November 10, 2014

Katherine Halle: Fixing the Hole

Hi everyone! *waves*
First, I would like to thank Chris for hosting me today! My first novella through Dreamspinner came out this week, it's entitled, Fixing the Hole. I'm really excited both because it's a novella and it's with Dreamspinner.
It's funny, for such a shortish story, it has spanned two continents and two years. I wrote the first draft of this story when we were stationed in Germany. I didn't have a very exciting view. I wrote at my computer desk in government housing, I literally had our television, a picture of a lighthouse, and a cement wall to look at. If I looked outside, I would see government buildings and more boring cement block housing.
As the story grew and changed, so did my view. We are now living back stateside in Virginia and our house overlooks the water. There's a bit of a marsh to the one side of our house, so I have a gorgeous view of water and marshlands with all sorts of wildlife.
I wonder if I had originally started the story here if the setting might not have changed. If I might not have set the house by the water instead of in the middle of suburbia. I'll never know of course but it's interesting to think about.
It's funny how our experiences and our habitats influence our writing. They say write what you know but eventually you need to expand on that, write outside your comfort zone and write things you don't know. I knew nothing about tree removal or home repair (outside of what we've had done on our own house) so I had to research. Which, I'll be quite honest, is not my favorite thing to do. Ironic considering my background is in biochemistry, so go figure.
Fortunately, I have a pre-reader that is REALLY good at researching AND likes to do it. I basically just had to read the links she provided me with (yes, I'm terribly spoiled by her!). It also helped that while I was revising and editing, it was summertime and we had numerous summer storms and trees were down all over the place. I had actual hands on research – just by looking out my window!
That's definitely the kind of research I like – very easy on the eyes ;p
Here's a question for all the readers out there and hey even the authors can chime in on this. When you read something, do you get caught up in the minutiae of everyday things like tree removal? Or the process of closing a sale on a house, or whether the nurse or physician in the story did the procedure right? Or do you just gloss over that stuff unless it's glaring?
For me, it depends. Some stuff, I just gloss right over and others stick out to me like a sore thumb. So I'd like to hear from all of you: What sticks out and what can you overlook?
Thanks for hanging with me today and thanks again to Chris for hosting me!

Heavy rains and strong winds slammed an uprooted tree through Steve Crowell’s roof, leaving a gaping hole to match the one in his heart. After his ex left him for a younger man, Steve’s not sure he’s ready to handle another disaster. His best friend highly recommended the contractor, but the man’s already late, and when he shows up with his music thumping, Steve isn’t impressed—until Riley steps out of his pickup truck. Personable, gorgeous Riley talks a mile a minute, which Steve finds both ridiculously endearing and terrifying. Piecing together a heart isn’t as easy as fixing a roof, but Riley might just be the right man for the job.
I was just about to look at my watch again when I heard a pickup truck come rattling up the driveway, loud pop music blaring from the open window.
Silence reigned when the engine cut off. I watched as a wiry young man opened the door and stepped out. I looked him over and took in the muscular legs shaped by a tight pair of jeans. My gaze roved over muscles barely contained by a fitted, army green Henley, finally landing on bright green eyes set in a young face under a military-style buzz cut of brown hair.
"Hi." The young man strode forward, his hand outstretched. "I'm Riley Jones and you must be Steven Crowell. Sorry for being late. My dad tried to convince me to make him eggs and bacon instead of the oatmeal he should be eating for his heart, and he wouldn't let up until I promised to make him a big breakfast this weekend."
Confused by this outpouring of information, I found myself stupidly saying, "Breakfast?"
"Yeah, my mom died when I was in junior high, so it's been the two of us for so long that I just never moved out. I mean, I was gone during college, but then I came back, started my contracting business and it was just cheaper to live with him than get my own place. Then he had some heart trouble and if I don't make him eat right, he'll just eat burgers and fries or those god-awful frozen dinners all the time. And wow, sorry, I just keep talking, don't I? Why don't you show me what you need done, Mr. Crowell?"

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Katherine Halle is known as the “Queen of Happy Endings.” She firmly believes that no matter what the obstacles, what the struggles, or how much angst is involved in the journey, that the ending should always be a happy one.
Katherine’s love of the written word started at a very early age with repeated demands of “read to me” to any who would listen. It was only natural that writing would follow. As a child, she could often be found daydreaming, thinking up fanciful stories and writing them down. Now she does it on a laptop. Much faster.
Katherine’s favorite animal is her dog. She likes books, movies, and quirky television shows, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Hart of Dixie. She loves cooking and watching cooking shows. She has lived in both Europe and the United States and loved both. When she’s not writing or plotting, Katherine enjoys spending her time listening to music, reading books written by other people, and being with her family.
You can find Katherine here:

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