Hi, Kristin, so glad to have you here today. Tell us a little about Marry Me. What inspired this story?
I had the idea of a cynical businesswoman who never wants to get married and who hates weddings who winds up having to run a wedding planning business. I just thought it as a funny concept. Then I had to figure out the “why” questions. “Why is she so cynical about love?” “Why does she hate weddings?” “And what would compel her to run a wedding planning business?” Then I started thinking about who the love interest might be. Someone she might run in to a lot as she’s planning the weddings. That’s when I stumbled on…a minister. That guy completely changed the direction of the book and I suddenly realized it could be an inspirational romance that had a spiritual journey for my heroine as well as a romantic one. So really I blame everything having to do with this book on a man.
She’d vowed never to fall in love….
Julia Richardson is no fan of weddings. A lifetime of watching her parents treat relationships like the flavor of the month has taught her that love is for fools and faith is for naïve. She’s always put her faith in her career. Then her life is thrown into a tailspin. First, she loses her job. Then she gets a panicked call and learns her former stepsister is having a crisis with her pregnancy. The crisis has Julia returning to the small Southern town – and the family – she’s been avoiding for years. Before she knows it, Julia’s been pressed into service running her stepsister’s wedding planning business.
Julia doesn’t know a garter from a garden hose, but now she must navigate couples along the bumpy path down the aisle – despite wardrobe malfunctions, killer bees, and plenty of near disasters. In the midst of it all, Julia makes the most unexpected discovery of all…Love, with Seth Graham, the widowed local minister! Julia’s been running from love and everything spiritual for most of her life. It’s not until she finds the courage to stop running and learns to believe in the power of love, faith and family that she finds her own “I Do” moment.
What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?
I just sold the next two books in the Covington Falls series to Astraea Press: Acting Up and Imagine That. Each book centers on a new couple, but readers of Marry Me will get to see some of the developing relationship between Julia and Seth. Acting Up should be out in spring 2014.
What are your writing goals for this year?
Oh so many goals…so little time. I have 2 more Covington Falls books plotted but not written. One is a Christmas theme. Then there is this quirky idea that seems to want to be a hilarious paranormal about a spoiled heiress who dies and then gets assigned to the Soul Mate Council where it’s her job to help people find their soul mates.
Can you share with us “the call” story?
Well, it’s a loooonnnnggggg story. I had the great epiphany that I was supposed to be an author in my mid-20s. Unfortunately, I had no idea what I was doing so after a couple years of failure I put writing aside. Went back to school to study advertising creative writing. After school and working for awhile (by this time about 10 years had gone by) I started tinkering with stories again. I decided to try again. It still took another 7 years (are you counting?) before I sold Marry Me through an online pitch session on the Savvy Authors website in May of this year. I had actually written the book about 5-6 years ago, but it didn’t sell. Same with the other two books that are coming out next year. So…17 years I waited.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, character, or…?
I like to jump in and start writing a few chapters. It helps me get to know my characters better and figure out who they are. Somewhere in those first few pages there’s always a moment when I “fall in love” with my characters. Once I have a handle on them, I go back and do an outline or index cards to develop the plot.
Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?
You know, I am still totally in love with Julia and Seth from this Marry Me. Maybe because this was really the first book I finished (I ignore the very first book I finished, which will never see the light of day). I really adore Seth. I loved being able to create a religious character, a minister, who showed real compassion and love for the people he’s trying to lead. At the same time he’s very real and had human flaws. I think it’s rare in out culture today to see any religious figure depicted in a positive way. I have to say…people who’ve read the book tell me he’s very sexy and even a little naughty…lol
What is your favorite scene from this story and why?
Honestly, anytime Julia has to deal with a wedding is great. I torture that poor girl, but it’s so fun watching her bring it all together and save the day each time.
How do you balance writing and everyday life?
I do not know yet…I let you know when I figure it out.
What do you like to read?
I love the small town, sweet romances that are popular now. I’m a little obsessed with Kristan Higgins. She is so good at making you laugh and cry in the same page. I want to be Susan Elizabeth Phillips when I grow up. I also love the Regency historicals. Big fan of Julia Quinn.
Do you listen to music while you write? What are you listening to now?
I do listen to music. I’ll often put earplugs in, which helps drown out surrounding sounds. The music I’m able to tune out somehow.
Who first introduced you to the love of reading?
My mom…she’s an avid reader too. I always had a book in my hand as a kid.
These are few of my favorite things:
2. TJMaxx (I’m a total Maxinista)
3. The Romance section at Barnes & Noble (I love studying the shelves. I am still clinging to print books. A screen just isn’t the same.)
(Lead up to Julia and Seth’s first kiss)
Seth gave a frustrated groan.
“What now?” Julia asked.
“You are a dangerous lady.”
“God, she doesn’t even see it!” he called out to the heavens.
“Are you praying?” she asked in bemusement.
“For strength. You tempt me, and it’s making me crazy.”
“Are you talking about the other night in the kitchen?”
“It goes way beyond last night,” he said, hands gripping the railing. “Did you know I had a wild crush on you when you used to live here?”
Julia’s mouth dropped open. “What?”
“I helped you build a fort.”
“You pounded nails so you could be near me?” she asked, batting her eyelashes at him. “What a way to court a girl.”
“It wasn’t like I could talk to you,” Seth said, shuffling his feet. “Not without sounding like an idiot.”
“I didn’t think you even liked me.”
A dry chuckle escaped from his chest. “Like and lust are two different things. You were every teenage boy’s fantasy. Everything about you fascinated me. The way you walked, the way you tossed your hair, even the way you smelled. It drove me nuts for two years.”
“I was your fantasy?”
“The problem is now you’re back, standing there looking like some kind of screen goddess, and you get me like no one ever has,” he said, as if she hadn’t spoken.
Her skin started tingling. “You think I’m beautiful?”
“You’re so much more than beautiful.”
Jumping him right now would be bad… Right? “This is a little complicated.”
“You think?” he asked, drifting closer. “You’re a guest in Grace’s house and living about a hundred feet away. Plus, I am a minister, and it wouldn’t look good if I grabbed you right now and kissed you senseless.”
“Not in the job description?”
You can find Marry Me at:
Bio: Growing up Kristin devoured books like bags of Dove Dark Chocolate. Her first Golden Book led to Laura Ingalls Wilder, Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, C.S. Lewis and the Sweet Valley High series. Later, she discovered romance novels and fell in love all over again. It’s no surprise then that Kristin would one day try her hand at writing them. She writes inspirational romance and women’s fiction filled with love, laughter and a leap of faith. When she’s not writing her next novel, Kristin works as an advertising copywriter. Over the 15-year career in the ad industry, she has worked on clients that have included the Miami Marlins, Discovery Networks, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, The Peabody Hotel and Sea World. She also enjoys singing in the church choir and worship team and playing flute in a community orchestra.
You can connect with Kristin online at:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Kristin-Wallace/e/B00G5KX80I