8:10 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest

KATHLEEN MIX

CONTEST: Leave a post and Kathleen will give away a digital copy of Secret Stranger, one of her romantic suspense novels from The Wild Rose Press to one lucky winner.

AL: Hi Kathleen Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.

Kathleen: Thanks so much for inviting me, Ann.

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Kathleen: Well, it’s summer, so I’m busy dividing my time between writing, gardening and sailing. I love to grow my own vegetables and have a bumper crop of tomatoes and cucumbers ripening in my back yard. I write most mornings, then pull weeds and fight off insects in the afternoons. Two or three days a week are spent sailing on Chesapeake Bay or doing maintenance on my boat. I just returned from a visit with family in Connecticut, so I’m scrambling to get back up to speed on my yard work, in particular.

AL: Tell us about your new or an upcoming release.

Kathleen: My latest release is Beyond Paradise. It’s a multicultural romance about a Latina dive shop owner who is struggling to overcome her father’s outdated beliefs about women and prove she is capable of running the family business. The last thing she needs is the distraction of a handsome pediatrician. But once they’ve met, she can’t get him out of her mind and soon her whole world is turned upside down.

I first had the idea for the story when I took SCUBA lessons a few years ago. Once I knew my heroine, Marina, would be a Latina whose father had old-world, macho beliefs, I was able to sit down and write. She turned out to be one of my favorite characters – although that I feel that way about all my protagonists until I write the next book.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

Kathleen: I’ve just finished the sequel to Beyond Paradise. The new story, Beyond Yesterday, features Greg and Trish, the two characters in Beyond Paradise that everyone loved and wanted to read more about. The former lovers meet again seven years after a nasty breakup. And despite their differences, they must work together to prevent a breach of national security that could result in hundreds of deaths and smash Trish’s dreams for the future. I enjoyed giving the teenage sweethearts their own book and hope my readers will find their story satisfying.

AL: When you write do you do a detailed outline before you get started or do you have the idea then just 'fly by the seat of your pants'? :-)

Kathleen: I always write from a very detailed outline that includes character sketches and a list of major scenes. I rough out the scenes with notes on who, where, when and why. Sometimes I include tidbits of dialogue, a reminder about the purpose of the scene or ideas about how my character should be affected by the action. Of course, things change while I’m writing, and more things change while I’m editing. But I find I work better when I know where the story is going. Until I know my characters and can visualize the ending, I have a difficult time starting my first draft.

AL: What do you like best about writing? What is your least favorite thing?

Kathleen: When a story suddenly gels in my mind, it’s like I’m on a fabulous high. The characters become real, the words flow, and I get a deep sense of accomplishment. My least favorite thing is having a critique partner or editor read my work and point out my errors. I always hate to hear my baby isn’t perfect.

AL: Who inspired you to follow your dream of writing?

Kathleen: My husband has always been very supportive. I started my career writing non-fiction for sailing and travel magazines, and he often helped with research. When I switched to fiction, he read and critiqued all my early manuscripts.

AL: Now, let’s get personal. When you have time just for you (if only) what do you do?

Kathleen: I read. Voraciously. Books are a huge part of my life. I always have a huge stack next to my favorite chair in the den waiting to be read. And every time I go to a bookstore or pass the book display in a grocery store, the pile gets higher. I keep almost every one and most get a second or third read. So many books, so little time!

AL: What is this romance writer's idea of the "perfect romantic evening"?

Kathleen: My husband and I own a sailboat and often slip away from the dock for a quiet weekend. Sitting together on deck watching the stars while anchored in a snug cove is my idea of a perfect evening. We don’t need candlelight or wine, just each other.

AL: Sometimes people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. I like to set them straight, so tell us what’s the most unglamorous thing you’ve done in the past week?

Kathleen: We had a nasty thunderstorm the end of last week. Since I live on a country road at the bottom of a hill, heavy rainfall pushes leaves, sticks, and roadside litter down the drainage ditch at the roadside and the debris often stops in my driveway. My unglamorous job was to collect the soda cans, chip bags, Styrofoam cartons - and even a tattered pair of men’s swim trunks - and add them to my own trash. Picking up trash is a special occasion. Normally my excitement for the week is cleaning the bottom of the duck coop and fighting with a black snake for possession of the ducks’ eggs.

AL: If you could meet someone famous in either history, or present day…who would you like to meet and why?

