Aloha at last!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Aloha, friends---

Well, after a crazy week of preparations and edits and packing and planning, I am back in my favorite place in the world. On the beach in Hawaii. Can you hear my deep sigh? Imagine my smile? Right now, I'm sitting on my lanai (that's a deck in Hawaii), in a big ole comfortable chair, with a mai tai on the table beside me, staring through a gorgeous, blooming plumeria tree at the white waves in the distance. I can smell the flowers in the air, and the salt, and even the clouds that are slowly moving in this direction. Yes, it will be raining soon, but that's okay. Better than okay, really, because when it rains, I get to curl up on my sofa and read. :) You all know what a treat THAT is: a day spent doing nothing but reading. For the past couple of days, in fact, I've been so buried in a book that I haven't even gone snorkeling. I blame Stephen King. His newest, Duma Key, hooked me on page one and wouldn't let go until I finished.

And I have a new laptop...one that actually RUNS when it's not plugged in, so I'm especially grateful; I can sit outside and communicate with all of you at the same time. Which reminds me, I want to say how much I appreciate all of your comments. It has been really fun sharing our lives for these past few weeks. A few of you, I actually feel I'm getting to know. It seems we all have a lot in common. As I've often said--we women live each others' lives a lot of the time. If you need more proof, go to the contest part of the website and read some of the best friends entries I received. I LOVED reading these entries--every one of them. Choosing winners was a nearly impossible tast that kept me up at night. Honestly. In the end, I was so torn, that I posted almost a dozen more essays that I'd originally planned to. In truth, they were simply too moving--some funny, some sad, some poignant--to keep to myself. So I hope you'll hop on over and read a few. And to those of you who took the time to enter, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your stores were brilliant; shining examples of why women matter to each other, why friendship matters.

Maybe I should have another contest, in fact. Anyone have an idea of what would be good?

Let's see...what else is going on? Well, I finally completely finished the edits on the book for 09. My brilliant editor was like a Jack-in-the-box. She kept popping back up with new ideas, things that would make the story better, sharper, cleaner. Bless her heart for that. As I've told you--I think--I like writing, but I adore editing. Refining characters, sentences, ideas, themes; that's what really floats my boat when it comes to this remarkable job of mine. Soon, I'll be able to share the ins and outs of the story and pass along the title, but once, long ago, I released a title early and then changed it...and I'm still being asked for that phantom book, so I've learned my lesson. When everything is set, I'll come out with a pair of sparklers all lit up.

I do know they're working on the cover, so perhaps this is a good time to ask you all what you thought of Firefly's packaging? And what colors/images draw you to a book? What are some of your favorites covers/titles?

Speaking of the next book. I'm getting an awful lot of emails about a sequel to Firefly. I don't have any plans to do that yet, but to be honest, it's on my mind. I just have to find the right story. A certain television journalist definitely has a story that needs to be found..

Well, that's pretty much the scoop from paradise for the moment. And I can hear drums and ukelele music coming from down the beach. Someone must be having a barbeque. If I'm lucky, they'll be dancing the hula. Better check it out...

Talk to you all soon, and thanks again for sharing your friendship stories with me.

Aloha,

Kristin

21 Comments:

Anonymous Kelli Estes said...

Just reading your description of Hawaii made me sigh. I think I need to plan a vacation soon. Enjoy your time there!

I thought Firefly's packaging is beautiful. I would never imagine this book was set in Washington State if I didn't read the cover flap, though. No fireflies here! But still, I loved the cover and the tone it conveyed. It's one I would pick up at the bookstore had I never heard of your name, simply by the picture alone.

April 13, 2008 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger Cialynne1 said...

Hey Kristin!

Firefly had great packaging. I love the color blue in any form.. :) I purchased it soley on the fact that a certain author wrote the KILLER book I had just listened to, so it HAD to be phenomenal..so I can't say that the packaging drew me to Firefly like Kelli said above.

