Welcome to our newest Kickass blogger, Kayelle Allen. Kayelle is the mastermind behind Marketing for Romance Writers and Romance Lives Forever blogs. MFRW is a mentoring and peer organization dedicated to helping writers further their careers as well as foster promotional efforts and opportunities. Romance Lives Forever is a blog dedicated to helping readers find new writers. I’ve found them both to be useful.
Kayelle, we salute you for everything you do for the writing community.
So take it away. Tell us something about yourself.
About me personally? I’m a veteran (USN), a long-married (41 years) woman, and the mother of three grown children. Have you met my youngest son? He’s single, handsome, and a banker who advises people about finances. 🙂 He would shoot me if he thought I was setting him up with someone, but I couldn’t resist being a matchmaker. I’m also a grandmother to five, two of whom are teenagers. When you say that it makes you sound old, but I think that’s a state of mind. How old am I? I say that I’m of legal age, but act twelve. Zipping the lip on that.
Where to start on the other things… Most people know I write science fiction romance. I also write contemporary, and non-fiction. I have a new book coming out March 16th, the Tarthian Empire Companion, an illustrated World-Building Bible and Guide to Writing a Science Fiction Series. Why do nonfics always have such long names? Anyway, I’m also working on a book called Marketing for Romance (and Other) Writers that shares how to promote your books. The title comes naturally. After all, I founded the Yahoo group Marketing for Romance Writers back in 2006 because I had a bunch of friends with whom I was sharing info about the subject, and we were asking each other the same questions. To make it easier on everyone, I put together a group and started posting questions there. We all invited friends. There are well over 2000 members now, and we have a Facebook group with thousands too. The group has grown to be one of the largest peer-mentoring groups for writers on the web. So this book comes out of a love for the topic of marketing for writers. I do not consider myself an expert, but I know people who are. I likewise have strong opinions and lots of experience, and I can steer you toward places to find information. I think that book will be helpful to many.
I have always enthusiastically supported other writers, so I suppose it was a product of my own evolution that I began a company called The Author’s Secret. The motto is “Experience success with The Author’s Secret.” I pulled together cover artists, editors, and other freelancers who provide author services, and created a kind of clearinghouse where an author can go to find support for any size project. If you need a banner, or a cover (including nearly 1000 premade ones), we are your spot. If you want editing or proofreading, we’ve got you covered. When Ellora’s Cave famously downsized last year and let all their contract editors go, I hired several of them as freelancers. These women have amazing resumes and years of experience editing award-winning books. No matter what kind of author service you need, The Author’s Secret can either supply it, or help you find it. It’s a labor of love for me. I love helping others.
In that same spirit, I also host authors on the Romance Lives Forever blog. It’s where I share new books and have a guest every day. I’ve managed it since 2009 and we have had hundreds of writers visit. The blog has a reach of over 2M and continues to grow.
Tell us how you got started
If you mean writing, my mother was a writer who had only one poem published, but she had a love of words and it leaked over into my life. We used to do crossword puzzles together. I once startled the heck out of her (on purpose) by asking, “What’s a four letter word, ends with K, and means ‘intercourse.'” / Her coffee spewed everywhere. “What!?” / I paused for effect. “Oh, here it is. The word’s ‘talk.'” Thought she was going to lose it for sure. LOL But I always had a love of words, like my mother. If you mean how did I start my career in publishing, that’s a different story. A friend in a critique group (the late Barbara Karmazin) mentored me and introduced me to her publisher. I never had to go through the slush pile to get noticed. Barbara was a true friend.
Where you see yourself heading with your career, etc.
I plan to write many books. I have an entire universe to play with. Since I write science fiction as well as contemporary fiction, there is no end to the possibilities. There is always a story happening inside my head. People ask where I get my ideas. I can’t “not” get them. They fire in my brain night and day. I currently am in the process of republishing several books and plan to completely self-publish. Will I ever submit material to a publisher again? Perhaps for an anthology of some sort, but otherwise, no. I want the freedom being an indie gives me. I can’t imagine doing all the work that one has to do as an author — from writing to marketing– and then signing away the major share of the income and all of the rights.
Connect with Kayelle:
Now for our Rapid Fire Questions:
I have a ceramic mouse for a pet. He sits under the edge of my monitor and looks up at me with his sweet face. I call him Dustball and plan to write him as a character into a book. A real mouse sitting there would freak me out, but I love this little guy. I also love rock and roll. I was driving the other day and an old ZZ Top song came on (Sharp Dressed Man). When that song is on, you want to drive and feel the wind. I’m always on the lookout for new music, and when I find something I like, I want to hear it over and over and over. My husband likes quiet piano and classical. I’m sure I drive him nuts. We do not listen to music together. When we drive somewhere, the radio is in the neutral “off” position. I also love kick-butt movies with lots of action and things blowing up. My hubby likes romantic comedies and chick flicks. He goes to see all the Marvel movies with me, and things like the Hobbit, and I know he enjoys them. I’ll go see the new Terminator movie, but not sure he’ll go to the theater with me. He prefers action movies on the small screen. Me, I like them larger than life. I like drama TV shows, and he likes comedy, but we totally agree on our favorite show, Big Bang Theory. It goes without saying that I watch Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Flash, Arrow, and the recent mini-series Marvel’s Agent Carter. Looking forward to the various spin-offs that are about to launch. I also enjoy Person of Interest.
People who type everything with ALL CAPS. What? Are they so dumb they can’t figure out how to find the caps lock key? Also, writers who are redundant without meaning to be, such as saying the nape of the neck. There is no other nape anywhere on the body except for the neck. Just say nape. That’s like saying the fingers of the hand, or the toes of the foot, or the nose of the face. What? You meant the toes on the hand maybe? The same thing with “she thought to herself.” Okay, unless she is telepathic, she isn’t thinking to anyone other than herself. Just say “she thought” and let it go. While we’re at it, don’t tell me “she thought.” Italicize the text to show it’s a thought. You don’t need the tag. Same with all the “he said” and “she said” tags. If you have to use these, you’re not writing enough action and descriptive text. Get rid of them. I have a pet peeve with sloppy writing in general, but I’m going to shut up now. Enough negativity.
Dark chocolate almond Zone Perfect bars. I eat one for breakfast every day with a glass of milk. I don’t like thinking about what to fix for breakfast, so I have that. They’re delicious. For variety, I add a piece of fruit. Now that I think about it, I’m addicted to dark chocolate anything. I’m also addicted to the hashtags #Thranduil and #Loki. I follow them daily. Okay, multiple times daily. I have a well-worn Starbucks gold card, which says enough right there.
My imagination. When I was a kid, someone said “You’ll either grow up to be a great liar or a great writer.” You can guess which one I did. No lie.
Your best book boyfriend:
- For the night: William, from Raven Hart’s Savannah Vampire Chronicles
- For a dirty weekend: John Matthew, from JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood.
- To have and to hold: Roarke from JD Robb’s “In Death” series. Assuming I could get him away from Lt Eve Dallas first.
The Tarthian Empire Companion, an illustrated World-Building Bible and Guide to Writing a Science Fiction Series by Kayelle Allen. Available everywhere on March 16th. http://kayelleallen.com/exc-companion.html
Thanks, Kayelle for stopping by today. We love learning more about you.