Guest Post by Kieran Kramer + Giveaway + Sneaky secret giveaway!

Filed in Giveaways , Guest Post , Kieran Kramer , The HEA Lover Posted on November 29, 2010 @ 7:00 am 41 comments
It’s with pleasure that we welcome again author Kieran Kramer on Book lovers Inc. Kieran’s new novel, Dukes to the Left of Me, Princes to the Right, is coming out tomorrow. It’s the 2nd book in the Impossible Bachelors series, I will just say these books are really worth your time! Let’s give a warm welcome to Kieran who will tell us all about her love of musicals and her encounter with a great but intimidating editor. Stay until the end for a great giveaway…and keep your eyes opened for a very sneaky secret giveaway in the guest post *g*

“Show (Don’t Tell!) Me Now: How Kate Duffy + Musicals = A Memorable Moment for an Aspiring Writer”
Okay, I am nuts for musicals!!! If I had my druthers, there’d be a “Life’s a Musical Day” the first Monday of every month. We’d sing everything to each other, dance through hallways, and do cool West Side Story leaps and kicks through the streets. Wouldn’t that make Mondays better?

All of you in my overactive (and perhaps deluded) imagination are yelling, “Yes, Kieran, it would!!”
But, alas. We don’t have “Life’s a Musical Day.” At least as far as I know…one of you is bound to tell me if we do. And whoever does first will receive a copy of both When Harry Met Molly and Dukes to the Left of Me, Princes to the Right (plus my undying gratitude). *G*
Okay, now I’m going to tell you a fun story. I was a new writer attending a national RWA conference and was assigned an editor appointment with the much loved and esteemed Kate Duffy. Sadly, Ms. Duffy passed away last year. I’d like to think she wouldn’t mind my sharing this little vignette with you.
For those who didn’t know Kate well–like me, an aspiring writer–she was someone, perhaps, to fear at an editor appointment. I’d heard many stories of her take-no-prisoners style.
Quite frankly, I was terrified to pitch my book to her!
I got up the nerve and did, but we were immediately off to a bad start. I complimented her on a book I’d just read by one of her authors. But it turns out this writer wasn’t one of hers! Kate told me so succinctly, and then she simply sat there and looked at me.
Oh, my God, I felt like such an idiot. My nerves were more on edge than ever. But I took a breath and pitched a book I’d just finished that, to be honest, I didn’t have a whole lot of confidence in.
So at the end of my pitch, which I have no doubt rambled, Kate said something along the lines of, “Chick lit’s out. But send it anyway if it’s all you’ve got. I can tell you right now I probably won’t want it.”
And then she stared at me again.
I mumbled my thanks. We still had a few minutes left in the interview. So I started rambling again. Somehow–and I have no idea how–I found out she loved musicals.
Oh, thank God! Common ground! I was so excited. My nerves disappeared, and for a few minutes we were simply two women sharing a few observations about musicals. Both of us loved My Fair Lady.
Utterly polite to the end of the short time she was forced to spend with me, Kate Duffy never cracked a smile. But I took that as a challenge. I would make her smile someday!! I would!! And if I couldn’t…
I’d simply watch a musical and get over it. *G*
Anyway, I got home from the conference and sent off my partial to Kate. But just before I mailed it, I was reminded of my intention to make her smile. Maybe I saw a picture of Audrey Hepburn. Or perhaps I’d just gotten back from seeing Fiddler on the Roof performed at our local theater and had musicals on the brain. It could be that I was singing in the shower, where I think I’m the best Julie Andrews imitator in the world. At any rate, I remembered I was going to make Kate Duffy smile, even though I had little hope my manuscript would pass muster.

So very quickly, in a burst of inspiration, I adapted the lyrics of a song from My Fair Lady to express, from an editor’s point of view, what she is looking for (or might be frustrated by) in a manuscript.

I wish I could say my little tale ends with a heartwarming note from Kate to me saying that she was so entertained by my partial manuscript that she would buy it, but she didn’t, as I’d expected. She did make a brief referral to my tweaked My Fair Lady lyrics, but she didn’t gush.
To this day, I really don’t know if I made her smile. In fact, now that I’ve been around the block a little and understand how overworked and harassed editors are, I realize that I could have possibly annoyed her with the extraneous correspondence! One more piece of paper for her to read! Aye yi yi, would these new writers never learn to stick to the subject? *G*
Oh, well. Real life doesn’t always have endings that are tied up neatly, like beautifully wrapped presents. But I will say that the memory of my interaction with Kate Duffy feels like a gift to me that I can look back at fondly. I feel privileged that I got to meet her.
I know why: I think it’s because she was so real. Kate Duffy was a forthright person. You rarely meet people like her, who lay it on the line all the time!
I like that she didn’t coddle me. She was showing respect for me as a person by speaking honestly with me. I might have left her table disheartened about my manuscript’s chances with her, but I left with my dignity intact. She made it very clear that she had high standards and that if I met them, she would be more than willing to work with me.
I believe my very brief encounter with Kate Duffy made me more of a professional writer.So thank you, Kate, for showing me that substance is what’s important. Not a flashy idea, not flashy writing, but substance–something that shows (rather than tells) a truth–and does it well!

Here, for those of you who happen to be writers and love musicals, are the lyrics that I wrote for Kate:

Show (Don’t Tell) Me

Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words!
I get words all day through;
First from my established writers and now from you!
Is that all you newbie scribblers can do?

Don’t talk of stars, burning above;
If your heroine is in love, show (don’t tell) me!

If selling a book is your desire,
If your characters are on fire, show (don’t tell) me!

There they are together in the middle of the book.
Don’t let them talk of spring–have their love scene cook!

Anyone who’s every been a writer will tell you that
The midpoint is no time for a chat!

Haven’t her lips longed for his touch?
Don’t say how much, show (don’t tell) me!
Show (don’t tell) me!

Don’t spout your pitch nor waste my time
If you clearly don’t know how
To show (and don’t tell) me now!


Have you ever had any shaky moments with an editor and  or an agent? 
Do you like musicals? If so which do you like? If you don’t like Musicals, WHY?!
Kieran is generously offering 2 copies
of Dukes to the Left of Me, Princes to the Right 
+ the secret giveaway mentioned in the post
All you have to do is answer Kieran’s question(s)
or just leave a meaningful comment about the post.
Please leave us a way to contact you
(email in blogger profile or twitter name is okay- no way to contact you – no entry)
This giveaway is open Internationally!
Giveaway ends on Saturday, December 12th  
we will announce the winners on Sunday.

Bonne Chance everyone!

About Caro The HEA Lover

Caroline is a HEA loving, yarn addicted French who's desperately hoping to get a HEA of her own. If she's not reading then she can be found knitting while listening to Audiobooks or watching Tv shows. Her secret addiction is reading websites that make fun at other people's expense (DYAC, Failbook)! Caroline also blogs at the Secret HEA Society with Susi.

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  • debbie November 29, 2010 at 7:21 am

    I don't have an editor or an agent. I do like certian musicals- Dr. Horrible sing along blog, hedweg and the angry inch, and the rocky horror picture show. Those and a few others I like.

  • Anonymous November 29, 2010 at 7:32 am

    I LOVE musicals! Years ago when I was a reporter in Atlanta I was assigned to attend and review opening night of The King and I at the Fox Theatre – WITH YUL BRYNNER in the lead role! I'd never seen the play but had LOVED the film. Brynner must have been in his 60s at the time, but he was the best looking 60-something man wearing a diaper you ever saw in your life! (He was RIPPED – hubba-hubba) I got to interview him as well and his old-world elegant manners and intriguing accent (he was Russian by birth, educated in China and lived and worked in radio in France) just bowled me over.

    He was a heavy smoker and I remember being amazed that he could do all that dancing and singing. Then a few years later he died of lung cancer. But I was so impressed that – before he passed away – he made a PSA for the American Cancer Society that aired after his death. In it he said, ""Now that I'm gone, I tell you, don't smoke. Whatever you do, just don't smoke. If I could take back that smoking, we wouldn't be talking about any cancer. I'm convinced of that."