Kathleen: I’d love to have met Thomas Jefferson. The wording he used when he wrote the Declaration of Independence was worthy of a Pulitzer. He managed to be eloquent yet clear in authoring one of the most important documents in our country’s history. He also was a book lover and his personal library was even larger than mine. When I visited his home, Monticello, I was in awe of his many inventions. For example, at his writing desk, he connected two quill pens with a series of rods so that he could produce an automatic copy of everything he wrote. As a naturalist and fellow gardener, he kept detailed notebooks of plant varieties and experimented with growing methods unheard of in his time. His flowerbeds and orchards are still works of art. He was a fascinating person, and even a few minutes in his presence must have been stimulating and inspiring.

AL: What do you hope for your writing career in the next few years? Any goals that you have yet to obtain that you have set for yourself?

Kathleen: I divide my career plan into dreams, hopes, and goals. My dream, of course, is for one of my books to appear on the New York Times Best Sellers List and be made into a movie. My hopes are more realistic: simply to continue selling the stories I love to write and build a larger and larger readership. My goals are very specific. I’m working on a non-fiction book I want to finish by the end of the year, and a romantic suspense I’ll have finished late-September. My major goal for the next two years is to sell a multi-book series of suspense-on-the-high-seas novels that I’ve been plotting for several months.

AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.

Kathleen: When I’m writing my heroines, I frequently think of a quote from Nancy Reagan:

"A woman is like a tea bag. You don’t know what she’s like until she gets into hot water."


In my personal life, my favorite is: "Do the thing you cannot do." – Eleanor Roosevelt

AL: Thanks so much for joining us, Kathleen.

Kathleen: It’s been my pleasure.

AL: If you’d like to find out more about Kathleen please visit:

http://www.kathleenmix.com/
http://www.samhainpublishing.com/

FEATURED TITLE: BEYOND PARADISE

Blurb:

Even the deepest love needs an air supply…

Dive shop manager Marina Hernandez is carrying a heavy load as she tries to save the family business. On one shoulder rides a bucket of red ink. On the other, her father’s age-old cultural belief that women belong in the kitchen.

Now that a cutthroat competitor has pushed her to the brink of bankruptcy, any chance she’ll ever win her father’s respect is fading fast. The last thing she can afford right now is the complication of a tempting man.

After years of building his practice, pediatrician Brett Sutherland has changed his focus. He seeks a more well-rounded life, including a woman who’ll devote herself to caring for a family. Workaholics need not apply. Then he signs up for scuba lessons, and Marina’s luminous eyes and spirited personality turn his neat, logical plan upside down.

Brett’s dazzling looks heat her blood, and his compassionate nature makes her yearn to build her own life—but not if it means letting the business collapse. A little harmless flirtation couldn’t hurt, though.

Yet with every kiss, she’s stretched thinner between the promise of Brett’s love and her father’s expectations. Until a critical decision pushes them both to the breaking point…

Excerpt:

The little bell over the dive shop door jingled.

Marina locked the cash drawer and turned toward the tall man pushing open the door and coming inside.

Ay caramba. Why now?

“I’m sorry, we’re closed.” She huffed out her breath, hating the idea of sending away a customer. But she had no choice. She was already running late.

The man ignored her warning and let the door swing shut behind him. “I’m here to sign up for tonight’s introductory SCUBA session. Has it started yet?”

She glanced at the clock: two minutes after seven. “No. And it can’t start until I get to the pool area. I’m the instructor.”

Worried someone else would come in and delay her schedule more, Marina rushed to the front door and slid the deadbolt across. When she turned back toward the man, her gaze met a pair of mesmerizing blue eyes.

He flashed a smile. “Does the fact that you’re locking me in mean I can stay?”

Without any time to stare at his gorgeous eyes, she blinked and considered his question. To remain in business, she needed every student she could get. “Yes, you can stay.”

“Great. What do I need to do?”

She scanned his chestnut brown hair, the laugh lines at the corners of his eyes and the thick eyelashes that were too perfect to belong to any man. She had no idea what he needed to do, other than sweep her into his arms and whisk her away to the Caribbean.

“Ah…a liability waver, you need to sign a liability waver.”

After a long silence, his expression turned puzzled. “May I have one, please?”

He slipped a well-manicured hand inside his suit jacket and removed a gold-trimmed pen from his pocket. Meanwhile, she stole another look at his face.

Earth to Marina, the logical half of her brain yelled. EscĂșcheme. Listen to me. A liability waver, get one!

