Sunday, October 20, 2013

Featured Debut Novelist: Keli Gwyn

Keli Gwyn writes stories that transport readers to the 1800s, where she brings historic towns to life, peoples them with colorful characters, and adds a hint of humor. 
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A California native, Keli lives in the Gold Rush-era town of Placerville at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, set in the heart of the Gold Country is currently available at all major booksellers.

When Keli’s fingers aren’t hovering over the keyboard of her newfangled laptop, she enjoys strolling past stately Victorian houses in her historic town, burying her nose in reference books as she unearths interesting facts to include in her stories, and interacting with other romance readers. Her favorite places to visit are her fictional worlds, historical museums, and the Coach Factory Outlet Store. Yes, she loves a fine purse.


The following is an October 2013 interview with Keli.

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY 
AT THE END OF THE INTERVIEW

Be in to win a copy of either 
A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California by Keli Gwyn
or Golden State Brides*
by Keli Gwyn & Erica Vetsch


Two copies - one print (USA) and one digital (international) - to be won

Contest open to entrants worldwide.

Contest runs from 18-31 October NZDT

*NB: Golden State Brides is a 2-in-1 title that includes A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado California by Keli Gwyn as well as A Bride Sews with Love in Needles, California by Erica Vetsch


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Tell us a little about yourself.

Some say I’m organized. I used to agree, but then I began writing, and housework became less of a priority. While I used to keep things neat and tidy, I’ve developed a case of Pile-itus. It’s much more fun to spend time with my characters than it is to do housework. Even so, remnants of my former self can still be seen in my pantry, where all the canned goods sit in straight rows facing front, and in my closet, where my clothes all face the same direction and are hung according to color and sleeve length.

Some say I’m passionate, and I would agree. I have a lot of energy and enjoy embracing my interests with enthusiasm. When I’m into something, whether it be writing or working out, it can consume me if I’m not careful. My collections of writing craft books, colored pens, and Coach bags are a testament to this.

Some say I’m fun, and I hope that’s true, although I would describe myself as quirky. I make up words. I’ve created voices for each of our cats, who “talk” to us all the time. And I can have way too much fun being punny. Yup. I love puns and use them intentionally and often. Far too often, some might say.


What inspired you to become a novelist, and did you always want to write?

When I was seven, my dream of being a writer was born. Although I earned a degree in mass communication-print journalism, worked as an editor for a small textbook publishing company, and had a few articles published, for many years my dream of being a published novelist remained just that—a dream. Forty years after its inception, I dusted off that dream and began writing my first story, turning my dream into a goal.

Lesson learned: our dreams don’t come true if we don’t take action.

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What do you think is significant about Christian fiction? 

Christian fiction has so much to offer. The stories are well written, wholesome, and contain that all-important faith element that sets them apart. They not only entertain; they also uplift and inspire readers by showcasing characters who find answers as a result of their faith, be it newfound or long-established.


How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write? 

Although I write Christian fiction and am blessed to be able to add faith elements to my stories, my primary goal is to entertain. If readers enjoy my stories and enjoy the time they spend with my characters, I feel I’ve succeeded.


What has been the most surprising aspect to becoming a published novelist? 

Having people stop me in the street and ask for my autograph. Naw. That hasn’t happened, outside of my dreams anyhow.

Although getting a book published was life changing for me personally, my day-to-day life is pretty much the same as it was before I got my contract. Laundry still piles up, dust bunnies still multiply, and dinner still needs to be fixed. I’m guessing many of your blog readers can relate.

What has changed is my outlook. I treat my writing more like a job now, a job I love but one that requires commitment, hard work, and sacrifice.

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How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ? 

I tend to turn to Him more quickly. He’s my partner, and I rely on Him to support me when things get me down and keep me humble when they’re going well. I couldn’t endure the ups and downs of a writer’s life without Him.


Other than being a novelist, what other goals do you have for your life? 

I’m committed to being fit. Having been diagnosed with osteoporosis at the relatively young age of 52, I know how important it is for me to exercise and eat right if I want to keep from losing any more bone density. What’s fun is that this former exercise-phobe has discovered how enjoyable working out and walking can be.


What do you like to do in your spare time? 

Read romances. Watch romances. Enjoy romantic dates with my hubby. Yeah. I’m a card-carrying member of Hopeless Romantics Anonymous. 

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What can you tell us about your debut novel? 

An ever-resourceful widow, Elenora Watkins arrives in El Dorado ready to go into partnership with Miles Rutledge. When he refuses, Elenora becomes the competition across the street. Is this town big enough for the two of them? Miles can’t help but stick his well-polished boot in his mouth whenever he comes face-to-face with Elenora. Can he find a way to win her heart while destroying her business?


What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead? 

I’m smitten with the Victorian Era and love the Golden State, so readers can expect to see more California-set stories that take place in the latter half of the 1800s.

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What would you like to say to your upcoming fans in New Zealand and around the world?
You rock! Readers are wonderful people. Seriously. Your love of good stories inspires writers like me to produce the best work possible. Your enjoyment of our stories delights us. Your willingness to help spread the word about stories you like blesses us.


Do you have any parting words?

Thanks so much for hosting me, Ellie. I’m honored to spend time with you and your blog’s readers.

You’ve learned about me. Now it’s my turn to learn a little something about all of you. I admitted to being a purse person. What accessory is your weakness? Shoes? Purses? Jewelry? Or something else entirely?


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A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California

An ever-resourceful widow, Elenora Watkins arrives in El Dorado ready to go into partnership with Miles Rutledge. When he refuses, Elenora becomes the competition across the street. Is this town big enough for the two of them? 


Miles can’t help but stick his well-polished boot in his mouth whenever he comes face-to-face with Elenora. Can he find a way to win her heart while destroying her business? 


Miles’s mother, Maude, is bent on Elenora becoming her new daughter-in-law while Elenora’s daughter, Tildy, thinks Miles would make a perfect papa. How far will these meddlers go to unite this enterprising pair?                  


 A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California 
[Purchase:  Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle | The Book Depository]


Golden State Brides (Brides & Weddings)
[Purchase:  Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle | The Book Depository]



Buy Keli's Books at The Book Depository

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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Be in to win a copy of either
A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California by Keli Gwyn
or Golden State Brides*
by Keli Gwyn & Erica Vetsch


Two copies - one print (USA winner) and one digital (international winner) - to be won

Contest open to entrants worldwide.

Contest runs from 18-31 October NZDT

*NB: Golden State Brides is a 2-in-1 title that includes A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado California by Keli Gwyn as well as A Bride Sews with Love in Needles, California by Erica Vetsch

Please comment about the interview , leave a message for Keli, or answer the following question when making a blog post comment - simply commenting about entering the draw or wanting to win the books does not qualify for valid entry into the draw. 

What accessory is your weakness? Shoes? Purses? Jewelry? Or something else entirely?

All entries must be made using the Rafflecopter contest to be eligible for drawing.


Read Previous Featured Author Interviews


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