I’m so excited to share my first author interview and giveaway! Katy Regnery had emailed me a couple of months ago to review her first novel, By Proxy. And I loved it! You can read my review here in case you missed it! So I am so excited to have her here today and to help promote By Proxy, which will be released on Sept 24!
A HOLIDAY SURPRISE
Stubbornly small-town Jenny Lindstrom has misgivings when she promises to stand proxy in her best friend’s wedding—misgivings that are fulfilled when tall, handsome Sam Kelley walks into the courthouse an hour late. In order to keep her promise, an afternoon favor turns into a weekend of startling but undeniable attraction, threatening the well-ordered world that keeps her heart at arm’s length from any more pain.
Sam’s plan is to fly to Livingston, Montana, take vows for his favorite cousin, and return to Chicago as quickly as possible. But his plan is turned upside-down when he must spend a weekend with Jenny in Gardiner in order to keep his word. He doesn’t want to fall for the prim, proper schoolteacher whose small-town life seems to him like selling out, but the more time he spends with her, the harder it is to say good-bye.
When city and country come together for Christmas, the unexpected gift is true love.
Interview with Katy Regnery
Hi Katy! I’m so happy to have you on my blog today. By Proxy is a sweet romance and a great start to your new series, Heart of Montana.
Describe By Proxy in a tweet (140 characters or less)
When a city boy and country girl meet in Montana at Christmas to do a favor for friends, the unexpected holiday miracle is love! #ByProxy
I had no idea you can get married by proxy (I Googled it just like Sam does in the book!). So what was your inspiration for this story?
I had gotten really down about my writing journey after having my first manuscript copiously rejected (and rightly so – it was a well-intentioned, hot mess! LOL!) But I got an e-mail about a short story contest that Writer’s Digest was running. They were accepting 4000-word stories, and I thought ‘Well, I struck out with novel writing, so maybe I should try writing a short story.” But I knew it needed a great hook to make the most of 4000 words. I went on Wikipedia looking for obscure marriage laws and I actually started reading through tons of articles about arranged marriage. Somewhere along the way, I was referred to proxy marriage, and that article referenced double proxy marriage. I knew it had the potential of being a great hook, so I ran with it. By the time I got to 4000 words, I knew there was no way I’d be able to make it a short story.
Who was your inspiration for Jenny and Sam? Was it someone you knew or a celebrity? Who would be perfect for their role in a movie?
Huh. Interesting. I don’t know if I had an inspiration. I have always loved city/country love stories, probably because I have lived in the country and in the city and since I understand the benefits and limitations of each living situation, I could write from either point of view comfortably. Actors?! (You’re making my heart beat faster, Kathy!) Like in a Hallmark Hall of Fame Christmas movie? Well, Jenny’s tall, lithe and blond…Sam’s buff and ginger-haired. Maybe Annasophia Robb as Jenny and someone like Alex Pettyfer for Sam. (Mind you, I just trolled Google images for 10 minutes trying to find actors that match the images in my head – no small feat!)
Great choices Katy!
The characters reminisce on their Christmas memories, were these your own childhood memories? If not, what do you love most about Christmas?
I’m not Swedish, so all of the ethnic influence in By Proxy was researched (although I am a huge, legit fan of Glogg! YUM!) But, yes, we are crazy about Christmas in my family. We decorate the day after Thanksgiving and make a big out of the holiday – constant carols playing, special foods, events, etc. My favorite thing? My son was born on December 17th. That Christmas I listened to the song “All I Want for Christmas is You, Baby” over and over and over again, rubbing my enormous belly. I still cry when it comes on. Every year. (That Katy Regnery is such a sap! LOL!)
You also have written a paranormal series, under the pen name KP Kelley. Is it hard to switch between the two genres? Will there ever be a crossover between the two genres, maybe a paranormal plot in Gardiner?
That’s a good question. My voice is different in It’s You. It’s a little darker, more brooding, there’s a good amount of sex – probably seven or eight scenes and explicit (but still tasteful) and some explicit violence too. The Heart of Montana books have a lot of sensuality and get progressively more sexual, but even when those characters have sex, it’s handled obliquely. I have to say, I love the freedom I have as K.P. Kelley to really stay with my characters for every moment, but I definitely have to carve out head space when I write paranormal. It’s a more intense journey for me and I can’t tackle both genres simultaneously. In fact, I left a two week buffer around writing It’s You, which I wrote between See Jane Fall and Meeting Miss Mystic, which are the third and fourth Heart of Montana books.
Is there another genre you would want to write for?
Yes! I am dying to try a first-person NA novel. I am ga-ga for Jessica Sorensen, Simone Elkeles and J Lynn. And I’d really like to give that sort of intense coming-of-age story a try. First I have to complete my contracts, though! I still have three books under contract to Boroughs Publishing Group that I haven’t’ written yet!
Do you have advice for aspiring authors?
Yes, and I’ve given this advice before in other interviews…here goes…
Don’t give up. Keep Writing.Keep submitting your work to contests and publishers.Be grateful for constructive criticism and use it.Be grateful for mentors and listen to them.Edit, edit, edit.Kill your darlings.Join a critique group.Keep writing.Edit some more.Remember that the road to publishing is paved with rejection letters.Cry a little bit.Develop a thicker skin.Edit a little more.Submit a little more.Polish your work to a high shine.Seek out other writers.Edit. Polish. Submit.And above all…KEEP WRITING!
By Proxy is being released on Sept. 24. This is your first novel and your life is about to change! This is so exciting, how are you handling this? How about your family and friends?
Oh, man! I just hope that people like my stories and relate to my characters. I love the world I’ve built in Gardiner, MT and I just hope it resonates with readers. I am incredibly excited. My life changed a lot when I started writing full-time and my kids have really rolled with the changes in ways that make me so grateful for them and proud of them. Although, I overheard my son tell his friends recently “My Mom writes romance books. I’m going to be famous.” That sort of fascinates me in a detached way – I’m a low-profile New Englander, you know? I’d just be happy if my books made a decent showing. My parents are really proud and my husband has been absolutely amazing, incredibly supportive. He always believed in me. Even when I was getting rejection after rejection, he told me to keep at it.
Katy, thank you for this interview! It’s been a pleasure meeting you and congratulations on this series. Do you have anything else you would like to share with your readers?
Yes! To my friends and fans on Facebook and Twitter, you rock my world. You have made my dreams come true, and I won’t forget it.
About the Author
KATY REGNERY, winner of the 2013 NECRWA First Kiss and 2013 Maine RWA Everything But the Kitchen Sink contests, has always loved telling a good story and credits her mother with making funny, heartwarming tales come alive throughout her childhood. A lifelong devotee of all romance writing from Edwardian to present-day, it was just a matter of time before Katy tried her hand at writing a love story of her own.
As it turned out, one love story turned into a series of five Heart of Montana romances, following the love lives of the Yellowstone-based Lindstrom siblings. In addition to small-town contemporary romance, Katy is presently writing a paranormal romance that takes place in northern New England and the forests north of Quebec.
Speaking of forests, Katy lives in the relative-wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut where her writing room looks out at the woods and her husband, two young children and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories of all are the messy and unexpected ones.
Find Katy Regnery:
Thanks to Katy we are giving away a ARC of By Proxy.
– Open to US & International
– Giveaway ends Sept. 22, 2013 at 9 pm
– Full contest terms & conditions found on Rafflecopter
***Update 9/21/13 – If we receive 200 entries there will be 2 WINNERS!! Thank you Katy!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway