Friday, September 13, 2013

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Katie O'Boyle

Set yourself in a rocking chair, sip some tea, and enjoy my interview of author Katie O’Boyle. Her book, Stepping Up To Love is a Contemporary Romance and was released August 7, 2013.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book. 
Stepping Up To Love, the first of the Lakeside Porches romances, is a college-town romance with a recovery spin.

Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in? 
My friends are surprised that I’m writing Contemporary Romance, since we’ve been trading mysteries back and forth for a decade.

What inspired you to write your first book?
A year ago in January we took a friend to brunch for his 90th birthday. As we sat on the beautiful porch of Belhurst Castle in the Finger Lakes, I watched the staff fuss over my friend, and I wondered about them, their comraderie, their lives, their hopes and dreams. The idea for the Lakeside Porches romances—starting with Stepping Up To Love—was born that day.

I miss our deck overlooking a New Hampshire lake. When did you first consider yourself a writer, and when did you start writing toward publication? 
Like Debbie Macomber I couldn’t read until I was  10 or 12; once I got glasses, I began to read voraciously and my pent-up desire to write burst forth. My early books were not publication worthy. I began to write professionally when I worked on my doctorate but finally returned to fiction in the past couple of years, with publication in mind. It’s been a fascinating learning curve, and I’m growing as a writer all the time.

How did you get into romance writing?
The stories in my head as a teen and young adult were usually romantic, but I didn’t understand “genre” and “genre fiction.” It’s just in the past couple of years that I’ve become serious about big-R Romance and eager to learn all about it.

I love my coffeemaker, and a quiet house in which to write. What is your writing routine like?
One morning each weekend you’ll find me at Spot Coffee breaking ground on a new chapter. I have to fit in my writing around a full-time job and adjunct teaching commitments, but I have promised to write an hour each day, one way or another. I’m able to carve out that much time at least.

Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, it’s the career I’m transitioning into as I move away from academia.

How many books have you written, and do you have a favorite?
Each of the 6-8 novels I’ve written is precious to me in its own way. Joel and Manda’s story is special because it’s the first to be published and also because it’s a sweet love story between two characters who make me smile every time I think of them.

What do you see ahead in your writing career?
I’m working on book three of the Lakeside Porches romances and there are more of them, all set in Tompkins Falls in the Fingers Lakes. I’ll get back to writing mysteries, too; several on-the-shelf books featured “NOB Tech,” the fictitious North of Boston Technological Institute. Higher Education is filled with intrigue and fascinating characters!

Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?
Believe in yourself just enough to take that next step. And the next. That’s how it works J

Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
1.      I have fun “working titles” for my books that say something about either the hero or the heroine. Stepping Up To Love started as Manda the Brave; Coming Home To Love was Justin’s Time Out (think he has anger issues?); book three is Gwen Gets a Clue, and I have no idea what the “real title” will be.
2.      Just like Manda and her friends, my friends and I love to have lunch on a lakeside porch in one of the pretty Finger Lakes towns, then shop for bargains and new arrivals. We never spend much but we eat well and laugh a lot.
3.      I just found out my office is big enough to swing a hula hoop. I’m up to 100 reps, both directions. It’s great for working out writer’s kinks!


When her boss Joel Cushman catches her using the spa shower at The Manse, junior accountant and graduating college senior Manda Doughty comes clean about the alcoholic drinking that has led her into a disastrous relationship with a predatory professor. Joel, who is also a trustee of the college, is faced with more problems than a beautiful, naked woman in his shower. While he’d rather make love all night with funny, brainy Manda, Joel knows his desire for her has no future if Manda cannot stay sober, grow up, and face her problems squarely. While Manda immerses herself in AA, Joel uncovers harassment and embezzlement that threaten the existence of the college his ancestors founded. Can he fix the problems at the college without exposing Manda to public humiliation? Can Manda clean up her mess and trust the love she feels for Joel? The odds may not be in their favor, but miracles happen for those who are willing to change their lives and open their hearts.

Manda turned off the water and drew back the linen curtain dividing the shower stall from the dressing area, and screamed. Standing at the glass door was the big boss. Remy’s boss. Her boss's boss. She wasn’t sure, but Joel Cushman was probably everybody’s boss.

“Geez, Joel, I thought you were a pervert!” she yelled at him. I can’t believe I just called Mr. Cushman “Joel.” I am in so much trouble here.

“Manda? What—?” His voice cracked like an adolescent.

Manda stifled a laugh. His eyes were drinking in her body as though he couldn’t believe what she’d been hiding under her baggy clothes. Drink your fill now, Joel, because I am off men for life.

“I thought you were a criminal. What are you doing in the shower at seven fifteen in the morning? And stop batting that curtain around.”

Manda tried desperately to grab the linen shower curtain, flapping this way and that in the current created by the open door. “Do you mind?” she scolded him.

Giving up on the curtain, she crossed her arms and turned her back on him. He probably likes that view, too. “Could you hand me a towel, please, or get out of here?” Why am I yelling at the boss? Seriously dumb, Manda.

He was silent now, which was worse. What is he doing, standing there, looking at me? Panic overtook anger, and she turned back to look at him.

He had dropped the admiring once-over and was taking a second look at her purpling bruises. Silently, he handed her a towel from the top of the stack and looked her in the eye.

Manda wondered if he could read the shame and fear clouding her vision.

Joel cleared his throat and ordered, “In my office. Five minutes. Dressed.”

Author Katie O'Boyle
A little bit about the author

Once upon a time, Katie O’Boyle was a stellar student and closet substance abuser at a picture-perfect small college. She credits loving friends, 12-step spirituality, and plenty of hard work for her transformation into tech-savvy college professor and passionate author of warm-hearted romance. Fall in love with her characters on the lakeside porches of the beautiful Finger Lakes in upstate New York. Lakeside Porches, Book One: Stepping Up To Love (Joel and Manda’s story), summer 2013; Book Two: Coming Home to Love (Justin and Gianessa’s story).

How can my readers buy your book?
Currently, Stepping Up To Love is available through Amazon at:

In early November it will be available in other ebook formats and through the publisher
 You can find more information about Katie O’Boyle
and her book, Stepping Up To Love at:

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