Kim Sanders of Shades of Gray fame Gets Lost in a Story

Kim Sanders and I discovered each other when our books were making their way up the Amazon 100 in March.  Naturally we became curious about one another, and I for one am so glad I checked out Kim's writing.  I am now a fan of this marvelous author. As such, I invited her to visit us on GET LOST IN A STORY.  Please welcome Kim Sanders! ~ Donnell

An award-winning photographer finds herself on the wrong end of the lens when she is framed for the murder of her ex-boyfriend, and the only one who can save her is the man who broke her heart ten years earlier. Samantha Jennings loves her camera and her solitude, but she is thrust into the limelight when Ben Fuller is murdered and she is the only suspect. To find the true killer, Sam must join forces with defense attorney Caleb McCloud—the man who haunts her dreams. As the two follow the clues and confront the killer, their unresolved feelings surface. Sam agrees to trust him with her life, but not her heart. Caleb is determined to win both.


Oozes all the necessary passion of any good romance novel. . . . The romance enthusiast won't be disappointed with this novel that never skimps on passion or story.
--Kirkus Reviews
A must-read murder mystery. . . . This book is excellent from beginning to end and the mixture of mystery and romance will leave the reader wanting more.
--Michelle Humphrey, Examiner.com

About the Author:

Kim Sanders was born and raised in the South. The only thing she likes better than writing romantic fiction is reading it—which she has done since she was a teenager. Sanders received a journalism degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and a law degree from Emory University in Atlanta. Over the years, she has worked as a journalist, photographer, editor, and attorney. She is the mother of two grown children and lives in South Carolina with her husband. Sanders’ best selling debut novel Shades of Gray was a Kirkus Reviews Critics’ Pick and the romantic suspense winner of the 2011 Get Your Stiletto in The Door contest. In March 2012, the book ranked number one in contemporary romance on Amazon’s Kindle Best Seller List.

DONNELL:  Hi, Kim!!! When writing, how likely are you to be sipping coffee, tea, or something stronger?

KIM: In the mornings, it’s coffee. My brain is asleep until it gets that jolt of caffeine. In the evening, if I have a glass of wine, all writing must stop, or it won’t make sense. My family laughing calls me a “cheap drunk.” Of course, the wine does add to my creative thinking. 

DONNELL:  Character driven or plot driven author?

KIM: Character driven. I want my readers to miss my protagonist when they finish the book.

DONNELL:  In Shades of Gray, your protagonist is an award winning photojournalist.  So let’s pin you down, Kim.  Are you any good with a camera?

KIM: At one time, I wanted to be a documentary photographer—thanks to a wonderful professor in college, Alex Harris. But bills had to be paid, so I went to law school. My big photography claim to fame was having a photograph hang in the New York City SoHo Gallery when I was just out of undergrad. Now, I shoot landscapes for fun. I even have a website with some of my photography. http://kesandersphotography.zenfolio.com/

DONNELL:  You write romantic mysteries, so for every person who writes the same genre I do, I ask them to finish a “very” short story.   Your neighbor is stalking you.  You can’t prove it and everyone you talk to thinks he’s a harmless old guy.  One night while you’re doing dishes, someone is staring back at you.  Harmless is grinning back at you.  What do you do?

KIM:  I felt him before I saw him. My hands were wrist-deep in silky water, cupping an empty wine glass, when I glanced up and out the window. Cataracts clouded one blue eye, but the other one leered. The man leaned forward and slowly licked the thin glass that separated us before stepping back to give me the full view. The old bastard was completely naked. Wiry gray hair trailed below his belly button, at the stick thin body part he lovingly wagged my way. Anger surged through my veins. Jumping over my sleeping dog, I threw open the back door and shouted, “T-Rex! Fetch!”
DONNELL:  What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know?

KIM: I love to take an afternoon nap about three o’clock. Unfortunately, my phone usually rings about that time, and I just can’t bring myself to turn it off.

DONNELL:  What turns you off?  What turns you on?

KIM:  Since we write romance novels, that sounds like a loaded question. But getting my mind out of the gutter, I must say that I hate political ads—those 30-second sound bites of hate and false information. On the other hand, I love watching The Daily Show and the Colbert Report to see how Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert interpret the political campaigns.
DONNELL:  What’s the most surprising thing you learned while writing/researching a book?

KIM: I'm working on Shades of Justice, a sequel to Shades of Gray, and it involves a missing person mystery set in Savannah. I discovered that during the first yellow fever epidemic in Savannah, some reports claim 666 people died—a great fact for a horror element. During the second epidemic, 1066 people died.  It has been claimed that the city’s underground tunnels were used to take away the bodies and bury them in unmarked graves to prevent widespread panic. Many claim that bodies are buried under the police station’s parking deck, but because parking is so scarce, the police department refuses to let anyone investigate the claim.

DONNELL:  What comes next in the literary life of BESTSELLING AUTHOR, KIM SANDERS?

KIM: By the end of the year, I hope to complete The Ex Lottery, a contemporary romance about a woman who is unlucky in love, but lucky with numbers. She uses the dates her three exes dumped her to buy a winning lottery ticket. Cash in hand, she travels to Ireland to buy a castle only to be distracted by a gorgeous Irishman. I am also working on Shades of Justice for 2013. In addition, this month I have the honor of being a featured author on a panel of romance writers at the 2012 South Carolina Book Festival May 18-20th. http://www.scbookfestival.org

Kim Sander's Question for Readers & Fans:   
Have you ever hidden the fact that you read romance novels?  Do you hide the steamy covers?
Comments to Kim's question or about SHADES OF GRAY will enter you in a drawing to win Shades of Gray!
To learn more about Kim Sanders and her bestselling novel SHADES OF GRAY check out her website at  be www.kesanders.com


Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.


