Release Party! Kat Cantrell’s The Things She Says

Posted by on Mar 6 2013, 1:05 am

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Hello all,

I’m very happy to be hosting the release party for Kat Cantrell! She and I  finaled last year in the Golden Heart contemporary series category, and we also both happen to be Dallas girls (both of which makes us awesome, by the way :) ).

Her newest release is THE THINGS SHE SAYS, a March Harlequin Desire. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom to find out how you can win a copy!

The Things She Says Cover Her Knight in a Shining Yellow Ferrari

One wrong turn on a Texas highway and heartthrob director Kristian Demetrious is breaking his first rule: don’t get involved. Beautiful, sassy VJ Lewis needs his help—and a ride to Dallas. Kris wants to give her both….

Yet his career depends on arriving without giving in to the passion VJ ignites in him. And denying temptation gets harder with every mile. VJ insists the heart of a hero beats beneath Kris’s suave exterior—and she intends to prove it, one hands-on lesson at a time.

Suddenly this road trip is taking a whole new direction….

 

 

You went from being unpublished on January 1 to having back to back releases in February and March. What has the experience been like? How cool is it to call yourself a published author? Any surprises – good or bad? What have you learned in the past month that’s helping you this month?

In a word, it’s been CRAZY (but so cool!). I’ve always hoped for success, but I could never have predicted that I’d sell so many manuscripts so quickly. It’s a little surreal. I still have to remind myself sometimes that I’ve really done it! The biggest surprise is how wonderful Harlequin has been to work with. You hear the horror stories about editors who either don’t edit or try to ruin your book with suggestions you don’t like. I hit the editor lottery. Mine is exactly what I would have hoped—she gets my stories, gets my voice and is a really fun person on top of that. How lucky am I?

My debut in February was full of firsts and honestly, I think everything helped me learn what to do with my second book, but unfortunately, I needed those lessons like four months ago in order to apply to my March release. I thought I’d wait and see what panned out before committing in the future. Big mistake! EVERYONE schedules so far in advance that I can’t do the same promotions for The Things She Says that I did for Marriage With Benefits. Hopefully, people will buy The Things She Says because they liked Marriage With Benefits and I’ll find truth in the adage about more books being the best promotion.

*takes notes* Now, let’s talk about your latest release, The Things She Says, which stars a Greek hunk, who works in Hollywood as a movie director and a mechanic from a small town in Texas. It doesn’t sound like they’d have anything in common, but they totally do. What was your inspiration for the book?

The premise was inspired by the Cause and Effect song called You Think You Know Her. The song is about not really knowing the person you’re with and that’s the story I started out to write. Originally, Kris (the hero) was driving to Dallas to reunite with Kyla, who left him because he didn’t “see” her, but VJ (the heroine) muscled her way onto the stage, and that was that. LOL As for the characters, I knew that Kris absolutely HAD to be a director like the hero in my favorite book, PERFECT, by Judith McNaught. Past that, my imagination pretty much just took off!

Did you mention PERFECT, quite possibly the most perfect romance novel ever? The book that had me doing the ugly cry? I guess we can squee about that book later. Back to your book…your hero, Kristian is drool-worthy (hello, he’s Greek!), but I absolutely adored the heroine, VJ. She immediately begins to flirt with Kris when they first meet and speaks her mind throughout the book even when she knew embarrassment was a definite outcome. How did you come up with her? What makes VJ VJ?

Keep in mind, The Things She Says was my fourth manuscript. The first three had a common element—everyone hated the heroines! When I sat down to write VJ, I wanted to create someone likeable but also relatable (because who HASN’T said something they regret to a good-looking guy?) and I’m so happy to hear I was successful. As far as being outspoken, that comes from VJ’s upbringing in a small town and having four older brothers. She had to learn to stand up for herself or allow others to swallow her. She definitely chose the former and I love writing heroines who rescue themselves.

Without giving anything away (unless you want to, of course), VJ attempts to teach Kris something. There are stages of her plan. I was highly amused. How did you come up with them?

I basically did exactly what VJ did. J She discovers Kris is very cynical about love and wants to teach him that romance is real. So I thought about the progression of romance as presented in romance novels and tried to figure out how a sheltered heroine might approach them in “real life” (while still sticking to the confines of the romance novel I was *actually* writing). I had a lot of fun with Kris’s reactions to her carefully plotted out stages. He never knew what hit him, even as he was convinced he had VJ’s number.

