Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Guest: Kristin Tualla

It's my pleasure to welcome Kristin Tualla today. She caught my attention with her blog choice of: Why Norway is the new Scotland. How could I not be intrigued? So please read through and learn why I now must read these stories, and have already started A Woman of Choice.

Cause tall hot Norwegien men? All over that...and you may take that statement as you will. :)

So, Norway is the new Scotland, huh? Prove it.

I'm not afraid to admit it.

When I began writing my very first novel for publication, I intentionally chose to write something other than the "kilted warrior." I wanted to be unique; I didn't want to be just another book in the crowd. A foin crouwd, to be surrre… but still. I wanted to create my own niche.

So I thought, who else is sexy? Vikings! Big, blond, buff, and beautiful, with oceanic eyes. But the Viking era was pretty harsh. And limited. And dirty. So Nicolas Hansen, my Norwegian hero, lives in the 1800s Missouri Territory. He (and all my Norse heroes to follow) are some version of big, blond, buff, and beautiful. Strong. Stunning. Smart.


So, imagine my surprise when this creative streak turned out to be a hindrance! Publishers said, “We don’t do American historicals… no one can sell Scandinavia… write Scotland, BUT Scotland is a very crowded market… publishers LIKE their boxes…” I’ve heard it all.

Nonetheless, I stuck by my men. Especially when Nicolas told me (and his very surprised new wife) that he was a prince! Great-grandson of King Christian VI. Who knew? So in the second book of the trilogy, off we go to Norway in 1820 while Nicolas decides whether or not to be king.

I had been blogging about my heroes and my path to publishing, when the following article, “Common Mistakes by New Authors” by Irene Goodman, appeared in the September 2010 issue of Romance Writer Report (RWR) published by Romance Writers of America:

“It’s always sad when an earnest author spends years working on something that absolutely no one is interested in except a few geeks or hobbyists. Let’s say you want to write historical fiction. You need to understand that unless you are writing something very literary and high quality, you must pick a marquee name. If you fall madly in love with the life story of an obscure Norwegian king, please don’t think that you are going to convince the world to love it, too. Furthermore, learn the market and what it requires. Commercial historical fiction is very female-driven. Even if the Norwegian king had some kind of interesting hook or quality to him, readers are more likely to be interested in the queen.”

Hm. Coincidence? Possibly. Probably. Maybe not.

Make me more determined? Definitely.

It was back in 2007 that I was driving past IKEA when I heard a hyped-up commercial on the radio: H&M was coming soon! "Hmm," I thought. "These are both Scandinavian stores… I guess that's the next big thing."

And then it hit me. My hook. My brand. My big, blond, buff, beautiful heroes with oceanic eyes! Norwegian men are the next big thing.

"Norway is the new Scotland" was born. And it's growing.

So. Is it time you found a new brand of hero? Please allow me to help.

For every 10 people who comment here, I will give away one free e-copy of A Woman of Choice - the beginning of the trilogy. And, yes. Commenter #11 warrants 2 copies! Comment #21? I'll give away three.


In February at the end of my blog tour, I'll give away one SIGNED PAPERBACK SET of the trilogy. Here's how you can get in on that deal:

1. Go to and find the "Secret Word" on my home page.
2. Send an email to with "Signed Trilogy Giveaway" in the subject line. Put the secret word in the body.
3. Comment on any blog at any time in the tour to activate your entry. Each day's blog location is listed at

A Woman of Choice, A Prince of Norway, and A Matter of Principle are all available at

A Woman of Choice - Missouri Territory, 1819
A woman is viciously betrayed and abandoned by her unfaithful husband. She is rescued by a widower uninterested in love. In desperation, she becomes engaged to his best friend. One woman, three very different men. Life is about choices.