    Thanks for bringing back this wonderful memory to me. I'd love to read Kieran's book as I follow her on Twitter!

    Bridgemama on Twitter

  • Kieran Kramer November 29, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Hi, Debbie and Bridgemama!!

    SQUEE about Yul Brynner!!


    OMG, that is an amazing memory!! I would have just jumped right on him and kissed him and then have to be dragged away by security. I love that muscial so much, and no one can play the King the way he did! Thanks for sharing that!!!!



  • Sara November 29, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Oh yes, I love musicals! My favorite movie of all time is Camelot…soooo beautiful. 🙂 I also love Cats, Phantom of the Opera and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I play POTO in my car a LOT.

  • Sara November 29, 2010 at 8:03 am

    BTW, we DO have "Life's a Musical Day"! 😉

  • Christine November 29, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Every moment I have with an editor and an agent during the pitch session is shaky. At the end of one of them, I was like "Whew, glad that is over with…" and she just smiled and laughed at my very apparent relief.

    Thanks for sharing the story. And I love musicals. They make me happy 🙂

  • Kieran Kramer November 29, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Be still, my beating heart!Sara…we DO have a Musical Day? Please tell me more about this and you'll win a copy of both books if you're the first to prove it!!

    Christine, You seem like the type of gal I could invite over to watch The Sound of Music or something similarly optimistic and awesome!!

    Ladies, have a great monday. Mine is off to a good start because of your comments.

    K :>)

  • Lia Bal November 29, 2010 at 9:38 am

    I love musicals. I have never seen a bad musical, I don’t think they exist. And “Life’s a Musical Day’s” do exist. When I was in high school, there was this guy in my history class who would always rap all of his answers. He was really good at it and made the class fun for us all. I also had a teacher who noticed that we respond better to music and so she started singing out her lessons to us. Ah, those were the days.

  • Chrizette @ All the days of November 29, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I love Musicals although I don't have much opportunity to see them live – I have seen quite a few recorded. I also love the old classics including My Fair Lady that you mentioned 🙂

    I would love to win your book – thank you for the chance!

    baychriz at gmail dot com

  • LSUReader November 29, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Okay, it’s not perfect, but it should be a fun trip:

    Start in Ireland, where April 8, 2011 will be celebrated as National Music Day. Then return to the states via New Orleans for Jazz Fest, April 29-May 8. Double celebrate for National Music Week, sponsored by the National Federation of Music Clubs, the first week in May. Take a couple of months off, then celebrate National Country Music Day on July 4. Now I know this doesn't pertain to musicals, per se. But you can sing whatever your heart desires!

    Thanks for a great blog post. I'm looking forward to your books.

  • jen7waters November 29, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Hello Kieran! I've never seen a musical live, only musical movies…I love The Phantom of the Opera, I can not help but to sing a long! 😀 I hope one day to see a Disney musical xD cheesy I know, but it would be fun, I think.

    And, just for the record, your lyrics are hilarious. (I'm sure Kate smiled.)


  • Gwen Hernandez November 29, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Love the lyrics Kieran. What a great story! And I can't think of a better way to celebrate the end of NaNo and getting my GH entry in than by reading Dukes to the Left of Me.

  • Blodeuedd November 29, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    These books sounds so much fun 🙂 Would love to read them.

    Musicals…oh well they just sing sooo much, I can't take some of them, but yes too much singing.

    blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

  • Alexa November 29, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Oh I have the first book in this series and I would like to read the second book as well.

    I can deal with some musicals as long as the singing isn't too excessive but Mama Mia was too much for me.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • throuthehaze November 29, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    I love musicals! The only one I have seen live is Beauty and the Beast. But my absolute favorite is Grease 🙂
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  • Robin K November 29, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I do not know that I have ever seen a musical to judge one. It would need to be the right genre, but that goes for about everything.

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  • Kieran Kramer November 29, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Thanks, every single one of you, for the great comments!! LSU Reader, I LOVE your musical tour…that may not be a real "Life's a Musical" Day, but it's a darned good substitute! (grin) I might have to consider that during giveaway-awarding time if no one else comes up with solid proof of a "Life's a Musical" Day.

