Thursday, January 12, 2012
With this new year, I'm happy to continue the Author Spotlight feature. This month, I'm very pleased to welcome author Therese Kinkaide into the spotlight.
1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
Even though I majored in Political Science and I have a Masters in Education and spent a few years in the early childhood field, I’ve always been a writer at heart. All I ever wanted to do was write fiction. I was a prekindergarten teacher for a few years before I made the decision to stay at home with my kids. I love being a stay at home mom, mostly because I love being available to my kids all day. I also love that it enables me to follow my heart and write fiction. I love music, love to watch my kids play sports…learned last year it is very cool to be a golf mom…and I love to read.
2. Every author I’ve met has their own unique story of how they found their way into writing. What path led you to become an author?
I started my first book when I was in 5th grade. I don’t remember much about it, except that my main character’s name was Hazel. I wrote several (horrible) books by hand through high school. When I was in college, I bought a word processer for all of those fun papers I had to write. I also started writing my books with the word processer. I had no interest in studying journalism, or even creative writing, when I was in school. For me, writing wasn’t something to study or learn. The desire to write has just always been a part of me. In 1998, I found Xlibris, an online printer, and I self-published my first book, Betrayal. I sold very few copies, but at that time, I was thrilled to see my work in book format. In 2005, I had a completed manuscript that I believed in, that I wanted to see published. I queried agents, but I also researched small publishers online and eventually decided to submit Luther’s Cross to Wings E Press. Even after publishing Luther’s Cross, I hesitated to call myself an author. If people asked me what I did for a living, I told them I was a stay at home mom. I let other things take precedence over my writing. Finally, I realized that if I wanted to be a professional writer and if I wanted others to see me as a professional writer, then I had to treat myself as a professional and I had to work at it daily and make it my job. Now when people ask me what I do, I tell them I write fiction and I am a published author.
3. What aspect of the writing process do you enjoy the most? What part of the process do you dread?
I love the creative part, the thinking and the plotting. I think I start with characters. I am fascinated by people and their relationships, and my books all focus on relationships and the way people in those relationships interact. My characters tend to be composites of people I know and admire. I put my characters through hell, not because I can, but because I am fascinated with the journeys they take within the covers of a book and the things they learn about themselves. I want my readers to be in the story, to feel the happiness or the heartache, and the best way to do that is to bring my characters to life. I dread the editing…and the editing…and the editing…I hate that part of the process-the reading, the rewriting, the editing, because I get to the point where I hate the story line. However, once I get past that part of the process, and the book is ready for publishers, for readers, I have no desire to reread it but I’m excited about it again.
4. What author has most influenced or inspired you?
Oh boy. I love, love, love to read, and I read fast, so I read a lot. I have a lot of favorite authors, and often, any book that I enjoy, that I think is well-written, inspires me to go sit down and write something. I’ve had readers compare my writing to other writers (Jodi Picoult, Patricia Cornwell, and Alice Hoffman to name a few) but the two names that come to mind are Patricia Cornwell and Dean Koontz. I love Cornwell’s Scarpetta series, and I love her style. I believe it was the 13th Scarpetta novel (Trace) when she switched and started writing in present tense, instead of past tense. I was enthralled with that book, and have flown through all of her books since then. I feel like I am right there beside Kay Scarpetta and Pete Marino when I read Cornwell’s books. I also love her run-on sentences, and I love how some of those run-on sentences seem to be incongruent. (I got docked points for incongruent compound sentences on an essay when I was in Rhetoric & Composition in college.) Her books just flow, and I hope she writes another five or ten or twenty Scarpetta novels. I have never been compared to Dean Koontz, but I love his writing. He is incredible at characterization, and his description of characters, of setting, of plot is so eloquent and flowery and fun. I just finished his latest book (77Shadow Street) and there were several bits I read aloud to my husband and my daughter, because they were so descriptive and fun. I think he could write a book about a guy reading the phone book or writing a grocery list, and I would love it.
5. Can you tell us a little about your book(s), especially your most recent release?
I write women’s fiction and middle grade/young adult fiction. My women’s fiction novels include Luther’s Cross, Fairytale, Just Like Them, and Small Hours. I think each of my books is very different, though I think most probably a reader could detect my voice in each of them.
Luther's Cross and Fairytale are available at Wings ePress while Luther's Cross and Betrayal are available at Amazon.com
Just Like Them and Small Hours are my two most recent books.
See Therese's website for ordering information on Just Like Them and Small Hours.
6. What can readers expect in the coming months? What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on a creepy adventure story for my son and his friends in his age group (11.) It’s called Wanna Play? I hope to finish a rough draft very soon, and I am so anxious to put it in my son’s hands and see what he thinks. (My daughter has read a few of my books, and she’s enjoyed them, but this will be my son’s first.) I have a women’s fiction novel started called Tennessee River, which I am anxious to get back to…And…I have something else stirring in the back of my mind…which is how Just Like Them started….just a thought…Figured I’d just write that first line and save it and go back to it later. (I was working on a young adult novel at the time.) About five chapters later, I knew I was a gonner, and I had to go with what I was feeling. There’s something new calling to me that same way. Just trying to get a handle on it and let it gel before I jump into it.
7. Where can you be found on the web? (web site, blogs, social network links)
My website is http://www.theresekinkaide.com/.com and we are in the process of a major overhaul there, so keep checking back for information on the newer novels and the middle grade/young adult books. I started a blog about a year ago, but I must confess, I am just not organized enough to do it. I can’t keep up with it. I volunteer at my son’s school library, and I spend a lot of time, energy and love on a blog project there. I review two books a week, introduce an author each week, blog about what I’m reading and/or writing or anything else the kids might be interested in, and I try to do a weekly newsletter. Instead of a writing blog, I’ve decided just to try to update my website with a monthly newsletter. You can find me at Manic Readers www.manicreaders.com/theresekinkaide and Coffee Time Romance has a five cup review of Luther’s Cross at http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/BookReviews/Lutherscross.html.
Thanks so much, Therese. And for our readers, I've had the privilege of reading Therese's books and reviewing a few of them. She is a talented author who paints a brilliant tapestry of the life of her characters and makes you want to know them intimately.