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  • Dec. 2014

Erin Knightley Makes Her Bow

It is my privilege today to introduce you to Erin Knightley. In 2011, Erin finaled in the Regency category of the Golden Heart®, alongside Duchesses Valerie, Anne, Sara and me. She also became semi-famous among romance writers that year for her packing mojo. This year, she’s set to become renowned for something else. Her debut, More Than a Stranger, releases tomorrow. I’m very honored she chose to spend the eve of her big day by visiting the Duchesses.

 

So sit down to tea with Erin and me, and make sure you leave us your direction for a chance to win!

 

In the Beginning…

June 6, 2008

SO here I am working on my brand new apple computer and I think that I may soon learn to like it.  What will I be doing with this little machine in a few weeks?  Will I be well on my way to writing a new book?  Will I still be staring at a blank (expensive) page?  We shall see…

 

Those, my friends, are the very first words I wrote in my journey towards being a writer. I only just rediscovered them as I was searching through my files for the first draft of my debut novel, MORE THAN A STRANGER.  As I opened the document, expecting to see Evie and Benedict’s first incarnation, I stared in astonishment at those incredible words.

 

It was like looking through a wormhole to my past, glimpsing the girl who wanted so badly to throw caution to the wind and become a writer. I had purchased the laptop shortly before our seventh anniversary trip in anticipation of pursing that dream. At that time, all I had was a dream and an abiding love for the romance novels that had filled my nights with happily ever afters.

 

I have no idea why I ever thought I could do such a thing. I had no training in writing, no idea how the publishing industry worked, and at that time, I didn’t even know a single other person who read romance books.  There was no one to turn to for guidance, no research books, and no idea what came after the book was written.

 

But I what I did have was desire.

 

A strong, passionate desire to put my words on a page, to spin a story that would give people that warm fuzzy that so many books had given me. I wanted to offer up a story to the world that would make people smile and remember their own first loves, or dream of the love they might someday discover. I wanted to be part of the world that had brought me so many sleepless nights, dreamy sighs, and swoon-worthy heroes.

 

What a baby I was :)

 

In all honesty, if I had known what I know now of the industry, I’m not certain I would have ever taken that first blind leap and bought that computer. I might have assumed that my dream was really just a pipe dream, and that I would never be able to stack up against the tidal wave of competition out there. I was a science girl – what the heck did I know about writing?

 

Oddly enough, I’m so grateful for my newbie enthusiasm and ignorance.  I look back at that girl, sitting at her shiny new computer with a heart full of dreams and smile. I’m so happy she took a chance, closed her eyes, and leaped into the great unknown.

 

Symmetry is a beautiful thing, my friends. This weekend, Kirk and I celebrated eleven years together. Four years to the week after I typed those fateful words, we were back at the Apple store, picking out a new computer since I’ve almost completely worn this one out. It’s scuffed, and dinged, and full to bursting with the life I’ve lived the stories I’ve written since that day four years ago.  Tomorrow, my debut novel will finally hit the shelves, (Squeeee!!!) marking the end of one long journey and the beginning of a whole new one.

 

I’m looking forward to wearing out a lot more computers ;)

 

Thanks so much to the Duchesses for having me here today on the eve of my debut. It’s been a long, wonderful journey, and I’m so lucky to have made such wonderful friends along the way.

 

Do you have a defining moment in the pursuit of your dreams? What is your dream?

TWO chances to win!

  1. Everyone who comments will be entered in my Sealed with a Kiss blog tour giveaway! Prizes include signed books, lots of fun swag, stationery, a custom iPhone case, and gift cards from Starbucks and Amazon! For details, click HERE. Drawings will be made June 15th!
  2. You’re already a winner! If you’d like a signed bookmark (or more – let me know how many!), simply say so in the comments section, and I’ll send post haste! Offer good for the first 40 requests per blog.

*Be sure to leave your e-mail address so I can contact winners, or email me at erin@erinknightley.com if you don’t wish to list publically* I’ll ship anywhere in the US, Canada, or Mexico

 

Bio:

Despite being an avid reader and closet writer her whole life, Erin Knightley decided to pursue a sensible career in science.  It was only after earning her B.S. and working in the field for years that she realized doing the sensible thing wasn’t any fun at all.  Following her dreams, Erin left her practical side behind and now spends her days writing. Together with her tall, dark, and handsome husband and their three spoiled mutts, she is living her own Happily Ever After in North Carolina.

Find her at www.ErinKnightley.com, on Twitter.com/ErinKnightley, or at facebook.com/ErinKnightley

 

MORE THAN A STRANGER debuts June 5th!

AN UNCOVERED BETRAYAL

When his family abandoned him at Eton, Benedict Hastings found an unexpected ally in his best friend’s sister. Her letters kept him going—until the day he had to leave everything behind.  Years later, Benedict has seen his share of betrayal, but when treachery hits close to home, he turns to his old friend for safe haven….

 

AN UNWANTED ATTRACTION

After five torturous years on the marriage circuit, Lady Evelyn Moore is finally free to live her life as she wishes. So when her brother shows up with a dashing stranger, she finds herself torn between her dreams…and newfound desires.

 

AN UNSTOPPABLE INTRIGUE

Despite his determination to keep Evie at a distance, Benedict cannot deny the attraction that began with a secret correspondence. Yet as they begin to discover one another, the dangers of Benedict’s world find them, threatening their lives, their love, and everything they thought they could never have…

67 Responses to “Erin Knightley Makes Her Bow”

  • Duchess Gillian:

    Congratulations on your release! What a compelling story line. Does intrigue play an important part in all of your stories?

    • Thanks for having me, Your Grace :)
      As for the intrigue, it was great fun to write for this one, but no, it’s not in my other books… so far!!

  • Ora:

    I dont’ know if anything really sticks out for me as a defining moment. Good luck with your debut tomorrow. I will be getting the ebook and can’t wait to read it.

    • Hi Ora! I’m delighted to hear you are picking up a copy – believe it or not, my hubby is buying an e-copy too! He’s looking forward to having it auto delivered overnight and waking up to it like a present :)

      Thanks for dropping by!

  • Congratulations again on the release! So, tell me, are you going to sleep tonight?

    I think my defining moment probably came last year when I got the GH call. In a career that is essentially individual and uncertain, that was a nice little bit of validation that I was on the right track.

  • When I was a kid I always wanted to be able to run long distances but was only capable of sprints. I finally decided to get a book to learn how to jog long distance and I’m up to running for 5 minutes straight. Maybe I’ll run a marathon some day!

    bradford93@msn.com

  • Congratulations on your debut! Love the vivid shades and elegance of your cover.

    I’ve had two defining moments so far in my writing career. The first came when Kensington Associate Editor Megan Records called to inform me I was a top 10 finalist in Kensington Brava/RT’s Writing with the Stars contest. The second was when one of the finest literary agents in the business called to offer representation.

    I still get kinda tingly just thinking about it!

    • Thanks, Diana – I feel so lucky to have such a glorious cover :) And wow – what wonderful and noteworthy defining moments!! Good on ya, girl!

  • Wow, Erin. Only a day left this is exciting ok. Here is my dream. It’s a silly one. It was right before I left Cali. I was talking to my friend, because we both love romance novel. Well, before I started my blog I had a list of books that I read and the list had notes on what I thought I liked about the or not. So, instead of having the get out of control when I would email to my friends I decide to do a blog, so they could keep up with my reading. I have a couple of friends actually getting some of the books I have read. Its a lot of fun.

    • Melody, I KNOW!! I can hardly believe the time is here :) And I think that is wonderful about your blog – and very empowering!!
      Thanks for coming to say hi!

  • That’s an intriguing summary: mysteries are fascinating and fun to liven up a Regency! email is jliedl dot ca at gmail dot com

    My dream has been to work as a writer, researcher and educator and my defining moment was my first visit to an archive – the British Library – to end up holding a bound volume of Tudor letters including one by Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn. What fun!

  • Squee! Congratulations on your debut, your grace, duchess Erin! We are SO thrilled to have you here today and I absolutely cannot wait to get your book. If it doesn’t hit my doorstep (yes, I’ve pre-ordered) today or tomorrow, I’m going out tomorrow night to get another copy! My defining moment was June 3, 2007, the day I started typing my first manuscript. I remember it well. And I got a new laptop after four years and my first SALE too! : )

    • Why thank you, Your Grace!! Its been so much fun to share the journey with you and Ashlyn :) It’s going to be grand fun to finally hold both your books in my hands – and it will be here before we know it!!

  • SharonD:

    Congrats… and I think the cover is beautiful :)

    I have been very lucky and blessed in my life. MY life has always been fairly calm and smooth sailing (knock on wood that I didn’t just jinx myself lol). The one thing that I have dreamed of forever is becoming a mother. My hubby and I have been married for 4 years now and I’m turning 33 this month. I know some may say that’s still young to worry, but we’ve been trying for a long while now to no avail. And I’m not getting any younger so we do have to decide how far we want to fight for it. So, you could say that this is a defining moment in my life right now while we look at our options.

    sharocks13@yahoo.com

    • Hi Sharon!

      Thanks so much for joining us. I can certainly see how that would be a defining moment in your life. Years from now when you *are* a mom—be it through one way or another—you’ll look back on this moment and truly treasure where you are at that point. There are many paths to motherhood -I’m certain whatever is meant to be for you and your hubby will happen :)

  • Lovely interview! I dream of someday having a little farm and living far away from the light and bustle and noise and smells and rush of the city. My defining moment was going to Europe to work on organic farms so I could prove to everyone and myself I was capable of doing it and that a farm wasn’t just a silly fantasy. I took a lot of crap for my dream before my trip by people who thought I wouldn’t be able to do all the work involved. Afterwards, not so much. (And, in fact, I love the physicality of that life.)

    anna (at) annabentleytremaine (dot) com

    • Oh wow, Anna – what an amazing experience that must have been! It sounds so wholesome and wonderful – and hard!
      Though I don’t have a farm, I’ve always lived out in the boonies. I love the peace and quiet – even if it does take forever to go anywhere!

  • Duchess Maire Claremont:

    Oh my! What a fabulous interview. I love remember how dreamy eyed I was when I first started writing and I like you, if I had known how tough it would be I wonder if I just would have kept writing epic long stories for pleasure instead of to see them in print. Thank goodness for optimism.

    A defining moment of my dream? Waking up in the middle of the night with a woman and a scene in my head that would not be ignored. That scene led to the Golden Heart, an agent, and my chance to be your publishing sister. ;D I’m so grateful for those moments which support our dreams.

    • Wow, Maire- must have been one heck of a dream! Stephanie Myers said the Twilight series started with a dream. Maybe you’ll have her sales luck as well!

  • Erin, what a sweet, charming story of your dream — loved reading it! I didn’t know anyone else who read romance either, so starting out to write a romance while my youngest was in preschool felt like a wicked secret. Congratulations on your debut -can’t wait to read More Than a Stranger!

    • Thanks for hosting me today, Emily! Isn’t it interesting that with SO many romance readers out there, we both had the same experience? Now, meeting romance lovers is one of my favorite things – and I’m looking forward to perhaps, someday, meeting a fan!! (getting recognized by a fan is seriously on my bucket list, lol)

  • Lisa:

    Hi Erin!
    For years, I had toyed with the idea of writing my own romance novels. I had ideas and characters rolling around in my brain but never decided to sit down and take my writing seriously. I had a myriad of excuses-too busy, needed to focus on school/work, publishing is too hard, I’m not talented enough, etc. But that all changed when I went to the RWA Lit signing at NYC last year. That was the day I met Katharine Ashe and Tessa Dare. Both of them were so kind and encouraging when I told them I was thinking about writing. That gave me the push I needed to tell myself to stop making excuses, sit my butt in front of the computer, and do it! Since then I have met such a wonderful group of writers online and in RL who have been so supportive and encouraging too. They’ve helped me, and been there for me for all the ups and downs that inevitably comes with the writing life. I owe all of them, especially the fantastic and fabulous Tessa and Katharine, a humongous thank you! If not for all of them, I wouldn’t be where I am with my WIP today!

    • Lisa – what a wonderful story!! I had no idea that’s how you got the push you needed to start writing. I adore Katharine – I met her at my very first chapter meeting, and she’s been a lovely friend ever since.
      Yay for following your dreams!

  • Good for you for sticking with your dream! Sometimes I wish I didn’t know what I know about the difficult world of publishing. It does take some of the fun out of it. But then I read posts like this, and it inspires me anew. Good luck with your debut, it sounds like a great read. :)

  • Congrats, Erin!! I’m so excited for you! Reading your words sings home to me. The journey to publication is a long hard road, so I guess it’s a good thing we’re all to darn stubborn to thrown in our gloves. ;) Best wishes for a smashing debut!!

    ps–Love your website and will definitely be using your packing tips for Nationals next month. I’m still in awe of how many outfits you managed to create from such a small list of clothes. I bow before your packing awesomeness!

    • LOL, Sarah – I am humble in many things, but never packing – you may feel free to watch and learn ;) With a pilot father and flight attendant mother, I guess it was meant to be!
      Thanks for the well wishes, and for joining us today!

  • bn100:

    Congratulations on the book! I don’t have a defining moment. I’d like to travel around the world.

  • Jennifer L:

    Congrats on your debut! I know the journey to publication is difficult. Every time I hear about an author’s debut release, I feel inspired. And every time I meet my word count goal, I feel proud of myself for sticking with my writing.

  • I totally remember writing my first chapter of my first book. It was the week after Christmas and I had nothing but time on my hands. My girlfriend, who used to work in publishing, encouraged me to just try one chapter. I don’t know what craziness has kept me going since then!

    I can’t wait to read More Than A Stranger. Congrats! And thanks for visiting!

  • Congratulations on your Debut release, Erin! The story sounds wonderful…I’m intrigued!

    2008 must have been a year of new beginnings. While I’d been in RWA a few years by that time, I wasn’t being consistent about writing. In 2008 I decided it was time focus…

    Enjoy your new computer :)

  • Duchess Darcy Burke:

    Welcome Erin!! Congrats on your debut, I can’t wait to read it! 2008 was a banner year for me (signed with my first agent, finaled in the GH)…until the banking/stock market disaster and I went on submission that same week. It’s easy to recall lots of happy defining moments (my GH final call, when my current agent called to offer representation right after New Year’s when I was ready to throw in the towel as a New Year’s resolution), but the misfortune of my submission in September 2008 was another defining moment. It led to changes for me that absolutely made me a better writer and got me where I am today. Defining moments come in all shapes and sizes and can be good and bad. What matters is what you make of them!

    Congrats again, Erin!!

    • Making lemonade out of lemons I see, Darcy! That sucks that the two correlate, but it sounds like it may have ultimately been for the better. Now that I have my 2nd book turned it, I hope to read yours very soon – they look wonderful!

  • Shannon Johnson:

    I can’t think of any defining moments. I think alot of prayer and trust that things will turn out has helped me along!!

  • Duchess Maire Claremont:

    Duchess Ashlyn Macnamara,

    HA. Crazy. That’s also the year I WROTE The Dark Lady though no one picked it up that year. ;D The writing vibe must have been intense those twelve months.

  • I can’t wait to read this Erin! 2009 was the year I started writing, and I look back now with similar feelings of awe that I believed (correctly) I could do this. All the best, and happy debut!

  • Joy Gifford:

    I Think the defining moment in my life was watching my baby girl graduate high school, and realizing what a beautiful young lady I had raised.

  • Joy Gifford:

    Joy Gifford,

    Ooops my forgot email: joylynne66@hotmail.com

  • Catherine:

    My dream was to take a trip to Ireland. Luckily for me, my family helped me realize my dream not once but twice. I was also fortunate to work at a place that helped me achieve that dream as well. My defining moment was to realize that if you want something bad enough, your dream will come true.

  • Megan:

    I haven’t had any career defining moments but I do think when I got married was one. Also when I had my daughter. But as a stay at home mom I don’t have much of a ‘career’ but I will hopefully have something when I go back to work.

  • Kim:

    Congratulations on the new release. I like the cover. It has such striking colors. To have your first novel final in the Golden Heart contest is quite an accomplishment.

    penfield716@yahoo.com

  • erinf1:

    Thanks for a fun post and giveaway! I’ve been reading such great buzz for Erin’s Debut it’s definitely on my wishlist. Plus she’s got an awesome name ;)

    My dream is to win the lottery and to be able to stay at home and tackle my TBR mountain range of overflowing bookshelves and lavish my puppies w/ attention. Still hoping for that :)

  • Diane Sallans:

    My dreams have changed thru the years, but one long held dream was to get a new & bigger kitchen. So three years ago I took the big step of having an addition bumped out the back of my house with a big open kitchen. Now I’m finishing the other smaller renovations around the house. So I need a new dream – I think it will involve travel.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  • Jeanne Miro:

    Erin -

    Congraulations on the release of your debut movel More Than A Stranger as well as celebrating 11 years together with Kirk!

    My defining moment came in 1966 when I graduated from High School and defied my parents by deciding to go to the school of my choice instead of the one they had “picked” for me. Since my two older sisters had fufilled their “duty” by doing what my parents wanted this didn’t go over very well!

    That fall I moved to Arizona from Up-State New York. interesting. One of the more interesting conversaying that I had with one of my English teacher he gave us a paper to write about the problems in the dorms! At first he couldn’t understand how I could go to school and support myself! Obviously not the norm at the time.

    After I finished school I moved to Florida and met my husband who was in the Navy there during Vietnam. My time working and going to school gave me a chance to learn to be independent and be responsible for my choices and actions. Those lessons served me well when my husband was deployed. I had leanred to be independent, have a mind of my own, and to be strong in the times of hardship.

    This year on our 42nd Anniversary we once again played the song that we danced to as our first dance as a married couple at our Wedding Reception – The Impossible Dream from the musical which was based on Don Quixote by Cervantes.

    Our favorite part of the song is:

    This is my guest
    To follow that star
    No matter how hopeless
    No matter how far

    Erin – That’s what you’ve done! You have followed your dreams and reached for the stars and along the way you probably had fears but you reached out and keep going.

    Congratulations not only folloiwng your dreams but for also sharing with all of us the first of many wonderful stoires to follow!

    • Wow, Jeanne – what an amazing life you’ve led! Very cool that you started it all by following your heart to Arizona.

      Thanks for the kind words, and for joining us today!

  • Lexi:

    Wow, a long fought journey and now you get to see the results. Congrats on your release! It takes a lot of faith to keep going and see your dreams come true.
    I have a dream to be a stay at home Mom for my three small children, it will take some sacrifice but my husband and I want to make it work.

    eyesofblueice (at) gmail

  • the things you described are sometimes why debut novels are such fun to read!!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  • Jess W.:

    I have found my dreams changing as life progresses. Right now, I am focusing on daily happiness, in my career and personal life. Congrats on your accomplishments!

  • Thanks so much for joining in the blogtour fun, everyone! Winners will be posted on June 16 at http://haveyourcakeandreadittoo.blogspot.com/p/sealed-with-kiss-blog-tour-giveaway.html
    and notified via e-mail.

    Cheers!