Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Debut Author: Erin Knightley


Welcome, welcome, to another interview at Not Another Romance Blog! (Channeling my inner Dumbledore) today as I introduce to the blog a debut author I am very excited about! This climatologist turned romance author mixes romance letters and older brothers' hot guy friends to create her sizzling June 5th debut! So without further adieu:

About the Author:



Despite being an avid reader and closet writer her whole life, Erin Knightley decided to pursue a sensible career in science. It was only after earning her B.S. and working in the field for years that she realized doing the sensible thing wasn't any fun at all. Following her dreams, Erin left her practical side behind and now spends her days writing. Together with her tall, dark, and handsome husband and their three spoiled mutts, she is living her own Happily Ever After in North Carolina. 




Find Erin Online: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

About the Book:
AN UNCOVERED BETRAYAL 
When his family abandoned him at Eton, Benedict Hastings found an unexpected ally in his best friend’s sister. Her letters kept him going—until the day he had to leave everything behind. Years later, Benedict has seen his share of betrayal, but when treachery hits close to home, he turns to his old friend for safe haven…. 

AN UNWANTED ATTRACTION 
After five torturous years on the marriage circuit, Lady Evelyn Moore is finally free to live her life as she wishes. So when her brother shows up with a dashing stranger, she finds herself torn between her dreams...and newfound desires. 

AN UNSTOPPABLE INTRIGUE
Despite his determination to keep Evie at a distance, Benedict cannot deny the attraction that began with a secret correspondence. Yet as they begin to discover one another, the dangers of Benedict’s world find them, threatening their lives, their love, and everything they thought they could never have…



Interview

RJ: Hello Erin! Welcome to Not Another Romance Blog and congrats on your DEBUT novel- MORE THAN A STRANGER (Historical Romance, June 5th, pub: Signet Eclipse)! What does it feel like to be a published author and do you have a fun story of when you found out about your deal from Signet?
EK: Hi Rita! Thanks so much for inviting me to join you today, as well as for the congrats! The whole ‘published author’ thing is still so unreal – I never get tired of hearing it J It’s one of those pie-in-the-sky dreams that you work for, sigh about, and hope for, but that day that the phone actually rings? Unbelievable.
The funny thing about that day is that my husband was out of town, and my agent had told me to keep mum since it ended up being an auction situation. For two days I ran around the house like a woman possessed, scaring the dogs and probably the neighbors, too. I was coming out of my skin with the excitement of it all, especially when the dust settled and I ended up at one of my dream publishers. It’s been an exciting ride, and I’m doing my best to enjoy every second.

RJ: How did you begin your writing journey? What inspired you? And can you recall a difficult time along the journey to publication where you thought about giving up- and what motivated you to keep pursuing your dream?
EK: I have been a devout romance fan for years, since I was seventeen and discovered a cache of them at the clubhouse where I was a lifeguard. I always secretly thought I could do it, but it wasn’t until about four years ago that I finally sat down and started typing. It took me about two years to finish that first novel. I had a very intense job at the time that involved traveling 2 weeks of the month, so I have very little time when I wasn’t exhausted or trying to spend quality time with the hubby.

After I finished, I did a little research and found RWA. I had no idea how much that organization would change my life! The friendships, advice, guidance, and commiseration were invaluable, and I will never stop being grateful for it. When I started querying, those first rejections were definitely the hardest, and I’m so glad that I had my chapter mates and critique partners to not only help me get over it, but to come back stronger. They helped me to see that rejection was only one person’s opinion, and it only takes ONE who loves you to get that foot in the door. Amazingly, it was only a year and a half from when I joined to when I sold!

RJ: Let’s jump right in and talk all about your new debut novel! Tell us about MORE THAN A STRANGER from the author’s point of view (something we won’t find in the blurb) and where’d your inspiration for the characters, setting, and plot come from.
EK: I have always been fascinated with letter writing. Just ask my husband – we have a whole box of notes I penned to him when we were dating! There is something magical about the power of the written word, and I wanted to incorporate that into the book. I’m also a younger sister to a brother only two years older than me, so I could easily relate to the lure of the brother’s hot friend. I loved that Evie’s first letter to Benedict was indignant and sassy—exactly the sort of thing I might have done.
Now the setting is based on my time in England a few years ago. My sister and I spend plenty of time gallivanting around the English countryside near Bath, and it was the most gorgeous and inspiring land ever. I defy you to visit and not want to buy a little summer cottage there!


