Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Guest Post: Kathleen Long, author of Chasing Rainbows and Giveaway

Today, I have Kathleen Long here at The Book Bag. Yesterday I posted my thoughts about Ms. Long's wonderful book. Not only is the cover so beautiful, the story inside is awesome as well. 

Read my thoughts here and then run out and get the book! 

I posed these questions to Kathleen and asked her to comment ~~ 

I have heard other authors say that they 'hear voices in their head' and that is how they write their books: the characters are telling their stories. Not being a writer myself, that concept has always intrigued me. 

When some people hear voices, we get them medical attention, others end up becoming writers. Does this happen to you? How do you come up with your stories? 

Hi, Susan!

While I have friends who “hear” the voices of their characters, I “see” entire scenes. It’s a bit like having a movie projector in my brain. The dialogue for my characters comes along with that, but for me, my moments of inspiration arrive as fully-formed images, settings, clothing, facial expressions, body language and dialogue. More often than not, this happens while I’m in the shower. My family’s grown used to seeing me run—dripping wet and wrapped in a towel—for a piece of paper and a pen. Even my six-year-old barely looks up when this happens, mumbling only, “Mommy’s got another idea.”

My initial story premises come to me in the same way. They can be inspired by anything—a news article, a commercial, an overheard conversation, or real life. Sometimes my mind locks on an opening scene; sometimes it’s the closing paragraph of the book. I wrote my contemporary romance, CHERRY ON TOP, after being inspired by a beer commercial in which the dumped girlfriend had won the lottery. In my book, the heroine wins a mega-state jackpot hours after she’s left at the altar, then seizes the opportunity to reinvent her life.

For CHASING RAINBOWS, the major story events are close to my own life, and the story grew inside me for months. My father died suddenly and I realized how lost I’d been since the death of our daughter a few years before. There had been months in which I sat at our kitchen table and stared out the window. I barely worked. I stopped reading. I hadn’t yet started writing. My husband, bless him, gave me the space and time I needed to come back to life.

Bernadette Murphy and her story appeared in my mind’s eye with one simple question.

What if my husband hadn't hung in there? What if he’d left? CHASING RAINBOWS was born.

I wanted to tell the story of a woman who comes back to life—who pulls herself out of her stagnant existence and embraces the possibilities of everything yet to be. I surrounded Bernie with characters to enhance her journey—friends, family, neighbors. I gave each character unique quirks, shortcomings and redeeming personality traits.

For me, once the characterizations are solid and the story goals are set, the writing flows from being true to how those characters would react and respond to the various story situations. The magic comes on the days I can’t seem to write fast enough, when, even as I close my eyes at 2:00 in the morning, I see a new scene, picture a new story development, and hit the floor running for my notepad or computer downstairs.

So, for me, the stories don’t so much reveal themselves as voices in my head, but rather as fully-formed scenes in my mind. I’m not sure which would be more likely to get me medical attention, but I’m thankful for the gift of storytelling and writing! 

And, I’m thankful for the chance to stop by and share a bit about my process with you here at The Book Bag today.

Thank you, Susan!

Thank you, Kathleen, for the wonderful insight into your mind!

Check out the author interview over at ChickLitPlus

Visit the tour page for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. 

**Everyone who leaves a comment on the tour page will be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card! If you purchase your copy of Chasing Rainbows before March 12 and send your receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, you will get five bonus entries!**

I received a copy of this book for my honest opinion. 


  1. I am hearing a lot of voices in my head with my second novel ;)

  2. Good to visit with you today, Susan!

    Samantha -- I think those voices are a GREAT sign. ;o)

  3. I agree. From what I have heard from authors, voices are a good thing - it must be the creative side of your brains leaking out. I am so grateful that you authors hear those voices and bring us great books!


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