I first came across Kris when I joined RWNZ (Romance Writers NZ), she is the secretary and sent me a lovely email congratulating me on joining and all the introductory information I would need. Through the email loop, I have learned that she had the Boat Builders Bed free on Amazon, so I went over and purchased it. It was a rollicking good read, and I purchased Ravishing Rose, Taken by the Sheikh and Seduction on the Cards. Her Bonk Squad book recreated a lot of stir in the US because of the title… Here’s what Kris has to say about writing:
Thanks for inviting me along today, Karen.
I’m a curtain and blind installer. Philip and I have had our own two-person company for more than fifteen years now. He has a television background, and I have an advertising background, so curtain-installing was a logical career progression. Yes? Well, maybe not….
We’ve both always been intensely practical people, and enjoy working with our hands. There’s a story behind it that’s a bit long to go into, but we met working for TVNZ many years ago, and knew we could make a go of it together when this opportunity came up much later. So I spend chunks of my days up a ladder, eavesdropping. It is absolutely fascinating the places we see and the people we meet. We are Perfect Fit Limited, and that turned out to be a prophetic name for a company that now includes romance writing in its work. In the very near future, I hope to give the curtains up.
When do you generally write your story, and where
I have a PC only, so I’m chained to my desk in the back bedroom. I’ve bought a sign for the door that says ‘Office’, but it’s also the room where I sew (and paint if I ever get time.) On another desk in the opposite corner is all the RWNZ Membership paraphenalia. It’s a bit like those hoarder’s homes you see in TV programmes – a kind of corridor through the middle of all the stuff. I like silence, so it suits me well being tucked away here.
The desk has a story. We had to move it away from a window some years ago so we could get a ladder in. The customer said, “I wish I could find someone to give that to.” And I, on the very point of embarking on writing seriously, said “We could take it away in the van at the end of the job if you like.” She was thrilled. I was thrilled. Philip was thrilled because that meant he could buy himself a new computer and give me his old one. I write much better at night than during daylight hours.
What made you decide to write in the first place?
I’ve always written. As a child it was book reviews for the children’s session at the local radio station, school magazine stuff, and my autobiography at twelve. Then I became an advertising copywriter at the same radio station, followed by advertising agencies, and ad manager for a chain of furnishing stores in Wellington.
The books didn’t happen until I gave up writing for a job. I needed an operation on a knee and was confined to bed for seven days. What was I going to do? I know – write a book! And as fast as that I got hooked on writing racy romantic fiction. The first one was terrible, and will never see the light of day.
Why do you write about the topics you do?
No idea! The people and situations just pop into my head, so I explore them for a bit and see if they’ll fly. I do like a STORY as well as a romance. This is probably why Harlequin never quite bought me, even though they admired my voice and requested full mss multiple times. Most of my books are set in Wellington, although the current one is in Queenstown. I invented a middle eastern kingdom for Taken by the Sheikh, and I have two more books planned for there.
My girls are independent by nature, but not always financially successful. And they do like going to bed with the nice men they find. They’re all contemporary stories, and I don’t write too much about things I’m not familiar with. Decor, painting, cars, gardens, Wellington harbour, advertising, and house-building all feature. Police procedure, aliens and vampires don’t. That makes them sound tame. They’re not.
Where would be your ideal place be to write?
I like it in the back bedroom…er…Office. I can’t imagine sitting on the beach, or anywhere outside. I think my eyes would play up, anyway.
If money was no object, would you write full time?
No. Because then where would I get my inspiration? In fact I’m aiming for close to full time because I can afford to now, but it’s not good for your body to be stuck in one position for hours. And I like people too much to not be among them for at least part of every day.
Tell us a little something about the book you are currently working on
It’s called “Her Man with Iceberg Eyes’. Some years ago, we did a very big curtain job in Queenstown. We don’t work in Queenstown, but this was for someone we’d worked for in Wellington, and they knew we’d do a nice job in their very large new house. They offered to pay the travel and accommodation, so in the end we thought ‘why not?’
We loaded every tool and ladder we possessed into the van, drove onto the ferry, drove all the way down to Queenstown in the middle of winter, and found the house not quite ready for curtains. It was full of Southland tradesmen in overalls and boots. Philip does not possess overalls. He works in stretch running trousers and wild T-shirts. And he’d brought a woman with him! Goodness, we got looked at sideways for a couple of days. But the men came to terms with us, and varnished all the window joinery so we could get going. (Windows all open in the freezing cold, snow on all the nearby mountains, builders’ bog in the back paddock.)
It was such a landmark house I decided to set a book there one day, with a few disguising bits of course. And that was the start of ‘Her Man with Iceberg Eyes’. I’m hoping it will be ready to upload on Amazon and Smashwords by the end of March. My heroine, Kate, is looking for a big change in her life, and she certainly finds it with Matthew.
I should say here that all my books are $2.99 e-books, self-published. I’m turning out to be more successful than I expected. I like running my small empire, answering to no-one (except me, and she’s tough to work for!) I have seven novels, a novella, and an anthology of short stories currently available, and Iceberg Eyes will make eight novels. You can see all the covers and blurbs on my website http://www.krispearson.com
There are links to Amazon and Smashwords with each, so it depends what sort of e-reader you have as to where you’d download from. You can read the first 15% of any of them free if you click the links. And one is permanently totally free. ‘The Boat Builder’s Bed’ must be getting close to 750,000 free downloads since last October. It’s my big selling tool, and has led to many of the sales. Hook ‘em with a goodie and they’ll come back for more – I hope. It’s working so far.
Check out details of Kris’ other books at her website