The Romance Room is a blog that romance readers & writers can come to find out what's new in romance releases. A place to just talk about romance itself. We welcome readers & writers of all romance genres: traditional, contemporary, historical, paranormal, erotica, etc.
Monday, June 2, 2014
McCaffrey has been writing since she was very young, but it wasn’t until she
was a stay-at-home mom that she considered becoming published. A fascination
with science led her to earn two engineering degrees—she did her undergraduate work
at Arizona State University and her graduate studies at the University of
Pittsburgh—but storytelling was always her favorite hobby. Born and raised in
Arizona, and recently returned after a 20-year absence in Pittsburgh, she
writes Old West romances to capture the landscapes that were such a big part of
her childhood. Her first novel, The Wren,
was a CAPA winner for Best New Author Traditional, a Texas Gold finalist, and a
HOLT Medallion finalist for Best First Book. The Sparrow was the 2012 Winter Rose Winner in the Published
Historical Division. She lives in the Arizona desert with her husband, where
they frequently remove (rescue) rattlesnakes from their property. Her four
teenaged children are in varying stages of flying the nest, so her two chocolate
labs—Ranger and Lily—are the recipients of her maternal instincts these days.
is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
When I was in college I spent spring
break in Mazatlan (Mexico) and fought a bull.The college tour operator hosted an event at a nearby arena, and names were
pulled from a hat. It was a smaller bull, with blunted horns, and I was given a
pink t-shirt to wave. I wasn’t too worried until the bull charged. I ole’d him, then hauled myself out of
there as fast as I could. I was terrified. I was the only successful girl that
night; the one after me went to the hospital with a broken ankle. For one
brief, incredible moment I had my 15-minutes of fame.
adventure would you like to have that you haven’t done yet if money and skill
were no problem?
I want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in
are some of your favorite authors?What
commonality do you see in them?
I really love Dr. Clarissa Pinkola
Estes, a Jungian psychologist who wrote Women
Who Run With The Wolves. I’ve followed much of her work via lecture tapes.
She speaks to the rich tapestry that is the female psyche, and it’s this that
romance writers tap into, whether they realize it or not. Her work with stories
as a healing modality has not only helped me personally, but makes me want to
be a better writer with each new tale I create.
Robert Moss—who has written extensively
about shamanism and his own personal experiences. Joseph Campbell—the great
The common factor probably is that I
view life through a symbolic lens, and they all give voice to this process.
believe color says something about a person’s personality.What’s your favorite color?
Navy blue. I’m a Virgo and sapphires are
my stone. I have a beautiful sapphire ring I wear given to me by my son.
you could have a do-over life, what one thing would you do differently?What would you do again?
I would be nicer to myself. I would
treat my creative self as the precious entity it is, and love it as much as I
ever loved any of my own children. I’m coming around to it now, but for many
years that wasn’t the case.
is your writing process from conception to finished MS?
Considering that I’m a Virgo—very anal
and organized—my writing process is messy. I regularly get snippets of scenes
in my head, often for stories I’m not currently working on, so I have hundreds
of scraps of paper on my desk full of scribbles. To contain the chaos, I use
file folders, so that when an idea hits I can store it until it’s needed. I
invariably write about something I know nothing about, so I spend time reading
fiction and non-fiction to get up to speed. I try to write a manuscript in one
push—I liken it to vomiting on the page—but this rarely works out. At some
point, I’ll start editing. I must say, I like editing. I love cleaning up all
that vomit. (*grin*) When there’s no more crud (at least none that I can see),
then I’m done.
you a planner, panster or both?
I’m both. I’ve come to realize that I
have no real process, only what works at the moment.
did you research for your book?
I love to visit a location, but that
isn’t always possible. Movies, internet, books—I use it all.
is your all-time favorite movie?TV
My all-time favorite movie is Star Wars, which I first saw at the age
of ten. It filled my writer’s mind with a visual smorgasbord, and the mythical
storytelling awakened something deep in my bones. At the time, though, I just
thought I had a crush on Luke Skywalker.
My all-time favorite TV show is a tough
one because I had many. But I have a great love of sci-fi, and as a kid I never
missed an episode of the original ‘Battlestar Galactica’ starring Lorne Greene.
It was Bonanza in space.
important do feel writing workshops are to any writer?
Really wonderful. I did many in years
past. Now, not so much. I think it must be balanced with actual writing.
you could learn one new skill, fear and money no deterrent, what would it be?
I wish I could sing.
you had a million dollars to donate to any one charity, what would it be?
Certainly an animal charity. There are
so many great ones, but I really like the work Best Friends accomplishes in
advice would you like to give to an aspiring writer?
Keep writing until you can move the
blockages in your soul. When that happens, the good stuff will start flowing.
anyone mentor you or help you along the way?Please tell us about your mentor and what you feel they contributed to
your writing career.
