Kevin, thanks for taking the time to visit us today! I appreciate you answering these few questions. It will be fun to get to know you better.
How long did you write before you were published?
My first attempt at writing anything longer than a college term paper was the novella The Paper Bag Christmas, which took me about 3 weeks to write. At that time I had no aspirations of becoming a published author; I really just wanted write something for my children to read. But once I had a manuscript done, those who read it urged me to shop it around; from there it took about six months to find someone willing to publish it.
Tell us about “The Final Note,” the featured book.
I’m a little nervous admitting to this before I see how readers react to it, but The Final Note is probably my favorite of the books I’ve written. It tells the story of a man who loses sight of the priorities in his life, and as a result pays a very dear price. Among other things, his negligence lands his wife in the ICU on life support, and he is faced with the unenviable task of letting her go (pulling the plug). Most of the story is a flashback, as the main character reviews the details of his life that have led up to the present-day crisis. Emotionally, I think this book is a roller-coaster, with some wonderful highs and bitter lows, and I hope readers will latch on to its message of forgiveness.
Is there any person who has been a strong influence in your writing journey?
My wife has probably had the biggest influence, simply by believing in me. She helps motivate me when I need it, and she’s an excellent sounding board. I draw a lot of the emotion for my books from the things I see and feel about her.
What message do you want to be clear to your readers?
I hope readers take away a variety of different thoughts and impressions when they read The Final Note, but if I had to narrow a message down to one thing it would be this: the effects and power of forgiveness are real.
What are some of your likes and dislikes? Your hobbies, interests? Where do you like to vacation?
Likes: lazy days with nothing to do but sit and play with the kids, Harry Potter, college football, and fresh strawberries. Dislikes: deadlines, re-reading my own bad prose, and frozen computer screens. Hobbies and interests: writing, playing guitar, and coaching soccer.
Tell us a little-known fact about yourself that readers may not know.
Little known fact #1: I lived in Vienna, Austria for two years, which is one of the key settings in The Final Note. Little known fact #2: A song reference in the book is Falco’s 1980’s hit “Amadeus.” As it happens, I met the man (Falco) in a tiny Austrian town while he was on tour in his native country. Little known fact #3: I was pretty excited about getting Falco’s autograph, but he was less than thrilled to give it to me.
How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
When I’m in the thick of writing (i.e. when deadline is looming), I like to reach a certain daily word count. In fact I have a spreadsheet that charts my daily progress relative to my plan – when I see my trend line dipping, I know I have to spend more time writing. Usually I start a writing session by reading whatever I wrote the day before, just to get my head back into it. Sometimes I’m able to pick up right where I left off, other days I sit there thinking for an hour or two before any new words are typed. Excluding my first novella (because it was definitely an exception), it takes me roughly four months to complete a novel.
What are you currently reading?
My editor suggested that I read My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult, because it is written from multiple first-person perspectives, which is kind of cool. I’m really enjoying it.
Do you grow flowers or vegetables? What are your favorite flowers?
Great question! I grow vegetables, my wife grows flowers. My favorite flowers are roses, largely because of the thorns. It just seems appropriate that something so beautiful should come with a little pain.
What are you writing now?
I’m just about four chapter in to my next novel, tentatively titled The One Good Thing. I’m really excited for this story, but I don’t think the planned release date is until spring 2013.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
The best place to go is my webpage, http://kevinamilne.com . From there you can also visit my blog or join me on FaceBook. Drop on by today!
And thanks for spending this time with us, Kevin.
We wish you much success.
I’m very happy to announce that Kevin has donated his book The Final Note to giveaway to one of my followers. I must say this is a fantastic book. Here is my link for my review of The Final Note. http://thelifeandtimesofwanda.blogspot.com/2011/05/final-note-by-kevin-alan-milnea-review.html
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