Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Story Behind the Book by Kay Stockham

I'm always amazed (even though I shouldn't be) at the generosity and willingness to help that can be found in the romance community. That goes for the readers as well.

Last year when I was researching Alaska, I found myself clicking away on the internet and shaking my head. While there was overwhelming amounts of information, I wasn't finding what I was looking for. I wanted an insider's look at Alaska, at bush planes and remote lodges and all the other 'stuff' that makes Alaska such an appealing destination for so many. So I sent out a few emails explaining who I was and what I wanted and once again I was overwhelmed by someone's generosity. A wonderful lady named Marlie not only returned my email, she answered dozens of emails, each with dozens of questions. She also sent photos and went above and beyond to help with my research for She's the One, my latest release with Harlequin Superromance and the fifth and final book in my Tulanes of Tennessee series.

RT gave She's the One 4 stars and praised the 'bird's-eye view of Alaska.' But I?ll readily admit it was a view Marlie provided with every answer and every photo she gave me permission to share with all of you.

When I asked for a photo of the type of planes flown into the bush, Marlie sent this:

One look at this picture and my heroine immediately developed a fear of flying in small planes.

Lake photos? Lodges? What did Alaska look like in the bush? Photo after photo arrived in my inbox. And when I asked about bears, well... Here's a photo Marlie simply titled "Lunch."

The bears are snacking on a whale that had beached itself.

Marlie was so gracious about sharing her experiences living and working in Alaska, and She's the One became richer and more detailed as a result. (Thank you, Marlie!)

I hope you'll take a moment to venture to my website at http://www.kaystockham.com/ and read the excerpt from She's the One.But before you do, I hope you'll tell me about someone who has gone above and beyond for you. A family member, a stranger.Your mechanic? Doctor? Friend?

Tell us about them. I'll choose a winner from those who post and they'll win an autographed copy of She's the One.

KayKay StockhamThe Tulanes of Tennessee Series-Five stories...five ways to fall in love.SHE'S THE ONE, March, 2010Look for a NEW Montana series coming soon!Want to win fabulous prizes? Check out http://www.kaystockham.com/ Friend me on Myspace & Facebook!

~ ~ ~ ~

Kay Stockham has always wanted to be a writer, ever since the age of seven or eight when she copied the pictures out of a Charlie Brown book and rewrote the story because she didn't like the plot. Through the years her stories have changed but one characteristic stayed true--they were all romances. Each and every one of her manuscripts included a love story. Published in 2005 with Harlequin Superromance, Kay's first release was a Waldenbooks Bestseller. Kay has also been a HOLT Medallion, Book Buyers Best and RITA Award finalist who has contracted fourteen books with Harlequin Superromance and a novella with Berkley Publishing. Born and raised in Kentucky, she now calls southern Ohio home. She shares her life with her husband and two teens, as well as two dogs who think they're human--and in charge.

52 comments:

Valerie said...

Kay, what a wonderful post! And how nice of Marlie to share her Alaska with you. She must really love it there. I have a friend who is stationed in Alaska and he has posted some amazing photos of his adventures. It is beautiful! Of course in winter he posted that it was -26 degrees and I thought, hm...not so pretty now. But I wouldn't mind visiting in summer. ;)

LDee said...

Kay, sounds like your dogs are very much like our Abigail. Wouldn't be terriers by any chance? I haven't had someone like Marlie but I do get wonderful support from friends and family. Even though when I'm on a roll I can see their eyes glaze over at time.

Nice to meet you.

Lavada

Terri said...

Kay, that is just wonderful of Marlie to help you out. My person, would have to be my nephew, Mike. He will come over anytime to help fix a leak or work on a car for me or my mom and dad. He is a really great guy. I have read some of your books and really enjoyed them. Good luck.

Deb830 said...

