Thursday, November 8, 2012

Kristine Cayne: Top Ten Reasons it's grea to be a writer

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today as part of the Romance in the Rain Book Tour! I love talking about books and writing, but I rarely get asked why it’s great to be a writer. Most of the enjoyment comes despite all the hardship. Nevertheless, we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t get anything from it, right? :)

1. I’m my own boss. After working in corporate America for too long, this is a very welcome change. I like making the decisions, setting the schedules, and answering to no one but my readers and myself.

2. I get to make up stories about people I’d like to know. I have to face the truth: I live a rather staid life. I don’t know any millionaires. I’ve never flown in a private jet. I’ve never met a movie star. I’ve never faced a life-and-death situation at the end of a gun (and I hope I never do!). I don’t know any firefighters, active military, CIA agents, etc. But, that doesn’t stop me from creating these things and these people in my mind, putting them into situations and seeing how they handle it. My critique partner and I can talk for hours about how character X would react to something based on his “personality.” These characters are real to writers and, if we’ve done our job well, to the readers.

3. Now that I’m writing full-time, I get to set my own hours. Well this is partially true. I still have the demands of my family to manage. I’m not a morning person, so if it were really up to me, I’d have a much later start to my day. But, if there’s a day that I don’t much feel like working, I don’t. If some evening I get a surge of energy and the characters are screaming their stories to me, I sit down and write. It’s organic, not clock-driven.

4. My success or failure is my own. For some people, this is a huge disadvantage rather than an advantage. But I enjoy it. I want to stand on my own two feet and say: This is me, Kristine Cayne. These are my books. I hope you like them. But if you don’t, tell me why. Maybe I can learn from it. I’m molding my own career, my own path, my way. For me, it’s a dream come true.

5. I get to work with some fabulous authors. Writers as a group are extremely generous with their time and efforts. They tend to believe in the pay-if-forward philosophy. I now have a fantastic plotting group with a wonderful bunch of Seattle-based authors, my bi-weekly writing group – the Rainy Day Writers, and my beyond-compare critique partner, Dana Delamar.
Once I started self-publishing, I became part of several online communities, including the Writer’s Guide to E-publishing street team, the Indie Romance Ink group, Goodreads groups like Making Connections, a multitude of Facebook groups and pages aimed at helping authors get the word out like the What to Read After Fifty Shades of Grey, Authors on the Cheap, and the Ebook Korner Kafe pages.

6. I get to work with artists! I can’t draw a straight line, much less put together something worthy of being called art. But as a result of self-publishing, I met some extremely talented and gracious cover artists (Scarlett Rugers, Judi Fennell), ebook formatters (Lucinda Campbell), promo designers (be sure to check out Ninth Moon Designs), and photographers (Kim Killion).

7. Book bloggers are such fascinating people. They read a lot and when they find a book they truly like, they aren’t shy to shout it to the world. I can’t list them all, because there are too many, but the ones I interact with on FB and Twitter know how much I respect and admire them.
It’s been a pleasure to meet and work with all these wonderful people and I hope to continue our relationships well into the future.

8. I get to meet people who want to talk about my books! This is actually one of the coolest things about being a writer. I love meeting with readers and answering their questions about my characters, research, what’s coming next, anything really. Their enthusiasm is contagious and is a strong motivator for those early mornings when I’d rather play on Facebook than write.

9. I have an excuse to research things I’ve always wanted to know more about (i.e. native Americans, firefighters, movie-making, psychiatric problems, Afghanistan, etc.). I love to research, to learn about different people and cultures. But with a full time job, who has time? As a writer, this is part of your “writing job,” so if you’re like me, this is definitely a huge bene!

10. I get to research cool things like how to dissolve a body, how to grow pot, how bath salts work, what the blood splatter from a stabbing looks like. And now that I’ve started writing erotic romance, I get to research things that are a lot more… stimulating. :)

Romance in the Rain (A Seattle Anthology)
Authors: Kristine Cayne, Dawn Kravagna, Charlotte Russell, Sherri Shaw, Clare Tisdale, Marianne Stillings
Publisher: Kristine Cayne
Release Date: October 15, 2012
Pages: 360

From the pioneer days of Seattle through the smoke-filled clouds of WWII and into the present, Romance in The Rain takes readers on a journey with four generations of the strong-willed and passionate Caldwell family. The anthology of six novellas is a collaboration of the Seattle-based Rainy Day Writers group.
Splendor in the Moss by Charlotte Russell—By the spring of 1853 Englishman James Caldwell has traveled thousands of miles in a quest to find a place to call home. Newly settled Seattle isn’t that place and he’s ready to move on again when widowed Mattie Jensen marches into his life as somber as a cloudy day. But James can see through the solemn haze to Mattie’s strength and passion. Now he has a reason to stay, if he can just convince Mattie to take a second chance on love—and him. (22,000 words)

Final Approach by Marianne Stillings—With the world at war, Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Service pilot Lt. Charlene (Charlie) Thompson faces personal battles as well. Pearl Harbor left her a widowed bride, certain love would never come again – but battle-scarred Capt. Joe Caldwell has other ideas for the beautiful lady flyer, if he can just keep her safe from the secret saboteur who's already taken the life of Charlie's best friend. (17,000 words)

Love Phantom by Dawn Kravagna—University of Washington, 1983: A great place to get an education and meet single men. Drama major Kara Caldwell prefers to hide behind the characters in her plays, yet feels pressure to live up to the example set by her brave and witty grandmother, a veteran of WWII. Can she learn to overcome her reticence and prejudices to discover which guy truly cares for her--and who is just putting on an act? (17,000 words)

What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect? by Sherri Shaw—No sooner did Chef Ivy Turin wish to meet the perfect man than Sam Rockney walked into her restaurant. But is the sexy Seattle quarterback for real or is there something wrong with Mr. Perfect? (17,000 words)

Shelter from the Storm by Clare Tisdale—Seven years and one broken heart later, JD Caldwell returns to Seattle to pick up the pieces of his old life, never imagining he will fall for Maya—the mysterious woman who lets him into her house and bed but keeps the door to her heart tightly closed. When their summer fling takes an unexpectedly serious turn and Maya gives him his walking papers, JD has to decide whether their love—and his legacy—is worth fighting for. (21,000 words)

Aftershocks by Kristine Cayne—When Seattle is struck by a devastating earthquake, technical rescue firefighter Jamie Caldwell must save his estranged wife and daughter from the wreckage of a collapsed building. He's defied the odds hundreds of times, but will his luck finally run out for good? (24, 000 words)


Writing fiction is difficult and lonely and more often than not, the "normal" people in your life don't understand the writing process and can't fathom why you are possessed and obsessed with finding the perfect word or phrase that says exactly what you want to say right where you want to say it. Only other writers comprehend and accept that kind of torment.

To fill this need to surround herself with like-minded obsessive-compulsive self-doubting lunatics, in 2005, Marianne Stillings, who writes Romantic Suspense, established what came to be known as The Rainy Day Writers.

There were only two requirements for joining the group: You must be serious about writing and getting published, and any criticisms of co-members' work be honest, gentle, and kind.
Over the years, the membership has changed; some people moved on, others joined. The group we have now has been stable and constant since 2009. The Rainy Day Writers are a family.

Charlotte Russell joined the group in 2006 at the suggestion of a former member. Charlotte writes Historical Romance.

Dawn Kravagna became a member in the spring of 2007 because of a writers' list where Marianne had posted looking for new members. Dawn writes Comedy and Mystery.

In the Autumn of 2007, Sherri Shaw found her way to the group because she and Marianne happened to sit at the same table at the Emerald City Writer's Conference that year. Sherri writes Historical Romance and Paranormal Historical Romance.

Clare Tisdale joined in 2008 as the result of an email Marianne posted on the Greater Seattle Chapter Romance Writer's list seeking new members. Clare writes Contemporary Romance.

Kristine Cayne found the group in 2009 because she won Marianne's raffle basket at the Emerald City Writer's Conference that year. The basket included an offer to critique the winner's manuscript—an evaluation that resulted in an invitation to join. Kristine writes Romantic Suspense.

For more information on Romance in the Rain and the Rainy Day Writers, visit them at

Romance in the Rain Excerpts

Splendor in the Moss by Charlotte Russell
After telling the dog to stay, he steered her away from the Jensens’ cabin, towards the woods to the south. “Thank you.”
“For what?”
“Giving me the time of day. You were gone for such a long while, I wasn’t certain you’d come back.”
“I had to fight my better judgment.”
James laughed. He couldn’t put on airs around Mattie if he tried.

