Writer Wednesday Welcomes Keri Ford!

Keri Ford

If you haven’t met Keri Ford, you need to. She was one of the first personalities I came across on Twitter and I have since been keeping an eye on this up and coming romance writer. She’s young, and fun and so completely engaging. You’ll want her for your best girlfriend. I did! One of the best things about Keri Ford is she’s in the boat sitting right beside us. She wears all the hats, does all the juggling, and still dreams up the most fabulous romances along her way.

To quote Keri-  because she says it so much better:  “I was raised in South Arkansas on a farm surrounded by family, horses, cows, donkeys, ostriches, emus, chickens, ducks, Canadian Geese, and enough dogs one would think we were a pound…And then I bought a Cosmopolitan when I was twenty-two. I don’t recall what I’m sure was some fantastic sex tip, but I vividly remember reading an excerpt of Christina’s Skye’s Code Name: Princess. One elevator scene and quick thought of, I didn’t know people wrote stuff like this… and my life would never be the same.

Keri, I am so thankful to have you here for this interview! My readers are officially deprived of romance.

KF: Hi, Julie! Thank you for inviting me!

I just don’t have the knack for making the deep emotional connection believable. I also blush at writing intimate scenes beyond a kiss or two. How do you approach writing the chemistry?

KF: Chemistry is my favorite part! The flush of anticipation, fluttering hearts, loss of breaths…ahhh. Writing the chemistry is my favorite part. I like the banter, the teasing. The shy looks and the blushing. It’s the building blocks of their love so that when I get to write that first kiss, I’m so lost in the romance, there’s no time for blushing by me! It’s like watching a movie. Do you blush when Ariel kisses Eric in The Little Mermaid? I sigh and smile.

To write an actual love scene, I have to be energized. If I’m tired, cranky or hungry, I can’t push through like I can for other parts of the book. Don’t rush it, just let it flow. Allow the scene to progress as it comes out. If it’s coming out rougher or nicer than you planned, don’t worry about it. You can always edit it different later. For me, I write all the mechanics of a love scene first and then go back and layer in the emotions and feelings. Oftentimes it can take hours or days to get one just right.

For the blushing, I think that’s something that eases the more you do it. As with anything, the more practice you have, the better at it you become.

Are the relationships ever built upon couples that you know, or situations that you have been in?

KF: I think to some degree, the relationships come from things I’ve seen and read about. Pretty much though, it’s just my imagination at work about conflicts that interest me. In the regency era, it was a big disgrace for a man to marry his harlot. I got to thinking, hmm, I wonder how that affects the man’s grown kids? And that was the start of one of my historicals.

I’ve read your free Valentine story, Paint A Perfect Valentine. I loved it! What gave you the idea to share your complete work this way? Writers are so timid to share beyond a small excerpt.

KF: Thank you! You’re the first to tell me you’ve read it and enjoyed it ;-) The idea wasn’t mine. I joined a romance writer’s forum, Romance Divas. They do a yearly Valentine Free Read Challenge and I took part in that. I was very nervous about posting the full read, but did it anyway. It was a good trial run to show me how I’ll handle becoming published and putting my work out there. Guess what? I survived posting the read and I would do it again. Soon I might have another story that I’ll be posting a chapter at time if it doesn’t sell. It has characters I love and adore. I don’t think I can just put them under the bed!

By the way, I can’t recommend Romance Divas enough for a writer (published or not) to join. It’s a great group of writers with a lot of information there.

You are not only an aspiring writer. You are also a wife and a mother, and I’m sure that you wear many other hats as well (we already know that we can add blogger to that list). How do you manage the time? Do you have a strong support system to keep you encouraged and uplifted?

KF: Delicately. Kidding. Sometimes it feels like juggling knives and they’re all about to fall. Typically first thing in the morning as I’m waking up I hope around to the different blogs I follow, forums and twitter. I’m not always in every place every day. Sometimes I just don’t have the ump to do twitter, so I’ll skip for a day. Other days, I’m there all day long chatting. Don’t force it. If you force social networking, it’ll show. Let it be something fun for you! I’m a stay-at-home mom, so my contact is with my toddler and the TV of the day. I’m draw to the internet with adults! …it’s people. Adult people.

Also, I’m a supporter of letting my kid watching educational tv shows. Educational shows run in the morning until noon (Disney channel and Discovery Kids are the ones I keep it on). I get a lot of work done during this time. And bonus, my kid has learned tons. Seriously <mommy brag insert>, he’s ahead for his age (3 years old). While I do work with him, seeing them during those shows really cement information in.

And yes. My husband is wonderful. If I’m really pressing to get something finish, I’ll go to another room as soon as he gets home and work. The rest of my family is also really supportive of my writing, so that helps, too.

Do you have a favorite author or an inspiration that you go back to time and time again?

KF: I have a lot of favorite authors. Too many to list. When I’m in a slump, starting to feel that fear that I’ll never get there, I turn to my keeper shelf and re-read all the books that made me fall in love with the romance genre to begin with.

