{Huge Announcement | Guest Post | Giveaway} Temptation Series By: Karen Ann Hopkins

» 13 June, 2014 » Giveaways, Harlequin Teen, Karen Ann Hopkins, Young Adult Fiction » 0 comments

ForeverWhen I was in the classroom, the greatest reward that I could find as a teacher was seeing my students achieve academic success.  As a blogger and book reviewer, I find great joy in reading great novels, meeting great authors, and seeing their accomplishments.  A Leisure Moment, along with Once Upon a Twilight and Owl Always Be Reading is excited to be a part of the grand announcement that The Temptation series by Karen Ann Hopkins has been optioned for Television.   We are all keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll be watching Rose and Noah from the comfort of our homes in the near future. {Deitre}

Official announcement made in Publisher’s Marketplace Newsletter: TV

Karen Ann Hopkins’s TEMPTATION series of Young Adult romances, a trilogy about the dramatic and forbidden love between two teens, one who’s Amish and one who’s not, and the sacrifices they must make in order to be together, to Pilgrim Studios, producing in conjunction with Danielle Von Zerneck, by Christina Hogrebe at Jane Rotrosen Agency.

 Along with this exciting announcement we have an extra special guest post from Karen and a great giveaway you will not want to miss!  Enjoy!

About the Author

A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amis

Karen Ann Hopkins

h community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah in her Temptation Series. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.

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Persistence Pays

By:  Karen Ann Hopkins
Persistence. This one word is the main reason I got published. Most of the time a good product just isn’t enough and neither is experience for that matter. When I finally did get the magical phone call from Christina Hogrebe, my amazing agent from the Jane Rotrosen Literary Agency, telling me that she would be thrilled to represent me for my Amish themed YA novel, I didn’t have any experience or knowledge of the publishing industry. I was about as green as writer could get. Truth be told, I wasn’t a writer at all. I was a horse-back riding instructor and 4H coach. My only writing experience was the monthly articles that I’d submit to the local newspaper about the farm’s events and activities. My entire life had been dedicated to learning about horses, not writing. I’d attended just about every equestrian discipline and husbandry clinic available in a tri-state region, but I’d never taken a single creative writing class. But once upon a time, before the five children came along and the homeschooling began and the horse farm grew, I’d been an avid reader myself and that’s what helped me to get started.
At this point, you might be wondering how I ended up writing Temptation, a three hundred and eighty page novel that would eventually become the first of a published trilogy with Harlequin Teen. Persistence and strange circumstance are the answers. There’s that P word again, but I’ll get to that later.
My strange circumstance was moving from the mountains of Tennessee to the middle of an Amish community in northern Kentucky in 2008. It was one of those reluctant moving experiences. My husband had found a better job offering in Kentucky and we made the move, leaving behind a successful horse-back riding stable, dozens of much loved students and close family to start over fresh in another state.
My general advice to anyone who is considering a major life changing choice, think very carefully before you do it and take your parents thoughts into account before you make your final decision. Of course, I didn’t do those things and a few years later I was a divorced woman caring for five children and a slew of horses and other pets on my own in unfamiliar territory. My ex returned to Tennessee and immediately remarried another woman. I learned the hard way about not listening to my momma.
Getting back to the beginning of my writing career and moving away from unpleasant thoughts, I found myself living in the middle of a community of people who lived their lives as if they were trapped in an episode of Little House on the Prairie. As crazy as it all was, it was still completely fascinating! And immersing myself into learning about my new community was a good way to keep me distracted from the troubles I was enduring on a personal level.
I was in a unique position. Early on there was a group of about fifteen Amish teens visiting my farm on a weekly basis to watch my non-Amish (called English by the Amish) students take their lessons in the arena. Soon enough, the Amish youth were riding with the English ones and some of the older Amish girls even assisted me with my lesson program. Through those experiences, a seed of a thought grew in my mind.
What if an English teen and an Amish one fell in love? I soon realized that it wasn’t farfetched at all as I witnessed the daily interactions between the two groups of young people. Friendships were forged and there was definitely some serious flirting going on.
“How could this ever work out?” I asked myself. That question plagued me day and night and Temptation’s story took on a life of its own. I took almost two years of experiential research, observations and having discussions with the Amish before I felt confident enough to tell Rose and Noah’s story properly. I was lucky. I interacted with the Amish on a daily basis. The youth spent time at my farm, the boys hung out with my teenage sons and the girls babysat my small children. I drove Amish families to town to shop and I even took an Amish family along on a Gatlinburg vacation. I had a lot of opportunities to observe and ask questions, and that’s just what I did.
I had to write Temptation for two reasons. First, I knew that it was a unique and interesting story, especially for young adults. Second, I was a single mom with five kids and a farm, and I needed the extra income.
That’s where the persistence part came in. I knew I had a great idea, but I had to learn to write, which I did through trial and error and many rejections. I took professional advice when given and continued over the course of a year to revise and improve my work until it was finally at the level where an agent embraced it. That’s when the real work began. My agent helped me with some more edits before she began submitting to publishing houses. I was lucky, having both Harlequin Teen and another large publishing company make offers on Temptation. Ultimately, I chose Harlequin Teen and began a writing career in earnest.
Through the process of working with editors like Adam Wilson and TS Ferguson, my writing continued to improve and what was once an unattainable dream became a career. If I’d given up early, when the rejections were coming in, Rose and Noah’s story would never have been told and so many fans who loved the Temptation series would never have had the opportunity to read it.
Temptation’s fan base continues to grow and I’m reminded almost every day about how much my books have affected readers. I was even contacted by an Amish girl who was shunned by her family for leaving her community to marry her ‘outsider’ boyfriend. She tearfully told me how therapeutic my books were for her and how they’d helped her get through her own ordeal.
Writing Lamb to the Slaughter was an even more enlightening experience. It’s an Amish murder mystery that I began writing over a year ago after my agent asked me if I could create such a thing on demand. I became intrigued with the idea, especially since I had personally witnessed some strange and almost creepy goings-on in the Amish community where I lived. I really wanted to delve deeper into the darker side of being Amish, especially in relation to my personal passion, the lives of the teenagers and some of the harsh realities they’re faced with. I pushed myself once again, and amazingly, through much persistence, I wrote another popular book in a whole new genre.
The Temptation series and Lamb to the Slaughter has opened up a mysterious culture to mainstream young people and adults everywhere and I’m ever-so-glad that I was ever persistent enough to stick with a crazy dream. If you’re an inspiring writer, please remember that P word and hold tight to your dreams. If I could do it, then so can you!
Thank you so much for stopping buy! I hope you’ll give my Amish fiction a try. If you do, please contact me on my website at www.karenannhopkins.com, my FB pages or on Goodreads. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy reading :)

 

 

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