Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Jennifer Probst and Kristen Proby: What REALLY Happens on Release Day

(from usatoday.com
by Joyce Lamb)

Jennifer Probst and Kristen Proby join us today to breathe through … I mean, celebrate today's release of Jennifer's Searching for Perfect and Kristen's upcoming Breathe With Me (June). (Kristen's Tied With Me came out in March, if you haven't checked that out yet.)

Jennifer: I am so delighted to be here today, hanging out with USA TODAY and NYT best-selling author Kristen Proby to celebrate my new release, Searching for Perfect, and talk turkey on what really happens behind the scenes.

Kristen! Just a side note — I cannot wait to get my hands on your new release, Breathe With Me. I adore the With Me In Seattle series AND Love Under the Big Sky — read Loving Cara in a day! And of course, I know on release day you're like me, right? Popping open the champagne, relaxing after all that hard work, fielding congratulation calls on the phone and e-mail, and watching the book easily rise to the top 10 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Right?

Kristen: Umm … yeah, right! Of course! Or … I forget to shower, bite my acrylic nails to nubs and drink wine all day, praying that the newest baby out there is well-received.

Jen: Haha — you did know my first introductory paragraph was all SARCASM, right? First off, the night before my book releases, I never sleep. Just hold my stomach and watch the clock tick toward midnight, imagining my precious baby in someone else's hands, discovering the story I worked crazy hours for, hoping and praying the majority of my readers love what I did. Sound familiar?

Kristen: I do believe we have the same release night schedule!

Jen: Oh, and besides not showering, drinking wine, and eating massive quantities of chocolate so I'm on a sugar/drunk high/low, I stay in my pjs, fingers glued to my computer keys in an effort not to make readers wait more than a few minutes for my response. Umm, does that sound familiar too? Or do you have a different wardrobe?

Kristen: I'm a high-class broad. It's yoga pants all the way for me, babe! With my hair up in a messy bun and no makeup. And yes! I'm permanently stuck to my computer too, diligently answering questions and chatting with readers. It really does make for a fun day.

Jen: Sigh. Yeah, we're real high glamour, aren't we? I'd have to say the best thing about release day is the readers' excitement. When I get Twitters or FB messages or e-mails stating how they couldn't put the book down, or discuss different parts of the book with me, everything falls into place.

Kristen: I absolutely agree. The best part about release day is how excited the readers get to have the new story in their greedy little hands. I love receiving so many messages, both publicly and privately, from readers who are enjoying the story.

Jen: OK, what's your most memorable release day so far? I'd still have to say mine would be The Marriage Bargain. I watched it hit the top of B&N over The Hunger Games and at the time I was an unknown author though I had a few backlist titles available. I remember jumping around, calling my family with the news, stalking the computer for rankings, and feeling so happy, there was no way to describe it. Complete joy and humbleness readers would embrace my book.

Kristen: The most memorable for me was when I released Come Away With Me. I didn't expect to sell many books, and suddenly I was in the top 100 on Amazon and it was sitting next to Nora Roberts, who is my own personal hero. I took about six screen shots of that sucker and cried for about an hour!

Jen: I think my most difficult release day was Searching for Someday. I was so excited about spinning off the marriage to a billionaire series, and hoping my readers enjoyed the way I transitioned old characters and melded with new. When the reviews and e-mails began pouring in, I've never felt so relieved and happy! I felt like Sally Field: "They like me! They really like me!" LOL!

Kristen: My most difficult was the release of Loving Cara, for sure. It was a new series, and I was so nervous that the readers would embrace this new setting! But the feedback was great, and when they started immediately asking me when the next story would be out, I was able to breathe again.

Jen: But today is a great day. Besides having an awesome Facebook party to celebrate with amazing authors such as you, I get to share my delicious new hero, Nate Ellison Raymond Dunkle, nerd extraordinaire, and watch as my new characters get to share their happy ever after.

Kristen: I have to first say THANK YOU for letting me read an advance copy of Nate's story. You know how much I ADORE your Marriage Bargain series, and now this amazing Billionaire Series! It's just brilliant. Nate is mine. Do you hear me out there? MINE! Who knew that I would fall so helplessly in love with such a nerdy guy? How did you come up with Nate? And where can I find him? ;)

Jen: You know how I love my alpha billionaires, right? And Nate is ... not. With an alpha female like Kennedy Ashe on the prowl, I needed a balance for her. I craved to write about a geek. A HOT geek. One who would blow readers' minds and get on the book boyfriend charts. And with a My Fair Lady story to boot — one of my all-time faves — Nate didn't disappoint me. He stole my breath, took the reins in the bedroom with Kennedy, and had the patience plus stamina to make her surrender to him. Umm, Kristen, it's really release day. Hold me. Make me feel better by sharing a deep dark secret. What's the craziest thing you've done on release day?

Mine? Hubby tried to take me out to a nice dinner to celebrate and relax. I went nuts on the poor man. Yelled how was I going to check Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, check rankings, and be available for bloggers if I was having dinner?! I remember him muttering something about a support group for writers' husbands. You?

Kristen: OK, I just spat Diet Coke all over my keyboard. I think my husband would like to join the same support group! C'mere, I'll snuggle with you. It's gonna be so GREAT! Let's see … craziest thing I've done on release day … Well, when Loving Cara released, I traipsed around the entire Puget Sound looking for it in stores! And took selfies with it in almost every store. Then made my assistant drive from store to store so I could tweet/FB/e-mail on my cellphone in between. I think that day ended with me being dehydrated.

But you don't have to worry about anything!! I'm telling you, this story is just bloody FANTASTIC! Sexy as sin, sweet and funny. Honest.

Jen: See, now I feel better! I'm so happy you were here to share in my special day! I'll be there when Breathe With Me comes out ... and I'll be making you breathe. Smooches. And a big thank you to HEA for letting us whine ... er, talk about new releases!

Find out more about Jennifer at www.jenniferprobst.com and Kristen on Facebook.

Also, both Jennifer and Kristen are taking part in Gallery Books' Belles on Wheels bus tour that kicks off on May 9. Find out more about it here and read about it on HEA.

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