Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Interview with Author Keli Gwyn

I am thrilled to feature award-winning novelist Keli Gwyn on my blog, and she's graciously answered some questions below. But first, here's a little background info. on sweet Keli, my "California friend"!
   Author Keli Gwyn writes stories that transport readers to the 1800s, where she brings historic towns to life with colorful characters and a hint of humor. ~ Keli lives with her husband and their 2 skittish but beautiful kitties (pictured below) in her native California. Her debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California releases July 2012 from Barbour Publishing. ~ To learn more about Keli, visit her website at
   1. Welcome Keli! Please tell us a little about your book and how you chose the setting.
 KELI: Widow Elenora Watkins is determined to provide for herself and her daughter without relying on anyone else. Can she run a successful business after falling for the competition? Miles Rutledge finds himself willing to do anything to keep Elenora in town. But can he win her heart while putting her out of business? ~ I'm a California native and love the historic Gold Country where I live. I wanted to bring the area to life in my stories. While El Dorado is a sleepy suburb now, it was a thriving town in its heyday. When I read about the town's leading merchant, a mercantile owner named James B. Wetherwax, I was intrigued and wanted to know more about him. However, I couldn't find much information, but being a writer, I could imagine such a man--and I created the hero of my story. ~ Widower Miles Rutledge has the most successful business in town, the most impressive building, and is well liked, but he doesn't have a woman in his life. Along comes Elenora Watkins and her shop across the street.
   2. Where do you do most of your writing? (Office, coffee shop, etc.?)
KELI: I write in the privacy of my own home. Since I often speak lines of dialogue out loud, make faces to make sure I'm getting my gestures right, and act out scenes while I work, I would be afraid to write in public. People think I'm goofy enough as it is when my characters and I chat while I'm on my walks. :)
   3. Have you always wanted to be an author?
KELI: Pretty much. My dream of being a published author was born when I was seven. Forty years passed before I dusted off that dream and began writing my first story. Six and a half years later, I'm holding my book in my hand, proving dreams really can come true.
   4. Have you always lived in California?
KELI: I was born and raised in California and have spent most of my life here, but I did live two other places. I spent a couple of years in Washington State in my twenties. Gwynly and I lived in Germany four and a half years early in our marriage, where he was a teacher in an American military high school. We were there from 1989-1993 and got to witness the end of the Cold War, fall of the Wall, and reunification of Germany up close and personal. Upon returning to the states, we settled in Placerville and have lived here ever since.
   5. What are your favorite foods?
KELI: If we're talking sit-down restaurants, Mexican tops the list and Italian comes next. When it comes to fast food, I like Taco Bell, Panda Express, and Wendy's.
   6. Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
KELI: I'm a real homebody who is happiest right here in our cozy house. I do enjoy day trips to Lake Tahoe, which is just an hour away, and to other historic towns in the Gold Country. ~ Since I've gotten to see much of Europe, I think my travel bug has been satisfied, but if we were to take a trip there again, I'd start by visiting Nurnberg, Germany, where we lived. I'd like to return to my favorite spots: Garmish, at the base of the German Alps; Salzburg, Austria; and Grindlewald, Switzerland. The Lord outdid Himself when He created those places.
   7. Do you have any pets?
KELI: We have two skittish cat brothers. They were feral cats, and even though we took them in when they were just a few weeks old, they don't trust other people. When people come to visit, all they see is a flash of orange and white as the boys make a break for the bedroom. ~ Dandy, the mellow one of the two, is partial to Gwynly. Sandy and I are more high maintenance, so we understand one another. Both cats are good company and keep our Empty Nest from feeling quite as empty as it could otherwise. ~ ~ Thanks so much for hosting me here on your lovely blog, Patti Jo. What fun to spend time with you and your blog's visitors. I have a question for them. What historical events have you witnessed firsthand? If you haven't witnessed any, what historical event has impacted you the most?

~ ~ Leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for a copy of Keli's book. ~ Thanks again for visiting my Corner today, Keli, and I cannot wait to read your book!!


Amy Campbell said...

The first thing that comes to mind is the earthquake last year. We don't have earthquakes in mountains of VA. Well, that's what I thought couple years ago. My grandma passed six days after earthquake. That was the first one she experienced in her 99 years!
Amy Campbell
Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

CatMom said...

