Please Welcome Joan Kilby!

Today I’m thrilled to have Carina Press and Harlequin Superromance author, Joan Kilby chatting here today. The first time I met Joan, she had just sold her first Superromance novel and I was still a ‘wannabe’  author so that was a few years ago now!

Joan is a well established Superromance authour but she yearned to write a different style of book and she’s here today to talk about the very funny, action-packed romp, Gentlemen Prefer Nerds.  I LOVE the title and I loved the book.  I have to say right now that we need to forget all about Maddie – the plucky heroine in the book- because Fabian is mine, all mine!

*Welcome, Joan! Congratulations on Gentlemen Prefer Nerds.

Thanks, Fiona, it’s great to be here.

*Joan,  contemporary romance has struggled in the last decade against the rise of the paranormal romance fantasy romance. What do you love about the genre?

I prefer reality-based stories but that doesn’t mean the characters can’t be larger-than-life. There’s an element of OTT fantasy in Gentlemen Prefer Nerds. Real life with a huge dollop of adventure and excitement.

*Where were you when the idea for GPN hit you?

I was visiting my family in Canada prior to attending the Romance Writers of America conference in Dallas in 2007. Yes, that long ago! I wanted to pitch a story to editors and agents about an ordinary woman who is plucked out of her ordinary life by an extraordinary man and taken on the wildest adventure of her life. What I came up with was Nerds, a story became about a gemologist, a jewel thief and a James Bond-type hero.

*You’re a ‘Print-first’ author with your Harlequin Superromances. Has the process of getting ‘Gentlemen Prefer Nerds’ to purchase point with Carina Press been any different from your usual publishing experience?

Editorially-wise, not hugely different. Carina Press has been great to work with, just like Superromance.  In both cases, I go through a rigorous process of revisions, line edits, copy edits, etc. There are a couple of differences. With Carina, I was sent my cover for approval. Plus Carina conducts a online promotion campaign for each book involving blogging, Twitter and Facebook and the author is expected to participate.

*Do you have a favourite line/quote from the book? 

It’s hard to isolate a line and quote it out of context. The passage below occurs just after Maddie has had her makeover. Her brown hair has been dyed red and she’s wearing blue contact lenses. I like this scene because it shows the moment of Maddie’s transformation from nerd to glamazon, how she feels about herself, and how Fabian reacts to the new her, yet still sees and likes the persons she is inside.

“Who am I?” she whispered to her startled reflection.

Fabian met her gaze in the glass. Despite the makeup and hair color, he could still see the true  Maddie looking back at him—smart, feisty, funny.

Sexy. How could she not see herself? “There are many sides to all of us. This is just one of yours.”

 “No, I’m a nerd.” She nodded at herself in the mirror. “She’s a role I’m playing. I’m not that woman.”

 “Would it be so bad if you were? You may enjoy wearing a different mask. It can be liberating.”

 “I don’t need liberating, thank you very much. I’m perfectly good as I am. Was. Whatever.”

 “You’re right, of course. But you can be this woman, too. You really are lovely.”

 He ran his gaze over her slowly, stroking up her legs, embracing her hips, slip-sliding around the contours of her waist and lavishly caressing her breasts. She softened visibly, as if he’d physically touched every inch of her.     

“Stop that.”  Nervously, she pushed at a lock of hair. “Being a sex goddess is scary, like having a superpower I can’t control.”

  Fabian wasn’t entirely in control, either. If she was soft, he was hard. He needed to stop undressing her with his eyes. “Time to go shopping.”

*Joan, the ending to GPN kind of hints at a sequel? Do you have any plans for other books?

Gentlemen Prefer Nerds can stand on its own. But I originally planned to write a five book series based on these characters. Each new book would feature a different fabulous gemstone that would be stolen by the Chameleon (jewel thief) and have to be retrieved by Fabian and Maddie. I planned a whole story arc and subplots that would run through the series to culminate in a final, satisfying conclusion. Someday I hope to write the rest of the books in the series.

*Did you carefully plan your books or write into the mist?

I’m definitely a planner and a plotter. Before I begin writing, I write character sketches and backstory and outline the story in detail. As I go along I’m constantly tweaking and re-plotting. In this way I can structure the books better and I have less re-working to do when I come to the end.

