A Morning Chat

10629873_10152739961034308_4602144329251533479_n Every morning, as writing partners, Lynne Gentry and I talk for about a half hour on the phone. Today, we thought we’d invite our readers to “listen in” on our chat. Welcome!

Kellie: Morning, Lynne!  How many years have we been talking every morning? Four? I don’t know about you, but grabbing a cup of coffee and dialing your number is the highlight of my day!

Lynne:  Ditto, friend. It’s always so good to start the day talking to a real person because it seems the rest of my day is spent having conversations with the imaginary people in my head. Besides, if you didn’t call me, how would I ever know the latest industry scoop? So, what is new in publishing?

Kellie:  I saw this morning that bookstore sales were up considerably from last year. That is good news for authors AND readers. We want those brick and mortar retailers to remain open. I don’t know about you, but even though ordering online is convenient, I love to enter a real bookstore. I still love to browse the aisles and run my fingers across the spines of all those books. Now that I’m a published author, I know the many hours of work those books represent. What is your favorite aisle to hang out in?

Lynne: I love the smell of a bookstore. It’s as if all of those words wrap me up and take me to another world. I’m hopeful paper books never go away. I know this, we don’t hang out in the same aisle, girlfriend. I love adventure, time travel, and anything closely resembling Hunger Games. Don’t make that face at me, Kellie Gilbert. I can get as lost as any woman in a good women’s fiction story. Relationships matter to me. But I think it’s through talking with you that I’ve really come to understand the impact of these relationships upon us. I’m like really, who digs into the lie the character believes better than you? Tell me again about Juliette and the lie she believes. It is fascinating.

Kellie: I get what you’re saying, Lynne. I love going on a great adventure via the pages of a great book, and you craft some of the most surprising adventures! When I read your CARTHAGE CHRONICLES series, I feel like I’ve been dropped into third century Rome right along with Lisbeth. Not afraid to tell you and our readers, I would NOT have liked to have lived back then. Yes, the togas were pretty, but that was a dog-eat-dog world. And we take our medical care for granted. My heart broke as I experienced with your characters the devastation of a measles outbreak.

As far as relationships in fiction, yes I definitely lean toward the complexities of how people react in life-changing circumstances. How highly emotional those events can be. What is most surprising is how inauthentic characters can be when they have personal agendas. Thankfully, my characters often come face-to-face with how ineffective their efforts really are, and they change. My stories always end with a beacon of light shining brightly. Juliette is no different in WHERE RIVERS PART. She finds she must link arms with the one man who has hurt her most to expose a far reaching corporate conspiracy that threatens to take down not only her career, but the well-being of the entire San Antonio area.

I’m always impressed with the level of research you do to create your story worlds. Tell our readers more about that process and all you discovered about ancient Rome.

Lynne: Don’t underestimate the comfort of a silk stola or the pleasure of having someone wash your feet. But you’re right, there’s plenty about the third century that I would never want to experience personally. No phone. No Facebook. No Keurig. But readers don’t have to go to the third century for a nail-biting experience. I’ve seen you throw your characters into some pretty tough spots in the contemporary world. Untangling a corporate conspiracy before it tanks your career is almost as scary as facing an angry bull in the arena. Like you, I spend hours researching. I love it when I stumble across something that lifts the hair on the back of my neck. Of course, anything that delicious has to go into the story. That’s the beauty of reading fiction. You can experience all sorts of things from the comfort and safety of your favorite reading chair. To me, it’s always inspiring to see broken characters discover the path to healing.

Hey, let’s watch your video one more time, okay?

Kellie: Sure! I never tire of watching the great book video my publisher put together.

Now, show our readers yours! I love it.

Lynne: Here’s the book trailer for my CARTHAGE CHRONICLES series.


Lynne: So readers, do you wonder how two very different writers became such good friends? That’s a story for another day.

Kellie: Well, I hate to be the one to cut the discussion short, but my deadline is looming and I have a daily word count to meet. Thank you everyone, for joining us this morning. Be sure to check out our books, and I hope you’ll visit our blogs often. We truly treasure you . . . our readers!

Lynne: Dear readers, feel free to eavesdrop on us on a regular basis. Back to piles of books I’m digging through for my next project. Catch you later, Kellie.

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