Saturday, May 3, 2014

Author Interview: Her Ghost Wears Kilts by Kathleen Shaputis

Her Ghost Wears Kilts
Kathleen Shaputis

Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Publisher:   Crimson Romance
Date of Publication:  August 26, 2013

About the Book:
Something's not right at Baillie's popular used bookstore in rain-soaked western Washington and frigid, heart-stopping air is her first clue. When the cat refuses to enter the shop and Baillie hears faint bagpipes in the travel book section, her nerves are rubbed raw.
Meanwhile in Scotland, the heir of a local castle falls to a suspicious death. An evil banker claims ownership of the castle, leaving the staff to ponder their fate.
How are these events connected? The answer lies in a Ghost and Mrs. Muir tale, twenty-first century style that flips the table with a ghostly twenty-seven-year-old hunk, Lord Kai, and fifty-something bachelorette Baillie. Her gay best friend Gillian Nation and his girls dash to Scotland to Baillie's rescue when the combination of alcohol, villainous banker, Dna, and good old-fashioned jealousy throw Baillie into the fight of her life. Will she choose to reclaim her normal Northwest existence or grab onto an unorthodox love that makes life magical and breath-taking?

Author Interview:

Welcome, Kathleen, we are delighted to have you with us today, to share a little bit about yourself and your writing. Where are you from and from where/who did your love for writing come from?

I moved up from southern California to the great Pacific Northwest in 2000 and am now nestled in the county area of Olympia on two wooded acres. Yes, I have my own little forest. My love of writing sprang from a deep passion very young for reading, turning pages tucked in the corner of the couch or bed. I found if I wasn’t reading, my imagination took me on adventures even more incredible with characters of all kinds surrounding me. As an adult I found my maternal aunt and grandmother also had the same magical draw to books, so it’s in the genes.  

Can you say that your journey to publication was difficult? If so, what were the hardest 
moments to get through?

This book took a strange twist to publication. It’s intended audience was more “Sleepless in Seattle” type, light romantic comedy with a ghost. But after a few rejection slips, a dear friend who had been published with Crimson Romance, a new division of Adam Media, strongly suggested I submit the manuscript to them. From my query letter and synopsis, I got back a list of changes needed before they would consider taking the book. Mainly it was drop the more chick-lit scenes and bump up the relationship between the two main characters. I did and they accepted. 

How do you overcome I-suck-at this, that little voice in your head that tells you your writing 
isn’t good enough?

Great question! All writers fight the invisible editor on the shoulder constantly critiquing and side swiping your confidence. Over the years I’ve learned to ignore and drown her out with background music. Doesn’t mean she’s gone and zeroes in for attacks still, but I “have” to write. And if I give the characters an open door, they will take over for the most part so it doesn’t seem like my work, but theirs.

What is your dream vacation?

A relaxing, comfortable spot – whether on the beaches of northern California or a cute cottage in the forests, where nature is louder than humans. 

Describe your writing style in five words.

Sassy, light-hearted romps with characters. 

What movies are you currently excited to see?

“Into the Woods” coming out in 2014! I love fairy tales and this one includes Johnnie Depp and Meryl Streep. Muscials and romantic comedies are my favs – and I believe Mr. Depp will be singing in this one as well.

What are you currently reading?

“The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott” by Kelly O’Conner McNees 

If you weren’t a writer, what other careers would you pursue?

Ah, now you have to remember this was back in the Sixties, after my childhood dreams of being a playwright and novelist had been buried by very practical parents, I wanted to be a guide dog dog trainer. I saw a show about the first guide dog, Buddy, and knew working with dogs and people would be perfect for me. I wrote to a guide dog school in San Rafael, California asking what I needed to take in college to be one. I was politely informed that only men were selected to become trainers. I still have the letter to this day. I went into clerical work until computers came along.

If you could create a holiday of your own, what would it be called?

I actually did this when I wrote “The Crowded Nest Syndrome,” a humorous look at the return of adult children in 2004 and created Crowded Nest Syndrome Awareness Day on June 12 gotten a lot of air time across the nation over the years, listed in the Chase book of Special Days. But it wasn’t really for me.   

For people who haven’t read your novel, how would you summarize the plot?

Inspired by the 1939 movie “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir,” this romantic comedy is a contemporary adventure involving a fifty-something woman who is haunted by a gorgeous Scottish ghost trying to warn her of danger. A cast of characters come to Baillie’s rescue when she does indeed find her life in danger. 

What are two of your pet-peeves?

Waiting for people to show up at a promised time and there’s no contact is worse than fingernails on a chalkboard. I hate to be late – which is not an easy thing when you live with a family of procrastinators. 

To you, what makes a good story?

A good story wraps its tentacles around believable, three-dimensional characters. Doesn’t matter if they are a dog, a vampire or a house – the characters will make a book great. 

What usually turns you off about a story?

Dry, on-going details that seem to drag into multiple paragraphs. I don’t mind a thousand page book if I’m engaged in the characters and storyline. But if it’s dry, sixty pages is too much.

If you could collaborate with any author, who would you choose, and why?

Before she passed away, it would have been Nora Ephron. The woman’s talent with words and humor traveled fairly similar to mine. My bucket list includes having one of my books made into a movie and that would have been ensured working with the likes of Ms. Ephron.

What is on your night stand? 

Hmm, one, two, three stacks of books surrounding this poor table lamp. With another stack of 
books on the floor against the front of the night stand. And there’s a Kindle on top of one of the 

What is your favorite book?

Is there such a thing as “a” favorite? That would be like saying you have a favorite child (slapping hands to my cheeks). Those that I read over and over are the Harry Potter series (JK Rowlings), Twilight series (Stephanie Meyer) and The Outlander series (Diana Gabaldon).

Thank you so much for joining us, Kathleen. 

About the Book:

Drag queens, a ghost and murder, oh my. Love spirits through the modern day tale of inheritance and greed, crossing the vale between worlds.

Baillie thought life was content, successful in the Pacific Northwest until her bookshop became haunted. Inheriting a Scottish castle leads her on a wild adventure of Celtic chaos where she meets her gorgeous ghost. Finding her life in danger, Baillie calls the diva squad to the rescue: her friend Gillian Nation and his girls.

Will she choose her normal, safe existence or grab onto an unusual love that makes life magical?


About the Author:

Kathleen Shaputis, author/ghostwriter, lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Bob, where curling up with icy Diet Coke, writing romantic comedies is her ultimate paradise.

Author Contacts:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest