1. Tell us about your release.
First off ~ thank you for having me here! I love to talk writing, process, and stories.
Here is a very short blurb: MAIL-ORDER BRIDES OF OAK GROVE: It's sweet, sassy, & double the trouble when twin sisters sign contracts to become mail-order brides with every intention of escaping before the actual wedding!Mail-Order Brides of Oak Grove is the story of two young women with slightly skewed outlooks on life, who become mail-order brides to avoid jail. They plan to escape the contract and continue in their family business selling “M&M’s Finest Medicinal Tonic.”
However, when they meet their match in two men of Oak Grove, the girls must figure out what means more to them–being together and one step ahead of the law, or facing the consequences of their actions and being with the men they have come to love.
2. What makes your story special to you?
All sorts of things!
This book kicks off a new series written by Laurie Robinson and me, with all the stories set in and around Oak Grove, Kansas. Mail-Order Brides of Oak Grove is a “duet” in that it is two stories in one book. Laurie Robinson wrote Mary’s story and I wrote Maggie’s and both of our stories had to meld perfectly. It made for lots of emails back and forth, and a lot of brainstorming as we figured out all the inhabitants of Oak Grove and their personalities and backstories. These communications were energizing!
Maggie jumped off the page and into my heart! She is full of life, the younger twin and she acts it, enjoying and experiencing every second of every day. She is not good at holding in her thoughts and feelings. When things get complicated or when the law closes in on her, she is used to running away.
Jackson is the local carpenter and when we first meet him he is making a coffin. I didn’t realize it when I wrote it at the start of the story, but this is very symbolic. He is dead to people, to emotions, to life. He is living in a gray area–feeling responsible for his brother’s death. And, he is stuck there.
Making these two opposites come together and help each other grow ended up being a challenge and also quite fun. They were not cooperative at all! The scenes where they banter back and forth actually had me chuckling. I love when that happens!
3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Probably off and on since third grade when I discovered a love of stories. At that time, I was heavily into fairy tales. The idea took shape as I read more stories that inspired me. I wrote a short piece for a trade journal (nursing) which was accepted right away. Then I wrote a piece of fiction for a magazine short story contest. Although it wasn’t published, that story placed and it encouraged me to continue and try to write a full-length novel.
4. What is a typical writing day like?
I wish I had typical writing days! I do try to get my writing done in the morning from 8am to 2pm as that is when I am freshest. The moment other concerns—marketing, appointments, household duties start to encroach on that morning time, my writing suffers. I try to push my daily walk and all those other things to later in the day.
5. Do you have an interesting writing quirk or habit?
At the moment…cherry sours by my desk. Not healthy at all, but very enjoyable.
6. What has been one of the most surprising things you’ve learned as a published author?
That as huge as the moment was when I received “the call” from a traditional publisher, the rise of eBooks and so many other forms of entertainment has totally changed the landscape of publishing. It really is an exciting and constantly evolving place to be.
7. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
LaVerle Spencer (Morning Glory) and Shelley Shepard Gray have written several books that enriched my life and inspired me to write. They are on my keeper shelf.
My first critique group was instrumental in helping me become a better writer. The mandatory deadlines for pages and their gentle critiques and their friendship meant everything to me. I looked forward to our monthly gatherings.
8. What does your family think about your career as a published author?
They know that writing stories makes me happy. They also know that a happy wife and mother makes for a happy home. So…they are very supportive 😊
My biggest encouragers are my husband, sister, mother and father. They know this is a dream come true for me. I am so blessed to have them in my life.
9. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
I enjoy traveling and hiking and hope to do a cross-country trip (by car!) stopping at all the National Parks. My son is moving to Seattle soon and I cannot wait to see him and visit the Pacific Northwest.
10. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?
So much is going on! I have just turned in the edits for a new Oak Grove story, titled The Prairie Doctor’s Bride. I am also working on a short independently published novella and on a final story set in Oak Grove for Harlequin. 2017 will be a busy year for me!
11. How can readers connect with you online?
Kathryn Albright writes sweet Americana historical romance. Her stories celebrate courage and hope with a dash of adventure. Kathryn’s stories have been finalists in the distinguished RWA Golden Heart® and the HOLT Medallion as well as several other industry contests. She enjoys hiking, road trips with her husband (when he drives) and being caught up in a good story. She lives with her family in the rural Midwest.