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?
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.
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.