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May 2018: Debut Novel Inspiration
~ Kerry Blaisdell ~

CTR asked:
QUESTION: What inspired you to write your debut novel?

Kerry Blaisdell said:
There were a lot of things going on in my life when I started this book. My father-in-law had just passed away, and I was feeling like my writing was stalled. I had been writing “seriously” (trying to get an agent) for several years, and was still getting a lot of form rejections. I was winning or placing second or third in lots of writing contests, but agents weren’t interested. (And not to reveal how long ago I first wrote this book or anything, but this was back before self-publishing was a viable mainstream option!)

In fact, in most of the contests, I did better when the final judge was an editor, not an agent. But again, at this time in publishing, it was almost impossible to get an editor to look at your whole manuscript, without an agent. I know there are exceptions, and believe me, I tried submitting directly, or following up after contest wins, or anything I reasonably could. This was also back when most of the reliable small presses (who might take unagented submissions) really only wanted romance.

At that time, I had tried writing two contemporary romantic suspenses, but they didn’t fit the “typical” romance novel guidelines. One of the biggest issues seemed to be that I had too many points-of-view (four, not the usual—at the time—two!), which I still shake my head at, because of course we can ALL name romances with multiple points-of-view. (Jennifer Crusie, anyone??)

So—agents, editors, and small presses weren’t biting, and I was feeling discouraged about trying to fit into a mold that didn’t seem to want me. My father-in-law’s death was very unexpected (See? Bet you didn’t think I’d bring it back full circle!) and I suddenly got this idea for a woman who also died unexpectedly, but had a super-compelling reason to come back to earth. I had no idea where I was going with it, but I also decided at that time to just write WHATEVER I WANTED, regardless of whether or not I thought agents, editors, or anyone else would like it.

Basically, I wrote the book of my heart. AND I wrote it in first person—another “no-no”, according to “conventional” wisdom at the time. (And yes, there are/were exceptions, but that’s what I was told: It was the exception, not the norm. I even had one contest judge who told me my POV was “confusing,” and that she “hated first person.” O_o)

Anyway! I just wrote whatever came out, driven by characters I met along the way, and I completely fell in love with the story. Then I realized it was the first book in a series!

It still took some time for the book to find a home. (I cried when I got the contract offer—a lot!) But I never gave up. Something about all the stress of the time, and all the rejections, really did make me a better writer, and the book stronger than if I’d tried to write it before then. So basically, the inspiration was a literal death, followed by my own symbolic writerly rebirth!


Debriefing the Dead by Kerry Blaisdell cover

Debriefing the Dead (The Dead Series 1)

[Paranormal Adventure Romance]

The only thing Hyacinth wants is her life back. Literally. She and her sister were murdered by Demons, leaving her young nephew, Geordi, to his father’s family in the brutal Sicilian Mob. Then Archangel Michael offers her a deal: recapture a powerful rock the Demons stole, and she can live long enough to find Geordi a safe home. Refuse, and she’ll continue up (or down) to the Afterlife.

So, slightly more alive than dead, she heads for Turkey and the Demons, taking Geordi, her mysterious neighbor Jason, and a sexy dead guy only she can see with her. But the hardest part won’t be battling Demons, meeting Satan, or dodging Middle Eastern customs—it will be later, when Geordi is settled, and Michael rips her away again. How can she abandon her nephew? Or can she outwit the Angel of Death himself, and stay with Geordi forever?

Available in Ebook:

Wild Rose Press


More Authors Dish about their debut novel inspiration.

– Read the authors of Day One:
– Read the authors of Day Two:

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