Overboard

OVERBOARD

By Kathy Clark

One of the best things I did to improve my overall writing skills was to take screenwriting classes.  I had already had twenty-three novels published before I decided to give Hollywood a shot.  There was no question that I knew how to plot a novel and create characters.  But what I learned from writing screenplays was the delicate art form of pacing, set-ups and payoffs, backstory without lengthy narrative, and fast-paced scene structure.  I also learned how to write interesting, realistic characters who reveal themselves through actions and dialogue.

I’ve read hundreds of blogs and articles about characters, plotting, and structure.  Most cite classic authors such as Hemingway and Steinbeck.  But when I was an adjunct professor, I used a little-know movie as my best example of a well-executed plot and great character development.  It’s not what most would consider a must-see film, but on a basic level, it’s enjoyable.  As an example of how to write a novel or a movie, it’s fantastic.  The name of the movie is….drum roll, please…a 1987 Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell film, Overboard.

Not what you expected, I bet.  But, considering that it was written by Leslie Dixon who also wrote Loverboy, Outrageous Fortune, and The Heartbreak Kid and directed by the incredibly talented Garry Marshall, it comes as no surprise that this film followed a tried-and-true formula.

The set-up is that a ridiculously spoiled heiress (Joanna), who is so disliked even her mother avoids her, hires a local carpenter (Dean) to remodel a closet on her yacht.  He does a fabulous job but, instead of praise, she is rude, condescending, and shorts his pay.  The author set up Joanna perfectly so that when she fell overboard during a stormy night, you weren’t very sympathetic.  She is rescued, but she has amnesia and doesn’t realize her yacht is sailing off without her (and that her husband and crew are partying big time!)  Through a plot twist, she ends up at Dean’s house under the misconception that she is his wife and Dean’s wild sons are her children.  During the course of his attempt to get back at her, they fall in love and she learns humility, respect, and the true meaning of happiness.  Anyway, you get the plot.  Goldie’s character starts out as a totally unlikeable bitch.  We all know that you can make your heroes and heroines as bad and flawed as you want…as long as they are eventually redeemed.

Goldie’s character began as an extreme.  But remember, Overboard was released in 1987, pre-social media, even prior to the explosion of the internet.  Update the character to 2016 and maybe change her last name to Kardashian, and you have basically the same shallow, self-centered person.  The good news is that that kind of character has plenty of room to grow and develop.  It’s important to give all your major characters a strong arc to show how they have changed and improved because of whatever went on during the course of the book, including true love.

But where do you start?  How do you write characters who start out superficial and end up being substantive?  Here are a few examples of people you don’t want to know by Shana Lebowitz as seen in the Business Insider.  She has presented this for real people, but it’s easily adaptable to your fictional cast of characters.  Pick one or two quirks as the basis for your characters’ genesis, then have fun with it.

 

Disclosing something extremely personal early on in a relationship

In general, people like each other more after they’ve traded confidences. Self-disclosure is one of the best ways to make friends as an adult.

But psychologists say that disclosing something too intimate — say, that your sister is having an extramarital affair — while you’re still getting to know someone can make you seem insecure and decrease your likability.

The key is to get personal without getting overly personal. As one study led by Susan Sprecher at Illinois State University suggests, simply sharing details about your hobbies and your favorite childhood memories can make you seem warmer and more likable.

 

Asking someone questions without talking about yourself at all

Susan Sprecher also found an important caveat to the idea that self-disclosure predicts closeness: It has to be mutual. People generally like you less if you don’t reciprocate when they disclose something intimate.

In the study, unacquainted participants either engaged in back-and-forth self-disclosure or took turns self-disclosing for 12 minutes each while the other listened. Results showed that participants in the back-and-forth group liked each other significantly more.

As the authors write, “Although shy or socially anxious people may ask questions of the other to detract attention from themselves, our research shows that this is not a good strategy for relationship initiation. Both participants in an interaction need to disclose to generate mutual closeness and liking.

 

Hiding your emotions

Research suggests that letting your real feelings come through is a better strategy for getting people to like you than bottling it all up.

In one study, researchers videotaped people watching the fake-orgasm scene from the movie When Harry Met Sally and a sad scene from the movie The Champ. In some cases, the actors were instructed to react naturally; in another they were instructed to suppress their emotions.

College students then watched the four versions of the videos. Researchers measured how much the students would be interested in befriending the people in the videos, as well as their assessments of the personalities of the people in the videos.

Results showed that suppressors were judged less likable — as well as less extroverted and agreeable — than people who emoted naturally.

 

Acting Too Nice

You might think you’ll win people over by acting altruistically, but science suggests otherwise.

In a 2010 study, researchers at Washington State University gave college students points that they could keep or redeem for meal-service vouchers. Participants were told that they were playing in groups of five — even though four of them were manipulations by the researchers — and were told that giving up points would boost the group’s chance of getting a monetary reward.