RJ: Can you share any interesting tid-bits you pick up while researching for the book?
EK: My favorite scene in the book takes place outside beneath a blanket of stars. Evie’s love of the stars is a nod to my father, who loved to drag out the telescope on clear nights and point out all the constellations and planets. I loved those nights – and I even went to Space Camp when I was thirteen! I made sure while writing this scene that the constellations mentioned would have been ones visible during the spring of 1816.
Another thing that I learned about was drag-hunting, which is mentioned in the book. I didn’t want them to have a full-fledged fox-hunt, which was quite an ordeal, and this was a handy substitute. It basically involves dragging a scented cloth through the woods, and is sometimes used to help train the dogs. Also, my sister-in-law actually does fox-hunting, so it was interesting to hear about it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.


RJ: Tell us a little more about your main characters, Benedict and Evie, and their unique relationship together.
EK: I can’t tell you how much I love Benedict – I think he has such a strong sense of duty, as well as right and wrong. It was very interesting for me to watch him grapple with the decisions he had to make. He was the kind of hero I could fall in love with, if for no other reason than he was a damn good man.
Evie, on the other hand, was very relatable to me. She wanted to rise above the path laid for her by others, and she wasn’t afraid to take the bull by the horns.
When the two of them got together, I loved that they had a history between them—and Evie didn’t even know it! When Benedict comes into Evie’s life after their five year correspondence ended in heartbreak, she has no idea that it’s him—but will her heart? For me, it took a historical premise—letter writing—and made it relevant. How many people do we ‘know’ through social media that we have never actually met? What would it be like to meet that person in real life? Would we somehow feel the connection that had been there for years?

RJ: Main characters are always the make or break of a book for me, but having wonderful secondary characters can take a book from 'just good' to 'great'! Name a secondary character from your release and tell us a little about them.
EK: Oh, for me Evie’s brother, Richard, was my favorite secondary character. Several times I had to cut back on his scenes because his charm and humor seemed to steal the show. Of course, I couldn’t resist making him the hero in book 2 – A TASTE FOR SCANDAL J

RJ: Who are some of your favorite authors and what’s your favorite romance novel?
EK: Sabrina Jeffries, Lisa Kleypas, and Julia Quinn are some of my longest standing favorites. Some of my more recent finds are Heather Snow, Catherine Gayle, Lydia Dare, and Samantha Grace. My all-time favorite novel? Oh my, let me see . . . I think it would have to be either London’s Perfect Hero by Suzanne Enoch, or The Bargain by Mary Jo Putney.

RJ: There’s a beautiful piano composition inspired by your book on your website (click here to listen). Does music influence you as you write? Who are some of your favorite musical artist and what are some of your favorite songs?
EK: Surprisingly, I have to have silence when I’m writing. That’s why it was so amazing to me that my brother could take that scene—which was Evie and Benedict’s first kiss—and somehow perfectly transform it to music notes. Every time I hear it, I can picture the scene with utter clarity. It always makes me smile J
As for music taste, man I am all over the board! I do think Brian Adams ‘Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman’ is fantastic. I also love the entire Love Actually soundtrack, and could listen to anything Jack Johnson any day of the week. My favorite band, though, is a toss up between Pearl Jam and Nirvana. Yep – child of the nineties here! And if you haven’t heard Eddie Vedder’s Into The Wild soundtrack, you are missing out.

RJ: What’s coming up next for you as far as books, conference appearances, book signings and the like?
EK: My very first signing is actually tomorrow!! I’ll be at the Barnes & Nobles in Cary, NC at 7pm on June 7. On June 9th I’ll be at the B&N in the Summit in Louisville, KY at noon, and then I’ll be at RWA Nationals in July in Anaheim. I’m looking forward to meeting those online friends in person!
My upcoming releases are a novella in November, and Book 2 of the Sealed with a Kiss Series, A TASTE FOR SCANDAL, will be out in December of this year.

