Monday, May 24, 2010

Pieces of the Star by K J Roberts



THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY from the mouth of the author, K J Roberts

Pieces of the Star isn’t like anything I’ve ever written before. Normally, I’m pecking away at the keyboard trying to write a romance. When I’m not trying to write one, I’m reading one.

About three years ago, my son, who was ten, had to read books for school. After he read one, he would have to take a test. These tests would give him points and he had to achieve so many each grading period. My older daughter had to do the same thing.

Well, my son couldn’t find a book he wanted to read. Living in a rural area and attending a small school, the library is small too. I’d imagine the library budget is even smaller. I needed to find other avenues for my children to achieve their reading point goal. I had bought a book for my daughter, and she’d loved it. I read it myself and thought it was great. So I dug it out for my son. He opened the first page and read the first word. The protagonist’s name. He closed the book and said, “boring.” He was ten, what can I say.

I told him that every book couldn’t start with the word blood. Of course, he wanted to know why not. I proceeded to say, “Blood oozed from the corpse’s ear.” Now at this, my step-son, who was fifteen, became interested. He said he’d like to read that book.

With one word, growing into one sentence, I began plotting the book. Like I said, I’m a romance reader. Mystery might be incorporated into a romance book, but the two are very different genres with different elements needed to make them work. None of this really mattered to me as only my son would see the finished product anyway. I bounced ideas of my husband, who would then tell me yea or nay. A few rounds of critiques from my wonderful, romance critique partners and a few months later, I had a mystery story with an underlying superhero theme (my step-son loves superheroes) to give to my children for Christmas.

I did get wonderful reviews from my critique partners, so I thought maybe I could get it published. I looked for avenues, but the story was too long for magazines and too short for print. And many e-publishers didn’t produce mysteries. The ones who did want longer stories. Finally I found FIDO publishing. A new e-publisher, but their sister site, eXcessica, is plotting along just fine in the e-business world. So, I thought I’d take a chance.

I submitted the story and three days later, I had a contract.
While my mystery/YA writing has taken a backseat to my romance writing, I’ve recently finished my current romance WIP and now have moment to write another mystery/YA. So I’m plotting out the sequel to Pieces of the Star along with another idea I have for a YA book. I hope to have a backlist soon.

PIECES OF THE STAR Blurb: Ex-cop and brain tumor survivor, Vincent Maxwell has been recalled for a special assignment: Capture a killer. With no obvious common links or clues, Maxwell must work fast before another body turns up. What he discovers suggest more than his reputation is at stake. Wrapped up in an unbelievable world of superpowers, he’s dragged in deeper with a connection he never thought possible. Can he use the information to his advantage and stop the killer? Or will death strike before he finds answers?


Bio: Country girl born and raised, KJ Roberts has been writing for longer than she can remember. It’s a natural part of life to her.

Indiana native, her stories are usually set in the Hoosier state. After a ten year stint in the military, she moved to Mississippi with her husband and two kids. She loves reading, listening to her son play guitar and watching her daughter dance.

Blog: http://authorKJRoberts.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KJRoberts
Twitter: http://twitter.com/authorKJRoberts

4 comments:

Holli said...

Amazing story, that you wrote a book outside of your comfort zone to get your kid to read. And then got it published. We live in metropolitan New Orleans and our school library is a comfortable size that my two kids can find enough to read, but my youngest (8) has a children's book she wants me to write, and she wants to provide the illustrations. I'll have to pass along your story to her, I think she'll be as impressed as I was.

Holli Castillo
Gumbo Justice

M.M. Gornell said...

What an interesting story/adventure. Funny sometimes how we get where we are, and do what we do. Congratulations on continuing down the path your children opened for you! Much success, K. J.

KJ Roberts said...

Hello, everyone and thank you Marilyn for letting me stop by today. I had some computer problems this morning so I am late. I hope everyone has a great day and I will be checking in.

Holli, thank you for the comment. I think it's great that your child wants to illustrate the story. I say go for it. Who knows, maybe she will be an illustartor one day. But if not, you tow will have a great memory.

M.M. thanks for the comment and well wishes. I will say that life is interesting.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Fascinating, how we come to write these very different stories.