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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Author Interview & Contest with Kathleen McKenna

I get contacted by authors all the time asking me to review their books. Most of the time I have to decline as my to be read pile looks like it is about to topple over. However I try and give the authors a chance and at least ask them to be a guest here on Amberkatze's Book Blog. So when Kathleen McKenna contacted me I had to give her and her book, The Wedding Gift, some coverage. It looks great!

I hope you enjoy the interview and take the time to enter the contest. Kathleen is very generously giving away three copies of The Wedding Gift!


Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a little about your book, The Wedding Gift?

Kathleen - Hi Amber thanks for having me, well several years ago I was visiting New Orleans and there was this amazing mansion in the Garden District (not Anne Rice's old place lol) and I noticed this really pretty teenage girl standing outside the wrought iron just staring at the house and I started thinking like writers always do and putting a story to it, what if she was from the wrong side of town but hoped to live in that house anyway and then another girl walked up to her and said "cmon Leeann we have to go."

So that was it her name, her story the house :)

Amber - How did you come up with the idea for the The Wedding Gift? Was it a long process or did it just come to you?

Kathleen - Like I said that one just came to me and the book almost wrote itself, I was coming off this three year research gig into a true American Horror Story I took a road trip saw the house in New Orleans and the girl and boom I started the book and never stopped till the end.

Amber - The Wedding Gift has been described as a mystery/ghost story. Which genre would you put it in?

Kathleen - Paranormal Romance, The Wedding Gift is a love story and its a story about friendship and growing up and its also supposed to be funny, of course there's a ghost how could I not have a ghost, ghosts rock :). Oh I just read this back and realized I'm not sure what gender I'd call my book, I'll let you guys decide :)

Amber - The main character in your book is 17 year old Leeann. Is this book aimed at Young readers? It sounds quite spooky.

Kathleen -Well the old lines of YA and adult fiction have been pretty much shattered since the advent of Twilight and lets face it True Blood, but then I'm not sure they ever existed anyway except in the minds of editors.

Leeann is seventeen, beautiful, wild and she goes after what she wants, maybe there are no teenage girls like her in the real world but I'm thinking there are plenty of them and while her choices are a little rough they're also easy to understand and as for her best friend Jessie how many millions of girls grow up in bad homes here alone? Jessie instead of giving in to a life of zero expectations picks early adulthood and knows she'll do better and she does, The Comeback is Jessie's story :)

Amber - How do you pick the names for your characters? Do they have any special meanings?

Kathleen - Like I said in the beginning Leeann's name is based on the girl I saw, somewhere in Louisiana is the real Leeann I hope she reads the book and this interview and goes "no way!." The other names, I swear they picked themselves all writers are at least half nuts and there is no point trying to explain us.

Amber - Did you always wanted to be an author?

Kathleen - No, I was always a reader but I just wanted to work with kids that's all, then life moves and I was given a chance by a great writer to do a story he couldn't get to. I wrote it and-this will sound weird but after that I knew I was going to do this full time and forever (see earlier comment where I admit to being nuts :)

Amber - I am sure that being an author has its ups and downs. What experiences have you had so far?

Kathleen - Its a nightmare :) Agent search, publisher search, legal issues, you need a dozen biz degrees and the patience of a saint. Having said that there is no better life and you meet the best people, kind, funny interesting. I don't know maybe if I'd known how hard it was going to be I wouldn't have started but I'm glad I did.

Amber - Are you a full time writer or do you have a day job? If yes, How do you divide your time?

Kathleen - Nope this is my day job :) When I'm writing I write five days a week, the rule is to lay down five pages a day, if they are rancid delete and start again. In between books I'm usually ideaing (made up word) the next one or I'm buried in research, research is my personal favorite, the actual writing part not so much lol

Amber - Are you working on any other projects you would like to tell us about?

Kathleen - Sure I'm working on Dream House right now, this one has been inspired by some recent wild and truly scary events at a historic American Mansion and I'm hoping it entertains people half as much as chasing down the story has entertained me.

Amber - How do you relax? Do you have any hobbies?

