Alexis: Hi K.M., thank you for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts :-) I think it's great that two sisters can work together to write a book. How does your process work? Do you ever run into trouble?
K.M.: Thank you for inviting us, Alexis. We genuinely love writing together, and we must have developed an effective “debate” style since childhood because our partnership never involves bloody noses now, unlike when we were kids. Our collaboration is equally balanced from inception to finished manuscript. Our process includes a lengthy verbal brainstorming stage during which we develop plot, conflicts, and characters. Once we have a solid story line and our characters become real to us, we jot down a chapter sequence/action map. We divide writing responsibility evenly, alternating chapters. Pat keeps the master manuscript. By the time we complete the first draft, we have edited/critiqued once or twice more along the way. We read the novel aloud to each other and then revise and/or edit to polish.
Alexis: What a great system. I can see where having a partner there all the time can help speed the process, especially since you two get along so well. I understand you just released a new book RESURRECTED LOVE. Can you tell our readers a little about it?
K.M.: This is the last novella in our three-part Gospa Journeys series, following related novels, JEWEL OF THE ADRIATIC and ROSE OF THE ADRIATIC. Each Gospa journey “calls” our hero and heroine to Valselo, a tiny Adriatic village where millions believe the Mother Of God imparts messages for the world to three visionaries. Beth and Jack Dunne were separated when their infant son died of SIDS years ago. Neither has recovered from the loss nor the displaced blame that shattered their marriage. Philanthropy brings them to Valselo – at least that’s what they think. But in reality, they’re responding to a gentle call to rediscover the unlimited love God grants if we open our hearts and trust Him.
Alexis: Reuniting stories always hold such depth. Where did you get the idea for this book?
K.M.: Story ideas come to us organically: in dreams, in prayer, walking for exercise or recreation. They just are.
Alexis: That's great that they come so easily, plus two brains being receptive is probably better than one :-) What are your favorite character traits of Beth and Jack?
K.M.: Neither Beth nor Jack are impressed with material things. They’re unaffected by their wealth – mostly they give their money away. They both know it’s more important to be rich in faith, love and charity.
Alexis: Ah, then they are characters many people can relate to, even if we don't have the "money" part. You actually write romantic suspense as well as inspirational. What is it that attracts you to each subgenre?
K.M.: A “sister visit” to Medjugorje, a site of contemporary Marian apparitions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, inspired our inspirational romance novels and gave rise to the fictional village, Valselo. In prayer, Kathie was given the clear directive to write these stories. We were already collaborating at the time in the RS genre – our now published Sullivan Boys Series. The Sullivan family holds tremendous appeal for us. We also enjoy the pulse racing aspect of writing suspense.
Alexis: So what can we expect next from you two? Do you have any new releases coming or a work in progress?
K.M.: Our agent is representing our latest finished project, a contemporary mainstream fiction. In the works is a fiction novel with religious supernatural elements, intrigue and suspense.
Alexis: All of those sound interesting. Good luck with them! Thank you so much for sharing your stories with us. It's a pleasure having you visit.
K.M.: A blessing to visit today. Thank you again.
Alexis: For a chance to win an ebook version of RESURRECTED LOVE, be sure to leave a comment for K.M. If I have contact information, I will let you know when you win, otherwise, check the side column for your name on Wednesday under WINNERS :-)
For more information on K.M.’s Romances go to http://www.kmdaughters.com/booklist.html
Alexis: Check out this excerpt from RESURRECTED LOVE.
Teresa smiled when she noticed the pile of clothes on the add-on front porch. The villagers remembered her children with care packages that magically appeared on an almost daily basis. Anonymous donations included a loaf or two of home-baked bread, eggs plucked fresh from the coop, or vegetables from home gardens, which still glistened with morning dew. Today’s bounty looked like hand-me-downs. The kids loved to sort through the donated clothes—especially her girls.
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus...
Grinning she approached the porch along the narrow brick path and then stopped short when the bundle of clothes seemed to move. She balled her hands and rubbed them over her eyes, but she thought she detected subtle movement again. Drifting closer as she vowed to find a few pennies to buy those eyeglasses she obviously needed, the bundle of clothes morphed into the figure of a young girl huddling at the doorstep in a fetal position.
Hurrying, Teresa stumbled up the three slab stairs. She dropped to her knees in front of the frail girl, set the basket of flowers on the wood slatted deck, and rested her hand on the youth’s thin shoulder. “Child, are you all right?”
“Yes, Sister Teresa,” came a muffled, lyrical voice. She raised her head, a radiant smile lighting a heart shaped face. “I have been waiting for you.”
On an exhaled breath, Teresa exclaimed, ”Oh my!”
Sitting back on her haunches, she hung captivated by this youngster’s crystal clear, turquoise eyes and dimpled, alabaster cheeks. In the many years Teresa had worked with children, she had never encountered a more beautiful child. Silky, straight, platinum blonde hair hung down her back. Skin like exquisite porcelain glowed in the dawn’s light.
With difficulty, the sister found her voice. “Why are you waiting for me? How do you know my name? Where are you from, dear?”
“They told me to wait for you here.”
”Who? The villagers?”
The child cocked her head, but remained silent as she stretched out bony legs. Lifting stick-thin arms over her head she yawned, and then giggled. In bell- like tones she said, ”I have been waiting forever, and I am starving.”
“Where is your home?” Certainly, not in the village. I know every village family. “What is your name?”
“My name is Marta and my home is here now. With you.”
She stood and extended her hand toward Teresa.
Clasping the offered hand, joy flooded Teresa’s senses, an ecstatic avalanche that swelled her heart to near bursting.
Alexis: Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win this wonderful story!
Hi K.M. Daughters! First, I've read other interviews from the two of you-don't ask me where as I can't be that organized:) and am intrigued by your ability and great fortune to be able to successfully write together.ReplyDelete
Your excerpt is a great choice as I'm really interested in knowing where the little skinny girl came from and how she knew to find and wait for Teresa.
Finally, here's my question-what are your views on the envious position of being represented by an agent?
Hi Dawn - Ah, the little skinny girl. Well - there are angels among us. As far as our views regarding agent representation - A HUGE blessing! Thank you so much for visiting with us. Any more questions?Delete
Was wondering how long you've been writing together. Frankly, I don't know many sisters, or mothers/daughters or best friends either, that can 'play nicely' together long-term, and writing is a personal journey for many.
Do you have any tips for how to collaborate successfully? How do you keep the process from getting too personal?
Great post! Enjoyed the excerpt.
Lyndee, thank you so much for visiting. If there's a magic ingredient, we're not sure what it is - other than love. Maybe it's because our parents died when we were young - our teens when our father died and young mothers when our mother died. Since we're our only siblings - and sisters to boot - that may have forged a more solid spirit of "us" against the world. We've always been lyrical kids - love to weave stories. It may be sociological or in the DNA but we are compelled to spin tales together.Delete
You asked for more questions, so here we go...
Did you initially want to write trilogies and series, or did the ideas just end up evolving that way?
Do you think the series/trilogies will be a trademark of your writings? And do you write one story at a time or do you mix things up and skip around as your ideas form for other stories?
We always planned the Gospa Journeys series as a trilogy, Dawn. Jewel Of The Adriatic and Rose Of The Adriatic were originally planned as a trilogy, but resulted in only the prequel and sequel. We're writing single titles now, but we really miss "hanging out" with our series characters. We always write one story in a series at a time - BUT we have skipped around between two books writing in different genres.Delete
I enjoyed the interview and excerpt. Reunion stories are always nice. The book sounds good.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your kind words. And thank you for visiting!Delete