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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Interview of Kay Springsteen!

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Kay Springsteen.

Latest Book: Elusive Echoes
Buy Link: See below for the top three buy links.

NOTE: Kay has one PDF copy of Elusive Echoes to give away. Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing to win. Random Number Generator site will be used to determine the winner!

Kay Springsteen was born and raised in Michigan, the daughter of James and Audrey Springsteen. Her parents were soul mates, who taught her the meaning of love and happily ever after. When her mom read her Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Kay was hooked on fiction. She still believes in magic and real-life fairy tales, and the romance of life. At about age 10, after she'd read all the interesting books she could find in the library, Kay decided to write the kinds of stories she enjoyed.

After leaving Michigan, Kay spent several years living in Annapolis, Maryland, before settling in Virginia. She currently lives in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her seven adopted rescue dogs, and several of her children live nearby. When she's not cuddled up with a good romantic read, or writing one of her own, she enjoys photography—and often the subjects she sees through her camera’s eye are none other than some of her favorite things: Her family, her garden, the mountains, and her pups. Find Kay at her blog and on Facebook.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: The beginning and the end are the easiest parts for me to write. I plan what I write but allow for detours along the way. So I always know where I’m going. Usually a story idea occurs to me and after a few days it will play like a movie in my head.

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: There’s this place about 20-30,000 words into a full length novel where I sometimes have to take a break and step back because I might write a page in two hours (normal pace is much faster) and it’s like the proverbial pulling teeth. A fellow author, J. Gunnar Grey, who is also my crit partner, has referred to this as “the muddle in the middle.” It’s where we get to a sort of point of no return and we kind of wander around in the desert, going in circles and spinning our wheels, making sure of the direction we want to go. When I finally move past that, the ending comes very quickly.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: In the Echoes series (Lifeline Echoes 3/2011, and Elusive Echoes, 6/2011), even though the stories are about two brothers and their ladies, my favorite character (and one who repeats in future books) is their dad, Justin McGee. He’s probably one of the biggest secondary characters ever. He raised his boys on his own from the time they were very young and he has an answer for everything. His philosophy (which I borrowed from my dad) is “There’s a right way to do something and a wrong way.” But even when his sons do things the wrong way, he stands by them. He’s kind of a cross between Robert Redford and Clint Eastwood.

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: When I’m not writing (or reading), I enjoy photography, gardening, hiking, and playing with my dogs.

Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: I’ve been told it’s the emotion I pour into my characters. People have said my books make the cry or laugh, depending on what part they’re reading at the time.

Q: You’re on a remote island with a handsome man, a computer, and a “mysterious” source of electricity to power your computer. What do you do?
A: Hmmm, I’d probably go looking for “Jacob” and the “Man in Black” to get the REAL story about the mysterious properties of the island (yeah, I was a Lostie).

Tell us where to find you: - Publisher - weekly on Mondays - news, releases, blog tours, etc. - writing tips/connect with other writers - for friends/family & those that want to be friends - for news of Astraea Press and other AP authors, including release dates, contests, submission calls, and more

BLURB: PG rated novel (mild violence and mature themes but no graphic cursing or sexual encounters)

They’re two people caught between friendship and something more; they can’t move forward, and they can’t let go.

Drawn together from early childhood, Sean McGee and Melanie Mitchell seemed destined for each other. But at age thirteen, Melanie was wrenched from the people she loved and forced onto a path she loathed. Sean was no stranger to people leaving, but losing Melanie devastated him. When she suddenly reappeared in Orson’s Folly, Sean was overjoyed. The Melanie who came home, though, wasn’t the same girl. She’s got a harder edge and she’s obviously hiding something, but Sean no longer knows how to reach her.

Returning to Orson's Folly as an adult, all Melanie wanted to do was forget the years she spent away. But she soon learned that going home didn’t mean she could return to her old life—or her childhood sweetheart, Sean. Even their mutual attraction to one another hasn’t rebuilt the bond of trust and closeness they once shared. It’s been seven years since she returned and now everything Melanie wants to forget has broadsided her. She must confront her demons and relive her past in an unexpected way or risk losing the only man she’s ever loved. But even if she succeeds, Sean might be lost to her anyway.

EXCERPT: Twenty-two years earlier
Sean sat on a big gray rock overlooking the camp. For days, he’d watched the cattle being rounded up and the calves driven into chutes where the hot irons would brand them with marks that told who they belonged to. Everyone said it didn’t really hurt them but they always cried. And one time when he looked at his mom she had tears in her eyes, too. It also stunk when the brand was burned into the hide and the smell made him sick at his stomach.

His Aunt Alice told him that was just ranch life and he’d best get used to it because he’d be doing it soon enough. He didn’t like Aunt Alice. She was creepy. But his mom wanted him to be polite so he listened when Aunt Alice talked to him and never gave her any backtalk.

He could ride a horse. He’d been riding since before he could remember. But his dad had told him that he had to wait another year, when he would be eight, before he could help round up the cattle. So Sean just sat and watched.

