Welcome, Kathryn Freeman, author of Too Charming, a contemporary romance, published by Choc Lit Lite.
Let's get to know Kathryn! I was born in Wallingford but have spent most of my life living in a village outside Windsor. After studying pharmacy in Brighton I began working life as a retail pharmacist. I quickly realised that trying to decipher doctor’s handwriting wasn’t for me; so I left to join the pharmaceutical industry where I spent twenty happy years working in medical communications. However my life-long love of reading romance often led me to wonder if I could write about it, too. If only I had the time…
In 2010, I made a New Year's resolution to make that time, and started my first book. It was surprisingly easy to stick to because I enjoyed writing so much. In 2011, backed by my family, I left the world of pharmaceutical science to begin life as a self-employed writer, juggling the two disciplines of medical writing and romance. Some days, a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…
With two teenage boys, and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does), the romance in my life is all in my head. Then again, my husband’s unstinting support of my career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers–and heroes can come in many disguises.
Here's a blurb from Too Charming:
Does a girl ever really learn from her mistakes? Detective Sergeant Megan Taylor thinks so. She once lost her heart to a man who was too charming and she isn’t about to make the same mistake again—especially not with sexy defence lawyer, Scott Armstrong. Aside from being far too sure of himself for his own good, Scott’s major flaw is that he defends the very people that she works so hard to imprison.
When Scott wants something he goes for it. And he wants Megan. One day, she’ll see him not as a lawyer, but as a man… And that’s when she’ll fall for him.
Yet, just as Scott seems to be making inroads, a case presents itself that’s far too close to home, throwing his life into chaos.
As Megan helps him pick up the pieces, can he persuade her that he isn’t the careless charmer she thinks he is? Isn’t a man innocent until proven guilty?
What jumped out at me about Too Charming is the hero, Scott Anderson, is too great to be true and very much wants to hook up with Det. Sgt. Megan Taylor. I'd probably run for the hills too. What made you want to write about this kind of man?
I’d just written a book where the hero was gorgeous but gruff (Do Opposites Attract – out in July next year); so I was keen to write about someone very different in my next book. That’s how Scott was conceived. At first glance, he’s a ladies man, handsome and smooth. As a woman I can appreciate that type, just as I also like rough and ready or dark and brooding. All my heroes have to have one essential ingredient in common though – a sense of humour. To me, that’s what make them sexy.
I so totally agree with you about humor. A twinkle in a man's eye is the most attractive thing about him.
Did you do research on police procedure and defen(s) or (c) e attorneys?
The short answer is yes. I stopped short of getting myself arrested--I thought that was going too far for the art-–but I watched a lot of courtroom dramas and read up on the internet. Often, the most useful source of information is friends. In this case, it was a friend of a friend who worked in the police force. She was kind enough to review the manuscript and give me pointers to make it more realistic. Perhaps, unsurprisingly though, the next book I wrote was based in the pharmaceutical industry where I spent most of my working life. Sometimes, it is easier to write about what you know!
They say writing about what you know is easier. Things do change pretty fast nowadays and we have a lot of research to do. However, thank goodness for friends, and friends of friends!
You have some very memorable quotes: "What men say in the company of other men or honorary men isn't necessarily what they mean. It's just what they think other men want to hear." "And men think women are complicated?" "If you don't stick your neck out now and again and take a risk, it makes for a very dull life. One filled with might have beens."
"Life's too short to spend time being scared." "But as you grow older you realize not everything is black and white. There are thousands of shades of grey." "You don't spend all your life being careful. Sometimes you just have to live it and see where it takes you." "I know I'm a mere man, but I don't understand why you end a relationship with someone you love." "And sadly there are no guarantees in life." "She smelt as fresh as a daisy and as sexy as a siren."
Most of these stem from relationship issues. Your thoughts? And how do you know what men think so well? All mine do is say two or three words…
Firstly, thank you. I wish I could say some of these are pearls of wisdom handed down through generations, but sadly no. They spew out of my brain without much conscious thought. As for knowing what men think, I haven’t a clue. I write what I’d like my hero to be thinking. It’s entirely probable that in real life men think nothing like that, so perhaps it’s just as well my husband is a typical monosyllabic man, too. That way I’ll never know he actually spends most of his time thinking about football scores!
LOL. Football scores. I'm guessing for you, that refers to soccer.
From where did the tidbit about "Algebra in bed" come from?
Entirely from my imagination-– honest! Having boasted about his prowess between the sheets, Scott would have been mortified to then leave his woman unsatisfied. I thought this way the reader could see his sense of humour. Let’s face it, there are very few people who find algebra sexy. Thankfully for Megan, neither does Scott.
I never thought Algebra sexy, but in the scene, it was very funny. Kudos to you for having such a fun bit!
In your bio, you detailed how you transitioned from a pharmaceutical career to writing contemporary romance? How has your journey gone?
At the moment I’m still travelling. I have a foot in both camps, working as a self-employed medical writer for the industry, but juggling this with what I really enjoy--writing romance. Having worked in the pharmaceutical business for so many years it has been a huge learning curve joining the world of romance writing. I quickly discovered writing the books was only part of the battle. Before my contract with Choc Lit, I’d never been on Twitter, rarely used Facebook and thought a blog was a wet field you got your feet stuck in. But one thing I’ve been amazed by is how supportive and welcoming the book world is. I’m still learning, but this journey is proving a lot more fun than most I’ve taken.
I agree. New authors need to know that the social media has to be in place before they launch. And learning in increments makes it easier. Not to wait until the last minute. There's too much time involved.
I have to say I love the part about how hero Scott hasn't been involved with children and how he deals with it.
Thank you. I wanted the reader to see early on that Scott wasn’t as blithely confident as he appeared. Putting him in a situation where he felt totally out of his depth – like looking after Megan’s young daughter – showed us he had a soft, sweet side (though he’d cringe if he heard me say that).
Now, down to the nitty gritty of writing. What is the hardest part--drafting, editing, research, or marketing? Why?
Definitely the marketing. My background from the pharmaceutical industry is research and writing and though the subject matter is very different (!) I find the core techniques are similar. For example, a blank page has never frightened me. I’m also used to sending documents out for feedback, wincing when I receive it (what was wrong with how I had it?) and then realising actually the reviewer was right. Incorporating comments from other perspectives results in a better final product. Marketing though is something entirely new to me, and I find anything to do with self-promotion excruciatingly painful. I can’t even give a business card to a friend without dying several agonising deaths. But I’ve only been published for a few months and already I’ve had some fun on twitter and enjoyed interacting with people on Facebook. I even found preparing the answers to these questions challenging, but entirely painless; so a huge thank you for that :)
What is your newest project? Anything else you want to share?
My next book out is Do Opposites Attract which tells the story of two people from very contrasting backgrounds who come together in a rescue camp in tornado stricken South America. The heroine is rich, fun-loving, beautiful, but bored. To try and find a purpose in life, she spends a week with a medical charity where she meets Mitch McBride, the chief medical officer. Rugged, tough and at times surly, he's had a pretty hard life and the last thing he needs is to babysit the patron's spoilt daughter. I had great fun putting these two contrasting characters together and watching the sparks fly!
That book sounds like tons of fun. Good luck with it!
Let's do a speed round:
Favorite color: Easy – pink. I’m such a girl. LOL. Me, too.
Favorite drink: In the morning – tea. Any time – champagne.
I adore champagne.
Favorite movie: Notting Hill – I love Hugh Grant’s awkward bumbling character. Heroes to my mind don’t need to be brave or strong – but they must have a good sense of humour. Yes, they do!
Favorite accessory: My husband or a pink handbag. It depends on my mood. I adore handbags, too!!!
Thank you, Kathryn, for being with Coffee Time and me. I wish you much success.
Connect online with Kathryn at: Twitter | Website |
Find Too Charming at: UK | US