May 25, 2022

RomanticConn-ing with Kitty Berry

RomanticConn-ing with Kitty Berry
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Contemporary romance author Kitty Berry manages to release three to four books a year even with a full time job, a family, and running RomanticConn, Connecticut’s premiere romance author signing event. Hear how 50 Shades turned her on (heh) to romance, how she leans towards writing dom/sub stories,  and how she manages to get so damn much done in a day. Plus, I read a steamy excerpt from Blossom Springs: Book 2.

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Elle 0:00
kiddie berry grew up an only child who never wished for a sibling in a small town in Connecticut. After graduating, graduating high I can talk today. After graduating with a degree in education, she began teaching in the field and raised a family. Her literary influences happened later in life when she stumbled upon contemporary romance. Being a creative person by nature, who came into writing during a time in her life when the busy balance of career and family made her craving escape, Kitty took that desire and turned it into a second career. In 2013, she published her first novel from the stone series sliding since then she's written 10 other novels in that series, including a holiday edition released in late 2018, and 2019, Barry released a trilogy titled The Anatomy of love along with the carryover novel vines of ivy, she released the compatible companions trilogy The following year, 2021 saw the conclusion of her falls village collection, which is an anthology hybrid she created, Kitty went on to release a duet blossom springs and is currently working on a standalone rom com titled burden of proof, which will be available in October of 2022. But that's not all. Kitty founded romantic con, a romance author signing event held annually in Connecticut in 2019. That she attends, along with others on the East Coast. Welcome kitty to steam scenes, I can't even believe you're still standing.

Kitty 1:25
Thank you.

Elle 1:26
That is a hell of a bio.

Kitty 1:31
Yeah, there's a lot in there.

Elle 1:33
You, you've done a lot.

Kitty 1:36
I wrote a lot fast. And then I did kind of taper off a little bit. I don't get as much content done now that I run romantic con. Out in a year as I did before. Before that.

Elle 1:54
How many? How many a year? Could you push out before romantic con.

Kitty 1:58
I think when I first started those first couple of books, like the first five or so maybe came out quickly. And I think I was averaging about five in a year. Now I'm at like three or four.

Elle 2:10
Jesus, I don't run. I have you know, I have a day job. I don't run a romance. I don't run any sort of convention or event. Yeah, I'm lucky if I can get two out. I am like bowing to you. That's amazing. Like, yeah, do you do you do like, I know, some writers are so different. Some writers just like bang out a book and like a month. And that's all they do. And then other writers like me like I do, I'm I'm the consistent one that does 1000 words a day. So I'm kind of curious where you fall there. I'm all

Kitty 2:41
over the place. It depends. So I was finishing blossom springs Book Two, and then burden of proof as part of an anthology for an event that I'm going to be attending. And it comes with a partner, author who's writing so I'm writing about the lawyer. And she's writing about the person who ends up being the criminal and needs the lawyer. And so she was finishing a book, I was finishing blossom springs, and then we are coordinating this burden of proof, hers is gonna be called rogue and mines burden of proof that we're coordinating lots of scenes and things together. And so then we kind of started working on that. So I kind of like hit the ground running with burden of proof. And I think I already have like, 25,000 words for it.

Elle 3:31
Amazing. Okay, I'm curious. Is this your first time kind of I mean, it's, it's not really co writing, but it's seems like it kind of is.

Kitty 3:41
So yeah, it's sort of is but no, my first time doing that was false village. So the false village collection originally was going to be part of romantic con 2020, but then COVID, so to me, never happened. And so to be part of that falls village collection, you need it to be assigning author, or you're supposed to have been at that event. And you know, some people that are authors in that collection ended up not being able to attend the 21 event because of the date being, you know, postponed. But we worked very closely together, myself and the other author. So out of those 14 books, I think five are mine. And then the rest are authors. So we all wrote in the same small town we wrote about the same characters that we all did have to kind of co author them together in a mix to an extent. So if I was writing a scene with a character that was from Book Two, which is Puppy Love, which is MJ Santangelo her and I would coordinate that scene, I would send her stuff she would, you know, maybe rewrite in her character's voice, what should happen, things like that.

Elle 5:00
This is wild. I have a full time job. You have a family. I'm sorry. I'm like bowing down to you.

Kitty 5:08
I like to be busy. No kidding.

Elle 5:12
I want to jump back to the beginning of your bio. It says she stumbled upon contemporary romance later in life. Right? How did you stumble? What happened?

Kitty 5:22
I didn't like to read ever as a child. I, I didn't love school and I work in education. So

Elle 5:29
yeah, that's kind of wild.

