Friday, August 26, 2005

Ask an Author Friday: Q&A with Kerrelyn Sparks

Happy Friday! Today's guest is rising star Kerrelyn Sparks, whose vampire debut, How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, hit the USA Today list three weeks in a row. What is Kerrelyn doing to be so successful? Read below to find out!

1) Can you give us a blurb about How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, your August release?

Sure! Here’s a nice, short one--
Welcome to the dangerous—and hilarious—world of modern day vampires. There are vampire cable channels, a celebrity magazine called Live with the Undead, and just like the living, vampires have dental emergencies. That’s how dentist Shanna Whelan, a mortal female, meets the smolderingly undead Roman Draganesti, and finds her life turning absolutely batty…

2) You hit the USA Today list for the first time with this book. Tell us how you found out you made the list, and how it felt. How does it compare to that first sale?

I had just come back from Reno where the booksellers, book buyers, and editors told me that the book was flying off the shelves. So, I was halfway expecting and really hoping that I would make the list. I knew nothing about it, so my agent, the wonderful Michelle Grajkowski of Three Seas, coached me on how to watch for it online. It comes out on Wednesday night, giving the top 150 bestselling books for the week ending the Sunday before. When I saw that the list was up, I automatically searched the last group, the 121-150 range. My book wasn’t there. I thought, oh, bummer, I didn’t make it. Then, I thought I might as well check the range from 91-120. What a shock! There was my book! Number 91!!!

To celebrate, I bought a cookies and cream pie which my kids devoured. Okay, I devoured a piece, too! The next week on Wednesday night, we all gathered around the computer again to see if I was still in the top 150. I was number # 107!! I yelped for joy, and the kids asked, “Does this mean we get another pie?”

(note: Kerrelyn's book went on to a third week on the USA today list, which an amazing accomplishment for a book's debut on the list)

3) What is your favorite thing about being an author?

One favorite thing?? Gee, there are so many!
I enjoy the freedom of working at home and setting my own hours. I have a wonderful commute—I go downstairs. I have a lovely work wardrobe—sweatsuits and pajamas. And if one of my kids gets sick at school, I can be there in five minutes (or ten if I was wearing pajamas!)
I love bringing characters to life and watching them fall in love. Aw, that’s so sweet!
I love entertaining people and hearing that I made someone laugh. Laughter is powerful medicine and sometimes, there just isn’t enough of it in the world. I also believe in the power of love. So, I like to think that I have an important job. I try to remember that on days when the writing comes hard.

4) Although vampires are very popular these days, it’s tough to sell them to publishers because there are already so many vampire authors. What unique angle did you take with your series to make it stand out?

I am amazed how popular vampire books are! I didn’t realize it till I saw how quickly my book is selling. It’s been out three weeks, and it’s already gone into a second printing! Vampire readers are downright bloodthirsty!!! And gosh, I love them for it!

I’ve read and enjoyed some fantastic vampire books by Charlaine Harris, Nina Bangs, Katie MacAllister, and Lynsay Sands. From them, I knew vampires could be great fun. But I wanted my vampire world to be unique, so when I started writing about vamps, I stopped reading about them from other authors. That kinds hurts, cause I know I’m missing some great books! But I don’t want to subconsciously take anything from their worlds. I hope my vampire world is an original and fun place to visit. To me, when I’m making it up, it all seems very logical and realistic. After all, my vamps are intelligent, practical creatures, just trying to survive and make a living like the rest of us. That may be the key—the fact that they’re still so human makes them easy to relate to and easy to laugh at.

5) What is the most important thing you’ve learned about the craft of writing that helped take your writing to the best seller level?

Hmm. That’s a tough one. I would say it’s Be Bold. There were times when I was writing Millionaire Vampire that I thought—oh my gosh, you can’t write that! It’s totally outrageous!
But I did write it. I stuck myself out there totally exposed to ridicule. It’s a chance you have to take.

6) Can you give us a sneak peek at your next release?

Vamps and the City releases May 2006. Let’s see, what can I say—it features the same world as Millionaire Vampire, but it has a different hero and heroine (characters you met in Millionaire Vampire though their identity is a secret!) And it will answer that all-important, earth-shattering question—what will happen to Roman’s ex-harem?

Stay tuned for next week's Q&A with another vampire author, Robin T. Popp, whose vampire debut hits, Out of the Night, hits the shelves in September. Let's help make her into a USA Today best seller as well!


At 8:51 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Sounds like a cool book. Must add it to my ever-lengthening list of books to get.


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