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Special Guests! K.R. Hughes and T.L. Burns!

May 10, 2013

I am excited and honored to be able to share an interview with two of my favorite authors, my good friends, K.R. Hughes (Kim) and T.L. Burns (Tamy). I have read their novel on Marilyn Monroe, What She Knew, and I am excited to get a hold of Fateful Night, the first book of the trilogy! Welcome to my blog, ladies!

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So, to kick this off, give me a little bit of basic background. Where are you two from, individually, and how did you come to know each other?

K.R. Hughes

I’m an English major from Amarillo, Texas and now reside near Atlanta, Georgia. I enjoy writing with my co-author T.L. Burns. We are currently working on the sequel to What She Knew, the fast paced novel that continues telling the story.

I enjoy working with budding writers and tutoring English. I have a passion for at-risk teens and volunteer to help teens realize their potential and find their passion. I have two grown children, Justin and Kayti, and two four legged girls, MayZee and Ruthie.

You can find other works by me in the Historical Romance section, pen name is Kymber Lee, Treasured Love and Lord Tristan’s True Love are both fun romps written in Regency England in 1811. Lee (Hughes) (me) wrote this novel for my grandmother who is a huge supporter of my work.

T.L. Burns

I’m a business major and love numbers. I’m originally from California (desert region, with mountains), spent nearly 20 years in the panhandle of Texas (again, desert region only without the mountains) and now reside near Atlanta, Georgia. In my own words “Trees and flowers everywhere!! Even the weeds are green and lush! I feel like I’m living in a postcard!! And, no wind! The desert regions are sooooo windy.”

My true passion is for at-risk families. I volunteer my time to help the needy, not with a hand-out but with a hand-up. I’m married and have two grown sons (best sons in the whole world) and two 4 legged sons, Binford and Digby!

K.R. and I have been best friends for years and are really more like sisters. Our friendship started with our sons being friends first in middle school.

What inspired you to write What She Knew? I mean, how did it go from a conversation about Marilyn to a whole book based on this what-if/alternative history timeline?

Kim has always loved writing and journalism, and she has written five historical novels set in the Regency Era of 1811. One has been published and has two books currently available on Amazon (mentioned above.) I was drug into the business after Kim had taken a class with a well-known published author. The assignment was to write about something that has never been written about. So, after brainstorming ‘what if’ ideas, we came upon the premise of “What if Marilyn had lived and saved JFK from assassination?” She and I wrote the first chapter together with me researching (which I have always loved) and her doing the actual writing. The teacher loved it and persuaded us to write the full novel.

I love that this is a trilogy. Tell me how book two is coming along – is there a release date yet? Some of us are simply salivating!

Kim and I have finished book two, Darkest Day. We are hoping to be done with the edits soon and that the book will be out this Summer. We have started on book three, yet to be titled.

What’s your process for writing? Does one of you write a section and send it to the other? Do you write in rounds or just sit down together and compose?

We simply sit down together. I (Tamy) do the lion’s share of the research and talk it over with Kim. We then plot out how things will progress for the next several chapters and Kim goes to it! We are both flexible and have no problem with reworking any section to make sure we have a story that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.

Do either of you write solo? If so, how difficult is it to switch between co-authoring and solo-authoring?

No, we primarily write together now. Kim does have the other books under her other pen name, but has not written any more of those at present. What She Knew is taking up all of our time right now.

So, what’s next on the horizon? Is there more Marilyn ground to cover or something fresh and new?

When we finish book three, that will be all for Marilyn (we think anyway.) We have already written book 1 into a screenplay and there has been some talk of writing books two and three into a screenplay as well. Our manager wants to offer this as a packaged set and is shopping movie companies as we speak.

Do you find it difficult to write ‘authentically’ to the period? Is it hard to omit the convenience that we deal with in our daily lives – no cell phones, no internet, no celebrity blogs – while putting fresh eyes on the past?

You would think so, but no, it’s not hard for us. We have immersed ourselves into Marilyn’s time (1960’s) that we find ourselves in everyday life referring to her as though she were an old friend. It’s very fun writing in a different time, we love seeking out what was popular back then and what kind of conveniences they did have.

If you could hand-pick the cast of the movie version (which — bonus question, is it true that there are talks in progress?!) who would you place in the roles?

Oh, yes, there are movie talks. For Marilyn, we would love for Cameron Diaz or Drew Barrymore to play her. For John F. Kennedy it would be Greg Kinnear or Matt Damon or even Matthew Perry. Frank Sinatra we would love Harry Connick Jr. We have some other main characters that we have already made a wish list for as well.

Tell us – what is your one weirdest writing quirk? Kim writes very sparingly. For her, everyone knows what an Italian restaurant looks like, so why go into any more detail? So to help with that, I then take over to give the reader a bit more sense of the ‘touch, feel and smell’ to the scene.

Are you reading anything right now? If so, what and by whom?

Other than research books for the series, we are both reading books from the Master Koda group. Kim has read Bertha Size Your Life by Jane Carroll and Take 2 by Linda Bolton; and I’ve read Armed and Outrageous by Madison Johns and Role of Dishonour by Brad Fleming. We are both too involved with finishing the trilogy to be reading for fun right now.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you have for other writers, especially those of just starting out?

Write, write and, oh yes, write some more! It doesn’t matter what you write, just that you write. Blog, journal, short story, etc. Yes, and read all you can too!

Thank you so much for joining me today! Tomorrow is your big party for the launch of Fateful Night! I wish you the best for it, and I’ll see you at the party! Anyone who is interested is welcome to drop by tomorrow, Saturday, May 11, from 7-9 pm EDT at

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