Katy Lee is one of Love Inspired’s newest authors. Her debut, Warning Signs, is out this month. It’s a fast-paced read that’s earned 4 ½ stars from RT book reviews and a ton of 5 star reviews on Amazon from readers. Katy took some time out from her busy schedule promoting Warning Signs to talk with me about the book and what it’s like being a Love Inspired author and busy mom, and knitting lobsters!
Kristen: Welcome to the RealTimeMama blog, Katy! You attracted the attention of Love Inspired Suspense editor Emily Rodmell through one of Harlequin’s online pitch contests. I’m a big fan of how Harlequin reaches out for new authors because I sold through their So You Think You Can Write contest. How did you decide to take part in the pitch contest, and what it was like Emily requested more? What lessons would you give to aspiring authors based on your experience?
Now, what was it like to have my writing requested? Honestly, the book is out and I have held it in my hands, and I still don’t believe it. A year and a half ago, I heard about the Happily Editor After Pitch Day on the eharlequin site, and thought maybe I should sign up and give it a try. The day of, I was a shaking mess, could barely type my name. But I got through it, and when Emily requested the proposal, all I could think was, “Wow, a real-life editor is going to read my work. What if I don’t know what I’m doing?” When I got “the call” I felt like my head was going to explode. I didn’t hear a word she said to me. After I hung up, I walked downstairs and told my husband very calmly, then started crying.
Kristen: Your heroine, Miriam, is hearing impaired. Gracie, the heroine in my debut was Hispanic. And that’s another thing I like about the Love Inspired line–that they’re expanding the diversity of the line beyond what is usually thought of in a romance novel. I say it’s making our characters look like the communities around us. I have a friend who is deaf. I have friends who are Hispanic. What inspired you to create a deaf heroine? How do you think it makes her a stronger, more realistic heroine?
Katy: When I sat down to write Warning Signs, I knew exactly the story I wanted to share. I used to work with children with hearing impairments. I learned to allow them to show me what they could do before I made the assumption of what they couldn’t. Warning Signs is a way for me to pass this valuable lesson on. It is also a way to show our diverse communities through our stories. I’ve received numerous emails from people who are deaf, thanking me and asking me to write more books like this. Story trends change all the time, but I really see a culture that is growing tired of books that don’t uplift them. I really believe people are needing to be inspired by characters they can relate to, and I am so blessed to be part of the LI family already doing this.
Kristen: How would Owen Matthews describe himself? What does the reader need to know about him? What motivates him?
Owen would be the first to admit he isn’t deserving of anything. He has a lot of guilt and actually welcomes the pain from it. He believes he destroyed his son’s life, and for that reason isolates himself as way to protect his son.
Kristen: What about Miriam Hunter? How would she describe herself? What one thing would she want readers to know about her? What motivates her?
Katy: Miriam’s just the opposite of Owen. She would say she deserves everything she’s earned. She’s spent her life trying to prove her competence in a world that doesn’t understand her.
Kristen: You did a great video on YouTube about name signs and how the deaf community uses them and creates them. Where can we see it?
Katy: Well, please view it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP_spmcaMAQ
Kristen: What else do readers need to know about Katy Lee?
Katy: I am a homeschooling mom and I love to learn right along with my children. I love to travel, and hope to start a few mission trips in the coming year. I’m looking into one in Alaska, bringing encouragement and support to some distant, isolated villages. Maybe I’ll bring some books along with me. I also love to knit. Check out the lobster I knitted as a promo for Warning Signs. How could I not knit a lobster with lobster traps on my cover?
Thanks for joining me today, Katy! What a great interview. It’s been fun getting to know you and your characters! I’m so excited about Warning Signs and I can’t wait to read it!
If you loved Katy’s interview, let her know and leave a comment below and check her out online at www.katyleebooks.com. If you’re like me and you can’t wait to read Warning Signs, click here to get your own copy!
Here’s more about Warning Signs:
When a drug-smuggling ring rocks a small coastal town, the DEA sends Agent Owen Matthews to shut it down. A single father with a deaf son, Owen senses that the town’s number one suspect—the high school’s new principal—doesn’t fit the profile. Miriam Hunter hoped to shrug off the stigma of her hearing impairment when she returned to Stepping Stones, Maine. But her recurring nightmares dredge up old memories that could prove her innocence—and uncover the truth behind a decades-old murder. Yet Owen’s help may not be enough when someone decides to keep Miriam silenced—permanently.
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.