For book/ebook authors, publishers, & self-publishers
Dear Gelati’s Scoop,
Thanks so much for allowing me to blog on your site. Let me say what a cool name you have. I’ve eaten terrific scoops of your namesake in Italy,
the best in Rome.
I even wrote a short novella that takes place in Rome and they have gelati there.
First, let me introduce myself. I’m Kathryn Shay and I’ve been published by Harlequin and The Berkley Publishing Group for the last fifteen years. THE PERFECT FAMILY, released from Bold Strokes Books this
September, is my thirty-seventh book. I’m a wife, mother, former teacher,
now retired. I like to read, take yoga, walk my dog, and do volunteer
work. Right now, I’m totally immersed in promoting this new book.
THE PERFECT FAMILY is the story of the Davidsons: they’re an average American family with a good life and they consider themselves lucky to have each other. Then their seventeen year old son tells them he’s gay and
their world shifts. They have no idea what they will go through after
Jamie’s disclosure: Jamie's
father Mike can't reconcile his religious beliefs with his son's
sexuality. His brother Brian is harassed by his jock buddies and angry at Jamie
for complicating all their lives. Maggie, his mother, fears being able to
protect her son while struggling to save her crumbling marriage. And
Jamie feels guilty for the unhappiness his disclosure has caused. The book
is full of both conflict and love, ending on a redeeming note.
I’m frequently asked why I wrote this book. When my own son came out gay, I decided I wanted to tell a story around that issue. THE PERFECT FAMILY is fiction, but touches on some of the things my own family went
through. I wished then I’d had a book like this to help me understand that a
family’s struggle when a teen comes out is common, but he deserves love and support
from them. As I already mentioned, I was also a high school teacher for many
years and I know teenagers. I know how they react to people who are different
from them, how sexual orientation can freak them out and how they can be cruel.
But they can also be unbelievably loyal and supportive. I tried to show all
this in the book.
Having raised kids of my own, I’m also aware of how a child’s problems can affect the whole family. I originally wrote the book in first person narrative from the mother’s point of view (it was called A MOTHER’S
STORY) because I knew what Maggie, the mom, was going through. I’ve also
experienced the pain when spouses disagree on what’s best for their
children. However, it wasn’t long before I realized this book was more than
Maggie’s story; it was each family member’s journey. On the first of many
revisions, I put in the viewpoints of Mike, Brian and Jamie. I think this
expansion enriched the book and made it more relevant. After several
revisions, I added a secondary storyline to mirror the first which gives the
book an added dimension.
The character of Jamie is based on my own son, Ben. He read the manuscript twice, the beginning draft and the last one. I was amazed at the insights he had into the characters. His comments led me to make some further
revisions. And we have a gift for my readers. Ben is a singer/songwriter and
made a CD in high school about “loving a boy” and other adolescent
issues. We’re offering it free at the publisher’s website when you order
a book from them (http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/products.php?product=Perfect-Family%252C-The-%25252d-by-Kathryn-Shay) and it will be
also be offered on my website, www.kathrnyshay.com while copies last.
I’m sure you can tell from my comments that this is the book of my heart and a labor of love. I hope readers enjoy it.
PS— If you’re interested in reading my other books, I’m working on new projects now so check my website for that. I’m also making plans to put nine previously published in print novels up on Kindle and Smashwords by
the time THE PERFECT FAMILY is released.
Kathryn Shay is a lifelong writer. At fifteen, she penned her first ‘romance,’ a short story about a female newspaper reporter in New York City and her fight to make
a name for herself in a world of male journalists – and with one hardheaded
editor in particular. Looking back, Kathryn says she should have known then
that writing was in her future. But as so often happens, fate sent her
detouring down another path.
Fully intending to pursue her dream of big city lights and success in the literary world, Kathryn took every creative writing class available at the small private
women’s college she attended in upstate New
York. Instead, other dreams took precedence. She met
and subsequently married a wonderful guy who’d attended a neighboring school,
then completed her practice teaching, a requirement for the education degree
she never intended to use. But says Kathryn, “I fell in love with teaching the
first day I was up in front of a class, and knew I was meant to do that.”
Kathryn went on to build a successful career in the New York state school system, thoroughly enjoying her work with adolescents. But by the early 1990s, she’d
again made room in her life for writing. It was then that she submitted her
first manuscript to publishers and agents. Despite enduring two years of
rejections, she persevered. And on a snowy December afternoon in 1994, Kathryn
Shay sold her first book to Harlequin Superromance.
Since that first sale, Kathryn has written twenty-five books for Harlequin, nine mainstream contemporary romances for the Berkley Publishing Group, and two
online novellas, which Berkley
then published in traditional print format. Her first mainstream fiction book
will be out from Bold Strokes Books in September, 2010
Kathryn has become known for her powerful characterizations – readers say they feel they know the people in her books – and her heart-wrenching, emotional writing
(her favorite comments are that fans cried while reading her books or stayed up
late to finish them). In testament to her skill, the author has won five RT
BookClub Magazine Reviewers Choice Awards, three Holt Medallions, two Desert
Quill Awards, the Golden Leaf Award, and several online accolades.
Even in light of her writing success, that initial love of teaching never wavered for Kathryn. She finished out her teaching career in 2004, retiring from the
same school where her career began. These days, she lives in upstate New York with her
husband and two children. “My life is very full,” she reports, “but very happy.
I consider myself fortunate to have been able to pursue and achieve my dreams.”
Kathryn’s latest book is The Perfect Family.
You can visit Kathryn’s website at www.kathrynshay.com.
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