Kathy Ivan

My journey to publication began much like everyone else. I wrote when I was younger short little snippets of stories. Took creative writing classes in high school, but then real life invaded and my writing got pushed aside as reality struck. The longer I ignored it, the fainter the voices were that wanted their stories told, until one day they stopped completely.

Don’t get me wrong. I still read, voraciously, just about anything and everything I could get my hands on. Didn’t matter what genre it was. Heck, I didn’t even know what genre was. To me, if it had printed words on the page, that was good enough. But my stories? The ones that used to be in my head? Gone.

Fast forward more years than I care to admit. I’m working as a medical transcriptionist every day, plodding away on the computer, headphones attached to my head listening to physicians mangle words so badly as to be unintelligible to the human ear. Add a foreign accent on top of that along with blinding headaches and you’ve got my day. Then I found out one of my coworkers has published a book, a romance. (I worked at home and she worked in the office, so I wasn’t really privy to that fact until after she was published.

So, I e-mailed her congratulations. She e-mailed me back and invited me to a book signing at a conference called Dreamin’ in Dallas. Wow, I’d never been to a professional book signing before, so another coworker and I went and got our copies signed. This author invited me to a DARA (Dallas Area Romance Authors) meeting. Me in a room with a bunch of romance authors? Sounded excited and terrifying at the same time. Why not?

The end of April rolled around and I walked through the doors of the hotel and into a whole new world. All the people were excited to talk about books. Not just reading them, but writing them. Something I had stopped dreaming about after high school. Could I try again? Wasn’t I too old, too far past thinking I could make a go of something as fickle as trying to write a book?

No, I didn’t think so. After work, in the evenings and on the weekends, I sat at my computer and wrote. Maybe a few pages at a time, sometimes only a few paragraphs at a time, but slowly a story began to emerge. A pretty good story, I thought. The characters and stories which had been silent for so long had returned.

The next year, at Dreamin’ in Dallas, with a finished manuscript, I pitched to an editor. Wonder of wonders, not only did she like the concept, she asked for the full manuscript. I, of course, was walking on the clouds. Yep, this was it. I was going to sell this manuscript and be the new Nora.

Only I didn’t hear back from her. Months passed with no word. So I queried more editors, entered the manuscript in a few contents. Got really good feedback most of the time, but always the same answer. Thanks, but no thanks. (Finally heard back from that first house after 2 years, with a no thanks, too.)

Fast forward 5 years later. After multiple attempts to sell my manuscript, working on other things in the meantime, I decided to “retire” it from circulation and concentrate my attention on the next big project. I decided to give it one last shot at a new publishing house, Carina Press. They said they were looking for stories a little different from everybody else. So, March 6th I e-mailed it to Carina and pretty much forgot about it. May 11, 2010 my phone rang. Checking the caller ID, I see James, Angela in the viewer. The name sounds familiar but I can’t place it.

Turns out she is the Executive Editor at Carina Press and wants to talk to me about my book. The editor, acquisition team, and she have all read it and love it. They want to make me an offer. Once I’ve climbed back down off the ceiling, of course I said I’d love to discuss it with her. The rest, as they say, is history.

I guess the moral of my story is . . . don’t ever give up trying. If I hadn’t tried “one more time”, Desperate Choices would be sitting under my bed, probably never to see the light of day again. The manuscript that five years before couldn’t sell finally sold.

Write what you love and love what you write. It makes all the difference in the world.

 Desperate Choices
When psychic Theresa Crawford’s former beau walks into her New Orleans New Age shop, she senses trouble. Big trouble. Max Lamoreaux hasn’t come to discuss their relationship—the private investigator is on a case, and he needs Theresa’s help.

Max’s godson is missing. The police have declared Tommy a runaway, but Max’s gut tells him otherwise. While he’s highly skeptical of Theresa’s abilities, her visions provide the only clue as to who’s taken Tommy. The longer Max works with Theresa, the harder it is to resist his desire for the sexy woman.

As they inch closer to finding Tommy, Max and Theresa also discover that time hasn’t diminished their powerful attraction. But Theresa harbors her own dark secrets from her past. Secrets that broke them up before—and could drive them apart again, unless Theresa can learn to trust Max with everything…

Read an excerpt

Pre-order Desperate Choices from Carina or Desperate Choices will also available through Barnes and Noble, Kobo Books, Sony, Books on Board and other etailers.

Like the sound of it? Leave a comment for Kathy for a chance to win an e-copy of Desperate Choices.