The rounding up and branding had stopped suddenly yesterday afternoon, though, with a lot of yelling and scurrying, when his brother, Ryan, had returned to the camp calling for their dad. Then everyone with a horse had ridden off into the hills really fast. They’d been gone a long time. Sean had sat on the rock and waited because that’s what his mom had told him to do just before she rode off to find some lost cows. The back of his neck had tickled like ants were crawling there and he hadn’t liked that.

It had been dark when his father came for him, but Sean had never considered moving from the rock where his mom had left him. His daddy’s face had been very sad as he’d told Sean that his mother wasn’t coming home. There had been an accident and the river had taken her away. Sean had asked if she would be back the next day instead and his dad had hugged him hard, and then said his mom was in Heaven and couldn’t come home ever again.

Later, Ryan had brought him a hotdog and some beans. He’d even cut the hotdog into pieces and mixed it in with the beans the way Mom had always done it. Ryan had sat with Sean for a long time. He hadn’t cried but he was sad. He’d said that their mom was dead, but she’d wanted Sean to know she loved him.

Ry had helped Sean get his sleeping bag ready for the night, and then he’d lain next to him talking about the stars the way their mom always did. Sean hadn’t fallen asleep and he didn’t think his brother did, either.

After he ate the oatmeal Ryan made him for breakfast, Sean had climbed back on the big gray rock because that’s where his mom had put him.

The branding was still stopped. The people riding out were sad and when they came back to the camp, they didn’t bring any cattle.

“What do you think’s happening?” The little girl with hair the color of sunshine climbed onto the rock next to him and sat down, swinging her legs to dangle over the edge.

“Ry says they’re looking for my mom because she fell in the river.” Sean turned to look at the girl.

He’d seen her several times sitting in front of her father, Mr. Mitchell, on his horse. Her hair was really bright yellow, kind of like his. But his skin was dark and hers was very white. Her big blue eyes made Sean think of the sky. She was little and delicate like the china doll his mom had on her dresser at home.

Sean couldn’t stop looking at her.

“My name’s Melanie.” She kicked her feet back and forth. “Do you think they’ll find your mama soon?”

Sean lifted one shoulder. “I don’t know. Ry says she’s dead.”

“Oh.” Melanie looked at him. “When my cat was dead, we put her in a box and buried her in Mama’s rose garden.”

“I saw a dead calf once.” Sean stared out over the prairie. “It was just layin’ there. Its nose was blue and it looked kind of flat, like an old balloon. Dad called Mr. Tom and he put it on a truck and took it away.”

“Oh.” She picked up a stick and threw it off the rock into some prairie grass. “What do you think they’ll do with your mama?”

Sean shrugged again. “Dunno. I just wish—wish she could come home again.” His chin quivered and his eyes filled with tears, and he clenched his jaw tight. He didn’t want to cry in front of Melanie.

She moved closer to him and put one of her thin arms over his shoulders. They sat like that for a while. She felt warm and he didn’t feel so alone with her there.

“Look!” Melanie pointed excitedly toward a bluff not far away.

A big bay horse stood looking at them, head up, ears pricked forward. The light breeze stirred his mane and tail, but otherwise the horse was completely still.

Sean thought he’d never seen anything so powerful. The horse snorted and tossed his head, then wheeled around and left the bluff.

Melanie’s innocent smile lit her pale blue eyes from the inside. “I want to ride a horse like that someday. I bet it’d be fun going real fast on his back.”

That was when Sean decided he liked Melanie with the sunshiny hair even more than he liked horses.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you very much for hosting me here. And I’d love to give one commenter a chance to win a copy of Elusive Echoes via a drawing.


Karen said...

Oh, this sounds like a really good story!! The blurb and excerpt are terrific - can't wait to read it.

Great interview! Thanks.

Tina Donahue said...

Love your excerpt, Kay - this sounds like a great read. :)

Liz said...

lovely blurb, the book sounds great! thanks for telling us more about yourself Kay

Sandy said...

I like your excerpt and blurb, Kay. You have me hooked.

My husband has the same saying as your father.

Sarah Ballance said...

That's such a touching excerpt! And I love your "muddle in the middle" ... that's about the point where I start headdesking, trying to figure out what in the world I was thinking even trying to write, LOL. I enjoyed your interview - great getting to know you a little better. ;c)

Kathleen Ball said...

I love your writing Kay and this novel looks outstanding!!!

Meg said...

"muddle in the middle" reminds me of a fave children's book - the Piggy in the Puddle" who was in the "very muddy middle"... LOL! Great interview, Kay!

Katalina Leon said...

Great excerpt Kay!
If I were stranded on a deserted island with a mysterious source of energy, I'd know I was LOST too! lol

Elaine Cantrell said...

Sounds good as usual, Kay.

Amber Skyze said...

Great interview! This sounds like a good story!

Na said...

I really like the idea of childhood sweethearts reuniting and given a second chance at love.

Thank you for providing an excerpt.

jean hart stewart said...

Will try again to oomment; Love the excerpt. Sounds like I've got to get to know you and your writing. Jean

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