Hot and Humid

In 2011, I went to the RWA® National Conference in New York City and pitched a manuscript. I remember the pitching room was filled with like 427,000 agents and editors. The waiting area outside was commandeered by a mean woman who yelled at us like cattle. Really naughty cattle who had used her toothbrush. She detested us! Kerri Carpenter

I walked up to a very well-known editor wearing my specially chosen flouncy polka-dot skirt and coordinating hair accessories, which she did comment on. Yay! I knew we would be best friends. I pitched my manuscript, she liked it, and asked me to send the whole thing. Then she said the words that rocked my world.


At the time, I was quite nervous and somewhat flustered from above mean lady yelling at me like cattle. I didn’t take the time to process her question. If I had, I would have realized she meant, do you have anything else that is finished that you can pitch to me today because you are slotted to talk to me for ten minutes and we are only a minute and half into your session. Instead, I took her question to mean, Have you written anything else…EVER?

With a big smile and imaginary glitter, I shouted a resounding, “Yes!”

Editor stared at me. Shit! The reality came crashing down. She wanted me to pitch another story.

So with an adorable smile, I made up a story off the top of my head. It involved four sisters who had been adopted by two people who died at the opening of the first book. They lived in a quaint Virginia town called Blue Lake. The love story was about reunited high school loves.

The editor’s eyes lit up. “Send it to me immediately.”

Double-shit. I hadn’t written it yet. Hell, I’d just thought it up.

When the conference ended, I visited my brother out on Long Island. I sat on the sand of a beach in East Hampton and started writing this mythical story by hand in a legal pad.

That story is called The Best Kind of Love.

It is going to be published tomorrow.

It’s taken many names and many shapes over the last three years. The editor I pitched it to in NYC did not acquire it. I almost gave up on it multiple times. But it was that crazy story I thought up on the spot that eventually won two contests and brought me together with my agent. It’s not just a story I made up off the top of my head. It’s been my story for the last three years. And I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

And if you’re wondering about the title of this post – Hot and Humid – well, that’s a story for another time….


17 thoughts on “Hot and Humid

  1. Yay, Kerri! I didn’t know this was how your novel came about! So excited to read (reread) The Best Kind of Love and see how it has evolved! Mega congrats on your second launch day!

    1. Thanks Pintip! It will be so different for you to read now. Remember that big push to finish our novels! 😉

  2. Okay, that is a wonderful story about your book. Be very proud you pitched!!! And you wrote it!!! Congratulations.

    1. Thanks Susan-Mermaid!!! See what can happen when nerves and adrenaline take over. Ha-ha! 😉

  3. That’s a great story!!! I can’t wait to read about Penelope after all this time. Great job…you certainly earned it! Congrats!!!! We are all so proud of you.:)

  4. Kerri!!!!! You are the funniest. I remember that crazy loud room from that year and the lady herding us all. You also gave me a granola bar that day so I wouldn’t pass out from standing in some long conference line. You can add good karma to your list of hot and humid memories. Wink wink. Everyone, you should totally bug Kerri to come through on that promise to tell you about Hot and Humid….

  5. Kerri,
    I’m so excited about Penelope and Ethan’s story hitting the shelves tomorrow! Yay! It’s about damn time! Love second chance love stories. They’re my favorites. And also when best friends fall in love. Love those as well.
    I remember that herding-cattle-call as well. I hope I never have to go through that ever again. ugh.
    Congrats again on your release! See you for tomorrow’s interview. 🙂

  6. Thank you for sharing this story. I’ll pass it on to those of us who live in the hinterlands and write. I once got a job in a similar fashion, and sometimes the craziest things that happen to us get us the work. But I’ve heard over and over that agents want multiple works before you even pitch them. Good luck and I’ll be ordering one soon.
    You make the PNN crowd very proud to know you.

  7. I absolutely love this story and can so relate to being thrown off by mean people when you’re already on tenterhooks.

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