Hi. It's Liz Flaherty guest-hosting today. Join me in welcoming fellow Hoosier Molly Daniels / Kenzie Michaels as Word Wranglers' guest today. Thanks for coming, Molly!
Hi Liz; thanks for having me! I’m authors Molly Daniels and Kenzie Michaels; as Molly I write a Women’s Fiction series centering around a fictional Indiana university. If you’re into Adult Contemporary Romance, then Kenzie’s the author for you.
My husband and I live in the southern part of Indiana with two of our three children; our oldest son is at Purdue University.
Where do you hope to be, writingwise, in five years?
In five years, I hope to have all current written wips in some sort of contractual stage; either published, under contract, or in the edit stage. I also hope to be able to attend two or three conferences a year, as well as having an ever-increasing readership fan base.
Did you ever get a favorite piece of advice you’d like to pass on?
The best advice I ever received was to ‘don’t worry about getting it right; get it written.’ In the early days, I worried over details, and then saw or heard this gem and realized I could always go back and fix what was wrong. Another gem was ‘If this is your dream, go for it, and don’t let anyone stand in your way.’
What writers made you think, Yeah, I wanna do what they do?
The first author I wanted to emulate was Judy Blume. Then Danielle Steele (minus the heavy guilt-laden heroines), Nora Roberts, and Lavyrle Spencer. In fact, when Lavyrle retired, I was getting closer to publication with Molly’s Arbor University Tales, and thought, ‘I can take her place!’
Do you have a writing schedule?
Not at the moment. Before my husband became disabled, I wrote from about ten in the morning until two in the afternoon as the words were flowing, and sometimes even into the evenings. But he gripes about only seeing the back of my head all day long, so I tend to write in spurts when he’s distracted by television or doing something with the kids.
Reading, listening to music, cross-stitching (although I’ve not done any for about two years now). I’m also the unofficial photographer for any family gatherings and my youngest’s BSA activities.
Full time Mommy at the moment. From this past September to March, I volunteered three days a week at two friends’ bookstore. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to close it prematurely. It was a fantastic experience, and taught me a lot about myself.
Okay, a question that always gets asked, but the answers never fail to fascinate me. (This is about me, right?) If you could have dinner with any woman, past or present, who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
Oh geez…this is a tough one. Someone who lived in Biblical times, maybe, to compare our interpretations of the Bible with what Jesus actually said? Or Lavryle Spencer or Judy Blume, to talk about how publishing has changed in the past thirty years, and their research methods for their books, esp Lavyrle’s; she actually got to meet Reba McEntire!
What question would you like to answer but no one ever asks?
I’ve only been asked once ‘What does your family think of your writing?’
My mother objects to the prolific use of the ‘F’ word in my books, which surprises me, as she was a high school nurse for thirty years, and knows how teenagers curse, lol! But I guess it’s different when the person doing the cursing is your own daughter. And when my first Kenzie book was published, and I ‘fessed up about the genre, she shocked the hell out of me by merely nodding and saying ‘Sex sells.’ Okay, mom….let me see if I have this correctly. My characters can have sex, but they can’t curse? She also went on to tell me, ‘I may not be proud of what you write, but I’ll always be proud of your writing ability.’
My husband and kids are another story. They complain about how much time I spend in front of the computer; in fact, I got my own laptop this year in order to ‘keep the peace’, as my daughter griped every time I used hers when the desktop was taken over by other family members. But if we’re out in the community and a reader recognizes me, the hubby’s chest swells as he hears the praise and tells me to ‘go home and write another one’. My kids refer to Kenzie’s material as ‘Mom’s Porn’, but agree they’ve read worse at school. So I’m on the tame side of the erotic genre.
And even the public opinion is mixed: I’ve been prayed over; I’ve had letters written taking me to task for the language and content, and have disappointed customers when they ask if I write Christian Inspirational (my mother would definitely approve!). But at the same time, when I’m promoting my work at festivals, I offer both a tame and a spicy excerpt, and the spicy ones disappear faster. And I try not to have overly sexy covers for my Kenzie books, although my latest one is, but I also had an alternate cover approved for my public signings.