Final Approach by Marianne Stillings
"You were there." Caldwell's voice was quiet as though he were speaking to a timid child. He took a step toward her. "You saw it, didn't you. Didn't you, Charlie?" Another step. And another. Suddenly, he was standing before her and she was standing, too, and his arms came around her as she pressed her head against his strong shoulder and for the first time in a year, she felt safe. Safe enough to relive the agony—and let it go. Safe enough to let someone be strong—so she could be weak. Safe enough—to cry.
And so she did. 

What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect? by Sherri Shaw
"Somehow I can’t picture you as a nerd.” You’re too perfect, Ivy silently added, fingering the amulet at her throat.  It hummed under her fingertips as the vendor’s words skated across her mind: If you truly want to find the perfect man, and restore your faith in true love, then this necklace will be your good luck talisman.” She dropped her hand, shaking off the crazy notion. It was merely a coincidence that she wished to meet the man of her dreams and Sam showed up. The necklace had nothing to do with it. Right?"

Shelter from the Storm by Clare Tisdale
A shadow crossed the window, and JD looked up in time to see a seagull fly by. Beyond the downtown high rises,  the waters of the Puget Sound lay brooding, glazed by morning mist. Much as JD hated starting over again, he realized that if he had to, he'd rather do it here than anywhere else. Seattle was his home; he belonged here.  Maya and her beach house had helped confirm that for him.

Aftershocks by Kristine Cayne
Adrenaline surging through her system, Erica hung onto the doorjamb as the quake rocked the old courthouse. The building swayed and groaned, windows rattled and shattered as the earth continued to tremble. Cracks raced across the ceiling and plaster dust showered down, covering everything in a thin white film. She’d lived in Seattle all her life but had never experienced a quake as powerful as this one.
And her daughter was all alone.

All giveaway ends November 22, 2012 at midnight. Make sure to only enter the giveaway you are eligible for.

Giveaway for US residents only.
Grand Prize:

- 1 autographed copy of Deadly Obsession + SWAG
- 1 autographed copy of Deadly Addiction + SWAG
- The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, by Julia Quinn (autographed copy)
- Blood Trinity, by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
- 1 e-book copy of “Falling Angel” by Clare Tisdale
- 1 handmade shell necklace by Clare Tisdale
- A handmade afghan crocheted by Marianne Stillings
- 1 autographed copy of AROUSING SUSPICIONS
- 1 autographed copy of SATISFACTION
- 1 autographed copy of KILLER CHARMS
- 1 bag of truffles from Seattle Chocolates
- 3 chocolate bars from Seattle Chocolates
- $15 Starbucks gift card
- 1 autographed copy of Cattle Capers: Search For The MooMoo Pearl by Dawn Kravagna

Prize #5: 

- 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession by Kristine Cayne
- 1 print copy Accidental Cinderella, by Nancy Robards Thompson
- 1 print copy Everything I Know About Love I Learned From Romance Novels, by Sarah Wendell

Prize #6: 
- 1 ecopy Deadly Addiction by Kristine Cayne
- 1 print copy The Angel in My Arms, by Stephanie Sloane
- 1 print copy The Naughty List, by Donna Kauffman, Cynthia Eden and Susan Fox (autographed by Susan Fox)

Prize #7: 
- 1 ecopy Deadly Addiction by Kristine Cayne
- 1 print copy Tsunami Blue, by Gayle Ann Williams
- 1 print copy A Tale of Two Demon Slayers, by Angie Fox (autographed copy)

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Giveaway for both US and International residents.
Prize #1:

- 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
- 1 ecopy of A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
- 1 ecopy of The Sergeant's Lady by Susanna Fraser

Prize #2:

- 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
 - 1 ecopy of Unraveled by Courtney Milan
- 1 ecopy of Unlocked, a novella by Courtney Milan

Prize #3:
- 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
- 1 ecopy of One Night in London by Caroline Linden
- 1 ecopy of Ruined by Rumor by Alyssa Everett

Prize #4:
- 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
- 1 ecopy of Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase

Prize #8-10:
- 1 ecopy Deadly Addiction
- $10 Amazon or B&N giftcard

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Prize #11 US and International Giveaway

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  1. Thank you for the great post and for hosting us on the Romance in the Rain book tour!

  2. Kristine--great list! #3 really bites me in the behind sometimes, though. Writing is so easy to put off when there are no deadlines or boss looming over me:(

  3. Thanks for hosting us on your blog today, Storm Goddess! We appreciate the publicity :)