Thursday, July 31, 2014

Nothing Like The First Time Blog Tour & Giveaway

Author Spotlight: Keren Hughes

Today's spotlight is from fellow LIMITLESS PUBLISHING author, Keren Hughes, who is the author "Stolen" and "Nothing Like The First Time". You can read more about Keren and find her books in her Amazon Author Bio. In this post from Keren, you'll be able to learn a little more about her and her journey into authorhood.

How I Found My Home in NA Contemporary Romance

My writing journey began in October 2012 when I had an operation on my spine and was left staring at the same four walls day in, day out. I had been procrastinating for about a year at this point; I always knew I wanted to write, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it—I thought no-one would want to read anything I wrote. Anyway, I had nothing but time on my hands so I decided then was as good a time as any.
My idea was for a YA Paranormal Romance. When I was fifteen, I wrote my first ever book (though nobody but my Mom ever read it) and I wanted to be a Point Horror author who wrote something like RL Stine’s The Boyfriend. So I finally bought myself a new laptop, installed Word and began to write. I couldn’t do any planning or an outline with plot points, every time I tried, I stalled. Planning turned out to be my worst enemy because every time I planned, I hit a brick wall. Luckily, the words kind of flowed and the story began to take shape. It’s about a girl whose parents are murdered and their souls are stolen.
I finally finished writing Stolen and was all set to self-publish. I was so scared of rejection from publishers that I point blank refused to submit to any. But, with a little coaxing from a couple of friends, I did end up submitting to two publishers. They both offered me contracts within a day of each other and on August 10th 2013, I signed a contract with Limitless Publishing. I was beyond ecstatic and to top it off, it was only 12 days until my 30th birthday—it had always been a dream of mine to be published by the age of 30. My fiancé and I celebrated with a glass of champagne and some birthday cake J
So, that was my first book. It came out and when I got my copy, I burst into floods of tears. I couldn’t believe that it was something that I had created, little old me. I was bursting with pride. My family were so supportive and I couldn’t have been happier.
Trust me, this is leading up to how I found out I belonged in NACR just bear with me a little longer…
I love music—no, I am not going off topic, stay with me—and I listen to all sorts of music. I have very eclectic tastes. One of my favourite bands is Lady Antebellum. One day, whilst listening to one of their albums, I was singing along to one of the songs, Nothin’ Like The First Time, and it stuck with me long after I turned my iPod off.
The song stuck with me so much, it was in my head every minute of every day and I couldn’t shake it. It was begging to be written. I know that no two people take away the same message from one song, but my story became my interpretation of it.
I decided to write my NA Contemporary Romance, Nothing Like The First Time.
I felt that the words flowed easier with this book. Something in me was just more comfortable writing about something more realistic than paranormal. Again, I couldn’t do any planning because I still hit brick walls, but that was okay because somehow the words just came to me.
The unofficial tagline of my book has become “Here’s to first loves and second chances”. I wrote this book from the heart. Carly and Grey are actually based on me and a composite of my exes. Grey is mainly based on my first love, Mark. But then events that occur are taken from a mixture of other relationships I’ve had throughout my life. I never got the HEA with Mark, but I wanted to write something sort of like giving Carly and Grey the HEA I wished we could’ve had.
Anyway, I digress. My point is, I actually felt more comfortable writing in this genre and as time went by, after this was published by Limitless Publishing in May 2014, I realised that YAPN wasn’t where I wanted to be. I don’t mean any disrespect to the amazing authors that write awesome books in that genre, I just realised it wasn’t for me. I don’t think I’ll ever write another YA book and I certainly don’t want to write Paranormal again.
I realised that I want to be able to write things that could really happen. I want to be able to write things that people can connect with and think “that could be me”.
I will always love Stolen because it’s my baby, my first ever published book. But I love Nothing Like The First Time in a completely different way. I gave it my heart and soul and given that it is based on a lot of real-life stuff, it will stay with me forever. Stolen will forever be the book that got me into writing, the one that got me bitten by the writing bug—and for that I am eternally grateful. Nothing Like The First Time will always be the book I feel paved the way to me settling in NACR.
So there you have it, my journey from YAPN to NACR—aka home!
If you want to find out more about my books, you can connect with my on my Facebook Page, Facebook Profile or Twitter. There’s also my Wordpress blog where you can sign up via email to stay connected. You can also find me on Goodreads, here’s my profile.
To watch my amazing book trailer for NLTFT made by the awesome-tastic Kendall from Book Crazy, click here.

I'd like to thank Keren for sharing her experience with us. To win a signed copy of NLTFT, make sure you enter the rafflecopter giveaway: