The Magic of Story

by Kathryn Jane

Authors are frequently asked where their story ideas come from, and I usually shrug and say, I have no idea. They just happen somehow.

Then I heard Nora Roberts say, it’s magic.

Brilliant.

And it’s true! I have no idea where the words com from,  how they form and become a story, but here’s how they showed up for me the other night.

Unable to keep my eyes open, I went to bed super early. Yep, was dead to the world almost as soon as my head hit the pillow at 8pm. But at 11:00 I was suddenly wide awake, tossing and turning , but loathe to get up and disturb the sleeping hubby.

Instead, I spent two hours letting words race around in my head–a jumble of everything from song lyrics and poetry, to potential book titles.

Then I started to think about the characters in the next book of my Intrepid Women series. Up until that night, whenever I tried to write Broughton and Alexandra’s story, the words I put on the page were as uninspiring, lackluster, and limp as old socks.

Until a couple of hours of trying to be still, and not thrash about.

Like magic, Broughton’s words (the book’s opening line), came to me and I nearly laughed out loud. “Yes!” I shouted inside my head, then slipped into my comfy sweats and heavy sweater, pulled on woolly socks, and crept to my laptop in the living room.

I quickly opened a new word doc and typed the fabulous line. But it didn’t stop there, because the magic happened. Words poured forth while I fought off the gleeful laughter (still trying not to wake up my sleeping hubster in the next room).

When I crawled back into bed at four in the morning, my fingers were tired and my mind empty, but the book is well under way.

I can’t share the amazing  line yet, but here’s a picture to stir your imagination 🙂  … oh and when the story begins, Caleb Broughton is mountain climbing, and just about to come over this ridge…

 

 

 

 


Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com


 

Soul destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self, in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.

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Betrayed!

by Kathryn Jane

Betrayed:

Powerful Stories of Kick-Ass Crime Survivors

Some months ago I was asked if I would like to contribute a short story to an anthology. But not just any anthology. This one was being produced to benefit survivors of violence, and ALL the proceeds would be going to help those in need.

Seemed like a good idea for a worthy cause, so I said yes.

That’s when things got really wild because I started to see the names of the other authors participating. OMGoodness! Cream of the crop thriller writers were signing on.

Surprised is a mild word to express how I felt. But really, considering the woman at the helm was Pam Stack, of Writers on the Air, I should not have been surprised. Pam interviews amazing upper echelon writers all the time.

But pinch me, I am part of this team, and my story is one of twenty-two between the covers of this awesome project.

And speaking of covers, isn’t this one by participating author, Elle J Rossi, spectacular?

Oh, and besides the short stories, did I mention a complete novella by the amazing Allison Brennan is also included?

I hope you pick up a copy so you can enjoy a great read. Every cent of the purchase price goes to a wonderful charity that supports survivors of domestic violence.

Buy now as an eBook

Available in print within 24 hours.


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Print Edition of Cats, Vol 1, by Kathryn Jane

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A Midnight Clear by Jeannie Hall

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Vermont Escape by Marsha R. West (e-copy edition)

I am not my childhood

by Kathryn Jane

I’ve taken a side trip from my Romantic Suspense series by writing a Women’s Fiction.

A novel about a woman of heart, courage and integrity. A woman who could have been irreparably damaged by the man who raised her.

But wasn’t. At least not for the long haul. Oh, she made some monumentally  bad decisions as a teenager and young adult, but she eventually learned from them.

And when she became privy to the details of her own childhood and the secrets she’d unknowingly lived with, instead of breaking under the weight of what she learned, she built herself a new life.

She found purpose. And she found a way to realize her lifelong dream in spite of all hope being stripped from her soul.

She became a warrior for her cause. And she changed lives.

She fought for her dream and she won.

She is a testament to women everywhere who do what needs to be done, say what needs to be said, and live with the consequences. Who overcome what appear to be insurmountable odds and obstacles.

She is much more than a survivor.

She is not her childhood.

And neither am I.


Award winning author, Kathryn Jane writes the popular Intrepid Women Series. Novels filled with mystery, suspense, adventure, psychic abilities, and romance. Think MacGyver, Criminal Minds, and James Bond…with a dash of I Love Lucy.

Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com


 

Soul destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self, in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.

Falling in #Love with your #Characters #amwriting @jacqbiggar

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Readers often ask where do writers come up with ideas for their characters? In my case, the birth of a hero comes from a variety of sources. News reports, television programs, books I’ve read; all are great resources.

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But my favorite characters grow organically from stories I’ve already written. For my new release, Missing: The Lady Said No, the idea for my hero, Augustus Grant, came to me from a previous book where the main character was a mystery writer suffering from writer’s block.

Gus is the character my hero, Joel Carpenter, (in the holiday romance novel Silver Bells) was writing about. I fell in love with the bumbling detective and decided then and there he needed his own story!

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Gus is smart, irreverent, a little bit clumsy (okay, a LOT clumsy!) and still in love with the girl he let get away.

Rebecca Hayes.

Here’s a short excerpt. Gus is investigating a murder at a horse ranch and runs into the one person he never thought he’d see again.

Becky stood at the top of the grand staircase and felt the world give way.

Augustus.

It had been too long.

And not long enough.

She couldn’t believe he was here. Or maybe she could. It had always been his dream to become a detective. After all, that was the reason they had split up, wasn’t it? He’d craved the excitement, and she’d needed stability. Safety.

Well, it was too late now, on many levels. The best thing she could do would be to put on a brave face and escape with her pride.

“Hello, Augustus,” she called. Careful not to let him see her trembling, she gripped the banister and reluctantly went to join the man who had stolen her heart. He was every bit as tall as she remembered. Still just as handsome, too. A few more lines around the eyes and mouth maybe. She shied away from his lips, focusing instead on the crooked tie and wrinkled shirt. A wry smile touched her mouth.

“I see you still haven’t figured out the right side of an iron,” she murmured.

He glanced down and ran a strong, tanned hand down his chest. Something fluttered to life in hers.

He met her gaze with a grin that slowly faded away. “I looked for you,” he said.

Oh, God.

This wasn’t what she expected. After leaving Bourbonville and moving here, to Balmoral, she’d second-guessed her decision often, but never realized maybe he did too, just a little.

“You’re the cop. You could have found me if you tried.”

As you can see, there are a lot of unresolved feelings between these two. The question is, can Gus make it right? You’ll have to read on to find out. 🙂

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This is part of a branded series set around the running of the famous Kentucky Derby. I hope you’ll enjoy my story and give the other books in the Chandler County series a try!

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Snow joke

Hello, Mother Nature?

It’s me again, Kathryn Jane.

Just a quick question. Do you have another rooky at the helm?  I mean since the idiot who sent us a snow storm a couple of weeks ago?

Um, may I suggest you set your margarita aside, peek out from under your beach umbrella and check your emails?

There are probably a bunch from the Vancouver area, you know, that special corner of Canada affectionately known as the wet-coast. (Pssst that’s because we get lots of rain, but almost none of the cold white stuff.)

Problem? you ask.

Yep.

On the odd occasion you send us snow, we run out and buy shovels and salt, scurry to get snow tires on our cars, and hope for snow days declared at school and work if we hit, maybe 2 to 4 inches of white stuff on the roads.001

That’s 2 or 4 inches — better known as 5 to 10 centimeters in Canadian.

So here’s the deal. The snow outside my door is now about a foot deep, 004

and in areas near by, it’s up to three feet deep and still coming down. Hard and heavy.

Trees are breaking under the weight and taking down power lines, people are getting hurt. It’s not funny anymore. ha ha.

But it’s so pretty, you say…022

True. But still, I have just two words for you…

Stop it!

Well, make that three.

Stop it, please!

In the meantime, I’ll be running out of birdseed soon, so the birds would like you to please, put a rush on that. 013007

 

 

 

 

Thanks.

Kathryn Jane, who is usually quite patient, but you’re pushing me… 🙂




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Kindness doesn’t suck

 

I nearly went on a rant the other day, but dialed back, sat back and thought about the message gnawing at me.

It was a good message. But how would it be received if I was ranting? Not well, I’m sure. Or at least not as well as a different approach might. (And seriously? I’m just not a ranter!)

So I thought about it some more, and tried to figure out how to turn a negative into a positive–an exercise I learned a while back, and it’s been making a difference in my life.

Here’s how it works. Identify the negative, LOL, that’s easy because it’s what’s making me mad. I wanted to scream at people on Facebook, “Stop judging other people! Just. Stop. It!!!!!”

Hmmm. I bet that would have stirred up all kinds of action, and probably little of it would have been positive, which would have made me all the more angry, and I HATE being angry. For me, it’s a waste of energy, and nothing good ever comes from it.

First step: I had to figure out what I could do to make the “judging” go away…without focusing on the judging. It didn’t take a whole lot of figuring, but it did feel a bit like a light bulb moment, and when it happened, I even said it out loud. One word. One simple concept. No shouting required.

Kindness.

Yep. That’s it. Plain and simple. Instead of trying to stop the meanness of people judging other people, I could promote kindness.

So here I am. Spreading one simple yet magnificent word as far and wide as I can.

Kindness is cool. Kindness feels good from both the giving and receiving ends. Kindness is free. Kindness can be as little as a smile, or as much as giving someone financial support.

Kindness can be listening to a story you’ve heard a hundred times already, (because the teller doesn’t remember that). Kindness can be tossing a peanut to a squirrel, or keeping your hummingbird feeder full. Kindness can be accepting that not everyone lives the same way or has the same beliefs as I do. Canva - Kindness is like hot coffee and warm mittens on a cold day

Kindness can be turning a blind eye when someone makes a mistake. Kindness can be accepting that maybe the poorly written, self-published book you downloaded was someone’s dream of a lifetime, ultimate accomplishment, proof that they did something special, finished something they believed in. Kindness is not sharing your negative opinions.

Canva - Kindness can be as simple as sharing the last cup of coffee

Kindness is letting other people live the lives THEY own. Kindness is quietly walking away from what you can’t accept. Kindness is knowing you are not responsible for someone else’s hurt, but maybe you can make them feel better.

canva - a single smile can change a life

Kindness is smiling at your fellow man, even if his socks don’t match.

Kindness…doesn’t suck.


What does kindness mean to you?  Please share!


profile beach 1 cropKathryn Jane writes the popular Intrepid Women Series.

Novels filled with mystery, suspense, adventure, psychic abilities, and romance. Think MacGyver, Criminal Minds, and James Bond…with a dash of I Love Lucy.

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Kickass women and the men who dare to love them. KathrynJane_DanceWithMe_800px

 

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Baby Boomers Rejoice the birth of Seasoned Romance!

 

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I was born at the tail end of the baby boom. I grew up in the sixties to: the tune of the best music; girls finally being allowed to wear pants at school; and slightly less expectation that we make one of only three choices for our future–become a teacher, become a nurse, or get married and have children.

I sense nodding among the crowd.

Graduating from high-school in the early seventies meant I was the generation riding the wave of freedom hard won by my sisters just a few years older… Not that I went out and conquered the world, but the possibilities were there, and devouring romance novels set me up to dream.

Fast forward forty years, and here I am still in love with reading. Okay, so what’s the rejoicing part you say?

Seasoned Romance … because love is ageless!

For those of us who aren’t interested in reading about romance between twenty-somethings, there is a new, burgeoning genre. One where the heroes and heroines are at least thirty-five, and (hallelujah) much older!

I’ve heard from plenty of readers who feel no emotional connection to stories about people the ages of their children and grandchildren. These are women who glance at the bookshelves and ask, “What about us? Why can’t there be stories about older women who’ve kicked butt as executives, pilots, wives, mothers, jockeys, nurses, doctors, dog walkers, and everything in between. Why can’t we read about the kind of women we are or want to be, and the heroes we’d love to meet.”

Good news, older generation heroes and heroines do exist in the world of romance books.

Better news, a group of authors already writing this kind of story have banded together to get our Seasoned Romance genre recognized by agents, publishers, and booksellers.

Meanwhile, there are Seasoned Romances already available. Great stories about women finding love for the first, second, or seventh time, single moms, empty-nesters, divorcees, widows, financially secure women looking for adventure, married couples rediscovering each other after retirement…

My own brand new book set to release in a few weeks, Dance With Me, is about a married couple in their early sixties. Julia and James, the mother and father in my Intrepid Women series have some serious issues to get past, plus a mystery to solve before they can get on with a romantic reconciliation.

I’d love to hear what you think about Seasoned Romance. What is your favorite age range to read about? Young, to relive your youth? Older to feel a connection to the characters? Tell me, tell me, so I can get the word out to other authors 🙂

If you’d like to be kept up to date on my new Seasoned Romance releases, as well as those by the Sisterhood of Suspense authors (and many others), hop on over to my website and sign up for my newsletter. Easy peasy.

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Addicted to the ocean, award winning author Kathryn Jane lives on the west coast of Canada with her fabulous feline assistant, and a devoted mutt to keep her charming prince company while she’s busy penning fast-paced mysteries and adventures about Kickass Women and the Men who Dare to Love them…

 



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When Reading Changed My Life

author 100 x 100What day, you ask. V-day? Anniversary? Birth of children? The day I sold my first story?

Way back in eighth grade, my English teacher had given us the assignment to read a book and present an oral review.

At those words, my insides had twisted into a hard knot. I was terribly shy and hated speaking in front of a large group. (Fortunately, I grew out of this.) And it had to be a book of an adult level. That stumped me because I hadn’t a clue about leaping to adult level.

I was fortunate to get the Scholastic newsletter. I’d poured over its pages, looking for an affordable and likeable book. I’d settled on one about a family with twelve kids, set in a time before me–Cheaper by the Dozen. The book was a fast read and I was enthralled with the family antics. So happily, I’d prepared my report and managed to squeak through my presentation.

To my horror, the teacher reprimanded me in front of the class: “You are capable of reading a higher level book than that.”

Floored, I’d sunk into my chair and prayed someone would throw dirt over me. When recovered, I asked my classmate, who’d received praise for her book, what was the name of the one she’d discussed? What she told me changed my reading for life.

Rebecca. Aah, you say. That one, the one by Daphne du Maurier. Yep. rebecca

Here’s the clincher: I’d never heard of it. But what I decided was if my friend could read it, so could I.

I don’t remember much about what I’d thought when reading Rebecca for the first time. What I do remember is how it impacted me. And if this book was this cool, others were too, and I wanted to read them all. That’s when everything changed. I discovered Mary Stewart, Agatha Christie, Emilie Loring, Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney.

At Half Price Books, I picked up a tome about mystery authors with the premise being if you liked one particular author, you might want to try this one. That worked for me. Through the various recommendations I found Dick Francis. I thought who is this guy and why would he be recommended a couple of times? So I read his short bio and decided to give him a try. I went to my nearest Half Price store and bought several. I devoured them like chocolate. And bought more.

When I told my hubby about my fascination with these books, he asked me “why?” That’s when I finally admitted, “I wish I could write like him.” It took me a lot of years to try. And now, look at what I’ve done. Squee.

So even though I thought unmentionable things about my eighth grade English teacher at that time, she did me a very big favor. Rebecca.

Is there one particular book which changed your life? I bet there is. Let’s chat about it.

 

TemporarilyEmployed cover tiny very tiny Temporarily Employed is my romantic comedy mystery about an unemployed gal who takes temporary jobs until the one she really desires comes along. But when she temps at Buy Right Insurance Company, she’s replacing a woman who was murdered. Find TE at: Amazon