Last week I asked for you all to submit questions you always wanted to know. I have compiled a list and here are your answers! Inquiring minds want to know:
1. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Well, I was a late bloomer even though I always enjoyed writing. In the second grade I did a whole mystery series (I watched a lot of Murder She Wrote) that my class acted out as a play. However, in law school I only had time for reading case law and writing briefs. I became serious about writing again a couple of years after I passed the Bar Exam.
Everything clicked after I got about three chapters into Bluegrass State of Mind. Bluegrass State of Mind started out as a fun outlet for my creative side. I wrote those three chapters and had an “Ah ha!” moment. I scrapped what I had written and then developed the whole Bluegrass Series before sitting back down to write.
2. How did you find time to balance writing with everyday life?
It was hard. I was a new mother and an attorney, so I didn’t have a lot of free time. The only time I had to write was at night. I would come home from work, we’d have dinner and family time, and then our daughter was tucked into bed, I would sit on the couch next to Hubby and work. Luckily, I am not the type of writer that requires silence. So, I would work until I went to bed and then on weekends as well. During nap times, after bed time… the house was a wreck, but I finally got my first book done!
3. Who thought of the town Keeneston? It sounds a lot like Midway, KY.
I grew up in Nicholasville, Kentucky and went to college in the small town of Danville, Kentucky. I came up with the idea of Keeneston as one of the many small towns surrounding Lexington. There are several of them: Nicholasville, Danville, Midway, Versailles, Georgetown, Paris, Winchester and some that are so small it’s hard to find them on a map, like North Middletown, Sadieville, Burgin and Crab Orchard, Kentucky. I had visited all of them and just adore the feel of those towns.
I love walking down the street and having people wave even though they don’t know you. Or people just pulling over to chat with someone on the sidewalk. I took the best parts from these towns and incorporated them into Keeneston. My hope is that whether you’ve visited a small town, live in one, or have never been to one that Keeneston will give you a taste of home.
The coolest part for me is getting notes from readers all over the world saying they know a town like Keeneston. It’s so wonderful to see how we are all connected. Keeneston reminds one person of Midway, Kentucky and another of their small town in California, Texas, New York, Ireland, or Australia- I’ve even gotten a letter saying Keeneston reminds them of their small island, Saipan, in the middle of the Pacific!
4. Are any of my characters’ relationships based on real life relationships?
Yes and No. None of my characters are based on anyone in particular, but I have used my experiences to shape some of the relationships. My parents have been married for almost 45 years. My grandparents were married for 67 years. I use that as an example for Marcy and Jake. I was also blessed enough to have a great-grandmother who lived to 101 years old and my other grandmother is currently 93. While the Rose sisters are quite a bit younger than that, their life experiences gave me lots of ideas.
I have friends who own horse farms and my family owned a standard bred race horse when I was very young. That was who Boots was based on, but he never won the Derby! In fact, all the animals are, or have been, my real pets and some of their antics are completely true.
But, for the lead characters the answer is no. They have a romance all of their own.
5. How many times have I used my Hubby as a stand in for a fight scene?
Ha! The sad answer is most of the scenes! He’ll be upstairs working in his office and I’ll call him down and say, “If you try to choke me…” Then I see where I can hit him and how to get out of the situation. Hubby deserves a lot of credit for being beaten up in the name of the Bluegrass Books!
6. Would I recommend waiting to find an agent to get a book published or going straight to an e-publisher?
I don’t know. I always say publishing is like parenting. What works for my family and me may not work for you. I think the best course of action it to investigate both publishing options. Disect the good from the bad about both, pick the path that works best for your current life situation, and never close the door completely on the other options. You never know what may be around the corner.
Thank you to everyone for writing in and asking questions! This has been so much fun and I hope you feel as if you know me and Keeneston a little better now.