Hi Kay -

My twin and other half, Robyn, was driving from college to pick me up. It was the day before Thanksgiving, traffic sucked and her car died on route. It was in the middle of a 3 lane beltway w/no shoulder. A normal 1/2 hour drive took almost 2 hours. I knew there was traffic but didn't start panicking until after 1 hour. This was also the time before cell phones and pagers were the in thing. I didn't want to leave my college in case she showed up. Apparently it was something electrical b/c the hazards didn't even work. This older gentleman stopped his truck next to a jersey wall and ran across traffic with only a flashlight. He used the flashlight to get speeding cars to slow down and avoid from getting hit. Another guy eventually stopped and helped push the car backwards towards the jersey wall. This complete stranger drove my sister to UMBC and told her, "I have a daughter in college too. I hope if she needed help someone would be kind enough to stop and help her". I regret we never even got his name but we will never forget his generosity. Pay it forward.

deb

Lucy Monroe said...

Oooh, I love stories like this and it doesn't surprise me you found such a giving spirit in a reader. Like responds to like! Thanks for being here today, Kay! ~ Mega hugs!!

Amanda said...

my family has always gone above and beyond for me, they really are the best :)

Stephanie said...

When my mom died of cancer a few years back, I don't think I could've made it thru without my family but especially without my friends here on the net. They helped keep me going when I didn't think I could and helped take away the pain to remember the good life that we had together.

Andrea Becraft said...

Oh I love the pictures! Its so pretty up there!

Lucy Monroe said...

POSTED FOR KAY AS BLOGGER IS GIVING HER FITS:

Valerie, I'd looove to go visit. It's on my bucket list of adventures to take.

LDee, you're right!!! LOL We have two Yorkshire Terriers. High maintenance much?

Terri, what a great nephew! Deb, what an awesome story! Yes, paying it forward is key, isn't it? I'm sure he knows how appreciative you all were.

Lucy, hiya, sweetie! How's RT???

Amanda, families are great, aren't they? I mean, we all have our problems and issues but more often than not family is the one to help.

Thanks for chatting, ladies!

Kay

Dannyfiredragon said...

Hi Kay,

my parents always go above and beyond for me, and I will always do the same for them. They are the best parents.

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Kay, I worked for Princess Cruises & Tours for 17 years and that was part of my job, planning the Alaska shore excursions. Flying out to Taku Glacier Lodge in Juneau, Misty Fjords in Ketchikan, Winterlake Lodge and Redoubt Bay lodge to view the bears or fish are just wonderful experiences for tourists. Some of the best days of my life have been spent in Alaska even though I reside in Seattle, WA.

So if you ever need research, just ask!

Maria said...

Great post- I would have to say that my parents go above and beyond for me and that I always try to repay them by doing the same for them.

sonya said...

My Mom is always there for me. She supports me in whatever adventure I choose to take. The Ladie on Lora Leigh's forum go above and beyond to help with support and help of any kind. When I broke my ankle they where there for me and while I was mending I received a phone call from Lora to make sure my family and I was alright and a few care packages. They are the best friends a girl can ever have. They make you feel like family from the very begin and they never leave you.

LM's Drama Queen said...

What a cool story! It is so inspiring hearing about people who help others out, even if they are complete strangers. I think selfless compassion is an excellent trait to have and I would have to agree that there is a strong willingness to help in the romance community. My mom is always reminding me how important it is to give back no matter how successful you get. I love that attitude!

XOX
~*DQ*~

goshnsqurrl63 said...

Hi Kay....I would have to say that my Mom goes above and beyond for me...then pushes me over the edge at times!LOL..... but she is the one who I count on to be there for me.
~Hollie~

Stephanie said...

If there is one person who goes above and beyond for me it is my sister. Its not just one incident its anytime I need her. If I need to vent and trashtalk she is there, if I need a shoulder to cry on its hers. She is always there no matter what, no questions asked. I would be insane without her.

nmulder81 said...

Id have to answer this with more then one person. Last Christmas my family was having a real hard time getting presents for the kids and paying our bills. I had put some stuff in layaway and Christmas was quickly approaching...we just didnt have the money to pay everything, buy food AND pay bills. My husband had only been back to work from being laid off maybe 2 months. I had told a co-worker of mine what was going on...just needed to vent and talk it out. After I talked to him I felt better and figured that even the few presents I had for the kids would be fine. I knew the spirit was really about being together and healthy. About 2 weeks later I got called into the office by the store manager. Seems the guy I spoke with had said something to my manager and my fellow co-workers had taken up a collection which the company matched. My boss handed me a check for almost $1000 AND some gift certificates for pizza. I was a sobbing mess...let me tell you. I paid all our bills up, bought a bunch of food and got my layaway out. Now, long after the money is gone, I still have the feelings. What a wonderful way to really bring home the meaning of Christmas! Through good will to men.....Since then Ive paid it forward whenever I've been able to.

Linda Henderson said...

A few years ago I developed severe RA. My doctor and I worked hard to find something to help, but every treatment that we tried failed. I had to file for disability and while waiting for it to come through I could only work about 6 days a month. My co-workers took up collections of money and food for me on many occasions to help me out until my disability came through. Even after they would bring me food every once in a while. They were all wonderful people and I will never forget the kindness they showed me. I visit them every once in a while and I'll always be grateful I made such wonderful friends. Thankfully we finally found a treatment to help me, I'm also very grateful to my doctor for not giving up on me.

seriousreader at live dot com

Nova said...

i would have to say i have two who has gone above and beyond for me. one is my current boyfriend who helps me everyday with my life's challenges and is helping me with my crohn's and coitis take steps walk fundraising. i have suffered with crohn's/colitis since i was in my early 20's. i had a bad bout with it four years ago, almost died, had many complications and have been trying to make some normalcy in my life. he is my cheerleader in all this. my oldest sister also has gone above and beyond for me. she took time off from work 4 years ago twice for me to help me get through my 2 months of hospital stay and she is always in my corner. i have been blessed with both of them and some others along the way. thanks for sharing your writings with us.

flchen1 said...

My husband always goes above and beyond :) He knows I'm not a morning person and so often he gets the kids ready in the morning so I can grab a few extra minutes under the covers. And he keeps his lips zipped about the ginormous piles of books overtaking the house--that's more than I can ask for :) Thanks for sharing, Kay!

Judy said...

Love your books, Kay. What an amazing experience. Thinking about who has so richly blessed my life, I realized I've been blessed with a couple of incredible friends. We live states a part, but they are there for me in so many incredible ways. The loss of my horse and my dog, my PC blowing up (lightening), trips to visit them, good times and even more so bad ones. I know they are there, and they will do such unexpected kindnesses that tell me how well they know me and understand what I truly need. I thank God every day that I have been blessed to have them in my life. And I pray God blesses them.

Beth said...

It's great that you had someone who could help you with your research.
I haven't really had anyone go 'above and beyond' for me, except my mom. Just like I'd go above and beyond for my kids. That's just a mom thing.

Judy F said...

Hey Kay

Smooches. I love you and your books.

When my dad past away this January I was amazed at the cards and letters I got from people I have never met. But had come to know on the various loops I am on. I have kept everyone and someday will re-read them.

THat meant so much that people cared.

ladybirdrobi said...

Marlie and my Mom could be twins. My Mom is that way with family and friends. I swear she'd give the shirt off her back if she could sometimes. As one of her kids, that she always put first in her life if we asked for something she'd do her best to give it. If I need help financially I know that she and my older brother are there with what I need just as I need it, she only asks for it back if she had to use bill money to help me out of my hot water, my brother has yet to ask for all because he says I'm always there for him when he has problems with computer and doesn't know what to do. Very few people that I know of that you can borrow money from and they say don't worry about it.

Robin
Robbibird3@aol.com

Katy M said...

Kay, I'd say everyone around me 2 1/2 years ago when my dog, Chloe, suddenly got sick and had to be put down. From professors who gave me extra time, to my family who always goes above and beyond and came with me to the vet and took care of the bill while I was still sitting in shock. And even the vet and her staff who were so sensitive during and after and later gave a donation to an organization that helps families and their dogs and cats financially when their pet gets ill in Chloe's memory. I'm tearing up now just writing about it. I still miss her so much but am so thankful to have had such wonderful support and understanding.

Nicole S said...

Kay, what a wonderful person Marie was to do that.

A couple of people who have gone above and beyond for me our my grandparents. They have helped me my whole life and they still do. When my dad left my mom they stepped up to help us out emotionally and financially. I will never forget everything they do for me. They're are very special people to me.

Don't put me in the drawing, I've got a copy of She's the One.

Lucy Monroe said...

FROM KAY:

Your stories have truly amazed me.

Nmulder, yours stands out because I actually teared up as I read it. What a fantastic company to work for! That was just awesome.

I'm so happy you are all blessed with special people in your life.

Kay

Lillie said...

I would have to say my online friends. Even though I haven't met most of them face to face, they are always there when I need to vent, celebrate, or cry. I am so blessed to have them!

Raonaid Luckwell said...

That was awesome about Marlie. Just shows there are awesome people out there who are willing to go beyond to help others.

Mine are deceased, but my grandma and pawpaw. No matter what I needed or whatever happened, both remained close and never showed disappointment in me.

Lil said...

I am technologically backward and had just started chatting in author and reader discussions online. It was my lifeline while I lived abroad where there was one English language bookstore and I had more books than they did. Everytime I ran into a difficulty with computer difficulties, the regulars of the chat group would lead me through whatever I needed to learn to get by. I will never forget that.

Toni said...

Kay,

I have to tell you of a lady back in Iowa who became more than my friend; she became my sanity saver. Sue and I met at church and she knew my husband was an Alcoholic and very much against anyone visiting in our home. Sue was brave enough to face down my husband and visit me reqularly. Not only that but when she was going to yard sales or other things she thought that I would enjoy she would come get me just to get me out of the house. I never had any money to buy anything but I enjoyed the time away. After I moved back to Utah to be closer to my family we still kept in touch by e-mail About six years ago she died of a heart attack and I was so disappointed that I could not go back to her funeral.

Toni

Rhea said...

What amazing stories! Marlie is an special person for sure!
One of the best above and beyond things that happened to me (and while the end wasn't for me specifically, it meant a lot to me) was when my co-workers filled my cubicle with laundry baskets and bags full of items to give to my boyfriend's parents. They had lost everything to hurricane Katrina (their apartment was a cement slab when they got home) and came to stay with us in ND. It was such an unexpected act of kindness, not only did it touch his parents, but it meant a lot to me too.

Refhater said...

There have been so many people in my life who have gone above and beyond for me.

My car mechanic Ron would be someone besides my family that has helped me out. He once replaced the leaking gas line on my car within 24 hours and only charged me $40 for everything including parts and labor. He knew I had to have the car fixed right away and couldn't afford to pay alot for it.

Rebecca Ringler said...

Hi Kay - Alaska is still definitely on my list of places I want to visit. I loved this book!!

erahime said...

What a wonderful story, Kay! That is so endearing, for Marlie to provide you with more than you asked for in your research of Alaska.

A shout-out for Marlie: Thanks, Marlie!

Someone who had gone beyond what I expected. Well, I can't remember anyone right now. My mind is distracted by something else, so I'm sorry for not being able to provide an inspiring story for you.

But...

...there are so many other stories for the prize.

To the others: Good luck!

Leigh D'Ansey said...

Kay, I've also found people so helpful and kind when approached for research - always willing to go the extra mile so that I always learn something more insightful than I set out to do. And the help offered within the writing community is amazing.

