Kat and Jeanette Murray are the same person writing for different publishers. Wife, mother, and servant to a Goldendoodle, Kat’s entry into serious writing began when her Marine husband had been deployed overseas and the base library ran out of romance novels she hadn’t read. Kat’s solution to the problem on her limited budget? Write her own. True story. So, before we leave this subject, if you, dear readers, live near a military base, call their library and see if they could use some of those books that won’t fit on your shelves, and if they can, see if your neighbors have a box or two to donate as well.
Because Kat began writing as an outlet for her own enjoyment, she wrote, and continues to write, the stories she enjoys reading most – contemporary romance with strong alpha heroes their ladies can’t resist no matter how hard they try. Where Kat and Jeanette’s story paths differ from the standard is Ms. Murray focuses on the relationship before love enters the picture. Her characters have needs on a level apart from the heart. As such the plots are about relationships of convenience that become strained when one of them falls in love. Heady, emotionally charged stuff. Still, Kat handles the challenge with skill and guarantees a resolve readers will find satisfying.
“The Game of Love” was Jeanette’s debut novel about a former NFL player now coaching high school football and the pro-tennis player now teacher and coach in the same school. The “Semper Fidelis. Always Faithful.” trilogy soon followed, beginning with “The Officer Says I Do.” Each book centers on one of three Marine officer friends and the not-so-average relationships they encounter with women so wrong, and ultimately, so right for them.
Kat’s first novel (and Jeanette’s latest release) is “Taking the Reins.” Peyton Muldoon needs a trainer for her failing horse ranch, but whisperer Redford Callahan has no interest in wasting his time with a soon to be defunct enterprise. That is, until Peyton arrives at Redford’s hotel room with a sensual offering he can’t wait to negotiate. Oh yeah. The poor man is in so much trouble.
If you enjoy well-written contemporary romance with an edge, give Kat and Jeanette Murray a try.
Q) You initially wrote to satisfy your need for romance novels. What made you decide to take your stories public?
A) After writing and enjoying writing for myself, I just decided it was worth a shot. I was a stay at home mom, and while I liked creating the stories for my own pleasure, I figured there was nothing stopping me from sharing them and doing the research to find a publisher. I had the time, and I had the drive.
Q) I have to ask: Is your husband home and safe and what are your future plans? Thank you both for his service by the way.
A) He is home safe, thanks for asking. And you’re welcome, though I know both of us never really consider it service. It’s just his job, one he loves, and I love him so there it is. Future plans are always up in the air in this lifestyle. For now, we just want to continue to focus on keeping our family together whenever possible, and for us to raise our daughter and keep her happy and healthy!
Q) You also wrote the novella “No Mistletoe Required.” Do you prefer writing the shorter stories or full length novels?
A) I get a reward from both short stories and full length novels. Novels give me the chance to explore the relationship more, twist more turns into their lives, delve more into a back story or secondary characters. Novellas are more focused, and so they get to the heart of the matter, with a little less drama than a novel, simply because of the lack of words. Usually if I’m feeling the burnout from novels, I try a novella for the change of pace. Literally, novellas have a different pacing, and a different approach to their plots.
Q) You are very active on Twitter, Facebook – Internet social sites. How important do you think a digital presence has become for authors?
A) I think digital presence is as important as the author wants it to be, for lack of a better way to say that. I do believe a website is almost required, since fans want a single place where you can list all your releases and the info for them. But social media is what you make of it. If the thought of tweeting makes your teeth grind, it’s not for you. And that’s okay. If you force social media and it’s a chore, people will sense that and it won’t be effective. I only do what I enjoy doing, and I enjoy tweeting and posting on Facebook. I was in college when Facebook started, back when it was ONLY for college people. So I’ve had a Facebook account since the day it literally existed. It’s very natural for me to get on Facebook and cruise. I LOVE when readers reach out to me and ask questions on social media, or just share tidbits about their day with me. That’s why I’m on there, to chat. It’s not static, it’s meant for interactions.
Q) “Taking the Reins” is actually the first of a planned trilogy. What came first, the characters who would live your story, or the plots?
A) The characters come first, always. I don’t write suspense (at least not right now) and so what drives my plot, what is at the root of the “conflict” for each book is what the characters are bringing to the table. I like to write characters you could know. I want readers to believe this is happening, that they could head to a horse ranch and meet Red or buy a horse from Peyton because they’re that believable. So the conflict is from the characters themselves.
Q) Any parting comments for fans and potential new readers?
A) I’ve been writing for three years now and it still amazes me when someone contacts me to say they’ve read my book and they loved it. I love hearing from readers, so seriously, come on by and say hi. Write me an email from my contact page on my website, or tweet at me (@KJMurrayBooks) or leave a post on my Facebook wall. I always try to respond, and I love it.
DA Kentner is an award-winning author www.kevad.net