Readers, please welcome Kathy L. Wheeler today. Kathy and I met through Dallas Area Romance Authors (DARA). We also have written for the same publisher, The Wild Rose Press (TWRP). Kathy lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, where she is active (past president) in Oklahoma Romance Writers of America.
|Kathy L. Wheeler, Author|
Caroline: Please tell readers about growing up.
Kathy: My childhood was somewhat interesting, as I imagine most are. However, my parents have each been married six times. Yes, I said six (6). I think that made me most adaptable. I grew up in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, then in high school moved to Boulder, Colorado. Talk about culture shock! I have two sisters and three brothers, though the brothers are all step, you wouldn’t know it. We have a family reunion every three years just to make sure everyone stays together.
Caroline: Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?
Kathy: Jayne Ann Krentz is by far my favorite author. I love all of her single titles, whether it’s contemporary, historical or futuristic. Susan Elizabeth Phillips too. My favorite sub-genre to read is Regency Historical. Teresa Medeiros, Elizabeth Boyle, Suzanne Enoch…I could certainly go on and on…
Caroline: Love each of those authors. What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?
Kathy: What an interesting question. I have several hobbies. I jazzercise, karaoke, musical theater. I love the NFL and the NBA—but relax? Anyone watching Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals will tell you, that is not relaxing. Hmm, more like an addiction. I keep wondering what I’m going to do when the series ends. And, there is soooo much to do. Ah, but NFL will kick off two months later. So I’ll be good to go!
Caroline: Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?
Kathy: My book QUOTABLE is about a young woman, Genna, who uses obscure quotes to keep people from getting too close. But in one particular scene, she and her friend, Lorianne are having lunch and Lorianne accuses Genna of not dating since the joker from college. Genna answers with something like “The more I get to know men, the more I love my dog.” Lorianne responds with, “You don’t even have a dog.” And, I think that’s funny.
Caroline: I look forward to reading QUOTABLE. Have to confess I collect obscure quotes. How long have you been writing?
Kathy: I’ve been writing since 2006. I saw a Google prompt that said “write a story where Cinderella’s shoe fits one of her evil stepsisters.” So I did. Then I wrote the sister’s stories (they are available on Amazon).
Caroline: Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?
Kathy: I can write almost anywhere (except when watching an NBA Thunder game, or Dallas Cowboys NFL). Then I just have to set the computer aside and give them my complete attention. Otherwise, they do something stupid, like … lose. I type really fast, so I prefer a laptop, I can take anywhere. I can’t watch a movie when I’m working, but I do like white noise in the form of sports or The History Channel.
Caroline: Are you a plotter or a panzer?
Kathy: Mostly a panzer. But one of my critique partners is a big time plotter so at least there is some kind of balance. And, everyone knows, balance is the key!!!
Caroline: Yes, we all strive for balance, don’t we? Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?
Kathy: I would say not. I think the characters just start talking in my head.
Caroline: Me, too. I hope they never shut up! Do you set daily writing goals? Word count? Number of chapters? Do you get a chance to write every day?
Kathy: Right now, I am inundated with editing. Last summer I had two articles published in a local paper (July and August). Then I signed my first contract (TWRP) in September, a second one (SMP) in October, and a third in December. Just yesterday, I signed my fourth (TWRP) and mailed it off. Edits, edits, edits. I have two more stories in the works. But another one that needs tweaking and submitting. EEEEkkkk!
Caroline: But a selling writer is a happy writer. What do you hope your writing brings to readers?
Kathy: I hope a reader feels what my character feels. Through their eyes. I don’t like being spoon-fed information. I re-read a lot of my favorite books. And every time I go back, I learn something new. I don’t have to be told every single little thing.
Caroline: What long-term plans do you have for your career?
Kathy: I really, really need to learn how to answer this question. I would love to be able to make my living by writing.
Caroline: Wouldn’t we all? Well, some people we know do, but most of us struggle. Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?
Kathy: Edits, edits, edits.
Caroline: While edits aren’t exactly fun, at least they mean you have not only completed a project, but that it will soon be published. What advice would you give to unpublished authors?
Kathy: Keep writing. Always have something in the works. I had eight completed manuscripts when I signed that first contract. Lucky for me, I had other stuff ready to send off.
Caroline: And that’s good for prospective writers to know. While you’re submitting, keep writing so that when you do sell, you have multiple manuscripts available. Tell us something about you that would surprise or shock readers. A fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you.
Kathy: Most of me is just out there. What-you-see-is-what-you-get. But I do have a minor degree in vocal music. But I don’t think that would surprise many people. Although, singing is very close to my heart, and I can be extremely sensitive about it. I’m as good as some, not as good as others, though in a karaoke environment where there is a lot of alcohol? I’m totally awesome.
Caroline: Is your book a series? If so, how long? Family saga, other?
Kathy: Well, it seems I write mostly series, or rather, books that include characters from previous books. QUOTABLE is the first of four. The second one, Lorianne’s story, MAYBE IT’ YOU is due out in the Fall through Soul Mate Publishing.