Kitty 5:30
Yeah, well, it wasn't that I didn't like school, per se, it was that I didn't like being the one that wasn't in control. So when you're the teacher, or you know, whatever, you're not the student any longer you're the one in control. So that's why I kind of like it now. That's why I didn't like it as a child. But I yeah, I didn't love to read. My mom did my mom was an avid reader, she would read anything, everything. She was a an extremely fast reader, she would, you know, bang out a book in a day, she was one of you know, and you hear people that are like, Oh, they're TBR list is, you know, full and they're good reads Reading Challenge. They're going to read, you know, 500 books in a year. And you're like, Okay, that would have been her, she could have totally pulled that off. So I really did not read through school, through high school, through college, for fun for enjoyment, because I was reading, you know, to get a degree and get a job and all that. And so I really didn't start until I was like, you know, 2122 When I was coming out of school, friends, and I started reading like all that Chiclet stuff that I still do like, Kristin Hannah. That's when I found a Anita Shreve, who happens to be one of my all time favorites. And yeah, and I just kind of like got into it at that point, not what I was, by, like, 2013. So there was like a little shift. So I was really kind of doing some rom coms and some of the, you know, the chiclet, things like that. Having kids raising a family doing all that stuff. And then as everybody was getting a little bit older, and TV shows were, I was watching a lot of TV, but they were starting to either the shows I watched either ending, or they were getting a little ridiculous, like the plot lines were like, really, this doesn't happen even in fantasy, right? And I was like, I'm done. I just want to do this anymore. I can't pick up another show. I'm not interested in this. I didn't want to watch all that reality TV that was really coming out. All of that was happening at the same time. And I know it's such a cliche, and everyone says it or whatever, but it's the truth. All of that was happening in my world at the same time that 50 Shades of Grey came out, okay. And I just ate up 50 Shades of Grey, in like three installments, like each book was like a setting. And that was that. And so that really kind of ramped up my reading and ramped up my reading in that romance genre. So then just the chiclet. And then my husband started making just like a comment here and there like you read all the time. Why don't you write something? You know, I mean, for someone who reads as much as you think you'd write a book, right? And it took a couple of times of him saying that for me to be like, Well, I have an idea. Like I've had this idea for a long time. And that was sliding in so I did it. Yeah. Oh, wow. Look back. That's really wild. Yeah, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Elle 8:49
So okay, for 50 shades. And I'm admitting right here. I never read it. Okay, I've never read it. So I'm curious what what did you love about

Kitty 9:02
it was the love story? Really? Yeah. Yeah, I it just Christian and Anna together and just that story, strong connection, that level of like, I'm going to control you but not in that bad way. Like not in that sort of negative way. I know that you know, there's a lot of controversy sort of with that. And you can look at it both ways, but he was really doing it from a good place in his heart and in his mind. It was a little misguided at times, but I think for the most part it was done with his heart in the right place and it was just that powerful love. Okay. Sylvia days series as well. fair to you, I think is the first one in that series that had a lot of that feel to it. Shayla Black has a lot of that as well.

Elle 10:13
So based on the books that you were reading, my assumption is and correct me if I'm wrong when you wrote your first book, did you just like go straight for like, like you were like, okay, steamy all the way or did you close the door? Did you do a fade to black? Like, what was the what did you do for your first

Kitty 10:29
book? I was steamy sliding has changed quite a bit over the course of the oh, gosh, almost 10 years. Wow, that's crazy. I guess it's been like nine. It has changed over the course of the time. That was a bit of a challenge. Because the way the story originally was told, and it still has elements of this, but it was told as the characters Tate and Brooke, when they meet when they're young. And so that's a balance, like what do you do when you have these characters that have met at 14? You know, living that world, with teenagers living that world as a teenager, I think I kind of have an idea of what you know, goes on. Not everyone wants to admit that those things are going on their teenagers lives or whatever. And then in the industry, should you really be talking about or showing those scenes under with kids under 18. And working in the field of education kind of made me a little uncomfortable doing that? And so ultimately, that part of their relationship is definitely that, you know, fade to black or not explicit,

Elle 12:00
right? I mean, what because, you know, I don't know Is it sweet though? Cuz I know what sweet romance it's like the the chest kiss at the end, right? But I don't it sounds like that, wasn't it? You know,

Kitty 12:12
because then there was the other end of them where they were in their 40s. Seeing what was going on. Yeah, and then I very quickly though, which is funny, because the next one I wrote The next book I wrote, which is stone is my version of Christian Grey. So my Damian stone is the guy that ties all of my characters together, I write like a soap opera. So everybody is related to somebody and there's all carryover characters. Not like every single character I have shows up in every single book or whatever, but you get a glimpse into the future from some you know what might be happening with some of them in one book, or then when you're in another book, you may get to see where some of these other characters that you read about in past books have have landed? I love those Easter

Elle 13:04
eggs. Yeah, no, I love that. I love finding those in books. I think that they're so fun when authors do that.

Kitty 13:11
Yeah, yeah. So mine, definitely if you like that carryover and you don't want to feel like a character is just, you know, evaporated into thin air. My books are the way to go. Because they'll definitely give you a recap on everybody that I've written about.

Elle 13:27
So are you writing basically in the same town or does it just geography wise, or is it like close by York? New York?

Kitty 13:35
Okay, New York, New York. I do do Connecticut. Okay. There is a couple of things that are done in Florida and then falls village we just I picked a fictional town in Maine to do the Falls village collection.

Elle 13:50
Oh fun. So like with Florida and Maine you can kind of it's like vacation land, right? So

Kitty 13:54
yeah. Springs I do a lot of talking about. Like her lob, pepper. Galloway's. The character I talked about her log cabin I talked about she lives in the mountains. I never give where that is though. Okay. But there is a lot of description.

Elle 14:14
Cool. Very, very cool. Oh, I love that. I love the crossover. That's just I'm like kind of obsessed with that a little bit. So So okay, so your first book, you're you're going straight for the steam? Yep. What was that like to write up the your very first steamy scene? Was it easy for you?

Kitty 14:34
I don't even remember to be honest with you. I do like to write the steamy scenes though. I have to say. They do come quite easy for me. Jealous. But there are only so many ways to do certain things. When you have written I think I want to say burden of proof might be booked 26 I think I'm currently writing my 26 book, that's wild. Um, you know, it's hard to almost not plagiarize yourself, you know, because I'll be writing a scene. And then in my head, I'm kinda like, you know what, someone's already done this in the hot tub, or someone has done this, you know, in whatever environment like, so I try to, I do try to change things up like that with the scenes based on say, like, the environment or whatever, because the act itself only have so many ways of going from start to finish. So it may be the environment that I change to make things be a little bit unique or different.

Elle 15:47
Right, right. Okay, so the one thing I did find also fascinating is you have a huge age range going on here. I mean, like, like Matt, like, and I actually didn't realize how big because I didn't realize that the stone series, you're writing about, you know, kids having a relationship when they're 14, and then again in their 40s. That is absolutely extraordinary to me. And how are you able to? I mean, that very different voices at 14 versus somebody at 40. Right?

