Please welcome Monica Tillery to the virtual offices this morning!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Monica Tillery] Wife, mother, friend, writer. I’m a reader lucky enough to have the best job in the world, and I’m totally living my own happily ever after.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Kiss Me, Katie?
[Monica Tillery] Kiss Me, Katie is a sweet, fairy tale romance set on a national country tour. A young, talented fiddler goes with her band to join national superstar Blake Jackson on his tour. They’re scheduled for a dozen shows and then they’ll head back to Texas. Unfortunately for Katie, our young fiddler, she’s fallen in love with Blake, and their tour buses are driving off in opposite directions. They must figure out how to make their relationship work, and they can’t do it without lots of hurt feelings, frustration, and all-out mistakes. When they finally find their way back to one another, it’s nothing short of magic.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Monica Tillery] Kiss Me, Katie is the product of my deliberate decision to write a romance. I had never tried it before, so I did a ton of research about romance and how to write them. I brainstormed ideas and concepts until I came up with the idea of placing a musician on tour with a bigger act and went with it. I love the idea of falling in love with a celebrity, the exciting life on the road with a major act. We love romance because of the rush of being chosen by someone, of being the one above all others to that special person. With Kiss Me, Katie, I took it a little further. You get the rush of falling in love and being chosen, but when you’re chosen by the someone that everyone else wants, it’s that much more exciting.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Katie?
[Monica Tillery] Driven, talented, but sweet.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Blake had a theme song, what would it be?
[Monica Tillery] Mud on the Tires by Brad Paisley. Blake is a huge star, but at his heart he sees himself as a country boy who loves simple pleasures.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Katie is never without.
[Monica Tillery] Probably her phone. When she’s on the road she wants to keep in touch with friends and family. When she’s away from Blake, of course she’ll want to stay connected.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find on Blake’s tour bus?
[Monica Tillery] Groupies (he’s a one woman man),candy (no sweet tooth here), lots of fancy health & beauty products. His space is his sanctuary, and he keeps it manly.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Katie’s greatest regret?
[Monica Tillery] Hmm..maybe that she never went to college? Playing in a band is literally the only thing she’s qualified to do professionally. I think that can be very frightening for her sometimes.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Monica Tillery] My fellow authors. I read romances with an eye towards craft, and I take advantage of the educational opportunities that abound with writing.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Monica Tillery] I wrote Kiss Me, Katie in a recliner, so I honestly don’t need much. I’ve since upgraded to an actual desk and find that I most often use a white board (so I can keep people and details straight), my iPod, and something to drink. I always have coffee, tea, or something while I work.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Monica Tillery] The book I’m reading right now is pretty amazing, but it’s not yet released and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be talking about it. Watch for my reviews on Goodreads in September…I’ll definitely spill it then. I read a lot of great books, but the last one to suck me in and drag me under was The Good Daughter by Jane Porter. Start with The Good Wife and then read that one and you’ll fall in love with the Brennan sisters and that whole crazy family.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Monica Tillery] Do I have to pick one? I honestly can’t remember the book that started it all–I’ve been a voracious reader since I was a kid. I was reading Stephen King books before I was really old enough to be reading Stephen King books, though. I read Firestarter when I was way too young and still remember how brilliant I thought it was. I haven’t read it in decades, so it may not be as mind-blowing as I remember, but that one does stick out.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Monica Tillery] Read! Of course, I’m an avid reader like most authors. I also love hanging out with friends–I have a movie group, a book club, a bunco group, and love to go out to dinner, play games, and shop with friends. My family and I love to do game nights at home, watch movies, and hang out.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Monica Tillery] I’m always on Facebook and can be found at www.facebook.com/monicatilleryauthor. You can follow me on Twitter, @MonicaTillery, and email me firstname.lastname@example.org. I love connecting with readers.[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book:
About the author:
Monica Tillery has been a social worker and a massage therapist, but is now living her dream as a romance novelist. She loves nothing more than to get lost in a beautiful love story, holding her breath as the hero and heroine fight their way through obstacles to get to their happily ever after. Monica lives in Texas with her own real-life romance hero, her husband of over a dozen years, and two wonderful sons. When she’s not reading and writing romance, Monica loves playing bunco and bingo, hanging out with friends, and wasting time online. She loves hearing from and connecting with readers. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/monicatilleryauthor, on Twitter @monicatillery, or visit her website www.monicatillery.com. Monica maintains her website on her own, so she warns you that it’s very basic and rarely changes, but all the pertinent information is updated.