Welcome back to Jersey Girl Book Reviews Kathleen! Thank you for taking the time to come back for another visit to chat about yourself and your latest novel, Favorable Conditions!
How long have you been an author?
My first job/s as a paid writer was in my early twenties, working as a freelance reporter for a number of local city newspaper. It was a fun time; I met a lot of interesting people.
Do you have a "day job," or is being an author your career?
I gave up my paid job to be a stay-at-home Mom (or, "Homemaker" if you prefer) when I had my son. I still wear many hats, but I'd say yes, being an author is now my career.
What inspired you to become an author?
I would have to say my experience in college. While enrolled in a Radio and Television Arts program, I wrote and produced a television documentary. It was during that process I came to the realization that, once graduated, I wanted to write for a living.
Why did you choose Chick Lit / Women's Fiction / Contemporary Romance as the genres for your novels?
Succinctly put, writing Women's Fiction comes naturally to me. I think all genres are of equal value, but for me this genre is my personal "fit".
Please give a brief description / storyline about your latest novel, Favorable Conditions.
Favorable Conditions is a story about hope and change. The main character, Pat is at a point in her life where change isn't so much an option, as it is an inevitability. Instead of shying away from it, she jumps feet first back into the world outside her door, takes on a new business venture, is pursued by a much younger man and has to muddle her way through more emotions than she knew she had - all to finally attain her goal of rediscovering who she is and what she wants from the next phase of her life.
What was the inspiration for this story?
Truth be told, this story pushed its way into my thoughts and took over until I'd written it down. It arrived shortly after my beloved dog of 14 years passed away and I could relate to the idea of picking up the pieces of a once familiar life and moving on into new experiences.
How did it feel to have your first novel published?
It was surreal. And even more surreal was that people were choosing to read it! Truth be told, that feeling hasn't worn off and I wonder if it ever will.
What genres are your favorite(s)? What are some of your favorite books that you have read and why?
I'd have to say Women's Fiction (with the exception of the Harry Potter series). I love stories about people's lives, the intricacies that make up who we are and the reminder that each one of us is living to the best of our abilities with what we know. Off the top of my head, I have to say one of my favorite books has been, Can't Wait to Get to Heaven, by Fannie Flagg. There is something about the characters, especially Elner Shimfissle, that made me want to keep on reading. I also adore Anne Tyler. Her ability to weave a tale is so compelling ... whew.
Do you have a special "spot/area" where you like to do your writing?
I have an office in my house where I work and wrote all three of my current books. We're talking about renovating in the spring and adding a new office area to the house off our kitchen, so it's possible I may be "moving". Either way, as long as I have a quiet place where I'm not in the middle of the fray, I can get the work done.
How do you come up with the ideas that become the storyline for your books?
Much the same way as I described how Favorable Conditions arrived into my thoughts. I don't look for them, they just seem to "show up" and stay put, nudging at my thoughts until I have to flesh them out. The trigger could be a song, a phrase spoken, a picture seen, who knows - but what matters is they stick. Then I know I have a story to tell.
From concept to publication, about how long does it take for you to complete a book and have it released?
It depends upon how much time I have at my disposal. I wrote and published 3 books last year and that pushed me to my limit. I must admit, by the time Favorable Conditions was published I was ready to fall off my chair. That being said, I feel comfortable saying I can have a book written and ready to hit the "shelves" within a half year. Thus the reason I am able to commit to 2 books in 2012.
When you write, do you adhere to a strict work schedule, or do you work whenever the inspiration strikes?
Once I dive into a book, I feel driven to stay the course. And by that I mean, I sit my backside in my chair whenever time allows and keep on typing.
What aspects of storytelling do you like the best, and what aspects do you struggle with the most?
The free form of creation is always the best thing. And, of course, the real work is the editing. As for struggling, I'm thankful to say that, for me, writing isn't a struggle. It's work. But, not struggle.
What are your favorite things to do when you are not writing?
When I'm taking "down time" I enjoy catching up on movies and books - other people's stories. I tend to do neither of those things when I'm writing as I cannot focus well on any other story but the one I'm creating.
What is/was the best piece of writing advice that you have received?
It comes from my husband. He reminds me that this journey isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. It's made all the difference on how I approach this adventure.
