Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Interview with women's fiction author J.M. Kelley

J.M. Kelley is here to tell us a bit about her newest novel, Daddy’s Girl.

She's also going to be giving away a gift basket of some of her favorite things, including a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the Foreign Affairs anthology from Turquoise Morning Press, to a lucky commentor.

So leave a comment below for a chance to win. And if you'd like to increase your chances, visit other tour stops and comment there too.

Three years ago, native Pennsylvanian J.M. Kelley packed her bags and moved south. Now, the wannabe Carolina Girl can’t speak a single sentence without adding the word y’all at the end of it, and regards a blast of snow flurries as a doomsday-level event.  When the day job allows, and when she can pull herself away from George Takei’s Facebook fanpage, she likes to go on writing jaunts to her favorite lake, or a local coffee shop with delicious shakes and questionable Wi-Fi connections.

J.M. Kelley is a proud recipient of a Carrie McCray Memorial Literary award, and is a member of The South Carolina Writers Workshop and Romance Writers of America (PAN).

Welcome, J.M. Please tell us about your current release.
Daddy’s Girl is a work of women’s fiction, published by Turquoise Morning Press.

Sometimes, returning home isn’t about confronting your past; it’s about discovering your future.

Janie McGee, the black sheep of her family, is free-spirited, uninhibited, and never one to stay in the same place for too long. Despite a lifetime of never seeing eye to eye, when Janie learns her father, Joe, is gravely ill, she surprises even herself by returning home to rural Pennsylvania to care for him.

David Harris sports a pocket protector, collects coins, and is addicted to Antiques Roadshow. Everything about the man rubs Janie the wrong way, from his nerdy wardrobe to his enviable friendship with Joe. And to make matters worse, Janie’s father thinks they’re perfect for each other, proof positive of how little Joe knows his own daughter ... or so Janie thinks.

A shared devotion to the elder McGee begins to close the gulf between Janie and David, but a burgeoning romance opens the door to unexpected consequences neither could foresee. Joe, however, remains steadfast in his resolve to show Janie that Daddy knows what’s best for his little girl after all. Can Janie finally open her heart to David while watching the first man she ever truly loved fade away?

What inspired you to write this book?
This book was a way to work out the pain of losing my father, who died of lung cancer in 2007. Joe McGee is a fictional character, but he feels, in some ways, like the ghost of my own Daddy. Janie McGee isn’t really like me, but if we ever sat down to share a couple of beers, we would find a lot of common ground to bond over.

This is the book, I think, that I will always consider a doorway to my heart.

Before he even opened the door, David knew something was off. Late night visitors, in his experience, rarely brought good news. When the visitor turned out to be Janie, his heart leapt into his throat. “Janie,” he said when he threw open the door. “What’s wrong? Is Joe okay?”

“Yeah. He’s fine.” Relief hit him so hard he took a step back and leaned against the doorjamb.

“You scared me.”

“I didn’t mean to.” Janie rubbed her hands up and down her arms and looked over her shoulder. “It’s cold out here. Mind if I come in?”

“Oh. Right.” David gestured for Janie to enter. “Come inside.” He followed when she slid past him and walked into the living room.

“It’s late.” As if she needed to tell him. The atomic clock on the wall, a Christmas gift from his mother, showed the time at almost two in the morning. Janie stood in the middle of the room and focused her gaze on the bookcase in the corner. “I didn’t wake you, did I?”

“I was reading. A little too wired to sleep, I guess.” David moved up behind her and raised a tentative hand to her shoulder. “Are you sure everything’s okay?”

The sound of his voice jolted her out of her thoughts and she jerked her head toward him. Her movements were stunted. Wooden. “Ever have one of those moments when you’re convinced you may float away, and no matter what you do, you can’t keep yourself grounded? And you need to hang on tight to something until the sensation passes?”

Whatever was going on, he thought, she was not in a good place. David gently spun Janie toward him and gazed at her. “Tell me what you need from me.”

Janie closed her eyes and lowered her forehead to David’s shoulder. “Ground me, David,” she whispered and laid her hand on his chest.

What exciting story are you working on next?
My next story will be available in June of 2013. Almost Magic is a paranormal romance from Turquoise Morning Press, and I have a contemporary romance, She Let Herself Go, to be released in May of 2014, also from TMP.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I really, truly got that feeling that I was a real, honest-to-god writer was when my first novel, Drew in Blue, was nominated for Best Contemporary of 2010 by The Romance Reviews. I knew I didn’t have a chance of winning, considering the competition, but the mere fact that my story was remembered and included in the list of nominees was so thrilling. It truly was fantastic just getting that nomination (and losing, rightfully so, to the lovely Nora Roberts).

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I have a day job. The schedule changes from week to week, day to day, hour to hour. I never know what I’m going to get, and boy, it makes writing hard. But, I have to keep a roof over my head, so I make it work. Usually. A lot of times, I am hurtling towards a deadline with my brain frozen, my body tired, and my fingers unwilling to put together a coherent sentence. In the end, it all works out, though. Let’s hope it continues that way!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Well, I might be the sloppiest writer out there. I will start at the beginning, then pick up at the end, write backwards for a bit, come up with five chapters of mostly dialogue, then decide I need a new ending…is that quirky, or is that just flat-out insane?

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I have a long list of oddball careers I wanted to join when I grew up. There was about a month-long period in which I decided I had to be a Ghostbuster. I just had to. Sadly, I found out that there’s no such thing as a Ghostbuster, and I would never, ever get my hands on a proton pack.

E-mail: readers@jmkelleywrites.com
Website: http://www.jmkelleywrites.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/JM-Kelley/108021242585994
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorJMKelley

Daddy’s Girl purchase links:


Mary Preston said...

DADDY'S GIRL sounds like such a wonderful read. I enjoyed the interview thank you.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Andra Lyn said...

I really like the picture that I'm getting painted for Daddy's Girl! Looking forward to more on the next tour stops!

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

Rita Wray said...

It cannot be easy to find the time to write when you have to work.
I'm looking forward to reading Daddy's Girl.


MomJane said...

I really think this story sounds extremely touching and tender. I loved your comments.

Karen H said...

Loved this excerpt but I especially loved the last line of it! Totally made me fall in love with both characters.

Speaking of lines: I've heard it said so many times that the first line of a book must grab the reader's attention in order for the reader to continue. Is that all important first line actually the first line you write? Or do you get your story started and go back later to discover what will be the perfect first line?

kareninnc at gmail dot com

Laurie said...

I've always loved that scene in the book.
Sad the Ghostbuster thing didn't work out though.

Author JM Kelley said...

Thanks to everybody for stopping by on Day Two of the tour! I appreciate your comments, which kept me entertained at work when I could sneak a peek at my phone. Also, thank you, Lisa, for hosting me, and for a great interview!

bn100 said...

Nice inspiration

bn100candg at hotmail dot com