Caroline: Tell us something you learned researching your book that surprised/interested you.
Kathy: The book I just signed a contract on, THE ENGLISH LILY follows my Cinderella Series. Lady Kendra Frazier is a character in the Esmeralda story. She is dyslexic. It was interesting to write. The editor who signed the book sent me a note and told me a story regarding her sister who is also dyslexic. The feeling that the character resonated with the editor was intoxicating.
Caroline: We have numerous dyslexic people in my family. Can you give readers a blurb about your book? I am lucky enough to have had two books released in the last couple of weeks. Neither of which are related to one another.
The blurb for: QUOTABLE
GENNA LYNDSEY is not a people person. A short, too-skinny, wild haired waif, with crazy hair and sturdy nerdy glasses lives through books. So it’s lucky she and her best friend own their own bookstore. Her college days taught her that dating was too unreliable to depend on others. It was then that she started resorting to obscure quotes to shield herself from others who ventured too close.
RICK JOHNSON, Fraud Insurance Claims Investigator, is assigned to look into an unusual number of claims filed by Genna Lyndsey. He suspects Genna of sabotaging her own property for insurance money. His investigation uncovers an adorable introvert determined to keep everyone at bay, while someone else resolves to put her out of business—no matter how great the risk.
How about an excerpt of QUOTABLE::
Without so much as a second thought, he moved his mouth over hers in slow deliberation allowing her almost ample time to step back should she have wished. It didn’t matter that the door was to her back and she had nowhere to step back to.
Definitely, the wild honeysuckle drove him wild with desire. Just the feeling of her timorous nature kept him from devouring her outright, tempting as it was. His tongue touched her lips in a feathery motion drinking in her sweetness. He pulled her to him, her slight body leaning into his.
A sharp pain hit his leg. He grunted and broke the kiss, making the break as painful as the pain in his leg. He glanced down. She’d dropped everything she’d been holding, her hands clutching the front of his shirt. Her cheeks were flushed. With hunger? Need?
She seemed at a loss as to what to do next. He stifled an urge to smile, irritation dissolving for the moment.
He grasped her hands gently, surprised by the rising desire to safeguard her. Resisting the appeal to reclaim her mouth, he tugged them from his shirt. Kneeling down, he gathered the spilled belongings. Just as he suspected, he’d been besieged with books.
The blurb for: THE COLOR OF BETRAYAL [Part of the Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll Series through TWRP]
Luke Reiser has every intention of marrying Malia Kane, a difficult feat when she refuses to acknowledge his interest. When Malia’s grandmother asks for a doll left in his attic, Luke believes his luck has changed. He summons Malia to his office, but he doesn’t expect her reaction.
Malia doesn’t have time to do artwork for Luke’s company. She’s preparing for an art show to ease financial difficulties looming like a snuffer ready to extinguish a candle flame. But what she finds at Luke’s office is worse than bankruptcy—it’s that horrid doll bequeathed to her at her mother’s death. Malia has found out the hard way the curse breaks any would-be lover’s nose, and worse. Not wanting to risk injury to Luke, she takes the doll and runs.
Can an ancient doll bring the two together…or will Luke end up next in a long line of victims…with a broken nose as well as a broken heart?
An excerpt of THE COLOR OF BETRAYAL:
Seeming oblivious to his presence, her gaze spanned the room before dropping her face into open palms. “It’s old. It’s ugly. Why? Why would anyone want the blasted thing?” She had obviously forgotten his presence as the conversation she carried was strictly her own. “It’s that damned curse. It has to be.” She raised her head, staring out a window, its sill covered in dust. Her eyes squinted in the sunlight. “Oooh, it would serve him right if he did snatch the stupid thing.” Full lips pressed in a stubborn line had him lusting to trace them with a fingertip. Coax them into a curve.
“Who?” he demanded, but she didn’t answer. Luke decided to take charge of the situation before she completely lost all contact with reality. “What makes you think the doll is cursed? Not that I believe it for a moment.” It felt odd saying the words aloud, though the words from the note were carved in his memory.
She shot him a startled glance. Yes, that was surprise covering her features. Annoyed, he
promised himself he’d work on forging a less forgettable image later. Right now, however, she
seemed to be debating how much to tell him.
Malia opened her mouth to speak, and suddenly Luke’s brain ceased any rational functioning. A pressing need to kiss those parted lips overtook common sense, and he covered her mouth with his. How much more blatant a signal would he have to send for her to realize his attraction?
Caroline: Where can readers find your books?
THE COLOR OF BETRAYAL:
How can readers learn more about you? http://klwheeler.com
Caroline: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?
Kathy: Thank you so much for letting me ramble on. I think I’ve always been a bit of an artsy person. I could draw decent pictures when I was younger (forget painting!), I love to sing. I did some local theater. I was okay, just not great! But writing…writing seems to flow through my blood. And I hope that you enjoy the characters that live in my head.
Thanks for sharing with us today, Kathy.
Readers, thanks for stopping by!