Kathleen -Million mile walks lol that's what I call them, me and my ipod and a whole weekend to go as far as my legs will take me, oh and reading I don't know though if I'd call reading a hobby or an addiction.

Amber - Alot of authors have 'soundtracks' for their books. Is there any music influenced your books?

Kathleen - Great question and yes this old song by Alabama I'd make my life with you. Its the soundtrack of Donny and Leeann's love story, oh and one Britney Spears song lol

Amber - What books do you enjoy reading? Do you have any favourite authors/series?

Kathleen - Eeek I have about twenty but right now I am OBSESSED by everything a woman named Jennifer McMahon writes she combines ghosts and at risk kids and is rocking my world :)

Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?

Kathleen - Oh a ghost of course, that's my go to Para critter. I'm a vegetarian so the whole Vamp, Werewolf thing wouldn't work out to well and besides ghosts can pretty much go anywhere and do anything so if you think of paranormal super powers well ya gotta love the ghost!

Amber - Thank you for visiting Amberkatze's Book Blog!

Kathleen - Thank YOU Amber for having me, this has been great!


Contest Time

Kathleen is giving away THREE copies of THE WEDDING GIFT! Maybe you will be one of the lucky three winners? (US only please!)

How To Enter

Tell us about your local haunted house or that place where you never go because it is just too spooky!

No Comment = No Entry

'Please enter me' posts will not be counted as an entry!

Earn more entries for each link you place about this contest on the net. You can post on Facebook, Twitter & MySpace but make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries! However please do not make individual postings for each entry. Please post all your entries in one post.

Advertise Amberkatze's Book Blog on your site and get an extra entry for this and every other contest!

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You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

Make sure you post your links here so I can confirm your entries.

Keep the contests going by using the Bookdepository.com and Amazon.com links/Banners below and around the site!

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The contest will stay open until Sunday 13th of November 2011 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.


Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

I don't know that I actually believe in haunted house as I've never seen anything ti indicate otherwise. I do keep an open mind so maybe one of these days something will happen to make me believe or disbelieve.


alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Barbara E. said...

I don't know of any haunted houses near me. There isn't anyplace I wouldn't go because of it's spookiness. I used to play as a child in a old graveyard that had a burned out mausoleum, we all thought it was a great spooky place to hang out in.

SandyG265 said...

There is an old stone house with a clock tower in my town. I don't think it's haunted but as kids we were always afraid to go trick or treating there because it was spooky.

Julie S said...

I know Houston has some ghost tours and haunted tours, but I haven't had a chance to try them out. I'm sure they are pretty neat though.

LuAnn said...

Our local art gallery is supposedly haunted. It is one of the original buildings here in town and was a hotel for many, many years until a murder took place there. People who hunt ghosts have inspected it and claim they found something.

Aurian said...

Not entering the contest :(
I really have not heard of a haunted house here in Holland, and am amazed it is such a common thing in America.

Stephanie said...

There's the Culbertson Mansion, which is supposed to be haunted.


Gail said...

Great interview. Haunted houses, I'm sure there are a few, but I'm more inclined to think that ghosts make contact with people.
I suppose I feel that way because I was a witness to a ghost sighting when I was around 10 years old. I wasn't scared, just awed that I got to see him in our house. It was only once, but it left an impression.

So I have a question for Kathleen: Have you seen or felt a ghost or had a paranormal experience?

*I posted this on FB & Twitter*
Thank you for the chance to win.

trichie said...

There is an old cemetery called Phillips Cemetery and have seen strange things happen there

Anonymous said...

There is one haunted house that opens up in Rockford but I do not go because I do not want to have a heart attack.
I shared this on facebook (TeddyBearMJG)
I shared this on Twitter (@MGardner76)

Anonymous said...

Shared on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/GMichael76/status/133732161684643840

Audra said...

Spook light- i have never been

Valerie Taylor Mabrey said...

I do not like going near the local woods because big foot was spotted there and people claim to see ghost near it too.
vmkids3 at msn dot com

Mardel said...

I don't know about any local current haunted houses - but when we were growing up, we all just knew the house we lived in was haunted. My sister saw a lady at the foot of her bed once, scared the sh- out of her. Whenever I was in the pantry washing dishes, I could hear a voice calling my name - pleasant woman's voice, but it was never my mom's voice (mom has a spanish accent). Oddly, I was never scared. Later, we lived there with my own kids and we always heard footsteps and my kids sometimes saw a little boy in the kitchen, usually late at night. I don't recall any of us ever feeling threatened (only my sister, when we were young) - but once my puppy began growling at an empty spot in the room - wouldn't stop growling for about 15 minutes. The rest of the time we just kind of took the ghostly "events" in stride, never made a big deal out of them, never felt threatened or frightened, etc. Later when we moved, I realized I kind of missed the general feeling of our ghosts. It almost was like they were used to me and my kids and we, or I was used to them. Odd.

The book sounds like a good read - looking forward to it. :)


Anonymous said...

I live in the Niagara region and we have this tunnel where lots of miners died years ago. My friend pushed me into going once with her at night and I WILL NEVER GO AGAIN EVEN IN DAYTIME because it was so scary. I kept hearing people talking and there wasn't anyone there (we investigated thoroughly) and some odd shapes came out in the camera pictures.

faefever25 at hotmail dot com

SaundraM300 said...

I live in a tiny town of 725 people. As far as I know we have no haunted houses here. I am not afraid of the ghosts, lol.

NoraA said...

I think I'd like to visit an authenticated haunted house. Just to find out if I'm sensitive enough to feel anything.

NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

Cindy McCune said...

I did a tour of the Winchester Mansion in California...the electrical, pulsing feeling that I had through the tour will ALWAYS haunt me. Once I left the house itself and went onto the grounds the feeling backed down. I will NEVER enter that house again. I wouldn't even go back in to buy a post card *shivers*

bbrittbrat1398 said...

We have an old abandoned jail in our town that they turn into a haunted house every halloween. I went there once and was scared to death and I will never go again.


saturdaynightfever said...

I don't go to Melanie Griffith movies.


laurasloves said...

When my dad retired from the Air Force they bought a old house in Maine. It was beautiful and when I would visit I always felt peaceful although my young son would cry. My mom and dad began to have fights and they never fought before. My dad ended up leaving. A woman told my mom that a man had died in the house and that he hated men but loved women. I did not believe her until one day when my little sisters were running down the stairs. One of them tripped and was going to fall until all of a sudden she was stopped in mid-air and gently put back down on the stair. Not long after, my mom sold the house.
laura dot hopelessromantic dot emerson at gmail dot com

Juleemm said...

I used to work in a very old "castle-type" house. It was said that some children had died there due to a gas leak. You couldn't be in there alone. It was just too depressing. But as soon as anyone else got there the mood completely changed. It was really creepy. Hated working there alone.

juleemm2003 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

It's not really a "house" per say, but years ago when I worked the night shift at a "camp" for juvenile delinquents (think Juvenile Hall, but one of the alternative camps to house them in the mountains), I experienced some really spooky things. A lot of people have had weird things happen there and to this day I will swear the stories are true and that it is haunted!
pjgirl74 at aol dot com

donnas said...

We have a local haunted house downtown that has been turned into a restaurant and offers tours. Ghost Hunters has even been there. But everyone I know has either already gone or doesnt want too so I havent been there yet.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

susan1215 said...

We don't have an spooky houses near by but if we did I would have no problem going into it because I don't believe in ghosts

s2s2 at comcast dot net

Anonymous said...

i would never go to a cemetary at night . Too Spooky


LuckyTJG said...

My haunted house is my dead great aunt's house across the road from where I grew up. Her house was always spooky to me as a child and still is. It is a two story house with a koi fish pond in the front yard. Lily pads always covered the pond and there were alot of trees in her yard. Her house always seemed dark and uninviting. My sisters and I always thought we saw a young girl standing at one of the upstairs windows looking out. It scared the mess out of us. We've heard spooky stories about her house being haunted. I believe them.

Unknown said...

There is an old two story house in our town that looks like the house in Psycho. There are a lot of stories about the house. I don't know of anyone brave enough to go there at night. garrettsambo@aol.com

dvice12 said...

Our local haunted house is a scary house overgrown with ivy