Please help me welcome Kara O’Neal, an author friend and fellow Authors Helping Authors member…
Hi Kara…Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?
Hello there! My name is Kara O’Neal, and I was born and raised in Texas. I’ve put down roots here with my wonderful husband and three children. We’ve got a sweet – and very prissy – sheltie, named Stormy. She’s a doll.
I’m a middle school teacher, working with students who have special needs. I’ve been at the same campus for nineteen years, and I love it. The people I work with are dedicated and true servants to their profession.
Where did you get the idea for The Editor’s Kisses? Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share? What is the most difficult thing about writing a book? What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular?
When I was a girl, I loved – and still love – the Little House series. While I enjoyed the events surrounding the Ingalls the most, any story about the town and its citizens was fun, too. I was an avid reader from four years old. I read everything from Shel Silverstein to Rudyard Kipling. However, I never fancied myself a writer.
My sister, who is the inspiration for the fabulous heroine in my second book, was the one who first turned my thoughts in that direction. I was a senior in high school when she sparked my interest. But, I didn’t write my first scene until I was a senior in college. It took a long time for me to be published, but in that waiting period, I wrote. The Pikes Run Series was born, and I would have to say that any story I write comes from the characters. While I have two main families, I also tell stories about a town and its citizens.
The Editor’s Kisses came to life because Stephen Dawson wanted to start Pikes Run’s first newspaper and Constance Forrester wanted to get women the vote and saw his paper as a way to help the process along. Their love story evolved as they worked through that.
The most difficult thing, for me, when writing a book is making sure the character comes across to the reader. I want each one to be different, to have different faults and quirks. I want them to be their own person. And sometimes that is hard to do.
What book have you read that you wish you had written?
Oh, heavens. Probably Anne of Green Gables.
Do you collect anything?
Castles and crosses! I love them. And my husband’s aunt makes the most gorgeous crosses from stained glass. They’re amazing.
What’s your favorite book of all time and why?
Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book of all time because Mr. Darcy and Lizzie Bennett are the most complex characters ever written. I was so caught up in the story that I can honestly say I was shocked beyond everything when Mr. Darcy…well…let me not spoil it in case someone hasn’t read it and wants to!
What’s your favorite childhood book?
Anne of Green Gables.
What actors would you like in the main roles if your book were made into a movie?
Colin O’Donoghue and Jennifer Morrison. They could play any characters they want from any of my books.
Would you rather have a bad review or no review?
A bad one.
What is your favorite quote?
From the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves – “There are no perfect men in this world, only those with perfect intentions.”
Your most prized material possession?
I have a Texas flag that flew over the state capitol the day I graduated from high school. It’s a symbol of home for me.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Four of my heroines, and one of my heroes, are based off people I know. Emma (Welcome Home) is based off my baby sister, Alice (The Sheriff’s Gift) is based off my middle sister, Angelique (The Cowboy’s Charms) is based off one of my best friends, Willa (Love’s Redemption) is based off another best friend, and last, Lonnie (Love’s Redemption) is based off my husband.
What is your favorite…
Movie – Pride and Prejudice
Music – Texas country or Red Dirt music
Place you’ve visited — England
Place you’d like to visit — Ireland
TV show from childhood – Little House and Golden Girls
TV show from adulthood – The Closer and Once Upon A Time
Food – Brisket and chips/salsa
Sports team – Texans and Astros
Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? Card games
Thank you, Kara. I enjoyed getting to know more about you. Please tell us about your book.
Constance Forrester has no intention of getting married. She is a suffragette and determined to change society. When Stephen Dawson, her school chum, starts a newspaper in their sleepy little town, Constance discovers an opportunity. With confidence and an unflinching will, she asks Stephen to take a risk and employ her as a journalist.
Stephen is stunned by Constance’s impossible proposal and immediately turns her down. But the small moments he’s spent with Constance have peeked someone’s curiosity, and Stephen finds himself sought after by the town princess, Madeline Talbut. Stephen has loved Madeline for years, and when the young lady finally shows an interest in him, he concocts a plan: enter into a fake courtship with Constance in order to make Madeline love him, and in return, Constance can be a journalist for his newspaper. Anonymously, of course.
It’s a chance Constance can’t pass up. So what if she has to attend parties and withstand Stephen’s heart-melting kisses? A suffragette must forge through barriers, break down walls and risk all for the sake of freedom. But Stephen changes the game, and Constance finds herself the object of the editor’s desire…
“Constance,” he uttered. “I’m gonna kiss you.”
She flinched again.
“I won’t hurt you, I swear it. But if I don’t kiss you…they’ll all question us and our…attachment.” He was an ass. He was using their agreement to coax her into acquiescence, and while he knew it, and was ashamed of it, he continued. “It will only be for a second. I’ll just brush my lips with yours.”
In the darkness, he felt her slight nod against his chin. His heart pounded at her quiet surrender.
When she pulled back as far as the space would allow, and lifted her head to his, heat slashed through him. He’d never needed a kiss as much as he needed hers.
Madeline had kissed him. Once. Behind the schoolhouse when they were sixteen. And that moment hadn’t caused near the anticipation this one was.
He lowered his head and swallowed her gasp. It wasn’t a brush even though he only set his lips on hers. It was a fire. A shot of whiskey that whipped through him and pooled in his gut. He deepened the connection, and she let him, sighing and sinking into him despite already being as close to him as he could get her.
But there was a melting. A need to move to the ground and cover her, press her down and make her his. He used his tongue, tasting her. She capitulated instantly and opened her mouth under his. He took what she allowed without hesitation as his free hand came up to grip her waist.
The damn closet was too small. His left hand was wedged between her side and the slender door. But though he couldn’t get his arms around her, he didn’t stop the kiss. It went on and on, stealing his breath, tightening his chest, and making him doubt everything he’d ever known about his heart.
I was born and raised in Texas. It is the fire in my blood that inspires me, and I had to make it the setting of my first series. My family and friends take center stage in my books. My sisters and best friends are my heroines, and my husband created my favorite hero. Love and family are the point of my stories, and I seek to entertain, relieve stress and inspire people. Books can take one on a journey that one can relive over and over. I am extremely grateful to those authors who did that very thing for me. I learned and fell in love with their words and characters. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Buy link for The Editor’s Kisses: http://amzn.to/2nDLp04
My website: www.karaoneal.com.
My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/kara+o’neal?_requestid=845025