When I moved from writing young adult novels with romance on the side, to new adult novels with romance as the main course, I had no idea how much fun it would be and how much my fans would love it. These last few months have been amazing with the Seduced Saga, and I cannot wait to launch Kiss Me in Paris, co-authored with my sexy husband Dmytry Karpov, by early April.
With all this love in the air, it was a natural extension of my work to write a short story for my parents’ wedding anniversary about how they met and fell in love. I’d heard stories about it, and secretly interviewed my dad, then presented Only Forever to them. Not wanting to waste a good love story, I also published it.
Holy cow! I’ve been blown away by the response to this short story. In less than a month it’s had almost 13,000 free downloads and over 1,100 sales, plus hundreds of borrows on KDP Select. People really dig the romance.
Inspired by this, my husband and I have come up with something we think is going to be a lot of fun. We’re on a quest to find more true life love stories. Once we find at least 10 solid stories, we’ll start publishing them as individual short stories–first releasing them to our subscribers over at A Gathering of Tales, then making them available for sale to the public. Once all the stories are written, we’ll put them in a collection that will be published in ebook and print.
Here’s where you come in. We want real stories from real people. We want your stories. So this is what we’re doing: leave a comment with your version of your epic love story. All comments will be entered to win a signed copy of our new adult romance novel, Kiss Me in Paris, when it launches.
We’ll pick the top 10-15 ideas and contact those people with a Q&A for more details, then we’ll write a fictionalized version of that story for publication. The person who inspires the story will get a free ecopy of both the short story and the collection, as well as a signed print copy of the collection when it’s published. They’ll also get their love story immortalized for all of eternity.
For an example of the kind of story we’re going to write, read Only Forever, available on Kindle. If you absolutely can’t afford 99cents for this story, or don’t read on kindle, email me through my contact page and let me know if you want the epub or mobi and I’ll send it to you.
All stories will be between 4-6,000 words, and none will contain any explicit sexual content. I know you probably have a lot of questions, so here are some answers:
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Q: I’m an author and want to write the story myself. Can I do that?
A: Of course you can write your own story, but that’s not what we’re looking for in this collection. Theses stories will be inspired by real stories, but written by myself and Dmytry Karpov. The person submitting the story will be given credit for the story, if they wish to be named, but all rights to this particular version of the story will belong to Daring Books, LLC.
Q: If you choose my story, will you own it forever? Will I ever be able to write my own version of my love story?
A: We will only own the copyright to the story we write. You will still own the essence of your story and can write it yourself whenever and however you’d like. But the version we write in our words will belong to us and may not be reproduced in any way without written permission from us.
Q: I have the most amazing story ever. Will you tell it exactly as it happened? And will I get to approve the story before it goes to print?
A: This will be a fictionalized version of your story, and facts and situations may be changed to add to the story. You will not get to approve the story before it is published. Part of the contract will stipulate that we have the right to take the idea of your romance and tell it as we see fit for the short story. We will always strive to stay true to the intention and heart of your love story. As my parents said of theirs: “90% of the facts are true, and 100% of the emotions are true.”
Q: I want you to tell my story, but I don’t/do want our real names used.
A: You will have the right to determine if we use your real names or not. However, we will change other names in the story unless we have written permission by those people to use their real names for this purpose. If you want us to use made up names for everyone, we can do that, too.
Q: I’m in a loving partnership, but we’re not married. AND/OR we’re gay.
A: We don’t care. Love is love and we want to tell stories of love. Homosexual, heterosexual, married or just in love, we want them all.
Please note: All stories will be in the collection. If you do not wish your love story to appear in a collection with other love stories from different backgrounds, please do not enter. Your story is yours, and inclusion in this collection is not an endorsement of anyone else’s lifestyle, but we reserve the right to have any and all types of relationships represented in this collection as long as it’s a legal and consenting relationship between adults. There will be no sexually explicit content.
Q: How will you pick the ones to use?
A: This is highly subjective. Ultimately, it comes down to the voices in our heads and what they tell us to do. But your story must have some conflict/resolution, otherwise there’s no real hook or story, so we will be looking for that. In my parents’ story, my mom was newly single with two young children (me and my brother) and my dad was engaged when they met and fell in love. Talk about conflict!
Q: What do I need to do to enter?
A: Leave a comment below telling us a brief version of your love story. If you’re chosen, we’ll email you with an in depth Q&A to answer.
Q: When will we know if we’ve been chosen?
A: This depends on how much of a response we get, and how easy it is for us to decide which stories to use. I’d love to have all of them picked by the end of the month. We’ll announce the story ideas as soon as we have them.
Q: Why are you doing this again? Don’t you have any of your own ideas?
A: We have more ideas than we’ll ever be able to write in this lifetime. We’re doing this because there’s something magical about true love stories, about real couples finding each other in real life and overcoming the odds to be together. We want to tell those stories. We think other people want to hear those stories. We’ll even be including a short story of our own epic romance in this collection!
Q: My grandparents/parents/aunt/cousin/dog has the most epic love story ever. Can I tell you theirs?
A: If the person whose love story is being told is still alive, then they need to give written permission for us to use their story. However, if they’ve passed on, you are welcome to share their story with us.
Q: I have the best idea ever for a love story, but it’s made up. Can I use that?
A: While we really can’t fact check these things, we’re looking for TRUE love stories, not fiction. We know everybody has their own interpretation of memories and history, but it has to be true, in so much as you can honestly recall. We’ll be fictionalizing dialogue and details, and changing things as needed, but the essence of the story must have happened in real life.
Q: I love you. Will you marry me and have my babies? (I actually get weird messages like this.)
A: No, I’m sorry. I’m happily married and already a mom of three, but thank you.