J.M. will be awarding a gift basket of some of her favorite things, including a $25 gift card from Amazon and a signed copy of the Foreign Affairs anthology from Turquoise Morning Press to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Be sure to stop by other stops on the virtual tour to increase your chances of winning. You can find the other tour stops here... http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/04/virtual-book-tour-daddys-girl-by-jm.html
Crystal: Today as part of the Goddess Fish Virtual Book tour, I have the opportunity to interview J.M. Kelly. Thank you so much for stopping by today. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
J.M. Kelley: I am a northern girl living in the South now, having moved in search of work after my desk job was rudely eliminated, and the jobs dried up in my hometown. Now, I have a blue collar job that occupies my days, and some nights, when my attention span allows, I write. I write romance, which is always a riot to me, because I can’t figure real men out, and will probably end up living alone with twenty cats to keep me company in my golden years.
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for Daddy's Girl?
J.M. Kelley: Personal experience was definitely a factor in this story. I needed an outlet, in dealing with my father’s loss, and I wanted to do something to honor him, in the process. It was an idea that had bounced around in my head for some time, but I wasn’t emotionally ready for it right away. After my first novel, I knew it was time, and the story was finally put to paper. It’s entirely fictional, but absolutely inspired by my own experience as a primary caretaker as my father battled lung cancer. I think it’s a timely tale, as so many people in my age group are finding that they have to take a very active role in caring for their aging parents while trying to maintain a life of their own. It’s a difficult thing to do, and I think a lot of people can relate to the themes, on some level.
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
J.M. Kelley: Later this month, I will be releasing a paranormal romance entitled Almost Magic. It was a fun tale to weave, and I am looking forward to publication day. Once we finalize the manuscript, I will be returning to a contemporary romance entitled She Let Herself Go, which will be available early 2014.
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
J.M. Kelley: I’m a sloppy, sloppy writer. I have a laptop that gets hauled to weird writing locations, and it’s full of potato chip crumbs. If an outline is ever formed, it won’t be created until the story is half written. I am a total pantser, and even though I have a specific idea when I start a story, it seldom stays on the path. But, that’s fun. I like the anticipation of finding out how it will actually end.
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?
J.M. Kelley: I didn’t have to do much research, as I used a lot of my own experiences as a basis. However, without giving away plot, there are certain medical issues that I realized I don’t know squat about and am very grateful that my lovely editor was there to tell me, in very polite ways, that I’m an idiot about some stuff.
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
J.M. Kelley: Stephen King, H.G. Wells, George Orwell, Sarah Addison Allen, and Charlaine Harris are among the usual suspects. I’m really enjoying World War Z by Max Brooks. He may become a new reading obsession.
Crystal: Is there any genre you haven't written that you would like to try?
J.M. Kelley: My next story, Almost Magic, dabbles in the paranormal. I consider it bearing a very light touch, because it’s not something I’ve really attempted before. I liked the idea of just a hint of the magical in the story. It would be fun, someday, to really cut loose and drum up some completely maniacal and fun paranormal tale, with a mind-blowing mythology and background. I’m not saying I could produce that, but boy, wouldn’t it be fun to get that ultimate plot bunny?
Sometimes, returning home isn’t about confronting your past; it’s about discovering your future.
Janie McGee, the black sheep of her family, is free-spirited, uninhibited, and never one to stay in the same place for too long. When Janie learns her father, Joe, is gravely ill, she reluctantly returns home to rural Pennsylvania to care for him. Joe’s neighbor, David Harris, sports a pocket protector, collects coins, and is addicted to Antiques Roadshow. Everything about him rubs Janie the wrong way, from his nerdy wardrobe to his enviable friendship with Joe. And to make matters worse, her father thinks they’re perfect for each other, proof positive of how little Joe knows his own daughter…or so Janie thinks.
A shared devotion to the elder McGee begins to close the gulf between Janie and David, but a burgeoning romance opens the door to new problems and unexpected consequences neither could foresee. Joe, however, remains steadfast in his resolve to show Janie that Daddy knows what’s best for his little girl. Can Janie finally open her heart to David while watching the first man she ever truly loved fade away?
Janie turned around and grinned in spite of herself when David appeared from the living room. Her eyes lingered on the red sleeveless cardigan he wore over a crisp white work shirt. “Nice sweater vest,” she said. She held a crumpled bag out to him.
“Thanks,” he said, too brightly to have read the sarcasm in her words, Janie figured. She rolled her eyes and followed him out into the kitchen.
“So, what are you doing here?” She shed her coat and hung it over a chair.
David started unpacking the bags. “Antiques Roadshow. Didn’t your father tell you?”
Janie snorted. “Well, yeah, but I thought he was joking. You guys really sit around and watch that show?”
David stepped aside to grant Janie access when she reached for the boxes of cereal. “It’s intriguing.”
“Oh, yes.” The sarcasm was back. Janie carried her armload to the pantry. “I saw it once. They had an intriguing analysis of a step stool. I’ve never been so moved in all my life.”
“You mock what you do not understand.”
Laughing, Janie walked back to the kitchen table. “So what was the big item of the night?”
David scowled. “A pair of eyeglasses.” He paused. “They had reason to believe they could have belonged to Benjamin Franklin.”
Janie made an O shape with her mouth and fanned her hand at her face. “Be still my heart. I think you should get permission from the doctor before you subject my father to such drama. What’s he doing, anyway?”
Unfazed, David tossed a pear at her. “He’s asleep in his chair.”
“Shocker.” She pulled a bowl from the cabinet and placed the pears inside. “Oh, by the way? I’m mocking what I do understand.”
“Yeah, well, you have your shirt on backwards.” David grinned and folded his arms over his chest as Janie pulled the neck of her shirt out and peered at the tags.
“Crap,” she whispered.
Three years ago, native Pennsylvanian J.M. Kelley packed her bags and moved south. Now, the wannabe Carolina Girl can’t speak a single sentence without adding the word y’all at the end of it, and regards a blast of snow flurries as a doomsday-level event. When the day job allows, and when she can pull herself away from George Takei’s Facebook fanpage, she likes to go on writing jaunts to her favorite lake, or a local coffee shop with delicious shakes and questionable Wi-Fi connections.
J.M. Kelley is a proud recipient of a Carrie McCray Memorial Literary award, and is a member of The South Carolina Writers Workshop and Romance Writers of America (PAN). Readers interested in more information may visit her website at www.jmkelleywrites.com.
Daddy’s Girl purchase links:
Turquoise Morning Press: http://www.turquoisemorningpressbookstore.com/products/daddys-girl-by-j-m-kelley
Amazon: Daddy's Girl
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/daddys-girl-jm-kelley/1114255053?ean=2940015960969&isbn=2940015960969