    I guess I never said what my favorite musical is. That's REALLY hard. I like a lot of the older ones–so it's a tie between My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, Oklahoma, South Pacific, and Jesus Christ Superstar. So see? I can't decide.

    Of course, there are other great modern ones, too. I adore Andrew Lloyd Weber. Worked backstage at a local production of Evita–no lie, I was the person who stood on a very high stool and jumped off it with the curtain pull in my hand to open the curtain at the beginning. That's all. LOL!!

    I snuck backstage at Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. I just walked through the door that said "No Entrance" and wound up having a 10-minute conversation with the male and female leads. He had just gotten out of a quick shower. It was a Sunday matinee. In those few minutes, I found out she and I both learned to drive on a tractor. (weird, huh?) And then I got to walk out with them down this long tunnel to meet the rest of their fans. If you don't believe me…ask Priscilla Kissinger!! She's in RWA. I dragged her along with me. She's such a sport, and she loves musicals as much as I do. We were totally gobsmacked that we got away with it!

    Okay, tell me some more of your stories. Either about musicals or scary editors–or anything fun or funny or uplifting and awesome!! Who could NOT be uplifted watching people on stage singing the finale at OKLAHOMA?? Just thinking about it makes me want to stand tall and stare off at the wide blue horizon of the prairie with all that waving wheat and kiss a cowboy!! LOL!!!

    Kieran :>)

  • Scorpio M. November 29, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Never had to face an editor or agent but I do hate interviews in general and I can imagine the feeling is similar.

    I love musicals. "Guys and Dolls", "Miss Saigon", "Mama Mia", "Chicago" are amongst my favorites!

    I haven't had a chance to read any of your work yet but I have read all the great reviews for When Harry Met Molly! Congrats on Book 2.

    jenma76 at hotmail dot com

  • Barbara E. November 30, 2010 at 12:05 am

    I'm not a writer, so I don't have any editor stories to tell.
    I do like musicals, especially the old ones with Gene Kelly. I used to love watching those movies with all the musical numbers, with a large cast up on the stage and the female singer coming out of a shell or being lowered from up high. I just watched Disney's Enchanted the other night, and enjoyed all the singing and dancing numbers in it, it was a lot of fun.


  • JenM November 30, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Hi Kieran – Just this year, there was the first annual National Dance Day (inspired by SYTYCD (So You Think You Can Dance for those of you who don't watch it), so I don't see any reason why there couldn't be a "Life's a Musical" Day also. Maybe American Idol could sponsor that one LOL.

    As for me, one of my favorite memories of my first trip to Europe was the Sound of Music tour that we did in Salzburg, Austria. Luckily, my travel partner was as crazy about that show as I was. We had a great time traveling into the mountains to view where Maria sings The Hills are Alive and going to the church where they filmed the scene with the Nazis chasing them. It was wonderful. Now I've got Do Re Mi stuck in my head. Oh well, I may have to just give in and listen to the soundtrack before I go to bed tonight.

  • Amy November 30, 2010 at 2:21 am

    I like musicals! I've only been to one, The Phantom of the Opera, but I did enjoy that immensely. I like the combination of music and storytelling and acting on stage, and the atmosphere is so classy usually. Would love to go to more famous musicals sometime, such as Chicago, Wicked, etc.


  • -petit November 30, 2010 at 8:04 am

    i don't have a editor or a agent, but i really like musicals XD my dad is fanatic for them, and sometimes he took my sister and me to see some of them. I realy love Hairspray because the history is cute and funny XD
    Thanks for the giveaway, by the way :3


  • Tore November 30, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I do love musicals. I loved West Side Story. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  • ClaudiGC November 30, 2010 at 11:21 am

    First of all, I really loved When Harry met Molly and I can't wait to read the next one! As for musicals, I quite like them. The last I have seen was the Abba musical Mamma Mia! which was great. I went with my MIL and SIL. My MIL really let her hair down! I've never seen her like that. LOL

    Good luck with your new book!

  • Sara November 30, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Okay Kieran…here's the proof that there is a "National Life's a Musical Day"! Just click on the link and enjoy… 🙂

    sweetbrier at shaw dot ca

  • Sara November 30, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Oh…looks like you'll have to copy and paste the link into your browser. 🙂

  • rachel445 November 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Don't have an editor or agent, so I haven't had any shaky moments. But I love musicals! Phantom of the Opera has some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard. I've seen the play twice and the movie more times than I can count!

  • mbreakfield December 1, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Yes, I enjoy musicals. One of my favorites is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

  • Carrie at In the Hammock Blog December 1, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Oh my gosh, I love musicals!!! They are my favorite movies 🙂 Right now, I can't wait to watch White Christmas. I like to watch it every year at the holidays to get me in the holiday mood 🙂 They are so innocent and fun! Thank you for the chance to win!! I am in love with the title of the book!!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  • Carrie at In the Hammock Blog December 1, 2010 at 11:00 am

    PS according to Facebook, Life's a Musical Day is April 30th 🙂 At least in Australia!!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  • Theresa N. December 2, 2010 at 9:02 am

    I haven't had any moments as a writer or editor, I admire your courage I would have crumbled. Other than television I've never saw a musical but I love the music and buy all the recordings. Cats is one of my favorites. I also have a hugh crush on Terence Mann (and have had for years and years)
    who does a lot of musicals.
    Theresa N

  • Kulsuma December 2, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    That is a fantastic story and your poem rocks! I love musicals! They cheer me up! Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was my childhood favourite. My dad got so sick of me watching it all the time, he tore the tape from the VHS out *sad times*. The Sound of Music will always be a favourite! I'll never get tired of that one. More recently, The Phantom of the Opera! I love that one! My poor Gerard Butler;)Forget Christine, I'll have you!


  • Lu December 2, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Thanks so much for a brilliant giveaway!!

    Great guest post 🙂
    I love musicals! Whats not to love? Singing, drama, dancing! Love it 🙂

    chidoryx AT hotmail DOT com

  • Kieran Kramer December 3, 2010 at 9:28 am

    MORE fabulous comments–BookLoversInc. ROCKS!!

    Thanks for joining me here. I have a favorite Christmas singing memory. When I was a kid, we used to hook a hay wagon up to a tractor, and my dad would pull us around to the neighbors' houses, and we'd stand up on the wagon and sing carols. I LOVED that!

    And for any of you who celebrate Hanukkah, on my Facebook page (, I linked to a very awesome Youtube video featuring the Maccabeats singing "Candlelight," a takeoff on that song "Dynamite." It's really good!!

    Everyone have a great weekend!!

  • Sheree December 5, 2010 at 2:14 am

    Since I grew up in NYC, of course I love musicals!

    Love "Candlelight" by the Maccabeats!


  • Cathie December 7, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I grew up loving musicals, but haven't been into them as much as an adult. Now I have the urge to dust some off. Thanks!

  • PinkStuff28 December 10, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I love musicals . One of my fav is The Phantom of the opera

    raluk.93 at gmail (dot) com

  • Chelsea B. December 10, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Have you ever had any shaky moments with an editor and or an agent?– I'm not an author, so I don't have either 🙂
    Do you like musicals?– Absolutely! If so which do you like?– Hmmmm…. I really like Hairspray and, if it counts, the TV show Glee 🙂 If you don't like Musicals, WHY?!– I do! I love them!
    I'm looking forward to trying your books! I'm always excited to learn about new authors!


  • LAMusing December 11, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I love musicals. I used to be an actress and did my fair share of them. Since then I've co-authored 24 musicals for young audiences 🙂


  • Norma December 11, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I don't have an agent since I'm not a writer. I do love musicals. Man of La Mancha is a favorite.

  • Laura H. December 11, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    I adore musicals, especially those from the 1930s, 40s, 50s and 60s! They always have a happy ending (at least the ones I watch) and leave you feeling good! My favorite is "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" but am a huge fan of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals as well. I'll watch just about anything starring Debbie Reynolds and Judy Garland. They just don't make 'em like they used to!!


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