Special Guest Star, Kristen Painter!


All Fired UpToday we are honored to have as our special guest star, a writer I met at a con this past spring, and we just seemed to click. Kristen Painter is an eclectic woman, with a wide area of intrests and accomplishments. And most importantly for this site, she has gotten into the publishing business in a different, very current, way. Her personal and publishing history will appeal to our readers!  She started out as an e-pub writer, and has since…well, I’ll let her tell it. First her bio.

Kristen Painter is a former college English teacher, personal trainer, advertising exec, maitre d’, and runway model. When not building fantastical worlds, creating new characters or plotting herself out of a corner, she hangs out in the forum at Romancedivas.com, the award-winning site she co-founded with Jax Cassidy, blogs at www.kristenpainter.blogspot.com or tweets at http://twitter.com/Kristen_Painter. She’s represented by The Knight Agency

I started out writing fantasy romance – elves and princesses and swords kind of stuff – because that was what I liked to read. As a high schooler, I gobbled down the Sword of Shannara series, Mists of Avalon, some Piers Anthony…you get the picture. So fantasy romance made sense, until I realized what little market there was for it. (I believe things have changed a little since then, but not much.)
For my next project, I turned my sights to paranormal romance. I liked to read it, so why not write it? I kept on that path for several books, during which I landed my agent. However, we soon found out that while many NY editors responded to my voice and thought my characters and writing were strong, my style of light paranormal wasn’t right for them. They wanted dark, dangerous, deadly and I was writing a chef with a magical cookbook and a werewolf whose blind date was allergic to dogs. *ahem*
So my agent and I discussed it and decided to try an epublisher. Epubs are notoriously open to riskier books (although I’ve never thought of my work as risky) and if NY couldn’t see the genius that was me, maybe an epublisher would.
And wouldn’t you know it, they did. In a span of a few months, I sold two books to two different epublishers and the first book, ALL FIRED UP, came out on September 1st. Interestingly enough, I’ve since sold to a traditional publisher, Orbit, a darker urban fantasy series, but that’s another story for another time.
ALL FIRED UP is my first published book and as such, I’m proud of it. Do I think it’s going to get me on any lists? No and I don’t care. The reviews have been good and people are reading my words. And while I don’t write strictly to be read (yes, I’m also hoping to make some money), being read is a reward all on its own. Building a reader base is a wonderful thing and knowing that those readers respond to what you’ve written is priceless.

Kristen Painter

Kristen Painter

Kristen Painter
I’m available right here to answer questions!
ALL FIRED UP, Samhain Publishing

“A great read with a strong, likable heroine and a hero to die for.” – RT Bookclub
“…well-written, fast-paced, and thought provoking.” – TheGirlsOnBooks


7 comments to Special Guest Star, Kristen Painter!

  • Thanks for being here, Kristen, and congrats on the success you’ve enjoyed. I’d be interested to know if you had the same kind of editorial input from your e-publisher as you might have had with a more traditional publishing house. Did you have an editor who worked with you on content and the like? Was there a copyedit and a proofing of the “galleys”? In other words, in what ways was the experience similar to traditional publishing and in what ways did it differ? Thanks!

  • I can’t answer that fully, because I haven’t gotten edits for my first UF book from my Orbit editor – I’m expecting them in the next month or so. I can tell you that I went through a round of editorial edits and a round of line edits with Samhain. In the case of the editorial round, there was definitely some content work, character tweaking, that sort of thing. Not tons, but some.

  • Just a quick note to add my thanks to Faith for inviting me. She and I certainly hit it off and I hope we get to hang out again in the very near future. At the very least, we should make some earrings. ;o)

  • Kristen, re the e-book. I know a lot of writers can’t get an agetn with/for an e-book. Yet, yours worked with you. Can you shed some light on that — how you developed that relationship, why agent worked with you through the e-pub and into traditional publishing?

  • Great story, Kristen! Sometimes you really have to do what the heart needs rather than what people tell you to do!

  • My agent – and my agency – are very forward thinking when it comes to digital publishing. When I couldn’t break into NY, we made the decision to break into digital and start establishing my name. Considering that I’ve sold 5 books this year (and a 6th project I can’t talk about yet has been greenlighted, I think it’s working out.

    Do you need an agent to submit to an epub? No. But for me, it wasn’t even a question of whether or not I would go through mine. After all, a contract is a contract whether it comes from an epub or a traditional pub. I wanted the peace of mind of knowing that contract was vetted with my interests at heart.

    Can you catch an agent’s interest with a backlist of ebooks? Yes, depending on what your sales are like. I think it helps if you’re pubbed with an ehouse that’s got a great reputation, too. Epublishing means a lot more than it used to. And it’s not too late to get a piece of that for youself.

    And just to clear up a common myth about epublishing – they DO NOT accept everything they’re sent. You’re just as likely to get rejected by an epub as you are by a traditional publisher. Good writing and great storytelling still trump all.

  • Yea! Kristen, I am thrilled to see the positive ways the market is changing. And, to see that a major agency is that forward-thinking, just makes my day!