Some of the “fake” participants would give up lots of points and only take a few vouchers. As it turns out, most participants said they wouldn’t want to work with their unselfish teammate again. Some said the unselfish teammate made them look bad; others suspected they had ulterior motives.

 

Humblebragging

To impress friends and potential employers, avoid complimenting yourself and trying to disguise it as self-criticism. This behavior, otherwise known as “humblebragging,” could be a turn-off, according to a recent study.

In the study, college students were asked to write down how they’d answer a question about their biggest weakness in a job interview. Results showed that more than three-quarters of participants humblebragged, usually about being a perfectionist or working too hard.

Yet independent research assistants said they’d be more likely to hire the participants who were honest, and found them significantly more likable. Those students said things like, “I’m not always the best at staying organized” and “Sometimes I overreact to situations.”

 

Not having a sense of humor

If you’re looking to make friends, you might want to loosen up.

One study of 140 Chinese workers between ages 26 and 35 found that people were less well-liked and less popular among their colleagues if they were “morally focused.” That means they placed a high value on displaying caring, fairness, and other moral traits.

The researchers explained that was because morally focused individuals were perceived as less humorous by their colleagues. Note that this research isn’t an excuse to stop caring about or acting fairly toward your coworkers. But consider it a reason to act less uptight around them.

 

Not smiling

When you’re at a networking event, meeting tons of new people, it can be hard to keep a smile plastered on your face. But you might want to try.

In one study, nearly 100 undergraduate women looked at photos of another woman in one of four poses: smiling in an open body position, smiling in a closed body position, not smiling in an open body position, or not smiling in a closed body position. Results showed that the woman in the photo was liked most when she was smiling, regardless of her body position.

Bonus: Another study found that smiling when you first meet someone helps ensure that they’ll remember you later.

 

Acting like you don’t like someone

Psychologists have known for a while about a phenomenon called “reciprocity of liking“: When we think someone likes us, we tend to like them as well.

In one study, for example, participants were told that certain members of a group discussion would probably like them. (These group members were chosen randomly by the experimenter.) After the discussion, participants indicated that the people they liked best were the ones who supposedly liked them.

If you don’t express fondness for the person you’re meeting, you could potentially turn them off and send them in search of someone who does seem to care about them.

 

Now that you know how to make your Johanna an unpleasant character, what are you going to do to make us love her?

 

Discover all of Kathy’s screenplays and novels on http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com

The current series are located as follows –

 

Adult Contemporary Romance [Denver Heroes & Austin Heroes]

http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com/Romantic_Suspense.html

 

New Adult Romance –

http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com/SCANDALS.html

 

Young Adult Romance Time Travel –

http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com/Young_Adult.html

 

 

#romance #realityromance #overboard #goldiehawn # KurtRussell #Kardashian #garymarshall #harlequin #loveswept #penguinrandomhouse #newadult

Advertisements

What’s In A Name? Everything It Seems.

There’s something very satisfying about having decided on a title for a book.  In fact I cannot write the first word on the first page of the first chapter if I cannot write the title in first.

So imagine how hard it was, after having written 29 books, had 23 published and actually published six others myself, that I had the title all wrong?  It was an awful feeling and one that only the best of reviewers and friends would tell you. So recognizing what one of my husband’s former bosses who would say “if three people tell you to sit down you’re probably drunk”, well?

So book #1 in the SCANDALS New Adult romantic suspense series, BABY DADDY, has had a title change.  But before I divulge the change here are a couple of reviews that got me thinking.

“The title of this book is pretty awful but the book itself is actually pretty good. All in all, the only real negative things I can say about this book are the title and …” 

and

“This story pulled me in right from the start and ended up not being at all what I was expecting. Don’t let the title of the book fool you.”

Then the worse thing imaginable hit me this week while at my appointment at the Hair Central Salon in Round Rock Texas.  The really gutsy fans, readers and reviewers are the ones that will tell you straight away, Texas style, “I normally wouldn’t buy a book with that title but since I know the author, I did and I loved it.”  My husband and I don’t have a Wharton Business School MBA between us but some quick back of the napkin higher level math and we’re going to fall short of out $1 million a year income goal from publishing or we’re going to have to find a way to get more people to know us.

Bottom line, the title needs changed.

Sole searching with my co-writer husband, Bob, we concluded the recurring theme of the SCANDALS New Adult romantic suspense series is “date” and that the lead character in the first book, Killeen, is actually confronted with more than one critical due date in her immediate life.  That said, book #1 has been re-titled, DUES DATES and the cover is as follows:

DUE DATES AMAZON

And with book #2 now 75% completed, plus or minus, the planned title of TRAMP STAMP seemed doomed to experience the first book’s fate.  So book #2 will be named KILLER DATE and when you read about the details of the case that walked into the agency at the end of DUES DATES [remember the tramp stamp tat?] KILLER DATE fits the story well.

What about book #3?  Think about WORSE DATE EVER.

 

Colorado’s Stanley Hotel hosts a new ghost story by Bob Kat titled RIP (Rest in Peace)

RIP was released Feb. 25th and is now on sale from 3/20 to 4/1.
“While The Stanley Hotel has been featured in movies & books in the past, it is refreshing to see a new twist on the use of the hotel,” Jesse Freitas, Manager of The Stanley Hotel.
WEB TILE CUL8R SERIES
PRLog (Press Release) – Mar. 19, 2014 – AUSTIN, Texas —
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado was founded by F.O. Stanley, a wealthy businessman forced to move west for health reasons. The expansive property boasts amazing architecture, a magnificent setting and spectacular views, but it may forever be best known as the inspiration for Stephen King’s spine-tingling novel “The Shining” and the subject of Ghost Hunters, the American (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States) paranormal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranormal_television) reality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality_TV) television series (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_series) on several occasions.  “But now The Stanley Hotel is in the news again,” says Kathy Clark, a.k.a. Bob Kat, an American fiction author.
Jesse Feitas said, “We are excited that the CUL8R book series has chosen The Stanley Hotel as a destination for RIP, not only to tie in a connection with the paranormal stories but traveling back in time to the first couple of years in The Stanley Hotel’s history brings in a whole new fun element to the story.”
“My co-writer in this series, husband Bob Wernly of Austin, Texas and I chose to set the 4th book in the CUL8R Time Travel Mystery Series at the infamous hotel after several trips and many weeks of guest time over the years.  We worked hard to describe the hotel as accurately as possible because it’s such a wonderful place and we wanted to do it justice.  Several years ago I was lucky enough to go on a private ghost hunt with Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson of Ghost Hunters, crawling through the basement tunnels not open to the public in total darkness which really added to the authenticity of the story,” Kathy said.
RIP (Rest in Peace) is Kathy’s 31st novel and will be released formally on all the major on-line bookstores on February 25th and is available in both e-book and paperback.  Kathy has sold over 3 million books globally and has appeared on the NY Times and USA Today bestsellers’ list for her romance novels where she cut her author teeth on her first 23 books.
“In 2012 we joined the crowd of authors who moved from the traditionally published to the self-published e-book marketplace.  This is our eighth novel as Indie-Authors,” said Bob, “including four young adult novels in the CUL8R series, two romantic suspense novels in the DENVER AFTER DARK series and the first book BABY DADDY in the SCANDALS new adult series.  All but the CUL8R series are written under Kathy Clark’s pen name.”
“Self-publishing allows writers the freedom to include content that traditional publishers would shy away from. And the publishing process is more than a year quicker, so we can continue to focus on the next book in the series instead of waiting for executive approval,” Kathy explained.
The CUL8R series is about four teens from Fort Myers Beach, Florida.  “We had to make the time travel trips to the past in the novels really matter…life and death situations that force the teenagers to depend on their intelligence, ingenuity and friendship so they can change the past to save the future.”  Bob explained.  “I discovered an October 1920 issue of American Magazine with an article that Thomas Edison was developing an electrical device to speak with the dead.  This later became known as his Telephone to the Dead.  Since Edison spent much of his life in the Fort Myers area, what if our teenagers found that invention, tucked away in the garage of a distant relative who had worked for Edison?  What if our personality survives our passing as Edison believed?”
“In RIP [Rest In Peace] you don’t have to believe in ghosts…until you meet one,” Kathy added.
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most haunted places in the U.S.  So, when Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey travel back to 1911 to try to save a young child who went missing from the busy lobby, they aren’t surprised when ghost children run up and down the halls.
There’s romance in the Rockies as they take jobs with the hotel so they can keep an eye on 4 year old Emma and her family.  Kelly struggles with her attraction to Austin while Zoey tries to get over her broken heart.  Along the way, they meet some colorful historical characters and experience life among the rich and famous just after the turn of the twentieth century.  After three other successful time travel adventures, they assume it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.  That almost proves to be a fatal mistake.
Kathy concluded, “But can they save Emma?  Or will they join her as permanent guests in the ghostly halls of The Stanley Hotel?”
RIP was released in e-book and paperback through all the major book retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Apple ibooks, Kobo and Smashwords starting February 25th.  Between March 20th and April 1st, the book is on sale for $0.99 on Amazon, Google, Barnes & Noble, iBook and All Romance.
“The reviews on Amazon and Goodreads have been amazing,” said Bob.  “4.9 Stars on Amazon and Goodreads.”
Here’s some examples:
“Engaging with well-developed characters and excellent writing.”
 
“I have nothing but praise for RI and this serie sin general”
 
“I would recommend this book to all young adults and adult swho enjoy time travel, sci-fi and mystery books.”
 
“I have to say that with each new novel the CUL8R (See You Later) series continues to bring a certain spark of imagination and lighthearted adventure that never disappoints.”
Checkout the details on Kathy’s website at http://www.nightwriter93.com and all the Young Adult books in the CUL8R [See you later] series at http://www.cul8rseries.com

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

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.nightwriter93.com

BLOGhttps://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

FACEBOOK:   https://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

JOIN KATHY’S EMAIL LIST FOR ANNOUNCEMENTS, PRE-RELEASE BOOKS AND BARGAIN / FREE BOOKS: http://eepurl.com/N4osT   via MAIL CHIMP

 

Marie Force’s Market Survey & My thoughts.

I ran across the survey by Marie Force that was conducted from June 1-30, 2013, via Survey Monkey, and as many as 2,951 people replied to most of the 44 questions formulated by myself and more than a dozen other authors.  She and several other authors did the survey and I found this interesting and useful.

Findings
  • Readers prefer e-books to paperbacks (77 to 52 percent). However, the question allowed readers to choose all formats that apply, and there appears to be crossover between the two most popular formats, indicating some readers buy books in multiple formats when the paperback is available. I think it’s extremely interesting to note that more than half are still looking for their books in paperback. That will be a number to watch in future surveys. Will it go down or remain steady at about half?
  • Nearly 80 percent buy their books from Amazon, with Barnes & Noble scoring a distant second at 23 percent and iBookstore/Apple coming in third at nearly 13 percent. I’ll be interested to see how this result changes or shifts over the next year. I believe first place will remain around the same percentage while the distance between second and third place will continue to narrow.
  • Nearly 58 percent of those surveyed have not visited a brick and mortar bookstore in the last year or have done so twice in the last year. Twenty-five percent visit a bookstore once a month and twenty percent are there twice a month or more.
  • A whopping 81 percent of those surveyed listed romance as their favorite genre with mystery coming in a very distant second at almost 5 percent. According to the Romance Writers of America, romance was the top-performing category on the major bestseller lists in 2012 and accounted for $1.438 billion in sales in 2012, so it’s not surprising that most of those surveyed chose romance as their primary genre of interest.
  • For those who chose romance as their favorite genre, nearly 28 percent chose contemporary romance as their favorite subgenre with historical scoring second place with 23 percent. I found it interesting that only 2.6 percent chose New Adult as their favorite romance genre. That leads me to wonder if readers are aware of the “New Adult” name the industry has given to romances about women in college/early 20s, or if the genre isn’t really as popular as it seems, or yet again if New Adult was lumped in with contemporary by some respondents.
  • Sixty-four percent of those surveyed say they pay “no attention” to who publishes a book and/or “it doesn’t matter” to them. Thirty three percent pay “some attention” to who the publisher is whereas 4 percent say the publisher’s seal of approval “matters” to them.
  • Ninety-five percent of readers are “more likely” to buy a self-published book from an author who is known to them versus 68 percent who are “less likely” to buy a self-published book from an author who is unknown to them.
  •  The results for the primary source of information about books were all over the place with the top vote getter being Facebook at 18 percent, followed by retail sites at 17 percent, Goodreads at 13 percent and author websites at 10 percent. Lots of interesting data in the “Other” field for this question.
  • Facebook (62 percent) and Author Websites (63 percent) were virtually tied for first when readers were asked where they get their information about their favorite authors. (This was a “choose all that apply” question.) Author newsletters were a distant second at 36 percent. Goodreads scored 27 percent and Twitter 19 percent. Retail sites were next at 18 percent. It’s probably safe to conclude from these results that if you have limited time, it’s best spent on Facebook and keeping up your website.
  • Fifty-three percent of readers are “somewhat” swayed by reviews. Twenty-nine percent fall into the “not very much” or “not at all” categories and 18 percent say they are “very much” influenced by reviews.
  • When asked which reviews are most important to them, 50 percent chose the reviews posted to retail sites. Goodreads was a distant second at 16 percent, followed by blog reviews at 13 percent and publication reviews (RT Book Reviews, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, etc.) at 10 percent. An additional 10 percent of the respondents listed “Other” sources than those provided by the survey.
  • We asked readers to tell us which review publications they subscribe to and offered the following choices: RT Book Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, NYT Sunday Edition, USA Today, None and Other. Eighty-one percent chose “None” with RT Book Reviews at a distant second at 12 percent.
  • With the same list of publications, we asked readers to indicate which of the publications had influenced their decision to buy a book or try a new author. Seventy-six percent replied “Not applicable,” with RT Book Reviews coming in a distant second at 13 percent.
  • We asked how important “star ratings” are to their purchasing decisions, and discovered that 43 percent will wait to purchase a book if they see “low” star ratings. Thirty-eight percent say they will still try a book if they like the cover and sample, even if it has “low” star reviews. Eleven percent responded that star reviews are not at all important to them and 9 percent rely heavily on star reviews and will only purchase a book that meets their star-rating criteria.
  • Thirty-five percent have been introduced to new authors via free books more than 20 times. Twenty-one percent have found new authors through free books more than 10 times. If they liked what they read in the free book, 85 percent were extremely likely to buy another book from that author.
  • We discovered that readers are interested in stories with outstanding characters, setting, storytelling and writing, with 75 percent choosing “all of the above” to encompass each of those elements.
  • Thirty-three percent said typos don’t bother them at all while only 8 percent said bad editing will cost an author a reader for life. Twenty-seven percent said they’d give an author another chance if the editing in the first book isn’t good whereas 24 percent said “typos drive me mad.”
  • We asked if seeing the words “New York Times Bestselling Author” on the cover of a book is more likely to spur a reader to try a new author. Seventy-two percent said no, and 28 percent said yes. In addition, 60 percent of those surveyed “never” peruse the New York Times bestseller list looking for new authors. Four percent of those surveyed review the list every week in search of new authors.
  • Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed never review the USA Today bestseller list to find new authors and 2 percent do so weekly.
  • Seventy-five percent of those surveyed never review the Publishers Weekly bestseller list to find new authors and 2 percent do so weekly.
  • Eight-four percent of those surveyed subscribe to the newsletters of their favorite authors, and 55 percent subscribe to the blogs of their favorite authors.
  •  Just about half of those surveyed subscribe to BookBub to find out about free and reduced-price books and 31 percent subscribe to Kindle Fire Department. A wide variety of other outlets were listed in the open-ended replies for this question.
  •  In one of the more interesting results, 60 percent of those surveyed do not follow their favorite authors on Twitter whereas 87 percent of those surveyed do follow their favorite authors on Facebook. Find more than 2,000 replies to the open-ended question about what readers are looking for from authors on Facebook in the link to the full results at the end of this post. In another interesting finding, 85 percent of those surveyed do not follow their favorite authors on Pinterest, and 86 percent do not look for authors on any other social media platform besides those already listed in the survey. Goodreads was one of the most frequently mentioned sites in the open-ended portion of the question.
  • Fifty-two percent said that if they want a book badly enough, they don’t care what it costs. Twenty-two percent said they will not pay more than $4.99 for a book.
  • Sixty-eight percent are looking for novellas (in the 25,000-word) range to fall in the $0.99 to $1.99 price range. But 21 percent said they would pay $2.99 for a novella of this length.
  • When asked what they expect to pay for a full-length (80,000 words or more) novel, 26 percent said $4.99, 19 percent said $5.99, 14 percent said $3.99, 13 percent said $7.99 and 12 percent said $6.99. I found it interesting that only 6.5 percent said $2.99, which has been considered somewhat of a “sweet spot” in indie pricing.
  • Twenty-six percent would be willing to pay for “bonus” material, such as a short story unrelated to the current novel, but 34 percent were unwilling to pay for any kind of bonus material.
  • We had a true 60-40 split on whether an endorsement from a well-known author is more or less likely to make you buy a book, with 60 percent saying author blurbs or endorsements do not influence purchasing decisions.
  • When asked where they buy audio books, 70 percent replied that they have never bought one. A distant second was Audible at 15 percent, then Amazon at 11 percent and iTunes at 7 percent. When asked how many audio books readers purchased in the last year, 74 percent said they don’t purchase them. Among those who do, 18 percent bought between one and 10 audio books. Only 4 percent bought more than 20 audio books in the last year.
  • Fifty-four percent of those surveyed have never watched a book trailer, and 8 percent have bought a book because of a trailer.
  • Fifty-three percent are most concerned with a professional presentation when it comes to book covers, and 32 percent are rarely influenced by covers.
  • Fifty percent don’t care whose point of view is presented in the book, but 45 percent enjoy multiple points of view whereas only 3 percent prefer first-person point of view.
 Conclusions
We’ve felt the ground shifting beneath us in recent years, but some of these results confirm things we already suspected, including:
  • Most of the readers surveyed don’t care who publishes a book or pay very little attention to who the publisher is. Judging by these results, it’s probably safe to assume the author name is selling more books these days than the publisher name.
  • Retail reviews, such as those found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retail sites, are the most important reviews in today’s environment.
  • If an author only has time for one social media platform, choose Facebook. It’s where the readers are and it’s where they’re looking for their favorite authors. They are not looking for their favorite authors on Twitter, which didn’t surprise me all that much. I’ve long suspected that Twitter was more about “preaching to the choir” whereas Facebook is about connecting with actual readers. That doesn’t mean there are NO readers on Twitter. To the contrary. However, there are more of them looking for authors on Facebook.
  • Author endorsements don’t matter as much as industry insiders think they do. Most readers don’t care about them.
  • Most e-book readers are buying from Amazon, which of course we knew, but now we have data to confirm it.
  • More than half don’t care how much a book costs if they want it badly enough. Most expect to pay $4.99 for a full-length novel (80,000 words or more) and between $0.99 and $1.99 for a 25,000-word novella.
  •  Readers are still somewhat leery about buying self-published books from unknown authors, whereas they are more than willing to buy books from self-published authors who are known to them.
  • More than half the readers are still looking for their books in paperback format. Hear that?More than half. That’s a lot of readers… To those who think traditional publishing is dead, remember this: More than half the readers are looking for a format that traditional publishing is still best equipped to provide. If you want to reach that half, you may have to remain in business with traditional publishers. I am. That’s why.
  • Audio books are not very popular—yet. Give them time. I believe we will see this number increase over the next few years.
  •  Readers pay very little attention to book trailers.
  •  Readers are not big fans of first-person points of view.
  • New Adult romance isn’t as popular as we thought it was. Or… It could be readers aren’t aware that the books they love to read about young women in college or right after college are considered “New Adult” romance. I believe it’s possible this result is misleading. Judging from the books on the bestseller lists, New Adult is as popular as we think it is.

PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE

Marie Force has done a great service by taking the time to collect and tp present this information.  Thanks!  Very professionally done.

Wowee! We’re Finalists In Two Categories of the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards for 2013!

TAKEN FROM THE PR WEB PRESS RELEASE OF JULY 1, 2013

AFTER MIDNIGHT REVISED

Life on Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado where the story begins.

BRB eBook Cover 2

Time Travel can be murder.

2013 Reader’s Choice Award Finalists announced for Kathy Clark’s After Midnight, a romantic suspense novel and is book #1 in her Denver After Dark series. Kathy co-writes with her husband under the pen name Bob Kat and their second book in their CUL8R [See you later] teen time travel mystery BRB [Be Right Back] was also named a finalist in the Young Adult Mystery category.

“Awards from a professional competition are a great way to help establish credibility
with potential readers,” Kathy said when contacted. “We have been so fortunate to have won or placed as a finalist in all of the contests we have entered this year.”

“We are thrilled to announce two of our books are finalists in the Reader’s Choice Awards for 2013,” Bob added. “These awards give readers an independent recommendation that the books contain a good story, well-told, compared to the other books in the genre. I, too, am very grateful as it validates our work…our creativity.”

BRB [Be Right Back] has been named a finalist in the Young Adult Mystery category and After Midnight in the fiction Adult Suspense in the Readers’ Choice Awards for 2013. The final awards will be announced September 1st.

BRB is the second book in the CUL8R Time Travel Mystery series and joins OMG, book #1, which was a first place winner in The Best Indie Book of 2013 in the Young Adult mystery category. OMG was also a finalist in the Beverly Hills Books Awards in 2013. Book #3, BION [Believe It Or Not] will be released in July, 2013. “This series has been awesome to write and we have several new books plotted and researched,” Kathy noted.
After Midnight had won first place in The Best Indie Book of 2013 earlier in the year. The second book in the Denver After Dark series, Cries In The Night, will be released in late 2013.

All these books can be seen on the author’s website at http://www.nightwriter93.com/ .

The CUL8R Teen Mystery series has its own website at http://www.cul8rseries.com.

All books can be acquired through Amazon at http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

Kathy Clark’s first 23 romance / women’s fiction novels were published by several publishers, including Harlequin and Dell and sold more than 3.2 million copies globally in at least 11 different languages. Her books have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today Recommended lists and have received numerous industry awards including Romantic Times Readers’ Choice Awards and numerous regional and state awards.

After several years of writing screenplays she came back to the novel-author role with new skills, insight and storytelling capacity. Kathy Clark still writes adult books but now they are focused on romantic suspense. Book #1 in the Denver After Dark suspense series, After Midnight is about one of three brothers, a cop, and takes place in Denver. The next two books will be about the fireman and the paramedic, all public servants in Denver and will be released during 2013 and early 2014. After Midnight won The Best Indie Book of 2013 award and is a finalist in the Reader’s Choice awards in 2013.

Under the name of Bob Kat, Kathy now writes with husband, Bob Wernly. OMG was first in their new young adult-centered CUL8R Time Travel Mystery series and was recognized as The Best Indie Book.

OMG eBook 3

Book #1 in the CUL8R Teen Time Travel Mystery series, voted best Indie Book in 2013 for young adult / teens

Also in late 2012, Bob Kat published a New Adult Romance that takes place in 1969 – 70.  Every New Adult Romance criteria is fully met and Life’s What Happens is unique in that it is one of the few to not be set in today but is contemporary is very respect.  The story centers on the tumultuous times of 1969 and 1970 at Kent State University and how the New Adults then dealt with the issues and changes of the times.

Life's What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

Life’s What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

2013 is a busy year with third CUL8R young adult mystery time travel series being released in April and book #2 in the Denver After Dark series, Cries In The Night   being worked on daily for an end of year release.  A prolific writer, Kathy, with Bob in a research role, will be releasing a New Adult age novel in a new series SCANDALS  in the fall.

Another Excerpt For the eBook Virtual Book Fair, A New Adult Romance

Before the fair closes up today we wanted to make everyone aware of our first New Adult Romance…and here’s an excerpt from the book..It is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/LIFES-WHAT-HAPPENS-ebook/dp/B00A14STPS/

And to taste the times here’s the trailer…We also wanted to introduce readers to a New Adult Romance, Life’s What Happens. The excerpt is on our blog at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDTibRqRL4o

 

Life's What Happens NEW GIRL

FROM LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS by Bob Kat

From the outside, the coach house appeared to have undergone more renovations than the exterior of the fraternity house itself.  Don pulled open the door and allowed Jennifer to enter the building and climb the single set of narrow wooden stairs.  A wave of aroma from years of beer-soaked boards flowed down the stairs and hit them as they entered the building.  As Don walked up the fifteen steps, he automatically counted them.   The exact number had been a pledge test on oddities and trivia about the fraternity property.  He also recalled the number of windows in the house, the steps leading to the front porch and how many trees were in the backyard.  All critical knowledge needed to be recalled at times of duress like hell week and was, even after all this time, still stuck in his memory.

The stairs entered the second level through the center of the floor.  The old basketball half court remained on the left side and the right side had been carpeted since he had been here forty years earlier.  There were folding tables arranged in a giant rectangle shape for meetings.  The far wall was covered floor to ceiling with the signatures of all the seniors who had ever graduated Kent State as a Phi Psi brother.  Jennifer and Don gravitated toward it, drawn by all the voices from the past.

Together, they stared at the signatures written with scores of ball point pens, felt tip markers, colored pencil and even quill pens that had been the weapon of choice by those who had graduated from the very demanding architecture school.

“What’s this all about?” she asked as she walked along the wall.

“It was a tradition that all seniors had to come up here on graduation day and sign the wall.  As you could guess, there are hundreds more now than when I left.”

Don slowly shuffled his way along the wall, carefully touching the inked signatures with his fingertips.

“You’re looking at those names like you’re at the Vietnam memorial in DC.”

Don turned to Jennifer and blinked against the tears that welled up in his eyes. “You really get to know someone when you go through college, growing up with them.  Being with them as they met and lost girlfriends, pass and fail classes and especially the hell we all went through our senior year.  They were always there for me.  But we’ve lost touch.”

“Did Mr. Harrigan sign it?” she asked.

“Sure.  He’s way over to the left and toward the top,” Don said as he pointed her in that direction.  “He was in one of the first classes to live in this house.  I guess he bought it after he graduated and got rich.”

“Whose is this?”  Jennifer pointed to a mostly illegible autograph that included a rough drawing of the iconic Playboy bunny logo.  “What’s with the rabbit?”

“That was Cliff Baker.  His nickname was Hef.”

“Ahh, I see.  After Hugh Hefner, right?”

“Yeah.  Cliff used to be a photographer.”

One perfectly waxed eyebrow arched with the unasked question that would naturally follow such a confession.

“They were art shots,” he defended his brother without apology.  “Remember, it was the Sixties.  It was all about freedom and beauty and love.”

“Where’s yours?”

Don pointed to a spot about five feet off the floor and left of the window overlooking the parking lot.  “Right there.”

“The one with the little rocket?”

“Yeah, that’s it.”  He smiled at the memory that invoked.  He hadn’t thought about that in years.

“You’re living in Texas now, aren’t you?”

“Yes, for the last few years.  My wife grew up in Austin.  She had to stay behind with our daughter who’s expecting our first grandchild any minute.”

“That must be nice.”  Jennifer glanced at her watch, clearly moving her focus back to the meeting.  “Do you know who is planning on making it?”

Don shook his head and shrugged.  “I have no idea.  I never even heard who was invited.”

Jennifer walked over to the meeting tables, and laid her briefcase on one of them.  “I didn’t send you the list?  My assistant must have forgotten to put that into your package,” she told him as she shuffled through her briefcase.

“I guess we’ll both know soon enough,” Don commented.

“I left my phone in the car.  I’m going to run down and call the office and make sure the food I arranged for is on the way,” she told him.  “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

Don turned back to the wall.  He moved slowly, looking for familiar names and stopping to touch the inked signatures with his fingertips.  With each one he recognized, he’d stop, smile and sometimes nod as he recalled his experiences with every brother whose name he found.

Larry Reed with a small baseball drawn over his name.  Stanley Freeman.  Jeff Tallmadge accented by the faces of comedy and tragedy.  Frank Pucci.  Ted McCoy.  Barry Smith next to a drawing of two sticks that no one but the class of 1970 would understand.  Ira Schwartz.  Rick Rogers.  Alfonso Garcia and a paw print of a monkey with the name Carlos, inked above it.  Someone, probably Jeff, must have added the tiny paw print after Alfonso signed because Alfonso and the monkey’s hatred for each other had been legendary.  There was Kevin Nash and Mike Anderson with an airplane drawn near his name.

Those guys had been his best friends, and yet he hadn’t heard from any of them for years, not since the day they closed the campus.  He was overcome with all the memories that flooded back.  It was as fresh as if it was . . .

Suddenly he heard the sound of a basketball bouncing, then something hit him in the back of his knees so hard his legs almost buckled.

“Hey,” Don yelled as he whirled around to see who else was there.  “Watch what you’re doing.”  He hadn’t heard anyone come up the stairs.

From the dimly lit basketball court about fifty feet away he heard someone yell “Come on, Don!  A little help here.  We want to finish our game before registration.”

Father’s Day Stories

Sunday is Father’s Day!

Available from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/ROMANCE-COLLECTION-Romance-Collection-ebook/dp/B00D6AO3O0/   [Buy the collection and save $1.99 / 33%]

COLLECTIONS Single Dads

Single Dads consists of two of my all-time favorite novels.  Both have been great selling books for years it is an annual favorite at Father’s Day time.  These are both romantic comedies because any time you have a child in the mix, things seem to quickly get out of control.  The three boys in Count Your Blessings are actually based on my own three sons, Greg, Adam and Scott.  It was a lot of fun to write their characters. Teacher’s Pet is one of those special books that, even though I wrote it and know what’s going to happen, it still makes me laugh and cry.  I wish I had a daughter like Whitney.  There’s also a bit of a character crossover from Angel of Mercy.  I hope you enjoy reading these books as much as I enjoyed writing them.

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS – Luke Calloway is a turkey farmer in the heartland of Iowa. He has survived the loss of his wife, and is learning to cope with a drastic change of career (from big city dentist to the owner of Wishbone Acres in the small town of Greenhaven) while raising three rambunctious sons.  He’s doing an admirable job and isn’t looking for love.  But that’s exactly what he finds when Darcy Carson returns to town.

Darcy Carson, a successful Los Angeles television reporter, had fled from Iowa as soon as she was able.  Small towns held no appeal for her, but the glamour and excitement of Southern California certainly did following a suspension by the station where she’s employed, she returns home, telling herself that she’ll only stay until she wins her court case and can return to work.

But Darcy hasn’t planned on meeting Luke.  She fights her attraction to him, telling herself he represents everything she ran away from.  Luke, too, fights his growing love for Darcy.  He knows he’s only a temporary stopover in her life,  that soon she’ll return to California, breaking his heart, and those of his sons.

Neither Luke nor Darcy are prepared for the way love sweeps into their lives, changing everything.

REVIEWS:

ROMANTIC TIMES” – (4) – “Watch as Kathy Clark creates two endearing characters who know they’re being manipulated, but are helpless to stop it.”

HEART TO HEART” – Selected to be a Highlight of the Month – “COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS is great fun.”

COLORADO ROMANCE WRITERS PAL” – “COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS is a perfect story to enjoy during the holidays since it will fill your heart with the wonder and joys of learning that love truly conquers all.”

TEACHER’S PET – When five-year-old Whitney Sloane took a shine to her kindergarten teacher, Miss Greene, it spelled trouble for her handsome dad.

Whitney thought Allison Greene would make a great mom. she had only one problem…getting her lonely dad and her lovely teacher together.

Justin Sloane couldn’t understand why his once perfect daughter had cut off another girl’s braid or why she had put Mr. Wiggly Nose and Snow White, the classroom rabbits, into the same cage so that they made little bunnies while the whole class watched in fascination…until he met Whitney’s idol at the PTA. Suddenly life became wonderfully frustrating for this single father.

How could Justin make the grade with the delightful Miss Greene when she wouldn’t dream of breaking the rules and dating a student’s parent?

TEACHER’S PET, originally titled GOOD MORNING, MISS GREENE appeared on the Waldenbooks Bestseller List.

REVIEWS:

“Rendezvous” “This is a heartwarming, funny story with unforgettable characters…”

“Romantic Times” 4 Stars “…a charming trio of characters and an engaging romance that is guaranteed to leave you with a warm glow.”

Over the next week you will see further details about the Kathy Clark’s new Romance Collection

COLLECTIONS Romantic ComedyCOLLECTIONS Unexpected ConsequencesCOLLECTIONS Best Of The WestCOLLECTIONS Men In UniformCOLLECTIONS Single DadsCOLLECTIONS Nashville Nights Texas DaysCOLLECTIONS Pregnant and AloneCOLLECTIONS Romantic SuspensesCOLLECTIONS Go For Your Dreams