Wednesday, January 28, 2009

IMHO Welcomes Kerrelyn Sparks!



IMHO: It is IMHO’s great pleasure to welcome Kerrelyn Sparks to the Romance Roundup Gift Basket party as we get closer to Valentine’s Day and the gift basket giveaway.

Kerrelyn’s first paranormal romance, How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, zoomed out of the bat cave so fast it became Borders bestselling debut romance of 2005. Each book in the Love at Stake series has become a USAToday bestseller. The fourth book, The Undead Next Door, the one Kerrelyn will be putting in our gift basket, landed on the New York Times bestseller list. All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire hit the New York Times bestseller list at number 12, the USAToday list at 41, and the Borders bestselling romance list at number 2! Books six and seven of the Love at Stake series will release this spring--Secret Life of a Vampire on March 31 and Forbidden Nights with a Vampire on April 28.

When she's not busy living the vida vampire, Kerrelyn resides in the Greater Houston area with her husband, children, and a house full of garlic. So far, there are no vampires in her family. Werewolves are another matter entirely.

Today, Kerrelyn shows what romance means to her by telling us why she writes romance in the first place. Welcome, Kerrelyn!

KS: Thanks for inviting me to talk about what romance means to me, TJ!

Romance celebrates life and the possibility for us all to experience happy endings. I believe it is this unfailing hope that makes the Romance genre so popular. Romance fiction sells more than any other fiction category. Our forefathers said it best when they declared we all have to right to the pursuit of happiness. It’s a universal need and one that Romance addresses in a positive fashion.

That’s the generic response, but to delve deeper—
1. I write Romance because I love to read it. I grew up on it. It’s brought me a lot of joy over the years. I have traveled to many different places and time periods. I have learned about history and different customs and fashions. My imagination was fed by it and encouraged to blossom.

2. I write Romance because I love to write. I need to write. If I don’t write for a few days, I can become a real grouch. This can be verified by my family. At least now, I’m paid to spend much of my time in another world. Before, I was flaky for free. This can also be verified by my family.

3. I love honorable characters. If a book or a movie doesn’t provide me with a character I can respect, admire and cheer for, forget it!! Romances, in general, give us honorable characters we can love, characters with enough integrity to face their challenges and courage to fight the odds. In turn, they inspire us to respect ourselves and never give up. For dreams do come true. I know that every time I see my name on a book cover.

4. I love strong heroines--women who take an active role in their own destiny, not content to leave their happiness in the control of anyone else. Today’s Romances show heroines on an equal footing with the hero, heroines in charge of their life, making their own choices. These are women I would be proud to introduce my daughter to.

5. I love the process of falling in love. What other human experience compares to the exhilaration and exasperation of finding your true mate? Whom we choose to marry is one of our most important decisions, and we all want a happy ending. Some complain that because of the happy ending, Romances are all alike! But the end product is not the point. It’s the journey that is so intriguing. It’s the process that starts with a secretive glance and hesitant first touch, the tiny steps that lead to total trust, intimacy, and the sacred commitment to grow old together—this is the journey that Romance celebrates.

Why do you love Romance?

IMHO: Thanks, Kerrelyn, for reinforcing the reasons romance is my favorite type of read. How about the rest of you? Be sure to share with Kerrelyn why you love romance, because remember, by commenting on at least two guest bloggers’ posts, you’ll be eligible to win the BIG BASKET OF LOOOOVE containing ten different autographed books, including Kerrelyn’s book The Undead Next Door. To read excerpts of her books, watch book trailers, play vampire games, or join the forum, visit Kerrelyn at www.kerrelynsparks.com.

And be sure to come back next Saturday, January 31, to meet our next guest blogger, Golden Heart nominee and Dorchester debut author Trish Albright, author of Siren’s Song, a sea-faring romantic adventure. Stay tuned!

TJB

79 comments:

vickyb said...

I love romance because it gives hope - hope that there are good things that can happen even in the worst of times; hope that there can be a happily ever after for anyone; hope that what starts out as something tentative can grow and endure anything as long as you are together.

Colleen Thompson said...

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on writing romance, Kerrelyn!

I love it that in a romance, characters (good and bad) end up getting exactly what they most deserve.

Kim Lenox said...

Like you, I really like honorable characters. Especially characters that didn't realize they were honorable, until they faced an unexpected test.

Great interview!

kerribookwriter said...

Hi Kerrelyn,

Can I say, first and foremost, I love your name? Is this a pen name and if so, how did you come up with it?

