Guest Author Wednesday and the adorable, delightful Kendra Leigh Castle is in the house! Another one of my long-time author pals, Kendra and I “met” as fellow Sourcebooks writers on the Casablanca blog. An instant friendship was forged. Alas Kendra and I have sadly only been able to meet face-to-face once, that being in Washington DC at the 2009 RWA Conference. As much as I would LOVE to hang out with Kendra more often, I am blessed with the friendship we have. Now she is here to share with all of you. Yeah!
Kendra Leigh Castle is a RITA award-nominated, multi-published author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Raised in the far and frozen reaches of Northern New York, where her love of curling up with a blanket and a good book came early, she penned her debut novel as a Navy wife living in the Nevada desert. Since then, she has managed to continue working in her pajamas while moving around the country. Kendra currently makes her home in Maryland, where she lives with her husband, three children, and a menagerie of pets. She drinks too much coffee, stays up too late, and loves to hear from her readers, who make this crazy job worthwhile.
~ Off The Cuff ~
Tea or Coffee
Chick Flick or Mystery
Beach or Mountains
Porsche or Silverado
Dog or Cat
Hobbit or Elf
Sunlight or Rain
Waffles or Pancakes
Optimist or Pessimist
Target or Nordstrom
Star Wars or Star Trek
Wallflower or Life of the Party
Summer or Winter
Christmas or Halloween
Paperback or Kindle
Trivial Pursuit or Charades
Facebook or Twitter
Salad or French Fries
Survivor or American Idol
Beer or Wine
Edward or Jacob
Forgive or Get Even
Leather or Lace
High Maintenance or Easy Breezy
~ An Interview With Kendra Leigh Castle ~
Q – What are your favorite books to read?
A – I’ll read anything that strikes my fancy. I love browsing at the library! I tend to gravitate to books with fantasy elements—I love the pure escapism of those books—but I’ve been known to grab horror, mystery, graphic novels…anything that looks good. And of course, I always love a good love story!
Q – Where do you live now? What do you like and dislike about your part of the world?
A – I live in beautiful Southern Maryland. I love that it’s lush and green so much of the year, and that you’re never far from the water here. My little town is postcard pretty, my neighborhood is full of wildlife (I love to sit on my screened-in porch to relax and listen to the birds), and people are friendly. I also like that we don’t get much snow here…I’m from Northern NY, right off of Lake Ontario where lake effect snow is the norm for months one end, and I really only miss the white stuff at Christmas. The drawbacks here are that I’m far from my family, the shopping is limited, and I am apparently allergic to all the plants and trees I love looking at so much. But overall, I’ve made a comfy nest here and I like where we live.
Q – What hobbies or pastimes do you partake in to relax?
A – I’m kind of a homebody, so relaxing means putting on my comfy pants, playing some video games, watching movies in our theater room with my husband and kids, eating (I wish I didn’t enjoy it enough for it to count as a pastime, but seriously…FOOD), rolling around with my giant dogs, or curling up with a book, the cat, and some chamomile tea. Another reason we connected, Kendra. You just described me and listed my favorite things!
Q – Do you have any favorite TV shows?
A – I do! In the spring, Game of Thrones is must-see TV for me .And yes, I’m one of the book-reading jerks, er, people who knows what deaths are coming, and I have been known to gloat over my knowledge. I AM NOT ASHAMED. This fall I’ll be back to watching Sleepy Hollow, which I loved last year, and I’m hoping the next season of True Detective will be good, because this last one was some of the best television I’ve ever seen. I’m newly in awe of Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey! You may not know this, Kendra, but I owe my addiction to Sleepy Hollow to you. In part, all those pics of Tom Mison you post on Facebook–go ahead and admit it! But mainly how you gushed on and on and on and on…. 🙂
Q – Do you have a favorite place you have traveled to? Or perhaps a place you long to visit?
A – I want to visit Iceland. It looks like such a beautiful country, and I’d love to see the Northern Lights from there! Until I get to go, I’m trying to tide myself over with pictures and time-lapse videos. Fortunately, there are a lot of those!
Q – Do you have a favorite quote or inspirational saying?
A – “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” -e.e. cummings
Q – What is your writing environment like?
