Top media venues
like the Chicago Tribune seem a far reach for the average author. It’s not
impossible because I managed to get interviewed by the Tribune on February 18,
2014 titled, “Erotic Author Juggles
Career and Marriage.”
I learned a few
things during this experience that might help, if not with the Chicago Tribune,
then with other newspapers, magazines, online e-zines, and radio.
first tip: It’s never about the book.
If you contact the editor/reporter/writer of a newspaper/magazine or the
DJ/manager of a radio station, and tell them you wrote a book. They won’t care.
It’s not interesting. They’re looking for a hook, something that will catch
their audience’s attention. It could be controversial, relevant to current
events, family/children related, point to a problem, something that a large
population will be interested it, personal interest. Challenge a myth or "well-known fact". Bring up something funny,
heartwarming, shocking, etc. It could have some indirect connection to your
book, but what will get you the interview isn’t usually about the book. Unless you’re a New York Times Best Seller
and have sold millions of copies, no one cares about your book.
In my situation, I had a book Summer
Sins from Ellora's Cave. It's about a woman who writes for a gossip magazine and goes undercover
in a BDSM club to write a controversial story, but her heart isn’t in it. Her
job depends on writing this revealing article. She’s attracted to a Dom who’s a
respected neurosurgeon. His reputation demands confidentiality. Getting ‘outed’
in this lifestyle could be devastating to his career.
I love this book. It’s part of my
Dark Odyssey series. (Spring
Break, book 1) Sadly, the media has no interest in this book. What they
were interested in was the true-life story of a married couple- erotic romance
author who goes to BDSM clubs to do research for authenticity and how that affects her 13 year
marriage. That’s the hook! A personal interest story. If you read the article,
you’ll see there’s a half a line that mentions the book. That’s it.
you contact the media, put the hook line in the email subject line. Email a
one-page pitch with hook line at top, short couple paragraphs talking about the
subject of your interview, give a few bullet points for possible topics for
discussion, short bio and contact information.
The media gets tons and tons of
pitches. If you want yours to stand out, make it short and catchy.
up with a few other talking points or other topics of interest. So if the
initial hook somewhat interests them, another idea might grab them more. These
are your bullets points.
research into alternative lifestyles for my books, how my husband supports me
as an erotic romance writer, the importance of open communication between
spouses, why nontraditional roles work for our relationship, tips for balancing
work, marriage, and household chores.
holiday themes to work into a hook. Valentine’s Day, Christmas, etc. Naughty
gift ideas, keeping the spark alive, etc.
the newspapers/magazines and listen to the radio stations that you would like
to appear on for ideas. Check online for contact people. For radio listen to
the show to get a feel for the type of content they’re looking for.
rule out small radio stations like college or public radio. I had a great
interview on a Country music station. A couple college stations were wonderful too and asked great questions! Who knew they would want to talk to an
erotic romance author. J
I’ve even been invited back to some. Here’s a list of public radio stations. Google the
ones you’re interested in and look for their website. http://www.npr.org/stations/pdf/nprstations.pdf
be polite and professional and thankful. Does that have to be a tip? ·Have
a couple High Resolution photos available. The newspaper will ask you for them.
And not just a headshot, something more casual.
course a publicist can do an amazing job connecting you with the media, but if
that’s not in your budget, hopefully these few tips will help get your started. Good luck!
Here’s the interview from the Chicago
novelist juggles career and marriage
By Nara Schoenberg, Tribune Newspapers
Kathy Kulig was out of town for a business trip when she texted her husband, Joe.
"Don't be worried," she wrote. "I learned to use a flogger tonight and I have a few bruises."
"Why should I be worried?" he replied.
Attending a conference on bondage and sadomasochism is just business as usual for Kathy, whose latest erotic romance is "Summer Sins" (Ellora's Cave).
Her second career — she has a day job in a medical laboratory — has created a few relationship challenges, the Kuligs say, but not because she's writing steamy scenes that don't involve her husband or researching risque sexual practices.
The real issue, both say, is that writing is an absorbing and time-consuming task.
"It takes a special kind of guy to really understand the craziness of an author," Kathy says of Joe, who works in information technology. "He'll say, 'You're not listening to me,' and I'll say, 'What?' because I'm thinking about a scene or plotting a book. ... Sometimes he'll come over and he'll literally take my fingers off the keyboard and say, 'OK, you need a break.'"
The Tribune recently interviewed the Kuligs about balancing an unusual career and a 13-year marriage. The following is an edited transcript.
Q: Joe, what was your reaction when Kathy started writing erotica?
A: I was supportive of it. She's always done writing, and when she decided to get into this genre, I was pretty much all for it.
Q: And did you have questions about bondage, fetishes or S&M?
A: Not really. I'd read bits and parts of her books that she would give me to kind of go over, so there wasn't a question-and-answer period. I pretty much just learned as I went along.
Q: Kathy, how did you end up getting flogged at the bondage and S&M conference?
A: We got lessons on how to swing a flogger, and I wanted to feel what it was like, so this woman, she offered to swing it on me. I'm up on the balcony (of a bondage and S&M club in New York) and observing some of the other scenes and a little distracted. I thought, "Oh, OK, this was interesting," and lo and behold, when I got back to the hotel and looked in the mirror, I had bruises on my shoulder.
I went, "Oh my gosh, how am I going to explain this to my husband?"
Q: Joe, were you OK with that trip?
A: I thought it was great that she went. It was something she wanted to do, and it was a good experience for her.
I was sorry I missed that one. I do go to some of her conferences, but that would have been a fun one to go to.
Q: Kathy, how do you balance the demands of writing with the demands of a relationship?
A: I get wrapped up (in writing). I could easily be a hermit, sitting here writing my stories, and I have to remember that Friday night is date night. I don't get on the computer, even though the story is calling me. I'll write during the day on a weekend, but then I'll spend the evening with him.
Q: Joe, how does that work for you?
A: Every once in a while I have to pull her away from her keyboard. ... It's not a struggle, it's just more of a give and take and balancing things out. She understands that too.
She understands me and knows when I need my time to go get out of the house and do something. I know when she needs her time and I try not to make plans so she can get her things done as well.
Q: I have to ask, what do you guys do on date night?
Joe: We watch "Grimm." During the winter, we'll put a fire in the fireplace, and "Grimm" is one of our favorite shows.
Kathy: Or we'll go out to dinner.
Joe: We'll go out to our little local restaurant around the corner and have something to eat, or we'll order pizza and rent a movie. It just gives us some time together.
Kathy Kulig is a NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author of erotic romance whose works include paranormal, contemporary and romantic suspense. Besides her career in writing, she’s a cytotechnologist and has worked as a research scientist, medical technologist, dive master, bartender and stringer for a newspaper.She resides in eastern Pennsylvania with her husband. kathykulig(at)rcn(dot)com