A Woman Defined

Art & Culture by Mahvash Mossaed

A Conversation with Author Kristy Woodson Harvey of Newly-Released Novel “ Lies and Other Acts of Love”

February 21, 2016
I had the opportunity to interview Kristy Woodson Harvey, the author of the popular novels Lies and Other Acts of Love and Dear Carolina. Here are some highlights.

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Do you write for others because you have to write or for yourself only?
I started writing because I had to write for myself, and I try to stick with that, but I do think of my readers when I write. I want them to enjoy my work too now that I know many of them.
How many days do you actually write, and how rigid you are about that schedule?
When I am working on a first draft, I try to write 2,000 words at least Product Details 5 days a week, but, during that time, I often write seven days a week and up to 5,000 words. The first drafts usually come very quickly. But, at this point, I’m not writing and then editing continuously. Right now, with the Lies and Other Acts of Love launch only two months away, I am working on publicity solely and probably will be until the end of May. My April and May tour schedule is very rigorous, and I’ll be gone for several weeks, and working on the edits for my third book at the same time, so there’s not much left for my work-in-progress. But I’m beginning to get used to the schedule now and find a new sort of balance in it, which is good.
While writing, what kind of relationship do you often form with your own writing self – a painful or a joyful one?
Joyful! Writing is my happy time, when I feel most myself. I love to watch the characters take shape on the page. It makes me very happy.
How do you recognize if you are on the wrong track?
Usually, it’s if something doesn’t ring true to me. Honestly, this happens to me most often when I’m trying to fictionalize something true. The truth really is stranger than fiction so much of the time! I’ve learned that a good story in life doesn’t necessarily make a good story on the page.
Are you affected by other people’s appraisal of your work? Have you ever been hurt by them?
Certainly. I’m open to suggestions and understand that different books appeal to different people. But I think the anonymity of the Internet gives people license to say things that are so cruel and not constructive at all. Fortunately, these have been few and far between, and I am getting a much, much thicker skin.

Do you feel you and the characters in your books have always been well understood by your readers?
I was surprised by the people (again, not that many, but a few) who told me that Khaki in Dear Carolina had too perfect a life. She was a widow with a very strained relationship with her mother who couldn’t have a child. She had a nice life in terms of money, career and husband, but she certainly did not have a “perfect” life. I think she was a bit misunderstood.

Do you lose yourself in your writing?The very fact that writing is a very lonely art, do you sometimes feel lonely?
I do lose myself in the writing. I have to set an alarm to make sure I pick my son up from preschool on time! I generally don’t feel lonely, and i wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I am an only child. I enjoy the silence and solitude of writing, and I am fortunate to have found a wonderful community of writers in my book travels who I am able to talk to about the more difficult aspects of publishing.
What books are currently on your book stand?
I try to keep it as pared down as possible, with just what I am currently reading. I am in the middle of an advance copy of Can I See You Again? by Allison Morgan, which I am enjoying greatly. And my son and I are reading Wayside School is Falling Down, so that’s on there too!
What books are you embarrassed not to have read yet?
The Paris Wife, All the Light We Cannot See, Anna Karenina… There’s quite a list actually. I got my Master’s in English because I felt like I hadn’t read enough great books in college and high school, but I think there will always be wonderful things on my to be read list. Maybe that’s a part of the fun!

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What do you plan to read next?
The Paris Wife.
Which books might we be surprised to fined on your shelves?
I have pretty much everything that Deepak Chopra has ever written and dozens of volumes of traditional yoga practice. I read quite a bit of non-fiction and am particularly interested in health. Science has always been a passion of mine and a college major I considered. But my interests are extremely varied, and I figured that writing would give me the opportunity to delve into all of them.
What is next for Kristy Woodson Harvey and what would be next for Kristy Woodson Harvey if the sky were the limit?
Dear Carolina has just been optioned for film, my next novel, Lies and Other Acts of Love, is releasing on April 5, and I just heard that my editor loved my third manuscript, so I’m hoping that one will be coming out as well. I think I have found my true passion, so my real hope is that I am able to continue writing novels and spending time with my family. It’s fairly simple, I think. And simple is exactly what I’m looking for right now.
  • Purchase her books on Amazon.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Reviews |

One Response to “A Conversation with Author Kristy Woodson Harvey of Newly-Released Novel “ Lies and Other Acts of Love””

  1. Thank you so, so much for the wonderful interview! It was such a pleasure to be on your site and to share with your readers!

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