Thursday, June 27, 2013

Interview: Matt Kincaid

Today we have a special visitor on the blog: Matt Kincaid!
Here's what the reviewers are saying about Matt:
"...left for the military right out of school..."
"...must keep his oath to his country while protecting the woman he is growing to love..."
"...but for Matt the same reasons he walked away form her before are still there..."
And now, for the interview between the author and Matt Kincaid!

Author interviews Matt Kincaid, from DANCING IN THE DARK, at a local coffee shop.

A: [Trying not to be intimidated by his eyes] Why did you come back to Walton Springs for this much needed R&R when you have your own apartment in D.C.?

MK: My mom has this old Victorian cottage. It always needs something done, some sort of maintenance. [A shrug] I had two weeks off, it's late Spring, perfect time for me to do some repairs, get some fishing in.

A: But your mother's not home.

MK: No, she's not. She took off with my Aunt Liz, her older sister. They take a trip to the Smokies this time of year. She knows I can't rearrange my time off. I'm sorry I'll miss her, but, she understands. Besides, she'll come to D.C. and enjoy the city next time I'm stateside.

A: Wait a minute, she knows what you do?

MK: I wouldn't put it past her to know. She's always told me "moms know everything." I still believe it.

A: Why don't you tell her?

MK: I don't want her to worry.

A: But if she knows, she worries.

MK: Yeah. I know. I wish I could do something about that, but it can't be helped. She knows that. But she knows I'm doing something I love. There's purpose in it.

A: So what's the deal with Jane Blackmon?

MK: Janey. Jane sounds… not like her. The idiots in high school called Plain Jane, but that's what they were, idiots.

A:  Why didn't you straighten them out? 

MK: I straightened out a couple of them, but I had already graduated and joined the army. It's not easy to kick ass when you're not there. Her brother beat the—

A: You really need to watch your mouth.

MK: Wait a minute. My "mouth," as you put it, comes from you, you know. And kick ass isn't all that bad. I don't cuss around my mother or Janey, or anyone else really, except the guys. [Smiles] And I wasn't going to say what you think I was going to say.

A: But your internal dialogue…

MK: Is my internal dialogue. Which, as I said, comes from you. So don't come off all high and mighty. Besides, do you really expect me to say "golly?"

A: You have a point, I guess.

MK: No guessing about it.

A: So what's the deal with her brother? Are you two friends?

MK: Yeah, we're friends. JP's a few years younger than I am, joined the army after I did. I got to know him better during a couple of gigs we worked together under our current employer. He's pretty tough, very specialized in what he does.

A: Which is what?

MK: [Meets my gaze directly] Can't answer that.

A: So when Janey asked you to find out what's happened to JP, what did you do?

MK: I called someone I know who only told me he's missing.

A: Which means what?

MK: In our line of work, it can mean a lot of things. Unfortunately, it's generally not anything good.

A: Did you tell Janey?

MK: Look, I told her more than I should. I even reached out to this other guy… Well, it's not something that needs to be said out loud. I just hope it helps. If JP's alive, he's in a world of trouble. [Leaning forward] Hey, don't you have another story coming out soon?

A: Yes, I have. It will be out in October.

MK: What's the title of your next book?

A: In the Arms of a Stranger.

A: Let's get back to you. Considering what you do, what your life's like, why Janey? She's a small town girl, a librarian for heavens' sake!

MK: You should be the last one disparaging librarians, given your day job.

A: Right again. Sorry. So, why a small town girl, a librarian?

MK: [Long silence] She's the one, okay? [Another, slighter short silence] Always has been. [Stands] Okay. That's enough. I have better things to do than sit around and talk.

A: Wait a minute, that's all you're going to say about Janey? About dancing?

MK: [Lips pursed] It's personal. It's between us.

A: [Smiling] Are you blushing?

MK: [Eyes narrowed] It's hot in here. What's wrong with the air conditioning?

A: [Standing so as not to be towered over] What did you think of the tux?

MK: [Laughing] Moment of weakness.

A: It looked pretty good on you.

MK: That's what Janey thought. That's all that matters.

A: But you're on the cover…

MK: Yeah, tell me about it. Janey's been showing it to her friends. I got a cat whistle the last time I went to her library.

A: In the library?

MK: Yeah. You've got to watch out for those librarians. They're kind of … irrepressible. [He's gone with a quick nod goodbye]

Dancing in the Dark [link:]
Find Virginia Kelly

So what do you think of the cover? I love a man in a tux. 

xoxo ~Marisa

Monday, June 17, 2013

Interview: Gina Conkle

I'm excited to welcome Entangled author Gina Conkle to Pens and Peonies! Gina's giving away a fabulous $25 Starbucks gift card, because a good beverage goes with a good book. But first, check out her awesome answers to some probing questions.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing career.

I’ve been writing for about ten years, but within the last ten months everything exploded ---in a good way!  I signed with an agent (Sarah E. Younger of Nancy Yost Literary), and we sold five books to two publishers: two books to Entangled, my Viking stories, and a three book series to Sourcebooks.

The Sourcebooks series is set mid-1700s. The first book, “Meet the Earl at Midnight” is a “beauty-and-the-beast-meets-my-fair-lady.”  That series revolves around “midnight meetings” as a theme. But they won’t be out until 2014.
I’m also working on another Viking series, but that’s in very early stages.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Fifth grade. I wrote “The Girl Who Stopped World War III” and everything flowed. I remember sitting at my school desk and thinking how easy it’d be to be an author along with other jobs, plus being married and a mom.  Now picture me smiling hugely at that ten year old wisdom!

Why are you a writer?
I write for women. I believe in the power of love and the incredible power each woman has within her.

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time before you were published?

Be disciplined.  A pivotal moment came a few years ago in the form of a question: Is writing a hobby or a profession? 
Answer that honestly, and then look at what I’m doing each day, since actions speak louder than words. 
What do you think makes a good book?
Great moments, memorable characters, and a little escapism make a great book.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part was having to condense a bigger story.  Norse Jewel was originally 95,000 words, but I had to cut down to 70,000. The good news: I’m taking that other part and using some of it for a second “Norse” book tentatively titled “Norse Fire.”
Do you buy books based on the cover or the blurb?
The blurb!! Well, and then I open the first page.  You have to grab me on the first line, first paragraph, first page.
What were the last three books you read?
Women in Old Norse Society by Jenny Jochens
The Cowboy Takes a Bride by Lori Wilde
Write It Forward by Bob Mayer (still in this one)
What's one thing you can't live without?
Lately, diet coke! 

As I close, you’re invited to check out an excerpt of Norse Jewel’s chapter one here

And thank you, Marisa, for the opportunity to be a guest on “Pens & Peonies.”  You are so gracious to open up your blog.

Fast Facts:
Coffee or tea?  Coffee
Morning or night?  Neither
Rivers or oceans?  Rivers
White wine or red?  Red
Champagne or liquor?  Champagne
Cupcakes or ice cream? Ice cream
Laptop or desktop? Laptop
Casual or couture?  Casual
Ponytail or headband? Ponytail
Shower or bath? Shower
Summer or winter? Winter
Motorcycle or bicycle? Bicycle

Connect with Gina here:
 ***** GIVEAWAY *****

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by!
xoxo ~Marisa