Her cheeks heated. She rushed behind the checkout counter and grabbed a registration packet. She wondered why he made her feel short of breath like she’d just finished swimming a marathon and why she wanted to stare at him as if she’d never seen a man before. But her brain failed to supply a reason.

Get your mind back on business, she scolded herself. There’s no time in the schedule for you to act like a giddy teenager. You have people waiting to start a class.

She turned back toward him, and her mouth went slightly dry. She drew in a huge breath, straightened her shoulders, placed the registration packet on the counter and removed the top form.

“Please read and sign this liability waiver, then you can participate in the introductory session. If you decide to continue with lessons, you can fill out the rest of the registration packet later. Right now, I’m short on time, and I’d like to get started.”

He bent his head over the paper, was silent for half a minute, then scrawled a signature.

She squinted at the bold, but completely illegible, signature at the bottom of the page and searched for letters in the dips and spikes. Unable to decipher the hieroglyphics, she asked, “Would you print your name under your signature please?”

His printing was slightly more legible. Marina watched him spell out Brett before she glanced up. The overhead lights reflected off his hair, and her fingers tingled with the desire to find out if the strands felt as silky as they looked. She interlocked her fingers behind her back to keep them under control.

“Thank you, Brett. Did you bring a swimsuit?”

He held up a blue gym bag. “Right here.”

“Good.” She pointed toward a doorway at the far corner of the showroom. “The locker rooms are through there. If you’ll change, then go out to the pool area and join the others, we’ll begin.”

He nodded and strode away.

For a few seconds, Marina watched, imagining him undressing and wondering what it would feel like to help him remove his shirt. If he looked so fabulous fully clothed, he’d probably look phenomenal in a swimsuit.

She blinked. Then mortified at her unprofessional thoughts, she knocked her fist twice against her forehead to make her brain behave and hurried out to the pool.

REMEMBER: Leave a post and Kathleen will give away a digital copy of Secret Stranger, one of her romantic suspense novels from The Wild Rose Press to one lucky winner.

19 comments:

s7anna said...

Congratulations on the new release!

*hugs*
Anna
s7anna@yahoo.ca

Brenna Ash said...

Great interview! Love the cover!

Andrea I said...

It sounds like a great book. Congratulations on the new release.


andrea.infinger@gmail.som

Deanne Williams said...

Great interview. That cover art is wonderful. Can't wait to read the rest of the book.

nyrican4t said...

Can't wait to read the book! Going to download it now!

Levana Hyll said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Levana Hyll said...

Congratulations on your new release! I really love the cover, very beautiful, and the book sounds awesome. Will definitely download my copy today!

Kim said...

Nice interview and congratulations on the new release.

Monti said...

Kathy, enjoyed reading about you and especially about your own sailboat romance!!! Good luck with the new series and the non-fiction book.

Monti
MaryMontagueSikes

Ann Lory said...

Hey everyone! Thanks for stopping by to check out Kathleen's interview and excerpt. :D

Ann

AmyMM said...

Love it! Can't wait to read the book

Anonymous said...

Loved the interview! I will most definitely be getting this book. I think I was most inspired by your quotes from Nancy Reagan and Eleanor Roosevelt. Two of my favorite woman in history, strong and intelligent.

Thanks, Dawn:)
dawngoremeador@yahoo.com

Ali said...

Hi, Kathleen :) Great interview!

Beyond Yesterday sounds like good... I love reunion stories :)

You and your husband sound like a great couple :)

I look forward to reading Beyond Paradise :) Congrats on the release!

Sherry said...

I loved the interview it was great. Congratulations on your new release.

sstrode@scrtc.com

Diana Cosby said...

Kathleen,
I enjoyed your interview, and what a neat way to find your heroine. I didn't know you enjoy diving or sailing. So neat. Take care and I wish you continued success!

Tonya Callihan said...

I love the cover! I love author interviews, I always learn so much about some of my favorite authors and in this case a new author. I've never read any of your books, but will defintely check them out now!

Tonya
tonyacallihan@yahoo.com

Kathleen Mix said...

Thanks for all the wonderful comments. I loved my cover, too!
May all of your lives be filled with romance and adventure.

Jay Di Meo said...

Very interesting! We work so differently - I never have a detailed outline of the plot like you. Congrats on your book!

Kathleen Mix said...

Thank you everyone who commented.
The winner of a free digital copy of Secret Stranger is Dawn!
Hope to meet all of you on the web again soon.