Categories

Interview with V.K. Sykes aka Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes with giveaway

Do you find it difficult to write with your husband, Randall Sykes?  Honestly don’t think I could work like that with my hubby.

It’s actually fairly easy.  In fact, I’m convinced writing improved our marriage.  Randy retired pretty early and without any real hobbies to keep him occupied.  I suggested he start writing—more as a desperate attempt on my part to give him something interesting to do.  Some might even say I did it to keep him out of my hair, but I would vigorously deny such a scurrilous accusation.

Do you find it difficult to work with Vanessa, Randy?

Sadly, Randy tends to disappear when it’s time to do interviews.  He’s rather a shy person so he leaves this stuff up to me.  Of course, I would never DREAM of saying anything he wouldn’t agree with.  Oh, and Randy says he doesn’t find me difficult to work with at all.  He insists I’m the easiest person in the world to get along with.  Really, he said that.

Economics, labor economics no less, and romance writer are poles apart!  What spurred the foray into romance, and why romance?

Randy and I both worked for a trade union before we began writing, which does seem pretty dry compared to romance.  But historical romance has always been a genre I loved to read, so when I began writing I naturally gravitated toward that.  Randy followed me a few years later.  At that point, I had discovered a real love for contemporary romance.  Since Randy is a sports fanatic, we figured writing some romances with athlete heroes was a good fit.

Does Randy read over the male pov and bring a dash of reality?

Randy always writes the first draft.  I then take that draft and revise and polish it.  He’s obviously very adept at male pov, and surprisingly good at female pov too.  I have to write the sex scenes, though.  They’re just beyond him.

Are the sports and math themes Randy’s contribution or do you also get into sports and numbers, Vanessa?

Both sports and math bore me to the point of weeping, so those topics are all his.

What is the best thing about working together?

We always have something interesting to talk about.

Worst thing?

When we disagree on the direction a book should take.  Fortunately, we can usually resolve those disagreements fairly quickly.

Why did y’all choose to go self pub with the V.K.Sykes titles?

Like many traditionally published authors these days, we wanted to write books that aren’t necessarily in the publishing mainstream.  For instance, we were always hearing from editors that sports romances didn’t sell.  Since we like writing sports romances, that was a problem.  But lo and behold, our indie published sports romances are selling very well.  Indie publishing allows authors to have complete control over the book, even past publication.  If a cover doesn’t work—change it.  If a blurb isn’t doing what you want it to do—change it.  And you always know exactly how many books you’re selling and how much money you’re taking in.  That part is truly awesome, since traditional publishers often make it very difficult to track royalties and income.  Royalty statements are famous for being some of the most confusing financial documentation you would ever want to see.

Your readers might be interested to know that I’m part of a group of traditionally published authors who are also branching out into self-publishing.  We’re calling ourselves Rock*It Reads, and we have authors like Pamela Clare and Elisabeth Naughton in the group.  Rock*It Reads has all kinds of exciting things going on, including a partnership with Barnes & Noble.  We’ve just started a twice monthly review column on B&N Review, spotlighting the best in indie books.  You can find out all about us at www.rockitreads.com

Can you tell us a bit about CADDY GIRL, HARDBALL, FASTBALL, and FAST NUMBER?


Buy from Carina Press


Buy from B&N

Buy from Amazon

CaddyGirls was our first book, and it was published by Carina Press.  We really enjoyed writing that book and it reads a bit like a Harlequin Presents—alpha millionaire hero, spunky underdog heroine.  Fastball and Hardball are part of a series, and have two really sexy baseball heroes.  We’ll definitely be writing more books in this particular series.

 

 

 

 

Buy from Amazon

Hot Number is a bit different from our previous books, but it’s probably our favorite.  It takes place in Las Vegas, and the heroine is a geeky math professor and the hero is a security chief at a big casino.  Sadie, our heroine, is looking for a blow-out week in Vegas to help forget her troubles at work.  But she very quickly generates mayhem, bringing her to the attention of Nick, the sexy security chief.  It’s a very steamy book but probably our funniest book.  Sadie is a very endearing heroine, with a sharp wit and a tendency to get into a lot of trouble.


Is there anything special you’d like readers to know?