More about 

Kathy can’t remember a time when books and reading weren’t a part of her daily life. She was blessed with a mother who instilled in her a love of reading at a young age. This progressed into a passion for the written word in all forms, which led to her writing. Every day new stories and new ideas roam through her head, the characters chomping at the bit for their turn to be front and center and have their stories told. That love of storytelling translates into her desire to write and share her stories with others.

Her day job is about as uncreative as it gets. She does medical transcription, spending numerous hours each day trying to decipher the mumbled, garbled, often unrecognizable words physicians are dictating in an effort to make a complete and comprehensive patient record. It’s almost as bad as trying to read their handwriting!

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, she’s lived in various places, from California to Hawaii and back to Florida before finally settling in Texas. Kathy makes her home outside Dallas, Texas. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Dallas Area Romance Authors (DARA).

Visit Kathy’s website or her blog and follow her on Twitter.

Debut Author Kathy Ivan: Desperate Choices
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18 thoughts on “Debut Author Kathy Ivan: Desperate Choices

  • September 15, 2010 at 6:07 am

    I love that Carina pick stories just a little out of the box 🙂 And I love psychics too 🙂 Can't wait to read Desperate Choices!

  • September 15, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Kathy, I am so excited for you and can't wait to read Desperate Choices. Your journey is much like mine, and I couldn't be happier for you.

    Loved the excerpt, BTW.

  • September 15, 2010 at 6:24 am

    Kathy – I've always thought that listening to the characters' voices in my head was a bit like transcription – they won't be quiet til I put their stories on paper. Maybe your years of deciphering the undecipherable was what made all the difference! 🙂


  • September 15, 2010 at 6:24 am

    Lovely story, Kathy! So glad you didn't give up!

  • September 15, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Great story. Sounds vaguely familiar to my own path. But boy, when it does happen, doesn't it feel fantastic. Can't wait to read the story.

  • September 15, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Yeah!!! Kathy!!! As one who read your story long ago, I can't wait to read it now.

    You've blossomed and grown into a beautiful author. Congratulations, my friend!

  • September 15, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Thanks so much, Leah, for hosting me today.

    The journey of most wristers is similar with sometimes big and sometimes small differences, but all with one goal–tell a story that people will love.

    Thanks to all of you who have stopped by and left a comment.

    And yes, transcription means I hear voices in my ears–but they are nothing like the voices in my head. (Try tell a non-writer that you hear voices in your head–they really don't get it–but your writer friends do.)


  • September 15, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Wonderful blog article! And you are so right–don't give up. Just send out that book one more time, and then do it again. Because you never know when that "one more time" will be the one that leads to success!!

    I can't wait to read your book! I broke down and bought the new Kindle, and it will be here next week–ready and waiting to download my copy of your new release!!

    Congrats, girlfriend! 🙂

  • September 15, 2010 at 8:23 am

    A great post, Kathy. Thank goodness you didn't give up!

  • September 15, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Congratulations, Kathy! My first Carina sale was the same thing–giving one more try to a manuscript I'd written years ago. I think it's important to always be writing the NEXT thing, but also to have enough confidence in your work to try again if new markets open up or trends shift.

  • September 15, 2010 at 9:08 am

    That's become my motto–Just one more time. 🙂

    I agree, totally, that you need to be working on the next thing while trying to find a home for the story that you are "shopping around."

    My problem was, I tried to change genres after finishing Desperate Choices, and worked in several others, but they never felt quite "right"; although I have some great stuff there that I may try to go back and look at again.

    Like that line from Galaxy Quest: Never give up! Never surrender!


  • September 15, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Great post, I really enjoyed it and it was an inspiration for me.

    Thanks for sharing.

    I like the look of your book too and have put it on my wishlist.

    in Germany

  • September 15, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks, Valerie

    I hope you enjoy the book. Thanks for stopping by.


  • September 15, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Hi Kathy,

    What a wonderful success story, congratulations. I love reading romantic suspense, especially with a bit of paranormal thrown in, and the excerpt is fabulous. Great peek at Theresa and Max, and I would love to read more. BTW, great job on the trailer too.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  • September 15, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Thanks to everybody who stopped by today. Your support means so much. I hope I've provided you with a story that both touches your heart and keeps you thinking about it long after you've finished.

    In a random drawing, the winner of a copy of Desperate Choices is . . .

    Vicki Batman.

    Congratulations, Vicki. I'll be contacting you privately to find out what version you'd like.


  • September 16, 2010 at 5:11 am

    Very inspirational story, Kathy! Looking forward to reading your debut!

  • September 16, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    What a great success story. Am looking forward to reading Desperate Choices.

  • September 17, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I hope I'm not to late for the contest. I love to read this book.


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