It’s a scary celebration here today. I’m happy to announce the release of
GHOST HUNTRESS BOOK 1: THE AWAKENING.It’s the first book in my friend Marley Gibson’s exciting new Young Adult series. Yay, Marley!
As a treat I was able to pin Marley down for a few moments in between all her exciting travels and Ghost Hunts and have her answer a few interview questions.Now here’s Marley…1. Tell us about GHOST HUNTRESS: THE AWAKENING?It’s the first in a trilogy. Get out your tape recorders, crystals, and extra batteries— you’re about to go where our world meets the spirit world..Psychic Kids, Paranormal State, Haunting Evidence—these and countless other television shows are making believers out of millions of people: Ghosts exist, and they’re living right beside us. For centuries, individuals have been trying to prove the existence of ghosts. But without hard evidence, it’s been difficult to make the case. But now as science and technology have progressed, ghost hunters have been able to use scientific means, along with more traditional psychic tools, to make their case. Photographs, video recordings, and sound recordings are all producing some amazing results.In this new series, Ghost Huntress, meet Kendall Moorehead, a seemingly typical teen. When her family moves from Chicago to the small historical town of Radisson, Georgia, her psychic abilities awaken. She’s hearing, feeling, and seeing things that seem unbelievable at first, but with the help of the town psychic, Kendall is able to come to terms with her newly emerging gift. So, together with her new BFF, Celia, Kendall forms a ghost hunting team. They’ve got all the latest technology. They’ve got Kendall for their psychic. Now they’re going to clean up Radisson of its less savory spirits.
The story is fiction. The science is real. Welcome to a new reality.
2.How did you get the idea for the series?
I was attending the New England Romance Writers’ Conference back in 2007 and attended a session run by the New England Ghost Project talking about their ghost hunting investigations. I found the idea completely fascinating and knew I had to write a story about teenage ghost hunters. I had no idea at that time that there were TV shows such as GHOST HUNTERS, HAUNTING EVIDENCE, and DEAD FAMOUS – to name a few – that highlighted such types of investigations. From there, everything just blossomed.
3. What do you want your young readers to get from the series?
I’d like young readers to know that the challenges of growing up and finding out who you are and what your place in life is are universal and timeless. I just want readers to see that being different is okay, no matter if you’re new to a town, have an accent, are too skinny…or are experiencing a psychic awakening.
4. Care to give us a hint about what’s coming next?
In GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE, out in September, readers will see Kendall growing more comfortable in her psychic skin. She will continue to develop and hone her abilities through the guidance of not only her group of fellow huntresses, but her parents, her mentor, Loreen, and her priest, Father Massimo…and her spirit guide, Emily.
I am currently working on GHOST HUNTRESS: THE REASON, the third book in the trilogy that will be a little darker than the other two books. Kendall will experience some very life-changing things that will leave her questioning everything she’s ever known. That book will be out in May 2010.Thanks so much for being here Marley. I’m so happy for you and wishing you much success. Happy Hunting!You can check out Marley at her website here and also at her blog which she shares with other wonderful young adult authors: Book, Boys, Buzz here. Enjoy!Kwana
What’s Jack up to? Dear Jack is still missing Nana. Yesterday he ran out to circle the car and wouldn’t come inside the house. My theory is that he saw her leave in the car and he was convinced that if he got in he could go and find her. Or her just wanted us to chase him around for a while. Nice work Jack.
On Wednesday night in San Fran was the Readers for Life charity literacy autographing where fans could go and buy books and meet their favorite romance authors. Over 500 of them! The event raise $58,000 for literacy. How fabulous was that? And here are a few pics from that night.
The first is my great friend Marley Gibson participating is her first RWA signing for her Sorority Series. How great does Marley look and how fab do those books look? Yay!
The next is me along with my PIC Megan making a Liz Carlyle sandwich. The amazing Liz totally blew up my DH’s head by signing my book “To Kwana with the HOT husband” how cool and cagey was that? You know my DH happily paid for all my books after meeting Liz and seeing that dedication.