Thanks for having me Liz; you really made me think!
Where can we find you?
My website: http://www.mollydaniels.wordpress.com/ Blogs: http://www.mjdaniels.blogspot.com/ (Molly’s Musings, 5-6 days a week) http://kenziemichaels.blogspot.com/ (Kenzie’s Place, at least once a week; more if there’s news) Facebook: www.facebook.com/mollyjdaniels Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/KenzieMichaels
Got an excerpt for us?
Wild At Heart by Kenzie Michaels
Angela Clayborn has just discovered Steve Blumenthal, the man she sent to prison nearly two years before, has been granted an early release. Torn between wanting to see him and fearful if she does, sparks fly when Steve Blumenthal appears in her gift shop and later at her condo. Will Angie free her heart from its icy prison? Has Steve really turned his life around, or is it a hoax?
Meanwhile, in Colorado on business, Angie’s current boyfriend, Brad Morrison, is wrestling with his own call of the wild. He’s met unconventional, sexy Emma Nichols, who runs not only her own riding stable, but helps out with her family’s woodworking store in EstesPark. Emma resents Brad’s offer to help during a family crisis, but eventually discovers that Fate sometimes sends people down unexpected paths to love. Can Brad tame a wildcat? Or will Emma settle for the safe path?
Excerpt: “Steve?” she whispered. “Oh dear God…Steve?” Her knees shook as tall, blonde, handsome Steve walked toward her. Nearly a year and a half had passed; his intense blue gaze still sent flutters to her stomach. He had lines in his face now, but the smile was the same, that brilliant charm which he knew full well how it affected the female population. His light blonde hair was darker, and cropped close to his skull; his nose was crooked, the result from the last inmate fight, Angie recalled. And his muscles were more developed. Prison, it seemed, had sculpted his body well, for instead of merely built like a tank, he was now built like a prize fighter. Angie stepped back as he advanced, and stopped when she backed into a brightly decorated park bench and nearly lost her balance.
“Careful there, hon.” He held up his hands. “I just wanted to see you, Ange. I don’t want to harm you; I don’t want to scare you. I’ve just gotten released and…”
Angie moved toward the counter in order to put as much distance between them. Her mouth went dry; she tried licking her lips, but there was no moisture. “Wh….what are you doing?” she whispered, feeling the panic rising in her chest. “Leave…leave me alone, please…”
A flash of hurt crossed his features. “Awe, Angie…I’m clean, I swear.” His brow furrowed, as he stopped just beyond the counter. “You don’t have to be scared of me, baby.” He shoved his hands in his hip pockets. “You’re all I’ve ever thought about the entire time. What we had and what I threw away…”
Angie found her voice and her anger at the same time. “We had a good friendship and I trusted you,” Her tone grew stronger as she spoke. “You broke into my home…you tried to steal the TV, for god’s sake! Not to mention my stereo.” She slapped her hands on the counter. “Do you know how hard it was for me to sleep after that? I can’t even sleep now, unless I know every single door and window is locked tight. You took away my security, my self-respect….and you think you just made a mistake?” She moved around from behind the counter and rounded on him. Smack! She balled her fist and punched him in the face. Shaking her stinging knuckles, she slapped him across the other cheek with the opposite hand, and poked a finger in his chest, not even noticing he was stepping backwards.
“How dare you come into my shop, my business, and spout your prison counselor’s platitudes.” Poke! “I am over you, Steve. Get that? Over! So get out of here and leave me the hell alone.” By this time, they’d reached the door, with Steve reaching for the doorknob, rubbing his sore face. “Angie, honey…”
“I am not yours anymore, now get out.” Angie gave him a push, which sent him sprawling through the doorway just as he managed to open it. “You haven’t seen the last of me,” he thundered back at her. “I try to make amends, but no; you won’t listen, as usual.”
Available now at XOXO Publishing http://xoxopublishing.com/shop-online/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12&products_id=107
Also available on Kindle: www.amazon.com/Wild-at-Heart-ebook/dp/B004GEAOK2