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WGP Interview: Kathleen Gerard

Recently, Writer Groupie Podcast had the privilege of interviewing Kathleen Gerard, author of In Transit and The Thing Is. Here is the interview and you can get links to her work below.

Kathleen Gerard
Photo credit: North Jersey Media Group, The Record

THE THING IS (a novel) by Kathleen Gerard

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Here’s a brief synopsis of THE THING IS:
Can a woman mired deep in the throes of grief have her heart and soul rallied by a therapy
dog named Prozac who has supernatural wisdom and a canine Mensa IQ?

Meredith Mancuso is depressed. Ever since the death of her fiancé, she has shrunk from the world. Even with her successful writing career, she’s not motivated to work. When her sister, Monica, begs for a favor, Meredith wants nothing more than to say no. But she’s ultimately roped into pet-sitting an orphaned Yorkshire terrier named Prozac.

Blessed with spiritual wisdom and a high IQ, Prozac is an active pet therapy dog. To heal brokenhearted Meredith, he rallies his fan club at Evergreen Gardens, an independent living facility, where he visits each week.
Prozac and the community of resilient older folks challenged by losses of their own propel Meredith, often against her will, back into the land of the living. Meredith learns that most people carry some sort of burden, but it’s still possible to find meaning, purpose, and joy—and sometimes, even love—along the way.

THE THING IS is a perfect read for fans of General Fiction, Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Romance, Romantic Comedy, and Dog and Pet Lovers!

Do you have a specific writing style?

All of the books I’ve published (so far) deal with strong women who are forced to overcome challenges of some kind. Humor and romance also play a part in the stories. My first novel, In Transit, is a suspenseful woman-in-jeopardy story about a female rookie NYPD cop who falls in love with the wrong man.

Cold Comfort is more of a heartwarming-style romance about a workaholic photojournalist who comes face-to-face with an old flame who broke her heart in college.

I experimented a bit with The Thing Is, telling that story from two, very distinct points-of-view—that of a blocked romance writer who has become entrenched in grief after her fiancé dies, and a crafty, sometimes very devious, “Spirit Guide Dog,” who believes his mission is to help the writer learn how to live and love again.

How did you come up with the title?

THE THING IS was inspired by the poem, “The Thing Is” by Ellen Bass. Bass’s poem speaks to how to go on living life when we feel completely heartbroken and riddled with despair. It was apropos to the themes of the story, and I decided to title the novel by the very same name.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I wanted to be a photojournalist—and I pursued that passion throughout childhood, high school and college. I always hoped that one day I would work for the Associated Press (AP) and travel the world taking pictures, including photographing in war zones. But when I realized that my personality was much more methodical and analytical by nature, I reconsidered things. And that was when the writing bug suddenly bit me.

Who is your favorite character in your books and why?

I select all of my characters–even the “bad guys”–with care, so I like them all. However, writing from a clever dog’s point-of-view in THE THING IS was very fun—and liberating.

Who designed the cover?

My publisher, Red Adept Publishing, has a great staff on board for all facets of their books from editing to book covers to marketing. The very talented Jessica Anderegg worked with Streetlight Graphics (they’re wonderful!) to make a gem of a book cover for THE THING IS

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part about writing this book was staying the course and letting the story unravel on its own—without preconceiving the plot. Once I figured out who the characters were and their goals (I wrote and wrote and threw out a lot), the story evolved very organically. When I make a concerted effort to stick to and follow through with the writing of a book, I always try to keep my heart, soul and mind open to whatever crosses my path during the process. I’ve found that if I stay attuned and pay attention to things as they happen in my real life, then, more often than not, my writing life becomes the beneficiary of that attentiveness. For example, a friend (or even a stranger) may off-handedly make a remark, or I’ll read an article in the newspaper, or maybe even a postcard advertisement will arrive in the mail…the mundane can suddenly become an aha! moment—something that unexpectedly serves the story. But trusting that process–and being patient–is sometimes very difficult.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read a lot. Write a lot. And stick to it!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Read. Hang out with my dog. I like to cook and enjoy watching cooking shows on TV. And when I want to unwind, I like to watch indie films and romantic comedies.

What do you think makes a good story?

Strong characters. Conflict and transcendence.

Quick fire questions:
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite music: Lately, music by Sara Bareillis
Favorite TV program: Cooking shows with Lidia Bastianich
Five things you like: My dog. Pizza. Red wine. Cooking (and eating). A good story.
Five things you dislike: Illness. Mean-spirited/cruel people. Phoniness/Gossip. Dieting. Traffic.
Five words that describe you: Sensitive. Spiritual. Loyal. Analytical. Tenacious.

Kathleen Gerard
Email: katgerard@aol.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kathleengerard
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kathleengerard.writer
Website: http://www.kathleengerard.blogspot.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2865523.Kathleen_Gerard

Learn more about THE THING IS: http://www.thethingis-thenovel.blogspot.com
Buy THE THING IS: http://www.thethingis-thenovel.blogspot.com/p/buy-book.html

Learn more about IN TRANSIT http://www.intransit-thenovel.blogspot.com
Learn more about COLD COMFORThttp://kathleengerard.blogspot.com/2014/09/new-novella-release-cold-comfort-by.html

The Thing Is can be purchased at:
* Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B55MZY2
* Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-thing-is-kathleen-gerard/1123327681?ean=9781940215587
* BooksAMillion – http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Thing/Kathleen-Gerard/9781940215587?id=6574018647320
*Indiebound – http://www.indiebound.org/search/book?searchfor=Gerard%2C+Kathleen
* Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kathleen_Gerard_The_Thing_Is?_bbid=1711329&_bbreg=us&_bbtype=email&id=4WeJCwAAQBAJ&pubref=bookbubemaild

THE THING IS (a novel) by Kathleen Gerard
Prices/Formats: $5.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Pages: 299
Release: March 9, 2016
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
ISBN: 9781940215587

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