CORNER OF THE SKY

Today is a celebration of woman bravery, patriotism and determination.  Based on a great and amazing true story that Hollywood has failed to tell.

A Hollywood Producer hired us to write a screenplay about Jackie Cochran. Back when women were real heroes Jackie became the first woman to break the sound barrier 57 years ago today. In an F-86 Sabre plane, borrowed from the Royal Canadian Air Force, Cochran surpassed Mach 1; over the course of her flight, she averaged speeds of 652.337 miles per hour. But this was last major milestone of her career.

Our screenplay, yet to be produced but having varied and long term interest in Hollywood, deals with her early career, a period when her life and the lives of other women were in grave danger. During World War II women weren’t allowed to enlist in the military, but they were allowed to fly American built aircraft from the factories to the front lines. This is the story of a first brave women who risked their lives to do what they loved…to fly. Fictionalized story based on the real life of Jackie Cochran and her creation of a pre-WASP group of female volunteers who went where no woman had before…into the war zone. Before the United States joined World War II, Jackie Cochran was part of “Wings for Britain”, an organization that ferried American built aircraft to Britain, becoming the first woman to fly a bomber, (a Lockheed Hudson) across the Atlantic.

In Britain, she volunteered her services to the Royal Air Force. She won five Harman Trophy as the outstanding woman pilot in the world. Sometimes called the “Speed Queen,” at the time of her death, no pilot, man or woman, held more speed, distance or altitude records in aviation history, than Jackie Cochran. In September 1940, with the war raging throughout Europe, Jackie Cochran wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt to introduce the proposal of starting a women’s flying division in the Army Air Forces. She felt that qualified women pilots could do all of the domestic, noncombat aviation jobs necessary in order to release more male pilots for combat.

This is the story of the women she recruited for this dangerous mission and how they managed, against all odds, to succeed.

Visit our website at http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com and check out the “My Hollywood Years” pages for Jackie’s story and other original screenplays in addition to my over 40 award winning and best selling novels that have sold over 3.25 million copies world wide.

Here’s Jackie with Chuck Yeager, the first male pilot who a mere six years earlier also broke the sound barrier.

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And here she is when she led the Wings For Britain force in WWII.

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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

SEX AT WORK Or LOOK WHO’S MAKING COFFEE!

 

By

Kathy Clark

 

What do Barrack Obama, Bill Gates, Elizabeth Taylor, Mark Zuckerberg, and Brad Pitt have in common?

They all had a workplace romance with one or more of their co-workers.  In Reality Romance novels, workplace romances are often central to the story.  Even Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele start out in his office…and we all know where that story ended up.

So what’s happening on the job while people are working nine-to-five?

The facts, based on surveys from Vault.com and Forbes give us facts about the reality of office romances.  Who’s doing it?  55% of women surveyed and 56% of men have been willing participants in some type of workplace relationship.  Career climbers?  Hardly.  Only 3% did so with the expectation of gaining pay, stature, or position.  That leaves 97% who did it just for fun or personal reasons.

How do these relationships start?  Why does it makes a good plot for a Reality Romance  novel?

  • 19% happened while traveling out of town
  • 12% “ran into each other” outside of work
  • 11% the relationship was sparked at a happy hour get together
  • 10% evolved after late nights at work together
  • 10% were lunch buddies first
  • 9% said it was love at first site

The survey leaves 29% who either didn’t volunteer how their workplace romance started.  On the other hand, we all know people who have had multiple office romances and therefore the above statistics may also include some double dipping, so to speak.

The survey led us to investigate further.  When sex was involved, here’s what people claimed:

  • 19% have done it on the job
  • 89% of those admitted to having been caught doing it

The conclusion must be that if you do it on the job, there is a very high chance of being caught.  Perhaps that’s part of the appeal.  Some people’s libido is heightened by danger or risk.

The breakdown statistics of where the romance takes place when on the job are not as clear.  The most common places to be discovered having sex at work were in the board room, the engineering lab, the stairwell, and the office kitchen.   Surprisingly, the breakroom was not a highly frequented place and the employee’s vehicle wasn’t mentioned.

 

By now you’ve got to be asking why?  In a word…attraction.  And there are three factors that lead to work place romances developing:

  • We gain attraction to others based on our familiarity and proximity to them. If you spend eight hours a day with a co-worker, and three waking hours with your spouse, this can give an office mate the advantage.
  • We spend one-third of our lives at work, dealing with the same clients and problems as our co-workers. Having something in common, even if it is on an impersonal level, can create the illusion of a deeper bond.
  • The average coworker comes to work well-groomed, nicely dressed and on their best behavior. Believe it or not, you are actually seeing the best of those you work with.

Before you toss all the research and surveys away, one more set of statistics.  Which businesses or industries are the most fertile, so to speak?