Secondly, can you tell us how you chose to write about vampires and why you love those sexy creatures of the undead so much?

Thanks!

--Kerri

kerribookwriter said...

Oops! I forgot to say why I love romance. Doh! Just chalk it up to Mommy Brain (I've got 3 youngins!) :-p

I love romance because it is such a great escape. Any time you want a break from the daily grind of life...you can just pick up a book and time travel, or simply travel to another city or country. You can live in the world of vampires or you can fall in love again. Romance makes me happy. Period.

Minna said...

Besides those reasons already mentioned, I like romance because of the happy endings.

Nancy said...

Hi Kerrelyn! It was a kick to meet you last year at Buns & Roses - you are even more fun than your books!

I love romance for all the reasons you mentioned. It speaks of hope, of successful relationships, of the courage it takes to put oneself "out there." To love as if you haven't been hurt.

Thanks for the excellent post, and my best wishes for all continued success!

Light,
Nancy Haddock

Kerrelyn Sparks said...

Thanks, everyone, for the great comments! Colleen makes a good point-- in romance, characters get what they deserve. Justice, happy endings, true love, hope, escapism--how can anyone not love romance?

For Kerri-- yes, Kerrelyn Sparks is my real name. I was fortunate enough to marry Mr. Sparks, which gave me a very good name for a romance writer. My nickname is Kerry, which you will agree is a very nice-sounding name! As for vampires, I just sorta bumped into them in the dead of the night...

It was great to meet you, Nancy! I hope to be at next year's Buns 'n Roses.

Hugs!
Kerrelyn

Jane said...

First, Kerry, I do NOT believe you're ever a grouch!

Second, I love romance because it's--well, it's what I love (not deep and poor logic but that's the answer.)

Jane Myers Perrine

Evie Byrne said...

Reading romance gives us a place to relive the thrill of all those exciting firsts in a relationship: the first look, the first spark, the first touch, first kiss... The discovery.

That's my favorite part as both a reader and a writer.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kerrelyn!

Mona said...

What I love in romance is that it's like traveling to another world where good things happened in the end no matter how they started bad.

clynsg said...

I love to read romances because they spotlight what all of us hope to have in our own lives and for our families.

clynsg at yahoo.com

Billie Jo said...

Hi Kerrelyn!!

It is great to talk to you again!

I LOVE LOVE your books. Sigh such sexy heros.

I picked up romance at a time in my life when I needed to believe that true love does exist. I got hooked and have not looked back since. And because I believed in love from all the reading, I have found my soul mate/true love and am living the happily ever after.

For that I thank all the authors who have had their influence on me.

Keep up the GREAT work and writing stories that keeps this reader deeply satisfied.

Billie Jo

Estella said...

I love romance because it lets me live in a different world until I finish the book.

BethRe said...

Well I read to escape and Happy Ending help accomplish this, it gives you hope. When you read of someone else who comes through a struggle and it ends happily that's a good thing

Laurel said...

Romance books take you to a place you can dream. I especially like paranormal romance because there is a bit more to them than just plain romance

Margay said...

I love romance for all of the reasons you love to read and write it. Romance is the ultimate gift of hope. When you open yourself to romance, you open yourself to the possibility that there is something wonderful about life and how we feel about other people. Romance is our gift to each other, whether we're writers penning books for readers, or wives/girlfriends planning special dinners for husbands/boyfriends.

Margay
http://margayleahjustice.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Kerrelyn!
I also met you at the Buns & Tea last year and looking forward to this years. Are you going to be there this year as well?
Loved the blog and I love romance books! They take me away from my stressed days, my feel moody days and brighten it. I perfer paranormal romance to the regular ones, gotta have a vamp or shapeshifter to add alittle spice!
Take care and Have a Great Week!
Chris J.

ddurance said...

I read romance to escape and because I am hopeful that men like that do exist somewhere.

Deidre

Daelith said...

Thank you for taking the time to cuber-chat with us.

Most everyone has hit on the main point I love romance - the escape. Reading a book for me is like watching a movie in my head. I just get sucked into a really good story. So it is so nice to be able to shut my office door and disappear into another world for an hour each day.

lunaticcafe said...

Romance is the ultimate escape. I read romance because it is the best way to wind down at the end of the day- or even in the middle:) A great romance gets you involved in the characters, from the first meet all the way to the happily ever after. I enjoy that. If the characters don't work, or are poorly written then I can't invest myself.

kelyn39 said...

