Author’s perseverance leads to 3 million books sold

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Author Kristen Proby writes contemporary romance novels and has published more than 40 books. (Courtesy photo)

Kristen Proby is proud to call herself a full-time writer.

“I was a storyteller as a child,” she said. “I loved writing and reading romance novels as a teenager.”

In her 20s, the fourth-generation Whitefish native began writing a alongside her day job — often waking at 4 a.m. to get her word count in before work. When she worked nights at the admissions desk of an ER she’d spend her downtime plotting story ideas.

After being turned down by traditional publishing firms Proby decided in 2012 to self-published her first romance novel and since she’s signed with large publishing firms and continues to self-publish her work. She’s sold more than 3 million copies, having published more than 40 books. Best known for her With Me In Seattle and Boudreaux series, her books have appeared on the USA Today, New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers lists.

Looking back during a recent interview with the Pilot, she says quiting her day job just months after her first novel was published was the “best feeling in the world.” Now each morning she’s at her desk writing by 9 a.m. hammering out at least 3,000 words a day. She has strict deadlines for herself and also to make her schedule of publishing eight books this year, as well as making up for writing days lost traveling to events all over the world to promote her books.

“My goal is to write all the books in my head, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do that,” she said. “I thought of six new stories last week.”

Proby, a 1993 Whitefish High School graduate who moved back to her hometown with her husband, writes contemporary romance novels. She says she writes stories with happily ever after endings that provide a feeling that everybody wants — falling in love.

“Romance is fairy tales for grownups,” she said.

A departure from her past novels, Proby recently published a paranormal romance novel, “Shadows.”

“I wanted a pallet cleanser,” she said. “I’ve had this story in my mind for two years and this was when I had room in my schedule to write it. It was the most fun creating a serial killer and making it spooky. I wanted to give it a try and the reviews have been really good. I knew that some of my readers wouldn’t be willing to follow me, but I had to write it.”

Proby says that even in the genre of contemporary romance she gets the opportunity to still be creative. In her Big Sky series she’s writing about prince and princesses, cowboys and rock stars.

“There’s so much to explore in romance,” she said.

Taking the knowledge that she’s learned through self and traditional publishing, Proby recently launched Lady Boss Press where she aims to assist new authors and those looking to reach new readers. She has opened up her Boudreaux series allowing other authors to borrow from her story lines to create their own novels. She expects to publish with 20 authors next year.

“It’s a publishing company working with these authors in my universes,” she said. “So I can get some of their readers and they can get some of mine. They take a character from my story and maybe write about their best friend, or I have a inn in one of my novels so they have their characters staying at that inn. It’s fun to see what they can come up with.”

Proby says she’s excited by the opportunity to help other authors.

“It’s been really humbling and it’s a great to be on the publishing side,” she said. “My goal 10 years ago was to be in a position to write full-time and now I’m in the position to help other writers.”

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