I have honestly not had much mentoring,
though I certainly have wonderful writer friends that offer support. But
recently, I was blessed to join Prairie Rose Publications and work with
co-owner Cheryl Pierson on editing several of my projects. I’ve never had such
a supportive and collaborative relationship, and it’s pushing my writing to a
better place. Having never known this, I’m somewhat blown away by it.
is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
From my mom—“It’s easy to walk away,
it’s harder to stay and work through it.”
you could live anywhere in the world you wanted to, where would it be?
(Language is no barrier)
As much as I enjoy travelling, I like
living right where I am—Scottsdale, Arizona. I was born and raised here, but
moved to Pittsburgh for 20 years when I got married. When my husband offered to
bring me home several years ago, it was the most selfless gift I ever received,
and I appreciate it, and him, every single day. I’m quite happy and content in
the Sonoran Desert.
do you write?
Both my husband and I work from home and
have desks near one another. Because he’s in sales and talks on the phone a
lot, I listen to my Ipod, especially when I’m working on a story, to block him
out. I face a window and enjoy birds, cactus, and the occasional coyote and
javelina passing by.
much time do you devote to writing each week?Do you have a day every week that you take off?
I spend several hours each day, which
includes blog writing and emails. I only take a day off when my brain gets fried,
which happens about every ten days.
is a genre that you have not attempted that you would like to try?
Contemporary action-adventure. I’ve been
working on a manuscript about a woman climbing K2, the second-highest mountain
in the world. It would be the first in a series, with the second book set in
Bolivia and the third likely set in Baja. I wanted to write all the books only
from the heroine’s point-of-view (POV), because I think this gives an air of
mystery to the hero when we don’t know what he’s thinking. But this choice has
haunted and agitated me, and I finally realized I need the male POV. Since I’m
50,000 words in, this isn’t an easy fix. I learned a lot about viewpoint with
this little (year-long) exercise, and that while the hero is rugged and remote, it also made me a tad lazy in developing his
history. But no more.
there anything you would like readers to know about you?
I’ve kept a log and recorded every movie
I’ve ever seen since I was ten years old. This is my collection of stories,
some I hold dear and some not so much, but through it I can see my entire life
unfold. No matter how messy the narrative, we all need a timeline to anchor us.
Into The Land Of Shadows
By Kristy McCaffrey
will be giving away one print copy of Into
The Land Of Shadows, a historical western romance (rating: steamy). Please
include an email in the comment section; Kristy will contact the winner for
their mailing address.
land of the Navajo, spirits and desire draw Ethan and Kate close,
leading them deeper into the shadows and to each other.
Kate Kinsella has no choice but to go after Charley
Barstow and talk some sense into him. After all, he's skipped town, leaving a
string of broken hearts and a pregnant fiancée. But Kate didn't count
on being kidnapped by a band of criminals along the way! Ethan Barstow is hot
on his younger brother's trail, too. He rescues Kate, believing her to be
Charley's fiancée and suggests they try to find him together. Kate's
reluctance has him baffled.Once they find Charley, can Ethan and Kate realize their
own love and happiness with one another through the dark deception and hurt? Or
will they both return Into The Land Of
Setup: Kate Kinsella has just escaped
from three men who planned to use her as leverage against her supposed fiancé,
Charley. But Charley’s brother, Ethan Barstow, always planned to rescue her,
accompanied by his wolf Bartholomew.
close to the structure, her heart wouldn’t stop pounding and her hands were
clammy from fear. She swallowed hard again then turned to run but was caught
short, letting out an involuntary gasp when the four-legged creature cut her
off with a growl. The animal’s yellow eyes glowed by the light of the moon and
he watched her with rapt attention, his body poised for attack.
low growl emanated from deep in the animal’s throat and Kate fought the urge to
flee. The wolf’s head easily came to her chest; he would have no trouble
chasing her down and ripping her to pieces. The gash on her face would pale in
comparison to what he would do to her.
sudden commotion from behind startled her. Someone grabbed her. In a frenzy
Kate fought back, kicking and straining against the iron grip the man exerted
around her waist. His hold loosened and Kate fell to the ground.
grabbed a loose board, and screamed as she swung it around, hitting the man’s
leg. But he didn’t go down. She scooted backward and scrambled to her feet. The
man grabbed her this time, facing her. Thinking it was Clive or Rufus, she
continued to struggle.
Katie! It’s me. It’s Ethan.”
held her tight against the building. A sob escaped from deep inside her throat,
a sudden maelstrom that matched the wind roaring in her ears, and then Ethan’s
mouth was on hers. Hot, insistent, devouring. She molded into him, her lips and
tongue hungry for the sudden and consuming contact. She pushed her body against
his, clinging to his broad shoulders, desperate to be closer still. He didn’t abandon me. His mouth crushed
hers and she felt on fire, head to toe.