I love romance because it's such a great escape from my day to day life. When I'm reading I really lose myself in the story. I love honorable characters, I find it hard to read a story if I don't find many redeeming qualities in the hero or heroine. Just have to say Kerrelyn you get it spot on! Your characters and stories are fantastic. I just started reading your books and they have brought warmth to this cold winter!

Kelly

Devina Joshi said...

Hi Kerrylyn!

Romance as a genre has been criticised far too much for far too long, and is classified as 'light' reading that doesn't require too much of brainwork.

I disagree.

I think it takes gut-feel and a whole load of intelligence to read and write romance. Love is the only emotion that is a sum total of all other emotions, and it isn't easy to spin a tale about love. Today's cynical lot really needs to believe in the sanctity of love if they wish to remain sane, and what a lovely way to understand the complexities and absurdities of the opposite sex...through a good read, that leaves you with a smile!!! :)

Keep that pen movin'...

Meljprincess said...

Romance books are like CALGON. They take me away! I get to visit places I've been, places I haven't been, and places that don't exist.
Happy endings are nice but I don't think every book should have one.

Kerrelyn, during the holidays I read ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A VAMPIRE and enjoyed it immensely!
I look forward to reading more in your series.

Mel K.

Anonymous said...

HI KERR!

MARVELOUS INTERVIEW. SIGN ME UP FOR THOSE BOOKS! LOL

LINDA B

Raven99 said...

I love reading romance because I like happy endings. Real life can be depressing at times, but I know if I read a romance I am guaranteed a happy ending for the couple. I want to believe that love can conquer all, even if it only happens in the books I read. Romances do give me hope.

orelukjp0 said...

I love romance because it takes me away and lets me experience things I never would. I imagine myself and my husband in the place of the hero and heroine. As I read I visualize us doing everything they do. I will never travel to far off lands. I will never be young, thin and hot looking to a 30 something year old again but in my mind, I can live these adventures with my husband by my side. Romance adds spice to our lives and I thank the authors for giving us the opportunity to experience it through the words they write.

JeanP said...

I love reading romance books, they take me away from the day to day grind and always love the happy endings

Janet said...

Kerrelyn,
I just love your books and can't wait till the next one comes out. I love romance because I love living vicariously through the characters in the book. When it's finished I give a big "sigh". I just need my romance books and lots of chocolate to get me through stressful times.

Bertena said...

Being a professional that has not time for romance, this really helps me and gives me hope. I am too busy trying to survive to have a relationship. I am a 38 year old single mother of a 16 year old who works 2 jobs and is in graduate school. I have no time for anything else and romance books with my favorite heroes such as vampires really put a smile on my face.

Cheryl said...

I recently read Book 3 in this series and just fell in love with Ms. Sparks and her vampires.

I plan on reading all the rest of the books in this series.

Perla Pelayo said...

OMG!!! this is sooo cool, I LOVE to read paranormal books!! they take me out of this world! i cant wait fo the next Kerrelyn Sparks book! AHHH!!!

Donna Caubarreaux said...

I love romance because it gives hope. Hope that you will find that one person in the world that is perfect for you.

I found mine decades ago...he even left me a flower on the computer yesterday. Plus he'll buy me the dark chocolate I love.

Pat said...

I'm very much a fan of the Love at Stake series. Reading one always puts a smile on my face.
I love romance because it adds SO much to our lives, and to the world. Now look at me, I'm getting all mushy!!

donnas said...

Thanks for the great post. I love romance because it give hope that everyday people like us can indeed find true love and happiness.

I love your books and cant wait for the next ones to come out.

Judy F said...

Great Post. I just love your books.

Your post says it all. Romance makes me believe in hope and that there are really great people out thee.

Sewicked said...

When I am down or blue, I really need something to lift me out of it. Part of the Romance genre is the guaranteed happy ending.

Dagnabbit, there's enough bad news in the news; in my fiction I want happiness. I want things to be better. Sometimes I can get that from other genres, but with Romance, I will definitely get it.

Pam P said...

Hi Kerrelyn, love your books! Best things about romances is that there's always that happy ending, and we can fantasize as we read along about so many different types of sexy guys, whatever we're in the mood for at the time.

russbill said...

Fiction, especially romance, helps me relax after a day of work. There are happy endings, but you have to work for them, just like in real life.

catslady said...

You have a fantastic name and I would have thought you made it up lol. How can anyone not like romance - it's what makes the world go round.

Shari C said...

Thank you so much for the posting, Kerrelyn. I love romance books as they take me away from my normal life and let my imagination run wild. They let me dream of what could be and bring a 'big' smile to my face. I must admit they sometimes also give me a few ideas for when my husband and I are home alone....hmmm!

Jewells said...

I could Kerrelyn Sparks all day. I love her heros even if they are Vampires. I would like one myself.
Got any extra you can share Kerrelyn? Thank you for writing such wonderful books.
Julie

Jewells said...

Should say I could read Kerrelyn Sparks all day.

Norma said...

I enjoy romance because it's fun and it helps improve my emotional state. It also helps me appreciate my own family more.

Kerrilyn, thank you for sharing your world with us!

Norma

kaisquared said...

Reading romance is the cheapest and most enjoyable mental health treatment out there. I defy anyone to remain down after reading a great HEA romance, as they give hope and warmth to the reader (a bit of humor is a side benefit). I love your books, Kerrelyn and look forward to your next.

Anonymous said...

I love romance because of the happy endings and they are also a wonderful way to escape the grind of daily life.
Thank you for some great romances, Kerrilyn.

Take care,
Sherry

TJ Bennett said...

Wow! Lots of commenters today. :-) Be sure to come back and comment on another guest host's post to get a chance at winning the gift basket, folks.

TJB

Kerrelyn Sparks said...

Wow, what a bunch of lovely comments! Ya'll are really quite eloquent. I always knew romance readers were very intelligent! And I can tell, you all have big hearts with lots of love. That's another good thing about romance-- when the well starts to run a little dry, reading a good romance can do your heart good.

Thank you all so much for dropping by! I have really enjoyed reading the comments-- you've ended up inspiring me! Can't wait to get back to the current project, which is finding the perfect woman for Robby MacKay.

Hugs!
Kerrelyn aka vampire matchmaker

katsrus said...

I also love romance books. I really enjoyed Kerrelyn sharing her thoughts. Was very interesting. And I look foward to more great reads from her.

Anonymous said...

See this is a great blog because this is exactly why I read romances and love romances. I get trouble all the time about reading them but I am proud that I read them.

Renee'

mustbekarmah said...

I love romance because not only do you get a story worth reading, but you also get the personal side of the story as well. What goes on "behind the scenes" and in the most intimate way, the relationship of one human being with another on all levels.

K. Anne

Anna K said...

Hi Kerrelyn!

I am such a fan of your series! I can't wait for the next one! I love your take on the modern vampire =]

Anna K.

Fairydust said...

Hi! I love romance because it allows me to escape from the real world for a little while. I especially love books like yours Sherri that are funny and make me laugh as well.

Keep writing!! I'll keep reading!!!

Fairydust said...

OK...I goofed. My daughter distracted me with a big crash and I posted calling you Sherri instead of Kerri...I am currently reading a Sherrilyn Kenyon book while waiting for Secret Life of a Vampire to come out.

Betty Breithaupt said...

I like romances because you can find one for every mood, every dream and every life situation. The books, or should I say authors, teach us ways to deal with some of the stress in relationships. I can see other sides of a situation that would not be apparent when I'm just focusing on myself. As long as we have Kerrelyn and so many others equally talented writers who can take us to another place or another time, I think we are going to get through the next few years okay.

Val said...

I have liked romances ever since I was a young girl. I love the tales of heroic and dashing young men of all sorts of time periods. I agree with Kerrelyn on all her points and know this kind of book has always given me a boost of love in my own life.

Marie said...

A lot of great answers here! I feel the same way, I love romance for the escape and always happy endings.

eell said...

I like most romance books because good wins over evil. Romance books make me forget my own problems for a while.

Amanda said...

Good evening Kerrelyn.

In response to the above question, the main reason that I find romance to be my preference in terms of genre is because in today's society, falling in love is simply another step that's placed on life's "to do list." Reading about romance via a story however, allows a person to slow down and actually see it for how it should be; a glorious experience that if given enough time and attention could completely change a person's life. When I read, I want that escape from everyday life. So many things nowadays are taken for granted including some of the most precious of feelings. It's unfortunate that many people wake up with a similar realization of this fact. What's scary is that it doesn't seem to be getting any better. As a result, I like to venture into a new world. One that is both believable, yet drastically different than the real one. Romance is a comfort, and it's enhanced in a novel. Another reason that I find this genre superior is that when experiencing love in real life, each partner has no knowledge of what the other is truly thinking or feeling. This can either be bothersome, or exhilarating depending on the person. However in a novel, the reader gets to know any thought or emotion the character may trying to express. My final reason deals with the inclusion of humor. Romance wouldn't be complete without this very important trait as it's partner.

