Introducing Kathleen Denly!
Kathleen Denly writes historical romance to entertain, encourage, and inspire readers toward a better understanding of our amazing God and how He sees us. Award-winning author of the Chaparral Hearts series, she also shares history tidbits, thoughts on writing, books reviews and more at KathleenDenly.com.
Kathleen lives in sunny California with her loving husband, four young children, one dog, and eight cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.
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Interview with Kathleen
- What book is currently on your bedside table?
Currently on my bedside table is a research book titled, Renegades, Rock Houses and Resorts by Cherry S. Diefenbach. It’s about the history of Jacumba Hot Springs and its surroundings.
- What has been your favorite part of the publishing journey?
My favorite part of the publishing journey is the feedback I’ve received from readers who have expressed how my stories have blessed them or made them view things in a new light. Those comments are part of what keep my behind in the chair and my fingers tapping on days when the sunshine is beckoning.
- If you could travel anywhere or any when for research where/when would you go?
This is such a fun question! I’d be thrilled to visit San Diego during the time period of any of my novels, but I wouldn’t want to live there. I’m too spoiled by all our modern medicines and technologies. If I could be like Ebenezer (seeing but not seen), I’d also like to visit San Francisco’s Barbary Coast in 1865, the secondary setting for Harmony on the Horizon. Perhaps it’s a morbid curiosity, but I’d love to see how close my research came to what life was actually like there at the time.
- What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
The history actually comes first for me. I usually find some part of history that inspires my imagination and sparks the idea for a new novel. From there, I usually develop the character and the plot together, because for me, the plot is all about the character’s journey. So I begin with a vague idea of who my character might be, but then I start asking questions like, “Why are you like that?” and “What do you need to have/know/experience to find true joy?” As I figure out those answers, my plot begins to take shape.
- Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
The blurb only mentions two main characters, but in my mind, there are actually four main characters. However, it would be too confusing to include the other two in the blurb. Those unmentioned characters were first introduced as secondary characters in book two of the Chaparral Hearts series, Sing in the Sunlight. Their names are Fletcher and Katie.
Though they were never intended to be main characters, I and my readers fell so in love with them that Katie and Fletcher demanded their time in the spotlight. This worked out wonderfully because of how well Fletcher and Katie’s journeys intersected with Margaret and Everett’s journey. In fact, what Fletcher and Katie do significantly impacts the both Margaret and Everett’s journey, and vice versa. In addition to that, your readers may like to know that the lives of both Katie (a maid) and Fletcher (a card dealer and forger) are closely linked to San Francisco’s Barbary Coast, which brings in elements of a threatening, criminal, and suspenseful nature. I wish I could say more, but I don’t want to give any spoilers.
- Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
I’d have to say that Katie holds a special place in my heart because she’s loosely based on Anne Shirley (one of my all-time favorite heroines). Katie is not only a redhead, but like Anne, she experienced trauma as a child which left her with a vivid imagination. However, in Katie’s case, it’s become a somewhat unhealthy coping mechanism which impacts her ability to maintain employment. While writing about Katie’s struggles, I incorporated my experiences and education regarding foster children, and how they cope with trauma.
- What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
Writing a book whose plotline is split between two locations and four main characters whose lives affect each other made getting the timing of everything far more tricky than in other novels I’ve written. Then second thing I wrestled with was deciding how much of Katie’s northern England (Cumbrian) dialect to include. I think that in the end I found a good balance between authenticity and readability.
- Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
The best way to discover more about me and my novels is to become a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club Member. I make a point of sharing any writing news with my KRC Members before sharing it publicly. In addition to that, I share exclusive history tidbits, book reviews, book deal alerts, personal updates, and other fun things via my KRC newsletter.
- Any current or upcoming projects you’d like to tell us about?
YES! I am SO excited to share that I have recently signed a contract with Wild Heart Books that will add three new novels to the Chaparral Hearts series. I have already begun working on book four and am super excited about where its going.
About the Book
Name of Book: Harmony on the Horizon
Series: Chaparral Hearts
Genre of Book: Christian Historical
Name of Publisher: Wild Hearts Books
Release Date: January 4, 2022
Back Cover Blurb:
Her calling to change the world may be his downfall.
On the heels of the Great Rebellion, Margaret Foster, an abolitionist northerner, takes a teaching position in 1865 San Diego—a town dominated by Southern sympathizers. At thirty-seven years of age, Margaret has accepted spinsterhood and embraced her role as teacher. So, when Everett Thompson, the handsomest member of the School Board, reveals his interest in her, it’s a dream come true. Until her passionate ideals drive a wedge between them.
After two decades of hard work, Everett Thompson is on the verge of having everything he’s dreamed of. Even the beautiful new teacher has agreed to his courtship. Then two investments go south and a blackmailer threatens everything Everett has and dreams of.
As Everett scrambles to shore up the crumbling pieces of his life, Margaret unwittingly sets off a scandal that divides the small community and threatens her position as teacher. With the blackmailer still whispering threats, Everett must decide if he’s willing to risk everything for the woman still keeping him at arm’s length.
Kathleen Denly is offering a bundle of bonuses for anyone who preorders her upcoming release, Harmony on the Horizon!
To preorder your copy, visit: https://kathleendenly.com/books/
To register for your goodies, visit: https://bit.ly/HOTHPreorderBonus
To celebrate her release, Kathleen is offering a giveaway. One winner will receive:
• Faux Leather Bookmark
• Pink Rose Dangle Earrings
• “Will Work For Books” pin
• Sing in the Sunlight bookmark
• Harmony on the Horizon sticker
- Sign up to become a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club Member at http://bit.ly/KRCMemberSignUp
- Then leave a comment on this post letting us know what you most enjoyed about this interview.
Due to cost of shipping, winner must have a U.S. mailing address. (Sorry!)
Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on October 31, 2021.