20 July 2012

Getting to know you Thursdays with Keli Gwyn and giveaway

Please welcome Debut author Keli Gwyn to my blog today. I have gotten to know Keli though Seekerville and was so excited when she got the call that her book would be published. I am halfway through the book and loving it. I am so frustrated that I am still so tired and taking forever to read a book at present.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a native Californian living in a Gold Rush-era town at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I enjoyed bringing this historical area of California to life in my debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California. My husband and I are empty nesters with two longhaired orange and white cats, whose fur I often wear. I keep the lint roller people in business.

2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?

The Little House books and Little Women were some of my favorites. I loved the history in those books along with reading about Laura’s real-life romance with Almanzo Wilder and Jo March’s dream of being a writer. (Jenny here I loved both sets of books as a teen.)

3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and right write?

Inspirational historical romance. Inspirational because I enjoy including a faith element in my stories. Historical because I like learning about the past and using that information to enhance my stories. Romance because I’m a romantic at heart.

4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?

Laura Ingalls Wilder and Louisa May Alcott were two who influenced me with their great stories, as mentioned above. Another who had an impact on me was Beverly Cleary. She taught me how much fun a story can be.

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I’d dreamed of being a writer since I was seven. I asked for a typewriter for Christmas when I was twelve because I wanted to write. During my teens I watched every episode of The Waltons and empathized with John Boy’s dream of being a published author.

6. How did you go about becoming an author?

I wrote one book after another, entered contests so I could learn from the judges’ feedback, studied craft, attended writers conferences, and wrote some more. One of my contest entries did really well and garnered me some requests for the full manuscript from agents and editors. An offer of representation from Rachelle Gardner followed. Next came a rewrite and then my First Sale. Forty-six years have passed since I first dreamed of being a published author, and now here I am with a book on the shelves. Dreams can come true. I’m proof.

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?

I love writing and am living my dream, but there are days I feel the tug to be an editor. I worked as one in the past and enjoyed my job immensely. I have rare moments when I wonder what it would be like to be a pianist. Since I don’t have time to pursue that profession, I contented myself by making my first heroine a gifted piano player.

8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do?

When I’m not writing, I enjoy taking walks, working out, pouring over my reference books in search of interesting facts to include in my stories, and eating out. I joke that if I could have a drive-through window installed on the side of my house and a steady stream of delivery people drop off my meals there, I’d be one happy gal. A personal chef would work, too.

9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?

I’m a real homebody, but my husband and I did live in Germany for a while and got to see quite a bit of Europe. I’d enjoy seeing Wales, from which Gwynly’s ancestors hail. I’d also like to take some Australian friends of ours up on a longstanding invitation to visit your wonderful country. I’ve heard such great things about it and would like to see it for myself.  (Jenny again would love to see you visit Australia there is so much to see)

10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why?

I’d love to share a meal with Tamara Alexander to talk about the great emotion she puts in her stories, with Margaret Brownley to find out how she goes about working humor into her laugh-out-loud tales, and Debbie Macomber to learn her tips for building such special relationships with her readers. With four writers gathered to talk writing, it would have to be a l-o-n-g meal.

Finally can you tell us about your current book?

Love Is Gold in El Dorado, California
Widow Elenora Watkins heads to California with her nine-year-old daughter, Tildy, eager to become a partner in a mercantile. When the mulish owner withdraws his offer because she’s a woman, she opens her own shop. She’s determined to prove herself capable of running a successful business without the help of anyone—including her controlling father, her seemingly distant heavenly Father, and one Miles Rutledge.
Widower Miles Rutledge is not about to get involved with another willful woman like his late wife, especially when she’s his competition. But the beautiful Elenora may be too hard to resist. When another man appears out to claim Elenora’s heart, Miles searches for a way to win her back. . .while putting her out of business.
Meanwhile, Maude Rutledge, Miles’s meddling mother, longs to see her son make a good match. And Tildy is just as bent on gaining a loving papa.
The battle of wills begins, but can anyone win when the competition is more than they bargained for?

Also where we can find you on the web?

I can be found in my cyber home, www.keligwyn.com, which boasts a parlor, library, study, carriage house, and more. My social media links are there as well.

Book giveaway
Thanks so much for having me as your guest, Jenny. What a blessing to spend time with you and your blog’s readers. I’d like to end with a question for all of you. If you live in Australia or have visited, what sights would you most recommend seeing. If you haven’t been there, what things would you like to see and do while visiting?

Keli is giving one reader a chance to win her new book but you  must answer the above question to enter. You have til 6pm Thursday 26 Australaian time.


Ladette Kerr said...

I've never been to Australia and I really don't know what I would want to see -- mostly the wildlife I think. I also have an "online friend" that I've never met that lives in Australia and I would love to see her in person!



Keli Gwyn said...

Ladette, I'm with you. I'd love to see some of the unique animals in their native habitat, especially the kangaroo and koala. My in-laws were able to visit Australia. We have a fun picture of my beloved mother-in-law surrounded by kangaroos. She told us she wasn't scared by them at all.

Keli Gwyn said...

Thanks so much for having me as your guest, Jenny. You asked some great questions. I had fun answering them.

I'm so sorry you're not feeling well. I hope your energy returns soon. Take good care of yourself.

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

I would love to see kangaroos in the wild! I've seen them in a zoo, but it would be so funny to see them just hopping around.

I had a friend visit me from college and she was so startled we had tumbleweeds. She those things were just in books!

Love your site, Jenny! Hope you're feeling better!!

Tamara Hay said...

Keli, I enjoyed reading your interview with Jenny!

Jenny, praying you gain your strength back soon. *hugs*

Lane Hill House said...

My daughter has been to Australia twice. I have not. I would like to meet you and laugh with you and your friends! And have awesome tea! Kathleen

Ausjenny said...

