turning the spotlight on women’s fiction author Kathryn Elliott today. She’s
here to chat about the writing life, and in particular, her debut novel, Adding Lib.
During her virtual book tour, Kathryn will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes
and Noble gift card (winner’s choice) to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be
entered for a chance to win, use the
form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!
Welcome, Kathryn. Please tell us a
little bit about yourself.
a lot of things; wife, mother, publicist, and dementia advocate. But to pay the
bills, I’m a lifetime journalist with awards in political satire, human
interest, and commentary. I can’t not
write. It’s part of who I am, and how I keep myself in cute shoes and wine. A
girl needs priorities.
believe in laughter’s healing power, and want Adding Lib’s characters strengths
and flaws to resonate with readers long after “The End.”
Adding Lib is my debut novel, and the
first in the McGinn series, I’ve ghost written for many in the political
Please tell us about your current
fiction, Adding Lib is a blend of humor
Libby O’Rourke has a short fuse. Her mother, Mae, carries a big match. Engulfed
in the never-ending life-juggling of suburbia, Libby fails to notice Mae’s
emerging dementia symptoms until a kitchen fire puts the problem on the front
burner. Proficient in the art of denial, Mae brushes the shattering diagnosis
aside and sets her sights on a matchmaking crusade for her eldest son. After
all, if her lucid days are numbered, Mae’s going to make damned sure he makes
it down the aisle while she still recognizes the groom. It’s going to take a
razor wit and an iron stomach to handle Mae’s diagnosis. Thankfully, just like
her mother Libby has both.
What inspired you to write this book?
wasn’t a what so much as a who that inspired me to write Adding Lib. I’m a cancer survivor, and
Lib was a bucket list item.
its early stages, Adding Lib remained
a title less idea, a handful of characters chatting up a storm in my head until
one day they got to loud to ignore and I sat down to jot out an outline. That
same week, a good friend, and fellow long-term survivor relapsed – Stage 4
stomach cancer. It was a devastating blow. Writing stopped; life stopped.
month before she died, when we knew chemo was futile we took a drive up the
coast. Laughing and remembering the good times, she made an off-handed comment
that resonated. “Life’s funny,” she said. “You never know what’s coming – I
guess we add lib through the tough parts to get to the laughter.”
there is was – my title, and inspiration to carry on.
Excerpt from Adding Lib
three o’clock, excess wine and a bladder weakened by two pregnancies woke Libby
from a sound sleep. She crept to the bathroom as quietly as
two-hundred-year-old floor boards would allow and, on the way back, noticed the
phone’s blinking message light.
Mae’s message taunted from the answering machine. “What to do?” she said to
herself. “Check it, or go back to bed?” Years of maternally ingrained guilt won
out as she pressed play.
Lib,” Mae’s recorded message played. “It’s your mother.”
me surprised.” Libby groaned.
just got back from my visit with Dr. Cooper. You remember him, he removed
Daddy’s planter’s wart.”
he did a splendid job with my colon and said I had none of those dirty
unless you’ve got a ten-foot abstract in your small intestine.”
can watch now. Did you know that? They have a camera in your bum the whole
time, fascinating really. Anyway, a few of my other test results were a bit
off, and he wants me to see a neurologist for some silly reason. Nothing to
worry about, just a little blip to check out. Anyhow, I need someone to take me
for the appointment, and I was hoping you could find the time. If not, don’t
worry, I’ll call your brother Sean. I’m sure he can drop anything less
important than his mother.”
course. He’s Jesus.” Libby’s eyes rolled.
care, sweetie. Call me when you can, love to all.”
replayed the message and returned to bed. Blip speculation haunted her dreams.
What exciting story are you working on
Finding Caroline – the second in the
McGinn Series is up next. The story continues where Adding Lib leaves off and
explores the relationship of Libby’s brother, Sean McGinn and her best friend,
Caroline Duffy. (Steamy goes up a notch!)
When did you first consider yourself a
moment of glory. Third grade. Poetry contest. Catholic school. Did you know
there are seven things to rhyme with Jesus and still not offend an entire
If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and
how do you find time to write?
the fiction front, I write primarily at night in the company of my loving
Labrador, Maggie. She’s a good springboard for character development. During
the day I’m typically running from parenting to publicist duty with equal
your interesting writing quirk?
that’s another Catholic school scar. I can only
craft smut behind a locked door. I blame Sister .Marilyn. She swore Jesus
could see impure thoughts. My therapist disagrees.
Come to think of it, I do have a second quirk, or maybe it’s a strategy? I need
to talk out dialogue before jotting even a first draft down. It helps me to get
tone right – tone is a killer to convey.
As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?
Cassidy’s wife. Or a veterinarian. I’m oh-for-two.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
my thanks. Writing takes a devotion and dedication, knowing someone takes the
time to appreciate my work is a gift.
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