Kitty 16:22
Yeah, I I have a good memory. I have a good memory. And I remember what it was like to be those ages, I guess? I don't know. Right. But my my work definitely does span those ages. Tate and Brooke really do start out young like that they do they meet at at a dance of beginning of high school. And pepper Callaway, who does blossom springs in current time, that does alternate in chapters of past and present, but in current time, is you know, mid to late 40s. Her and her significant other. Wow. So yeah, I do some college age, sometimes those are the kids of like the older characters. But I don't want to just read, you know, as a person who I'm 49 I don't, my kids are in college and in a little bit older, I don't want to just read about college love, you know, that eight, and I mean, the college love stuff is is great. And I enjoy reading those as well. But I do like that seasoned romance too. So I try to do a little bit of everything. And that's really the stone series more than the rest of my work. But this stone series really does hit a lot of those side tropes for the reader to try to, you know, get them interested in my work and give everybody a little taste of something that they would enjoy. I tried to do that early on,

Elle 18:03
right. Oh, that's, that's really cool. I mean, I kind of love I'm really here for the season romance, probably because I'm well seasoned myself, right. But I do feel like in romance for a very long time. You know, and I think particularly with the explosion of new adults, you we never really saw, you know, older women and and if you want to blame New Adult even I think that it's just an industry issue. And we see it's an entertainment wide industry issue, frankly, that kind of erases women over the age of 40. Right? We're not supposed to be factual anymore, right? And it's like, well, it's not true.

Kitty 18:41
Right, right. Well, and I just thought it was great. So when posted on social media, with Betty White's passing, everybody's posting stuff about Golden Girls, which I loved. And they had a picture of the Golden Girls from when the show had started, I guess. And they were supposedly younger in those episodes, than what the new Sex in the City characters are supposed to be. And there's a picture of Golden Girls from when that first aired to the new Sex in the City that just aired and how different our perception is of what women in their 50s look like. Now,

Elle 19:21
that is truly wild. I actually did not realize that. Yeah.

Kitty 19:25
Wow. And it's crazy. If you see that picture because the Golden Girls look old in that picture that they were supposed to be, like 53 to 55 or some whatever it was, except that you know, you still get a character Sophia was supposed to be older, but the other three were supposed to be in their, you know, early to mid 50s

Elle 19:47
I had no idea. I thought they were all in their 60s. Exactly. See, right. That you know and moving into the 70s that's how they that was how you portrayed 50

Kitty 19:56
back Right. Right. Wow, completely different now. No,

Elle 20:00
and only only room room McClanahan was getting getting some right. The only one so speaking of tropes, you write in a ton of different ones. Yes, do you have a favorite.

Kitty 20:14
Um, I'm loving this rom com that I'm doing right now i This is the first, I've tried to make things be light, and it a little humorous in compatible companions, I sometimes struggle with falling back into the sexiness of it and losing the rom com feel. So I'm doing my best right now I really want burden of proof that will be in an anthology for an event, but then it will be a full length when I release it. And I want that to really have that rom com feel. And I'm loving that whole rom com thing. So that's literally all I'm reading right now is rom coms.

Elle 21:01
Oh, that's so cool. So when you say that, you feel like the sexiness is kind of overshadowing the rom com, can you talk about that a little bit more what's going on,

Kitty 21:09
I fall into I have to watch myself because I tend to fall too much into the whole submission of domination. Oh, okay. And I don't want all of my characters to always be not that they can't be sexually dominant. But I don't always want them to have that like DOM tag on them. Oh, Damien stone, who's like my main character is a BDSM. Dom And he runs, you know, some resorts and some training facilities. And it's very based in that. And he ties everyone together. So it's a very easy way to make these characters know each other and have something in common. But I'm really just just having this character, be sexually dominant as an alpha male who's a lawyer, but not have that BDSM background. And I'm really trying to keep the female character quirky and light and funny. So Well, I

Elle 22:12
was gonna ask that, like, what is bringing in the sort of lighter moments in the books and it sounds like it's going to be the female character doing like being quirky and doing so? Yeah.

Kitty 22:21
In his mother's crazy and his mother is intervening where she shouldn't be.

Elle 22:26
Gotcha. So there's a lot of foils, it sounds like, right. Oh, very cool. Very, very cool.

Kitty 22:33
Yeah, we'll see.

Elle 22:36
So I want to talk about romantic con. Yeah. Why did you decide to start? I mean, like with everything you're doing, why, why this? What are you doing? Why,

Kitty 22:46
every day? The first question on the top of my mind every day. So I started attending an event. I have another author in the romance genre, LM Carr, who her and I are very good friends. We've gotten to be you know, personal friends outside of book world. But she was attending events she would it was even traveling to events. And I started going to a couple with her and you know, New York ones, assisting her. And I love that face to face with the readers and the camaraderie with all the other authors and like that connection that you can make. So from the first event that I attended, which was authors in this city, in New York, I went to see Shayla black. She's my ultimate favorite. And I was just there as a reader. And I the best feeling ever, like in all of the years, it's topped everything. Someone who runs a blog, saw me just walking around, and came up to me and said, Oh, my God, are you kidding? Barry? Oh, my God. Oh, my God. She was like, Would you sign? My whatever I'm like, I'm not one of the signing authors, like, you know, and she was like, Oh, I don't care. Like, that's so cool. Like, I can't believe you're here. And I was like, Okay. And so, it was just so crazy to me, that I was recognized when I wasn't even like at a table like with my band or like, or, you know, on the list where he you know, that's gotta be kitty Berry, you know? So, from that first experience at that event, I was hooked on events. And then like I said, I started assisting LM car, and then I started putting in for tables. And it's really that connection with that reader. That just does it for me that I really do like,

Elle 24:58
right, right. So what was the when was what year? Was it that you went to authors in the city?

