Kathryn will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Welcome Kathryn Elliot to the blog with her new release! But first, enjoy this entertaining interview from@CandidKathryn – you like that, huh? I couldn’t resist. 🙂
- Woohoo! You are a published author. Describe a strong character trait you possess, good or bad, and how it helped you become a published author. Woohoo – yep, that about sums it up! Not sure if this is a character trait or physical deformity, but I’ve got a tremendously thick skin; I’m talking flame-retardant leather. You can’t write for a living and take the slightest criticism to heart; you won’t survive. Early on I found a good skin-thickening cream helps toughen up – Jose Cuervo makes a nice one.
- Sometimes an author begins writing a story before they are aware of its genre. Did you choose your genre, or did it choose you? I suppose women’s fiction chose me; it’s a blissful deviation from my day writing as a local journalist. Humor and romance offer a welcome respite from the more heartbreaking story assignments. Life needs more love and laughter.
- The plot thickens, or does it? Which one are you, a pantser or a plotter? Oh, how I wish I could proudly claim plotter rights, but alas, sixteen years of Catholic school creates deep-rooted guilt – I cannot tell a lie. I’m a pantser all the way; a fly by the seat of my yoga hip-huggers girl, and a note-jotter more than anything. My desk, kitchen table, car – all littered with random scraps of paper with character development angles and plot twists. Although, my worlds often collide and those same scraps have grocery lists. I live in fear one of the kids in swim carpool will pick up a scrap on the way to practice and ask why Mrs. Elliott needs bread, milk and a free STD clinic.
4. Fear 101: As writers it is our duty to make our characters face their fears. Have you ever included one of your own fears in a storyline? Absolutely. My family has an extensive history of Alzheimer’s and dementia; I knew in Adding Lib’s fledgling stages my fears would cross boundaries into the storyline. There is something cathartic about addressing a life-altering disease from a third person perspective, there’s a clarity achieved when you’re the observer.
There are two clearly defined schools of thought on writing, each with true benefits; write what you know, or write outside your comfort zone. In this case, the schools of thought collided. After Adding Lib’s first draft I realized it’s not only OK to laugh during life’s biggest struggles, it helps – humor heals.
5. Fear 102: Yes, deadlines are terrifying. Have you conquered the juggling act between writing and the rest of your life? What do you do when it feels like the balls are dropping all around you? I’ve got more balls in the air than centerfield at New York Yankees batting practice; it won’t stop, I don’t want it to. I’m one of those ridiculous people who thrive on deadlines and overscheduling, Libby and I share that trait.
- Switch positions with one of your main characters in a scene. What is the outcome, disaster or divine intervention? Although I identify most with Libby and her manic life, I think I’d switch places with Caroline, her best friend.
Part of a good story is developing secondary characters and the love story between Caroline and Sean, Libby’s older brother is one of my favorite parts of the book. Sean is my romantic fantasy, grounded and gorgeous. If I were Caroline – I would have pounced on him much quicker. Definitely divine. 😉
7. Where is your favorite place to write? Add that one comfort food that you can’t do without. When we bought our current home my husband, a planner to the core, weighed out the bedrooms, child potential, heating options..blah, blah, blah…boring! I fell in love with the screened in back porch, it’s my writing haven. Surrounded by nature and neighborhood domesticity, the space calms me, and trust me, with my type-A personality that’s no easy task.
Oh, and a food I cannot do without – cheese, in any form. (I need a dairy intervention.)
8. Writing inspirations? I’m a people watcher; not in a creepy cease-and-desist way, more of a gentle park-bench-observer. I find a lot of my ideas develop watching the interplay of relationships in varying social situations. For instance, Dolores, Libby’s boss at the library is a culmination of several different sassy seniors I had the privilege of spending time with as part of our local library’s Booked For Lunch program. Those women know how to host a bake sale!
Setting and location inspirations tend to develop as a result of travel. Now that my kiddos are older, the “baby” being 14, my husband and I like to day-trip whenever possible. Unfortunately, my dreaded-ethical accountant says spa visits to the Caribbean are not a work related expense. Dream killer!
- You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them? Hands down, Diana Gabaldon, and I have had the honor of meeting Herself. I believe my exact words were, “Uh..you good…me like…sign book please.” Nothing beats sounding like an illiterate cave-dweller when meeting your idol – proud moment.
What I should have asked, my burning question: At what point in your writing career did you say, yep, this is what I’m meant to do? I think anyone who writes, regardless of genre wonders if they’ll ever be good enough. Doubt is human.
- I’ve gone mad – why don’t you come with me? Some people just don’t understand us writers. Name a quirky, writer-thing you do that friends wish you didn’t. I don’t know that I have any quirks that bother friends, but I do have a personal, albeit embarrassing one.
And again, I’m going to blame this on one Catholic school.
I love steamy sex scenes as much as the next gal, but I can only write smolder behind a locked door. If someone stumbles upon my smut-crafting I need time to save-and-store the thrusts and grunts before my hedonistic prose are exposed to the likes of visiting in-laws or furnace repairmen.
Lovely to chat, and thanks so much for having me, Danita! I hope Adding Lib brings love and laughter.
by Kathryn Elliott
Libby O’Rourke has a short fuse. Her mother, Mae, carries a big match. Engulfed in the never-ending life-juggling of suburbia, Libby fails to notice Mae’s emerging dementia symptoms until a kitchen fire puts the problem on the front burner.
Proficient in the art of denial, Mae brushes the shattering diagnosis aside and sets her sights on a matchmaking crusade for her eldest son. After all, if her lucid days are numbered, Mae’s going to make damned sure he makes it down the aisle while she still recognizes the groom.
It’s going to take a razor wit and an iron stomach to handle Mae’s diagnosis. Thankfully, just like her mother Libby has both.
At three o’clock, excess wine and a bladder weakened by two pregnancies woke Libby from a sound sleep. She crept to the bathroom as quietly as two-hundred-year-old floor boards would allow and, on the way back, noticed the phone’s blinking message light.
“Crap.” Mae’s message taunted from the answering machine. “What to do?” she said to herself. “Check it, or go back to bed?” Years of maternally ingrained guilt won out as she pressed play.
“Hi Lib,” Mae’s recorded message played. “It’s your mother.”
“Color me surprised.” Libby groaned.
“I just got back from my visit with Dr. Cooper. You remember him, he removed Daddy’s planter’s wart.”
“TMI Mom, TMI.”
“Anyhow, he did a splendid job with my colon and said I had none of those dirty pollocks.”
“Polyps, unless you’ve got a ten-foot abstract in your small intestine.”
“You can watch now. Did you know that? They have a camera in your bum the whole time, fascinating really. Anyway, a few of my other test results were a bit off, and he wants me to see a neurologist for some silly reason. Nothing to worry about, just a little blip to check out. Anyhow, I need someone to take me for the appointment, and I was hoping you could find the time. If not, don’t worry, I’ll call your brother Sean. I’m sure he can drop anything less important than his mother.”
“Of course. He’s Jesus.” Libby’s eyes rolled.
“Take care, sweetie. Call me when you can, love to all.”
Libby replayed the message and returned to bed. Blip speculation haunted her dreams.
Author Bio and Links:
Kathryn Elliott is a lifetime journalist with awards in political satire, human interest, and commentary. A Connecticut native, she is a happily married mother of two sons with high hopes one of them will pay for a delightful rest home.
A true believer in laughter’s healing power, Kathryn writes characters whose flaws resonate with readers long after “The End.”
ADDING LIB is her debut novel, and the first in The McGinn Series.
BLOG LINK: http://candidkathryn.com/