Hola everybody! Today I have the pleasure of bringing you an interview with Kathy Carmichael. Her new book, Hot Flash, is a romantic comedy. :)
Lemonitsa: Welcome to YRR Kathy! Would you please tell us a little about yourself before we talk about your new book?
Kathy: I'm a wife, mother and author. It seems like I'm always behind and can never catch up. I love reading (what author doesn't?) and enjoy doing things with my two sons who are rapidly growing up! When I'm not writing or reading, then I'm usually doing Mom-things – like watching wrestling matches!
My husband is from Scotland and he's a true sweetie. He's also incredibly good at domestic tasks, such as laundry. A huge plus is he does all of the dishes!
In addition to the writing, I'm also a member of CleverDivas.com. It's a website for women's interests for interesting women. Check it out! You might read a helpful article on reupholstering a footstool or a great pork chop recipe! And you can become a Clever Diva, too :)
Lemonitsa: Ha! I can picture it: you in front of the TV yelling at a dumb move by a wrestler! Now, let's go to your romantic comedy. Can you tell us a little about Hot Flash?
Kathy: I love making people laugh, so it's a no-brainer that I write comedy.
And I think most women will find something they can identify with in Jill, the heroine's, character.
Jill's determined to figure out a way to finance her only son's college tuition. Said son only speaks to her in French slang, by the way. She's just turned 40, was dumped by her ex-boyfriend for a woman half her age, is stuck in a dead-end job as a sous chef and doesn't know where to turn -- until she cooks up a plan. She sends out surveys to happily married women and comes to the conclusion that the happiest marriages are those with absent husbands. And so she's off in search of the perfect traveling salesman to marry, in hopes he'll be absent a lot, while sending home a paycheck she can use to send her son to college. But Jill isn't willing to settle, she's looking for love and happily ever after, despite all the pitfalls the universe tosses in her path.
I hope readers will have as much fun reading the book as I did in writing it!
Lemonitsa: As a Montrealer, I think I'll get a very big kick out of the French slang-speaking son! What kind of response are you hearing about Hot Flash?
Kathy: A reviewer and a reader both told me the same thing. They said the book is "pee your pants funny."
In all sincerity, what thrills me most is when someone tells me the book is hilarious. It makes my soul sing. If I can give my readers a few minutes away from worrying about jobs, the economy and how they'll pay their heating bill, that's more than enough for me. We've all suffered through difficult times and having a break, however short, is important and helps each of us continue soldiering on. That's why I write what I write and why I love to hear from readers saying they laughed out loud. So if you've read the book, please let me know what you think!
Lemonitsa: Well, I'm really into stories that have chefs and bakers as heroines, so this is a must read! Tell me, how did you decide what Jill Morgan Storm would be like?
Kathy: Poor Jill -- she's got all of my worst moments rolled into one. When I began the book, my husband was between jobs. Our oldest son was a junior in high school and college was looming. I'd begun early menopause and hot flashes were making me crazy. The only lifelines I had were my female friends and inmany ways, this book is in honor of them. Thank goodness they let me vent and gave me advice and hugs whenever I needed them.
Lemonitsa: I've heard Hot Flash is funny, but I want to know, are there any serious issues in the book? Is it all laughs?
Kathy: There's always a fine line between pain and laughter, isn't there?
When life gets tough, you can either head back to bed, or you can laugh!
Jill is facing some serious issues, but it's how she deals with them that makes the book fun rather than a tear-jerker. Her only child will soon be heading off to college and, not only will her nest be empty, she'll be alone for the first time in her life Additionally, she's aging and experiencing the related changes in her body. Secretly, she fears that she's too old to find someone to love her who she can love as well.
But Jill is not a quitter. She's determined to look after her son and her own needs. How she goes about it is engaging, but I believe most women will fully identify with the issues Jill faces that drive the story forward.
Lemonitsa: Jill is a strong woman. In Hot Flash, she created a Marital Satisfaction Survey and sent it out to happily married women. I heard that you've done something just like that.
Kathy: Yes! I would love for readers to come take the Marriage Satisfaction Survey I set up. Visit my website at KathyCarmichael.com and click on the Survey link! I tried to make the survey fun and it will be great to see what real women have to say on the subject!
Jill is also a chef, so I set up a recipe blog for her and readers to trade recipes. There's a link on my website for it as well.
Also, there is a Reading Group Guide on my website in case readers might be interested in discussing Hot Flash with their book reading group.
And the interview ends here. I must say that I love this book cover, too. It's a great teaser for what's inside!
Kathy is giving away two autographed copies of Hot Flash so please leave a comment and your e-mail addy. Maybe you'll be the lucky winner!