How do you handle rejections to your work?

KF: Rejections are part of the business. Yes, they suck like wow, but again, part of the business. They can be for any number of reasons. Such as taste, for example. Your voice and style. A reader’s book taste is like their food palate. Reading a book you don’t like is the same as being told to drink Coke and enjoy it when you’re a die-hard Dr. Pepper fan. Unless you’re given specific feedback, don’t read too deep into any rejection letter.

What are some resources that you use to guide and improve your works?

KF: My eyes and ears mostly. Sounds nutty, right? But true. Yes, I’ve read some guidebooks, but most everything that has improved my writing is feedback from critique partners, editors and agents. Be open to what they say. A good critique will tell you what’s not working and WHY. The why is the important part.

The best guides you’ll find are the books on your keeper shelf. Just last week I was really struggling with a scene. The heroine was woolgathering when a dog sneaks up behind her. I couldn’t get the transition correct from ‘relax’ into immediate ‘panic’. I looked at a couple published books to see what that author did as an example. I went back to my scene and got it right on the next try. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this.

What are you working on now?

KF: Several things, plus I just sold a sexy little novella titled Through The Wall to Turquoise Morning Press! I pitched a series idea to my editor that I’m super excited about that I’m diving into now. (can’t wait to announce details on this!)

Wow! Huge hugs and congratulations, Keri! What an amazing feeling. You must be on cloud nine! Please let us know as soon as you have the details on how we can get that on in our hands!!

Any thoughts that you’d like to share with those writers who are just beginning to navigate the writing / publishing world?

Try. Don’t be afraid to try anything. If you don’t try, then you don’t know. Are you given feedback you’re not sure on? Save an extra copy of your story and try it to see what happens. You’ll lose a little time, but gain some tremendous insight. You might find yourself surprised or realize exactly why that particular idea doesn’t work.

Julie I would challenge you to write the most raunchiest, sexiest intimate scene you can. It won’t be to share. You can write it, don’t even have to save and then delete it. Next time you go to write an intimate scene, maybe it’ll be easier for you. Who knows? Might work, might not. Only one way to find out.

Thanks for asking me to come out today!

Thank you Keri! Head over to check out Keri Ford’s blog and don’t forget to take advantage of her FREE romance novella at KeriFord.com

46 comments to Writer Wednesday Welcomes Keri Ford!

  • Thanks for having me here today, Julie! It was a lot of fun and I’ve been completely flattered!

    If anyone else wants to pick my brain about something, ask away!

  • Keri Ford is a great writer. I am glad to know her now because someday I’ll get to say, “I knew her when…”

  • Hey Keri! Great interview!

    And I was chatting with Kim at TMP and she told me about your hot little novella Through The Wall. I was so impressed by the premise of the story…brilliant! Can’t wait to read it!

    I am so excited for you and am so glad to have you aboard TMP with me. These are the moments we will remember…cherish them all!

    Good luck sweetie!

  • Ha! Educational TV shows…good for the whole family! I used to love watching Sesame Street growing up — hey, I wonder if mum just needed some alone time then?

    Great interview. Persistence and genuinely loving what you do are key. Best of luck with the upcoming release and the new series.

  • *sniff* Our Lil’ Miss Apple-Pie is growing up. Isn’t she cute? Congrats, chickie, on your debut. First of many, I’m sure.

  • Great interview, Keri and huge congrats on the sale :)

  • Wow! You sure did play nice. You didn’t tell them about your wicked whip you wield in the Romance Divas chat room! LOL!
    You are the awesome Keri. Great interview.

  • ChrisQ

    Great interview, and congrats on the sale. *hugs*

  • How far Ms. Keri has come since I met her. What was it, Keri? 4 years ago? YIKES

    Keri didn’t mention this, but while she was balancing family and writing, she was also serving RWA on the National Level by serving as Co-Chair of the PRO Education Committee. LOTS of hard work on her part and it shows in the caliber of classes we’ve had this year.

    Nice interview, ladies

  • Great interview Keri! Congrats on your sale!

  • aw, thank you Keri! I hope one day YOU can say that.

    Renee–thank you! Kim has been amazing. I’m so glad to have found a home there. I still think she must have been drugged when she read and decided she loved my novella cause all this really can’t be happening. Oh, wait. Maybe *I’m* the one that’s drugged!??

  • You too Jeannie! I can’t wait to hold BUTTERFLY SWORDS in my hands! thanks for popping in!

    Thank you Inez. My sexy novella probably would not have been possible without your help in rubbing off my apple-pie outer lining.

    Thank you Kim! I still want to be you when I grow up.

    LOL Jennifer…the idea is to get them wrapped in FIRST. Now you’ve gone and terrified everyone with talk of my whip and sent them running!

  • thank you Chris! Wouldn’t have done it without you either! I think you whipped me all the way through this novella!

    Thank you so much, Marian!

