Monthly Archives: December 2014

Best of 2014 Lists…

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I’m not even sure where to begin on this post, because I am truly truly humbled by the wonderful new friends, bloggers, and readers that I have met in 2014.

Elle, my book bestie, you make the world a better place. xoxo

One year ago today, I made my New Years Resolution . . . I was going to write and finish a book. With my husband, boys, and friends I sat down on January 1 and began something that became life changing.

After 72 days, I finished Drops of Rain, and I cried. I cried because I did it and I loved it. I loved my story, and it didn’t matter in the end if anyone else did, because it was mine and I was so proud of it.

In 2014, I finished two books and found myself in the process. I love writing. I have always been writing and I imagine that I always will.

Here is a question that I was asked in an interview yesterday and I think it goes along with this post perfectly.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No. I know that over time I will get better and my style of writing will become more defined, but at the moment when I was ready to hit publish for both of my current books, they were the best I thought they could be and I have no regrets. I love those stories for who I was when I wrote them and how they’ve made who I am today.

If I was to change something then my books would not have made these lists. I am completely floored and speechless to one not only be picked, but two to be selected with these other amazing authors. I have read their stories, followed them on Facebook, and thought to myself, “Maybe, just maybe one day I will write stories that are loved like theirs.”

Heidi Jo – Heidi Van Book Addict and all of the beautiful people below . . . Thank you for helping make my dreams come true. I may have made your list for 2014, but each of you unknowingly made my list for forever… My cup runneth over . . .

MC

“Drops of Rain and Starless Nights were such emotional and beautiful reads that I just loved. All the feels, all the emotion, and all the love. Drew Hale, Ali Rain, Beau Hale, and Leila Starling just molded themselves to my heart when I met their characters. You’ll love the intricate and just plain wonderful layers to these books, stories, and characters, and I guarantee there’s no way you won’t be loving the Hale brothers by the end of these books.” Megan Cooke, Never Ending Book Basket

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“Over the next few days leading up to the NEW YEAR we want to GIVEAWAY a few of our FAVORITE READS from 2014. To keep this party rolling I have picked two of my favorite debut books from 2014. They are Beneath It All by Author Tori Madison and Drops of Rain by Author Kathryn Andrews” – Riley Mackenzie, Authors

NR

“My list can go on and on but these are the books that I talk about all the time, they are my 5+ star books. I don’t eat or sleep they have me so hooked. These are the book when the kids say ” can I have a cookie” and it’s 9am, I say “yes”. Drops of Rain by Kathryn Andrews is a beautiful story.” – Natasha Rochon, 2 Girls a book and a glass of wine

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“I love this book… It confronts issues that are close to my heart. You will fall in love with Ali and Drew and root for them to break through the heartache that threatens to engulf them. Be prepared ladies.” Jen Shrum, Breathless Ink

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Ebbie Moresco, Author Groupies

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“2014 has been a pretty amazing year and I know that 2015 will be even better. It still blows my mind that authors still want me to read and review their books. What is even cooler is that readers actually want to read my reviews. It is pretty awesome! So here is a list of my top 10 books of 2014 and I will not put them in order because it will be to hard, and I don’t want to cheat anyone out ;)” – Cecily Bonney, Cecily’s Book Review – She picked Starless Nights

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“Each of these touched one (or maybe both) of us and stood out among the rest. They made us smile, brought us to tears, ripped us apart, mended our hearts, and more than anything, made us fall in love. In love with the characters, in love with their stories, and in love with the fantastic authors that created them. So thank you for bringing these novels into our lives.  Hale Brothers Series, one of Erin’s favorite series.” Erin Spencer, Southern Belle Book Blog

EA

“This was BRUTAL!! and because like my lovely nominator Kelly Findlay i could have listed at least another 20, I have chosen only books released in 2014. And I have so cheated (A LOT!!). Drops of Rain/Starless Nights – Author Kathryn Andrews. Best Debut Author 2014 – Elle Brooks & Kathryn Andrews (sorry, it would be like picking a favourite child)” Emma Allsop, PerusingPrincesses Blog

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Interview with Fiona at authorinterviews.wordpress.com

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Hey, Fiona kindly asked me if I would do an interview for her blog and of course I said, “YES!” She is so sweet to think of me and I am super excited to be listed among so many wonderful other authors on her blog. Thank you, Fiona. Thought y’all might like to read it… xo

To read about more of her amazing authors go to:

authorsinterviews.wordpress.com

Name – Kathryn Andrews

Age – 38

Where are you from – I live in Tampa, Florida and I love it here.

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc  – I have been married for almost 12 years, and I have two boys. My three guys make me so ridiculously happy that I often feel like I need to pinch myself to see if I am dreaming. I went to the University of South Florida and double majored in Biology and Chemistry. I know, you are probably scratching your head because this is nothing like English or Creative Writing, but I do love science and medicine too.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

Personally, I am excited about 2015. Every year my best friend and I pick a word to define the year and this year it is Simplify. Declutter the house, free up our busy calendars, cook simpler healthy meals, etc. Professionally, I am working on Unforgettable Sun. It is book 3 in the Hale Brothers Series. I am looking to release it the last week in Feb/beginning of March.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always been writing, for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my next door neighbor taught English and Journalism at the local middle school. My elementary school was next door and at the end of the day I would walk over and wait for her to take me home. In second grade, I remember sitting in this small storage room that she had, it was filled with old yearbooks and it had a desk, and I wrote a story about a rabbit. I’ve been writing ever since. Stories and scenes pop into my head, and I have to get them out. J


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

This is a tricky question, because mostly I still don’t feel like one. Coming from the science background, it is fair to say that grammar and I are not friends, which leaves me feeling sometimes insecure. I am working on believing this though. I saw a quote once that said, “I didn’t change, I just found myself.” Every day I get a little more comfortable calling myself an author, and that makes me smile.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

In many ways, my husband. His work schedule is super crazy, so we decided it would be best for me to stay home and be fully engaged with the boys. Eighteen months later we talking about one of my stories and he asked if I was ever going to finish and publish it. The grammar conversation came up and he says, “Who cares. Write your story and I will pay to have it fixed.” So, that’s what we did. Starting January 1, 2014, I started Drops of Rain and it took me 72 days to finish.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Someone once called my writing flowery, and I’m okay with this. I write contemporary romance stories. I love description and details. I want to feel like I am completely immersed in a scene when I read it. I also like to write in first person and with a dual point of view. I love getting to see inside the heads of both characters.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Not quite sure. When it comes to titles, I like them to have dual meanings. Take Drops of Rain, the main character is Ali Rain. There are two pivotal scenes that take place in the rain for her, but at the same time, it’s drops of her that slowly affect and change my male main character Drew. I hope that makes sense.


Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I think overall in the Hale Brothers Series, it’s that bad stuff happens all the time to people and it’s how you handle it and how you handle yourself that really matters. Life goes on and it’s up to you, the individual, to make the best of your own life.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

Realistic to my life? None. It is all fictional, except for the setting. Anna Maria Island is one of my favorite places in the world. You’ll see that it is the setting for several of my books, including one that is coming up next.


Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

No, and I’m thankful for that. The brothers lived under the hand of a horribly abusive parent, and although I know these things happen, in my world I don’t know of anyone.


Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

 I don’t really have one specific book that influenced me, but it was more like all of them. I’ve always loved to read, but it wasn’t until after I stopped working that I found ebooks and Indie Authors. I read really fast and was reading a new book nightly. Over and over again after reading the profiles of these authors, I always finished feeling motivated and encouraged. If they could do it, so could I. As for a mentor, I read the Fading Series by E.k. Blair, started following her on Facebook, and then one day she posted and the location popped up as my neighborhood. Wow!, right? I reached out to her, we met, and we’ve been friends ever since. She has been a huge help to me with the mechanics of self-publishing a book. I can’t thank her enough.


Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Last night I finished book 4 in the Elite Series by Rachel Van Dyken, and the two up next are Archers Voice by Mia Sheridan, and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.


Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I don’t know. I don’t think so and that’s not due to a lack of interest, but since I started writing full time, I’ve mostly stopped reading. I think in 2014, I might have read 10 books. I find when writing, I can’t read anything else. I stay completely absorbed in my current work in progress. I reread nightly what I’ve written to make changes and add to it. I do take breaks every now, I still love getting lost in a love story, but mostly it’s all me.


Fiona: What are your current projects?

Unforgettable Sun, book 3 in the Hale Brothers Series. Chasing Clouds, a spin off from a character in book 2. And, I have a new series that should kick off later in the year, title still undetermined


Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Hands down this would be Author Elle Brooks. I met her about a year ago in a group for another author. She replied to a comment that I had posted and so began our friendship. She too is a new author. We were in exactly the same place in the process of self-publishing, and in the end we did it together. Having someone to go through this experience with me, who understood what I was feeling, has made it so much more meaningful. Together we have laughed and cried and I am so blessed to have found her. I live in the US and she lives in the UK, and that has never mattered.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. I love writing and the more I write, the more I love it. Starting in 2015, I will be attending signings hoping to meet current readers and new ones. As long as people want to read my stories, I will write them. For me and for them.


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No. I know that over time I will get better and my style of writing will become more defined, but at the moment when I was ready to hit publish for both of my current books, they were the best I thought they could be and I have no regrets. I love those stories for who I was when I wrote them and how they’ve made who I am today.


Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

No, I’ve just always been jotting scenes and story ideas down. It’s the voices Fiona – they never stop talking LOL.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Unedited from the prologue of Unforgettable Sun…

“Matt, I said to run!” He shoves me again and that’s when it clicks. I really do have to get out of here.

Turning, and never looking back, I head for the beach.

With one foot in front of the other I start running. Over the dunes and into the sand, I push as hard as I can. With tears streaming down my cheeks, visions of the fire play out before me. Gasping for air, the smell of smoke fills my senses. I didn’t notice it before, but now it is so strong I almost gag. Wiping my nose with the back of my hand, I desperately try to find some fresh air. But no, there it is again, the smell, it’s on my skin. It’s like it isn’t just following me, but it’s now permanently a part of me. Charging into the water, I dive under into the silence. My hands run over my arms, my face, and through my hair. I’m frantic and I have to get rid of the smell.

Washing up on to the shore, I curl up into a ball on the wet sand. My heart is broken for Beau and I’m so afraid. So very afraid. He’s the one and only person who has ever shown me love and the thought of losing him paralyzes me. My sobs are still silent, I’ve been taught not to make a sound, but they hurt so much. Without a voice, I mouth his name over and over again. I just want Beau. I need Beau. He’s the only one who can make this all better, and everything about this night disappear.

But he isn’t here and he can’t.

With my eyes pinched shut, the smell of smoke in my nose, and the feel of a nonexistent heat against my skin, I know, that no matter what, everything about this night will be . . . unforgettable.

 


Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I don’t write from page 1 to the end. I write in scenes as they come to me. One day it can be a scene from the beginning and then the next from ¾ of the way through the book. It’s like I can’t move on until it is out of my head. So the challenge sometimes comes when I try to connect the scenes. Getting from point A to point B. But I still love it!


Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I don’t really have one, it’s hard when there are so many beautiful books out there. But I would have to say with these authors it is the creativity of the plots and how I connected with the characters. These authors always leave me feeling moved: Colleen Hoover, Amy Harmon, Karen White, Charles Martin


Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

No. We travel a lot, so I have a general idea about settings. But should I have any questions, I’ve thrown them out on Facebook and readers have helped me.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Ari, from Cover It Designs.


Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Deadlines. Editors and Formatters book so far out in advance that I often feel stuck because I know they are coming. In a way it makes me feel like the creativity is a little confined. But, if I wait until I’m done, I will then wait months to get on their calendars.


Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Yes, that I could do it. Lots of people have write a novel on their bucket list, it was on mine and the accomplishment that I felt when I was done is indescribable. I did it.


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Yes, write every day. Even if it is just one sentence. And if you are reading this and have any questions, please reach out to me I’d love to help you. The book community is so giving, I feel honored to be a part of it.


Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

 Thank you. Thank you for reading, loving, and sharing my stories. I am humbled by the readers.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Yes. LOL. A Dog Called Kitty. It was my first chapter book. After that I remember being completely absorbed in Anne of Green Gables and the rest of the series by LM Montgomery. Gilbert Blythe was my first book boyfriend.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I’ll laugh at just about anything. My husband and youngest son are so funny that I can’t help but walk around smiling. I will also cry at anything sad. I have a very tender heart and love so huge that pain of any kind hurts me.

Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?

Not that I can think of. Although, I wouldn’t turn down a lunch with an editor from Simon and Schuster/Atria Books.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?

Character is important to me. We are constantly trying to teach the boys about positivity, giving, loving, and being kind. I want to be remembered for being kind.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

 Hmm, when I am not chasing boys and their extracurricular activities, I like to make quilts (there’s something about beautiful fabrics and piecing them together to make beautiful designs), running (my best friend and I run a lot, we’ve run quite a few half marathons and one full one), and I am in the Junior League of Tampa. The JLT is a nonprofit that gives back to our community through volunteerism. I am extremely proud of the JL.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

We don’t really watch TV. By the time homework, dinner, showers, and bedtime is done, I mostly face plant into the bed exhausted. I do DVR So you think you can dance. Films – romance and drama.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Food – Pizza. Color – All, hurts my feelings to leave one out. When I was a kid it was orange because no one ever loved orange. Music – All, I was in an orchestra growing up, 80’s and pop who doesn’t love those, and I’m from the south. Country music is a way of life here.

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

 I don’t know. In my past life I was a pharmaceutical rep and worked in lipid disorders. I may have ended up going back to that, but… I still would have been writing.

 Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?

 www.kandrewsauthor.com

Subscribe to the Monthly Newsletter

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Starting the first of the year, I will be sending out a monthly Newsletter. I would love for anyone who may be interested in what is going on in my world to sign up. In the Newsletter, you’ll learn more about:

  • What inspired the books
  • Interesting facts or interviews with the characters
  • Be the first to receive sneak peeks at covers, projects, etc.
  • Meet some of my favorite bloggers
  • I’ll answer random questions I’ve been asked
  • and more…

Kathryn Andrews Newsletter Sign Up Form

Thanks so much for being a apart of this journey with me… xoxo

Postcard Pals

A couple of week ago, on my Facebook page, I kicked off Postcard Pals. I love postcards. Getting postcards in the mail is like opening Christmas presents all year round. Ask any of my friends (especially Author Elle Brooks – she likes to travel . . . a lot!) and they will tell you I am crazy for them.

I love the unique and different places.

I love the colors.

I adore the fun and interesting things on them.

And it means so much that someone took the time to send it to me.

So, here’s the deal . . . send me a postcard and I’ll send one back! In addition, you’ll be mentioned in my monthly Newsletter.

Kathryn Andrews

P.O. Box 262246

Tampa, FL 33685

Today, I opened the box and there were 2! Eeek! Sent to me from Rachel who lives in the UK. Thank you so much Rachel… Aren’t they pretty! Check out the Bedlington Terrier dog and in the other is Gatehead’s Angel of the North. This Angel is Britain’s largest sculpture, with its wings measuring 54 meters across. It watches over the Northumbrian countryside.

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Can’t wait to see what you send me!!!