When I rad the synopsis of today’s featured book, I knew I wanted to share it with all of you. So Brianne, from Media Connect/Finn Partners is stopping by to introduce us to the author, Ms. Kathleen Long. Welcome to CMash Reads!
Connect with Kathleen at these sites:
Writing and Reading:
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
Yes and yes. Much of the emotion in my writing and (in the case of Changing Lanes) a few scenes are borrowed directly from my life. I’d imagine that many authors operate in the same way. For character emotions to work, they have to be real and relatable. What better way to achieve that than to mine my own experiences and memories. As far as current events go, I am forever jotting down story ideas based on a new article or an overheard conversation. If only I could unlock the secret to getting every story idea written! I suppose that boils down to more butt in the chair time, quite simply.
Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
Every book is different. Back when I wrote suspense exclusively, I rarely envisioned the ending of my books. I would start with the premise, then build the characters and go from there. I used a very linear process and frequently broke down the entire book on a color-coded plotting board. For my two women’s fiction titles, Changing Lanes and Chasing Rainbows, I wrote the last scene—or at least a very detailed idea of the last scene—before I wrote the book. That being said, I wrote the rest of the story basically in order—start to finish. If I got stuck, sure, I’d skip to another plot thread and write a scene or two to kick my brain back into gear, but I find the emotions and turning points of a story resonate more strongly if I write them in order. That way, I feel the conflict and growth just as my characters do.
Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
My only routine is the lack of routine. I have good intentions of writing faithfully each morning, but I confess to being easily distracted. Between the Internet, the house, and my family, my brain is constantly hopping from what it should be writing to what it should be doing. As a matter of fact, my best writing is done when I leave the house—preferably for the comfort of our local library. That brings me to my biggest idiosyncrasy. I cannot sit at the computer and write. My creative brain is happiest anywhere BUT in front of the computer, preferably the library, a sunny spot outside, or on the beach. That’s my idea of the perfect writing location.
Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day?
Yes, writing is absolutely my full time job. How lucky am I?!
Who are some of your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are Claire Cook, Kristan Higgins, and Elizabeth Berg on the women’s fiction side. They are Lisa Gardner, Lisa Unger, and Harlan Coben on the suspense side. Actually, there are countless other writers I’d like to include on both lists. Narrowing down favorites is a tough job!
What are you reading now?
Right now, I’m reading Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg. The beauty and emotion of her writing never ceases to leave me humbled and in awe.
Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
Yes! I am actually working on two projects. The first is a new women’s fiction novel which follows a group of four women on a road trip to the Grand Canyon. Are We There Yet? deals with relatable crises that face women of a variety of ages—late teens, thirties, forties, and fifties. My second new project, Vanished, is a romantic thriller that will revitalize The Body Hunters, a team of cold case investigators who were at the center of a reader-favorite trilogy I wrote a few years back.
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
That is a fun question! It’s also an easy question for me to answer. One thing about my writing process that I neglected to mention in my earlier answer is that I make a collage for every work in progress. For Changing Lanes, the background of the collage was a map of the fictional town. The foreground included photos of buildings, small town streets, bridges, and my imaginary cast. I always pictured someone like Rachel McAdams playing the lead character, Abby. The second-chance romantic interest, Mick, definitely deserves to be played by someone like Gerard Butler. I can picture his personality in this part. Abby’s two best friends, Jessica and Destiny, would be perfectly played by Jessica Capshaw and Sara Ramirez (both of Grey’s Anatomy fame). A movie…wouldn’t that be a dream come true?!
Would you rather read or watch TV/movie?
I am not a huge TV watcher at all. I do love to curl up with a good movie now and then, but honestly, I’m a book lover through and through. I don’t read as much as I used to, and I miss it. The time I used to carve out for reading, I now carve out for writing. I hereby resolve to do a better job of managing both! Great question.
That’s a tough question! The answer varies by time of year, actually. Right now, I’m shamelessly hooked on shrimp and pasta. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it’s because it’s an easy meal, and my husband and I are both on the same kick. In the summer time, my favorite meal is a slice of Mack and Manco’s pizza from the boardwalk. There’s just something about the boardwalk, the salt air, the sound of the ocean, and that pizza. Yum!
My favorite beverage is coffee. Boring, I know! I recently gave it up completely and was successful for about five weeks. Then, I started sneaking one cup each day…then two…now three. Perhaps that’s part of my writing process. Actually, that’s not a bad excuse for drinking even more!
Thanks for the great questions, Cheryl, and for including me in your Author Spotlight!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Abby Halladay has the perfect life. Or, rather, she will…as long as everything goes exactly according to plan. Abby never leaves anything to chance—not her job as a syndicated columnist, not her engagement to her fiancé, Fred, and certainly not her impending wedding in Paris (New Jersey, that is).
Unfortunately for Abby, even the best-laid plans often go awry—like when Fred runs away to Paris (France, that is), her column is canned, and her dream home is diagnosed with termites. Forced to move back in with her parents and drive her dad’s cab, Abby’s perfect life has now officially become the perfect disaster.
Then a funny thing happens. Slowly but surely, Abby begins letting go of her dreams of perfection. As she does, the messy, imperfect life she thought she never wanted starts to feel exactly like the one she needs.
Poignant and heartfelt, Changing Lanes celebrates the unexpected joys of everyday life—and the enduring promise of second chances.
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Amazon Publishing; (May 14, 2013)
THANKS TO BRIANNE AT FINN PARTNERS
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