The final STAR meeting was our encounter with the Nora Roberts. Check us out. First up is me getting a book signed for Nana as payment for watching the Dear Twins for us. She is a huge Nora fan and I must get her a signed Nora Roberts book at every conference. I also must have it signed to ‘NANA’ and not to her real name. She strangely prefers that which Nora found cute and shared with me that she is a ‘Nana’ to her grandchildren also.
I have to go on a sidebar here and say that this woman is pure inspiration. Her line was a mile long but she was gracious and kind to each and every person she met, always seeming to have a kind word no matter how nutty or how star struck they were.
During her workshop “Chat with Nora Roberts” I will never forget her words of advice to the young writer who asked what do you tell the writer who some days feel that they can do it and other days feel like they can’t?
Nora’s advice? “Oh grow up!” I think I’ll have it framed all over my house and maybe made into a needlepoint pillow for my couch. In the very least it will be a screen saver for inspiration along with this picture. Hey, with 193 books under her belt. “Oh grow up!” can’t be bad advice.
A final pic is the DH with Nora Roberts. He had to get in on the action after waiting with me on that line. He even had to be different and switch sides on her. But he’s happily now reading his first J.D. Robb signed to him and telling all the women in his office about his meeting with greatness. How thrilled is he to meet her?
And big shout out to the fabulous and patient Laura! It was wonderful to meet you (time and time again!). We hope to see you again next year.
Sidebar: I have to say here how much I love the DH for being such a sweetheart during the signing. While I gushed over all the the authors he gushed over me telling me that it was just a matter of time before I was in their place signing my own books. How much do I love him for that?
- Hi all! My friend and agency sistah, Marley Gibson aka Kate Harmon will be chatting at 8:00 pm eastern time in The Knight Agency Chat Room. Stop on by and give her a shout out and ask a few questions of this fantastic new author!Oh and don’t forget to ask about her upcoming Ghost Huntress series. Oooh Scary!!!Scroll down and talk Top Chef. UGH!
What’s Jack up to? He’s a happy dog today. Extra fun walks yesterday from the DD and the DH because of the nice weather and slightly longer days. Pulse more barking fun due to more folks walking down the street also due to the nice weather and slightly longer days. It’s a shame how he terrorizes the good people of the neighborhood. I can feel the disdain coming through the walls as they walk by. Sorry, we really are nice people. I swear.
So the party still rolls on, well, at least in my mind.
I’m not enjoying this back to reality stuff. I’m missing the lovely Lenox Hotel with their turn down service and Aveda soaps. Sigh.
Here’s a little slide show from Marley’s super Sorority 101 book launch. A fun time was had by all. Women on the loose!
For the less tame version. Check out Ms. Mel’s Mel-O-Drama blog. See, I’m fine directing you there because I’m clearly not implicated in any of those photos! LOL.
What’s Jack up to? He’s so happy that it’s looking like spring again or maybe that’s me after it being a bit cold and rainy in Boston this weekend. Sunshine and 70 today in NY. Yay, Jack! But don’t get too happy the walk will be short. It’s all about the writing from now on, baby.So, Marley’s book party could not have been anymore spectacular. What a time we had. I got to meet and visit with so many agency sistah and blog friends. Like Maureen, Maria, Louisa, Kristen, Mel and Diana. And Super agent Deidre Knight and my Fab agent, Elaine. It really was: Women Gone Wild! But in the best way. Well, most of the time. Ahem, ’nuff said.The party was held at the lovely Lenox Hotel in Boston’s Back Bay. A perfect location for walking and shopping. It was absolutely beautiful and the staff could not have been more attentive.
Marley was a lovely and elegant host who was gracious while signing books for her many eager fans. “Just make that out to my biggest inspiration…”
There was an after party at the coolest club called Saint where we were treated to VIP treatment since we were with the famous author. Take a guess at who are the owners of these sparkly toes.
One of my funniest moments of the weekend though came from Ms. Diana when she asked about my three (3) children.
“Well you’ve got the twins and the baby, Jack?”
“Your little one, Jack, that you always tell the stories about on your blog.”
“Um, Diana, Jack’s my dog.”
“Oh, I thought you were a little tough on him sometimes.”
Big sigh from me. Oh crap.
