Happy September, everyone! With the arrival of fall, my thoughts have turned to cozy reads, hot chocolate, and HOCKEY! With my favourite hockey team (the Leafs!) ready to hit the ice for the new season, it makes perfect sense that this Canadian author celebrate another Canadian author…and an amazing one at that!
Please welcome K.A. Tucker!
Kathleen is a USA Today best-selling author beloved by readers around the world for her addictive storytelling and relatable characters. She has written fifteen must-read books, including her latest, the gorgeous Until It Fades (published by Atria Books).
Here’s the synopsis:
Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania—population three thousand outside of tourist season.
And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed date, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has rescued: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.
Catherine already has had her fifteen minutes of fame, and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, especially on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works—for a time.
But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. There’s an immediate connection, and it’s more electric than the bond of two people who endured a traumatic event. It’s something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle, something she is afraid to trust.
Because how long an an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?
When I read this synopsis, I just knew I HAD to have this book—and it did not disappoint. I absolutely loved it.
Just back from France and deep into her current WIP, Kathleen kindly answered my bookish questions and has offered a signed copy of Until It Fades to give away to one lucky (international!) reader. Read on and learn more about Kathleen and her books!
JM: What inspired you to write Catherine and Brett’s story in Until It Fades?
KT: When Paul Walker died in that horrible fiery car crash, I remember thinking “what if someone had pulled him out? What if he could have been saved?” That was several years ago and the story spun from that. That’s usually how my books start–a question, or a sliver of an idea.
JM: Small town life is so accurately portrayed in the book. Did personal experiences play into your development of Balsam, Pennsylvania?
KT: I did grow up in a small town so I’m well aware of the realities that come with it (poorly kept secrets and a lot of gossip.) But there are also benefits that come with that small town life, when you meet Lou’s and Keith’s, and when you can rely on your neighbours to lend a hand.
JM: Until It Fades has the feel of a real life fairy-tale, but you also made Catherine a strong, independent woman who could look after—and save—herself. And let’s not forget, she saved Brett. How important was it to show that, despite Catherine’s troubled past and ongoing challenges, that she was still in charge of her own destiny?
KT: I do my best to portray strong female heroines in all of my stories, even when they make terrible mistakes, or are guided by their weaknesses and struggle to make the right decisions. Even the strongest of people are also flawed. To me, that’s real life and I want my characters to feel real.
JM: It was evident from the care you took creating Brett’s character that you—like me—are a big hockey fan. Was there a reason, beyond your affection for hockey, to have the love interest for Catherine be a hockey player?
KT: Hockey and baseball are the only two sports I would feel comfortable using as a backdrop for a male character. I don’t know any other sports, and I am lucky to have an extremely knowledgeable husband.
JM: Is there a message you would like readers to take away from after reading Until It Fades?
KT: This was very much a feel-good book for me to write after writing He Will Be My Ruin. But if a reader were to take anything away from Catherine’s story, it’s that you have to be willing to take risks in life if you want to be truly happy.
JM: Let’s touch upon writing and how you go about creating such wonderful novels. Some readers might know you best from your suspense-filled romances, but even in Until It Fades there’s a pretty huge twist that unsettles the characters. Do you plot out all the twists and turns early in the writing process, or do they just happen as you go along?
KT: I am unable to plot my stories. They come to life as I write. Sometimes it takes many tries to get it right, and a lot of rewriting. This story was going in a completely different, complex way. Finally I realized that I needed to drastically simplify the storyline. That’s when pieces began falling into place.
JM: When you’re creating your stories, do you start with a character first, a setting, or a situation?
KT: Typically a situation. It can be just a sliver of an idea (with Burying Water, it was a dream about a girl left for dead in the snow.) Sometimes it’s a situation and a setting. Chasing River came about while I was walking through the park in Dublin and had this mental flash of someone bombing it (yes, I have disturbing thoughts.) I almost never start with the character. The character comes to life when I figure out the situation and setting, and how I want the story to go. The character’s personality will drive that.
JM: What inspires you to write? Some authors love using music as a spark, while others rely on a setting or travel. What revs up your writing mojo?
KT: Music has been helping me as of late. Really loud music. LOL. I find a song and then put it on repeat so it becomes background noise.
JM: You mention in the acknowledgements of Until It Fades that this book was a bit of a departure for you, and lucky for us readers, this change of pace was just as addictive and delicious as your other work. Will we see more stories from you in the future that tip more towards romance than suspense?
KT: I’m writing another contemporary romance as we speak. I find I need the balance. I can’t write romance all the time (I need that stomach-clenching suspense and I like a darker plot) but being in a dark world for too long (my upcoming Keep Her Safe is a prime example) wears me down.
JM: Until It Fades gave me a major book hangover. Do you have favourite romance novels or movies that have stayed with you?
KT: Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series still lingers in my mind a year after reading it (lots of romance but also an incredible fantasy world.) The Bronze Horseman is another. Paullina Simons not only gives readers an epic romance, but also makes them feel like they’ve personally lived through a German siege in WWII.
JM: You’ve published 15 books and your 16th—Keep Her Safe—is out next January. Do you have advice for aspiring writers?
KT: Write what you love, but read outside of your comfort zone. You never know how an author who writes, say, historical romance or fantasy may influence your writing voice, your plotting, your pacing, your character development, etc.
JM: Would you like to share what you’re working on next?
KT: Keep Her Safe, which comes out in January, is my most dark and twisty suspense yet. It’s about two characters, Gracie and Noah, motivated to search for answers to Gracie’s police officer father’s death for very different reasons. It’s a beast of a book and I’m super proud of it. Right now I’m working on a contemporary romance about an Alaskan bush pilot. It’s an enemies-to-lovers story, but also a story of family, regret, and sacrifice.
JM: Kathleen, thank you for sharing your insight into Until It Fades and your writing process.
Want to purchase Until It Fades? It’s available from all major retailers including Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, and Indigo. You can also follow Kathleen on social media. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, and visit her website to subscribe to her newsletter, discover her latest news, and read more about her brilliant books.
**THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**
**THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**
You can also try to win a signed paperback of Until It Fades right now! Kathleen has generously offered to open this giveaway to INTERNATIONAL book lovers…so everyone can enter—here’s how:
Leave a comment below answering this question: If you could channel Catherine from Until It Fades, save someone from a burning car and have an immediate connection with them, who would that person be and why? Please note: comments on my website have to be approved manually, so if you don’t see your answer showing up in the comments right away, don’t panic! It’s just awaiting moderation and once that’s done, it will appear.
For an extra entry, head over to my Instagram @JaxMiddleton_Author, and do the following:
Like the giveaway photo (the Until It Fades shot you see above),
Follow me (@JaxMiddleton_Author), and K.A. Tucker (@KATucker_),
Tag up to three friends who might be interested in this wonderful giveaway!
Entries will be accepted here in my blog’s comments until Friday, September 6/17 at 5pm ET. This giveaway is not associated or sponsored by Instagram. GOOD LUCK!
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