  • 72% in the insurance sector
  • 70% in education
  • 60% finance and banking
  • 59% manufacturing
  • 56% technology
  • 55% energy
  • 49% law
  • 49% accounting

Are there lessons to be learned by these eager office scoundrels?  Regardless of how things turned out, men and women would likely participate in another office romance, with 70% of men saying they would do it again.  While that number dips slightly among women, with only 62% saying they would pursue another workplace relationship if the option became available.  The general consensus on office romances amongst both sexes is clear.  Why not?

One major facet of on-the-job romances is the part that stretches beyond bosses and subordinates and co-workers. The workplace includes customers, be they clients, victims, or suspects.  That is real life which is what Reality Romances are all about.

On-the-job romances are a fact of life and, therefore, are juicy subjects in Reality Romances.  We’ve written and had published 14 novels since 2012.  Discounting the four YA time travel mystery romances in our Time Shifters series, here’s where our Reality Romance novels fall as regards work place romance stories –

  • Romantic Suspense, New Adult [Indie published]
    • Due Dates
      • Our heroine, Killeen Ames, discovers her new life comes with a man she can’t resist who doesn’t know the dark secrets of her past.  Doubly unfortunate, the man is a co-worker and now her boss.
    • Killer Date
      • Our hero in this second book in the series, Reno Marks, loves women…as a whole, but he’s never been in love. In fact, he doesn’t really know what it is. His love interest in this heart stopping Romancing the Stone like adventure and romance is not a co-worker but a client. I guess we’re expanding the Reality Romance genre to include customers and clients.
    • Worst Date Ever
      • Tulsa Wiggins, our heroine and smarter than smart, is forced to stake out a suspected perp by moving into his luxury apartment. The Reality Romance genre expands further to include suspects in more than one way. 

 

  • Erotic Romance [Loose Id and Indie published]
    • Master Suite
      • Together our heroine and hero explore the sensuous world of BDSM game play. Unknown to him, they work at the same medical facility.  The office romance begins.
    • Fantasy Suite
      • Alright, plain and simple, there is no office romance here. Just more of the Fantasy Island meets the Love Boat activity that takes place at the exclusive Fini Luxury Resort & Spa near Aspen, Colorado.

 

  • Romantic Suspense [Random House LLC published 3 of the 6 to date]
    • After Midnight
      • Our Denver, Colorado Cop, Sam Morgan, gets sideways with an on-the-job attacker and his “office romance” turns out to be his only clue to the killing of a fellow officer…providing he can keep her alive.
    • Cries In The Night
      • Our heroine, Julie Lawrence, is a victim’s advocate for the Denver Police Department and through her involvement of helping the people in the city experiencing their worst nightmare, she becomes involved with both the love of her life and the one who is out to end her life.
    • Deep Night
      • A deeply touching story of a woman’s profound healing, and the amazing man, her co-worker, who’s with her every step of the way.
    • After Love
      • One of most beloved characters in the last few years is DEA agent Nick Archer. His love interest, Jamie Chambers knows how to sniff out trouble but as you will see execution of a plan is harder than the plan. In this story, Jamie is neither a co-worker, boss nor subordinate. But it could be argued that he is her client as she provides him with his new K-9 partner, Harley.

 

Find all about these novels and all our books on our website at http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com and here are the links to the books mentioned in this blog.

Romantic Suspense, New Adult [Indie published]

Due Dates amzn.to/1RG22gd

Killer Date amzn.to/1VQiH6N

Worst Date Ever amzn.to/1LUTRQY

 

Erotic Romance [Loose Id and Indie published]

Master Suite amzn.to/22apRTb

Fantasy Suite amzn.to/1TAc481

 

Mainstream romantic suspense

[Random House LLC published 4 of the 6 to date]

After Midnight amzn.to/1ZGWCYs

Cries In The Night amzn.to/1ftgfBA

Deep Night amzn.to/1pFZeJu

After Love amzn.to/1RTJIq6

 

 

 

 

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.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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/
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

 

 

What do the Eagles, New Adults and Facebook have in common?

My recent New Adult romantic suspense novel, BABY DADDY, was released in November and hit Amazon’s top ten this last weekend.  Unfortunately it got scored in the erotica category even though it isn’t advertised there and it isn’t an erotica book by any means.  But I digress.  It is still discounted from this past weekend’s virtual book fair and you can get it at the following buy links-

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/

Before I move on I really do appreciate the many hundreds who purchased this book yesterday alone!

I’ve become interested on the new adult genre from several perspectives. Five sons who are in or very recently went through that window and several of my 23 novels trhat today would be classified as new adults but they were written too long ago to qualify.  I’ve written several blogs that look into the psychology and economics and the social aspects of the new adult world and they are on my blog at https://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/a-novel-about-generation-x-generation-y-millennials-net-generation-generation-next-echo-boomers-peter-pan-generation-and-the-lost-generation/

 

I ran across this Mashable Facebook survey this morning which is a new adult genre discussion.  And like any article from my generation, give or take, how it relates to Hotel California and the Eagles.

