Tough question, for in many ways I am every character, and yet I’m none of them as well. I translate more of my emotional landscape into them than any personal history.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I do quirky things daily and in my brain they seem normal. I’ll have to ask my kids what’s embarrassed them the most lately.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I knew when I packed up all my journals. Fifteen full books! I’ve actually always been a writer. It’s what I write that has changed.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
The full gamut ... I love mysteries, literary fiction, theology, fantasy fiction, chick-lit, classics … YA, dystopian, memoires, history … I read almost everything.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I run, run, run. Seriously. Running relaxes me, provides a great time to connect with God, stimulates the best ideas and keeps me in shape. All good.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes they just come to me. They are who they are. And other times I need their name to say something about them and I have to dig. I should also admit that I’ve changed the names of a few characters trending villainous in fear that family members or friends who shared those names might be offended.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
If I were lovely, I’d say my kids or my marriage – and I am thrilled about all of that. But I’m also so giddy, pleased with Dear Mr. Knightley. It came out of years of hope, hard work, prayer, and a few miracles. It isn’t so much that I’m proud of it—I’m in awe daily that any of it exists at all. That’s terribly exciting and humbling for me.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’m an elephant—long memory, loyal, strong, and often lumbering.
What is your favorite food?
To be my favorite, it has to involve chocolate. It sounds mundane, but chocolate chip cookies speak to my heart. My daughter makes a batch, and we roll the dough into parchment paper and freeze tubes of it so that we can cut and cook a few any time. We need warm cookies—our own homemade version of “slice and bake.” And, I’ll confess, they are “needed” on a daily basis.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Hmmm … I don’t think I’m a strong idea generator. That’s when I go running. When I push myself past my own constraints, I find new avenues. I have come to learn that running isn’t just a release from my work; it’s part of it.
Tell us about the featured book.
Dear Mr. Knightley is about a young woman, Samantha Moore, who learned to protect herself by hiding behind literary characters. She adopted their personas when scared, in danger, or when she needed understanding friends. But this device now begins to hurt her (as all hiding eventually does) and others and she must lay it down. To fully live and fully love, she must find her own voice, her own life, and her own story. It’s packed with fun literature references, characters whom I adore, and a lot of action in Sam’s life. I hope she gets a rest soon.
Please give us the first page of the book.
It’s an epistolary novel. Here is Sam’s first letter.
It has been a year since I turned down your generous offer.
Father John warned me at the time that I was making a terrible mistake, but I wouldn’t listen. He felt that by dismissing that opportunity I was injuring not only myself, but all the foster children helped by your foundation.
I hope any perceived ingratitude on my part didn’t harm anyone else’s dreams. I wasn’t ungrateful; I just wanted to leave Grace House. A group home is a difficult place to live, and I’d been there for eight years. And even though I knew graduate school meant more education and better job prospects, it also meant living at Grace House another two years. At the time I couldn’t face that prospect.
My heart has always been in my books and writing, but I couldn’t risk losing a paying job to pursue a dream. Now I’m ready to try. Not because I failed, but because this degree gives me the chance to link my passion with my livelihood.
Please let me know if the grant is still available. I will understand if you have selected another candidate.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Please find me. … I would love that.
Thank you, Katherine, for spending time with us today.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.Dear Mr. Knightley - Christianbook.com
Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel - Amazon.com
Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel - Kindle
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