RJ: Picture this: PBS buys the film rights to MORE THAN A STRANGER and want to make it into a Masterpiece Classic's movie. They bring you in as a consultant (since you wrote the book and everything-LOL) and ask you to come up with an ‘ideal’ cast list. Which actors would make that list and for which roles?
First of all, if anyone writes the movie version, it will HAVE to be my screen-writer sister, Kara Holden J As for the cast… hmm. Perhaps Henry Cavill for Benedict, and maybe a blonde Emma Watson for Evie? If we could give Paul Walker an English accent, he’s how I picture Richard to look. As for Beatrice, who is Evie and Richard’s next youngest sibling, I think Anna Sophia Robb might be a good pick. Although I’m not sure if any actor could ever be as fabulous as the characters in our heads!

Erin's Question: So I want to know… who would be your dream cast for your favorite novel? Leave a comment for one of TWO chances to win! Here’s how it works:
  1. Everyone who comments will be entered in my Sealed with a Kiss blog tour giveaway! Prizes include signed books, lots of fun swag, stationery, a custom iPhone case, and gift cards from Starbucks and Amazon! For details, click HERE. Drawings will be made June 15th!
  2. Youre already a winner! If youd like a signed bookmark (or more just let me know how many!), simply say so in the comments section, and Ill send post haste! Offer good for the first 40 requests per blog.
*Be sure to leave your e-mail address so I can contact winners, or email me at erin@erinknightly.com after commenting if you don’t wish to list publically
* I’ll ship anywhere in the US, Canada, or Mexico

42 comments:

  1. My fave book is Dark Lover by J.R. Ward. Jason Momoa is my Wrath and Kate Beckinsale is my Elizabeth.

    Ann
    alltherhage AT gmail DOT com

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    1. Oh, I love Kate - she has a certain kick-assness about her, lol. And you can't go wrong with Jason!!

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  2. This may be kind of odd but I actually don't think that I would like my favorite book turn into a movie. They usually ruin it.

    However, my favorite book turn movie is The Princess Bride. Robin Wright is exactly how I picture Buttercup to be.....

    maybe31 at yahoo.com

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    1. A VERY good point, May! Although I did think they did a great job casting Hunger Games...

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  3. One of my favorite books is Laure Lee Guhrke's And Then He Kissed Her. James Marlowe is one of my favorite heros. I don't know who I would want to cast him off the top of my head. I think I have to agree with you that no actor could be as fabulous as the ones in my head too.

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    1. The beauty of imagination: it's better than real life!!

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  5. I have to agree with May. They have ruined so many awesome books by turning them into movies that I wouldn't want to see some of my faves like J.R. Ward or Lara Adrian turned into craptastic Hollywood versions. However, the one book turned movie that I absolutely adore is The Outsiders and they couldn't have picked a better cast for it!!!

    angelshaw54 at yahoo.com

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    1. That cast was *legendary* For once they totally got it right!

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  6. They already cast my favorite book series which is A Game of Thrones. It was amazing how they nailed how the characters looked and acted! I love the pictures of your dream cast for your new book!

    bradford93@msn.com

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    1. I *must* see that series at some point - everyone raves about it! Hubby is currently reading book 3...

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  7. Aw! Thanks for the shout out:). It would make a fabulous movie!

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  8. Ok my favorite book is a Scandalous pursuit. I would want Jayma Mays playing Olivia. I think she would be adorable as Olivia. I would actually pick David Gandy for Alex. I don't know why, but I always picture him as Alex.

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    1. Ooo - great pairing! You should tell Ava :)

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  9. I'd have to say my faves are anything by Lisa Kleypas. But I always have trouble when I have to cast celebrities in characters roles. I think I always have a distinct image in my mind from the author's description that its tough to find someone who fits the bill. On top of that I always love the book more vs a movie adaptation. Time limit wise they always have to edit stuff out and I hate that I'm the type to sit and take a mental tally of what they changed and left out in my head instead of enjoying the movie.
    That's why I would totally watch a movie first then read the book.. that way instead of being let down I'm pleased that the book was so much better lol

    sharocks13@yahoo.com

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    1. I'm the same way. The Hunger Games movie actually looked good to me, so I went ahead and read the books so that I could see it.
      The only movies I like better than the books (and no one crucify me for this!) are Jane Austen's. I have trouble reading the prose, but hearing it, with all the inflection and expressions, makes total sense to me!

