Thursday, June 26, 2014

I’m an extrovert who loves people but spends most of her days in isolation, a necessity for writing. One of the many aspects I like about being a full time author is my flexible hours, because I write or do research almost every day. Except for household chores and must-dos such as emptying the dishwasher ten minutes before my husband returns from work, I live like a hermit. Our two sons are young men and live on their own, and my husband leaves early for the office. He appreciates my writing and encourages me, but the truth is when he’s home I get little writing done. 

Yet I mustn’t spend the whole day in front of my computer, even if I’m on a deadline. Since flabby thighs are not my friends, almost every day I force myself to tie on walking shoes and head out the door. While I’m striding along, I often pray, admire the scenery, and prod myself to keep going even if my legs are griping and telling me to cut the walk short. When I’m fatigued, especially if I’m marching up a hill or staircase, is one of the best times to capture an elusive thought. I’ve experienced the phenomenon many times while writing my newest novel, Forever Amish.

On an outing one day, Sally Bingham, a most unusual new heroine, stepped into the spotlight, bringing with her a whirlwind of possibilities, including falling in love with a man and lifestyle opposite of hers. Thus, Forever Amish, the third book in The Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy, took root. With the story’s seed sprouting, I pondered the first two novels, Leaving Lancaster and Pennsylvania  Patchwork. Did I want to write a sequel with the same characters? No, because I was content with the novels’ endings. But I loved the location and some of the other characters too much to say farewell.

Are all my walks bounding with creativity and jubilation? No, but I carry a mini recorder with me at all times, just in case; I don’t want to forget any precious nuggets that might breeze through my mind. Weird as it may sound, I can spend a morning pondering a single word or a plot situation if stuck in the house. But it sometimes pops right into my mind once I’m zig-zagging the neighborhood or walking in the nature preserve near my home. So far I haven’t gotten lost.

Puget Sound is notorious for its plentiful and gloomy rainfall; we broke all records the last few months. Rubber boots and a rainproof hooded coat are musts or I’d never get outside. On sunny days, the Pacific Northwest can seem ideal, but its weather is fickle and moody. I do grow weary of months of overcast skies but it’s a perfect situation for writing.

When walking, I often pause to take photographs. I enjoy peeking into small gardens and at front doors. There’s a story behind every one! But I must remind myself to keep watch where I’m stepping; the sidewalks are uneven and cars streak past. Now, if I twisted an ankle, I’d really be restricted to the couch. In that case, I’d write, write, write. 

Author Kate Lloyd, a native of Baltimore, spends time with family and friends in Lancaster County, PA, the inspiration for her bestselling novels Leaving Lancaster and Pennsylvania Patchwork. Forever Amish, the third novel in the Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy, released June 5th, 2014.

She and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest, the setting for Kate’s first novel, A Portrait of Marguerite. Kate studied art and art history in college. She’s worked a variety of jobs, including car salesman and restaurateur.

Learn more about Kate Lloyd on her website and her blog. You may also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter  and Pinterest

Make sure to stop by tomorrow, when you can enter to win a free copy of Forever Amish!


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