Saturday, March 2, 2013

Kris's latest novel features romance writers

Hi Kris, welcome to Adventures in Authorland.  Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

Thank you for inviting me here today, Jean. It’s always fun sharing news and views.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I wrote for many years before that happened. I was one of those kids who sent book reviews to the children’s session on the local radio station. I wrote my autobiography at twelve – for something to do during a school holiday. I produced a book of poems for my mother’s birthday one year. My first job was as an advertising copywriter at the radio station where I’d sent the book reviews. I went on to work for Television New Zealand, several large advertising agencies, and eventually became the advertising manager for a chain of large furnishing stores. Despite all of that, I didn’t really consider myself a writer.

But about nine years ago I injured a knee. I had an operation on a tendon, and was confined to bed for seven days. What was I going to do? To occupy myself, I wrote a novel, longhand, balanced on my lap. I got about half of it done, scribbling feverishly all that week. It was a terrible story, and will never see the light of day, but I became utterly hooked. The moment I finished that book I considered myself a writer – finally able to please myself after many years spent writing things to order for other people.

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, absolutely, and I’m very surprised about this. I’d assumed my novel writing would be ‘a nice little extra’ to my other work, but I didn’t manage to sell to Harlequin, no matter what I sent them. My voice was admired, but my stories were never quite what they wanted.

Then it became possible to self-publish, and late in 2011 fellow author Diana Holmes launched a couple of her books under the name Diana Fraser. She persuaded me to put some of my novels on with her, and after a very stringent re-edit I uploaded THE WRONG SISTER that December, and TAKEN BY THE SHEIKH in January 2012. It was fascinating watching the sales—very slow to start with, and then in February I added SEDUCTION ON THE CARDS and an anthology of short stories and things really took off. Wow—2036 sales for the month.
Since then, I’ve also published THE BOAT BUILDER’S BED, OUT OF BOUNDS, RESISTING NICK, a novella called RAVISHING ROSE, and most recently THE BONK SQUAD. They don’t all sell at the same rates, and the sales go up and down over time. But over-all – yes, it’s now a paying career, and I’m very grateful Harlequin didn’t buy me.

With the wisdom of hindsight, I can see why my stories weren’t what they were looking for, but they do seem to be enjoyable reading for many people. They slot into a space between romance and single title. There’s enough romance for those who want it—and not too much deep emotion for people who don’t. I’ve unwittingly landed in a very useful place.

 In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

All my novels are contemporaries, and on the sexy side. I’ve never really been attracted by the past. I’m lazy – I freely admit it. If there’s an easy, efficient way through a job, I’ll take it. Therefore I write contemporary fiction because it’s happening all around me and I don’t have to do a heap of research. As for the sex, hmmmm.... my people just seem to go to bed enthusiastically without asking my permission!

Can you give us some details about your upcoming release/s?

I’ll tell you about the recent one first, THE BONK SQUAD, because it features a group of romance writers, and it’s fun. It had its beginnings in author Ellie Huse’s sitting room. Ellie was for some years the co-ordinator of the Wellington/Kapiti Chapter of Romance Writers of New Zealand, and one day I asked the members present, ‘How would you all feel if I wrote a novel about a group like us?’

One of the girls promptly said, ‘I want to be called Liz,’ and that was the start of it. I’d better add that I didn’t steal anything except her wonderful hair. All the other characters rampaged into my brain, and then their writing began entering the story, and the cast got huge and the laughs started arriving, and before I knew it I had a comedy on my hands.

Because it really defies description, I had no idea where I could sell it. Various friends who’d read it kept asking what had happened to it, so in the end I dug it out, improved it considerably, designed a cover similar to my others but different enough to set it apart a little, and uploaded it to Amazon and Smashwords. It has been available for about a month now and is picking up speed and good reviews.

I’m currently editing Her Man with Iceberg Eyes which is set in Queenstown, an alpine resort deep in our South Island. It was a Clendon Award finalist. I also have another anthology of short stories almost ready to go, two new Sheikh novels started, and a sequel to The Bonk Squad as well. I doubt I’ll get them all done this year, but miracles do happen.

Do you hear from readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I have an email link on my website, and surprising messages arrive through that. I think my favourite so far (in a very large font) reads in part, “Thank you so much for your lovely, truly, fantastic stories. I got a free one then bought the lot on kindle. Please Kris make us wait a bit longer and extend the stories so much by making your books longer, prolong the pain for us!! Please!!! Please write quick too as I am on my next to last book!”

One of the most moving messages I received was from a breast cancer survivor commenting on THE WRONG SISTER. I thought I knew all I needed to, having a sister who survived it and a mother who got it very late in her life. But this reader added interesting facts to my knowledge and I’ve recently slipped them in to the story and will upload the amended version in the next few days. You never know what will be lurking in the inbox.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? Writing, or something else?

I fervently wanted to be a helicopter pilot. When I was a teenager, helicopters were very new, and I was fascinated by them. I had an amazing Dad. Somehow, although he was born in 1900, he wasn’t an old-fashioned man who thought girls should be kept in their place. (Actually, I think his scary mother had a bit to do with that. Despite having six children, she employed a nanny and continued working as a school-teacher.)

Anyway, Dad was most encouraging. When I said I’d love a helicopter, instead of telling me not to be silly, he assured me I could have one if I saved my pocket money for quite a long time. He also made me promise to land it on the back lawn because the power lines out the front would be dangerous. He gave me the priceless gift of optimism, and the certainty that if I planned well and worked hard then anything was possible. And he was like that until he was ninety.

I’ve flown in three helicopters now; one out to Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, one in Hawaii where we hovered over amazing waterfalls in Maui, and one in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. I’m still saving my pocket money.

Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure?
Eavesdrop! People say the most brilliant things. You’ll hear wonderful quotable remarks on buses and in shops and on street corners. Scribble the best lines down and work them in to your writing somewhere. They might inspire whole new plots. At the very least, they’ll give your writing touches of absolute reality—and sometimes hilarity.

See all my books with links to them at

THE BONK SQUAD by Kris Pearson for Kindle.

Here’s what to expect. It’s a romantic comedy. Kiwi romance-writers plot hot juicy novels—and their real lives sizzle right along with their storylines. They're seeking publication and love with equal intensity. Some get luckier than they dreamed. Some...don't.

THE BONK SQUAD is a quirky romp with three 'real-life' romances spanning the length of the book. There are also many shorter imaginary ones—all paying affectionate homage to the many faces of romance writing.

You'll meet hopeful Meg—librarian by day, writer by night—and her seventeen-year- old son, Ben, who provides the inspiration for nubile Tigger's self-published sexcapades. There's shy garden centre owner Ian, glamorous and bitchy divorcee Liz, handsome Al who wants a playmate, elderly Vi who certainly doesn't, and Nurse Mandy who has the medical jargon but very little more. Actress Eloise tries to write historical novels like her published friend Romy, and vegetarian virgin Bobbie has heard there's money in erotica...

Step inside the characters' fertile minds and you'll spot the authors who are never going to sell.


Tigger breezed out amongst the others, sending Ian a cheeky grin. “I like hairy men,” she said. “I’m not hairy, so it seems right that men are. Lions and lionesses for instance...and he’s got the hair. I am so not into waxed chests.”
“I saw a documentary about that recently,” Vi contributed. “And not just chests, either,” she added with a dark expression. She clammed up, and Liz took over.
“You mean the old back, sac and crack? The Bastard had that done for his new girlfriend. I hope it hurt heaps. He never bothered for me.”
“So you do prefer smooth men?” Ian persisted.
“No—I’m just glad he went through some really intense pain as well. Because he insisted I had a Brazilian.”
Beads of sweat popped out across Ian’s forehead. His face flushed a sudden deep pink.
“A what, Liz?” Vi asked.
“It’s called a Brazilian. When they deal to your…er…hair down there.” Liz nodded at her crotch.
Vi’s mouth became a perfect ‘O’ of surprise as the full implication hit home. Far worse than a Batman tattoo!
“With those wax strips you see on telly?” Ian asked, plainly fascinated.
“Well not with tweezers, hair by hair, that’s for sure,” she snapped, grabbing her coffee mug and turning for the kitchen to escape further interrogation.
It took about five seconds for Ian to join her.
“Refill?” she asked in a crisp tone to make it clear the subject of her pubic hair was now closed.
He tipped the dregs of his tea away and switched the kettle on again. Liz tweaked a teabag out of Meg’s pottery caddy and tossed it into his damp mug. It lay there looking dejected until he drowned it with boiling water. They both watched the color flood out of the bag.
Damn, I shouldn’t have mentioned the Brazilian. I’ve shocked Vi and got Ian off the subject of him. How do we get back there?
“So—clothes,” she continued, as though there’d been no fascinating diversion in the conversation. “You dress so conservatively, Ian. That’s a rather awful shirt, if you don’t mind me saying so, and your jeans are far too big. We can’t tell if you’ve got a tight little butt or a saggy fat one inside all that fabric. Look at the folds around your waist, for heaven’s sake. All gathered in on that belt.”
“Not a saggy fat one,” he said with a hint of pride.
“Good. So show it off. Women like men’s butts.”
“Men like women’s butts,” he shot back.
“See,” she said, slapping her own trim bottom. “It works both ways. Flaunt yourself.”
She passed him the sugar basin. He was one of those maddening people who took three sugars and stirred forever. She gritted her teeth and waited. Finally he set the spoon down.
“We could do a shopping trip together, if you like?” she offered. “Book the suntan sessions and get you some decent trousers and T-shirts to show off the tan and the butt. Are you up for it?”
Ian sipped his scalding tea and nodded with slow deliberation.

Thank you for visiting today Kris. Here’s wishing you many more sales.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Kris, sorry I didn't pop over earlier and leave a comment. I'm a fan of your novels, and have a copy of The Bonk Squad. Like most of your novels, it's a compelling read; witty, and adult. By adult, I mean your writing is mature and your characters are all grown up, which is a welcome relief from a market swamped with wet-behind the ears, still in high-school characters. Don't stop writing 'your' stories. I've never found your novels lacking in either romance or story.