Today, I would like to welcome J.M. Kelley, author of 'Daddy's Girl' to the blog, as she tells us more about herself and her book. Some of these questions are near and dear to my own heart, as I just passed the anniversary of my own father's passing this weekend. Please feel free to share your comments and questions below!
What was the inspiration behind this book?
I lost my father to cancer in 2007, and I needed to work that out somehow. Daddy’s Girl was the eventual result of that need. However, I feel it has become more of an homage to my father, and not so much a psychological purging.
Which character spoke to you the most?
Joe McGee is the ghost of my father, in my eyes, so he was nearest and dearest to my heart. I can’t say Joe and my own father are really all that much alike, but there are aspects there. In terms of the story itself, Joe is the glue. He is the reason for everything that happens, and without him, there would simply be no story at all.
Which scene is your favorite?
I call it The Great Shovel Debacle, this scene which I consider my favorite. Obviously, I don’t want to give it away, but I can say that after I wrote it and re-read the scene, I was cackling like a hen. It perfectly suits the early conflict between Janie and David.
The loss of your father is one of the most difficult experiences in a woman's life. What message are you hoping to convey with this storyline?
There comes a time in a many a woman’s life when she realizes, no matter what problems may have existed in the past or even the present, that her father only wants what’s best for her. He may not have shown it well, or he may not have articulated it as clearly as he could have, but the day comes when you know it. You understand. It comes to you like a bolt of lightning, and suddenly your entire relationship with your father, the ups and downs and all-arounds...it all makes sense at last. And you realize how very lucky you were to have him.
I think an important message in this story is that, if you’ve figured this out and you’re fortunate to have your father around still, tell him thanks. Tell him you love him and you appreciate the effort he put it into making you you. The opportunity to do that won’t be there forever.
Were you a Daddy's girl?
I didn’t think I was, but now, I realize I was the worst Daddy’s girl. Total brat.
Please share with us a favorite memory of your own father.
I have fuzzy memories of how my father used to put me to bed some nights. He wouldn’t just tuck me in, he would pretend I was a leaf floating down to the ground. He’d lift me high, swing me back and forth as he lowered me closer and closer to my bed, all while making wind-noises.
Of course, one time was never enough. I’d demand multiple leaf-trips. He’d oblige a few times, then I was banished beneath my covers for the night. I considered that a great injustice at the time, but now I realize he was coming home from work, tired, beat, and instead of cracking open a beer and planting himself in front of the television set, he was tucking me in, with great flair. I miss that.
Do you have any other projects in the works right now?
I do have a paranormal romance coming out in June. It’s called Almost Magic, and will be available from Turquoise Morning Press. Also, I will be working on a contemporary romance entitled She Let Herself Go, which will be available in May of 2014.
What drives you as a writer?
The desire to improve. I am always striving to better myself as a writer, and I hope each project shows advancement. I feel like everything in life should be a learning process, and writing is no different. I want to deliver the best work to my readers, and when the day comes that I feel like there’s nothing left to learn, I’ll know it’s time to step away from this career. I hope that never happens.
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
Hmm, let’s find something truly random to share here. I was a breech birth. Not feet first, however. Shiny patootie-first. My mother seems to think this was only the start in a long history of a backwards way of going about my life. She may be right.
Anything else you wish to add?
I just want to say thanks to everyone following the tour. I appreciate your time, and hope you’re all enjoying this as much as I am!
Thank you so much for your time!
Thank you for hosting me, and for the great questions!
Three years ago, native Pennsylvanian J.M. Kelley packed her bags and moved south. Now, the wannabe Carolina Girl can’t speak a single sentence without adding the word y’all at the end of it, and regards a blast of snow flurries as a doomsday-level event. When the day job allows, and when she can pull herself away from George Takei’s Facebook fanpage, she likes to go on writing jaunts to her favorite lake, or a local coffee shop with delicious shakes and questionable Wi-Fi connections.
J.M. Kelley is a proud recipient of a Carrie McCray Memorial Literary award, and is a member of The South Carolina Writers Workshop and Romance Writers of America (PAN). Readers interested in more information may visit her website at www.jmkelleywrites.com.
Sometimes, returning home isn’t about confronting your past; it’s about discovering your future.
Janie McGee, the black sheep of her family, is free-spirited, uninhibited, and never one to stay in the same place for too long. When Janie learns her father, Joe, is gravely ill, she reluctantly returns home to rural Pennsylvania to care for him. Joe’s neighbor, David Harris, sports a pocket protector, collects coins, and is addicted to Antiques Roadshow. Everything about him rubs Janie the wrong way, from his nerdy wardrobe to his enviable friendship with Joe. And to make matters worse, her father thinks they’re perfect for each other, proof positive of how little Joe knows his own daughter…or so Janie thinks.
A shared devotion to the elder McGee begins to close the gulf between Janie and David, but a burgeoning romance opens the door to new problems and unexpected consequences neither could foresee. Joe, however, remains steadfast in his resolve to show Janie that Daddy knows what’s best for his little girl. Can Janie finally open her heart to David while watching the first man she ever truly loved fade away?
Read an excerpt:
Before he even opened the door, David knew something was off. Late night visitors, in his experience, rarely brought good news. When the visitor turned out to be Janie, his heart leapt into his throat. “Janie,” he said when he threw open the door. “What’s wrong? Is Joe okay?”“Yeah. He’s fine.” Relief hit him so hard he took a step back and leaned against the doorjamb.“You scared me.”“I didn’t mean to.” Janie rubbed her hands up and down her arms and looked over her shoulder. “It’s cold out here. Mind if I come in?”“Oh. Right.” David gestured for Janie to enter. “Come inside.” He followed when she slid past him and walked into the living room.“It’s late.” As if she needed to tell him. The atomic clock on the wall, a Christmas gift from his mother, showed the time at almost two in the morning. Janie stood in the middle of the room and focused her gaze on the bookcase in the corner. “I didn’t wake you, did I?”“I was reading. A little too wired to sleep, I guess.” David moved up behind her and raised a tentative hand to her shoulder. “Are you sure everything’s okay?”The sound of his voice jolted her out of her thoughts and she jerked her head toward him. Her movements were stunted. Wooden. “Ever have one of those moments when you’re convinced you may float away, and no matter what you do, you can’t keep yourself grounded? And you need to hang on tight to something until the sensation passes?”Whatever was going on, he thought, she was not in a good place. David gently spun Janie toward him and gazed at her. “Tell me what you need from me.”Janie closed her eyes and lowered her forehead to David’s shoulder. “Ground me, David,” she whispered and laid her hand on his chest.
Buy links: Amazon \ Barnes & Noble \ Kobo \ Smashwords \ AllRomance \ OmniLit \ Turquoise Morning Press
J.M. will be awarding a gift basket of some of the author's favorite things, including a $25 gift card from Amazon and a signed copy of the Foreign Affairs anthology from Turquoise Morning Press to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win!