“Characters with rich, complicated lives…
beautifully shows how a family comes to be.”
—New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas
(about Dear Carolina)
For several weeks, I have been sharing the news about the soon to release book Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey. If you read my review of her book, you'll know I was head over heels about the story and her writing. You can only guess how delighted I was that she agreed to write a guest post for Whiskey Tales even with her crazy, busy schedule. So, without any further introduction let's hear from Kristy.
|Kristy Woodson Harvey|
One of the most nerve-racking things about putting your book out into the
world is wondering if people are going to “get it.” You worked for months on this
manuscript, and you’ve put so much of your heart and soul into it, and now you’re
launching it into the world. That wondering if people will get it is, probably in a
larger sense, connected to that paramount question: Are people going to like it? (I’m
a bit of a people pleaser, so I always have that question in mind!)
Maria was one of the first people to review Dear Carolina, and, when I saw
that her post was live, my heart dropped into my stomach. I felt those nervous
butterflies and a surge of adrenaline. This, after almost two years of writing, editing
and waiting for publication, was the moment of truth.
Then I clicked on the link. And then I started reading. I realized quickly that
she had enjoyed the book, which, of course, was a tremendous relief. Because your
editor and the other people at the publishing house can like it all they want to, but,
until it’s in the world, that fear is going to be there that it isn’t going to resonate with
But, as I continued reading, I realized that Maria not only liked the book but
that she also got it.
You see, I don’t write in chronological order. Quite frankly, I don’t write in
any order at all! I write what pops into my head, usually the most emotionally
wrought scenes of the book, and then I puzzle piece it together in the ways that
make the most sense.
The very first scene of Dear Carolina that I wrote was the one where Jodi is
sitting on the beach, trying to come to terms with this decision that she has to make.
And the very first lines I wrote of Dear Carolina were the ones that Maria picked out:
“I don’t know the theory of relativity or the speed of light or any of that other math.
But I knew right well, watching the moon rise over the water that night that, no
matter what them smart scholars say, love is the hardest equation.”
For me, those two lines are the heart of the book, its emotional core. Because
this story isn’t just a story about two mothers and their daughter; it’s a story about
the ways we create our families. It’s a story about how we meet our partners in life
and the best friends that are there for us no matter what. Dear Carolina is a book
about love, in any form, and, no matter what relationship that love pertains to, it
isn’t always of the sweet, sticky, Hallmark-card variety. It tends to get tricky from
time to time.
Which leads into the other essential line that Maria also chose to use in her
review: “You can never have too many people who love you.”
It may be one of the simplest lines in the book, and, on its own, it doesn’t
seem like much. But, today especially, I think it’s an important thing to remember.
With blended families and stepparents and grandparents, in some families there can
be a huge number of people vying for the attention of you, your spouse, or especially
your child. But, as Khaki reminds us, even if it can be complicated, all that means is
that more people love us. And, while the details might be complex, at its core, it’s
really just more love.
Thank you so much for loving this book, Maria, for championing it, and, most
of all, for “getting it.” I’ll never forget the relief I felt when I clicked on that link and
realized that, no matter what happened, someone out there felt as connected to Dear
Carolina as I did! Thank you so much for having me today and allowing me to share
with your wonderful readers. It was a privilege!
~~~ # ~~~
Kristy, Thank you for the gracious compliment. I am incredibly excited to learn you are working on your second book due out April 2016, and I am looking forward to another great read.
"Southern to the bone and full of engaging characters,
Dear Carolina is a strikingly beautiful story of love and sacrifice.
Kristy Woodson Harvey’s debut novel captures your heart
and doesn’t let go; her keen insights into a mother’s love
will stay with you long after the last page."
--Kim Boykin, author of Palmetto Moon
"Dear Carolina is like the Southern women within it’s pages
and those who will love this book, sweet as sweet tea on the outside
and strong as steel on the inside. The dialect of the south
is so entwined in these pages the reader is
transported to a place where women and children
are treasured and family rules all. Kristy Harvey is a natural."
—Ann Garvin, Author of On Maggie’s Watch and The Dog Year
Read my review of Kristy's book here!
You can connect with Kristy on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kristywoodsonharvey and Twitter at @kristywharvey
Expected publication: May 5th, 2015 by Berkley
ISBN 0425279987 (ISBN13: 9780425279984)