Something that I have always thought was great about well-written books was that somehow the cover of same was tied in with the plot of the book. It lends something to the reader's imagination.. In Firefly's case, the 2 women on the cover vaguely in the background makes me believe that those figures are Tully and Kate.

What would really draw me to purchase a book when one of the major purchasing decisions was the cover, then I would have loved to see various pictures of Tully and Kate in various stages of their life.. i.e. when they were teenagers, Kate feeling like a social outcast and Tully being "THE" social girl..then a little older when they were in college with faint images of the guys they were involved with.. then Johnny and Kate, then a picture of Mara and the twins.. then the guy that Tully had a fling with in the older years.. Or Tully in some sort of reporter scene or in the media in some form.. Or possibly some of the charms that they loved about all of their life together as best friends.

I am not sure that the above is making a bit of sense..I just like to be able to picture the main characters in a book that I love..It lends a lot to the total feeling of the book itself..

Yet, I know that you could not capture all of that unless you had a 20 feet tall book.. :) LOLOL!!!

You missed my birthday by a day, Kristin.. My birthday was 04/11/08, and your post to your blog missed it by just a wee bit..I hope that you were partying for me on Friday and not stuck in an airport somewhere..

I hope that you got the other information about Pampered Chef. I suppose that I could print the brochures for the Help Whip Cancer campaigns for May and mail them to your publicist or editor, and hope that they can get it to you before the end of May is up. If that is an option, please respond and let me know that. I will put them in the mail ASAP!

If anyone reading your blog would like to see the brochures to support the cure for Breast Cancer, please write to me at:

Lindahensens @ nc. rr. com (remove all of the extra spaces) and I will send you the form and the pictures. I really hope to have a significant order for May, so please do think about helping PC support the cure! Thank you so much!

Anyway..A good contest idea, once we know the basics of your upcoming novel, would be for your blog readers to come up with cover ideas..I don't think you could have a contest like that without your readers having a clue about what the book is about..at least briefly.

Have a great week, Kristin.. Oh yeah...I almost forgot.. Carly does need to change her tactic a bit.. if she doesn't, she will be the next one to be voted off..

Did you support the Idol Gives Back drive for the homeless and the needy both here and abroad?

Hope to hear from you soon! I am liking this blogging thing.. :) I just wish that I had comments on my own blog.. :)

Linda

April 14, 2008 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Cindy Watson said...

Hey Kristin!

Truly, thank you for making yourself so available to us! I loved the book cover, the faded girls in the corner, the jar, the picnic table. It looked like a place I wanted to be. The color blue was LOVELY-warm and inviting. Red and Yellow scream caution. I like a dark lilac and fusia and darker blue. Green could work depending on what shade. I know I don't like people on covers since each of us have our own idea on the characters (it was perfectly done -faded- for FL). Usually a scene from the book, that is really important, not just a building.

A Contest, Let's see here. Mother's Day and Father's Day are right around the corner so is Memorial Day and the 4th- Hope that helps.

I am regretting deeply that I didn't visit my sister while her husband was stationed in HI, I should have found the money and time especially with only 1 kid then (I have 3 now!)

Favorite Covers-
A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
Seaview Inn by Sherryl Woods
Once and Always by Judith McNaught
Mercy by Julie Garwood
Shadow Dance by Julie Garwood

(I don't know if you can post or not) Also, for anyone interested, I found www.shelfari.com you become a member and keep track of books you read, want to read and wish for, best of all it's free. You can belong to groups and have friends. If anyone is interested my site is www.shelfari.com/cindyw5

Have a great week, Cindy

April 14, 2008 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

My favorite part about the cover for Firefly Lane was the fireflies! I love that the cover was simple; it took one part of the book that was also the title and conveyed it on the book cover. I love the crispness of the image but at the same time there was a dreamy quality about the cover. It’s a bit like the storyline. Life is real, crisp & your in face but dreams are vague and foggy because they are not real yet.
If I could take one thing away from the cover it would be 2 females walking in the background that I can only assume are suppose to be Tully and Kate. I did not like that part because I thought (for me at least) even the vague figures didn’t represent how I envision Tully and Kate. Just in general I do not like it when covers show “people”.

As far as a contest, the author Nora Roberts via her fan message board does this a lot. A contest to win a signed ARC(Advanced Reader Copy) of your ‘09 novel!!!

P.S. I am thinking of favorite childhood songs!

April 15, 2008 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Hi Kristin!
I'm glad to see that you made it safely to Hawaii! I've been to Oahu (in 83) and Maui (in 88), and I'm sure Hawaii is just as beautiful now (although I wouldn't mind seeing for myself!)

As far as the packaging for Firefly Lane, it was definitely one of my favorites. I love the shade of blue that was used. That's actually my favorite color! My other favorite book cover was "On Mystic Lake" when it was released in paperback. I remember being at Half Price books one day and saw "On Mystic Lake" in hardcover. I was a little disappointed because the colors used were so much darker on the hardback than on the paper back!

By the way, honestly thought I had added some comments to your last blog (about Leavenworth) but mysteriously they are nowhere to be found.

You asked about favorite places to visit and mine is without a doubt the Oregon Coast.

Also I wanted to tell you how much I loved meeting you in Leavenworth. That was a highlight of my life and something I will never forget. Thank you for being so wonderful and so caring!

Andrea Marshall (Mill Creek, WA)

April 16, 2008 at 5:58 AM  
Blogger AnneMarie said...

Hi Kristen -

Looking forward to enjoying Firefly Lane on my Western Caribbean cruise on Saturday with my husband and 14 yr old son.! (Hubby and I visited these islands on our honeymoon 16 years ago.)

I love your books and can already tell this one is a winner. Congratulations! You definitely deserve your break in Hawaii!! Hope it's filled with great adventures!

Take care, AnneMarie in Massachusetts

April 16, 2008 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger LindaHensens said...

Hey Kristin!

OMG!! Can you believe that Kristy was voted off last night? I thought for sure that Brooke would be the one to go.. She has had several themes that she did not do so hot on, and I thought her time was up.. especially with all of the whining she has done with what the judge's have said about her performances.

Kristy was just starting to really get into the groove, and she wsa starting to sound incredibly good like she did on her audition and during Hollywood week.

How is your week going? I hope things are very relaxing in Hawaii for you.. Do you live there part of the year?

I have had a good week so far.. Someone actually responded on my own blog, and I was so excited to see that! My very first comment! Of course, I went spastic and wrote a VERY long reply to that person.. The writer responded as anonymous, and I wish that I knew who it was. Doesn't matter, I suppose.. I would have just liked to have had a first name to respond to, sort of make it a more personal response.. I flew to my blog to type a response just as soon as I knew it was there.. :) Way COOL! I probably told them way more than they wanted to know.. :)

http://musingsofadayinthelifeof.blogspot.com/

I tend to go off into some sort of la-la land when I start writing.. Does that happen to you at all? Do you ever start writing something, being consciously aware of whatever it is for the first 1-2paragraphs, only to look up a couple of hours later, and find that you have written a mini-novel and you have NO clue what you wrote? I do that a lot when I am speaking from my heart, whether it is to my husband and/or family, or whether it is on my blog.. It is almost like I am in a trance, and my subconscious mind takes over and writes what it wants to. :)

It makes for some interesting reading at times, but at other times.. it makes for some really painful writing.. I do feel a lot better once it has come out of my head onto paper though, so I probably should do more of it..

I agree with one of the posters here about creating a contest to win an Advanced Reader Copy of your 2009 book, signed by you of course.. :)

Lisa Scottoline has a contest every month where she asks a question from her current book, and all who answer it correctly have their name put into a random drawing to win either the current book or one of her tote bags, etc.. She has another thing that she does where if a reader of her current book will send her a copy of their receipt for 2 books, she will give them their choice of one of her previously published books that is personally autographed by her. She also will send out book plate stickers that are signed by her for her fans that ask for them. Usually she has some sort of picture related to the time of year she offers them.