Sherry said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. There's two people that I can depend on at any time. My sister's they will help me anytime I need it all I have to do is give them a phone call.

sstrode@scrtc.com

SiNn said...

awesome post and those photos are spectacular i have to say ur work sounds totaly utterly awesome

Lady_Graeye said...

Wonderful post! I loved it. My family always puts their best out for anyone not just me. I love them for that!

CherylS22 said...

I've never been to Alaska & would love to go some day. However, I don't know if I could handle the flights on the small planes!

Nancy G said...

It is always great to hear how much cooperation goes into an authors "solo effort" Thanks for a terrific post.

donnas said...

Great post. My family is always there for me. One time when something really bad happened they even drove though a storm in the middle of the night to come.

robynl said...

love people helping others and I love doing the same.

My youngest sister has gone above and beyond for me when I had cancer. She came after the first surgery and made up meals to freeze so dh and I would have to just microwave them or re-heat on stove.

She also came down to help with my and my twin brother's birthday party and making food. Bless her!!

Sue A. said...

I've made a new friend at a difficult time. A family member is going through serious health issues and I've had to go out to a strange new city to help. A co-worker of that family member has taken me under her wing and made the difficult situation easier to deal with by letting me talk and including me in her family time as a short term place of normalcy to escape to.

Juliet said...

Thanks for sharing, Kay! I love to read the story behind a book, and it's so great when you find people like Marlie, generous and helpful. I have been very blessed too and I have had many wonderful people that have been there for me and have helped me when I needed it. From my family and some friends to other romance readers (or authors) that I have met online and have been wonderful. I believe in paying forward and trying to make the world a little better one small step at a time. :o)

CrystalGB said...

My parents are the ones who have always gone above and beyond for me. I always know that I can go them whenever I need anything.

Margay said...

Kay, the person who went above and beyond for me was actually my daughter's orthopedic doctor. She was supposed to have surgery to correct her spine from scoliosis, but there was an issue with her feet (among other things) that she'd been keeping from everyone. Long story short, because of this doctor, I was finally able to get my daughter the care that she needed - and deserves - from doctors who are more committed to her well-being. (Her previous doctor was kind of indifferent to her and the ironic thing is, she's the one who referred us to the orthopedic doctor!)
Margay

WK said...

What a wonderful post!!!
I love your writing.

hugs,
WendyK

zina seawitch6464@yahoo.com said...

Kay, I have a few of your books and am still trying to get more from the Tulane's series. We recently were flooded here in RI and we had to evacuate our home, there are 12 in my family with the youngest being just 1 yrs old. I paid for the first 2 nights at a hotel then we had to go the Red Cross shelter as it looked like we wouldn't be getting back home any time soon. The volunteers at the shelter were all really kind and made sure we had an area so we were all together and then they got us into a empty conference room as we were such a large group. The head of the Red Cross made sure I was able to get some help from Navy relief and because they needed to close the shelter, they paid for all of us to move into a hotel for a few days so we didn't have to saty in the shelter waiting for the state to place us somewhere and made sure we had extra supplies for our large family. They said it was the least they could do seeing as how my husband is active duty, serving his country and he was only able to come home for 1 day before going out to sea. Just having a real bed and a shower was wonderful.
Zina

Natasha A. said...

That is awesome! i'm always amazed that there are still nice amazing people out there!

lrwirum said...

I had a doctor that really helped me when I needed it. Which I have never forgotten. :-)

Larena

Joni said...

I suppose the only one that truly believed in me and fought for me where all others either wouldn't or couldn't as it would take them outside their comfort zone would be my lawyer. She stuck it out for six years with several set backs to seek the justice my son who died as a result of his injuries at his birth, and give me credibility that I'd lost when accountability from doctors was non-existent. She fought and she won for us and had it not been for her fortitude and tenacity, I'd not become the person I am today! I recently won your book, She's the One in Laurie's contest and am still awaiting to read it. But like all your other Tulanes, I'm sure I won't be disappointed...love them all girl!!!