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FOLLOW THE HEART: Your Questions Answered—and a Question from Me to You!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

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TODAY is the last day of the contest in which five commenters will win a signed copy of Follow the Heart. Be sure to get plenty of comments in today—remember, each comment earns you an “entry” in the drawing!

You asked, now I answer . . .

Janella asked: Without giving too much away, how is the inspirational message woven into each book?

      Janella, each book has an inspirational message that is as individual and unique as the stories and the characters. Since this is something that I’ll want to focus on with each book separately, I’ll refer you to the next questions/answer for the message in Follow the Heart.

Dora asked: A few authors which I read base their books on scripture that is woven throughout the story and upon which the entire story is built. Is there a certain passage or biblical theme upon which you build your stories? If so, upon which particular scripture is Follow the Heart based?

Emma asked: I second Janella on the faith question. Since, this is inspirational fiction, how do you weave faith into your novels? Do you start with an idea, or do you just write and just see where the story goes?

      Women, especially, tend to look at our choices as a series of obligations—we do what we feel we are obligated to do for the sake of our families, not necessarily what we feel our hearts are telling us to do. I believe, and it’s the theme of this book, that we spend too much time worrying about how we can fix/help/support our families (or those around us at work or in friendships) and not enough time listening to and trusting God. When we pray, we tend to tell God what’s wrong and ask him to fix it. But do we ever really take the time to just be still and listen to what God is trying to tell us? And can we really let God take care of those we feel responsible for and let go of that burden of responsibility that may not, in truth, be ours to bear?

      The key passage of scripture for this book is Matthew 6:25–32.

      Did I set out with this theme/scripture in mind? Thematically—yes. The story was based on the question of whether or not a woman would follow her heart into a romance that could mean continued deprivation for her family or marry for money and sacrifice her own happiness for her family’s well-being. The scripture passage came to me organically (pardon the pun) because Kate loves the outdoors and all growing things, so, naturally, a verse that focuses on lilies would appeal to her.

Elaine Key wrote: Give me a brief synopsis of Follow the Heart. Who are the characters? Make me interested in the book.

      I’ll try my best, Elaine! Here’s the pitch line I used in the proposal:

      An American woman is sent to England to marry wealth, but finds herself torn between the poor man she loves and the viscount who offers the wealth and stability that can save her family.

      And here’s a snapshot of each of the four main characters:

      Katharine “Kate” Dearing: An American spinster whose father has gambled away the family fortune so sends her to England to find a wealthy husband. Kate finds love for the first time in her twenty-eight years, but is he the man who can save her family?

      Christopher Dearing: Recently finished with law school and an apprenticeship at a law firm in New York, Christopher finds himself bundled off to England with his sister. His hopes lie not in marrying money, but in making it in the booming English railway industry. He finds love, but following his heart could mean forcing his sister to sacrifice her own.

      Honora “Nora” Woodriff: Sent out to find work to support her family at a young age, Nora has resigned herself to the solitary life of a governess. That is, until a brash, dashing American comes to stay at her employer’s home. Can she risk her heart and her future security on a young man with no prospects of inheritance?

      Andrew Lawton: After seeing his mother die in the poorhouse of lung rot when he was only eight years old, Andrew has spent his life working to avoid ending up there himself. The posting to redesign the gardens and park at Wakesdown Manor for Sir Anthony Buchanan is his first as an independent landscape gardener. Andrew desperately needs to prove himself in order to secure his future, but falling in love with his employer’s niece may cost him everything.

Anonymous e-mailed to ask: How do you work, teach, and write at the same time?

      It’s hard—and I have to admit that in the first six to eight months after going back to work full-time and starting to teach part-time, it was hard trying to figure out a balance. But once I put myself on a strict schedule—and started making myself meet a word-count goal daily—it started getting much easier. I do much better when I have too much to do than when I have not enough.

Megyn emailed this question: I know you’re working on the other books in this series right now, but are you already planning for what you’ll write after you finish this?

      I posted a little while back about all of the story ideas that I’ve got running amok in my head. Right now, I’m not leaning one way or another as to which one I’m most passionate about—because that would require pulling too much focus away from getting The Heart That Waits written. But I’m sure as soon as I figure it out, I’ll be letting everyone here know!

Here’s a question from me that everyone can answer—as a way to get more entries in the drawing!

If you were to star in a romantic movie, would it be contemporary or historical, drama or comedy, and what actor would play your leading man?

If I were to star in a romantic movie, it would be a humorous contemporary. Melissa McCarthy, Queen Latifah, and Adele would play my three best friends with whom I share a large house in the ’burbs of Nashville, and Oded Fehr would be a highly respected (and wealthy) surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and he would fall head-over-heels in love with me. Of course, tomorrow, I could be an independent Englishwoman who travels to New Zealand in the early 20th Century there to meet the handsome, charming Karl Urban and, after some humorous misunderstandings and miscommunication, we live happily ever after on our sheep farm.

On May 1, I will be giving away FIVE signed copies of Follow the Heart.

Today is the last day—so get your comments posted! I’ll be announcing the winners in tomorrow’s post.

Comment early, comment often!

  1. Tuesday, April 30, 2013 11:34 am

    Hi – If I were to play a role in a Romantic Movie it would have to be a Historical Drama. That way I am drawing people in and giving their minds historical knowledge at the same time. I love to always learn something new so…. As for the leading Male that would have to be Collin Farrell. He has the ability to play both drama/serious and intelligent roles.
    Kaye – Which Movie would you want to be in? Also who is your main male character.
    By The Way I have just been introduced to your writing and I am very impressed. I am excited about this new book and the chance to win a copy. Either way I look forward to all your future novels and my chance to read them.
    Blessings, Jenn


    • Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:23 pm

      Collin Farrell or Collin Firth (Mr. Darcy/The King’s Speech)? Not that I have anything against Collin Farrell, but he’s a surprising choice.


      • Tuesday, April 30, 2013 9:58 pm

        I’m so embarrassed. You’re right it’s Colin Firth not Colin Farrell I just looked up the movie via actors playing. Colin Firth definitely is a person I’d want to be in a historical drama with. In general it seems I am better with books. Blessings, Jenn


  2. Debra Marvin permalink
    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 11:50 am

    Loved all your answers, Kaye.
    I’d definitely choose a historical drama. Now, at my age, I must choose wisely…actors that would be suitable for me now… are looking a bit worn around the edges. I’ll get back to you. I think I’d pick 1840s-1850s, and I bet that purple dress Kate’s ‘model’ had to wear would not be too big on me!


    • Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:25 pm

      Uh, the whole point of this is to fantasize. I just happen to have massive crushes on two men who are almost exactly my age (Oded is one year older, Karl is one year younger). But I’d have had just as much fun choosing Henry Cavill or Chris Hemsworth, who are both ten or more years younger than me.


  3. Dora permalink
    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 12:23 pm

    Thank you for your answers. I learned so much more about the process. I think if I were the leading lady in a romance, it would have to be contemporary and a comedy of errors. I have a great love of history, however, do not want to ever lose my modern conveniences, ever, and do not like “dressing” up. (The shoes kill me). My leading man would be Matthew McConaughey or Harrison Ford (I think I am older than Callista Flockhart or at least the close to her age.) Although as a teen, my favorite leading man would have been Jack Wagner. I am cool with any of the above, but probably most suited for someone like Adam Sandler.


    • Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:26 pm

      I think the corset would be a bigger problem than the shoes. 😉

      Love your choices of leading men!


  4. Janella permalink
    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 12:34 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my question, I love the scripture passage you based your book on.

    If I were in a movie it would have to be a historical drama piece set in the 1800’s. For the male lead I would choose Jonny Lee Miller, who played Mr. Knightley in the PBS Masterpiece Emma.


    • Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:27 pm

      He’s also playing Sherlock Holmes on the CBS show Elementary and he played Edmund Bertram in the theatrical version of Mansfield Park!


      • Amber permalink
        Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:02 am

        I absolutely love Jonny Lee Miller on Elementary. We can’t get enough of that show at my house!


      • Janella permalink
        Wednesday, May 1, 2013 7:49 am

        Thanks for the info I will check out Elementary


  5. Jennifer permalink
    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 1:03 pm

    I would be in a historical drama with either Chris Pine or Harrison Ford as the leading man.

    Love your books. Thanks for all the great, clean reads.


    • Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:29 pm

      Ooh, I love Chris Pine! And would you pick Raiders of the Lost Ark-era Harrison or Kingdom of the Crystal Skull-era Harrison?


