Award-winning author Keli Gwyn writes stories that transport readers to the 1800s, where she brings historic towns to life, peoples them with colorful characters and adds a hint of humor. A California native, she lives in the Gold Rush-era town of Placerville at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains.
When Keli’s fingers aren’t hovering over the keyboard of her newfangled laptop, she enjoys strolling past stately Victorian houses in her historic town, burying her nose in reference books as she unearths interesting facts to include in her stories, and interacting with other romance readers. Her favorite places to visit are her fictional worlds, other Gold Rush-era towns and historical museums. She loves hearing from readers and invites you to visit her Victorian-style cyber home at www.keligwyn.com, where you’ll find her contact information.
Savanna: Welcome to The Engrafted Word, Keli. I’m so happy to have you here! Congratulations on your new release, Family of Her Dreams. It sounds like such a fun story. What was your favorite part about setting this book in the California Gold Rush-era town of Shingle Springs?
Keli: I enjoyed shining the spotlight on Shingle Springs, a small gem few know about. While it’s a sleepy town these days, Shingle Springs was experiencing its heyday in 1866/67 when my story takes place. The town was the terminus of the Placerville and Sacramento Valley Railroad. So many shipments bound for the Comstock in Nevada went through the station that there were three freight depots. I’ll be holding my book release at this rail depot, which is home to a delightful antique store. Can you say cool?
Savanna: That is SO cool! What a fun place to celebrate your book release. 🙂 Wish I could be there.
It’s clear to see that history is very important to you. If you had to pick just one historical figure from the past, who would you enjoy meeting in person and why?
Keli: Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’d love to tell her how much I enjoyed her Little House books and to learn all I could about what her life was like as a child so I could add more realism to my stories.
Savanna: As a speaker, do you have a favorite topic or subject?
Keli: I enjoy talking about dreams and encouraging others to pursue theirs.
Savanna: Can you share with us a fond lesson and/or memory from one of the contests you’ve participated in?
Keli: I’m a huge fan of contests. A final in one led to my agent’s offer of representation. I learned a great deal from my contest judges. I would encourage writers to enter contests with the goal of improving their writing and gauging where they are in relation to readiness for publication. Once an entry begins finaling, the writer has evidence that the work is query ready. To submit work too soon can lead to making a poor first impression.
Savanna: What first drew you to the Victorian Era? You have a beautiful website, by the way.
Keli: Thanks for the kind words about my website. Jason Walker of Website Minstries took my ill-formed ideas and created a site I love.
I’m smitten with the Victorian Era. I like the clothes, the customs and the Victorians preoccupation with social conventions. They were oh, so proper, which can create interesting situations in my stories. It was a period of advancement on many fronts, and I find that fascinating.
Savanna: Can you share with us a piece of writing advice that has made a difference in your career?
Keli: My friend Ruthy Logan Herne from Seekerville encouraged me to “loosen up.” I was so focused on following all the “rules” I was learning that I had lost the joy of writing. Her wise counsel helped me relax and enjoy the journey.
Savanna: Thanks for sharing with us today, Keli. It’s been such a treat to have you here, my friend! Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
Keli: I’m working on a new story set in my hometown of Placerville and am having a great deal of fun with it. The hero and heroine work together and are forced to spend time together outside of the office, too. If only they didn’t harbor shameful secrets that prevent them from pursuing more than friendship…
Thanks for hosting me, Savanna. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’d like to end with a couple of questions for your blog’s readers. Did you have a mother, grandmother, aunt, etc. who was a stickler for manners when you were young? If so, what rule(s) of etiquette was she determined to teach you?
Keli has graciously offered to give away one signed paper copy of Family of her Dreams to one lucky winner. Enter below and it could be YOU! 😉
Thanks for entering! Contest is open only in the U.S. and ends June 9, 2015. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!Copyright © 2015 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
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