Hi Amy! Thanks for stopping by today. ~ Oh my, that earthquake was BIG news here on the east coast (I'm in Georgia). Hopefully there won't be any more "surprises" like that! ~ Blessings on your day, Patti Jo (CatMom)
p.s. LOVE your name*grin*--my oldest daughter is named Amy.

Keli Gwyn said...


I remember that earthquake and the flood of tweets it generated on Twitter as those of you on the East Coast dealt with the shock. Out here in California, we live with the knowledge that there could be a quake any time, but one in your part of the country is such a rarity.

What surprised me was how far away it was felt. A quake here is only felt 50 or so miles from the epicenter. I've experienced a number of them in my life, but never any of the big ones. We'd just moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Germany a few months before the big quake of 1989 that pancaked freeways and crumpled bridges just a few miles from where we had been living.

What an experience the earthquake must have been for your grandmother. I'm sorry you lost her not long after, but how neat that she lived 99 years. That's a rarity, too.

Keli Gwyn said...

Patti Jo,

Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog. I'm so honored.

I had a lot of fun answering your questions. You asked some great ones. I'm curious what your answer to my question is.

Mary Curry said...

Interesting thing about that earthquake - we noticed large cracks in the wall outside my classroom that have been growing all year. The last day of school tiles fell off the wall. The maintenance man finally said to me, I think that was from damage caused by the earthquake. He should know, he was in the school's basement when it hit and he said he thought his head was going to explode from the pressure.

As for me, sadly I guess the most historic event I lived through was September 11th. My daughter was in school 4 blocks away and had to be evacuated. I couldn't find her until about 1 in the afternoon. I remember having to walk for hours to get her and then get home because nothing was running. But we were the lucky ones.

CatMom said...

Keli, I've been trying to think of any historical event that I've actually witnessed. Even though I was miles away from the horrendous happenings of Sept. 11, 2001, I think that tragedy has impacted me more than any other. My heart felt it was breaking as I viewed the devastation on television and saw so many people who'd lost loved ones that day. But yet it reinforced my Christian beliefs because I know God is always in control and He is our only hope! ~ Thank you again for answering my interview questions, Keli, and I wanted to say again that your cats are absolutely beautiful! ~ Hugs, Patti Jo

CatMom said...

Hi Mary! Thanks for stopping by today. I'm sure that must've been terrifying for you when you couldn't locate your precious daughter. So thankful you found her and made it safely home. ~ Blessings, Patti Jo

Keli Gwyn said...


How terrifying to have been searching for your daughter in the midst of the chaos. I'm glad you found her as quickly as you did and that you were both unharmed.

I'm sorry to hear about the earthquake damage to your school. I've seen firsthand what a quake can do. Pretty scary.

Keli Gwyn said...

Patti Jo,

Thanks for having me. I enjoyed answering your questions.

I think we'll all remember where we were when we learned the news on 9/11. Such a scary time that was.

CatMom said...

You are welcome, Keli! It was my pleasure to have you as a special guest on my blog. ~ Congratulations to AMY CAMPBELL, who won the drawing for a copy of Keli's novel! ~ Amy, I'll be e-mailing you for your snail-mail address so we can get the book to you. ~ And I'm looking forward to many, many more books written by Author Keli Gwyn!!! ~ Blessings, Patti Jo (CatMom)

flchen1 said...

I was taking a shower during the 1989 quake in CA... it wasn't great standing outside in my bathrobe without my glasses while we waited for the all clear so that we could go back inside the dorm!

Thanks for the terrific interview, Keli and Patti Jo! Congrats and happy reading, Amy!

Keli Gwyn said...

F Chen,

Wow! How scary it must have been to have that big quake hit while you were in the shower. And how embarrassing to have to evacuate the building while in your bathrobe. That's one shower you'll never forget.

Which school were you at? Did it sustain any damage in the quake?

CatMom said...

Welcome Flchen 1,
Oh my! That gave me chills reading what you went through in college with that quake--I'm sure I would've been terrified.
Thank you for visiting!
Blessings, Patti Jo