Monday, April 27, 2009

GUEST - New author - Kathryn Magendie

Debra here…Please help me welcome one of Bell Bridge Books’ newest Southern authors. I got my partner-in-crime, Deborah Smith to ask Kathryn Magendie some questions about her brand new book (see below) and how she feels about writing. While Kathryn had been published in print and online magazines as well as wearing the hat of co-editor of The Rose and Thorn Literary Ezine, TENDER GRACES is her first published novel.

(By the way, TENDER GRACES is a beautiful and unflinching look at how we find our way home. Gorgeous writing.)

How much of you is in your protagonists Virginia Kate? Or Virginia Kate in you?

I wish I were more like Virginia Kate. She has a quiet studied way about her. She isn’t as chaotic and jittery as I am; even when she thinks she’s being jittery she really isn’t when compared to me. Besides, she has really great hair and I have this blob of brown stuff sitting on my pea-head. Tender Graces is fiction, but anytime you write a family saga, how can you not have events or thoughts or feelings or shadows of your own life, even if they sneak in there subconsciously (as some things did!)? But, Virginia Kate is so much her own person—I wish I knew her in real life. I’d like her. And I would hope she’d like me.

When your reader turns the last page of Tender Graces, what do you want them to take away from the experience?

I first want them to sit back and go, “Ahhh….” and feel a moment of completion and peace. I want them to feel Virginia Kate’s releasing. Then, I want them to feel regret that the story is over and that they must put down the book. I want regret to gnaw at them so much, they’ll pick up the book and read it again, and then email me and ask, “When are you going to finish the second book? Hurry up!” Yes, all that would be nice.

How important is the writing life to your sense of well-being?

When I do not write, I become anxious and a bit depressed. The body never lies. The body knows what I need, and it knows I need to write. When I do not work, when I try to flit around and do other things, my body lets me know in no uncertain terms that I best get back to it or I’ll continue to feel “off” and uncomfortable. I am extremely lucky I live in a quiet cove at Killian Knob in Maggie Valley, smack in the Smoky Mountains, that allows me the serenity to do what I love most. This is my dream life.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

No, I don’t think so. Well, my mom says I talked about it when I was young and that my teachers thought my creative writing and reading skills were above the average student. I won a first place award in junior high school for a short story, and in high school my creative writing teachers encouraged me to do what I suppose I did well in—creative writing. But, I don’t have a moment in my memory when I knew this was what I’d do and how it would be My Life, my wonderful life. It was always about The Book. Books and libraries were my sanctuary, my love, my joy. I can’t imagine a world without libraries and books. I shudder to think of it; don’t you?

What are you working on now?

I’m working on the second book in the Virginia Kate Sagas. Virginia Kate is a woman around my age, and in Tender Graces she looks back at her life from about six years old to about sixteen. In the second book, she is looking at her life from college age to probably in her thirties—we’ll see where that goes. I also have another novel set here in the Western North Carolina Mountains….that one will wait for its right time, because for now, Virginia Kate has the loudest voice in my head.

If you write, what do you want the reader to feel when they close the book you’re working on right now? Readers let us know which books broke your heart because the pages ran out and the book was over!


Angie Ledbetter said...

Great post. Great blog. I love Tender Graces and cannot wait for #2 to come out. Couldya hurry it up? :)

Helen Brenna said...

Welcome, Kathryn, and congrats on your first book!

Interesting question today. With every book I write, I'd like my readers to truly believe that every single one of my hs & hs live happily ever after. It'd be nice if they'd like to immediately find another Helen Brenna book!

Beautiful cover, sounds like a lovely story. While I haven't yet read it, I'll add my 2 cents ... would ya' get that next book finished, already?

Kathryn Magendie said...

Helen & Angie -- *laughing!* Lawdy be, I am working on it...right now -er, um, as in right now as soon as I open that doc and Begin Again.

It's a perfect day to write on the porch while looking out over the Smoky Mountains.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Hi Kathryn! Welcome!

Tender Graces sounds like my kind of book. I so into reflection in my own life.

I want readers to feel that they've walked in the world of the book and they've met some people they've come to care about.

Debra Dixon said...

Hey, Kat! Thanks for hanging out with us today. :) We're glad to have you.

When my reader finishes up a story or a book, I want them to have to pause for a minute. I don't want them to be able to go back to their regular life for a minute. I want them to sit there in the emotion and have to let it fade before they can leave my story world.

Yep. I think that covers it.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Hi Kathleen! Your sentiments are what I love, too. What a compliment that is to a writer, you know?

And thank you for the welcome *smiling*

Hey there, Debra...proud to be your words, too -- all these things make an author's heart go "skippity do dah day!" *grin*

Christie Ridgway said...

Hi, Kathryn. Thanks for riding with us today! The book sounds wonderful.

When readers put down my book I want them to spend a few more minutes basking in its sunshine (I'm a California girl). Then I want them to be ready to let me tell them another story.

Book that broke my heart when the pages were over: What popped right into my head was THE FAR PAVILIONS by M.M. Kaye. And it's a loooong book! But many others have made me feel that way. I love romance and when any good one is over, my heart cracks a little because it's filled up with so many good emotions.

Michele Hauf said...

Welcome to the convertible, Kathryn! Sounds like a touching story that should maybe come with kleenex, eh?

When I write I always just hope that at least one person will 'get it'. If that happens, then I'm happy. And as a reader I love the books that make me cry and want more, more, more after I've read the final page.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Hi Christy and Michele! Thanks for the wind in my hair *smiling*

Christy - I love a book that I do not want to end. Those are the gems.

And yes, Michele, a little kleenex maybe - but that goes for the laughing tears along with the sad tears along with the "awww" tears and finally the "ahhh" tears least that's my hope *laughing*

Estella said...

Tender Graces sounds like an excellent read. I love books that leave me wanting more of the story.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Hello Estella! That is a recurring statement I've heard from readers of TG and that makes me very very happy! *smiling*

Cindy Gerard said...

Welcome Kathryn and congratulations on Tender Graces. it sounds like a lovely book.
Like many have already said, I want people to think about the book after they finish reading it. Think about the characters, wonder what's happening in their lives now. And then i want them to want to read it again - or at least consider it :o)

Cindy Gerard said...

Oh - and the book cover is lovely!!

Debra Dixon said...

Cindy-- Yes. Let me add that to what I want.

I want the reader to begin reading the book again almost immediately.

ForestJane said...

Oh, not the same book, Debra. :P

If I were a writer, I'd want the reader to put the book down gently, reach for the kleenex, give her nose a good blow, wipe off a stray tear, then go to the computer and google me. :D

Once she found my website and blog, THEN I'd want her to pay amazon for a rush order on the sequel PLUS any thing else that I had in print.

Of course, in the Kindle age, she could just go dl everything.

But I'm not an author, unless you count my blog, so I have to answer the reader question instead. Hmm. I just finished 'Crossroads Cafe' yesterday, and hated for it to end. I want a sequel to that!


Brian Mongold said...

What an awesome interview. It's short, it's thorough and both the questions and answers leave me wanting more. Kat is great as always and the interviewer had some great questions.

Anonymous said...

my kind of interview, my kind of author, so i know the book will be right up my reading-alley. and i need a dayum good book after all the inferior dribble i've read in the last six months.
write on!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Thank you Cindy! I adore that cover - as soon as BB sent it, I didn't need to look at another was the first image they send and I fell in love with it.

ForestJane - *laughing* - that sounds good to me, too!

Hi Brian-thank you for stopping by here *smiling*

Thank you, Lives-in-cave - *smiling*

Now, I hope to visit all of you today and/or tomorrow - thank you all!