LSFW’s M. Kate Quinn!

Good day, friends.

School is officially in session and I will do everything I can to keep myself on a regular schedule here. For now, I’ll keep posts to two days a week, most likely alternating days on a weekly basis (i.e., Mondays and Wednesdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays–you get the idea.)

Before we get our guest’s visit underway, I’d like to ask everyone to take a moment to remember 9/11/2001 and all those who deal with the ramifications of that day every day.  My deepest gratitude to all those who sacrificed and served and to those who continue to do so relative to that day. Prayers are with all of you today and very often. 

Always a tough subject but unfortunately, now part of our history. May we all have peace believing all things work together for a greater good in the long run.  

Okay, back to our author-in-the-house, fellow Liberty States Fiction Writer, M. Kate Quinn! Thanks, M. Kate, for accepting a place in the bloglight. I understand you have wonderful news you’ll share as we go, so let’s get going:

What do love best about writing?

I love the creative process. When it’s in your blood, you crave the formation of story, the shaping of characters and their lives. It’s world building.

What do you like least?

I guess what I like least is other things getting in the way of my writing time, everyday things that have to be done, but cut into the work schedule.

What got you started?

I’ve always spun yarns, and I remember being in second grade and my teacher, Mr. Sprowl, wrote a partial sentence on the blackboard that was something like, “One day a little girl was walking down the street and…”  She asked us to finish the thought.  Something like eight pages later she told me I really had to stop writing because it was time for Social Studies….lol….

What keeps you writing?

I guess now that I’ve embraced this passion that’s always burned inside me, there’s no curtailing it.  I think about it when I’m away, jot notes on slips of paper when I’m in a restaurant, obsessive stuff like that.

How has your writing impacted –or significantly changed—other aspects of your life?

It has made me realize that determination, hard work, preparedness and belief create incredible outcome.  One example on how it has impacted other areas of my life is my physical health.  I had decided six months ago that I simply needed to improve my lifestyle and diet.  So, I used some of the principles I’ve used in my writing life.  I got educated, surrounded myself with those in the know, and then put myself into the game.  I joined Weight Watchers and have taken it very seriously.  I go to the meetings, log my daily points, and exercise regularly.  I’m down about19 lbs, with three more to go before I hit my goal.  Being an author has given me the courage to face new challenges.

Where do you get story and character ideas?

I’m a believer in writing what you know to the extent of the heart of people. You can always do research on certain aspects of life, but people are people, and you have to dig deep within yourself to find the truth and breathe that truth into your characters.

Talk about current, past and future projects, upcoming releases, maybe your ‘dream novel’?


I’m awaiting the release date of the third book, Brookside Daisy, in my “Perennials Series,” available through The Wild Rose Press.  The first in the series, Summer Iris, debuted last summer and the second, Moonlight and Violet, released this spring.  I named the series after perennial flowers for two reasons.  Each heroine has the name of a perennial flower and perennials are the unrelenting beauties that come back in their glory every spring no matter the harshness of the winter they’ve endured.

Each heroine in the series is a woman of “a certain age” finding herself at a crossroads in her life.  They discover things about themselves, realize their passions, and of course, find that it is never too late to find love.

Here’s the awesome news: Moonlight and Violet is currently a nominee for Best Long Contemporary Romance in the NJ Romance Writers Golden Leaf Awards. I’m thrilled!

That’s incredible news! (Not that I’m at all surprised. Please make sure to keep us in-the-know!) Please tell our readers how you juggle time to write and all that goes along with it, especially as a published author (i.e., promo, etc).

It’s tough to juggle it all, but anything important is worth the effort.  I’m lucky enough to have retired early after sixteen years working in the offices of a school district.  Now I devote as much time as possible to my writing career.  However, I have a husband, three grown kids, three grown step kids, two beautiful granddaughters, my mom, extended family and friends, so I still juggle time and schedule.

Share the three ways you find most effective to promote your work:

I enjoy guest blogging, so thank you, Joanna, for having me.  I also have my own blog.

I do book signings and speaking engagements.  My next event is scheduled for Saturday, September 24th at the Ocean County Library Book Fair. You can check out details:  Hope those of you in the area get a chance to stop in and meet my good friend in person! She’s a lot of fun and as kind as the leading ladies she writes!

So glad to have you here, M. Kate. Looking forward to seeing you again once Brookside Daisy is out and best wishes in the Golden Leaf contest!

Have a great day, everyone.


Thoughts on M. Kate Quinn’s SUMMER IRIS

Remembering my dad today. He would have been 81 and terribly excited and proud about his ‘little girl’s’ achievements. He always encouraged me and had tremendous belief and faith in my God-given gifts. Just sorry he never got to know his grandchildren (all six of them :)).

Good day all! Life gets so busy, I’m just grateful for moments when I can catch up—like this one.

These, like my thoughts on Joy E. Held’s Writer Wellness: A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity are long overdue. Earlier this year I read my good friend M. Kate Quinn’s debut novel, Summer Iris (The Wild Rose Press). I was especially excited to read this one. M. Kate and I had met at a writers’ meeting and became friends almost immediately. We’d critiqued each other’s work a bit, so I knew about this story firsthand. We also both got our first contracts around the same time, so I feel that, in a way, we’ve come up together.

I fell in love with this page turner from its first paragraph. Not sure the term ‘coming-of-age’ story is appropriate here, but that’s exactly what Summer Iris, the first in this author’s Perennial Series, is. Iris Stanton is a very relatable divorcee who—on her fiftieth birthday—is out of a job, and about to lose her home. As part of a gift, she is challenged by Vonnie, her vibrant, vivacious, always willing-to-go-for-it best friend to step out of character by taking a risk vs. continue living the so-so life Iris has always known. With little else to lose, Iris embarks on a summer of cottage-sitting at theJersey shore.

                                (coming next!)

Via wonderful descriptions, incredible attention to detail and a myriad of lovely similes and metaphors M. Kate took me into Iris’Jersey shore world¸ one I could easily envision, especially being a native and resident of the state. I love the way she connected sapphire dresses and September weddings (for those who don’t know sapphire is September baby’s birthstone—little associations like that always garner my notice). I’m also pretty sure she slipped in an inside joke here and there when it came to naming a character or two—among the fun of reading a personal friend’s work. Well done, M. Kate!

Sensitivity and humor colored the pages. Iris, Vonnie, Eddie, Sam—even Iris’ ex-husband, Roger—are all people I’d love to meet and hang out with at Iris’ shore house. M. Kate endeared me to Iris; I laughed out loud and cheered for her a multitude of times. This author took me through an emotional journey that led to a bit of a surprising resolution. I especially loved the way M. Kate opened this story then smoothly brought it together full circle to a flawless finish. Teary-eyed and emotional, I did a double-take when I realized—with some sadness—I’d turned the last page. Definitely one of those stories I wanted to not end.

So looking forward to reading Moonlight and Violet, second in my author-friend’s Perennial Series. Be on the lookout for Brookside Daisy, coming next and maybe even expect a visit from M. Kate in between now and then!

Until next time,