What is the most gratifying thing you feel or get as an author?
Having a reader tell me they not only enjoyed my story, but felt they could relate/connect to it as well. In the process of trying to entertain, it is always my hope that some part of each story will allow the reader to know that they and their lives are understood.
How do you usually communicate with your readers/fans?
I am always available via the email address on my website and, of course, love to meet/chat with them on Twitter and Facebook.
Are any parts in your book based on real life experiences or are they purely all from your imagination?
Favorable Conditions is definitely fiction.
What authors have been your inspiration or influenced you to become an author?
I don't have any one author who has been my inspiration etc. Instead, I'm just grateful that each and every one of them is willing to plant themselves in their respective chairs, behind the screens or with their pads of paper, and do what they do. It is a joyous job, but also a taxing one. The mere act of sitting still for hours on end, rereading and shaping their work to get a story just right ... Again, I'm grateful.
What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
If you love to write, do it. It doesn't matter if it's "good" or not, embrace the joy you get from doing it and see what happens along the way. Life has a funny way of working out, especially if you don't take it all to seriously.
Are you currently writing a new book? If yes, would you care to share a bit with us?
Yes, I am currently working on my next book called, In This Moment. Here is the description from my website.
Sylvia Newman has hit her limit. Her sister, Emma, a woman full of life and love has passed away and Sylvia is finding it more and more difficult to recall why she gets out of bed every morning. Until her husband gently reminds her of the promise she made to Emma before she drew her final breath.
Suddenly, Sylvia has a reason to get out of bed, but as she throws back her covers she's hit by the realization that she can't face the prospect of fulfilling her promise on her own. She needs the support of her three steadfast best friends: Kerri, Jennifer and Darla, and ... There's a catch.
Join Sylvia, Kerri, Jennifer and Darla as they step out of their comfort zones, have some laughs, shed some tears and discover not just their own strengths, but the strength of their friendship.
I'd like to wrap up by expressing my gratitude to you, Kathleen, for giving of your time to be a part of this tour, welcoming me on your blog and allowing me the opportunity to connect a little better with my readers. Thank you.
About The Author:
Born in Edmonton AB, Kathleen began storytelling in grade school. She has fond memories of passing summer afternoons, out on the swings in her backyard, creating tales that entertained her neighborhood friends.
When she finally decided to venture from her backyard, Kathleen pursued a career in storytelling. She graduated from college with a Diploma in Radio and Television Arts and traveled the path of freelance writing for numerous local newspapers.
Many years later, too many to talk about without seeming rude and nosy, Kathleen has channeled her imagination to the pages of her novels. She hopes that you enjoy her tales and encourages you to feel free to read her stories on the swing set in your own backyard.
Kathleen has traveled from Edmonton, to a new backyard with a lovely mountain view. She spends time there with her beloved husband, adored son and silly dog. They let her tell them stories and always laugh in all of the correct places. She's lucky, and she knows it.
Kathleen Kole's Favorable Conditions Tour Page on Chick Lit Plus
BUY THE BOOK:
Book Description: Favorable Conditions
Can you imagine being forty-five, your last child has moved on to college and the time is ripe for you to blaze a new trail into your future? Pat Keegan can. Well, except for the tiny detail that all her preconceived notions about how that future was going to shape up are completely out the window.
Pat was under the impression that once her child rearing years were complete she and her husband would walk hand in hand toward a rose colored future. Fat chance. Before their daughter had even been accepted by a college, he was blathering about needing space to rediscover himself and made quick strides to the nearest exit.
Suddenly, Pat is divorced, rattling around her large house and asking the empty rooms, "What now?" She knows she has to carve out new dreams - after all, forty-five is a far cry from the end of the line - But how?
Join Pat as she jumps feet first into the world outside her door, takes on a new business venture, is pursued by a much younger man and has to muddle her way through more emotions than she knew she had - all to finally attain her goal of rediscovering who she is and what she wants from the next phase of her life.
To enter the contest, click on the above link and leave a comment on Kathleen Kole's Favorable Conditions Tour Page on Chick Lit Plus, to win a $10 Amazon gift card! If you purchase your copy of Favorable Conditions before March 26 and send your receipt to Samantha@ChickLitPlus.com , you will get five (5) bonus entries!