 

Mashable reached out to a few Millennials, in particular, to find out why they left Facebook — and why some returned. While the reasons for cutting the cord ranged from the practical to the existential, many former Facebook users cited the stress of maintaining their online appearances.

What generation ever looked at a voluntary activity as having too much stress?

Most often cited as a reason to drop Facebook by the Millennials according to Mashable along with a few personal comments and questions-

1. It’s Just Too Overwhelming [Isn’t this a voluntary act?]

2. To Hide Incriminating Evidence From Employers [This is beyond a Facebook issue]

3. To Hide From a Breakup [Your real friends should know this anyway]

4. To Avoid Anxieties [See #2]

5. You’re Having an Existential Crisis [What does this even mean?]

 

“Hotel California” is the title song from the Eagles’ album of the same name and was released as a single in February 1977. It is one of the best-known songs of the Eagles.  At least two decades ahead of widespread use of the Internet.  How did they know when they wrote / sang – “You can sign out any time you’d like, but you’re never really going to leave.”

How did they know?

WEB TILE BABY DADDY

My author site is at http://www.nightwriter93.com.

A Novel about Generation X, Generation Y, Millennials, Net Generation, Generation Next, Echo Boomers, Peter Pan Generation, and The Lost Generation.

How much fun or suspensful could a book be about five men and women in the middle of this generation?

Exactly.

When we sat down to write a new adult series about someone between ages 18 and 26, we discovered those who came of age in the last ten years are saddled with an overabundance of titles. First came Generation X, then came Generation Y, The Millennials, The Net Generation, Generation Next, Echo Boomers, Peter Pan Generation, and finally, for those who graduated college in the current recession, The Lost Generation. If Generation X was the undefined, the generation that follows is the over-defined.

We quickly decided that we don’t want to write about those that are muddled in the middle of this population but rather those that stepped over or better yet broke out of the ties that bind them together.

I mean who wants to write and read about an entire generation that has been characterized by these kinds of statistics?

In the 1960s in the United States, 77 percent of women and 65 percent of men had attained traditional markers of maturity by their 30th birthday –
• They had left home,
• Finished school,
• Gotten a job,
• Married, and
• Started a family.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2000 less than 50% of 30-year-old women and just 33% of 30-year-old men had attained similar markers of adulthood.
The new adult series SCANDALS, written by Kathy Clark, is about five men and women typical of the in their late teens to late 20s. Their story is not untypical of this generation –

• One is through college and three are in college…sort of
• Three have jobs but not in their planned or chosen career
• No one has gotten married or started a family

They have the herd or pack mentality of this crowd and this helps them bind on several levels with four others who they never met but now are literally their brothers and sisters.

The first book, BABY DADDY, is Killeen Ames’ story. The opening of the book sounds as though she is a victim.

“He left me with two broken DVD cases, a pair of worn-out Nikes and a plus sign on my pee stick.”

By the end of the book her inner drive as a competitor at the college level causes her to outlast, out wit and outperform those that are trying to kill them.

BABY DADDY is on sale this week end for 99 Cents. It is currently available on a number of book retailers:

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/BABY-DADDY-SCANDALS-Kathy-Clark-ebook/dp/B00GQC1S3O/
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
It is available but not discounted in paperback at – http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Daddy-Scandals-Volume-1/dp/1493512978

* CONNECT * CONECTAR * TRANSITIVO * VERBINDEN * RACCORDER * CONECTAR-SE * 〈二つのものを〉つなぐ, 結合する, 接続する *

For more about me either as Kathy Clark, author of romantic suspense or new adult romantic suspense or as Bob Kat, author of the young adult mystery / suspense…

Author site of all 30 books – http://www.nightwriter93.com
Young adult site for the CUL8R Series – http://www.cul8rseries.com
Blog site – https://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/ The blog site is mainly behind the scenes with the last blog post titled Friends, Debt and Tattoos; New Adults, the Educated Homeless
I can’t visit everyone in few bookstores that are left on the planets so let’s keep in touch…I’ll friend, follow, tweet, email or whatever…connect, connect, connect, connect, connect, connect….

EMAIL – kathy@nightwriter93.com
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r
Twitter – https://twitter.com/93NightWriter
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/102535903520839039578/posts/p/pub

PLEASE NOTE PRICE REDUCTIONS WERE SUBMITTED TO ITUNES/APPLE AND KOBO BUT THEY SOMETIMES ARE VERY SLOW IN RESPONDING. THE 99 CENT PRICE HAS BEEN VERIFIED AT AMAZON, BARNES & NOBLE, ALL ROMANCE AND SMASHWORDS.

* CONNECT * CONECTAR * TRANSITIVO * VERBINDEN * RACCORDER * CONECTAR-SE * 〈二つのものを〉つなぐ, 結合する, 接続する *

SCANDALS BABY DADDY 10282013

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