Tuesday, November 6

Sold! A Success Story!

Hi, Kyra!

Welcome back to Wordwranglers! The last time you were here, we were hosting a pitch session with Piper Denna, editor at Lyrical Press. I understand that pitch, about a year ago, garnered you an offer. Congrats!

So, I have a few questions:

1.     Tell us about yourself, please. A brief bio.

Thanks so much for having me, D’Ann! It’s an honor to be here today.

And yes, my participation in the Lyrical pitch session did lead to a recent offer. I don’t think it’s fully sunk in yet that I have a book, an honest-to-goodness book, due out in 2013.


Let’s see…a little bit about me? I’m a married mother of two, and our family calls Northeast Indiana home. I also have a full-time job, so between work, kids and a perpetual stream of sports activities, finding time to write can certainly be a challenge.


2.     How long have you written?

I’ve written fiction since I was a kid. Silly stuff in the early days. Then in high school I was the kid that rather enjoyed hearing the words, “Your next assignment will be an essay on…” (I never verbalized it, though—getting beat up wasn’t exactly on my to-do list.)


But I started writing in earnest back in 2010. I’d just broken my left pinky finger—yep, will never play baseball without a mitt again, no matter what type of ball the kids and I are pitching back and forth—and was in search of a new creative outlet. Usually that time of year I’m either outside playing something or another with the kids, golfing with my hubby, or digging in my flower gardens. But with my hand in a cast, none of that was happening. So I sat down at my computer one evening, and this scene flashed into my mind. I opened a blank Word document, and typed out the story playing in my head. The rest is history.


3.     Will this be your first published book? If no, tell us about your other works.

Yes, this will be my first. I’ve had several articles published in professional journals the past two years, though, which have definitely helped me to hone my writing skills. One publication, the IWEA Digester, even asked me to become a contributing editor this year. They’ve been awesome to work with, allowing me to inject a little humor into the world of municipal water pollution control.

4.      What is the title? Genre?

The title of my book is ARMED WITH STEELE, and while it will be listed as a romantic suspense, it’s truly got a little something for everyone—suspense, romance, humor, and drama. When I first sat down to write it, I’d envisioned a women’s fiction as it centers around a twenty-something heroine doing everything she could to redeem the reputation of her hospitalized best friend. But then I brought her partner into the story, and found it impossible to leave the romance out. Overall it was a lot of fun to write, because it gave me the freedom to inject a lot of my own sarcasm into her witty lines. And having an introverted computer nerd team up with a handsome, outgoing local police officer to work together undercover allowed me to explore all sorts of sticky situations.

5.     Had you queried/pitched it before the pitch on WW?

No, I don’t believe I had.

6.     What made you decide to throw your pitch out there that day?

I saw your post on the Yahoo! JustWriteIt group email and thought, “What do I have to lose?” It was also great practice for crafting a pitch, something I knew I needed to work on regardless.

7.     When will your book be available?

We don’t have an official release date yet, but watch for it Fall 2013. In the mean time, you can watch for updates and enjoy my “IndianaWonderer” blog musings and anecdotes over at http://KyraJacobs.wordpress.com .

8.     What are you working on next?

I’ve currently got two books in the works. The first is a women’s fiction—kind of a fun twist on “It’s a Wonderful Life”. But I’ve put that on hold so I can participate in the 2012 NANOWRIMO contest with a romance that’s been brewing in the back of my mind for a few years now. I did NANO last year, and highly recommend it.


Ironically, the book I wrote for it last year was the one I’d started a year prior. Only, it was much too long, started in the wrong place, and I’d edited the poor story to DEATH. So I threw the entire ms out the virtual window—man, was that painful to do—and November 1st I started completely over from scratch. Forcing myself to write 50,000 in a month was liberating, both for me and the storyline. When December arrived, I had half the new novel written, and had a completely different plot driving my book.

9.     You obviously caught Piper’s attention. What advice do you have for others the next time we invite an editor on?

My advice? Go for it. But be sure to do your homework first. Make sure the book you’re pitching is in a genre that editor represents, and spend some time on your pitch before throwing it out there. Remember, you (and your story) only get one chance to make a first impression.



  1. Great interview, Karen. Congratulations on your upcoming release.

  2. great advice, Karen, and congrats on the sale! Your book sounds like a load of fun - will be watching for it!

    1. Thanks, Kristina! And yes, I definitely wanted AWS to be a fun read.

  3. Nice interview, ladies! And Karen, so glad I found you.

  4. First off - congrats!!

    Secondly - "Your next assignment will be an essay on…” --- kniw exactly what you mean. I loved writing essays.

  5. Lovely interview.

  6. What a great success story! Congrats on the contract and I can't wait to see your book come fall 2013. It seems like such a long time away but it will be here before you know it.

    1. Thank you, Sharon. I have no doubt the time will fly by. ;-)

  7. Great advice. Congratulations on your contract.

    I do the nano too every year and it's a wild ride.


  8. Thank you, Janice. Enjoy the NaNo 2012 ride!

  9. Congrats on your contract! Great interview!

  10. Congratulations! That's very exciting! :)

  11. Congrats Kyra! I sold my pitch project to Piper too. :) This is my first full length sale, but second book published.

    1. Hi Calisa! Thank you. And congrats-on both! I'm sure I'll be seeing you around the Lyrical sites!

  12. Congratulations!! That's great news.