Monday, November 1, 2010
Aloha to TWRP's K.M. Daughters
It is my distinct pleasure to welcome K.M. Daughters to SOS Aloha on All Saints' Day. K.M. is a sister collaboration of Pat and Kathie, celebrating love, hope, and faith.
Kim: From your website, you referred to your father's treasury of children's stories, "Three Wishes by Michael Lynch." Can you share how these stories helped you find your own voices as writers?
K.M.: Our father’s storytelling uniquely enthralled us with its originality, and we credit him with instilling the love of the written word in us. Foremost, we learned through his accomplishment as an author, that the definition of a life fully lived is to use your God-given talents while on this earth. He did “the impossible” in his short forty-six year lifespan including: he was a military hero, one of two survivors of World War II in his regiment of paratroopers; he “got the girl”, our Mom, who was engaged to another man when Daddy returned stateside; he provided for our family with only a fifth grade education; he refurbished clocks with absolutely no training; he fixed anything we broke; he started a successful paint contracting business from nothing; he read voluminously with, again, very little formal education; he taught himself to play chess; he adored our mother and modeled romantic married love for us; AND he wrote great children’s stories. Our voice, reflecting our deep-seated belief in the anything-is-possible, majestic power of love, and Daddy’s heroic, loving influence on us are inseparable.
Kim: What specifically inspired you to collaborate? .
K.M.: It was such a spur of the moment thing. We each had completed manuscripts independently before the RWA conference, and our attendance there owed to our aspirations to become published authors separately. Kathie had come up with a title, Reunion For The First Time, for her next manuscript. Pat loved the title and the premise; so together we batted around the plot structure, character profiles, etc. We had so much fun! A scene map, scribbled on conference note pads, emerged from those discussions. Kathie posed, “Why don’t we write this story together?” Pat responded, “Do you think we could?” Kathie’s response, “Why not?” sealed the collaboration. By the way – Reunion For The First Time is PAST, PRESENT AND FOREVER published by Sapphire Blue Publishing.
Kim: How does one co-write a story with a partner, let alone sister?
K.M.: You can’t see us, but we’re smiling. The scene map we develop provides our marching orders. We divide writing responsibility in half, alternating chapters. Pat keeps the master manuscript. We are each other’s only siblings, so we have a childhood legacy of “making believe” together and chalked up many rainy day, “the only playmate around” times. It’s kind of natural to us to concoct stories together.
Kim: You also wrote on your website, "The courage it takes to shoulder loss with grace and hope is at the heart our stories. The central theme of our books is, love heals."
Clearly, you both shouldered your personal loss with grace and hope. What did your parents teach you to help you grow into responsible adults, become mothers, and venture into writing?
K.M.: Be grateful for every day, especially the small things on an otherwise bad day. Life and the world we live in are blessings from God. Each soul is here for a reason, so pay attention and look for open doors. Share your time and treasure. Be kind. Smile – better yet, laugh. Sometimes the BEST thing you can do for yourself or others is: tell a joke. God is love. Love is everything. Be grateful for everything.
Kim: Have you received any feedback from readers that your books helped them love and heal?
K.M.: We feel blessed when readers take the time to tell us that our words impacted them personally. One reader remarked about JEWEL OF THE ADRIATIC, “I so identified with this narrative right from the beginning, having once lost my own faith.” About ROSE OF THE ADRIATIC, one reader (who mourns the death of her beloved husband) stated, “In reading this novel I fell in love all over again~with God, my Father; with Jesus Christ, my Lord & Savior and the lover of my soul; and with my Blessed Mother.”
Kim: We'll be giving away JEWEL OF THE ADRIATIC.
K.M.: We are delighted that “Jewel” is the giveaway because this book is very special for us, as is its sequel, “Rose”. Many documented messages imparted by Our Lady Of Medjugorje weave through the fictional narratives in these books.
Kim: What inspired you to feature this beautiful location?
K.M.: The fictional Valselo reminds us of the region surrounding Medjugorje, a village in Bosnia-Herzegovina we’ve visited where contemporary Marian apparitions have been documented.
Kim: A nightgown model? A soap star?
K.M.: Very secular occupations for a hero and heroine who are exposed to miraculous occurrences, right? Plus, we certainly have the elements for some interesting conflicts inherent here.
Kim: Your books transitioned from Inspirational to Romantic Suspense while still keeping your core theme - love heals.
How did you make this transition while staying true to yourselves?