  6. Emma permalink
    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 6:55 pm

    Thanks for answering my question, Kaye! I have another one that maybe you could answer at some point. Was “Follow the Heart” your original title? I have heard that a lot of times publishers change the titles, so I was curious if they did to your book or not. It fits well with the theme!


    • Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:35 pm

      Yes, that was the original title (as are the other two), but when I put it in the proposal, I indicated that it was a working title because when I came up with it, I wasn’t necessarily happy with it and wanted to show a prospective publisher that I’m open to change. But B&H apparently liked the titles just fine!

      The Bonneterre series are the only books of mine which went through title changes. Stand-In Groom spent the four year of its pre-publication life as Happy Endings, Inc.. The two follow up books were A Major Event, Inc. (the original story idea had Major starting a catering company, not a restaurant) and Forbes Guidry, Inc..(the rough story idea for the third book was a take off of Pride and Prejudice with Forbes running for city council and the heroine being the head of a non-profit on the opposite side of an issue of one of his main supporters—the Lady Catherine role). When Barbour came back and said they wanted to rename the first book, I was actually really happy, because I had never liked the idea for Forbes’s book—and changing the names and getting into Menu for Romance and having Alaine show up on the scene helped me figure out the story of A Case for Love.


      • Emma permalink
        Tuesday, April 30, 2013 9:20 pm

        Wow, that is all quite interesting. I like the titles you came up with, especially “Follow the Heart“, since now I know what the inspiration behind it was. I think coming up with a good name has to be hard. I have never been good with giving things names. A while ago, when I was still in school, I did a painting in the style of Monet for an art class. I named it “I Lost My Contacts” It still make me laugh. Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about coming up with titles for things very often! Thanks for sharing! 🙂


  7. Emma permalink
    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 7:04 pm

    Now, to answer your question…I would definitely want to star in a romantic/comedy, crime movie set in the 1920‘s and in England! I, of course, would be the main sleuth, and my very handsome partner would be Jack Davenport! He would fall madly in love with me. Also, he would be able to sing and play the piano. I would also have a dog. I think a little terrier mix named Terrance would fit the bill nicely.


    • Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:35 pm

      And of course, it would feature fantastic flapper/jazz music numbers! 😉


      • Emma permalink
        Tuesday, April 30, 2013 9:22 pm

        Hehe, naturally!


    • Amber permalink
      Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:01 am

      I love the 20’s. Midnight in Paris made me swoon!


  8. Michelle permalink
    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:42 pm

    For me it would most definitely be a historical drama. Today, I’d say the leading man would be Matthew Macfayden, but if you ask me that question tomorrow, the answer probably will have changed.


    • Tuesday, April 30, 2013 10:25 pm

      Mmmmm . . . love me some tall, dark, brooding Matthew Mac!


  9. Tuesday, April 30, 2013 11:48 pm

    Thanks Kaye for answering my question. Now I am interested in reading, Follow The Heart. Now to answer your question which I have thought about most of the night. Right now I love reading contemporary novels although I have read historical novels in the past and loved them. But if I were in a movie, I would like to be in a movie about the Civil War. When I was a teenager, I was fascinated with the events of the Civil War and I would read everything about the Civil War. I also watched a lot of movies about the Civil War. Of course I would be a Southern Belle and my Daddy would be a rich plantation owner. The love of my life would be Dermot Mulroney from The Wedding Date. I guess I would make him a Yankee to make the story more interesting.


    • Amber permalink
      Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:00 am

      Dermot Mulroney is such a good choice! I love him in The Family Stone and New Girl.


  10. Amber permalink
    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 11:59 pm

    Love this question!

    If I were to star in a romantic movie, I’d want it to be a contemporary dramedy! I love a good mix of drama and comedy. The leading man would have to be Joshua Jackson (I’ve been hooked on him since he was Pacey in Dawson’s Creek!) or Channing Tatum.


  11. Lady DragonKeeper permalink
    Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:20 am

    Congrats Ms. Kaye! I can’t wait to read your new book!

    If I were in a movie … I’d probably be in a contemporary. I love historicals, but I don’t think it’d really be historically accurate to have an Asian female heroine from my favorite time periods (Regency, Medieval, or Colonial) BUT it might be neat if it was set in the 1930s-1950s as well. In any case, I’d pick Colin Morgan, William Mosley … or some other young British actor. ❤ =)



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