Thanks for stopping by. would love to have tea (I assume you mean dinner/supper) with you. On kangaroos we have them not far from the town in the scrub areas. Where I babysat at one time they use to have them come around sunrise. Is this where I say Kangaroos in the wild scare me.
Australia is so vast that you will find something for everyone.

ps thanks for the get well wishes. I am improving but now have a cold on top of everything

Gabrielle Meyer said...

Hi, Keli! Jenny, this was such a fun interview - I especially loved the question: "If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why?" Fun one to think about! And Keli, your answer was great - that would be a fun conversation to hear.

I've never been to Australia, but I would love to see a real kangaroo! They've always intrigued me.

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Keli, I am still following you.
I have loved Koala's since I first saw pic of them and would love to see them in their natural habitat as well as Kangaroos. Never been to Australia but would love to go there for a visit.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Keli Gwyn said...

Virginia, I remember being surprised the first time I saw a tumbleweed bouncing over the barren landscape in the high desert east of Los Angeles back when I was a kid. They're kinda cool.

Keli Gwyn said...

Tamara, I'm glad you enjoyed reading the interview. I sure enjoyed answering Jenny's fun questions.

Keli Gwyn said...

Gabrielle, this interview was such fun for me, too. I think bloggers are some of the coolest people and very best question-thinker-uppers. =)

Keli Gwyn said...

Hey, Miss Kallie! Nice to see you again. You are one faithful follower! Love it.

I hope you get to Australia one day and have fun seeing those kangaroos and koalas.

Keli Gwyn said...

Jenny, I'm glad to hear that you're improving. I hope that cold is history very soon.

Keli Gwyn said...

Kathleen (aka Lane Hill House), I hope you get to visit Australia. Maybe your daughter would go with you and show you some of the sights she's visited.

Sarah said...

I have never been to Australia.
It looks and sounds interesting!
Enter me!
God Bless!

Jo said...

I have always wanted to go to Australia for a visit. Would love to see the Kangaroos and the Kaola's.


Beth said...

I love living in Australia!
One of my favourite places at the moment is a little town in the Dandenong's (just out of Melbourne) called Sassafras. It has little cafes, a tea shop (where you can buy an amazing variety of tea and teapots) and Geppetto's toy shop. The best spot is Miss Marple's Tea Rooms! And, yes, it is inspired by the Agatha Christie books!

Paula Vince said...

Hi Keli,
I am an Aussie author who also loved all the great books you mentioned from your past. Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Beverley Cleary gave me many awesome moments. I've just been reading over the "Ramona" series with my kids recently. It's great how many of us can share the same good books in common, even from right across the globe.
Your story sounds like a fun read and has a beautiful cover.
Paula V

Asta Lander said...

A country town agricultural show! And yes - I live in country Australia. As a child I used to get so excited when we had the show - so excited that I would give myself a migraine every year! Thanks for the post Jenny. I love the sound of the plot - nice twist with the daughter wanting a father. Asta x

Ausjenny said...

Good to have you here Sarah and Jo, Kangaroos and Koala's are good to see, We actually had a wallaby bound down my street last year it was quite a sight.
Beth sounds like an interesting place. I have been on puffin billy a couple of times.
Paula I looked up Beverley Cleary as I hadn't heard of her but see she was after my time. (I mean im older than her books.)
Thanks Asta loved the local show also.

update on book now at 71% and loving it.

Helen W said...

Hi Keli! I see you over at Seekerville quite often :) Congrats on your first book release!

Well, I live in Australia ... and I'm not sure where to begin with what sights I recommend seeing. My personal favourite are the Whitsunday islands in tropical north Queensland, including the Great Barrier Reef. For something totally different, as a city I love Sydney. If you go you MUST do a harbour cruise ... both a day one AND a night one. It's stunningly beautiful! And something else I haven't been able to do yet myself, but I'm sure is spectacular, is climb Uluru (Ayers Rock).

Narelle Atkins said...

Keli, congrats on the release of your debut novel! I hope you have the opportunity to visit Australia. Sydney Harbour is beautiful and I highly recommend a ferry trip to Manly (near where I grew up) :)

Ausjenny said...

This comes from Meredith

It is hard to say which part of Australia is the best to visit, but I'd have to say that my hometown, where I was bought up, Melrose South Australia, in the Flinder's Ranges, is the best place in the country, though it is hardly known by anyone. It is a wonderful little country town, sitting at the foot of the beautiful Mount Remarkable.

Melanie Carter Winkler said...

I have lived in 3 states in Australia on both sides of the country. There are good things about all states. NSW,Sydney, the harbour is nice and Taronga Zoo is world class. Victoria. Melbourne, I loved going to Ballarat and Sovereign Hill. There is also a great feel in the city (St Kilda cake shops)
Lastly WA, Perth. Where I live now, we have penguins, dolphins and some seals. There is a cruise that let you swim with the dolphins.
So you have to decide what you want to do.

Keli Gwyn said...

Sarah, I think Australia would be very interesting.

Jo, I'd love to see the kangaroos and koala, too.

Beth, Sassafras sounds like a wonderful place. I'd love to visit Gepetto's toy store and Miss Marple's Tea Rooms.

Paula, I loved sharing Beverly Cleary's books with our daughter when she was young. They have become a bit dated, though. I had to explain to our gal that it really was safe for children to walk to school by themselves at young ages in the past. =)

Helen, those places all sound like great ones to visit. I've seen pictures of many of them, and would love to see them in person someday.

Narelle, I'd love to see Sydney. I've heard such great things about it.

Meredith, I'll have to add Melrose to my list of Australian spots to visit. I love the name Mount Remarkable.

Melanie, it sounds like several stops would be in order when I plan my Australian visit. Love the ones you listed.

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