  • yes Cyndi! 4 YEARS. Couldn’t have done this without you either. You taught me so much. Don’t think you’re getting rid of me, your leach sucking info out of you, anytime soon, missy!

    and thank you for the nice words. we put a lot into those classes and because of it…this year has passed in a blur. ;)

  • Kim

    Keri, congrats on your interview! I knew we landed a gem when we snagged you. :) TMP is thrilled to have you as an author, and no, I was not on drugs when I read and accepted your ms. It’s wonderful! And the series will be, as well. Oops! I need to email you about that. :)

    Have fun and enjoy.

    Kim

  • [...] for more head over to Julie’s blog…Musings From The Slush Pile [...]

  • Educational, huh? That’s what I tell myself too! LOL

    Congrats on the first sale. May it be the first of many!

    Nothing like having a good friend by your side on this crazy, rollicking journey…I count myself lucky to have Keri’s eyes and ears on my side along with her friendship. Keri is terrific at catching plot holes. I tell her all the time that she could be an editor.

  • Robin

    This article is such an inspiration for a new writer. Congrats on the sale. I am sure there are many more to come. :)

  • Wonderful interview! Thanks for sharing.

  • hey….it’s the prettiest, smartest, wittiest, bestest editor in the world! Thank you Kim! I’m excited. I’m so ready to shout out that series title and tell about it!

  • Liz–you have a darn good set of eyes on you too! (Liz is a new author too! her first book just hit the shelves in June! VEGAS TWO-STEP)

  • Robin, you just got me teary! When I write, I never think *I* would be someone’s inspiration. That is the BEST COMPLIMENT ever. thank you so much for stopping by.

  • I think I was so excited I forgot to hit okay on my last comments LOL….sorry if they pop in twice.

    Kim! the bestest wonderfulest, wittiest, prettiest editor in the world! thank you so much! I’m so excited about this series and can’t wait to announce it!

  • Great interview, Keri!

    Congratulations on Through the Wall and I look forward to hearing about the series! :)

  • Morgan Scott Matthews

    Great interview, Keri! Writing with young children in the house is definitely an experience! Congrats again on your sale. :D

  • Yay, Keri! Great to see you here – congratulations!

  • Keri really is a sweetheart and a great writer too :)

  • Hey, David! and thanks! I’m really excited by it.

    oh, Morgan it’s hard to keep a train of thought with “mommy! I want a snack!” in the background!

    thank you Becke!

  • Hooray, Keri! Congrats on the sale.

    I’d second your recommendation for Romance Divas, too.

    Also, as a writer-mom, I find there’s only one thing I can’t write with Munchkin in the room (cue ’70s bump-chicka-wah-wah), but the writing is definitely slower. It’s better now that she’s older because she understands that Mommy’s job is writing. So if I’m sitting at the computer, she’ll ask if I’m working. If I say yes, she is happy to entertain herself to a large extent – and, yes, TV and educational computer games help there.

    Oh, Keri, that reminds me. At that age, Munchkin was a big fan of the Leapfrog toys- they kept her entertained and engaged her brain.

    Great interview.

  • Thanks Elise! yeah…THOSE kinds of scenes I try to do while he’s napping. some times it helps while he’s playing if I put a headphone in only one ear.

    Mine is understanding the concept that I’m working. Has quite gotten it yet.

    I’ll have to look into the LeapFrog things! he loves the wii games, but after a couple minutes, he wants you to play too. thank you for stopping by!

  • AnotherNikki

    Before my daughter started kindergarten, she LOVED Playhouse Disney on the Disney Channel. Kept us both sane, I think.

    I think it’s good for our children to see us pursuing our dreams. But it can be a delicate balancing act to simultaneously fill the role of mother & writer. I know I struggle with it daily.

    But I ramble. :-)

    Nice interview, Keri. And congrats on your recent sale!

  • Thank you Flynn! and so glad to have you “back” now!

    Oh, it does Nikki. and he LOVES playhouse disney. I think I would really have some mental problems if I didn’t catch some daily breathing time. thanks for stopping by!

  • Hi Keri! Wonderful interview, and congrats again on the sale! I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the series come to life.

  • What a awesome interview! I enjoy learning about new authors and now I can’t wait to go in search of work by Keri!

  • Thank you Nikki B! My novella isn’t coming out until winter, so we’ll all just have to wait.

    …….

    …..waiting is tough LOL

  • Tina W

    Great interview, Keri. Congrats on the sale, can’t wait to read.

  • Heather Brewer

    What a great interview Keri. I am excited for you and can’t wait to read your 1st book.

  • Thank you Tina and Heather! I’m so excited I can’t hardly breath!

  • I love that you quoted The Little Mermaid! And Romance Divas, of course…:)
    This was an awesome interview!

  • wow, I’m late to the party. It’s the whole east and west coast thing, lol. Congrats on your sale! And what a great interview. I hope it’s the first of many. :)

  • Thank you Eden! I think Little Mermaid is my fav. I love Ariel’s free spirit and all she risks! And of course, I wuvs my Divas!

    Thank you Jodie! Those coasts and zones mess us all up! and I hope you’re right!

  • Sorry, Jodi. don’t know where that ‘e’ came from!

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