K.M. Although our inspirational novel, JEWEL OF THE ADRIATIC, was the first published, we actually began writing contemporary (PAST, PRESENT AND FOREVER) and romantic suspense (AGAINST DOCTORS ORDERS) romances before this book. We were halfway through writing the initial draft of the second romantic suspense novel, (BEYOND THE CODE OF CONDUCT) when we visited Medjugorje. During that visit the inspiration to write JEWEL hit Kathie like a lightening bolt while meditating in a chapel there. We stopped writing the suspense novel and immediately began JEWEL. Multi-genre writing transitioned smoothly for us, in part because we love to read many book genres and also, because different types of stories occur to us. Our inspirational and romantic suspense novels differ only in sensuality levels and central conflict resolutions. Relationship and life experience conflicts, healed by love, are consistent truths in all our stories.
K.M.: Yes, many have. And some fans remain devoted to their respective favorite genres. One devoted fan of both genres is a beloved priest in Kathie’s parish. He favors the Sullivan Boys romantic suspense books, and eagerly anticipates new installments’ release dates! He recently said, “Your Adriatic books are sweet stories, but I LOVE those Sullivan Boys books!” When Kathie expressed surprise, uh, the Sullivan Boys are a bit, um, steamier, he retorted gleefully, “I like to read about what I’m missing!”
Kim: What's next for K.M. Daughters?
K.M.: TWRP releases the fourth Sullivan Boys installment, ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE IN LAW, on 12/10. A preview reviewer, whom we’re thrilled to quote, says, “In one word, this book is Awesome!” The fifth and last Sullivan Boys book is nearing production scheduling, “IN THE ST. NICK OF TIME.” We begin work on the first of three inspirational shorts to be released consecutively beginning in 2011 by White Rose Publishing. These stories will continue where ROSE OF THE ADRIATIC left off in a series entitled GOSPA JOURNEYS. We’re also working on a mainstream novel, a departure from our series romance titles – very much a book of our hearts.
Mahalo, Pat and Kathy, for joining us at SOS Aloha, especially today, so we can start this month with love and joy.
In honor of their visit, I am giving away a copy of JEWEL OF THE ADRIATIC
A nightgown model and a soap opera star meet in Valselo, a Croatian village where millions believe the Mother of God appears to three visionaries. Yugoslavian born Maya Lidovic owns Intimate Whispers, a New York based sleepwear company. Determined not to lose her faith in a secular world, she spends her vacations leading tours in Valselo where her parents run an inn. Colin O'Reilly plays heartthrob, Dr. Brock Stone, on the soap opera Tides Of Tomorrow. Through various setbacks in life he's managed to keep God first. But now he's furious at God for taking his mother. Colin doesn't believe that God has sent the Virgin Mary to earth with messages of hope. He doesn't believe that God cares about the world. A series of apparitions, prophetic dreams and earthy attraction draw these different people together. Human frailties obscure the intention of the call that brought them to their destinies.
To enter the book giveaway,
1. Contact Kelley at Columbussos@gmail.com to join Operation Holiday Card. It is our goal to ensure that 1000 deployed airmen, marines, sailors, soldiers, and Coast Guardsmen receive a holiday card.
I am promoting Operation Holiday Card through November 12 - if you have signed up, thank you!
2. Check out Mary's blog, http://marygramlich.blogspot.com/. Mary is the Reading Reviewer and my SOS partner. She graciously volunteered to serve as my shipping agent for the TWRP spotlight.
3. Leave a comment about sisters, military heroes, inspirational moments, and faraway places.
The book giveaway is open to US residents only. Comments will be open through November 3 for the book giveaway.
Join us tomorrow as we welcome historical author Donna Grant, http://www.donnagrant.com/. We are celebrating her new release, Wicked Highlander ... oh, Scotland!
Kim in Hawaii
Thank you, Pat and Kathie, for sharing with us. I salute your father's service and we'll remember him on Veterans' Day.
A long time ago, I "hopped" over to see college friends stationed in Germany. I hardly had one night's sleep when we set off for Greece. After one day of driving, we realized that we could not drive through the closed country of Albania, so we decided to camp in Croatia, take the ferry across to Italy, and tour Rome (another story for another blog). Croatia itself had just opened its borders (but had not yet self destructed into civil war). The Adriatic Sea was indeed beautiful. But we did have two complaints,
- At the end of the day, the locals come out of their houses waving signs, "Zimmer Frei" (room available in German). It was a challenge to avoid hitting them or the short pillars that marked the edge of the road (that prevented us from plunging into the sea below).
- It was difficult to pronounce the consonant-laden words. We suggested the US airdrop some vowels into their country.
Just as we left Europe five years ago, many American families were driving to Venice to cruise the Adriatic with port calls in Croatia.