Kitty 25:05
That was probably 1717 or 18? Oh, so actually wasn't that long ago? It wasn't that long ago. No, it was their last one. I think it might have been 17. Oh, wow. And yeah, and then I did a couple other ones not long after that with with LM car. And then oh my gosh, I don't even remember what the first event was. How funny is that, that I attended as a signing author.

Elle 25:35
I would love to sort of maybe talk about what the event is, too, because I know like these author events can be very different from like, RW A, that has a lot of industry stuff. We don't, we don't really talk about them here.

turnable there. But yeah, so you know, but they're like industry events, but they're also author events versus a pure pure reader event.

Kitty 25:59
Yeah, I, I toyed with that for this year. But hearing feedback from the authors, at least for 22, it is staying at that as that reader as that reader event, I really did want to do some author, like professional development stuff in the morning leading up to the event. But I know I know, as an author, it is hard you arrive at an event in your mindset is to get your table set up, display stuff ready, all your swag out, know what your spiel is about all your books, you know, make sure that you're ready to go and then really present yourself to those readers. So a lot of them really did not want that focus taken away, to then sit in, you know, seminars and things in the morning, to then have to go back to, you know, Author mode of now, here's all my stuff presented at my table.

Elle 27:06
That's actually a really good point, because it does take a minute to sort of like move the mindset. Yeah, from like, you know, being in a in a workshop or something, right, and having like, your creative brain on and then have to like transition to that sort of more, I don't know, marketing brain or more social brain to because like, why aren't we all kind of interim?

Kitty 27:26
Right, right? I'm not at all like, Yeah, I'm so not I don't fit that bill at all. But but so in our, you know, the authors have their private Facebook group. And within that every month, there's going to be some professional development happening from various different industry disciplines and some, some people Oh, that's really cool. Really great one in April that I'm sitting on that I'm not telling anybody about yet.

Elle 28:00
I'm in that private Facebook group. So I'm gonna get that I'm really excited about.

Kitty 28:07
It's a big name up there. I'm also hoping might be signing at the event, but we'll see. Very cool, very cool. Yeah. So the event is really just like you said, it is really just for readers, I'm only doing tickets go on sale, two days on Saturday on the 16th. I am only doing general admission tickets for $25. It will be open from 12 to for anyone that purchases a ticket while supplies last would get a goodie bag as they come in. And door prizes were really big last year. So we're going to be doing some door prizes again, in 22, and it really will just be a day for the readers to be able to go around and meet all the authors, there's going to be three or four different spaces that up with different authors and vendors. And we just keep growing and growing and growing. So it's it's a great problem to have.

Elle 29:09
How many authors do you have this year? It's a massive list.

Kitty 29:13
It's a massive list and it keeps growing. I think my final count that I saw earlier today might be 82 right now. But there's still a lot more that are still sitting on contracts and invoices or family vacations or trying to figure things out. That keep reaching out. So we'll see how that ends up. I don't want to be that event that only has New York Times bestselling authors. I don't want to be that event that only has brand new indie authors with one book out I like to have a variety of all of that and variety of all different sub genres. So I don't necessarily except everybody right out the gate, even though I have tables, because I need to make sure that I have that variety of evolve that there. So that's signed off, and I didn't give them the table, it doesn't mean there's not a table, I just maybe don't want another contemporary romance author, I might be waiting for that romance author that writes, you know, mm romance or something. So,

Elle 30:27
right, that's actually really cool that because, you know, no matter what flavor you love, right, as a romance reader, you're probably going to find it. You know, instead of like, all historical, or all contemporary, or all just, you know, kind of traditional, you know, male, male, female, you're gonna have male male, you're gonna have Minaj, you got like, I think that that's really great. And it also lets readers explore different, different genres that they might not have. Maybe I don't know, I just felt like, oh, I don't know if I want to read that. But then to meet the author, I think it does sort of like, you know, they can talk to the author and say, Well, tell me about the book. And maybe they'll, you know, try something that they've never tried before, which is super cool.

Kitty 31:09
Right? Yeah. Yeah.

Elle 31:12
What's your favorite part of the day,

Kitty 31:15
my favorite part of the day is, meeting those readers is having them on my table and talking with them. I tend to, I'm very outgoing. So I tend to be able to just talk with them. I'm not like that author, that's, you know, in the morning, like thinking, Okay, I need to know the synopsis for all of these books, and what am I going to say, when they ask this question? Or how am I going to explain that book to be able to sell that book, I have, none of that even enters into my head, right. I'm really just like, let me just get all this stuff on my table. So it looks nice and pleasing to the eye. And like, there's all little levels, I want everything, you know, match the match, and all this other, whatever. That's all I'm thinking about. And then as they come over just chit chatting and talking with them. I play some games and you know, things like that just for comfort level for for the readers, and to draw them in, but I just really do it by the seat of my pants.

Elle 32:21
You're not the only one, I have no idea. When I go to these things I've like I've just I'm always like, I don't know, like, I've got to work on my on my table skills? For sure.

Kitty 32:31
Yeah, well, we're gonna do some of that in the, in the private group in the event in the coming months, because we do, I had some feedback from last year. And then I saw some things and going to other events, I tend to watch and see what goes on. And you know, sometimes authors are sitting down at their table, or they're on their phone, or they have an assistant that they're talking to, and then it kind of really doesn't work well for the reader to come over to you, you know,

Elle 33:05
right. So, so, because we Okay, so, to you. I'm curious. Because this is a steamy scene, I want to ask you before we jump into your steamy scene, what makes a sex scene good to you.