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  10. I've just been reading Sabrina Jeffries Hellions of Halstead Hall series. That's a big group to cast, but I'm sure these actors would fit in - The Hemsworth Brothers (Chris & Liam), Rupert Penry-Jones, Kiera Knightly, Lily Collins.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

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    1. Love that series!! And, where the heck have I been?? I had no idea Chris had a brother

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    2. HOLY CRAP - THOSE TWO ARE BROTHERS?? Man that's a lot of good genes...

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    3. the brother just got engaged to Hannah Montana and my heart has broken :(

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  11. I actually have this story already and can't wait to read it, but I would love a signed bookmark!

    yadkny@hotmail.com

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    1. Consider the bookmark yours! I'll be sending after the drawing, just in case you win something else, too :)

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    2. Consider it yours! I'll be sending after the drawing, just in case you win anything else :)
      I hope you like the book!

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  12. I agree with May. I like looking at the pictures that authors post for what the characters look like, but I also change up hope they look in my mind too lol

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  13. Hope - what , I need more coffee lol

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    1. LOL - I got what yo were saying ;) I always have a really good picture in my head when I'm reading, so much so that sometimes I wish the guy on the cover was different!

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  14. Thanks for a great post and giveaway! I'm really looking forward to your new book! Congrats btw :)

    I love, love, love The In Death Series by J.D. Robb and I've always pictured Eve as a brunette Mila Jovovich (who can kick butt convincingly in her movies) and Roarke as Dougray Scott or Hugh Jackman.

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  15. OMG...I will actually be in Raleigh tomorrow, June 7th, at the State Library for a meeting. I would be so close to Cary! I wish your signing was in the afternoon. I'd have trouble driving all the way back to Wilmington that late in the evening...especially with my meeting starting so early in the a.m.

    I just finished reading Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I avoided reading anything about who was cast in the impending movie because I didn't want to be influenced. Then, when I thought about who I would cast, I realized that I didn't know any very young male actors and I'd have to cast an unknown...LOL!

    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

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  16. Congrats on your debut release!

    I love THE SMOKE THIEF, book 1 of the Drakon series, by Shana Abe. I think Philip Winchester and Natalie Portman would make the perfect Kit and Rue.

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    jenalang(at)live(dot)com

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  17. My favorite book is Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens, although I'm not sure I'd want to see a movie version of it. I've seen some movies from books and they just don't do it for me, they don't seem as emotionaly powerful to me.

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  18. ooops, forgot
    joylynne66@hotmail.com

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  19. This is so tough! I always thought Sandra Bullock would make an excellent Stephanie Plum.
    lvsgund at gmail.com

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  20. I'd like to cast Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz in a movie with a happy ending.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  21. One of my favorite books is Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Such a sweet story with wonderful characters.

    Cambonified[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  22. I'd love to cast Manu Bennett and Katrina Law as Dragos and Pia in Dragon Bound.

    e.balinski(at)att(dot)net

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  23. I have a hard time picking out actors as well but I would love to see Sarah MacLeans Nine Rules to Break... made into a movie. One book series that worked well as a movie for me was Lord of the Rings. I don't think I could ever read the books so I hope they translated well!

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  24. I'd love to cast Julia Roberts and Kevin Costner. Have always loved them both!

    mcdonald38(at)cox(dot)net

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  25. I think I'm a fan of Richard! Love your casting! Can't wait to read the book!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

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  26. I cannot imagine picking actors to play book characters. They are never the same as the ones in my head... :)

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  27. So many books-to-movies have been ruined because the wrong actor/actress was chosen. I know what books I'd like to see on the big screen, but I haven't given a lot of thought to who should play the roles.

    penfield716(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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  28. Thanks so much to all who joined in the Blog Tour giveaway fun!! Winners will be posted at http://haveyourcakeandreadittoo.blogspot.com/p/sealed-with-kiss-blog-tour-giveaway.html
    as well as notified via email.

    Cheers!!

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