1 Oct 2012

Author Interview with Kay Marshall Strom

  1. If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why? 

I would go back in time and work with Charles Dickens. He was a master at plopping his readers down in the midst of harsh circumstances and having them live his characters’ lives. That’s what I’m aiming for in The Love of Divena.

2.       What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write? 

It depends. If I’m under a crushing deadline—which seems to happen too often!—I write almost around the clock. But on a typical non-crush day, first thing in the morning I check my email. After breakfast—and a nice morning soak in the hot tub spa with my husband—I spend several hours on whichever book I’m working on. Or I write blog posts. Or I answer messages from readers and prepare my next project. I am fortunate to have a sunny, welcoming office all my own, filled with books and files and stuffed lambs. I can and do write any time, but I’m most creative in the afternoon and evening. If I’m stuck, I work on the hard place just before I go to bed, because more often than not, I dream out a solution. Then I get up in the middle of the night and write it out before I forget it.

3.       What is the hardest part of the writing for you? 

The second draft. I love laying out a new book. On the first draft, I feel as though I’m producing the greatest piece of literature imaginable. But then I get to the second draft. It’s so discouraging to go back and reread what I thought was a masterpiece! I always think, Oh, no! I can’t write at all! Everyone is going to find out I’m a fake!

4.       When and why did you first start writing? 

Even when I was a child, I loved to write. My first “book,” written when I was ten years old, was Tommy the Tuna. Two years later I wrote a script for the Mickey Mouse Club and sent it to our local TV station. I got my first rejection slip. At fourteen, I submitted a schmaltzy Christmas story to a contest run by the San Francisco Chronicle and was named a distant runner-up. That must have been a lean writing year! But it wasn’t until after I had my children that I started writing in earnest. Why do I write? Because I can’t not do it.

5.       How did you come up with the idea for the book ‘The Love of Divena’? 

Actually, The Love of Divena is the third and last book in my Blessings in India trilogy, so I’ll step back a bit to answer. I first went to India 12 years ago to gather stories from women who live and serve Christ in the world’s hardest places. I learned that India, with its culture of generations-long bonded servitude, is a major cause of modern day slavery. Especially for Dalits—India’s outcastes formerly known as Untouchables. Several years ago I had the opportunity to travel throughout Ireland with the advance team for the movie Amazing Grace. One team member was from India, and he spoke about this slavery.  On the last day of our time together, he asked me, “Why don’t you write about my people? We need someone to speak for us. Why don’t you write about us?” So the idea for this trilogy wasn’t mine at all. I simply followed up on Sam Paul’s request.

6.       Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now? 

Yes! I always have been a reader. Actually, right now I’m reading two not-yet-published books for endorsements. Flight of the Earls is historical fiction, set in Ireland, and A Quilt for Jenna is Amish fiction. Interestingly, both authors are men.

7.       Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?

Write and write and write some more. Never give up. Everyone gets better and better, no one gets worse and worse.

About the Author:
Kay Marshall Strom is the author of forty published books.  Her writing credits also include numerous magazine articles, short stories, curriculum, stories for children, two prize-winning screenplays, and booklets for writers.  Kay speaks at seminars, retreats, and special events throughout the country.  She and her husband Dan Kline love to travel, and more and more Kay’s writing and speaking take her around the word.
Her latest book is the Christian historical fiction, The Love of Divena.
To find out more about Kay, or for contact information, check her website at www.kaystrom.com.
Visit Kay at Twitter: http://twitter.com/kaysblab
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Pick up your copy of The Love of Divena at Amazon:  Click Here
Pick up your copy of The Love of Divena at the publisher’s website: http://abingdonpress.com/forms/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=7312
About the Book:
In this final book of the Blessings in India trilogy, Divena struggles against an entire culture to proclaim a faith close to her heart while rocking the world of two families.
India 1990. In the final book of the Blessings of India series, Shridula, old and stooped at fifty-nine, makes her painful way to pay homage to the elephant god Ganesh, lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. “Why are we Hindus instead of Christians?” her seventeen-year-old granddaughter Divena asked.
“Because we are Indian,” said Shridula.
So begins a spiritual journey for Divena as she struggles against an entire culture to proclaim a faith close to her heart while rocking the world of two families.