Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the four hundred and fourth, is of middle-grade writer Kathleen Andrews Davis. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
Kathleen Andrews Davis lives in the mountains of central Pennsylvania, USA, with her husband and a horde of white-tail deer who insist on annihilating any attempts at gardening. She and her husband are empty-nesters with two grown daughters and two beautiful grandchildren.
During her varied working career, Kathleen did business writing with everything from press releases to policy and procedure manuals. She served a year as managing editor of an in-house newspaper where she enjoyed every aspect of production including writing, photography, and dummy layout. From there, she moved into marketing pieces and business plans.
Kathleen tells me her favorite venture was fourteen years in the Bed & Breakfast industry of which seven years were spent managing properties for other owners and seven years owning their own B&B in Wildwood Crest, NJ. “When we left our lovely, old Victorian it left a hole in my heart, and I found myself with an indistinguishable yearning to be more and do more. The little wheels in my head started turning and it dawned on me, if I liked commercial writing, why wouldn’t I like creative writing?”
Becoming a grandmother was the fuel that fed the fire, and Kathleen decided to leave her grandchildren a legacy of words that would outlast any other inheritance she could give. “My goal was to write an entertaining novel entwined with family history. I also wanted to emphasize common sense and moral integrity. If my work encourages youngsters to read more, that’s the icing on the cake.”
Many readers have likened the Emerson’s Attic series to historical fiction because of the geography, vocabulary, and period objects Kathleen researches in depth. “I’m a firm believer history is more fun when it can be taught in an entertaining way,” says Kathleen.
Emerson’s Attic, The Blue Velvet, the first in her self-published series for middle-grade readers was published in July 2013. Smoke and Mirrors, the second in the series, was published in July 2014. The third, Quiet Heart, is expected to be ready for publication by the fall of 2015.
Kathleen has also finished an adult novel that is currently making the rounds in search of an agent. “I love stories about smart, mature women, and the characters in this novel simply had to come out. Much different from the Emerson’s Attic series, it was unexpected and completely different genre which has given me great satisfaction. I have finally found what I want to be when I grow up…an author.”
Kathleen admits there are not enough hours in the day, but when she gets any free time she spends it reading, doing needlework, walking, snow skiing, and fly-fishing. Gardening has fallen to minimal maintenance only, at least until the deer find better feeding grounds.
And now from the author herself:
I wish I could say I have always wanted to write or at the very least, that I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil. Sorry, I cannot tell a lie. I came to writing very late.
I never liked English class! I was a science and math kid all through school with as much physical education thrown in as possible. I remember sweating bullets every time I entered one particular English teacher’s class. It was the driest, most boring class I ever had. I don’t know what kept me from falling asleep…wait, maybe I did. I was a voracious reader from about the age of twelve, but writing, nope.
When I finally figured out that I wanted to try writing, it came easier than expected, probably because my first love is the middle-grade genre. I loved that period of my life and when I combined that with a little family history, a book was born. I have a lot to learn, but thankfully I work with an experienced editor who takes care of all the technical details and two very talented artists. If I had had to learn all the ins-and-outs of publishing, I probably never would have never started this journey.
I am extremely distressed by the violence and sex seeping down to younger and younger audiences. My goal is to write wholesome stories where the characters are real and the heroine has to think on her feet without the use of modern electronics. If I can set good examples in my books and encourage people of all ages to read, then I will have succeeded.
You can find more about Kathleen and her writing via…
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