What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
Women’s fiction. I think it chose me! The idea for DEAR CAROLINA came to me right after my son was born, and I knew it was a story I wanted to tell. I wasn’t even thinking of genre at the time.
Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
Yes! Right now I am editing a second novel that will be released early 2016 and am busy writing a third. But I’m usually working on at least two at the same time.
Do you work with a writing/critique group?
No. I would love to, but there doesn’t seem to be one close to where I live.
Can you remember your first reading book?
My mom read to me non-stop, so I remember that, but I don’t remember the first one. But I do remember lying in bed in Kindergarten and reading a book called Dr. Cat all by myself. I was so excited that I ran into my parents room early in the morning and woke them up to tell them!
Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat? I usually write while my son is at preschool, so I’m generally either sipping on a smoothie or eating oatmeal.
Tidy desk or a bombsite? Describe your writing area with us.
Bomb site! My desk is where I pay our bills, help my husband with things for his office and process samples and paperwork for my design blog, so it is a wreck at all times. And it usually has a stack of novels I’m wanting to get to and design books that I’m going to review. And that thrills me every time I look over!
I am traditionally published, but it was quite the journey! I wrote two novels that I essentially kept to myself before feeling like I really “got it” on the third. I wrote query letters and signed for an agent for the novel. In the meantime, DEAR CAROLINA won a writing contest, and, long story short, the final judge was my editor at Berkley/Penguin. It was a bit of a shock and a total dream come true! I feel so blessed to get to have my writing out in the world!
Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?
Roald Dahl because I was so enamored of his books as a child. I remember specifically reading Matilda seven times in a row. Betty Smith, author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, showed me when I was a little bit older of a child that writing can transcend all circumstances and connect people from completely different worlds and walks of life. I have always admired Emily Giffin’s career. It showed me that you can have kids and a family and still find that time to make your dreams come true. And, of course, I just adore her books!
What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?
Edit, edit, edit! Then you won’t have any regrets. I didn’t want to send a manuscript out and think, “If only I had read over it one more time…” It’s hard to fight that urge to celebrate finishing the manuscript and send it out right away, but I spend probably three times as long editing as I do writing. Anything that bugs your ear or doesn’t hit you quite right is probably telling you it needs to be fixed. But, boy oh boy, do I try to avoid that!
If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?
Oh man! That’s a tough question. I think Gwyneth Paltrow would be perfect to play Khaki because she can be dressed up and sophisticated and gorgeous but then turn around and be very down to earth and relaxed, just like Khaki. I think Emma Stone would be a great Jodi.
I was on my way to the supermarket, when … Do you have a tale to tell relating to an everyday, boring event?
This morning, on the way to school, Will said, “Mommy, if I learn to put my own shoes on, what will you do?”
Pause here. Let me just tell you that my morning was comprised of: A two-year-old tantrum over not wanting to wear the pants we had agreed upon the night before, me having to brush his teeth because he was too tired, me not “brushing his tongue right,” making waffles, making snacks for school, letting him help make his smoothie and cleaning up the seriously pound of protein powder that was all over the floor, counter, every appliance, cord, electrical outlet… Having to change both of our clothes because they had so much powder ground into them. And this was all before 8 a.m. Let’s not forget the fight that then ensued over which shoes he would wear. (Why do I fight with him about this? Who cares….!! Fight the big fight, Kristy. Come on.)
But, as I’m hauling him the thirty minutes to school, after getting his car area, complete with blanket, just the way he likes it and handing him a “boogie wipe” that “isn’t cold enough” and a waffle that is “too crunchy,” I realize that my child thinks the only thing I do is put his shoes on. So, to clarify, I say, “You mean, like, what will my purpose on earth be if I don’t have to put your shoes on?”
Before I reply he says, “Well, you can still play ‘spy’ with me.” (As in “I spy something that starts with ‘t.'”)
Shew. At least we cleared that up. And then I guess that it’s a tree. And I’m right. And he’s so excited. And I’ve already forgotten about all the other stuff because he’s so, so stinking cute.
And so it goes with motherhood. Everything — even the drive to school — becomes a story. And an adventure.
Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/m86pjy5
Author site: kristywoodsonharvey.com
About the book:
One baby girl.
Two strong Southern women.
And the most difficult decision they’ll ever make.
Frances “Khaki” Mason has it all: a thriving interior design career, a loving husband and son, homes in North Carolina and Manhattan—everything except the second child she has always wanted. Jodi, her husband’s nineteen-year-old cousin, is fresh out of rehab, pregnant, and alone. Although the two women couldn’t seem more different, they forge a lifelong connection as Khaki reaches out to Jodi, encouraging her to have her baby. But as Jodi struggles to be the mother she knows her daughter deserves, she will ask Khaki the ultimate favor…
Written to baby Carolina, by both her birth mother and her adoptive one, this is a story that proves that life circumstances shape us but don’t define us—and that families aren’t born, they’re made…