Welcome, Kay. Tell us
how much of yourself you write into your characters.
A great deal sometimes. For example, in the Aspiring Hearts
Series, I created Sarah, a poverty-stricken Czech immigrant girl who is
determined to get an education and become a teacher. Almost everyone opposes
her efforts because she is female. I wasn’t poverty-stricken, but I was the
first woman to earn a Ph.D. from BaylorUniversity, and I had to
fight my way into the doctoral program and all the way through it because the
English Department opposed the idea of women earning doctoral degrees.
What is the quirkiest
thing you have ever done?
Rollerblade to my British Literature class to teach Hamlet on
my 50th birthday. I think Shakespeare would have approved, but my Dean did not!
When did you first
discover that you were a writer?
My Freshman English professor assigned a short story. I had
no idea how to write one, so I procrastinated until three hours before it was
due. In desperation I sat down and just typed something up. Several days later
the professor summoned me to his office. I figured I was in big trouble, but he
just shook my story at me and demanded, “Who are these people?” I shrugged and
answered, “I just made them up.” He stared at me for what seemed like an
eternity, then quietly asked, “You do know you’re a creative writer, don’t you,
Kay?” That was the moment I understood that I was not crazy, that all the
stories running like a film in my head were there for a purpose. It took
another fourteen years of life experience to teach me that they were there for
Tell us the range of
the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I am most drawn to literary fiction about human
relationships, but it has to be beautifully written. I also enjoy biography and
How do you keep your
sanity in our run, run, run world?
I refuse to run. Many, if not most of the “demands” of life
are really choices, and I learned to say “No” decades ago. I keep my
environment quiet. I don’t text and severely limit other technology that might
disrupt my peace. Most important, I keep a constant conversation going with
God. When I do slip into feeling frantic or stressed, God reminds me that He is
in charge of everything (I’m not!). He also reminds me that He made me worthy,
and consequently, I don’t have to earn my worth by rushing around or pleasing
How do you choose
your characters’ names?
The psychology of the character suggests a particular kind
of name to me. Of course, one has to consider the ethnicity and socio-economic
position of the character, as well as the timeframe of the story. Minor
characters I name according to their dominant traits. For example, in Skirting Tradition, the reader will meet
Fanny Sharp and Louise Proper.
What is the
accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Earning a Ph.D in English
If you were an
animal, which one would you be, and why?
A lark because it shoots straight up from the ground when it
takes off, because it flies higher than most birds, and because it sings its
most beautiful song when it is soaring at its greatest height.
Interesting. I didn’t
know that. What is your favorite food?
Hot tea with milk and sugar. Yes, I do consider that a food!
An essential food, in fact.
What is the problem
with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome
I hate writing first drafts. If my mind is immersed in a
scene, I want to write it beautifully, not hurry through it. I don’t have an
answer to this problem other than to apply discipline to myself. I just make
myself write the first draft, so I can have the pleasure of rewrites.
Tell us about the
Christine Boyd is the envy of all the ladies in Riverford, Texas,
in 1885. She is, after all, the daughter of a revered Confederate general and
the wife of wealthy banker, Richard Boyd.
Beautiful, accomplished and elegant, she exhibits the
exquisite manners she was taught in antebellum Charleston. She is the perfect southern lady.
Or is she?
Christine’s genteel demeanor hides a revolutionary spirit.
When she was ten years old and fleeing the Union soldiers in Charleston, Christine promised God that she
would help the downtrodden and bring needed changes to her world.
She is an adult now and determined to keep that promise.
Texas, will never be the same!
Please give us the
first page of the book.
“There has to be a better way!” Mrs. Christine Boyd insisted
as she crossed the railroad tracks that divided Riverford, Texas, into two vastly different worlds.
When she did so, she left behind the dusty, unpaved roads of the slums and the
hodgepodge shacks that were considered homes by the poor. “Delivering a few
loaves of bread and some ham is simply not enough. And that poor child in the
Jones family! His leg….” She straightened her spine and pursed her lips. “It’s
1885, for heaven’s sake. Things have to change.”
