Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Kenzie Cade for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Hummingbird House
Author: Kenzie Cade
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Winter Holiday
Prism recently reviewed Hummingbird House. You can find the review here.
To honor his grandmother’s final request, Trenton Appleton drops everything to visit the family’s ancestral home: Hummingbird House, where he experienced his first kiss and first heartbreak with Callum Eason. Eight years ago, confused by his attraction to Trent, Callum reacted badly. But with help he never expected, Callum found himself and learned to accept who he was. Now Trent is back at Hummingbird House, and Callum has his opportunity to salvage their friendship, at least. But Trent is less receptive than he was all those years ago. Still, Callum is determined to show Trent he has changed and keep his promise to Trent’s grandmother. When past mistakes repeat themselves, Callum must break the cycle before his last chance with Trent passes him by.
The Second Time Around:
Writing is not for the faint of heart. It’s true. It’s a bit of a battle and it will tear you up, but only in the best way if you love it enough.
When I started this journey, I was scared to death. Up until I submitted Son of a Fish, I had never let anyone read anything I’d written. The day before I hit send, I sent my manuscript to a friend, an author I respect and idolize. Then I didn’t sleep. What if she didn’t like it? What if she tore it apart? What if there was a plot hole? What if? What if? What if? I was a wreck. Then she sent it back and I was glued to my computer screen. In tears. Did she tear it up? Nope. Did she have suggestions? Most definitely. Suggestions I absorbed and hopefully learned from.
My first publishing experience was a whirlwind. It was a high that got me through a lot of sleepless nights. But it also backed my confidence. I’ve continued to write and learn. Learning is key. I’ve taken the constructive criticism I’ve been given and applied it to my current projects. I practice. I study. I read authors I love. And I read about writing. I’m like an obsessed puppy. This thing we call writing, for those of us who love it so, it’s in our blood. It’s part of me, who I am. And after that first boost of confidence and morale, I’ve been unable to go more than a day or two without putting a couple thousand words on page. Now, mind you, they’re not all great words, and I’m in the middle of a rewrite as we speak, but the point is, I’ve learned.
So when I submitted Hummingbird House, was I scared? I mean, I’d already been through the process once, right? How difficult could it be? I. Was. Terrified. Not only have I already been through the process, I’ve already experienced the beautiful and the ugly sides of writing. But here’s the thing. I love it. So much. Because of that I persevere and keep writing because there are stories and characters in my head that want to be heard so badly, and what kind of writer would I be if I let them down?
So some things I’ve learned my first year in writing:
- Keep writing. It’s not always going to be perfect. Not even you are always going to like your work. When you don’t, start over.
- You can’t please everyone. Believe it or not, not everyone is going to love the same book that you love, so in turn, not everyone is going to love the book you poured your heart and soul into. It’s the beauty of humanity. We are all vastly different. Thick skin is a must. Lashing out and getting angry doesn’t make anyone happy.
- Know your genre. Read what you write. If you want to write BDSM, read it. Get to know it. Research the hell out of it. Research is key. Your readers can tell if you don’t know what you’re talking about.
- Keep growing. Keep learning. Keep moving forward. Find a critique partner, beta readers, an online course, a creative writing course at your local college, books on amazon. Read articles on writing. When another author, especially one you know and/or admire, gives you advice or critique, accept it as the gift it is and apply it to your work.
It’s all very practical, but it’s all key. I’ve learned. I am learning. And I’ll continue to learn. I love this craft. I love this genre. I’ve been extremely lucky this year with Son of a Fish, Project Fierce Chicago, and now Hummingbird House. I already have a few big projects planned for next year. And I’m over the moon. So, yes, it’s been quite the year. I can’t wait to see where it leads.
For a house that had stood empty for the past eight years, it was surprisingly… clean… and warm and bright. The lights were on in the living room to my left, but the clanging of pots and pans in the kitchen through the archway to my right drew my attention. Setting my suitcase and urn down quietly in the entryway, I pulled out an umbrella from the holder by the door. With every bit of stealth I possessed—which is not much—I crept into the kitchen, umbrella raised over my head. My heart raced and my breath sped up, until I crossed into the kitchen to find Callum at the sink.
My umbrella clanked to the wooden floor, and then I slumped over, hands to knees. Callum turned around eyes widened in surprise with an understanding smirk gracing his full lips. I wanted to hate those lips.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” I panted, looking up at Callum as I stumbled over to the nearest kitchen chair and plopped myself into it.
Callum shrugged. “I’ve been taking care of the place for Astrid for the past few years.”
I hadn’t known that. Had I known that? Had Astrid ever mentioned it? No. She certainly hadn’t. Though I’d never admit it aloud, I hung on every word she shared regarding Callum. And trust me, they were few and far between, as if she had known what had happened between us.
She probably had.
Callum had kept up Hummingbird House. The pain in my chest twisted just a little more than usual. I refused to think of it as a betrayal, certain Astrid had her reasons for not telling me. But I just couldn’t imagine what they were.
“That doesn’t explain why you’re here now.”
About the Author:
Kenzie Cade was born and raised in the South where she spends her days in the sometimes stressful field of private medicine observing interesting people and committing them to memory for later use. When she isn’t reading, experimenting with recipes, or being distracted by social media, Kenzie spends time with her family, friends, and the Pomeranian/long-haired Chihuahua mix who likes to keep her company while she writes. As a young girl, Kenzie dreamed of princesses and their white knights. As an adult (or sort of adult), she dreams of princes and their proverbial white knights, which she attributes to fellow Arkansan S.E. Hinton and her novel, The Outsiders. Writing to keep the fictional voices at bay, Kenzie enjoys the journeys her characters travel to find their happy endings, and she loves the challenge of writing a great love story.
Google +: plus.google.com/u/1/+KenzieCade
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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