Sunday, September 18, 2011

A WEDDING BLUNDER IN THE BLACK HILLS - Kim O'Brien - Free Book

So good to have you join us, Kim. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I don’t consciously write anything of myself into my characters, but I’m sure bits and pieces of me come through. Sometimes I can’t resist using something that’s happened to me in real life and adding it to a story, and sometimes pieces of family members pop up in some of my characters. The first time my oldest daughter got asked out (which was in a very public way) I HAD to put it in one of my books. But generally it’s harder to write about myself than my characters.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I started wanting to be a writer when I was about ten years old. My best friend and I made up our own magazine and sold it to our neighbors for ten cents a copy. Back then we typed it on manual typewriters and used carbon paper to make copies. It was a lot of work… but we had fun doing it.  I wrote poetry in college, loved it, and ended up going back to school for a Master’s degree in creative writing.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love a good story and will read across multiple genres. Some authors that have influenced me are Francine Rivers, Jodi Picoult, and Stephen King.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I don’t know if it’s the quirkiest thing I’ve ever done, but recently I went blueberry picking with my family in Connecticut and decided to model the berry basket. My kids were pretty happy that we were alone in the field.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Sometimes I don’t think I’m doing a very good job of managing my stress level. I tend to be a bit of an emotional sponge and this is especially true when it comes to my kids. I have two daughters ages 18 & 16 who have been very involved in school activities, so we are constantly on the go. When I start to lose it, I ask God to help me get through whatever we need to do. I also try to focus on three positives in my life. Taking long walks with our dog through the woods and swimming also helps.      

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes I use a baby book and look up what the name means, other times I try out different names in my head and until one feels right. In Wedding Blunder, I wanted Millie to have an old-fashioned name. At first I thought she was a Mildred, but then I discovered she’d been named after her father as part of her mother’s attempt to get him to stay.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I’m most proud of my daughters. My oldest is graduated with honors from high school this year and is on her way to college where she plans to study Civil Engineering and hopes to specialize in water systems. My youngest will be a junior next year and is interested in the medical profession. Both of them are kind, caring and fun to be around.
   
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a giraffe. I have a long neck and my arms and legs are super skinny.

What is your favorite food?
Nothing beats a tender steak, fluffy mashed potatoes and fresh spinach. I am a migrainer, so I have to be pretty careful with my diet. I have lots of food triggers and can’t eat great stuff like chocolate or cheese.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I think my biggest challenge getting started as a writer was getting enough feedback to understand where I was strong and where I needed to improve. I also had no contacts with other writers or within the publishing world. This changed when I met another writer in our community, Kathleen Y’Barbo. She helped fill in my lack of industry knowledge and encouraged me to connect with other writers. I’ve benefited greatly from attending ACFW conferences where I have met a number of amazing, talented, and friendly writers (including you, Lena!). I have been in a critique group for ten years and really enjoy the friendship and feedback.

Yes, those kinds of connections are essential for us all. Tell us about the featured book.
The idea for Blunder came from a friend of mine who owns a restaurant here in The Woodlands called Dosie Doe’s. I loved the name and immediately imagined a mother/daughter working together in a café called “Dosie Dough’s.” I knew the heart of the story would be a romance, but I also wanted to write about a relationship between a mother and daughter who loved each other, but also drove each other crazy. I knew Millie would dream of stardom as a way to get out of a small town, and I also knew that her love of her mother would make it impossible for her to leave. I chose dentistry as David’s profession because I wanted a hero who defied stereotypes.

Please give us the first page of the book
Chapter 1

"He’s your dentist, Mom. I’m not going on a blind date with your
dentist.”

Millie Hogan stabbed her knife into the tub of mustard then
swiped it across a piece of pumpernickel. She’d only broken up with
Karl Kauffman a couple of weeks ago, and already her mother was
trying to set her up.

Peering over the top of the glass deli counter, Howard Glugan,
the chief of police and one of the café’s regulars, strained to watch.

“Take it easy, Millie,” he said. “I’d hate to charge you for assault and
battery to a slice of bread.”

Millie managed to laugh. She arranged slices of ham and Swiss
cheese on the bread, stuck a colorful toothpick through the center,
and added a handful of chips. “Pie, Chief?”

“What kind?”

“Blueberry, pecan, or rhubarb.”

“I could manage a piece of rhubarb.”

Millie cut him an ample slice and rang him up on the register.
“Of course you’re going out with Dr. Denvers,” her mother
stated. “It’s all arranged.”

“Then unarrange it. Shouldn’t you be working the grill?” Millie
turned to the town’s librarian. “The usual, Mrs. Ellison?”

This sounds like a really fun read. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Please stop by, I’d love to hear from everyone. Many thanks Lena for the opportunity to drop by on your webpage!!

My pleasure, Kim. You must come back for your next book.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
A Wedding Blunder in the Black Hills


Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

27 comments:

wfnren said...

After reading the first page, I want more! Please enter this transplanted Floridian in the giveaway.

wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

Jo said...

Great interview and loved reading the first page of the book. I'm interested!

Blessings,
Jo from Southern Arizona
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Sarah said...

Would love to win!

Sarah H
Oklahoma

scottsgal said...

Definitely a book I would enjoy - thanks for the chance
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at aol.com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

California

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Rebecca said...

This book sounds amazing. I would love to win this.

I am from Oklahoma.

Marianne said...

The title caught my interest! The Black Hills is a place i'd love to visit, even if just through a novel. mitzi from Peace River Country

mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com

Judy said...

Kim is a new author to me and I'm looking forward to reading her books. I loved the picture with the blueberry picking basket on her head!!

"A Wedding Blunder In The Black Hills" sounds like a great read. I'd love to win a copy of it!

God Bless,
Judy B from Indiana

Robyn said...

Loved the premise of the story and the first page is terrific. I think you bring a little bit of humor into your work and that is always attractive to me when I'm reading a book. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed your interview.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com
NE

apple blossom said...

thanks for a chance to win this book

I live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Joanna Richmond said...

this book sounds very interesting I would Love to read this book I would Love to win this book.
God Bless
Joanna Richmond
Blanch NC.

CarlybirdK said...

It was nice to meet you here Kim. I love the sounds of the mother/daughter relationship in this book. Thank you.
Carly in NC

Patty said...

Sounds like a fun mmdern romance!

Patty in SC

Ms. Greer said...

Sounds like a great book Kim, and can you eat White Chocolate? I have a sister who doesn't like and can't eat chocolate, but white chocolate doesn't bother her....just a thought :) would like to win this book....Thanks, Ms. Greer/Oh

Ingrid said...

Love the Interview and a chance to win this Book, it sounds great, I always like reading about Mother and Daughters, please add me to the contest.
Blessings to you.

I live in Southern Illinois

ingrids62448(at)yahoo(dot)com

Abigail said...

Looks interesting. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!
God Bless!
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

now this sounds FuN! liking your blueberry bonnet, Kim, some personality shining through =))
every success on your book's success!
from CA

Cindy W. said...

I would love to be entered to win a copy of A Wedding Blunder in the Black Hills. It sounds like a wonderful book. Thank you for the chance to win.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Ginger said...

This book sounds so fun. Please enter me.

dancealert said...

I want to read more of this book!
I'm a subscriber and a follower via gfc.

dancealert at aol dot com

Brenda from Michigan

Edwina said...

What a fun sounding book! Please enter me in the drawing!

Edwina from GEORGIA

Roanna said...

I would like to be entered for this book.

thank you!
Roanna from Ohio

Sharon Richmond said...

Sounds like a wonderful story! I love reading and would love to win this book. Thanks and God bless!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Sarah said...

It looks and sounds interesting!
Please enter me in the drawing.Thanks
God Bless,
Sarah Richmond,
Blanch,N.C.

Kim O'Brien said...

Hi everyone! Thank you so much for your nice words. I would love to sit down and have a cup of tea with you all. You all sound so friendly and encouraging! I hope you like the book.

I am just beginning to figure out this whole web thing (this is the second attempt at a reply), but I really do enjoy chatting...

About the whole migraine thing -- I don't know if I can eat white chocolate -- I am afraid to try! Sometimes I eat the dark kind because it is so delicious but then I always regret it!!

Anonymous said...

I love my daughters and love working side by side with them in the kitchen...a diner would be fun to own as a family! What a fun book! Thank you for the interview, the giveaway and the chance to win!
Blessings,
Kelly Y in Virginia
kelly*at*dkcountryarts*dot*com

holdenj said...

This sounds like a great book. I especially like the interplay between mom and daughter. Thanks so much!
Julie in MN