A – Chaotic. I do have an office, but I don’t write my books in it. This is because no one leaves me alone in it. Ever. I am often found dragging my laptop from room to room in search of an hour of peace and quiet! The peace and quiet is pretty important, because I am one of the most easily distracted people on earth. I love to write out on the screened-in porch this time of year, but the drawback is that my presence seems to signal to the dogs that yes, I have arrived to let them in and out 1,642 times in a row, because that is really the sole purpose of my existence. They’re lucky they’re cute.
LOL! So true! Yet, distracted or not, the magic is obviously there. Above are a few of Kendra’s many novels currently available. Her most recent, released on July 1, is For The Longest Time.
After a perfect storm of events leaves Sam high, dry, and jobless, she has to head home to Harvest Cove to regroup. Growing up, she was the town misfit, and a brief high school romance that resulted in heartbreak made her realize she was never going to fit in. But now with the support of her mother and an unexpected circle of allies, Sam starts to wonder if she’s misjudged the town all these years.
Life’s been good to Jake Smith. He transitioned from popular jock to town veterinarian without any trouble. But Sam’s homecoming makes him question his choices. The sharp-tongued beauty was never a good fit for the small community, but he’s never forgotten her—or how good they were together. While she makes it clear she’s not about to repeat the past, Jake’s determined to convince her to give him—and Harvest Cove—a second chance.
Sounds fabulous! Kendra has graciously offered one copy of her latest book. US and Canada only. Simply leave a comment to be entered to win a signed, print copy of For the Longest Time. Winner will be chosen and announced this Friday, July 18.
Q – Kendra, tell us about the genre you have chosen to write in and why you are drawn to it.
A – I love writing romance in general because of the guaranteed happily ever after. I’m a hopeless romantic! Beyond that, though, I’ve just made the jump from years of writing paranormal romance to writing small town contemporary romance. As much as I will always love men with fangs and fur, I’m really enjoying the humor and warmth of my new subgenre. The lack of potentially world-ending threats in every book has taken some getting used to (while writing For the Longest Time I was plagued by worries that not enough bad things were happening to my characters), but after being repeatedly nudged to make my writing darker in order to keep publishing paranormals, I’ve discovered that in contemporary, I can really let my funnier, sunnier side show! It’s a lot of fun.
Q – If a genie granted you the talent to write in any other genre, which would you choose?
A – I would write enormous high fantasy novels. Ones so big they might break a toe if you dropped one on your foot! Sometimes I’m tempted to give it a try, but while I love world-building, at that level it looks awfully daunting. I live with two teenagers and a grade schooler, all of whom requiring my (subpar) scheduling and chauffeuring skills. I absolutely do not have the mental bandwidth to try being George RR Martin right now. Maybe someday, though. I completely know what you mean. As an avowed fantasy reading fanatic myself, it seems natural to tackle the genre as a writer. My husband is forever encouraging me to do so! Daunting, as you say.
Q – If you had a time machine, where would you go? Would you live there or just visit for a while?
A – I think you’re going to understand this one, Sharon…I would head straight for Regency England, and provided I could set myself up as a woman of means, I would certainly stay awhile! My needs are fairly simple: a well-stocked library, extensive grounds, a nice wardrobe…and maybe Mr. Darcy? If not him, attractive gentlemen are always welcome to hurl themselves into any of my ponds to cool off. I get to bring a camera, right? Absolutely I understand, and the camera is definitely a must! Once we discover that time machine, let’s go together, okay?
Q – Give us five words that best describe who you are.
A – Kind, sensitive, comfortable, witty, geeky
Q – Tell us what is next on your writer’s agenda.
A – The sequel to For the Longest Time, called Every Little Kiss, will be available in March. We’ve just finalized the cover, and it’s gorgeous! I’m also hard at work on the third book in the series. Lots more Harvest Cove to come!
Excellent news! I am very happy you are following your dream, my friend, and branching out into new genres. Thrilling stuff! Thanks SO much for joining me today, Kendra. I know my readers will delight in discovering you.
Remember Kendra is giving away a signed copy of her novel! Comment on anything you want. Kendra will check in as she is able, but she is on the road today. Please be patient! I’ll be here to interact, so fire away.