Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.

The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Susan May Warren is Wilani Wahl! Please email my assistant Christen with your mailing address. (ckrumm@litfusegroup.com)

This week please welcome Kate Lloyd in the spotlight! To win a copy of her new book Pennsylvania Patchwork (David C. Cook, 2013) , leave a comment on this post.

Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?

Thanks for inviting me, Suzanne! I’m a happily married woman with two grown sons, and two precious grandkids, age two and four. My only jobs are keeping house and writing. Luckily, my husband isn’t a neat-freak, because when I’m swamped I put off chores. He’s very supportive and even reads my books. He’s almost finished with Pennsylvania Patchwork and loves it. What could be better?

And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…

Leaving Lancaster and its newly released sequel Pennsylvania Patchwork,David C Cook, are contemporary Amish fiction novels with unique characters, romance, subplots, and unexpected jogs in the road—what I like to read. I prefer writing about women, relationships, second chances, and the Amish, so I’m in heaven! Not that I haven’t labored hours, make that months and months, researching the Amish before and during the writing process. As I craft the third of the Legacy of Lancaster trilogy, my research on these fascinating people continues.

How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?

Many years ago, I typed a romance novel. But I got distracted with life and didn’t write again for years. In the meantime, I made up stories, songs, and poems for my kids, but didn’t start writing in earnest until a decade ago.

After you started writing seriously—how long was it before you were published?

I received a mountain of reject letters for my first novel, A Portrait of Marguerite, the story of a Seattle painter who reclaims her artistic passion after her son leaves for college. But I persevered. I honed, rewrote, and resubmitted until my lovely publisher, David C Cook, purchased it. Although not about the Amish, it has many similarities: the story is about a woman, relationships, and second chances.

Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?

Ah, I do enjoy my morning java, with a splash of heavy whipping cream, as I settle on the living room couch in solitude and silence. I start writing first thing, often journaling. I’ve told my husband I’m writing in my head all the time. I’m thinking about my characters and plot even when putting in a load of laundry. I walk almost every day and bring my mini recorder with me in case inspiration strikes. I’ve learned to write almost anywhere, but prefer home sweet home.

What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?

Writers’ conferences and my incredible critique group, composed of published authors, who kindly and lovingly tell me the truth. It pays to have a thick skin because their opinions are like gold.

What are your biggest distractions?

Facebook and Facebook. But I enjoy Facebook and the people I’ve met!

What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst?

One of the best moments was learning that Leaving Lancaster was a CBA best seller! I can’t think of a worst moment off the top of my head; I must have squirreled it away in the recesses of my mind. Sometimes it pays to have an iffy memory.

If you could create a perfect day for yourself, what would you do?

I’m enjoying such a day. The sun is shining on my back as I sit at our patio table with my trusty laptop.

If you could cook one meal for us, what would it be?

Lunch on the deck of our beach cabin with my husband manning the BBQ. I enjoy eating outside, but sunshine in the Northwest is not a given. We enjoy every moment we have!

What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?

Worst would be Deadlines (notice the capital D) because I’m a punctual person who prefers to be early. But deadlines keep me chugging along. What I like most is the people I’ve met through my writing, including other authors and fabulous folks at David C Cook, my publisher.

Why do you write?

It’s fun! I’d write whether I was a published author or not. I plain old love to write.

What is the role and importance of an agent?

I wouldn’t be a best selling author without the help and guidance of my present agent, the incomparable Sandra Bishop, or my past agent, highly respected Les Stobbe.

What advice would you give to new writers?

Write whenever you can. Even if you think you’re writing badly; you can go back and edit later. Learn to make rewriting your friend. Do your homework before you attend writers’ conferences and send out query letters. Don’t give up!

Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.

Set in the heart of Amish country, Pennsylvania Patchwork is a compelling and sometimes humorous tale about old grudges and secrets exposed, newfound family and love, and forgiveness.

What’s on the book horizon for you?

I’m working on the third novel to the Legacy of Lancaster County trilogy.

Last question, how can readers find you and your books?

At bookstores or online. Available in print and all e-book formats.

Thank you for sharing your writing life with my bleaders! (blog + readers = bleaders)

Thanks for having me, Suzanne! PS: I love hearing from readers.

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