Liz said...

Hi,
I love your books. Your sense of humor is great. And boy do we need laughs these days. Thanks for sharing your talent with all of us!

Liz

Pat Cochran said...

I like romance because it reinforces
my love for life and all the good
things we encounter out there in the
world every day!

BTW, Kerrelyn and TJ, I'm a Houston
resident also. I live in the NW
corner of the city. How did you "do"
during IKE?

Pat Cochran

julie said...

Hello, I just wanted to say that I like the books that Kerrelyn Sparks has written, I finshed most of them within two weeks and looking forward to the next one.
Julie

Jen H said...

Love at Stakes series is fantastic! I loved them all, just finished All I Want For Christmas is a Vampire. So happy to see that Ian aged and got his HEA! Jen :)

the_enforcer said...

I love romances for much the same reasons as Kerrelyn, I love the drama, the pain, the pleasure, we live to love, it's what makes us human (even if you have fangs, lol). I'm what I would call a writer as well, (not published or anything of that nature I just love to write) and everything I've ever written has revolved around romance. Any ways, I Love your books Kerrelyn and usually finish them in one to two days. Then get mad at myself because I used it up too quick! I can't wait for your next books to come out. Mores for the love and thanks!

Barbara said...

I love romance because I enjoy the journey to that happily ever after. Nothing ruins a story for me like a tragic ending. I want to know that those character I became so invested in will go on to be happy and grow old together. And if there's humor involved, it just adds that special something to my enjoyment.

aromagik said...

I read romances exclusively because I've come to realize I need the comfort of knowing I'm getting a happy ending. It makes reading a lot more enjoyable and it helps me de-stress. :)

~Lindy

Kerrelyn Sparks said...

Thank you all for stopping by. I really enjoyed reading all the responses. TJ is going to have some other wonderful guests blogging here, so I hope you'll stop by again. I figure multiple visits may help you win that basket of ten autographed books!

Happy reading!
Kerrelyn

Paula said...

Last night I read something which ended with the main character in, what I felt was, an unfair situation. Basicly, the bad guys won. It left me in a bit unhappy mood myself. I thought to myself, this is why I love romance and happy endings.

Joan said...

I read romance novels because I like happily ever after endings. It is a great way to escape the every day world. I am an avid reader and romance and romantic suspense are my favorites.

Kayla Greenwood said...

Romance is a big part of my life. I've been fortunate enough to find my soul mate and we just found out the day after Christmas that we are having a baby!! Thanks to the books from my favorite authors like Mrs. Sparks and Sherilyn Kenyon, I've been able to pass the more uncomfortable parts of pregnancy lost in wonderful romantic worlds of hot heros and smart funny heroines! Thanks ladies!!

Virginia said...

I hope I am not to late one posting but I just got my power back. The main reason I read romance is for the happy endings!

flip said...

I totally agree with your statement regarding honorable characters. I cannot read a book about dishonorable hero and heroine.

RubyD said...

Why do I read romance? There are so many very good romance writers being published today. Their heroines are independent, the men heroic, the dialogue witty and interesting, and always.... the happily ever after. Romance books take us from stress of daily life into a world we can only dream about.

evilangel8613 said...

Kerrelyn is one of my favorite authors. Her books are always at the top of my list to get next.

Tai Shan said...

I love romance not so much for the happy ending (which is appreciated and expected), but because I love to see how characters find their way to each other. Everyone has a story of how/when/why they fell in love, and it's fun to take that journey over and over with the people who populate our books!

Jody F. said...

Thanks so much for posting here Kerrelyn! I love your books and loved reading your thoughts on romance.

Romance to me is taking time every day to do something nice for the person you care about. It doesn't have to be anything big, it's just nice to know that someone took the time to do something special for you.

donna said...

My bad. I've just discovered Ms. Sparks books. I've been dancing around them for a long time. Now I am scrambling to find everything she has written. I read everything but I must admit a good romance is my favorite escape.

Tiffany James said...

Kerrelyn,

I love romance for all those same reasons. Life is hard - I like to know that at least in the books I read the characters I grow to love will work through their problems and find their own happily ever after. Even if that road is a rough and bumpy one!

Tiffany

Maureen said...

I love romance because it is a pleasure to escape for a little bit to somewhere else where I know everything will work out in the end.