Authorial Mom: Welcome to the Authorial Moms blog, Therese! Tell us a little about yourself. How many kids do you have? How old are they?
AM: What do you write? How many books have you written/published? How old are they?
TK: I write women’s fiction and young adult fiction. I have three women’s fiction novels published: Betrayal (1998) Luther’s Cross (2008) and Fairytale (2011.) I also have three young adult books: Crush (a collection of short stories from 2009) Vocab. 101 and Gun Metal Gray (both 2010.) I’ve written others, some of which I hope to publish someday and some of which will never see the light of day.
AM: Tell me about a typical day. How do you write with kids around? Or do you have to ship them off to school or grandparents’ houses to get anything done?
TK: My typical writing day is their school day. My husband takes my daughter to school, and I take my son. I drop him off around 8:10 and then come back home and make coffee and park in my office. I spend twenty to thirty minutes checking email and checking in on Facebook. Some days I write up until the moment I leave to pick the kids up from school, and sometimes, I have to stop and do real life things, like laundry or grocery shopping. If the kids are home, and I want to write, I close my office doors, turn on my iTunes playlist and use my earbuds and write. If I’m far enough into a manuscript, nothing bothers me.
AM: Did you write before you had kids, or after? What changed with your writing when you had kids?
TK: I have been writing since I was in 5th grade. I wrote several books by hand from eighth grade all the way through high school. I didn’t write as much or as often when the kids were little. But now that they’re a little older, I find it easier to make time for writing. Also, with each book that comes out, the kids tend to take my writing a little more seriously, so they do try to give me time to work, especially when the manuscript is working well.
AM: How old will one or more of your children have to be before they’re allowed to read your books?
TK: My daughter has read all of my young adult work, both published and not. My young adult books are available at my son’s school library, but he has only read Crush, the short story collection. My daughter just read a women’s fiction novel by an author I like, therefore, I guess she’s old enough to read my women’s fiction. However, she wasn't enthralled with that book, and I think that’s partly because she’s not interested in reading about an adult’s life and worries and stress and job. I’d guess she wouldn't care for my books yet either, and I think it might feel a little awkward for her at this point.
AM: Becoming an author means having a public persona. How do you combine motherhood with the demands of a public life? Do you feature your kids, keep them shielded under pseudonyms, or leave them out of the equation entirely? Have they asserted their opinion(s) on this matter?
TK: I write women’s fiction under a pen name. I made that decision when I first wrote Betrayal. My daughter was very young, and I was teaching in a pre-kindergarten program. I felt it was best to keep my personal life separate from writing. I’ve stuck with that decision, and I do like keeping it separate. I write young adult under my real name, and I’ve dedicated those books to my kids. Other than that, I don’t feature my kids, and no, they don’t really seem to have an opinion on any of it.
AM: Most Moms I know have a limited amount of free time. Give me a few reasons why they should dedicate some of that time to your characters. What’s in it for us?
TK: I write character-driven fiction. My characters are always a mix of women I really admire and respect, women I know, who inspire me. I love my characters like they are my children, though I put them through hell. I am fascinated by relationships of all sorts, and I focus on those relationships in my books. My characters are very real, very much like you and me, and they love and give and laugh and cry and hurt just like you and me. I want you to meet my characters and love them as much as I do.
AM: Let’s have a little fun with fill-in-the-blanks.“The floor of my kitchen is so ___ you can ___ it.”
TK: “The floor of my dining room is so dusty you can write a book in it.”
AM: In what way have you turned into your mother? How are you coping with it?
TK: My mom is a very giving, very compassionate person. I believe I’m a giving, compassionate person, and I thank her for raising me that way. She was also involved in my life and somewhat strict. I like to think I am that involved in my kids’ lives. I’m my kids’ mom, not their friend.
AM: What’s up next for you?
TK: I just finished a women’s fiction Christmas novel called Small Hours. And I am currently writing a women’s fiction novel that is…nameless. I keep changing my mind on the title. But I can tell you I love it. I love these characters so, so much, it pains me to be away from writing them for any length of time. I also have 3 other WIPs: a disco time travel romance (very different for me, but so much fun, ) a light-hearted young adult romance, and a sequel to the Gun Metal Gray.
AM: Where can we find you online?
TK: I'm on Facebook and Myspace. Readers can find my books at Wings Press and at L & L Dreamspell. And, of course, please visit my website. Soon, I'll also have Broemmer Books up and running, so be sure to check back for that!
AM: Therese, thanks so much for stopping by the Authorial Moms blog today. I enjoyed chatting with you (but then, I usually do anyway) and I hope you'll come back soon!