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Interview with Kris Pearson, author of Resisting Nick

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Tell us about Resisting Nick

Resisting Nick came about because of a boy I had a hopeless crush on as a teenager. We never so much as exchanged a word, and he was several years older than me and a real bad boy. He obviously burrowed into my brain and stayed there. I even pinched part of his name! I often wondered what had happened to him, so one day I started inventing his future. I gave him a girl called Sammie (who is definitely not me, although she grew up in a similar small town.) And then I added some angst and problems to pull them together and drive them apart. And an eventual happy ending of course, because this is a romance after all.  It’s set in New Zealand, because that’s where I’m from. And there’s a trip to Australia, and one to a country in Europe which I won’t name here because that would be a real spoiler.

What genre is it? Did you say it is a romance?
It’s a contemporary romance – somewhat sexy, but certainly not erotica.  My dear old Mom once famously said, “People don’t want to read about sex, darling.”  How wrong she was. A bit of sizzle seems to go down very well with readers.

What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Mostly to women, I suspect. But I’ve been surprised by the reaction from husbands and partners of friends who’ve read it just because they knew I’d written it. Anyone who reads Harlequin’s spicy contemporary lines should enjoy it. Also anyone wanting a ‘holiday’ in New Zealand…an escape from everyday life. 

Resisting Nick is not all plain sailing for my main characters, but it’s not emotion-drenched like a lot of romances.

Complete this sentence for us: If you like ___________, you’ll love Resisting Nick.
That’s a hard one! I’m tempted to say The Boat Builder’s Bed, which is another one of mine, but I suspect that’s not what you mean.  Well, I’ll go right over the top here and say ‘any of Lisa Kleypas’s contemporary stories.’ She’s a real favourite of mine, and they do say you write what you enjoy.

You are a reasonably prolific writer. If someone had never read a Kris Pearson before, where would you advise them to start and why?
Go for The Boat Builder’s Bed .  I say that because it’s the one I chose to make free a couple of months ago on both Amazon.com and Smashwords as an introduction to my other books. I wanted more people to find me, and they weren’t going to be enticed to read anything further if I put up a rubbishy story. I chose the best – the one I thought would have the widest appeal – and I’m heading for a quarter of a million free downloads. Every day a further 1500 – 2000 get snapped up which is far more than I hoped for. And it’s still free, so there’s another good reason to choose The Boat Builder’s Bed . Readers have been very kind with their reviews. Amazon and Goodreads have hundreds – and I even got a mention in The Guardian newspaper in the UK because of its high ratings.

When we were chatting before the interview, you mentioned in passing that your book was “hardly Fifty Shades” (in terms of sexual content). We’re not asking you to criticise a fellow writer, of course, but do you think it is possible to go too far?
Yes, I definitely do – but that’s probably a reflection of my age and upbringing. I enjoyed the Fifty Shades trio, and although I can’t imagine being tied up and beaten – or being subservient to another person! – I didn’t find them sexually objectionable. I DID find the incredible amount of repeated dialogue objectionable though. 
I suppose it depends  what people are looking for. I see an ever-growing tide of titles I have no desire to investigate – things that seem to be about rape and bestiality and all sorts of sexual deviance. Better to read about it than do it, I suppose!

Ooops – I need to be careful what I say, because my book Out of Bounds has a thread of incest running through it…

In our pre-interview chat, you also mentioned how well sales of your books are going. Obviously, it helps that you write good books, but what are your other secrets of success?
I wish I knew and then I’d do more of the same.  I think having a number of titles available so readers can progress from one to the next is important.  On the marketing side, having a ‘family’ of covers was a no-brainer for me. It looks like a Kris Pearson product every time. Big colourful photo, good big author name, and title in a distinctive easy-to-read font. We make sure the covers look good when they’re reduced to postage-stamp size, too – because they often are in the book lists. There’s nothing classy about them, but they’re hard workers like me.

