Ghost writing…sounds ominous!

Ghost writing…sounds ominous!

That's what Kris Calvert of Lexington, Ky., says was part of her job while working in marketing and advertising for more than 20 years. In late 2012, she was asked by one of her clients, also a friend, why she wasn't writing novels. By spring 2013, she was.

“Sex, Lies & Sweet Tea” was released on Nov. 17, self-published by the author. The book is a contemporary romance/suspense novel, which appeals to a pretty wide audience, Calvert said, but if you narrow it down, the demographic tends to be female 20-45.

The book follows the life of FBI agent Mac Callahan who has come home to bust a white-collar crime ring. Instead, he finds himself unexpectedly drawn to the legacy of his family, his plantation, and the charms of Southern girl Samantha Peterson.

Married to Sidney native Rob Pottorf since 2008, Calvert has a degree in journalism, marketing and public relations from the University of Kentucky. She attended a writer's conference in May 2013 and went to a pitch session, where big publishing houses listen to unpublished writers pitch their books. She had an idea for a book, but not a completed manuscript. With her public relations background, she pitched away and six of the seven publishers wanted her book. She says pitching the idea was easy. Writing 96,000 or so words was not.

A college professor once told her to never stop writing, although she had never considered writing as a profession and always thought marketing and advertising was her career path. His confidence in her meant a lot and she never has stopped writing.

“Wonderful teachers really do make a difference in their students' lives,” she said.

Kurt Vonnegut is one of her favorite authors, along with romance writer Nick Sparks and a list too long to mention which includes fellow Kentuckian and Southern girl, Sue Grafton.

With her years of advertising and story boarding, she acknowledged plotting the outline for her books rather than pantsing, admittedly deviating from the original plot from time to time, but mainly following the Post-It notes on the wall in her office.

She decided to self-publish her book, after joining a writing group of self-published authors. With her background in marketing, she does her own publicity and noted that social media impacts the marketing landscape every day.

Her book is part of a series titled “Moonlight and Magnolias.” She said if you're from the South, “there are a few things we like to claim ownership of: sweet tea, bourbon, the terms 'y'all' and 'bless your heart.' Plus, all Southern folks know the best moonlight is when the sweet smell of magnolia is floatin' on the warm evening breeze.”

Her philosophy is that Southern girls are never far from a few items: sweet tea, lipstick and their pearls. She will be releasing a Valentine's Day novella in late January. “Sex, Lies and Lipstick” will be available in the spring and will continue the love stories of Mac Callahan, Samantha Peterson and Kingston Giles.

Calvert met Pottorf on a blind date at the Kentucky Derby. A friend of hers had a horse running in the Derby because he had won the Bluegrass Stakes in a photo finish. Had the horse not made it to the Derby, she would've never met her future husband. She said, “Our little joke is that we literally met 'by a nose.'” The book is dedicated to him.

Calvert noted that there will always be people who prefer a book physically in their hands; however, ebooks or electronic versions account for 48 percent of the fiction market, are cheaper and, since they're paperless, a little kinder to the environment. Her website is www.kriscalvert.com and has links to where the book can be purchased.