A Prince of Norway - Christiania, Norway, 1820
American-born Nicolas Hansen has been asked to candidate for his great-grandfather's throne. His new wife Sydney isn't about to let him go to Norway and face that possibility alone. The moment they arrive at Akershus Castle, the political intrigue and maneuvering begin. Can Sydney trust anyone? Will Nicolas resist the seduction of power? Or will he claim the throne for himself? Most importantly: will their young marriage survive the malicious mischief of the ambitious royal family?

A Matter of Principle - St. Louis, State of Missouri, 1821
Nicolas Hansen has returned from Norway determined to change the world. But when he runs for State Legislator in the brand-new state of Missouri, the enemies he made over the past two years aren't about to step quietly aside. Sydney has made enemies of her own, both by marrying Nicolas and by practicing midwifery. When a newspaper reporter makes it his goal to destroy them, Nicolas must rethink his path once again. But this time, it's a matter of principle.


Julie Robinson said...

Hi Kris, I enjoyed hearing how you came up with your tag line. That flash of illumination connecting the dots was brilliant. Very creative marketing idea. A synapse of left and right sides of brain connecting.

Julie Robinson said...

BTW, you wouldn't have been called ornery as a child?
Really, your determination is inspiring.

Dana said...

Geeks of the world, unite! A few geeks and hobbyists, indeed! I can think of worse markets to hang your hat on. First, there are millions of geeks out there; ergo, the digital explosion, Microsoft, Apple, multiple computers in every home, Kindle, Nook, and other e-readers. Second, Diana Gabaldon started a tsunami with Claire and Jaime, but Kris is right - we all enjoy a new voice, a new setting, a new hero! I think it is very possible that Norway is the new Scotland!

Dana said...

And I agree with Julie, your determination is inspiring, and determination is a predictor of success. You go, girl!

Isabel Roman said...

Thanks again, Kris for stopping by! Way before Braveheart & Diana Gabaldon I loved Scottish history (Highlander...yum) but once the tag line caught my attention, and I have to say, even 40 pages into the book, I'm hooked.

Kris Tualla said...

Thanks all! No, Julie, as a child I was painfully shy and always did what I was supposed to do.

I got over it.

When the article in RWR came out, a friend of mine emailed me, saying: "Did you read the last paragraph on page 19? I hope you sell a million copies!"

So, of course, that was the first thing I read - and I was stunned! I thought it was just coincidence, but too many people have disagreed.

So now, I'm USING it as a springboard.

Glad you are enjoying the book, Isabel! :)

Susan Macatee said...

Kristin, I say 'bah' to anyone who tells you you must write this time period or that locale to get published. As a reader, I get sick of seeing endless releases of the same old stuff. As a writer, I want the freedom to explore whatever time intrigues me.

Hence, I've settled on American Civil War romances, even though the big publishers say readers don't like that period, or any period in American history.

Your stories sound great!

Debra Glass said...

Kudos to you for being a trendsetter! Delilah Devlin has a Viking book out now and my hero in Rebel Rose was of Scandinavian descent. (Thank you Alexander Skaarsgard for the inspiration!)

Riley said...

I think your premise is great! And who cares about Scots when you can have big blonde Vikings, I say! :) One of my fav is Vampire Eric from the Sookie Stackhouse series!

Dana said...

OK, I'm almost convinced...but what is the Norwegian counterpart for the Black Watch? Hmmm? :)

Dana said...

If you haven't seen Kris's video on her website, go there right now and view "Norway is the new Scotland" - it's a hoot!

Kris Tualla said...

Alexander Skaarsgard IS Eric! *yum*

(For a bit of trivial, his father Stellen was in the movie "Mama Mia")

And Susan ~ "As a reader, I get sick of seeing endless releases of the same old stuff." ~ This is the part the big houses don't "get."

Anonymous said...

Perserverence is the sign of a true writer. Glad you stuck to your dream. Congrats.
Liz Arnold
Message to Love
The Wild Rose Press

Teresa Thomas Bohannon said...

You've certainly convinced me that Norway is the new Scotland.

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