Today I have the pleasure of welcoming author and book reviewer Kelly Moran to Brant Flakes! Her latest novel, Summer's Road, will be released by The Wild Rose Press on March 25th. Welcome, Kelly!
Can you tell us the premise of your new book?
SUMMER'S ROAD is a single title contemporary romance set in a small, fictional town in South Carolina. It's not only a story about finding love right in front of you, but about home, grief, friendship, and forgiveness.
Here's a blurb: After her father’s death, Summer Quinn realizes just how alone she feels in the world. With no family to fill her life now, she finds comfort among friends, but yearns for true love, contentment, and family. When her boyfriend, Matt, suggests they raise their relationship to a higher level, Summer jumps at the chance to get everything she’s always wanted. Only, she doesn’t expect the heat arising between her and her best friend, Ian – a man who never seems to settle down. A man the complete opposite of what she’s looking for. But when her estranged mother reappears after twenty-eight years, Summer’s world completely flips upside down. As secrets from her family’s past and Ian’s true feelings for her emerge, Summer’s now faced with choices she’s not sure she can make. The rest of her life’s happiness hinges on her confronting a past she’d rather deny and legitimately opening her heart to love, even if it’s not where she expected to find it.
What's one scene from this story you loved writing and why?
This whole book was a pleasure writing, even with the obstacles. Normally the sex scenes are the most difficult (though fun) for me to write, but in this case, it was so rewarding. There was a monumental fight, which led to a few things said they both meant to keep quiet, and then...bang. Finally. It was exciting because you know from page one these two should be together, and yet you know why they aren't.
Name 3-4 of your favorite musical artists/groups. Did you use any musical references in your novel? If so, do they play a significant role?
I've never been a real follower of musical groups. I tend to hear a song and like it, but could hate everything else that artist did. My personal tastes tend to lean toward country and rock, though on my musical playlist I have everything from Frank Sinatra to Kermit the Frog, and Lady Antebellum to Chris Daughtry. There were two songs that hit home for me and really inspired SUMMER'S ROAD, both of which were, "Collide," by Howie Day, and "The One," by Gary Allen. "Collide" was mentioned in the novel during a scene as being played in the background.
What's one piece of writing advice you've found valuable on your journey to publication?
There's a lot of advice I've received through the years that was utterly helpful--how to properly submit a manuscript, internal vs. external conflict, when and how to avoid clichés. The best advice I got, and I still pass on to others, is to never give up and never stop learning. This market changes by the minute, and what one editor hates another will adore. If your mind is open, dreams do come true.
Do you pay attention to book reviews? If so, has there been any particular review that made your heart do a little dance?
A lot of writers tend to not read reviews of their books. I'm a sadist, I have to. I like to know what was liked or not-so-well received about the books. My first big review came about a self-published romance I wrote in 2007 called WHEN THE LEAVES STOP FALLING, from THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW who said, "A deftly written story." That meant a lot to me because it wasn't a book through a mass market publisher, just me trying my hand at this dream of mine. Currently, I was overjoyed at a cover review quote from NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author Caridad Pineiro, who said this, "SUMMER'S ROAD is a compelling story about the long road to finding true love." It made me feel like all the work I put in was worth it. That I was on the right track.
What’s next for you? Is there a new book in the pipeline?
I'm working on a non-fiction memoir that someone contacted me about back in August. I don't normally write outside of romance or children's books, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity as it was once a high profile case. It's near complete, and then we'll start submitting. That's about all I can say for now on that. I'm also halfway through a romantic suspense called THE DRAKE HOUSE, and my second children's book called ALL THE COLORS OF MY FEELINGS.
Thanks so much for being here today, Kelly! And, for those of you interested in learning more about her new novel, check out the book's page on Kelly's site here, which has trailers, reviews and an excerpt. Amazon link (for paperback) is here and more buy links will be coming soon!
Kelly has graciously offered to give away an ebook copy of SUMMER'S ROAD to one commenter below!! The winner's name will be posted on Thursday morning -- good luck!