It is my pleasure and honor to feature Kathy l. Wheeler aka Kae Elle Wheeler on my blog. I first met Kathy when I moved to Oklahoma from Louisiana. I missed having a local writer’s group and joined the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association (OKRWA) despite the distance. We writers understand the need to be around like-minded people. My first thoughts about Kathy left me in awe of her intelligence and savvy knowledge about the writing world. Honestly, I was intimidated.
Allow me to introduce you to my friend, Kathy:
I love reading blogs where writers reveal a bit about their personality and personal lives without emerging into privacy. So . . .You’ve said that Phantom of the Opera is your favorite Broadway show, what are your next three favorites? I’ve never seen a Broadway show, but would love to see Jersey Boys, I think.
“This is sooo funny that you are asking me this question, because I have a story. As you said, I was just in NYC for RWA. I stopped by the Majestic Theater Box Office where Phantom was playing on Monday. (Usually, there is no theater on Mondays. It’s called Black Monday). The new touring company of Phantom has changed. They have a new director’s version I do not care for (I’m being nice – I hate the new production). I asked the guy behind the glass if this was the NYC version that had the staircase. He replied, “Of course!” I said, but the touring company took it out. He said, “I know nothing about that.” I said, “Are you sure the staircase is in this version? He was getting irritated with me by now, but I caved and bought a $145.00 ticket. It was worth it. I cried all the way back to the hotel. I could not stop. Now this might sound ridiculous to the normal person. First of all, I’m not normal, and never claim to be. Second, my husband and I sang All I Ask of You to each other at our wedding. So, the show definitely holds special meaning to me, and my husband. But I digress… My next favorite shows include–Wicked, Something Rotten, Mama Mia, Les Mis. I could go on…”
You obviously have a talent for music and singing. Have you ever performed professionally?
“Heehee… I sang at the Oklahoma Opry some years ago. I sang Paper Roses and threw paper roses into the audience…I also did a show at the Oklahoma City Arts Festival two years in a row. The first year (2000) I sang 11 showtunes with 8 clothes changes,7 kids, and one duet with my husband. The next year, I sang with a friend we titled Springtime Romance, which consisted of 9 duets that included Beauty and the Beast and Unforgettable. Really fun.”
You write in about every genre. You write well in about every genre. How do you choose what to write and when? Do you keep a trusted notebook with your scribblings in it? I know you like Excel, do you have chart after chart on Excel?
“Thank you for saying I write well in about every genre. That’s very sweet. I have not found a way to concentrate on one specific genre except that it is romance. I also am gung ho when it comes to projects with others. I do keep notebooks with me and label them with specific projects. My spreadsheet stuff comes in handy when keeping track of money, lists of promo places and that sort of thing. I don’t use it for plotting – although, I believe Sabrina Jefferies does.”
Many writers prefer writing away from home. Do you have a favorite place to write? I haven’t tried writing away from home yet, but I do have a nice office and a comfortable bed with a giant backrest pillow on it.
“I also write from bed, or in our upper living area. Sometimes, I do need to get out and around people and pull out my notebook and write by hand, just for a change of scenery and energy. I can ignore many things and people, however, not music! I cannot write with music playing. It distracts me and makes me want to sing.”
I’ve never been to RWA. Would you explain why you believe it is a conference that is important to romance authors? How did you feel the first year you went? Is it overwhelming?
“Belonging to a professional organization for your “business” is important. I just returned (yesterday, at this writing) from New York City. It was my twelfth RWA conference running. I find just being around like-minded others is beyond encouraging. I’m also an extrovert. I volunteer. That helps with meeting others. I tend to jump right in. Most writers are introverts, but that makes it especially important to find like-minded others who understand the voices in your head, and being able to talk about characters and stories as if they are actual people without being labeled crazy. Writers get it! Nationals can be overwhelming, but scheduling your away time helps. Knowing when you need to step out of the noise.”
You were a member of the first group of writers with Jodi Thomas and her annual West Texas Writer’s Academy in Canyon, Texas. I go at least every other year because it offers me focus on whatever class I choose, it allows me to be around other authors, and I believe it is the best Academy out there. I have taken week long classes with Jodi Thomas, Alexandra Sokoloff, Cathy Maxwell, Jolene Navarro, and Bethany Claire. Tell us about your experience at the first Academy.
“The first academy was truly special. The bonding experience is proving life-lasting. I recently saw Jodi and another “Pioneer” in New York and it was lovely. Jodi is a true inspiration to other authors, new and experienced. Several years following the first academy, the pioneers would get together for an annual retreat. I believe we are all spread far apart now, but if I need assistance with promoting, the other thirteen are there for the asking. Thank you for hosting me, Winona. You are one of the loveliest persons I know.”
A Spicy Historical Western Romance set in 1885 Colorado Springs. After a disastrous first marriage, Will Jeffers hasn’t the stomach for another emotionally entailed union. All he needs is a wife to cook, nurse his mother, and look after the homestead. But, good women are few and far between in Colorado mining country. A mail order bride is the perfect solution.
Amelia Johannasen is running for her life. Her brassy mother has decided its’s time her daughter joined the family business, shattering Amy’s dreams of marrying for love. Imagine her surprise when she is mistaken for Will Jeffers mail order bride.
She has a talent for spinning tall-tales but no notion of how to cook, nurse, or keep a house. Can she reach the heart of a man once burned so badly, he’s sworn off romance?
The Counterfeit is available at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q7P84ZB/
A Spicy Historical Romantic Suspense in 1885 where east meets west. Tragedy sent Sherman Elias McHuay west twelve years ago. But, his troubled past barrels in like a runaway train or–more appropriately–smacks him over the head in the form of a violet-eyed miss without a lick of common sense to her name. If one could actually determine her name.
Amaris Johnston’s carefully laid plans to head west as a mail order bride ratchet up when an announcement for her impending nuptials to the son of a prominent US Senator are set to go public. Not that she’d agreed to marry in the first place. A forced engagement and her family–a conniving slew of ambitious and power-hungry tyrants–send her running for the Colorado hills. Can a slow talking sheriff and a headstrong girl bent on recklessness outwit her powerful family?
Kathy is the author of many other books. I encourage you to visit her Amazon page to find her historical retelling of the Cinderella story writing as Kae Elle Wheeler. She has several series available: The Bloomington Series, The Rebel Lords of London Series, The Martini Club which includes novellas beginning in the 1920’s and moving up through decades. By the way, the Martini Club consists of Alicia Dean, Amanda McCabe, Krysta Scott, and Kathy. These ladies meet at a special bar and sip on martinis while they discuss their books for the series.
In 2015 Kathy’s book, “The Mapmaker’s Wife was awarded first place in the IDA contest. It is my favorite because it takes place during the Civil War.
Several years ago OKRWA published a series of books, Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll, for The Wild Rose Press. Kathy has two books in that series, “The Nose Job” and “The Color of Betrayal”
Bio: Kathy L Wheeler loves the NFL, the NBA, musical theater, travel, reading, writing and karaoke. She recently migrated from Oklahoma to the Pacific Northwest with her musically talented husband, her sweet dog Angel and snooty cat Carly.
Until next time, Journey onward . . . Nona