For Day Five of the “2 Weeks of 2nd Books” Giveaway, I’m delighted to welcome debut author Kristi Ann Hunter with An Elegant Façade, Book 2 of the Hawthorne House series. Kristi Ann is one of my Dreamweaver sisters — the group of 2014 Golden Heart finalists who bonded together and formed a supportive community of friends.
Kristi Ann is having a fabulous 2016 so far. Her debut novel, A Noble Masquerade, won the Romance Writers of America’s 2016 RITA® Award for Best First Book in the Inspirational Romance category! This is truly the equivalent of winning an Oscar in the romance community.
Lenora: Welcome, Kristi Ann!
Kristi Ann: Hi Lenora! Thanks for hosting me.
Lenora: Can you tell me a bit about the writers who inspire you every day?
Kristi Ann: The first Regency I ever read was written by Johanna Lindsey but I didn’t really fall in love with the era until I discovered Julia Quinn’s novels. To this day she is still where I turn if I need a good comfort read. Karen Witemeyer and Regina Jennings have an amazing knack for getting to the heart of a story and I find their writings very inspiring and insightful as well.
Lenora: Oh. Julia Quinn. *swoon* ? Was A Noble Masquerade your first manuscript?
Kristi Ann: Ha! No. My first manuscript was titled Miss Amelia and the Marquis. The second, third, and so on up until about the tenth was also titled Miss Amelia and the Marquis. I was so in love with the family and the characters that I wasn’t willing to stick them in a drawer and so I kept writing and rewriting the first book until I realized I’d learned to write but the story couldn’t quite hold up to a full length book. Then I wrote A Noble Masquerade, which was actually the second book in the originally planned series. Miss Amelia was shortened to become the novella A Lady of Esteem – which is free, by the way. Shortening a novel to a novella is a very difficult thing and I don’t wish it on anyone, but I was glad that the story didn’t have to get shoved into a drawer.
Lenora: Miss Amelia and the Marquis is such a cute title! I love that you just kept persevering until you reached your goal. I hope this is inspiring for writers out there who are revising that manuscript and feel discouraged. Look, my friends! Kristi Ann Hunter just won a RITA. You can do this! So I want to know…what were you thinking as you walked to the stage to accept your award?
Kristi Ann: Thinking? You mean there’s supposed to be thoughts in your head at a time like that? That’s crazy talk. I remember praying that I wouldn’t trip or cry and that I could actually make it through my speech. Thankfully I’d prepared a speech – which you should all do even if you think there’s no way you can win! It was a little strange because I was up against a friend of mine and we were sitting at the table together. Mostly I was just in shock. And so very, very happy because that was an incredible and unbelievable honor.
Lenora: Congratulations, Kristi Ann! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story.
Click on the graphic below to head to my facebook page. Wave hello to Kristi Ann in the comments for a chance to win An Elegant Façade! One day only!