Thinking back to my daily Jack updates there must be folks out there thinking I’m the worst parent ever and considering calling child services on me. Taking my baby to the groomer and making him sleep in the basement because of all the nose he makes at night. Not to mention making him poop outside. Yikes. I’d call the cops on me. Too funny!! Just to be clear I only talk about Jack because the twins, DS and DD, since they are teens would probably sue me or at least end up in therapy if I talked about them too much on this blog.
Feel free to go on over and give Diana a little good natured ribbing today over this.
Before you go check out my “baby” who I apparently abuse terribly. Aww. Isn’t he the cutest?
More Party pics to come tomorrow.
- What’s Jack up to? I think he’s happy I’m back from Boston. Heck, he’s the only one to run to the door and hop up and down when I came home at 1:00 am last night.So I’m back from Marley’s book launch party and have all sorts of fun stores and pictures to share this week once I’m organized. I met so many of my Agency sistahs and blog friends. Both the party and after party were fab! Warning: Moms on the loose!Check out Jack with the new Marley Gibson aka Kate Harmon Sorority 101books!!! Yay. (Mar do you know how hard it was to get that shot?)Best,Kwana
What’s Jack up to? He’s probably still laughing his behind off from yesterday.
Well, I took him for a quickie walk around the block before running out again to run errands. Jack was having no part of doing his business. I swear he was lifting his little legs for the fun of it. A regular kickstand he was. We went to all his usual haunts and no real action, if you know what I mean. So I told him, “too bad too sad. I got things to do, people to see.”
Right when we were about to go in the house, Jack took in our newly fertilized grass and decided the time to go was now! So he goes and all was right with the world.
I had Amy Winehouse going on my ipod so I shoved that in my pocket while I pulled out a bag to pick up the, sorry people, steaming poop from the lawn.
Well, somehow without thinking I misjudged the whole baggy thing and reach down and ended up with a bare hand of steaming hot poop!!!
OMG!!! How much did I throw up in my mouth? How many hand washings did it take with how many different products to get the smell from my hands? The DH is still cracking up and won’t let me touch him, but believe me he’s bound to come around sooner or later. I have my ways 🙂
Now onto the Quirks
The Very Cool Carleen Brice aka The Pajama Gardener tagged me for a meme.
Here are the rules:
Link the person who tagged you.
Mention the rules in your blog.
Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged
So here goes a few quirky thinks about me (believe me there are plenty more):
1. I cant stand the taste or smell of mint. Don’t bring it near me. You might get hurt.
2.I must take a bath every night. I shower will do in a pinch, but I prefer a bath or I don’t sleep well. I hate getting between the sheets dirty and don’t want anyone getting next to me dirty either.
4.Like Carleen I must have everything in plain site. I’m a piler. If I put it away then it’s forgotten about. Take today for instance. I had been admiring a lovely black satin trench on a knit club buddy, T, the other day and thinking how I need a new swanky black coat for spring. So I’m pondering this really hard, trying to figure how I can find one in the free 25 minutes I have during the day when it dawns on me that I already have one- right in my hall closet. It’s perfect. Black, satin and pretty new from Vera Wang when her Kohl’s line first came out. And I totally forgot I had it. Outta sight outta mind. That’s me.
5.I’m a huge procrastinator but one that works really well under deadlines. No deadline no workie.
6.I can’t stand opinionated people, but I’m so major opinionated myself, but I like to think I’m open-minded. What up with that? Hmm. Shrug?
Have a great weekend. I’m off to Boston for Ms. Marley’s launch Party for her Sorority 101 books with, K , my oldest BFF. We’ve been buds since I was in 3rd grade. Can you believe that? I’m leaving the DD, DS, DH and Jack and she’s leaving her own DH sweet, but totally 2 1/2 year old DS and dog named Morty.
PS- Last minute add on- Survivor. Did you watch? Poor James. De-railed. Then Alexis- De-railed? Dis-cuss! Sorry Eileen.
Today I have the honor of interviewing author and fellow agency sistah Marley Gibson. Check out the photo of Marley and me from the NEC conference. Marley’s first 2 releases ev-ah in the Sorority 101 series Zeta or Omega and The New Sister comes out today, May 1st, written under the name Kate Harmon! Three cheers for Marley!
Here a blurb about SORORITY 101: Zeta or Omega?:
Who wants to be a sorority girl?
