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 http://www.keligwyn.com
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!!