Yes, I wanted to let readers know I’m still publishing my Regency-set historical romances as Vanessa Kelly.  My next book, His Mistletoe Bride, will be released by Kensington Zebra on Oct. 1.  As you might deduce from the title, it’s a Christmas book, which is always fun.  Stop by my website for a look at my beautiful cover and all the details.

Thanks so much Vanessa and Randy for visiting with me and Manic Readers.  I’ve really enjoyed it!

Vanessa and Randy are generously offering one (1) digital copy each of FASTBALL & HOT NUMBER.  Giveaway ends @midnight (12 a.m.) on 5-4-12. Meaningful comments only please!

 


Bio:  V.K. Sykes is really two people – Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes, a husband and wife team who write sexy contemporary romance. Randy excels at plot and characterization, but tends to fall down on the job when it comes to that pesky old thing called emotion. That’s where Vanessa steps in. She usually writes the sex scenes, too, since Randy is a bit uncomfortable when it comes to that sort of stuff. Vanessa also writes Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra under her own name. You can find V.K. on the web at www.vksykes.com, and Vanessa at www.vanessakellyauthor.com


V.K. Sykes on Facebook

Vanessa Kelly on Facebook

Twitter

Be Sociable, Share!

13 comments to Interview with V.K. Sykes aka Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes with giveaway

  • I have to admit that I’m very impressed that Vanessa can work so closely with her husband! My husband and I are both academics, and I think they’d have to scrape the bleach off the walls if we tried to write together! I do like the idea of a sports romance, though. Sounds like fun!
    rwschwarz11ATgmailDOTcom

  • Toni

    WOW, how wonderful to be able to do this with each other. I think I would cause harm to my husband. I also find it funny that Vanessa has to write the sex scenes. I need to check out this writing duo. I have been trying to find a man’s perspective on romance. Should be fun! tsteinerid(gmail)

  • We do have fun writing these books, even with a speed bump now and again!

  • Karen C

    Great interview!! Really enjoyed learning about V.K. Sykes. I really enjoy sport themed books and these sound like fun reads – will definitely be adding to my TBR. I think it’s exciting that you and your husband can work together and yes, I can see where there might be a few minor bumps along the way. Congrats on your success as an historical writer and as an indie writer and good luck with Rock It Reads and future endeavors!!

  • Fedora

    That is so cool, Vanessa! I love that you and your husband can collaborate so well on these stories! I’m not sure that DH and I could do the same 😉 While we get along well enough, having to work together closely in such a way might be the end of us ;p

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  • Karen, it always amazes me when editors say no one reads sports-themed books. Readers seem to love them!

    Fedora, husband/wife collaborations aren’t for everyone!

  • Shannon

    Thank you for posting the interview. It’s great that you are able to work in this way with your husband Vanessa. I’m not sure I could do the same – or it might just be the last thing we did together LOL

    bas1chsemail at gmail dot com

  • infinitieh

    Do you both work in the same office or do you have separate offices/spaces to write?

  • Thanks for stopping by, Shannon! Sounds like you should not work with your hubby!

    Infinitieh, we do share one office, but I usually write in another room. I like to spread out a bit, and get away from the computer.

  • bn100

    Very nice interview. The books sound good.

  • Glittergirl

    Wow this is so cool. When I married my DH I told him I would NEVER work for/with him…famous last words. After 1-1/2 years working/partnering with his Dad they lost their secretary while Dad was on vacation. I was working part-time so I filled in. Then I lost my job and my Father-in-Law came back to work and wouldn’t let me go. He said after 40 years on the job I was the best secretary he’d ever had (flatterer). We had some bumps but over all it worked out well for us. I’m glad you two found something new in “retirement”. Good for you! The books sound great and there are quite a few great authors at Rock*ItReads.

  • ClaudiaGC

    Thank you for this lovely interview! I loved Hardball! Even though I’m from a country where baseball isn’t big, I enjoyed it immensely.
    I love your new venture, Rock it Reads! All authors I enjoy combined. 🙂 I hope you’ll have much success with it.

  • Ivy

    Congrats ClaudiaGC & Rebe!

    Vanessa has your names so please check your email & spam.

    Thanks to everybody. Hope to see y’all often!