Kitty 33:27
A lot of description. What things that make you use all of your senses, sort of, you know, I want to be able to when I'm reading one, I want to be able to feel where I am in that environment. Whether that's visually whether that's a smell, if you know what's happening in a bakery, you know, something like that. To then that whole experience, and then that dialogue during it.

Elle 34:02
Okay, cool. So when you're writing these because knowing that this is what you love to read, this is what you're going to write I'm assuming when you're writing these do you do what's the process there? Are you layering the senses in Are you just able to just get it all out like that sort of like one go

Kitty 34:24
most of it in that one girl but I go back numerous times and add and take out and switch things around. But for the most part, it all does end up in there. Okay, because I know sounds funny because the scene that you're gonna read really is one of those ones that I don't think there's a whole ton that's like new or like, you know, wow, they did it that way. But what I did was I use the kitchen counter I had around the counter Right. And I had the cabinet above her with back with his arm stretched on that cabinet. Right. So like in my head, if that was the scene, I was reading someone else's book. That is what I would remember from that scene that you're going to read. Right? Let's see that in my mind. Yeah, of what that looks like.

Elle 35:23
That's cool. That's really cool. Because I know some authors. Like, they'll just get the choreography down, right? Because that, to me, is always the Okay, here's how many hands do we have here? Or are there one too many? Right? And then sort of like, go go back and rework, right? And sort of see, okay, now, how can we, you know, how can we how can I bring this alive a little bit more so that it's not just the choreography?

Kitty 35:50
Well, and then I have people that you know, read it before it hits, you know, the market. And hopefully, in the amount of eyes that it goes, you know, it passes, someone will see if there were five hands instead of there are things that get through and there are things that I find as a reader in some really, really, really high end quality, good author's work, that they've got some top people from the industry, working on their material, and these things get through. So then I feel like you know, if it's happened to them, it's going to happen all of

Elle 36:27
us. Yeah. Yeah, it happens. It just happened. We, we try really hard not to make it happen. But it just happens. Yeah, yeah. It just is. I mean, yeah, because we've got what you know, I mean, how long are your books? By the way? Generally,

Kitty 36:42
my books are long. I do write long about 120.

Elle 36:46
That's a lot. Yeah. So it's like 120 It's a lot of words.

Kitty 36:49
Yeah. You know, just a second book in the stone series is like a Bible. It is ginormous. I don't even know how many words it is. But it's very, very big. That one, that one's huge. I have some other ones that are a little bit smaller. That I've done along the way. Blossom springs book one is a little bit longer than Book Two, not by too too much. I want to say book two might be in like the 85 to 90 ish or so Mark. And burden of proof is definitely going to be you know, up there at the about 120 Mark would be my guess.

Elle 37:28
I mean, that's really extraordinary that you can you know, get you know that you've before you started working on romantic con, you were able to put out five books a year at like, you know, huge breakouts. That's really

Kitty 37:40
Yeah. Amazing.

Elle 37:44
Yeah, I'm like, okay, so how much coffee do you drink during?

Kitty 37:47
It's not even the coffee. I'm just I don't I don't know. I just I don't sleep well. And I I can't write at night anymore. I did when I first started. I really don't anymore. I write better in the morning.

Elle 37:57
Yeah, I do, too. I do. I yeah, my first books were all written at night. So we're mine. And now and now I'm like, the total opposite. It's like that. I have to do it. First thing and I'm like, and now I feel like I have to do it. First thing when I'm fresh, or else the words just don't come as quickly and they're just not as good. Right? Yep. You know, so. So yeah, I'm definitely a morning writer, as well. So I want to dig into your intimate scene. So we are reading from blossom springs book too. And so set this up for me. Where are we what's where are we in the story?

Kitty 38:32
So pepper Calloway is a romance author. And she has a daughter Campbell. When Pepper was in college, she was dating a guy named Charlie Tanner for some reasons that I won't you know, go into readers enough to find out that's in book one. They did not end up together and they went their separate ways. And pepper married a guy named Nick Callaway so pepper and Nick have a daughter named Campbell so there's some things that go on in book one. But long story short about all that is Campbell is in college and she meets a hockey player named back Tanner. Back is Charlie son. So peppers daughter is dating her college boyfriends. Sup

Elle 39:36
interesting so, so got a few got a few trophy things going on here. I think.

Kitty 39:42
Yeah. Yeah, that's really cool. Yeah,

Elle 39:45
it does this quick count as a sports romance to as a hockey player. There's

Kitty 39:50
a little bit of the hockey stuff in here but not not a lot.

Elle 39:53
Okay. Okay. Got up. Cool. So where are we in this scene?

Kitty 39:59
So they are In London, she is a college student and she went to study abroad for interior design for a semester. And there were some other factors that brought her to London. And they, Campbell and Baek did not separate on the best of terms. And when she found out some other factors that were existing in London, she called her mother hysterical. And because her mother is now reunited with Charlie, who is Beck's father, back tagged along on the trip, and some things came to a head in the living room and the adults are left and left back in Campbell's apartment with

Elle 40:54
her. Okay, so this is kind of there's a little bit of like a step, sibling thing happening. Did they? Did they meet separate from the parents? Or did they Okay, so they didn't like know each other as their parents? No. You know, because, you know, I'm guessing the parents are together. Now.

Kitty 41:14
Not till the end of Book Two technically. As far as being married or anything like that, yeah.

Elle 41:20
Okay. Okay. So so, so this is kind of interesting, because you're kind of like really playing with, with a bunch of tropes here, which I think is super cool. Yeah. All right. I'm gonna start reading Okay. Lay back back orders. As he releases the seal of his kiss from her lips. Campbell is a tiny girl so she's able to scoot harass back enough to lie comfortably across the counter while back stands on the side, watching his her torso goes flat and he places one hand on the cabinet above. Take your top off he demands raising his other hand to the cabinet to hover his large body over her slowly. Then the bra. I want to see your breasts, your hard nipples. Campbell doesn't question him or put up a fight. She holds her body up just enough to slide the shirt off over her head as slowly as she can force herself. Then her fingers shake with the same effort when she tries to erase tries to ease the clasp of her bra free. Back watches with wide eyes growing glassy was less than restraint. It's been a long time. And he'd rather rip her clothes off and plunge into her find the release, then have a slow round, but he must hold back. So he watches looming over her licking his lips. Oh,

Unknown Speaker 42:34
god. Okay, so there's the cabinet.

Elle 42:42
I was really great. When I was reading through this scene, I was sort of going there's some dom play going on here. But without it being like a BDSM romance. So I was like, I was like, okay, you know, so Is he is he like that sort of alpha Hero Guy going on? Or is he just is he just dumb in bed.

Kitty 43:00
There's some alpha stuff going on. But there's a little history of so him and he his dad was a single dad, and him and and Charlie are close. And they share a lot of information. And Charlie wasn't always in college attuned to the ladies as much as he should have been. And so he always tried to kind of teach back to be better. And Campbell, that was not by far her first, but she never really had that much enjoyment with the guys she had been with and mentioned it to him. And he decided that he was on a one man brigade to make sure that sex was going to be enjoyable for her. We love ourselves. So there is a little bit of some referencing to some of the BDSM stuff and some of the past characters from that. Okay, so yeah,

Elle 44:08
oh my god, this is so intriguing. Yeah. He also said, the other thing that I loved with this, and I'm actually wondering if this is because of these things that you're sort of talking about now, right? I felt like you were really taking your time with with this scene. I mean, you know, like in this moment, and also on the whole, like he's talking about restraint here, right, his restraint, but like, I do feel like there's a lot of restraint going on here and taking your time. And I know I frickin rush my scenes. And so I either have to force myself to slow down or fix it later. Or sometimes I'm just like, just hurry up and have sex and get on with it. Like I actually found the pacing through the whole thing to be really kind of extraordinary and really, you know, I almost want to say discipline, like I was like, Oh, that's great.

Kitty 44:59
And there's I I cut some of the stuff out from what I had sent you just like some other like, not information dumping, but stuff that wasn't needed in the scene to show the action is well, but like, I think sometimes people fall into that, that they just write the scene with just action and just the dialogue, when you don't need to do that you can give information within the scene, right? You can stop the action to give information and then you return back to it.

Elle 45:31
Right, right. And it's just I mean, but how do I think like, how do you know when the pacing is okay, right.

Kitty 45:38
I think it's just personal preference of what you like, as the reader writing it that way. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. And if you tell I have some very close author friends who write with very little detail, very little. And if you ask them about my writing, they'll tell you, it drives them crazy, because I write with too much detail.

Elle 46:02
You know, it's so funny, because, you know, I've read, you know, craft books, for example, or attended craft workshops, where authors are being told, well, the readers like to fill in that information, so don't give us a lot of detail. And, and then there are some readers though, who get really angry and they're like, I can't see this character paint this character for me, I can't see this character I need more. And so it's it's very funny because it does seem like a lot of the advice that writers are given the rules like the rulebook were handed a rulebook it's actually it's just it's so it's so subjective. It's really person. It's really down to personal preference.

Kitty 46:41
Yeah, there shouldn't be a rulebook because there's a rule or a preference to one readers the opposite for another, you're never going to make everyone happy. That's why we get good reviews. That's why we get bad reviews. That's why there's five star one star reviews. What somebody's one star review is somebody else's five star,

Elle 46:57
right, right. Like I just on my my latest book, I just got, I just got no old, it's like, like, I was just like, oh, but you know, but I was like, in a way. I was kind of like, okay, you know what, that's fine, because this one star review is going to be great for people who like this kind of, I mean, I get nailed for like, it's too much profanity. And I'm like, Oh, my God, I write contemporary steamy romance style.

Unknown Speaker 47:22
I write about rock stars, they say FOC. Right. Right.

Elle 47:27
But you know, like, it wasn't her thing. She shouldn't have picked up my book. You know, like, that's, but for somebody else, they're gonna read that review and be like, Yeah, bring it. I love the F word. Exactly. You know, so yeah, yeah, it was it was just very interesting to sort of, you know, have the all these sort of like writing rules. And it's just like, well, actually, they're more like guidelines, but they're not guidelines.

Kitty 47:52
Being indie, we could do whatever we want. There's no, I don't have anyone over my head saying rewrite this scene or it's not getting published,

Elle 48:02
right. Remind me did you go? You didn't go into you went indie right away, like you didn't

Kitty 48:08
indie right away. But then I did use an online publisher for anatomy of love for a while, and I've since pulled it off, and I'm just killing it right now.

Elle 48:17
Okay. All right, like so you always knew you would just wanted to handle it yourself.

Kitty 48:21
Question that no one will ever answer in the lifetime of an author is KU or said or not. So

Elle 48:27
again, it all depends. Yep. It all depends. Yeah, I mean, yeah, who the hell knows. I mean, for me, I'm in KU right now. It's worth it. I'm always tempted to go wide, but I think I think most romance, romance readers read so much that Kate that KU is a good deal for them. Right?

Kitty 48:48
Yeah. You know, most of them read on a Kindle. Yeah, yeah. Cuz they're

Unknown Speaker 48:51
plowing through a book a day.

Elle 48:53
It's amazing. Yeah, it was like, wow, you read fast. I can't read that fast.

Kitty 48:59
Yeah. Which is good for us.

Unknown Speaker 49:03
Keep reading. Keep reading. We're cheering you on. All right. I'm going to keep I'm going to move on.