Another aspect of the book that I liked was the idea that everybody doesn’t belong in a small-town when in most contemporary romance novels, small towns are often presented as utopian societies. Was this a conscious decision on your part?

Actually, no. I did want to write a book about escaping a small town but honestly, I didn’t set out to be “anti” small town. It just worked for VJ’s particular journey. But now that I think about it, VJ’s best friend Pamela Sue’s story might be similar. Maybe it was more conscious than I realized. LOL

Okay, the floor is now yours. Anything you want to add about The Things She Says or something that you’re just dying to share with us.

Thanks! I hope everyone loves this book as much as I do. I even love Kyla, who is really the villain, but I feel for her because she genuinely wanted to have something with Kris. Maybe I’ll figure out how to redeem her in another book. Perhaps she should go to Little Crooked Creek and discover the utopia of a small town? :P

Thanks for sharing my release day, everyone! *throws confetti*

I’ll give away a print copy of The Things She Says to a US resident, randomly selected from the comments. Just answer one question: Which song would YOU like to see turned into a romance novel?

Buy The Things She Says: Amazon HarlequinBarnes&Noble

Kat CantrellKat’s bio: Kat read her first Harlequin novel in third grade and has been scribbling in notebooks since she learned to spell. What else would she write but romance? She majored in Literature, officially with the intent to teach, but somehow ended up buried in middle management at Corporate America, Inc.

Kat became a stay-at-home mom and devoted naptime to writing. After many thousands of words, her dream of publication finally came true. When she’s not writing about characters on the journey to happily ever after, she can be found at a soccer game, watching Friends or dancing with her kids to Duran Duran and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Kat, her husband and their two boys live in North Texas. She’s a proud member of Romance Writers of America®. Kat was the 2011 Harlequin So You Think You Can Write winner and a 2012 RWA® Golden Heart® finalist for best unpublished series contemporary manuscript. She’s represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Agency.

Follow Kat on Facebook and Twitter, or visit her website.

34 Responses to “Release Party! Kat Cantrell’s The Things She Says”

  1. Sharon Wray says:

    Congratulations on your release, Kat! I also loved Perfect and I’m sure yours will be as wonderful. I hope you have a long, wonderful career at Harlequin. :)

    • Kat Cantrell says:

      Thanks Sharon!! I cannot say enough about how great my experience with Harlequin thus far has been. I hope my career there will be long too! Thanks for coming by today. :)

  2. Woohoo! Congrats on your release Kat. Sounds like you are having a great time right now with all of these releases!!

    Looking forward to reading it!

    • Kat Cantrell says:

      Hi Nikki. :) Thanks for the cheers! I AM having a great time. It never gets old to see your book on the shelf!! I hope you enjoy The Things She Says–RT said VJ was too outrageous, but that’s why I like her. LOL

  3. Thanks for the terrific write-up, Jamie. Congratulations, Kat, on TWO books in the past two months!! Can’t wait to read them both. This is a most exciting time for you. Enjoy the ride!

  4. kd fleming says:

    Love it Kat. I have your first release and will be heading out to grab this one. Unfortunately, it will have to tempt me from the TBR pile for a few weeks. But a Greek hunk sonds yummy. So I don’t know how long I will be able to resist. ;)

    Wishing you all the best.
    And fabulous interview Jamie.

  5. Catherine Rull says:

    Congrats, Kat! :) Do you know if your books will be released in Australia?

    Catherine :-)

    • Kat Cantrell says:

      Hi Catherine! YES I do know and yes they will. Unfortunately, Marriage With Benefits isn’t scheduled for release until June BUT The Things She Says should be available now (according to my sooper-secret sources :) ) Thanks for coming by today!!

  6. Kat Cantrell says:

    Thanks Jamie for the fantastic interview!! I’m waving at you across the metroplex. :)

  7. Congratulations on the release! The description is really, really hard to resist. :)

    Song I want to see turned into a romance novel – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ “Do You Love Me?”. Someday I’ll write it!

    • Kat Cantrell says:

      Hey Em! I don’t know that song. *goes away-comes back* Holy Cow! Now *I* want to write that story!! The first line made my plot bunnies go all haywire (“I found her on a night of fire and noise”). I wonder if our versions of the story would be completely different? Hmm. Thanks for stopping by. :)

  8. Great interview, ladies! Kat, I love how you describe VJ muscling her way in. When that happens, you know the character really has a life of her own. This sounds clever and charming, and I’m looking forward to reading it, Good luck with the release!

