a glimpse into the past . . . as well as a photo of Jesse, a photo that grabs their attention and sets the girls’ hearts racing.

They land in a cornfield in Wichita Falls, Texas as the circus is setting up. It doesn’t take them long to discover that circus life is not all glamour and fun; it’s a lot of hard work. As usual, they jump in and quickly find jobs, places to sleep and new friends. But most importantly, they find Jesse. Now all they have to do is keep him alive.
For Zoey and Jesse, it’s love at first sight. It’s a first romance for both of them and their love blossoms as they travel from city to city. Zoey knows she’s too young to settle down and that Jesse is from a different time and culture, but her feelings for him are strong. Her and her friends’ time travel mission has taken on a new dimension. Should they be successful and save his life, will Zoey be able to let him go? Is it possible for him to come to 2013 with her? Is it possible for her to stay in 1927 with him? Ultimately, can she give up everything she has in the present for true love in the past?
Jesse’s talent working with the big cats catches the attention of the Martin Maxwell, the owner of the circus. Maxwell promotes him to the center ring as a replacement for their current lion tamer who is planning on moving up to the Ringling and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Unfortunately, not everyone shares Zoey’s love for Jesse and wants him to disappear forever. Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey must figure out who wants Jesse dead and stop him or her before Jesse’s fate is sealed.

And following in the tracks of the first two CUL8R series books, BION has also been accumulating excellent reviews.

Reviews BION

In 2014 book #4, RIP will release.  This is another ground breaking time travel set at the Stanley Hotel in 1911.  An amazing splash of history added to a ghost story within a ghost story and set in the ghostliest places on earth, the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. 

Get ready for RIP by catching up with Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey over the holidays.

Below are some of the key links readers may want to access:

Kathy Clark, a..k.a. Bob Kat author website – http://www.nightwriter93.com

CUL8R Time Travel Mystery Series website – http://www.cul8rseries.com

Links for buying OMG –

Amazon –  http://www.amazon.com/CUL8R-Time-Travel-Mystery-Romance-ebook/dp/B00AF2Q30E/

Barnes & Noble / Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/omg-bob-kat/1116882528?ean=2940148660859&itm=1&usri=2940148660859

Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376121

ALL ROMANCE – https://www.omnilit.com/product-omgohmygodacul8rtimetravelmysteryromance-1343363-141.html

FOR PAPER BACK

CREATE SPACE –   http://www.amazon.com/OMG-CUL8R-Volume-Bob-Kat/dp/1481127675/

 

Links for buying BRB – 

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Right-CUL8R-Travel-Mystery-Romance-ebook/dp/B00C8SK9JO/  

Barnes & Noble / Nook –  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/be-right-back-a-cul8r-time-travel-mystery-romance-bob-kat/1117184934?ean=2940148661863&itm=1&usri=2940148661863

iBook / Apple – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id704718471

Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/364378

Kobo – http://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=9780988343634

ALL ROMANCE –  https://www.omnilit.com/product-brbberightbackacul8rtimetravelmysteryromance-1333597-141.html

FOR PAPER BACK

CREATE SPACE  – http://www.amazon.com/BRB-CUL8R-Bob-Kat/dp/1484063120/

 

Links for buying BION –

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Believe-CUL8R-Travel-Mystery-Romance-ebook/dp/B00E5141ZK/

Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/370116

Kobo – http://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=1230000195116

ALL ROMANCE – https://www.omnilit.com/product-bionbelieveitornotacul8rtimetravelmysteryromance-1343365-141.html

 

FOR PAPER BACK

CREATE SPACE  –  http://www.amazon.com/BION-Believe-It-Or-Not/dp/1491241012/