Since writing What She Knew, our lives have gone in a way we never dreamed possible. T.L. for one was really surprised by the journey for her personally. K.R. has been an author for forever, lol! Writing and story telling is in her blood. T.L., well, not so much!
A few years back, while K.R. (Kim) and I were both still living in Amarillo, Texas, Kim was taking a writing class for published authors. Let me stop here, and share a bit about Kim. She has always loved writing and journalism, and has written five historical novels set in the Regency Era, 1811 time frame. One is published, Treasured Love, and currently available on Amazon under her pen name of Kymber Lee. Kim’s next Regency romance is due out in little under a month titled Lord Tristan’s True Love. It will be available on Amazon in ebook form first. Woot Woot!!
As for me, T.L. (Tamy), I was drug into the business after Kim had taken a class with a well-known published author. The author giving the class, Jodi Thomas, has over thirty historical romances and is a best-selling author herself. This special creative writing class was for a select few, of which Kim was personally invited to attend. Wonderful opportunity for her is what I thought way back then. But, in a very short amount of time, a couple of weeks if I remember correctly, it was going to be a wonderful opportunity for me as well.
At this time (2008), she and her husband along with my husband and I were very good friends. The night after her first class, we all went to dinner together. She told us she really thought she was going to love the class and what her first assignment was: write about something that has never been written about. Well, after the laughter died down, because, really, what hasn’t been written about? We put our thinking caps on and started to throw around ideas in the ‘what if’ category.
A little history, at this time Anna Nicole Smith had recently died. And for months after her death, everyone kept comparing her life to Marilyn Monroe’s. The fairy tale story of a girl going from rags to riches. So, after several minutes of banter, Kim and I came up with – what if Marilyn Monroe had lived and because of living, it changes the course of history and John F. Kennedy is saved from assassination? Kim’s eyes really lit up. She loved the idea. What more could an author ask for. We all knew that Marilyn had never died to the public, and neither had JFK for that matter. Here we have two iconic figures in history, never forgotten.
Because I had helped her come up with the idea, she asked me to do the research and she would do the writing for this assignment that was due the following week. I said sure. I love research. We worked together that week, came up with what is now chapter two of the book and she presented it to the class. The class loved it along with her instructor, Jodi. Jodi told her that if she didn’t finish this and make it into a novel, she was an idiot. This had the makings to be a best seller. And this from a best-selling author no less.
Well, the rest is history as they say. She came home from class, shared what Jodi had said and promptly announced that ‘we’ were writing a book. My answer was well thought out, “We!?!?, I’m not a writer.” “No,” she said, “but you are an excellent researcher.” Well, I’m not one to back away from a challenge. We worked together between family, jobs, volunteer work and friends and one year later had finished “What She Knew.”
For Kim and I, making the book as realistic as possible was uppermost in our minds. As a result, the book is historically accurate. I took great pains to make sure that the dates and places were correct in every sequence. We both love that it feels so real for a fictional novel.
Now, here we are. Five years later, the second edition of the book is published, the screen play is written, and we have just finished book 2 in the series and are ready to start book three. It’s been an interesting journey. In Nov of 2008 we self published the book, did some local book signings and sold basically to our friends and family. We did have some sales to people we did not know, but not many. It’s a hard road to choose and we knew nothing about promotion. This is just before Twitter, Facebook, and all the other Social Media that is out there now even existed.
Then three years ago, Kim and her husband moved to Atlanta, Georgia and a whole new world was opened up to us. It was in Atlanta that Kim met some great people both in the film and book industry.
A year and a half ago my husband and I followed and moved to Atlanta too. We came so that Kim and I could work on the script for “What She Knew” and to write the second book in the series. Thankfully, we were in a position to stay. From there, we met our agent, Janet Espy.
We are about to start writing book three and make book two into script form; all the while, working (the dreaded day job), promoting, and doing book signings. It’s great fun, very scary, and wildly energizing to be working our dream. Kim and I are very blessed. Yes, very blessed.
We would love it if you would join us on Facebook and Twitter. We can be found at our website www.kandtproductions.com and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/whatsheknew.krhughestlburns and Twitter at @whatsheknewbook. We love all things Marilyn and discussions on her life; things we learned while researching; and anything to do with writing in general. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book one is now out of print. The new trilogy will encompass book 1 and more!!
Blessings to you all, K.R. and T.L.