Elle 49:11
Back knows she's as achy between her legs as he is his caucus heavy and throbbing in his hand begging, begging, begging to sink into the delectable heat of Campbell's body. He stands back for a moment to take in her curves, her dips and angles so feminine. They make him want to jerk off and come on her flesh mark her as his again. She is his has been since the day he found her last after her run, and she always will be this break up or whatever she thought it was, is bullshit. And as soon as he gets them both off a few times, he plans on telling her as much seeing her again knowing he's about to reclaim her as his back needs a minute to compose himself. So he doesn't come before he wants. After this amount of time away from her body. It isn't out of the question. She's Like his first breath, that sweet pull of oxygen into his lungs after a hard run, he can't take his eyes off her laid out for him. Again, finally, right where she should be, but his need is powerful and instinctually that knows what they need. What Campbell needs. Okay, I absolutely loved that moment. She's like, his first breath. I was like, Oh my God, that's so beautiful. And it was so and it worked. And it was like it was this was really sort of interesting. I don't write male point of view on my books, right? It just doesn't come naturally for me, so I never write it. I've tried I tried my last book. My editor was like, Oh, I don't like him and I was like, Okay, we're getting rid of him then. Usually like you do it so well there's like this different rhythm to it almost like almost like a staccato with the language that I'm really I'm really fascinated by but then you can also but then you also throw in this sort of like really beautiful sweet moment, but it still goes with the person that has been sort of in the in my head as I've been reading. It still goes with him if that makes sense.

Kitty 51:09
Yeah, I live with Amen. Oh, is

Elle 51:11
that what it is?

Kitty 51:13
I've all boys, you have all boys. not kids anymore. But yeah,

Elle 51:19
okay, that probably helps because I am just like, Nope, can't do I mean, I think I do it and then I'm just like, and she's like, he's so cute

Okay, she's dropping down a little bit lower. Lowering to her core again, Beck's parts her slick folds with his thumbs and forces himself to wait to devour her. Her arousal fills the air making him blind with loss. It isn't making this any easier. But back perseveres, he waits perched with his lips only a hair away from her core. And then he blows a puff of cool breath up her slit, from her tight pucker that he's yet to explore. To her to her clip that throbs when it feels his breath, please back, please. I need Campbell's lies. They're spread out on her counter her dark hair around her head like like the halo on a dark angel. Her piercing blue eyes slicing open his soul imploring him to make her feel good. Her skin is flushed, she's beautiful, she takes his breath away. He covers her pussy with his lips and kisses her there within with open mouth, caresses. Her flavor ignites a burning deep in his veins, and back savers the moment he's been waiting for. So this is again, like I'm seeing the playing with the senses, the taste, even temperature. Yep. How cool is that? Like, it's just like, like this temperature thing in here too. And again, like the patients with the writing as well, I'm just sort of like blown away by that. Like, there's just so much patience going on here. How long is the scene? Like, because this is this is pretty long.

Kitty 53:03
So yeah. And like I said, there's I took out a couple 1000 words to be able to shorten it up.

Elle 53:12
Wow. Because this is like what I mean, because this is like, this is probably a good five or 6000 word SEC San?

Kitty 53:20
Probably yeah. And within that, like I would say, you know, the actions alone. If I just took off everything out and just put into the actions in the dialogue of the act, it would, you know, I'm sure it would be down to two or three, but then you would lose everything else. All the senses, all the environment, all the everything.

Elle 53:38
Yeah, yeah. But even then, you know, that 3000 words, because I think this is about 3000 that you gave me even then that 3000 words like it does feel like a whole definitely feels like a whole scene, you know, like, I don't think that you're necessarily losing anything. So I don't know, I'm just like, really kind of like, like, bow down. This is really extraordinary. You know, and I like your patience with it. You know, like I said, I'm like, I want to get to the orgasm, and you're just like, Nope, we're just gonna go really. And I you know, and I think that that is also like that builds because that's building that intimacy between them as you're building the scene, which is super, super cool. Yeah. All right, one last little bit. I know sometimes this is agony to hear somebody reading your work. So

Kitty 54:29
I've got some I've some of them in turn into audiobooks. So I've been doing a lot of that lately, actually.

Elle 54:34
Yeah, I'm like, I can't I have such a hard time. Like I just did one audiobook and I'm working on my second and I just have such a hard time with like listening to my work. I'm like, I don't want to hear my books. You know, so I know it's hard. So I appreciate everybody that comes on and does listen has to listen, I did a podcast ages ago for one of my urban fantasies, though, and she made me read my book. She made me read it. She made me read it and I was like no, I I was like, I will never do that to an author. I think that's cool.

Kitty 55:03
I've done it. I've actually read in person at an event,

Elle 55:06
are you? I can't I'm like, Oh, I don't know how we feel about that. How was that?

Kitty 55:11
Well, it was a group of us. And they told us like, they wanted us to pick a spicy scene, and then I was going last. And as everyone else is reading before me, I'm like, What the hell like that was what they were considering spicy. Because they may be said like the F word or something was happening here. And so that I was like, Well, I got two choices. Like I either just scrap what I planned, and just figure something else out real quick. Or I'm gonna have go ahead and read this. Please tell me your route. I went and read it. And it was from compatible companions from book one. It was about Elliott. Montgomery, and his significant others name is Adams. And they were in a public bathroom and in New York City apartment in New York City. Hotel. Oh, my God. Yeah. And I read it. And it was from chapter 13. And it became a hashtag around in the book community for a while.

Elle 56:11
That is so awesome. Was everybody cheering at that point? Because I think they the expectation was one thing and they didn't get it until right until you got up to the podium. Right, right.

Kitty 56:23
Well, yeah. And then as a waiter was coming in and out of the area that was you know, young that was like, I'm so sorry. Please tell your mother in Parliament.