High school is already a distant memory for incoming Latimer University freshmen, Jenna, Roni, and Lora-Leigh. Jenna wants to meet cute college boys, Roni wants to get away from home, and Lora-Leigh…well, Lora-Leigh couldn’t care less. She’s going to LU and participating in sorority recruitment only to appease her mom. Sorority girls are pretty, rich, and snotty, and Lora-Leigh doesn’t want to be one of those girls. So she’s shocked to find herself actually connecting with the sisters of Zeta Zeta Tau. And her new friend Jenna can relate. She came to sorority recruitment only because her roommate begged her to, but now she can’t decide which sorority to join; she likes them all! Roni knows which sorority she should join. The Tri Omegas are exactly the type of “it” girls she would usually befriend, but Roni came to LU to reinvent herself. As recruitment progresses and the girls prepare to make big decisions, they’ll need to heed the best advice there is: follow your heart. But where will it lead?
And here’s a blurb for SORORITY 101: THE NEW SISTERS:
So far, college life at Latimer University has been everything Jenna, Roni, and Lora-Leigh expected. They’ve already made close friends, caught the eye of a few hot frosh boys, and participated in sorority recruitment. As if it were meant to be, all three found a home in the Zeta Zeta Tau sorority. Now Roni hopes to be the most perfect ZZT in history, while Lora-Leigh can barely believe how quickly she went from cynic to sorority new member! Jenna is just as excited to be in the sorority, but she also has classes to stuffy for, a nasty roommate to put up with, and a marching band scholarship to uphold. How’s a girl supposed to appease everyone and everything—not to mention strike up a romance with an adorable fraternity boy—all the while keeping her diabetes hidden? Lora-Leigh and Roni are there for her, but ZZT initiation is on the horizon and Jenna must decide if she really trusts her new sisters enough to share her secret…
Now to the hard hitting interview. (I love saying that):
Thanks for being here Marley. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have you here on this wonderful occasion. I’m just thrilled.
1. Let’s start with my traditional question did you always know you wanted to be a writer? Is this something you always knew you’d do?
Awww…thanks Kwanster! Much appreciated that you’re helping me pimp my books. LOL!! As for the question…I don’t know if I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but it’s something I’ve always done. When I was really little, I used to write stories (okay, they were like one page and six sentences) and then I would hold an “auction” where my mother, father, sister, and brother would bid against each other for them. Hmmm…maybe that prepared me for selling, eh? I’ve always written…in school, in my professional career, and finally, in 2001, I decided to do it for real. Seven years later, my first two published works hit the shelves!
2. Now for my next favorite question. Please tell us the story of your “overnight” success. You just know I’m cracking up as I say this one.
Yeah…seriously. See aforementioned starting to write “for real” in 2001. I had been dabbling for years with romance novels and have an entire folder on my computer entitled “Ideas” that’s full of all sorts of story ideas. I took a Fiction Writing class in 1999 where I was pretty much the oldest person in the class. All these eighteen year olds were writing about killing themselves, killing their grandparents, killing their parents, killing their roommates, killing the guy they babysat for, I think one even wrote about killing the neighbor’s dog. It was tres dark. And here I was, writing a story about two girls finding love on Capitol Hill in the 80s. We would all critique each other’s work and I remember one of the angsted-wants-to-kill-but-never-would kids wrote, “This sounds like a romance novel.” Seriously…underlined the word. Like it was a curse. Flash forward to 2002 and an assignment the teacher gave us (to write a sex scene) turned into my book A LAPSE OF VIRTUE about my favorite heroine, Vanessa Virtue. (http://vanessavirtue.blogspot.com/)
Anyway…I’m prattling…but I started writing my first novel in January 2001, called FOOTPRINTS ON MY HEART, which was about a girl reminiscing about her senior year in high school in 1985. It took me about eight months to write it and in the end, it turned out to be 863 pages and over 200,000 words! It’s a mess, with some glimpses of brilliance in it—LOL!—but it was a process and it taught me to write. Then, I went on to write Vanessa’s story, which got me my first agent, went to committee with two publishers and almost got published by a third, had the line not gone under. I finally had to put Vanessa aside in 2005 (although, I had written four other manuscripts in the meantime), as well as writing romance. In 2005, I decided to take a shot at the YA story that was calling to me…which was a good thing because it got me my new agent (the wonderful Deidre Knight) and some close calls on that, as well. In 2006, a publisher approached my agent asking if she had any authors who could write a proposal for a sorority series. The publisher had the idea, but needed someone to write it. Well, I took a shot at it and about two months later, we had the deal for the SORORITY 101 books.
3. What’s your writing process? Are you a plotter or a pantser and how do you get it all done working full time and meeting your deadlines.
Just the word “pantser” scares the ever-loving crap out of me. Before I can start writing, I have to see the whole story in my head from curtain rising to the final credits. I have to see it clearly, otherwise, I don’t know what I’m writing towards. I write out a full synopsis and then stick to it pretty much 85%…there are always twists and turns that come up…but that’s the fun part. Being a meeting planner my whole career, I’m used to deadlines. I simply set the deadline and work backwards from it. It’s all about sticking to a schedule and looking at it like a job (which it is.) I’m also a wicked-fast typist (over 100 WPM) so when I’m writing and in the blood-fever of getting the story done, I can get about 1,500 words done in my hour lunch break—when I write. Then, when I get home, I go over what I write and do a little editing and tweaking and then lather, rinse, repeat. It’s down to a science for me…and it’s what works for me.
4. Tell us about your characters in Zeta or Omega? and The New Sisters.
Well…I there are three heroines: Veronica “Roni” Van Gelderen is a Boston Brahman from Beacon Hill who was born to very hands-off parents who see her more as a reflection of their social status than a daughter with needs, desires, and dreams. Roni rejects her mother’s Wellesley and her father’s Harvard offers of admissions and goes off on her own to Latimer University in Latimer, Florida, to find herself. Next is Jenna Driscoll from Marietta, Georgia. She’s a serial-joiner, and over-achiever, and the big sis who spends every spare moment taking care of her little sisters. She also became diabetic at the beginning of her senior year in high school. Since then, everyone treats her with kid gloves and looks at her like she’s different. Thanks to a band scholarship to Latimer, Jenna has the chance to start fresh and she can’t wait. Finally, there’s Lora-Leigh Sorenstein. She marches to her own drum, designs her own clothes, and can’t wait to fly away from the nest. She wants to go off to New York for design school, but her father, the dean of students at Latimer University, says she has to go to school locally. All three girls meet during sorority recruitment (known as Rush when I was in school) and become friends.
Sidebar question: I hear there’s an intriguing minor character in The New Sister with the interesting name of Kwana. Tell me what inspired such a choice?
LOL…why yes! Kwana “Johnson” (ahem) is a very important part of the initiation ceremony in THE NEW SISTERS 🙂
5. What up next for you, Marley? A little birdie tells me you’ve been hanging around in some really spooky place lately?
Yes! I’m verrrrrrrrrrrrrry excited about my new series that comes out in May 2009 from Houghton Mifflin – GHOST HUNTRESS. It’s a three-book deal and here’s the blurb for the first book: GHOST HUNTRESS: THE AWAKENING: Sixteen year old Kendall Moorehead never imagined in a million years that she’d become a ghost huntress. But after moving from Chicago to an historic southern town, she finds herself awakening to her latent psychic powers…and discovering there’s a ghost in her bedroom! With the guidance of a local medium and the help of her new friends and ghost hunting team (including a massively cute skeptic who makes her heart do flip-flops), Kendall must quickly develop her newfound intuitive abilities to talk to the other side and discover why a belligerent spirit is trying to harm her father.
I’ve been doing a lot of research for the series, which means a lot of lectures by paranormal experts, many hours of watching Ghost Hunters, Dead Famous, Psychic Kids, Paranormal State, and Most Haunted, and several ghost hunts to see this stuff first hand. I’m having a ton of fun with it and I can’t wait for the books to come out!
Thanks so much for doing this interview and more than that thank for being a great friend and wonderful inspiration over these years! All the best to you.
Thanks so much for having me and for helping me promote the SORORITY 101 books! Hope people enjoy them! Hugs!!
Oh and keep scrolling down for Top Chef and ANTM it’s a late night.