  9. robena grant says:

    Great interview. The Things She Says, sounds like a fun read. Congratulations! My local Target does a good job with shelving Desires. Will take a look. : )

  10. HAPPY THE THINGS SHE SAYS DAY!!!! VJ is probably my favorite heroine of yours! She’s just so much fun, and has a great personality. :) And the idea of writing a book for Kyla is very intriguing… (yes, you need more hours in the day!)

    I can’t think of a particular song I’d turn into a book, but I usually have a song that inspires me when I’m writing. The moment I heard Staind’s The Corner, it put me in Oliver’s head for some reason…something about his cell being his little corner where he watched the world go by. Depressing, yeah, LOL, but that’s kind of where my head needed to be when I was writing it.

    • Kat Cantrell says:

      Thanks!! :) Personally, I didn’t find Edge of Light depressing at all, but I’m glad you got your head in the right place to write it because it’s awesome.

      PS Kyla’s probably too difficult for me. I’ll have to put a few more books under my belt before I tackle that one. Maybe some day…

  11. TerriOsburn says:

    Congrats on another fabulous release, Kat. I took a picture of Marriage With Benefits at my local B&N and keep forgetting to share it with you. But it was there! Now I’ll have to catch a picture of this one too.

    I also have a mechanic heroine coming in my book 2 of my series. I must read VJ’s book and see how similar they might be.

    What song would I turn into a book? Oh, that’s such a hard question for me. I’ll go with the band I’m going to see tonight. The Ambassadors have a song called Litost. No idea what the name means, but the song is so emotional and powerful, full of damaged people and heartbreak. Not sure I could squeeze in a HEA, but they sound like they deserve one.

    • Kat Cantrell says:

      Oooh, another mechanic heroine? I can’t wait to read that. Write faster. LOL My favorite part about songs as inspiration is that there’s always a black moment in romance and a lot of the angsty stuff can inform that scene. Then you get to fix everything with your magic author wand. :) Have fun at the show Terri and thanks for coming by!

      • TerriOsburn says:

        I’m editing now, Kat, but the book won’t be out until after the first of the year. Don’t worry. I’ll remind you. LOL!

        Oh, songs almost always inspire the black moments in my books.

  12. TamraBaumann says:

    Great interview ladies!

    And I’m guessing VJ gets her spunk from her author. (Cia, in your last book, has her spunky thing going on too!! Just sayin’ ;0)

    I would love to see Bruno Mars’ song, WHEN I WAS YOUR MAN turned into a story. It’s about a guy who figures out he screwed up but he wants his ex to be happy with the next man…uumm…maybe I’ll get on that!

    Big wishes for stellar sales Kat!

    • Kat Cantrell says:

      Aww, thanks. I’m not so spunky but I am a smart-aleck. Wait, is that the same thing? LOL That Bruno Mars song sounds great for backstory…because of course your hero is going to figure out he wants her back. :P Get going on that–I must read it now!! :)

  13. Jamie Wesley says:

    I don’t know if this counts, but a couple of years ago, I heard “Tell Me Something Good” on the radio and thought that would be an excellent title for a book. The next spring that manuscript finaled in the GH, so I’m kinda partial to it.

  14. Carol Post says:

    Great interview, Jamie! And congratulations, Kat, on another release. It sounds like a fun read. I’m headed to Amazon now!

  15. Kay Hudson says:

    Hey, Kat, Happy Release Day (again!). I bought the book this evening at the local B&N when I stopped to pick up a history book I had reserved. That TBR stack just keeps growing!

  16. Pintip says:

    Late to the party, but I’m absolutely thrilled for you! Congrats on the release!

  17. Hi, Kat! Sorry I’m late to the party, but I bought your book for my Kindle already! (I saw your title and cover awhile back and totally wanted to read this one.)

    Can’t wait to dive in!

    Congrats on all the success — I loved your interview here with Jamie.

    As for a song to be made into a book … I’ve always loved “Step into This House” by Lyle Lovett. (Well, he didn’t write it, but he sings a heart-wrenching rendition.) It’s about this guy welcoming this woman into his house to see his meager belongings, and it makes my storywriting synapses start firing every time I hear it.

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