Billows of red dust floated around her as she stopped and
stamped her feet on the beginning of the sidewalk of the “quality” side of
town. Straight ahead of her stretched an orderly, tree-lined, brick-paved
street filled with neat cottages, their flower gardens proudly displaying the
tired blooms of late September. To her left, however, she saw dark clouds of
smoke and knew that one of the landowners nearby was burning his fields. She
cringed at the thought of the choking smoke further adulterating the hot air
that refused to give up its hold on East Texas.
“Those poor sharecroppers,” she murmured. “They will be standing all day in the
glaring sun tending a blazing fire!”
Hollyhocks, their leaves yellowed and their flowers nearly
spent, and sweet-scented honeysuckle greeted her over the white picket fences
as she resolutely started down the first block. She was eager to reach an oak
tree that offered her a brief respite from the broiling sun. When she reached
the shade of the tree, she gratefully stopped and lowered her basket to the
ground. She untied the netting which she had used to cup her wide-brimmed straw
hat around her face and shook it thoroughly.
“Sakes alive!” A chocolate-brown face, surrounded by white
hair and beard, popped up from the flowerbed next to the fence. “Miz Boyd, what
you doin’ down here so early in the morning?”
“Just running errands, Cal, but I’m glad I ran into you.”
“But ma’am, you ain’t been ’cross them tracks, has you? That
ain’t no place for a lady like you. What Mr. Boyd gonna say when he hear ’bout
Christine smiled as she shrugged her shoulders. “Time will
tell, but that’s not what I want to talk to you about.”
“Miz Boyd, you look powerful hot. I better get you some cool
“No, thank you, Cal, but I haven’t time. I want to talk to
you about that boy they call Nobo. Who is he related to?”
“Ain’t related to nobody far as I knows. Old Nessy take care
of him. I ’spect she think he be her son, but she ain’t never been right in the
head since the War.”
“He has a badly infected leg that needs attention.”
“Yes’m. He done had that a long time. Ain’t likely to heal,
“I am going to send Moses down with some ointment, and I
want you to put it on his leg twice a day.”
“You wants me to do it?”
“Yes, I do. As you said, Nessy is not reliable. Will you
help the boy?”
“Yes’m, I be glad to.” He leaned closer. “I already borrowed
some of Miz Johnson’s yams for the boy—“ Christine heard the screen door slam,
suddenly fell on his knees and started pulling weeds.
Who you talking to? I ain’t paying you to stand around and—“ Mrs. Johnson
limped down the steps, shaking a broom at Cal. “Oh gracious me!” She stopped in her
tracks when she saw Christine Boyd. “Why, Mrs. Boyd, I had no idea….” The
gray-haired, severe-looking woman dropped the broom, brushed off her apron and
“Good morning, Mrs. Johnson,” Christine smiled as she retied
the netting around her hat. “It is already a hot morning, isn’t it?”
“Yes, and it don’t help that Mr. Pritchard just gotta burn
his fields today.”
“Yes, I was just thinking about the poor sharecroppers—“
“Oh, they’re used to it, I figure.” Mrs. Johnson waved her
hand contemptuously. “If they ain’t, they can just go back to where they came
That’s quite a distance.”
“No one asked them to come here in the first place. I ain’t
gonna worry about the likes of them, but you, Mrs. Hodges, you shouldn’t be out
in this heat. I’ll send Cal
to fetch a bucket of cold water from the well for you. Cal!”
How can readers find
you on the Internet?
Join me on my FB personal Timeline and enjoy the photos I
post daily of my garden, teatime, and all things beautiful. My website is www.kaymoser.com. I also post on Instagram
and Goodreads. My Twitter handle is @KayMoserBooks
Thank you, Kay, for
sharing this book with us. I know I’m going to enjoy reading it. So will my
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