Guest Post with Kathie Shoop(Kathleen Shoop). Kathie is the author of the Letter Series. The Last Letter was released on April 22, 2011 and The Road home was released on June 23,2015. If you are a fan of Kathie's or looking for a new author you won't want to miss this. You can get your copy of these books on Amazon. A Great deal, The Last Letter is on sale for .99 for a short time and The Road Home is on sale for 2.99 for a short time.
Welcome Kathie, so glad you can be with us today.
I have been writing for over a decade, squeezing my stories into every crevice of my life. You know the drill, every mother does. I stole writing moments before my husband and kids woke for the day. I scribbled notes while Jake and Beth played at the indoor McDonalds playground (yes, I know, that’s awful), while waiting in carpool lines, and during their dance/gymnastics classes (thanks to the instructors for forbidding parents to watch!). I wrote instead of lunching with friends and after my formal part-time work. On a regular basis I even borrowed a few minutes at the Starbucks inside our grocery store while Jake and Beth played in the babysitting area. The bulk of my time was spent on the kids, but as many people know, sometimes inspiration calls and when it does, a writer must answer.
As Jake and Beth got older I had longer chunks of time to write because they were at school. But now the days grew ever longer with their activities and night and taking them in different directions. Somehow the panacea that was supposed to be their entrée into elementary school (it should have relieved me of my stolen scribbling moments at the very least) had only created more writing obstacles, challenging my writing time in ever more obstinate ways.
Still, for years, I plugged away, finished my novels (seven since 2011!) and published them myself with many award winning, and bestselling titles under my belt. I pushed through summer months, experiencing the swing of emotion from worrying that I wasn’t accomplishing anything (I should be releasing four books a year!) to fretting that I wasn’t giving my children the attention they needed.
This summer things changed. Like summers past I longed to sit longer with Jake and Beth and just read all day or in between trips to the pool. I also felt conflict with the pull to publish more and better books. But with the release of book 2 in The Letter Series, The Road Home, I suddenly knew it was time to let go of thinking I can publish at the rate of other writers I know. When The Road Home launched on June 23, 2015 I allowed myself to let book 3, The Garden Promise, go for the summer. I allowed myself to enjoy the promotion process and most importantly, to enjoy summer with my family.
I immediately ordered a pile of books I’d been wanting to read and fell into the kind of reading haze that simultaneously energizes and feeds the addiction for more. Bookended by my kids with noses in their own novels, unburdened with the idea that I needed to keep producing as though I were a steel mill running during wartime, circa 1945, I found my love of reading returned. I fell down rabbit hole after reading rabbit hole. I was lost in language and story and literary conversation with friends and my children like I hadn’t had in ages. The further into my non-writing summer I went, the more certain I became that I wasn’t going to “lose” anything by fully taking a break, by permitting myself to enjoy the respite, not be troubled by it.
And now, as Jake and Beth head back to school, I’ve started to wander back into my office and begin the writerly nesting process. I’m organizing research, sorting my index cards, rereading my draft of The Garden Promise and finding my path to publication all over again. I exhale and look forward to getting back to work, knowing that a well-placed break is as necessary as the writing itself.
The Road Home
the last letter
Giveaway: Leave a comment by August 30th for a chance to win a copy (print or e) of the last letter and the road home? Also a $15 Amazon gift card!! End of summer fun! Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected.