Kathy Clark has always been a storyteller. She completed her first novel when she was four years old and self-published it the same year, decades before Amazon birthed the Kindle. The Little Black Horse That Ran Away was self-illustrated and completely sold out of its first printing.
Years later, Kathy’s first adult book was published by Dell. Since then, she had a total of twenty-three novels published by Dell, Crown, and Harlequin. With her husband Bob Wernly as a co-writer, they published (both traditionally and epub) an additional fourteen novels. Nine of these fourteen books were self-published in the romantic suspense, young adult and erotic romance genres. The remaining five published by Random House LLC as the Denver Heroes and Austin Heroes, released in 2015 and throughout 2016. Their young adult genre series, Time Shifters, is a time travel romance-mystery series. The fifth book in the award winning series is planned for a late 2016 release. Finally, their new adult romantic suspense series, Scandals, currently has the first three books released
For an up to date complete list of books, screenplays, awards and more, check out Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)
Interview with Kathy Clark:
Matthew Toffolo: What is the general theme and tone of your novels?
Kathy Clark: Bob and I write what we call Reality Romances. Some have elements of suspense or fantasy or even erotica, but all have wonderful characters who are real people who find themselves in new or unexpected circumstances. Our heroes and heroines are usually firefighters, cops, military, or other law enforcement members having adventures, escaping danger, achieving or changing their dreams, and, of course, finding true love. AFTER LOVE is no exception. It is about Nick, a rogue DEA agent who has sworn off serious relationships who is forced to get a new partner…who happens to be a K-9 named Harley. Nick is forced to work with Harley’s trainer, Jamie, a beautiful, but shattered young woman whose husband had been killed in the line of duty. AFTER LOVE is the story of relationships, trust, and learning how to love again after your heart has been broken.
MT: Why should people buy your novels?
KC: AFTER LOVE has strong, beautiful characters. It is set in Austin, Texas, and Nick’s brothers and grandmother are very colorful support members. This is the first book of the Austin Heroes series with the other two books focusing on the other two brothers, one of whom is a Texas Ranger and the other is a Homeland Security agent. Nick has shown up as a minor character in two of our other books (KILLER DATE and DEEP NIGHT), and our readers demanded that he have his own book because they loved his cocky, sarcastic, but charming attitude. This book has a warm, wonderful love story, but there is a lot of humor and light moments, especially when Harley is involved. If you love dogs, you’ll love AFTER LOVE. Direct link amzn.to/1RTJIq6
MT: How would you describe your novels in just two words?
KC: Heartwarming fun
MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?
KC: My favorite movies are Romancing the Stone and The Sixth Sense because of the great story telling and wonderful characters. I’ll watch them every time they’re on TV. But As Good As It Gets is a close runner up and Overboard is always good for a laugh. I actually used Overboard as an example of perfect timing and plot set-up when I taught college classes.
MT: Was being a novel writer something you’ve always dreamed of doing?
KC: I have always been a reader and devoured every book I could find. I had never actually thought about being a writer until I read The Flame and the Flower and was fascinated by how the author created such wonderful characters that I was sad to let them go. I decided right then that I wanted to create that magic. My first book wasn’t and never will be published, but I was lucky enough to sell my second book and thirty-nine more after that. Writing is hard work, and every time I take a break, the characters in my head scream at me until I sit back down and tell their stories.
MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel? Have you read a novel more than once?
KC: As a child, I loved all of Marguerite Henry’s books, especially Misty Of Chincoteague, all of which I have read multiple times. I am a collector of Misty memorabilia and was even able to go to a Pony Penning Days celebration a few years ago. I rarely reread books because there are so many wonderful new ones out there. I think the only one I have reread since I was an adult is Moving On by Larry McMurtry (a prequel to Terms of Endearment). Again, it was the amazing characterization and complex relationships that fascinated me. I literally went back to page one and started over the minute I finished the last page because I wasn’t ready to let the characters go.
MT: What motivates you to write?
KC: I mentioned earlier that the characters inside my head demand that I bring them to life. Most people who hear so many voices might be considered schizophrenic, but as an author, it’s perfectly natural and acceptable! After Midnight was in my mind for over fifteen years before I actually sat down and wrote it. Cries in the Night was also a story that festered in my brain for about the same amount of time, inspired by my time as a Victim’s Advocate for the local police department. I also like to write books about families where the characters cross over and stick around from one book to the next. It gives the reader a chance to really get to know them, plus, they become old friends to me so I like spending time with them.
MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?
KC: Paul McCartney, without question, would be the most entertaining, interesting, and delightful person to spend an evening with. He has done so many things, seen such amazing things, and known ever famous person that I’d love just to hear his stories and have him sing. Bob and I got to meet Robin Williams several years ago, and he was a wonderful person. If he was still alive, it would be a close contest between him and Paul.
MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
KC: I love animals, especially dogs and horses. I’m trying to figure out a way to get a miniature horse just so I can hang out with it. I live in the city, but I have a large backyard. Plus, I’d like to get some chickens. But I also love to sculpt, paint, and do anything creative. And, Bob and I love to travel and see new places, meet interesting people, and see the sites.
MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
KC: First of all, get it done. Sit down and write your book. Then have several objective people read your work, and if something bothers them, pay attention. You will not be sitting next to every reader who picks up your book so you can explain something that was in your mind but not on the page. Take screenwriting classes. They will teach you how to write tight, snappy, realistic dialogue. Visualize each scene as you write it and don’t force your characters to do anything they wouldn’t naturally do.
Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to http://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.