My author guest today is Kristy McCaffrey, a fellow western historical romance writer, fellow blogger with Cowboy Kisses, and with whom I’ve had the pleasure to be working on a secret collaboration of 45 authors. Plus, she’s a super nice and fun person on Facebook, too!
Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.
I was born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona and studied engineering in college. But while I was a stay-at-home mom of four, I began writing in earnest. I love to travel and frequently blog about it, but my favorite times are at home with my husband and my dogs since my kids have all flown the nest, leaving me with lots of time to write. In fact, I’m a little annoyed now when they visit and interrupt my schedule. I like to hike, watch ‘Dancing With The Stars’, and do yoga in my pajamas.
Why did you decide to write historical western romances? What is the appeal?
Although I grew up in the U.S. Southwest, writing westerns didn’t come naturally to me. When I was in high school the storyline for my first novel THE WREN came to me and it was set in the Old West, so I couldn’t write it any other way. After that, the genre appealed to me a lot. :-)
How much research goes into your books, and how do you tackle that?
Since I enjoy research so much I can’t say if I do too much or too little. Over the years, however, I’ve gotten better at it—I don’t waste a lot of time researching useless avenues. When I wrote THE WREN I read an entire book on the history of Texas. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed with too much info. These days I begin with a preliminary pass on setting and general history of an area before writing anything. After the first draft, I do specific research based on the needs of the story.
What is the best comment you ever received from a reader? The worst or weirdest?
I think the best comments have been those that stated the reader couldn’t put the book down or that they had to reread it. The weirdest comments have been on THE SPARROW, Book 3 in my Wings series. I will preface this by saying that I fully acknowledge that this book is a weird story (filled with shamanic journeys in the Grand Canyon) but I was very bummed when a reader compared it to ‘War and Peace’ and not in a flattering way.
Tell us a little about your writing style? Do you plan and plot your stories, or do you just plow through them?
Again, my style has changed over the years. These days I plow through a first draft and then spend a lot of time fixing it.
Can you tell us a little about your current work, THE BLUEBIRD? Is there a story behind the story?
My current project is actually a secret collaboration with a collection of historical authors and unfortunately I can’t speak about it until Nov. 1 (which is right around the corner, thank goodness). But as soon as I clean up the loose ends I’ll be diving back into the 5th, and final, book in my Wings series—THE BLUEBIRD. This novel will feature Molly Rose Simms, niece to Molly Hart from the first book THE WREN. I knew the series would begin with a Molly and end with a Molly, which was the nickname of my great-grandmother.
What sets your heroine Molly Rose Simms apart from all the other women in your hero’s (Jake McKenna) life? Why is she perfect for him?
Molly Rose is a dreamer but she’s never gone anywhere. Because Jake is an adventurer, she’s naturally drawn to him. In her, he sees the one thing he’s traveled the world to find—a sense of awe and wonder.
Have you ever had writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
I’ve definitely been stuck, and in the past I’d let myself remain that way for far too long as I waited for a magical intervention. These days I simply brainstorm my way through it. Some afternoon napping doesn’t hurt either.
Can you give us a little background on your hero Jake McKenna that’s only in your author notes, and not found in your story? What inspired you to create this character?
My initial impression of Jake was happy-go-lucky. The first 4 novels in the series were serious and heavy in the plotlines, so I really wanted to make this novel fun and adventurous. Jake has evolved into a more worldly man, having traveled to far off places. I’ve been reading historical memoirs and it’s given me a lot of ideas. Much of this probably won’t make it into the story but will help to shape his character.
Describe a favorite scene in your current novel?
The opening chapter. Molly Rose has entered a brothel in search of her brother and Jake follows her, suspecting she’s in over her head. But she needs no rescuing.
What else do you have in store for your readers?
I’ve just released two short spooky novellas in time for Halloween. In THE CROW AND THE COYOTE, Hannah Dobbin is after an evil Navajo sorcerer who murdered her father, and she's determined to see him dead. But she'll need bounty hunter Jack Boggs—The Crow—to help find this vile man. With Hallowtide upon them, more evil is afoot than they can handle; but love will find a way.
In THE CROW AND THE BEAR, Jack’s brother Callum—also called The Crow—arrives in the mining town of Silverton on a cold October day. Skilled in the technique of dream scouting, he’s narrowed the location of a criminal to Silas Ravine, a haunted place avoided by the townsfolk. Jennie Livingstone knows her papa is in trouble but when none of the local men come to her aid, she must accept the newly-arrived stranger as her only ally. Venturing into the mountains to track her father, she can hear more than the whispers of man. The mines carry spirits, and her only hope in navigating the living and the dead lies with the Crow.
Thanks so much for hosting me, Peggy! I’d love to give away an ecopy of both CROW novellas. Leave a comment (include your email address) for a chance to win. I’ll pick a winner at the end of the day.
To learn more about Kristy ~
Blog ~ Pathways: www.kristymccaffrey.blogspot.com
Blog ~ Pathways: www.kristymccaffrey.blogspot.com