Wednesday, April 13, 2011

5 Easy Questions with Keli Gwyn!

Every Wednesday, I ask a writer the same five easy questions. In an effort to support and promote fellow wordsmiths, I feature authors who write a variety of genres, from sweet inspirational to mainstream thrillers. The writers themselves may be aspiring, published, or best-selling authors--all have made an impact on my life.

Thank you for joining me in welcoming… Keli Gwyn!!

I met Keli through her amazing blog, Romance Writers on the Journey. When Keli graciously interviewed me, it was a highlight in my writing career! Since then, Keli has finalled in major contests such as the Golden Heart. Last year, she accepted representation from Rachelle Gardner of Wordserve Literary, and she recently announced the fabulous news that Barbour Publishing bought her book.

 Let's get to it!

1. Beverage of choice?

 Sweet tea. My mom grew up in Texas, and I was raised on tea that could qualify as syrup. I’ve got a glass beside me now, although I’ve cut back on the amount of sugar these days.

2. Any pets?

We have two long-haired orange and white cats, Sandy and Dandy. Sandy is my writing buddy, but his brother much prefers to hang out with my hubby.

3. Dream vacation?

A driving tour of the East Coast during the fall colors. I’m a California gal who would love to get a taste of the other coast and an opportunity to dip my toes in the Atlantic.

4. What are you listening to right now?

A CD called Songbirds by the Stream. One of the characters in my WIP has a thing for birds and can recognize many birdcalls, so this is mood music.

5. What's for dinner?

I’m a lousy cook who would be happy eating at Taco Bell most nights, but after 23 years of marriage I’ve not been able to convince Gwynly to appreciate a burrito the way I do. So, I’m making meatloaf tonight, one of my few specialties. Since we’re now Empty Nesters, this makes enough for two or three meals. Let’s hear it for leftovers.

Keli, cutting back on sugar? Say it isn't so! Your kitties sound delightful. I miss my Himalayan, Cookie, another long-haired beast! And I am with you on the road trip to the east coast. We'll stop at every Taco Bell and McDonald's. Who else is in?

Thank you, Keli, for participating! I'm so excited for you and can't wait to read your debut book, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, which will be available July 1, 2012!

So, tell me, what are you sipping today?

Keli Gwyn is a writer of historical inspirational romance represented by Rachelle Gardner; the wife of a British sports car enthusiast; the proud mother of a college student; and a serious Taco Bell addict. Her debut novel, a story set in the heart of California's Gold County, will be published by Barbour Publishing in the summer of 2012, a fact that still makes Keli giddy—and very grateful—when she thinks about it. You can learn more about Keli at her website and blog, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Hi, Keli! I love that sweet southern tea too, and Taco Bell! :) I am sipping Breakfast Blend Community Coffee w/ of course, Beligium Chocolate Toffee Coffeemate creamer. Liquid-not powder.

  2. Good Morning!

    Jessica P: Belgium Chocolate Toffee creamer?? Yeah, I would like some of that! Mmm...

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. Love learning more about Keli! I was sipping coffee earlier, French Vanilla with some Hazelnut. Yum!
    I can't wait to read Keli's book!

  4. Guzzling tea.

    Hey Keli!

    I have a thing for birds in one of my novels too & if you ever make that fall trip, swing by my place. I'd love to host you!
    ~ Wendy

  5. So looking forward to Keli's book. I read so much about her polishing of it that I just know it's going to be amazing!

    I'm sippign French Roast coffee this morning with 1 light cream.

  6. Good morning, Jill! I'm out in California where it's o'dark thirty, but I couldn't wait to visit your lovely blog. Thanks so much for inviting me to answer your "Five Easy Questions." They were fun. I'd love to do the East Coast with you and see how many TBs and McDs we could hit.

    Thanks for making me sound so good in your intro. Actually, you gave me an honor I can't claim. I didn't final in the Genesis. In fact, I never entered it. I was a member of RWA first and didn't learn about ACFW for a while. Now I'm part of two fine organizations filled with sooo many talented writers.

  7. Love Keli! I subscribe to her blog through my email, and I love the writing nuggets she graciously deposits in my life!

    Keli, my daughter would join you for Taco Bell any day of the week:)

  8. Jessica, how fun to find another Taco Bell gal. And sweet tea, too. No wonder I like you so much =)

    Jessie, I'm not a coffee drinker. I love the smell but never developed a taste for it. My hubby likes it though, and French Vanilla is his favorite.

    Wendy, how I'd love to stop by your place, guzzle tea with you, and bask in your wonderful presence.

    Eileen and Jessie, I'll admit that hearing people say they are looking forward to reading my book turns my insides into a quivery mass. I hope readers enjoy the story. All I know is I sure enjoyed writing it and have a serious love affair going with its four primary characters.=)

    Thanks for your kind words, Tamika. What a way to start my day. And I think your daughter has good taste. =)

  9. Yay, Keli! I'm so excited to read your debut novel!

    Sipping right now? Diet Dr. Pepper, but this afternoon it will be an iced mango black tea at Caribou while I work on edits. :)

  10. Great interview!! Gonna check out Keli's blog!!

    As a native East Coaster, I say definitely make it out here some day!!! It's gorgeous!! I have spent lots of time in California it!! But very different.

  11. Erica, I'm looking forward to reading A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas and think it's so cool that you're one of the two authors launching Barbour's new line. Every time I see your beautiful cover, I smile. I get all giddy when I think of the design team starting work on mine next month. All the best on the revisions.

    Stephanie, I've heard such wonderful things about your coast. Since you've spent lots of time out here in California, too, what are some of the biggest difference you see?

  12. Oh, Keli, I'm sorry! I'm sure if you would have entered the Genesis, you would have finaled though!!

    And wow, we have a lot of coffee drinkers--you know I love you, right? Coffee...mmmmm...

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  13. Love leftovers and NOTHING is better than cold meatloaf on Italian bread the next day with ketchup or mayo.... YUMMM! Now I want some :O)

  14. I'm in for a road trip with such interesting women! I love Southern sweet tea as well, but my diabetes diagnosis keeps me from it these days. Instead, it's all about the DC!

  15. A road trip with such a great group sounds like a blast, Ralene. We could pile in, and the East Coast gals would be able to serve as tour guides. Gotta be some Taco Bell stops along the way, though, and McDs for sweet tea. Maybe we could talk Diane into filling a cooler with some of her meatloaf sandwiches, too. They sound yummy.

  16. Keli, I love those details about the birdcalls. I am looking forward to your novel!

  17. Jill, I love the five questions idea! What fun. :)

    Kelli, I enjoyed learning a bit about you. I too am a sweet tea lover. (Being a Georgia girl, I can be nothing but! LOL) I also love my coffee. Mmm

    I'm craving meatloaf now. Am I invited? ;)

    Have a wonderful Wednesday, ladies!

  18. Rosslyn, I love the fun quirks my characters have. This one was born when one of my Toastmasters pals gave a speech on birding. I had no idea at the time that one of the characters in my WIP would be totally gone on birds, but she is. =)

    C. E., by all means join the trip. The more the merrier. Gotta have a Georgia gal with us. Maybe you would be willing to bring some nice juicy peaches. I've heard your state is known for them.

  19. Hi Keli! Hi Jill!

    It was fun to get to know a little bit more about you, Keli. I read your posts. Your WIP sounds great. I'm an avid birder myself. Can't wait to read your books.

    I'm sipping Earl Grey, cream no sugar.

    Have a great day, ladies!

  20. Hi ladies! Fun interview. :)

    I'm being good right now and sipping water. But if I could ditch the H2O, I'd spring for a root beer, maybe pour it over some vanilla ice cream.

  21. Just brewing my afternoon cup of tea. Decaf (heart issues) and no sugar (calorie issues). My dad calls it aggravated water.

    Sarah--I'll join you in that root beer float. Naturally caffeine free!

  22. Loree, how neat that you're a birder. Are you a member of a birding group? How often do you go on outings? What's your favorite sighting so far?

    Sarah F., you just brought back some great childhood memories of my dad's delicious rootbeer floats. Here in California where the temperature reaches into the triple digits, those tasty summertime treats were mighty welcome.

    Sarah T., I love your dad's clever description of unsweetened decaffeinated tea as "aggravated water." I don't, however, like hearing of your heart issues. I hope they're not too serious, although anything with the heart usually is. I'm glad you're doing all you can to take good care of yourself.

  23. Keli, in answer to your questions - "Loree, how neat that you're a birder. Are you a member of a birding group? How often do you go on outings? What's your favorite sighting so far?"

    I have been a member of the Audubon Society in the past.

    There are always birding walks open to the public during the fall and spring migration times at nearby state and county parks. My husband and I usually go out on Saturday mornings during the peak of migration (the first 3 weeks of May)

    This morning we had a pair of Downy woodpeckers chasing each other and druming mating calls on my tree in the front yard. My prize sighting was last spring. I saw an Indigo Bunting for the first time!

  24. So fun! I love tea and root beer floats as well (hint, hint, I want one now!).

    I'm loving the bird discussion too. We have beautiful, unusual waterfowl in my area. A Canvasback duck has been swimming in our neighborhood pond this week. We also have Bufflehead ducks, Mersengers, tons of egrets and Great Blue Herons, and a local Bald Eagle. I love birds!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing!

  25. Loree, there are actually two birders in my Toastmasters club. They've invited the members on their birding walks. I think I may take them up on the offer.

    Of course, I wouldn't be able to see and Indigo Bunting since I'm out in California. A Google search showed me that they are in the Eastern U.S. I have one more reason for that East Coast tour several of us in the comment trail have been planning because that bird is gorgeous. Blue's my favorite color, and that shade is stunning.

    Maybe you'd consider joining our tour and taking us on a birding walk. Of course, I know you can't guarantee a sighting of an Indigo Bunting, but I'm sure there are many other interesting species.

  26. Sounds like you must live near water, Jill. What fun it would be to see such lovely birds as those in your area. I'm sure they add some great sounds to your setting, too.

  27. Keli, it was nice to get to know you a little bit better.

    From the comments, I've also realized I must be the only 30+ person reading this blog who has never in my life had a drink of coffee. :)

    The leaves in the fall sounds like a great vacation!

  28. Maggie, thanks for stopping by to say hi. And rest assured you are not the only one who has never had a cup of coffee. I'm well over 30, and I haven't. While I love the smell, I never developed a taste for it, although I more than make up for it with my sweet tea consumption. =)

  29. Maggie and Keli--I am a recent convert to coffee. I'd never touched the stuff until about four years ago. Now? Can't live without it!

    Thanks so much for popping in!

  30. Maggie and Keli--I am a recent convert to coffee. I'd never touched the stuff until about four years ago. Now? Can't live without it!

    Thanks so much for popping in!

  31. Yay for Keli! Girls, I'd happily tag along on that east coast trip. I'm a CA girl too, and our nature colors are green or brown.

  32. Julie, what fun to have you join us for our virtual East Coast adventure.

    I hear you on our CA colors. Up here in the Sierra Foothills it's green through the end of May, and then the rain stops and the hills turn brown, or as the more optimistic among us like to say, golden. Despite the dull hues of the hillsides in summer, I love living in the heart of the Gold Country.

  33. Always cool to learn more about other writers! Thanks for the interview. I'm jealous of the cats, I love them, but my son is terribly allergic.

  34. Yay, Lisa! Another cat person. I'm sorry you're not able to have any in your home, though. Maybe you can visit a friend who has one and get your cat fix that way. =)

  35. I love these interviews, Jill, and Keli's was especially fun! I have a 20-lb orange and white cat who talks a lot as he lolls around. I wonder what it is about writers and cats?

    I am sipping water tonight, but I mostly drink coffee and hot tea.

    Can't wait for your book, Keli! I grew up in CA.

  36. Jeannette, it sounds like your fellow is even bigger than our good-sized orange and white fluff balls. How cute that he talks. One of our guys drools when we pet him. We say he must have a dog gene.

    How cool that your grew up in California. What part of the state?

  37. I'm cheering for leftovers too! I knew I liked Keli. :) Great interview, thanks to you both.

    What am I sipping today? Water and unsweet tea. I grew up in NJ, where they just don't feature it on the menu...Despite moving to KY, I never could get used to it.


  38. Hi, Keli! I'm sipping on orange juice, but I love sweet tea too - but not McDonald's sweet tea. It's too sweet.

  39. Karen, sweet tea is probably an acquired taste much like coffee. And it does seem to be a southern thing, or should I say thang? =)

    Julie, McD's sweet tea is sweeter than what I make at home. I'll often cut theirs with some unsweetened, although there are days I need all the sweetening up I can get. *grin*


I love to hear from you!