Friday, April 3, 2015
Kellie Coates Gilbert's Newest Installment on the TEXAS GOLD series
There’s never been a better fit for this blog than Kellie Coates Gilbert. Her novels are founded in truth and proof that fiction can be a realistic as life itself.
Kellie, welcome to “Truth in Fiction.” I’m thoroughly enjoying your TEXAS GOLD series. Woman of Fortune and Where Rivers Part, both legal dramas with tons of action and feeling, kept me reading into the night. Before that, Mother of Pearl gripped my heart and never let go. It’s a must-read for every mother of a teenage girl.
In Where Rivers Part, you set the scene so beautifully. The city of San Antonio, Texas, functions like a supporting character. I can see the need for several “research” trips along its waterway. How did you learn about the city, and why did you choose San Antonio?
I’m glad you mentioned the setting, Lee. When my publisher (Baker/Revell) signed me on a four-book contract, they asked if I could set the stories I’d pitched in Texas. I said, “Sure!” So, the Texas Gold collection was born—with four stand alone novels set in each of the metropolitan cities of Texas.
As you mention, Where Rivers Part is in San Antonio. I took a research trip and spent days exploring, finding places for the scenes I’d planned. I also did a lot of “armchair travelling” via Google! So tickled to be receiving emails from readers telling me they felt like they were in that beautiful city.
On a side note, I learned about the Edwards Aquifer underneath San Antonio and knew that would work beautifully in a water themed story!
Your years as a legal investigator and trial paralegal provide excellent footing for your novels. You’ve developed skill in keeping the balance between accuracy and overpowering the reader. Do you ever write a passage and then delete it? Or your editor deletes it?
I’m fortunate in that my editor modifies my stories only lightly, and almost never touches my legal scenes. That said, in my debut novel MOTHER OF PEARL, the editor urged me to remove paragraphs that were wonderful, but she felt the pacing needed to move really fast in those scenes. The advice was spot on!
What motivated you to tell the story of contaminated water?
Years back, I worked on a legal case involving an outbreak of foodborne illness resulting from undercooked hamburger. The outbreak sickened many and nearly toppled a multi-million dollar corporation.
During a key deposition of the executive who was in charge of quality control, the plaintiff’s attorney posed questions meant to vilify him and suggest his lack of oversight caused the death of four children. As you might expect, several hours of this took its toll. But, none of us in that room that day anticipated the moment the man buried his head in his hands and fell to tears.
I knew there was a story behind those tears and I wanted to tell it . . . even if only in my imagination.
You’ve been very active on the pages of Pinterest, and have come up with several good ideas for how to use Pinterest to stimulate interest in your books. Would you care to share?
I love Pinterest! Such a fun way to connect with readers. In addition to boards for each of my books, I have one I think your readers will especially love: a board that features promotions and contests where readers can enter to win free books and prizes. I have a board that features all my blog posts, one with the monthly contests I run from my website, I have boards that feature new Inspirational Fiction. And I have a lot of just pure fun boards where I pin things that I love!
Did you leave the legal work to become a writer, or did you become a writer after leaving that occupation?
I’m a former legal investigator and trial paralegal who spent more than a little time juggling the roles of wife and mother while working outside the home. During those years I wrote magazine articles here and there. In 2008, my husband made a career move that brought us to Dallas allowing me the freedom to transition to full-time novelist. I still own a contract paralegal business and a legal marketing business too, so my waking hours are pretty full!
When I went to Amazon.com to check the exact titles of your books, I saw that you have yet another novel ready for pre-order. Tell us about A Reason to Stay.
Oh, Lee! I can’t wait for October to get here so I can get A Reason to Stay in the hands of readers. This one tells the story of a young Houston power couple on the brink of divorce. Here’s the back cover copy:
As the host of her own television news show, Faith Marin works to expose the truth for her viewers. But in her personal life, she’s anchored her world with firm boundaries in order to hide a family history she’d like to forget. Her pro bass fisherman husband Geary’s life is an open book, and unfortunately his busybody family doesn’t know the meaning of boundaries. Deception and crippling differences soon derail their tender relationship, leading Faith to believe her only option is to end the marriage. But while divorce papers sit on her desk waiting to be signed, tragedy strikes and her heartrending decision is interrupted. With her life in the balance, Faith finds that the one she has been shutting out may be the very one she cannot bear to lose.
What are you working on now?
I’m smack-dab in the middle of writing the final book in this collection. This one has not yet been named, but is set in Austin. I can’t say much yet, but the story will have a political backdrop and has the heaviest romantic thread I’ve ever written. I’m loving how it’s shaping up!
You have excellent contact with your readers, and you’re known for openness to your fan base. How can people reach you?
Readers, I hope you’ll come tell me hello! All my social media links are on my website: www.kelliecoatesgilbert.com That’s also where you can sign up for Kellie’s Readers Club and get news of all my coming releases!
Kellie Coates Gilbert spent nearly twenty-five years working in courtrooms and behind the scenes of some of the largest and most well-known cases in America. Kellie was one of the lead paralegals in the Jack-in-the-Box litigation, where uncooked hamburger resulted in the deaths of several toddlers and made many more critically ill, which is now the subplot of her recently released WHERE RIVERS PART from Baker Publishing/Revell. Her books not only explore the heart issues that matter most to women, but often allow readers an inside peek into her former legal world.
Kellie is offering one free print book to someone who leaves a comment with your email address on this blog. You may disguise your email address from the evil bots by writing it in this form: LeeCarver2(at)aol(dot)com. Thank you for visiting us today. Happy Easter. Christ is risen!