Nora Roberts does something similar. I think that it fosters fans for any author that does something like this..

Of course, in your case, I am a fan of your blog as much as I am of the books you write.. I am almost done listening to Between Sisters.. and the last one to get is Home Again.. I am trying to find an sudiobook recording of it, but if I cannot do that soon.. then I will get the book from the library..

Hope to hear from you very soon! As always, I hope you are also having a great week!
Linda

April 17, 2008 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Nancy R said...

Kristin,

Loved Firefly Lane and the cover for it, I bought it the first day it was out, but didn't start reading until I was sitting on Anahola Beach in Kauai. I was laying on the beach reading while my husband was out braving the waves snorkeling. We were in Hawaii from March 14th until the 26th, our daughter was playing softball for her college in Oahu, so we spent the first five days there. We then ventured over to Kauai, you can imagine my shock when I arrived home to cold and snowy Wisconsin and read that Kate and John were on Anini Beach, that is where we spent our last afternoon before coming home!!

It definitely needs a sequel, PLEASE!!

Thanks so much,

Nancy

April 17, 2008 at 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Sheila said...

Hi Kristin!

I liked the cover! As odd as it sounds, I especially liked that it was kind of matte - instead of that shiny plastic finish.

A plastic finished jacket gets thrown away before a book enters my personal library. They don't stay on well when the book is being read and just looks cheaper.

I liked the colors used, blue is my favorite! If I had to change anything, I'd love to see the faces of Katie and Tully. I have pictures of them formed in my mind and would love see if I'm correct with my mental picture :)

I'm VERY excited to hear that the next book has a veterinarian! Yay! Fun fact: about 75% of veterinary students are women. Vet med is turning into a very female dominated field. If you have any questions about vet stuff, I'd be very happy to be your "inside connection". At the very least, I could give you a great tour of WSU's vet med teaching hospital ;)

As a somewhat younger reader (I started reading your books as high school senior) I have to say that I've always connected with your characters.

I have to beg for a sequel for Mystic Lake, or the Things We Do For Love. Those two were my absolute favorite and I felt a very real sense of sadness when I finished reading. I miss those characters and want to see how their lives are doing!

Anyhoo, thank you so much for taking the time to blog. Please, for the love of god, enjoy the beautiful weather in Hawaii. Seattle actually got snow today which is just bizarre.

Sheila

April 19, 2008 at 2:38 AM  
Blogger [email protected] said...

Hello!! I am a first time visitor and a first time reader. Firefly lane was my first book of yours.. just finihsed minutes ago.

Amazing! I loved every page and I absolutly enjoyed the storyline! I would love love love love a 2nd book to follow it!

As far as the cover.. the texture of the paper on the cover was very nice. I love the way it felt in my hands! Really nice! The colors were eye catching as well. I pick a book most of the time based on its cover and firefly lane had a beautiful cover!

Thank you for a great book! You have a new fan!
Kacey

April 20, 2008 at 9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kristin
Every time I read on of your books, I don't think its possible for your next one to be as good then you prove me wrong every time. I usually read it in two days then I long for the next one. I love the cover, I think your covers are top notch and they usually have a very relaxing appeal to it. The matalic lettering was a great touch.
My Mom died from cancer so this particular novel got to me, I really related to the mother in the novel and being a stay at home mom.
You manage to keep your reader capatived through the entire novel which is not an easy thing to do.
Thank you for once again producing something that will surely give alot of people total pleasure reading ! Janeen

April 26, 2008 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Kelli--

thanks for checking in to the blog! I know what you mean about the fireflies on the cover of FL. At first I was very resistant to the idea, to be honest; I told my editor that there were no firefly in my neck of the woods, but she had a really strong visual image for the book, and I let her have a go at it, and I guess the proof is in the pudding, as they say. I've heard from so many women that they love the cover and that the image of fireflies is special to them. A childhood memory kind of thing. I think they're working on the next cover right now, so I'll let you all know what they come up with...

aloha,
K

April 26, 2008 at 10:32 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Linda--

It's good to hear from you, as always. I'm sorry that I missed your birthday; wouldn't a "hit" have been fun on that special day? :) I don't think I can do the pampered chef thing from here right now. Hawaii just seems so far away and things are crazy, but bless you for your good work on behalf of breast cancer. The world needs more people who are willing to help on special causes like that.

And you were spot on about Carly!! Sad to see her go, but I sure wish she would have sung a few power ballads...

Great idea about the cover contest. Let me think about that. I don't know if I can actually make that work, but I'll talk to the powers that be. To be honest, FL was so beautiful, I'm inclined to let St Martins do their thing in that department, don't you think?

Thanks again!

aloha,
K

April 26, 2008 at 10:36 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear cindy--

I totally agree with your thoughts on colors for a cover. Lilac and fuschia are Great. I love peaches and pinks, too, if they're subtle and not too girly. When was your sister stationed in Hawaii? On Oahu? It is too bad you couldn't make it over here. It's just so danged pretty and peaceful and relaxing.

aloha,
k

April 26, 2008 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Wendy--

What an interesting comment about the women being out of focus. I hadn't really thought about it, but now that you bring it up, I agree completely. Excellent observation! That way, readers can "see" whoever they want to in the roles.

Also, thanks for the idea about the ARC. I should have one in a few months, so maybe we'll start thinking of a way to give them away. I loved the best friend's essay on FL. REading the entries was wonderful.

aloha,
k

April 26, 2008 at 10:40 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Andrea--

Thanks for checking in to the blog. It's great to hear from you again. I really enjoyed meeting you in Leavenworth, too. How did the pictures turn out? How's your writing going?

aloha,
K

April 26, 2008 at 10:42 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear AnneMarie--

Enjoy your cruise, you lucky girl. Tell us how it was when you get back!

aloha,
k

April 26, 2008 at 10:43 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Linda==

Congratulations on your first blog response! It's fun to hear from people Out There, isn't it? I was really surprised by how much I enjoy it. I mean, here I am, in Hawaii, on a beautiful day, and I actually WANTED to check out my own blog and hear from all my new e-friends. I hope you find that you enjoy it as much as I do.

As to "losing myself" in writing, it happens all the time. It even happens when I'm thinking about writing--like at the dinner table while my hubby is talking to me...

As to American Idol, I'm starting to think that Brooke and Jason can't be voted off. It doesn't matter how they do. Brooke is certainly a big talent, but she's had a few rough weeks. I still hope it comes down to the Davids, tho.

aloha,
K

April 26, 2008 at 10:47 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Nancy--

Anahola!! That's near Aliomanu, which is one of my favorite beaches on Kauai. And you were at Anini! How cool. When my son was little, Anini was his favorite place in the world. He loved the little crabs that came out of the sand at sunset. :)

Glad you had a great trip to paradise, too.

aloha,
K

April 26, 2008 at 10:49 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Sheila--

Thanks so much for checking in. I'm glad to hear that my books are entertaining for younger readers. Okay, so I can see why you want a sequel to Mystic. I hear that all the time. I wrote an epilogue that answered all your questions at one point and tossed it. Just didn't work. But TWDFL? What is it you're still wondering about? Lauren's story and how she does? When she finds love? What kind of mother she becomes? Inquiring minds want to know...

Have you read Home Again? That might be one you'll like, too.

aloha,
k

Ps: sorry it's cold in our home state. Hope it warms up quickly

April 26, 2008 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Kacey--

Welcome!!! I hope you'll stick around and be part of the dialogue. I have to say, I think we have a pretty fun group on this board. What are some of your favorite authors? I'm so glad you stumbled across FL.

aloha,
K

April 26, 2008 at 10:54 PM  

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