Elle 56:30
Oh yeah, there's that too. But yeah, okay. Well, I asked for spicy.

Kitty 56:43
That's what they got for me. Don't ask but you know.

Elle 56:48
Alright. Last little bit. Yeah. His teeth scraped over the exposed flesh of the meaty part of her neck where it meets her slender shoulder and silences her. He thrusts again grinding against her clip, and back arches once more. You're about to make me come inside you. Are we safe? Yes, I stayed on the pill. Yeah, I should add they are now doing the deed. backgrounds because the thought of her doing that in case she planned to have unprotected sex with another guy makes him insane with jealousy. From what she shared with him. He knows she's been with other guys. He doesn't love that. But they were all in her past. He's her present, and he wants to be her future. Oh, my God. Campbell bites at the at her bottom lip. When she sees the emotion in its face back. I haven't been with anyone else good. He says I can't stand thinking about you with another guy that finds the pace. He knows they both prefer and reminds himself of the lessons he learned. He prides himself for being her best lover, and he'll be damned if that title isn't backed up with his actions right now. He takes a deep breath to calm his raging caulk sliding through her tightness, threatening to make him lose all control and focuses on what he knows she needs. But when he looks down at their connected bodies, and pulls out enough to see the glistening of her arousal on his shaft, leaving the tip inside. He's not sure he can last even for another thrust, he growls deeper as he sinks his cock into her and flings his hair out of his face with a flick of his neck. Fuck Oh, my God, he's so cocky. I love it. I love it. It's really kind of cool, because I don't know this book. I haven't read it. And yet I'm getting so much of his personality just through this scene. And, and so much even and so much of their relationship to or like, you know, obviously not the whole picture of it. But this idea that he wants to be this. He wants to be this lover to her. He wants to give her pleasure. It's about her pleasure. And she has never had that before and that is what's important to him. And that's what sort of driving him through the scene. And so you can see that sort of intimate connection between the two of them through it.

Kitty 59:03
That's what I wanted.

Unknown Speaker 59:06
Congratulations. Well done. This was great.

Elle 59:14
Thank you so much for sharing this with me.

Kitty 59:17
Well, thank you for asking me to join you and I'm looking forward to having you at romantic con.

Elle 59:24
I'm excited. So Alright, so we've got romantic con coming up that is in July. Next month's What else do we have? What do you have coming up too? Do you have any books coming out?

Kitty 59:34
Um, so I'm I have other events. I'm going to be actually in New Jersey. In April for a day of wine romance and more the person who runs that as Roz Lee she actually signs that romantic con so I'll be at that in April. When we get to cons July I'm also going to be signing it sexy and sassy. In Virginia, Norfolk, that's in July as well. So I have a busy month of July for sure. Yeah. And then there's some in the fall. And then, right now the plan is that burden of proof will come out at the event in October, which is tempting and tantalizing, which is held in Staten Island. So that will come out as part of the new anthology at that event, and then it will come out as a standalone, full length. Wow. And then my next thing when I finished that, because that won't be out till October, but it's going to be finished well before that. The next thing that we're gonna be working on, if we'll see because I don't do well with small but I'm going to do some novellas that are holiday novella.

Elle 1:00:57
Oh, great. Yeah. I always forget about them until like Thanksgiving. And then I'm like, crap, my holiday novella.

Kitty 1:01:04
I have the one from the stone series, but it's not one that people can just read. They need to read the stone series. And then it just updates them on the characters almost Right, right. So I'm going to do these as you no need to read anything else of mine. You can just pick these up over the holidays. We'll see if I can pull that off for the holiday season of 22

Elle 1:01:27
I know your novellas are like 60,000 words like I have to

Kitty 1:01:30
be small because if not, I'm not pulling it you know I'm not going to pull off burden of proof for October and then pull off novellas for November

Elle 1:01:40
not well not while you're planning romantic con and you have all your stuff going on which is so cool. Are you going to be because we met at fall in love New England? Are you going to be there this year?

Kitty 1:01:49
Um, so I haven't committed yet but most likely well, I'll just see what my schedule looks like when it gets a little bit closer.

Elle 1:01:56
Okay, cool. Cool. So best place to find you on the internet. Where do you like to hang out?

Kitty 1:02:02
The best place to find me is most likely Facebook. I mean, I'm on Facebook. I'm on Instagram I've been doing much better on tick tock I try to post something once a day on tick tock Oh,

Elle 1:02:13
tell me about that. I am on tick tock but I'm not on tick tock i

Kitty 1:02:17
It's a challenge. I don't know it you just you got to find a sound that's trending you've got to have content that can go with it you need to make the video and hope for the best that's the best I can even say about that out it really I don't know Yeah,

Elle 1:02:33
I just feel like I'm not a natural fit for it like I feel like either you are you are and I'm just I don't think I am.

Kitty 1:02:39
Well and one of the things that we're going to do in the private group with the author that's pretty big. She's very big on social media and she's gonna give us some tick tock thank you yeah, I don't know but I mean I'm the most on Facebook I have my reader group is Katie berries perfectly naughty kittens. Oh, I

Elle 1:03:02
love that.

Kitty 1:03:04
So I'm the most active on Facebook for sure cool

Elle 1:03:07
and I'll have all of those links in the show notes so people can just you know don't have to scramble I need a pen or Oh shit I'm driving I will right there you can click on it later. Perfect Teddy

Unknown Speaker 1:03:18
thank you so much for doing this I

Elle 1:03:20
know you especially like before the event you know like now I can really like go and I'll be like I know kitty

Unknown Speaker 1:03:28
Should I read whatever scenes and I know I know. So much and I look forward to seeing you had a couple months.

Kitty 1:03:37
I know you as well. Have a good night.

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