Monthly Archives: January 2013

Pride & Prejudice Birthday Blog Hop!

Welcome to my stop on the Pride and Prejudice 200th Anniversary Party Hop!

To celebrate Pride & Prejudice’s 200th birthday, I thought I’d talk about my favorite Pride & Prejudice moments. I say moments, because while I love the book, it’s the 1995 A&E/BBC production that I watch almost obsessively. There’s just something about Colin Firth in tight white pants that sings to my soul. Ladies, you know what I’m saying.

So, without further ado, my top three Pride & Prejudice moments.

1. Elizabeth and Darcy meet. Mr. Darcy does not make a great first impression. He’s like that hot guy in high school that was too cool to give you the time of day. I’d probably weep with self-pity if anyone rejected me like Darcy rejects Elizabeth in that scene. But Elizabeth just laughs, which is what makes her one of the most awesome heroines evah.

2. Skipping ahead quite a bit—Darcy at Pemberley. We get to see Darcy in a far more sympathetic light when Elizabeth visits him at his ridiculously large estate. The maid raves about him, first of all, and then there’s the house itself. My God, what woman wouldn’t swoon after seeing that? And there’s “the look.” Just try to walk away now, ladies.

3. The wedding. I’m a sucker for that sweet kiss at the end. This is probably my most favorite part of the whole movie—the hard-won happily ever after. Swoon!

Don’t forget to hop on over to the other Pride & Prejudice birthday blogs here!

Thanks for stopping by! ~Kate



Filed under Blog Hop


Every month, my local RWA chapter passes out milestone recognition awards. A silk rose for an agent/editor request, chocolate for rejections and a charm bracelet for the first sale. A cute little charm is added for every subsequent sale.

Welp, I finally, finally got my first sale bracelet yesterday! Squee!

I know it’s just a bracelet and I could probably find one for $5 somewhere online, but it isn’t about the bracelet itself—it’s about what it represents. Six years of blood, sweat and tears. Six years of obsessing over plot points, character arcs and sentence structure. Six years of wondering if it’d ever pay off, or if I was just kidding myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have tons to learn about writing, the business, everything, but my bracelet is there to remind me that I can do it.


Filed under Good News Friday!

Query Letters!

One of my favorite writing forums has a fun thread on “winning” query letters, or query letters that have gotten a positive response from agents/editors. I thought it might be fun to post mine here.

This is the query letter I sent out last year for my novella, The Accidental Countess, which got picked up by Grand Central’s Forever Yours imprint.

Dear [Editor’s name],

The Accidental Countess is a completed 15,000 word Regency romance targeted for Forever Yours.

Miss Daphne Hayward is on the hunt for a safe, honorable husband and she has set her sights on the perfect target. He’s kind, titled, and miraculously single. She plans a full-scale seduction that will bring him to his knees, begging for her hand in marriage. But when she mistakenly climbs into another man’s bed, sparks ignite, threatening to send all her plans up in smoke.

Ashton Fitzgerald, Earl of Claymore, is surprised by the powerful desire that surges through him when he sees Daphne for the first time. So when he unveils her as his mysterious midnight visitor, he is determined to make her his…forever.

I’m a huge fan of Grand Central and enjoy reading many of the authors you publish, including Elizabeth Hoyt and Jennifer Haymore. I was the Executive Vice President for the Los Angeles chapter of RWA and belong to a number of other writers’ associations including the Beau Monde special interest chapter of RWA.

I’ve attached the synopsis and completed manuscript for your consideration.

Thank you for your time.


Kate McKinley
[Address, email and phone number]

As you can see, I like to keep my query letters pretty short. A quick intro with all the pertinent information (title, length, genre), then straight to the meat of it—the blurb! Editors and agents have hundreds of query letters to sift through ever week, so my goal was to hook them as quickly as possible.

The most important part of the query (and the hardest!) is the blurb—the two paragraphs that explain your story in short, succinct sentences. My only advice there is not to give too much detail. Keep it simple. Motivations, character quirks, secondary characters…save all that for the manuscript. All you want to do at this stage is hook the reader.

The last paragraph is for any pertinent writing info. I’m not sure if this sways an agent/editor in any way, but I wanted them to know that I was a serious, career-driven writer. So again, keep it short. Which RWA chapters do you belong to? Have you won any writing contests? Do you have any other books published? Is there a sequel to the book you’re submitting? This is where you get to toot your own horn a bit.

And that’s it! A quick thank you and summary of which files you’re attaching (partial, full, and/or synopsis) and you’re done!

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Happy New Year!

The holidays are over and New Year’s Day has come and gone, so it’s time to get back to work. I’m in the mist of writing Novella Three (no title yet). In fact, at midnight on New Year’s Eve, I was typing away on the manuscript. I’m not really a party girl, so it was a pretty awesome way to bring in the New Year, if you ask me. Though my hubby did stride in and kiss me just as the clock stuck twelve, which was pretty swoon-worthy.

And now, here’s something yummy to usher you in to the New Year. Allow me to introduce Damon Salvatore, the wicked, dissolute brother from the Vampire Diaries. Aside from the whole undead, sucking blood thing, he’s the perfect inspiration for my newest novella. His scrumptious exterior and wicked sexy charm fit my Regency hero, Nicholas, perfectly.

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