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:
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. <3
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?