Sunday, September 20, 2015

Kellynch by Kwen D. Griffeth Interview & Excerpt

About the Book
Title: Kellynch
Author: Kwen D. Griffeth
Genre: Jane Austen Fanfiction / Romance
Jane Austen completed “Persuasion” in August 1816.  It was to be her last book.  She left us with the story of Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth and she left them approaching “happily ever after.”  What happens the day following “happily ever after?”
The story of Kellynch picks up three years after the couple married and were able to secure the Kellynch estate from Sir Walter and Cousin William Elliot agreed to waive the entailment.
It would seem all is well with the young couple, but all is not as it seems. 
Kellynch is a story of deceit and treachery as well as courage and overcoming the odds.  It is a story in which those who were assumed to be friends are not and where support comes from unexpected places.  Love again, will, be tested in a story set against the backdrop of historical events. 
Throughout the book, I have tried to remain true to the characters as Miss Austen created them.  I sought to develop and introduce new characters that would meet with her approval.  

Author Bio
When describing my life, I think Douglas Adams said it best, “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I have ended up where I needed to be.”
Books have always been a large part of my meandering. 
I grew up on a ranch in southeastern Idaho and my friends were a mixed and rowdy bunch.  Louis L’Amour told me tales of the west, but Edgar Rice Burroughs took me to the jungles of Africa.  Sir Author Conan Doyle walked with me through the fog-covered streets of London, and Jane Austen taught me to be a gentleman.
I read several other authors but I was fourteen when I met the man.  Sitting in an English class, I chose a book from a required reading list and I was introduced to Ernest Hemingway.  His book, “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” allowed Mister Hemingway, Robert Jordan, and I to fight in the Spanish Civil War and I never left Idaho.  When I closed the back cover, I knew that no matter whatever else I did, I would be a writer.  Even today, when I think back, I am still in awe of how Hemingway’s words touched the soul of an adolescent boy.
I entered the Army a year after high school and stayed in uniform for the next two decades.  The military offered me the opportunity to live my own adventures separate from the ones I lived vicariously in books.  While in uniform, I worked in a variety of fields, Infantry, Military Police, and Military Intelligence.  I worked on a psychiatric ward and later at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.  I took trips to Mexico, Canada, and twice to Germany.  I have visited the forty-eight contiguous states and desperately want to see the other two.
 Along the way, I met and kept printed friends Allister Maclean, Robert Ludlow, John Grisham, and Tom Clancy.  I had flings with several others, Joseph Wambaugh, Clive Cussler, and Stephen King.
I started to write and failed.  Repeatedly, I would start a story, only to end it and discard it as it sounded too much like the works of one of my friends.  I went through periods when I refused to read, because I was frustrated and angry with those friends.  Those friends who were what I wanted to be.
Fifteen years ago, I got sick.  I got sick and it was misdiagnosed.  I almost died, but then I met the doctor who figured out the riddle and, with his help, I started working my way back.  As I got better and my brain got stronger, stories, characters, and plots started to form.  I found my voice and I published my first book, a novella called “Dear Emma,” in February 2012.
I used to feel strange telling people, “I got better and now I hear voices,” but the statement is accurate.  I feel I am in good company as several authors have made such references.  As I said at the beginning, I am exactly where I need to be.     

Sep 20

1-      When did I realize I wanted to be a writer?                                                                           

I still retain the image of myself the moment I knew I wanted to become a writer.  I was sitting in seventh grade English class reading a book “recommended” by the teacher’s required reading list.  The book was “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” written by Ernest Hemingway and no previous book affected me the way that one did.  By the time, I had finished it I wanted to be able to reach across the space of time and distance and touch other people in the same way Hemingway’s words touched me.  I have been working toward that end ever since.
2-      How long does it take me to write a book?                                                                      

 I’m going to assume we are all writers here, so I trust, you will not hold it against me when I say the biggest determining factor in the time it takes me to write a book depends on how much help I get from the characters running around in my head.  I know it sounds crazy, but I feel I am writing the story told to me by the imaginary people whose lives I write about.  The shortest time I’ve ever taken was three-four months, the longest twelve or so.
3-      What is my work schedule when I’m writing a book?                                                

Writing a book consumes me.  I will literally spend every waking moment writing when the story is flowing.  When I am engaged in other activities and away from my computer, my mind constantly returns to the unfinished book. 
4-      What is my most interesting writing quirk?                                                                      