*Where do you write?

I have a home office, planned as part of our house design when we built. It wasn’t always the case–I’ve worked in cramped nooks and crannies–so I really appreciate having my own dedicated work space. As I’m working on a book it gets messier and messier. It’s not too bad at the moment because I’ve just sent off a manuscript and cleaned up a little. J

*Humour is a big part of your stories. Is it a big part of your everyday life?

I wish I could say I laugh all day long! That would be fun. But most of the time, I’m on my own, writing away, being serious and professional. I do get the odd chuckle out of my own jokes. J In the evening, when the family is around, I get a kick out of the things my hubby and kids say. They can be quite funny; sometimes even intentionally. I also like to read books with humour in them. I guess the answer is yes, humour is a part of my everyday life.

*You live in the southern Australia. Is your town famous for anything?

Funny you should ask! The town I live in is thinly-disguised as  the village of Summerside, the setting for my Superromance series, Summerside Stories. It’s world-famous for that! Otherwise, no not really, but it’s a lovely part of the world.

I’m giving away a copy of Gentlemen Prefer Nerds. Just comment to be in with a chance to win. The question I’m posing is: Are you a nerd or a glamazon, or a bit of both?

Thanks, Joan for visiting and for your give-away. Okay, folks, here is the goss on the story which takes you from Melbourne to the luxurious Hamilton Island with the gorgeous Fabian!

Self-professed nerd Maddie Maloney is an expert on jewels. Jewel thieves are another matter entirely! So when a mysterious Englishman warns her that a thief known as The Chameleon is after the rare pink diamond on display in her aunt’s shop, she tells herself it’s just a joke. Even if she can’t get Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome out of her mind…

 But Fabian Montgomery doesn’t give up easily. He’s everywhere she goes, convinced the thief will strike. And when the diamond does go missing—and Maddie is suspected of stealing it—he whisks her away from the police and together they pursue The Chameleon.  Fabian plunges her into a glamorous world far from her humble workshop and transforms geeky Maddie into a sophisticated siren capable of espionage. Her mission: to seduce The Chameleon and steal back the diamond.  

But Fabian isn’t telling her everything—like who he works for, and why he’s so interested in The Chameleon…

Joan Kilby is the award-winning author of over twenty Harlequin books. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children.   For more information check out her website . Follow Joan on Twitter and Facebook or look for her on GoodReads 

Buy Gentlemen Prefer Nerds at  at: Carina Press, Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Buy Summerside Series at Amazon Harlequin Barnes and Noble


43 thoughts on “Please Welcome Joan Kilby!

  1. Hello Joan,

    I love reading romances. And Gentleman Prefer Nerds sound a wonderful romance.

    I would love to read it.

    Congratulations on the release and thank you for this giveaway.

    Thank you Fiona.

  2. Joan, this story sounds fabulous! I loved this excerpt and adored the one you left on Lovecats too. In a few paragraphs those people are real and I need to get to know them.
    Supers are great stories – some of my very favourite authors write for the line 😉 But it must be refreshing to write something OTT, as you say, really fun and flirty as well as those ‘real’ stories. I’m a fan of both and I think a lot of readers are =)

  3. Hi, Robbie, thanks for stopping by! I think you’re right about readers liking both realistic and fun stories. As long as the characters ring true we can get swept up in the story and be carried away.

  4. Hi Tammy, I know you from the Superauthor blog site. Thanks for stopping by. Love that your daughter has a Nerd T-shirt collection. My nerd heroine Maddie, who is a mineralogist wears a T-shirt that says, ‘Geology Rocks.’ That makes me smile every time I write that.

  5. HI, Everyone! Thanks for calling by. I’m not sure if I am a Nerd or not. I think in some areas I might have Nerdish tendencies but I am so not a Glamazon except for when it’s a big night out!

    Joan, I loved this book and I want a pink diamond AND Fabian 😉

  6. Joan, your book sounds great! In love reading stories with humour in them and often get funny looks from the man and “What’s so funnies” from the kids when I laugh out loud (really loud) so I might read yours in seclusion =)

    I prefer to think of myself as a Glamazon but I think there’d be plenty of peeps who would disagree and say I’m a little nerdy…

    Good luck with the book!

  7. Hi Joan and Fiona.

    Thanks for the post and I am a nerd – as much as I would love to be considered a glamazon I know who I am and am happy with that.

    I do like to get dressed up and bit glamourous but it doesn’t happen very regularly.


  8. I love the idea of having a gem-based series! Maddie and Fabian sound… hot together, so I’d love to see more of these stories!
    I’d like to say I’m a nerd – but alas, I get someone else to program my phone. I’d like to say I’m a glamazon, but I can’t without laughing. Is there something in between?

    Good luck with Gentlemen Prefer Nerds, it’s a fantastic concept!

  9. I don’t need to go in the draw, because I already have a copy, but I love the story of you finding a home for your baby with Carina, Joan. I do think this is one of the lovely things about the ebook revolution, is that the established publishers will take a chance on great stories that don’t ‘fit’ in other places. As a reader, I think this is great! thanks for hosting, Fiona

  10. Gemma, you’ve hit on the crux of my story – even nerds like to get dressed up now and then. When I do it, like Maddie, I feel a bit of an impostor. Hmm, at my age I should probably get over that, lol.

  11. Shannon, oops, there goes my nerd status, too, when it comes to programming all the electronic thingys around the house. Confession: I just keep pressing buttons until something happens.

  12. Hi Imelda, yes, e-publishers are a boon for all those great stories that don’t quite fit in the established molds. I’ve read so many Carina and other ebooks in the past year that were fantastic, including Fiona’s Boomerang Bride. Although BB could easily be a HQN. But the point is, these books are now out there. Yay!

  13. Yay for ePress I say. Carina’s slogan of ‘No Good Story left Untold’ is very apt when traditional publishing houses are sticking with true and tried. But back to Glamazons…I love the word. Had never heard it before I read Joan’s book but maybe that is because I don’t get out much. Hmm, seems I am a nerd after all!

    • Fiona, I love the word glamazon, too. I didn’t make it up – wish I had! My favourite glamazon is Gloria on Modern Family. She’s gorgeous but also funny and sweet.

  14. Hi Joan, it’s lovely to read this interview and a little on how you came up with the story idea. I must say I love the idea of you writing the other books all linked by stolen gems. Are there any plans to have the book out in paperback as well as ebook?

    As for me – pure nerd!

    • Thanks, Annie. Unfortunately at the moment there aren’t any plans for the book to be out in paperback. But I can always hope. And hey, you glammed up pretty good as a flapper at the last RWAus conference. I have the photo to prove it 🙂

  15. HI, Annie, Cathleen & Jenny
    Thanks for calling by! Annie you are always glam at the dinners I see you at!! Cathleen is also always glam too. Jenny, you might be but I haven’t actually met you but you sound glam in spirit! I think we probably all want pink diamonds….

  16. Hi Joan and Fiona! Fun post!

    Joan, it’s fab to read a bit more about Gentlemen Prefer Nerds and I love Maddie’s line about being a sex goddess is like having scary super-powers!

    I was total nerd and tomboy! And I’m afraid I’m no glamazon now but I do try to spruce myself up to go out occasionally!

  17. Hi Joan (and waving to Fiona!)
    Gentlemen Prefer Nerds sounds like a wonderful, warm and funny story and I look forward to reading it!
    I’m a convert to e-books and love how easy it is just to click and buy…

    • Hi Kandy, I’m a danger to myself with the click and buy. I’m doing my taxes today and it’s scary how much I spent on books. And the number went up sharply once I got my e-reader. But I wouldn’t be without it now!

  18. Hi Joan and Fiona!

    A complete nerd here! Always online with no social skills what so ever!

    Gentleman Prefer Nerds sound a wonderful read! I read one excerpt at LoveCats the other day and now this- I’m intrigued!

    Congrats on the release!

    • Thanks, Nas! I think you (like a lot of nerds) underestimate yourself. Tell you what, though, I’d love to have a makeover like the one Maddie has in the book. Just once. Sigh.

  19. Sorry I’m coming in late for this. I LOVE nerds! I guess having a science degree puts me in the running for actually being a nerd ;-P

    I am going to rush to buy this one, Joan! And you don’t need a makeover – you’re gorgeous!

    Thanks for having Joan as your guest blogger, Fiona.

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