Having said that, I’m experimenting with a cover for an upcoming book about a group of romance writers. It’s a comedy – quite different from my others so far – and I want to get more than one couple onto the cover because there are three main couples in the book, and several other hopeful characters as well. That’s proving to be a challenge. It’s called The Bonk Squad. I’m a bit worried people outside New Zealand won’t know what ‘Bonk’ means…. That’s where having another cover that identifies the book as obviously one of mine will be valuable.

Hmm – what else? Good catchy blurbs that hook prospective readers.  Spending enough time and money on promo to get a bit of attention, but not so much that there’s no time to write the next book. Making friends! I think that’s really important. Making friends with other writers, because you never know where unexpected opportunities come from. Turning your readers into friends so they’re looking forward to the next book and wanting to buy it. I’m in constant touch with people around the world now, swapping stories, gathering news, sounding out possibilities.

Writing a book is never easy, but other than that, what has been the toughest part – editing or marketing?
The editing, I love. Getting to know my characters even more, sinking deeper into their lives, that’s a real buzz. Making the book better and better is pure pleasure.

And a book is not a finite thing. It’s possible to alter characters’ motivations, change the story threads, and make things go in whole new directions when you edit it. Nick had his first 12,000 words chopped off, which made a huge difference to how the story unfolded.

So no – I don’t find editing hard. Having said that, I have a long career in advertising behind me, and I’ve always proofread my own writing, and been used to taking responsibility for the finished product.
Because of that, maybe marketing hasn’t been too bad either. Finding the time to do as much as I’d like to – that’s the hard part. I’ve taken spaces in several shared ads in Romantic Times, and ads on ebook sites. Because of my background I guess I have more faith in actual ads than anything else.

You wrote your autobiography at age 12. Do you remember what was in it? And can you fill us in on what you’ve been up to since then?
It’s right beside me. A whole school exercise book, complete with lots of black and white photos.  I decided to write a further instalment every twelve years, but that came to nothing. Maybe by twenty-four I didn’t find myself as interesting. I have to say the original shows me up as a rather bossy and determined little girl. Perhaps it’s no wonder I turned into a writer so I could organise people’s lives the way I wanted.

And since then?  Worked in radio in New Zealand…saved enough money to spend a term at the University for Foreigners in Perugia, Italy, and a summer in London. Married a man I met when we were working together in TV once I was back home again. Copywriter for several ad agencies, and then retail ad manager for a chain of furnishing stores. Keen gardener. Current membership secretary for Romance Writers of New Zealand. Still married to the same lovely man. Books pouring out of my fingertips.

Have you got a site where readers can keep up with your work? Do you use social media?
krispearson.com: I designed the site myself, but I’m not technical enough to upgrade it into what I really want, so I’ve finally employed a website designer to create ‘almost exactly the same, please.’ I’m probably the client from hell.

Social media is not my thing. I don’t Twitter, and I only occasionally put messages on Facebook. I get sick of other people bombarding me, and don’t want to annoy them in return. And anyway, I need the time for writing.

Where can we buy Resisting Nick?
On Amazon (US , UK ) if you read on a Kindle.

Through Smashwords  for other e-readers.

And only $2.99. What a steal.

What’s next?
Ah. Well. Ravishing Rose – a naughty shortie (Wicked in Wellington)
has just been launched – a naughty shortie for some end-of-year fun. The Man with Iceberg Eyes is written but needs editing yet. And then there’s The Bonk Squad that I mentioned earlier – the funny one, if only I could make the cover work the way I want to. And Two more Sheikhs – started, but not exactly galloping off into the sunset as fast as I’d like. I can’t wait for some time off over Christmas.

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10 Comments

  1. Mila S

    Hmmm sounds interesting :-)

  2. Great Interview Kris.

  3. Jenny Holdaway

    Way to go Kris!!

  4. HimKris for so,e reason on my iPad the interview is cut off. I loved the Boat Builder’s Bed

  5. I can’t believe how many books you have soon to be published! What’s the writer’s equivalent of green fingers?!

  6. I can’t believe how many books we have to look forward to! What’s the writer’s equivalent of green fingers?!

  7. Rae

    So productive! And love the background to this story.

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