My family and my friends laugh at me when I am caught or observed discussing or arguing with my characters.  I have also been known to laugh at their jokes and cry at their misfortunes.
5-      How do my books get published?                                                                                        

  I am an Amazon author, meaning that all of my books, both eBooks and paperbacks are published through Amazon and Create Space.  In the near future, my books will be converted to audio books and they also will be published through Amazon.
6-      Where does information or ideas for my books come from?                                           

The ideas, what I call “a nugget,” can come from anywhere.  Sometimes from other people, my wife gave me two very good ideas.  Sometimes I’m forced to carry the nugget with me for years because either I haven’t worked out how to tell the story or other stories are in front of it.  Currently, I have almost three dozen nuggets saved on my computer.
7-      When did I write my first book and how old was I?                                                    

     My first book, a novella called, “Dear Emma,” became a reality in the summer of 2012.  I was fifty-eight years old.
8-      What do I like to do when I am not writing?                                                                

   When I’m not writing, I like to read, play with my dogs or fish.
9-      What does my family think of my writing?                                                                       

   In general, my family supports my writing.
10-  What surprising things have I learned while creating books?                                        

   Let me answer this in two parts.  I was surprised how protective I become of my characters.  They become real friends to me.  That was a good or at least a pleasant surprise.  On the other hand, the hardest part of the writing equation is the marketing.  That was not a pleasant surprise.
11-  How many books have I written and which one is my favorite?                                

    LOL.  I have just finished my seventh book, which is the one this blog tour is supporting and I am currently writing number eight.  My favorite book is always the one I am currently working on.
12-  Suggestions to become a better writer.                                                                           

First and foremost, read and if you don’t have time to read invest in audio books.  Each writer is unique in how they put the words together, just as painters are limited to the same colors but styles are so widely varied.  Second, join your local writers’ guild.  Spend as much time around other writers as you can.  Find trusted people to critique not criticize your work and volunteer to analyze your friends work.  Learn from both sides of that practice.
13-  Do I hear from readers and what do they say?                                                                 

Yes.  I include my personal email in every book.  I want to hear from them.  I want them to tell me what they liked and what they did not.  Usually I hear compliments about my character development and my focus on accuracy (research).  At the end of book three of a historical trilogy I finished a year ago, I included an epilogue.  In the epilogue, I brought the location of the story into the modern era.  I mentioned that all that was left of the town was a schoolhouse, which had been saved as a monument to the early settlers.  It was in a corner of a city park.  I have received over two dozen emails or phone calls (from friends) who want directions to the schoolhouse.  Those are powerful and humbling compliments.
14-  Do I like to create books for adults?                                                                                  

All of my books are written for adults, I guess.  What I mean by that is that they are not children’s books.  They are not “adult books” as in erotica.  I do not believe in using excess violence or gratuitous sex in my books.  In addition, there is little cursing and no profanity.  Several readers have commented they like that aspect of my books.
15-  What makes a good story?                                                                                                  

 A good story must have characters the reader can identify with and care about.  If not, they won’t stick with the character through the journey of the story.  Show, don’t tell the story and let the characters do the work.  Instead of saying “Main character stood beside the ugly red brick building,” I prefer, “Main character thought the red brick building he stood beside was ugly and gaudy.”
16-  As a child, what did I want to be when I grew up?                                                        

  From the earliest time I remember, I wanted to be a soldier; I grew up and did just that.
17-  What would I like the readers to know about me?                                                                

I am an example of never giving up.  I knew I wanted to write when I was fourteen years old and my first book was published when I was fifty-eight.  Between those two ages, I wrote poems, songs and stories that I grew tired of and never finished.  It took me over three decades to find my voice.  Don’t quit.


Book Excerpts
Excerpt #1

The landscape of quilts moved as the woman beneath them stretched and a good morning hum accompanied the movement of bed covers.  A hand showing manicured nails appeared from under those covers and slowly lowered them to reveal a tousled head of brunette hair and then, brown eyes.  The eyes squinted as they glanced at the angle of the sunshine beamed through a nearby window.  The sun was bright, sharp, and rude; the eyes closed in self-defense.  Even so, the brightness of the intruder triggered a much more intense stretch and the accompanying hum sounded more like a groan.

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