Monday, June 17, 2013

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Summer Kinard

author Summer Kinard
Summer Kinard stopped in to answer a few personal questions and share her book, Can’t Buy Me Love. It is a contemporary romance and was released on June 7, 2013.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.  

I have advertised the book as “Romance Gone Green,” because it has a very environmentalist worldview. I think its claim to fame may be that it’s the only romance where tacos save the day!
Vanessa, the heroine, is a freegan whose dumpster exploration puts her face to face with a gorgeous Latino man, Javier. Her zany friends help her meet him in real life at the brewery where she tends bar. They have an intense romance that looks to be shaping up for the long run, when Vanessa is publicly humiliated and loses Javier’s trust. She decides to win his love back in a very unique way, by entering the wrestling ring. There’s a lot of Latin American cultural fusion in the novel, and that comes out in the lucha libre, or Mexican masked wrestling, that helps them reconcile.
The book is filled with strong women and female friendships. I wanted to show the way that all kinds of love go together in making a happy ending. For Vanessa, who heals from a really painful past, her female friends are absolutely necessary to her love story with Javier.

Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in? 
Can’t Buy Me Love is a contemporary romance that crosses over into women’s fiction as well. The book features a rather large cast for a romance, but they all develop the love story. My current work in progress is inspirational women’s fiction, but the ones I’ve outlined for next are other contemporary romances.
What I love about romance is how it has space for such a wide range of expression. I will probably alternate a bit between contemporary romance and women’s fiction, but I see the genres as kissing cousins. Sometimes I feel as though a love story needs a village to be successful, and other times the story can be told with the tight relationship focus that defines the romance genre in general.

When did you first consider yourself a writer, and when did you start writing toward publication?  
I first thought of myself as a writer in 7th Grade, when I won the Promising Young Writers Award for a short story called “River, River.” It was about a woman who tried to elope with her intended, but who met a tragic end when her overbearing father kidnapped her and accidentally dropped her into an icy river when the hero gave chase. The final scene was in the lover’s point of view. He woke with a throbbing head and hoped he had just been drunk and imagined it, but there on the ice was the necklace he had given her the night before. I think we can see from that little summary that I had a flare for melodrama even at the ripe age of 12.

Starting the young? Amazing. What inspired you to write your first book?
A few things. We moved to a new house in the woods, and I think there’s something to that theory that green makes you more creative. Also, at the time, my dad was declining rapidly from late-stage ALS. I think that his failing health and death made me come to terms with a lot of things in life, and I processed it all by writing. Writing has always been my go-to for keeping sane, and I loved that it was there for me when I needed it.

Then, I had this niggling question at the back of my mind: what do women do with the gorgeous scrapbooks they make to chronicle their relationships, after they have moved on to a new love? That question was the push that set the book in motion.

Sorry about your dad, and glad your writing helped you through his passing. How did you get into romance writing?
I think my background in opera probably played a role. There’s always a love story when you’re singing. As an opera singer, you have to find the character’s motivation for her song, and it’s some type of love – love lost, love betrayed, love fulfilled, longing for love.

But I had no idea I was going to write a romance novel until I’d written it! I just sat down in a café one evening and started writing. The characters led the way. By the time I was finished with the revised draft, I had a major love story on my hands! I decided to join Romance Writers of America to help me navigate the new world I’d written myself into, and I haven’t looked back.

My characters are forceful, as well. They yell in my ear until I get them on a page. I happen to know you are a member at least one writing organizations. Have they helped?
Oh, yes! As I mentioned, I was totally ignorant of genre publishing when I found I had written a romance novel. The women at Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, the local chapter of Romance Writers of America, have given invaluable advice and been very patient in answering my questions! My critique group helped me a lot when I needed to rewrite the manuscript in a major overhaul.

At your advice, Nancy, I joined RWA-PRO after I signed my contract, and that group has helped me avoid a lot of pitfalls that typically afflict first-time writers. Besides the local RWA chapter, I am also a member of the RWA Women’s Fiction chapter, which has loads of online resources. They have helped me a great deal with promotions and genre-specific marketing.

Besides these, I am also a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, which not only helps us promote our books and appearances, but also has a fall conference that I find helpful in developing the growing edges of my writing.

What’s next for you?
I’m about 37,000 words into a Christian women’s fiction novel I’m calling Tea and Crumples. When that’s done, I have a couple of romances and an edgy mainstream fiction manuscript on line. Tea and Crumples is set in a tea shop/stationery store of the same name. It deals with how to navigate the intense temptations away from our better selves when faced with tremendous grief. Definitely a departure from the light-hearted feel of Can’t Buy Me Love! (Again, I blame opera.)

A tale of love, friendship, and lucha libre...

Hurts from her past keep freegan Vanessa Fauchon stuck in a dead end relationship that feeds her heart about as

much as an unvarying diet of stale bagels feeds her body. When she digs a scrapbook from the dumpster, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with the sexy Latino man in its pages. With the rich friendship and hands-on love of her strong and zany female friends - a luchadora, a yarn-bombing midwife, a professor and foraging partner, a psychic Jewish grandmother, a savvy fellow bartender, and her deeply religious, unofficially adopted mothers - Vanessa heals from her past and begins to build the graceful life she thought was out of her reach. Her love story with Javier seems on course for a happy ending, until Vanessa is publicly humiliated and loses Javier's trust. Faced with losing Javier for good, Vanessa must decide if she's willing to fight for what she loves.

This is a tale of romance, friendship, and healing the hurts of the past. Fans ofThe Sugar Queen (Sarah Addison Allen), The Lost Recipe for Happiness (Barbara O'Neal), or Julia's Chocolates (Cathy Lamb) are sure to wrap themselves around Can't Buy Me Love.

You can find a Free Excerpt HERE
A little bit about the author

Summer Kinard lives in Durham, North Carolina with her husband, their two children, and a garden filled with herbs and squirrels. All four members of the family take it in turns to pour tea each night. Summer received a B.A. in religion from Southwestern University and an M.Div. and Th. M. (early church history and theology) from Duke Divinity School. When she is not writing or homeschooling, Summer sings opera with local companies. Can't Buy Me Loveis her first novel. Visit her at:
WEBSITE    Twitter     

How can my readers buy your book?  
Readers can go to the publisher’s HOME PAGE


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