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Conversations With Authors

V.K. Sykes Talks Dynamic Writing Duos, Family, and Island Communities.

Summer at the Shore
V.K. Sykes




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Seashell Bay #2

July 2015
On Sale: June 30, 2015
Featuring: Ryan Butler; Morgan Merrifield
384 pages
ISBN: 1455552550
EAN: 9781455552559
Kindle: B00O7X61CW
Paperback / e-Book
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Also by V.K. Sykes:
See You at Sunset, March 2016
Scoring Position, February 2016
Summer at the Shore, July 2015
Meet Me At The Beach, March 2015


V.K. Sykes joins us to talk dynamic writing duos, family, island communities. Fresh Fiction Reviewer Monique Daoust to give us the details on writing as a husband-wife team and the close community or Seashell Bay.

Monique: You write historical romance as Vanessa Kelly and write contemporary romance as V.K. Sykes as a husband wife writing duo. How do separate V.K. and Vanessa, and how do you find the time to write for both?

V.K.: My husband Randy is my secret weapon. Although we brainstorm the V.K. Sykes books together, he does the research, writes the initial outline (which I then turn into a full synopsis), and also writes the first draft. Honestly, writing the first draft is the hardest part for me so that’s huge. While Randy is doing that, I work on my historical romances. Then we switch things off—he critiques and edits whichever historical manuscript I’m working on at the time, and I move ahead with deep revisions to the VK Sykes manuscript. That way we stay out of each other’s hair but also get the work done.

As for finding the time to write both, we schedule our deadlines very carefully! No all- nighters or last minute rushes for us. That works for some people, but we’re not keen on living that way. Fortunately, we’re both fast writers and pretty organized, so we can make it work.

Monique: I’m very curious as to how you and your husband began writing as V.K. Sykes. You’ve said how much you love working together, but who brought up writing a book together first and how did you get the ball rolling from there?

V.K.: I was the one who made the initial suggestion. Randy was nearing early retirement and he wasn’t sure how he was going to spend all that free time. I had visions of us driving each other crazy within the first few months! At about the same time, I went to my first romance writers conference, and two of the speakers were a husband and wife writing team. I dragged Randy down to the book signing to meet them, and we had a lovely chat. Much to my surprise, Randy told me that he used to write fiction when he was younger and had really enjoyed it. So, he came up with an idea for a book (a sports romance—he’s a baseball fanatic) and we went from there.

Monique: Your first novels were historical fiction, what brought about your decision to branch into contemporary romance? How does your husband figure in your foray?

V.K.: I really love contemporary romance and I always wanted to give it a shot. But I’m a person who works better on only one project at a time. Once Randy entered the game, it opened up a realm of possibilities. Since he wanted to write sports romances that was our window into the contemporary romance genre.

Monique: The Seashell Bay series takes place on island, which really brings home the theme of family and community. It’s a theme you find in all your work. Is creating such an intimate community difficult? How do you keep track of everyone and where they’re supposed to be?

V.K.: Yes, family turned out to be a significant theme in all my books, including the historical romances. I grew up in a large family in a small town, so creating that sort of fictional community comes pretty naturally to me. I will admit that we could be better at keeping track of characters and events, so that’s a bit of a challenge. We both keep extensive notebooks with all those sorts of details, but I’d like to be able to organize them more effectively. Thank God for good copy editors who can catch all the little mix-ups!

Monique: Morgan, in SUMMER AT THE SHORE, has had a long-time crush on Ryan, and Lily had a high-school crush on Aiden in MEET ME AT THE BEACH. I love that these women fall for their crushes, but not because of a romantic ideal but because they see and accept the men they had become. Will this be a recurring theme in the Seashell Bay series, and if not what can we look forward to in Seashell Bay?

V.K.: Absolutely, although there’s a bit of a reversal going on in the next book, SEE YOU AT SUNSET. In Micah and Holly’s story, it’s the hero who’s been nurturing a crush for years. Holly will be the character primarily struggling with where she is in life, and how Seashell Bay fits into her love life and her future.

Monique: I love the role reversal! SEE YOU AT SUNSET sounds like a perfect addition to the Seashell Bay series. Thank you so much for joining us!

About V.K. Sykes

V.K. Sykes is really two people – Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes, a husband and wife team who write USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance and also romantic suspense. 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 award-winning Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra under her own name. You can check out Vanessa’s bestselling historical romances at her website.

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Morgan Merrifield sacrificed her teaching career to try to save her family's bed-and- breakfast and care for her younger sister. She can't let herself get distracted by Ryan Butler. After all, the rugged ex- Special Forces soldier is only in Seashell Bay for the summer. But her longtime crush soon flares into real desire-and with one irresistible kiss, she's swept away.

Ryan values his freedom. As much as he wants Morgan, he's not ready to settle down with anyone, much less in sleepy Seashell Bay. But his code of honor doesn't allow him to leave a woman in distress-and she's in desperate need of help to fix the inn. It only takes one day working under the same roof and Ryan is already hoping for a lifetime of hot summer nights . . .




2 comments posted.

Re: V.K. Sykes Talks Dynamic Writing Duos, Family, and Island Communities.

Your book sounds like just the type of read I need to wind
up my Summer with, so I've put it on my TBR list.
Congratulations on your latest book. I'm sure it's going to
do well, since you must have quite a following by now!! The
cover is very well done, too!! It's very inviting - it's
just begging you to flip open the cover and start reading!!
Great job, and great interview!!
(Peggy Roberson 11:15am July 10, 2015)

I prefer historical but eager to read an author duo book. My
husband and I worked together for years.
(Leona Olson 6:04pm July 10, 2015)

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