  1. Hi Kim,

    Great interview. Your books ounds great. I will hide a steamy book cover when I am reading in the waiting room at my daughter's orthodontist. Lot of children in the waiting room.

  2. ROFLOL! Kim, I love "T-Rex fetch!!" Made my day. Thank you for sharing, I enjoyed your comments. My Nook will be a happy once I open it again. Beach, wine and writing, what better way to enjoy the day.
    From another "cheap drunk"..lol...my family calls me the same.
    Looking forward to meeting you at some point.
    From Georgia, just next door.

  3. Yes, I always hide a steamy book cover from my parents when they come to my house. Friends and strangers, I don't mind so much...

  4. Very good interview. Let me just say the....I LOVE HEATHER'S BOOKS!!! How wonderful that you "came up the Amaxon" together. That's really neat and will probably always be a bond for you both. I have not yet read Shades of Gray but I have heard so much about your books and would love to win a copy.
    As for your question, No, I never hide the fact that I read romance and I almost always have a book with me. I am getting read to go away with family for a long week-end and will take at least 4 or 5 romance books with me!

  5. I'm writing a murder mystery/romance, so I'm curious to see how you handled the combination.

    I prefer covers that have more of a suspense/drama feel, or historical without being bodice rippers. If the covers look too cheesy, I might hide them, though I'm not usually reading in public anyway.

  6. Kim, so excited you've joined us today. I think I mentioned that your little story above, you could turn into a bestseller.

    As for bookcovers, I like suspenseful ones. I don't mind a figure or silhouette on them (ha, as in The Past Came Hunting) but definitely I'll hide a too suggestive cover.

  7. Hi Everyone!
    Donnell, thanks for having me here today.

    Tammy, I used to hide the covers, but I don't any longer. I've gotten brave in my old age. May, I definitely hid the covers when I was young. Thanks, Jean, it is great to hear from you; we should meet!

    Betty, finishing four or five books in a weekend sounds like my daughter. She will read one every night if she has the free time.

    Hi Kris, combining romance and mystery is a challenge, as I'm sure Donnell can tell you. I developed the characters first so they become real to me. My mystery developed out of a twist on various news stories and then I wound it through the plot, making sure to give clues pointing in different directions. I start with a very basic plot in mind and develop it as I write. The characters seem to have a mind of their own and the plot changes as I write. Good luck with your book.

  8. awesome interview.

    3 pm naps sound wonderful!

    Hide covers? No. But I confess that I read more digital than paper these days. LOVE digital. Can adjust the font to fit my old lady eyes. Honestly, I had to stop reading a book this winter because the print was simply too small.

    About your title..do you think 50 Shades of Gray might be driving some of your sales? The similarities in the name? Not that I would mind if I were you. Cat Johnson has a Texas Two Step novella out with a different publisher than mine. She has more readers. I keep hoping people buy my book "by accident" hee hee

  9. Great interview and Shades of Gray sounds like a great book! Congratulations on your success. I am still reeling from your nasty peeping tom story, though!;)

  10. Great interview. Loved the short story! Gave me a much needed laugh.

    I don't hide covers, but have to admit that most of my reading is done on a NOOK! So no one knows what I'm reading. Which is kind of sad. I've had good conversations setting in the airport or doctor's office based on the cover of a book.

  11. Jerrie, I do love the book covers. I read on the Kindle now, and you're right, no one knows what we are reading. But the covers still capture my attention when I shop on Amazon so I think they are a big part of sales.

    Cynthia, I do think the name has helped. It's like free advertising. When you type "Shades of Gray" under books or kindle in Amazon, my book pops up very close to 50 Shades of Grey. People see it and at least read the summary of my book and sometimes buy it! I think getting people to look at your Amazon page is half the battle. Hope your book name helps you.

    Larissa, glad you and the others enjoyed the short story. I had fun writing it.

  12. I enjoyed the interview. The book sounds good. No, there's nothing to hide.


  13. Welcome to GLIAS, Kim.

    Love the dog's name. We just got two: 8 months and 8 weeks. Our daughter came up with the names Dallas & Tex. Love 'em already.

    ANSWER: Nope. Always loved to read and have never hidden it.


  14. Thanks, bn. And it's interesting how some people hide that they read romance, and others don't. I met a builder recently--big guy--over six-foot and about 250 pounds. He told me he loves romance novels and romantic movies, and his wife loves action movies. I gave him a signed copy of my book and he tells everyone he is reading it. You're right, there is nothing to hide.

  15. Angi, two dogs! You will be busy. Dallas and Tex--perfect names for two new family members.

    Glad you didn't hide the romance. I admit that I would throw a beach towel over the Fabio covers.

  16. I must admit it is a book's cover that first draws me in. Next, I read the summary to decide whether to buy it... While I am not "embarrassed" to read romance novels, I will say the wonderful world of electronics has increased the variety I now read! I love having a library in my hands!

    By the way, I see you have 2 grown children. I wonder if they are embarrassed that mom writes romance novels!

    1. Anonymous on reading anonymously. I love it.

      My kids are very supportive. My daughter inherited my love of romance novels and keeps pushing me to finish my next one. I think she can quote any Nora Roberts book ever written. My son doesn't read romance, but he is a future novelist too--majoring in creative writing.