Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Interview with Tonya Kappes

It's my pleasure to have my friend finally visit me here Over Coffee. It feels like I've been waiting forever. So it's with great pleasure I introduce, women's fiction author, Tonya Kappes. To reward her for visiting I decided to put her on the hot seat and ask lots of questions.

Before I get to the questions I have to tell you I read her latest book, Carpe Bead 'Em. I loved it! It's a fun summer read that leaves you feeling good after you put it down. I'll admit, I shook my Kindle in disbelief when I got to the end. I was sure it would magically continue on with Hallie's story, but alas it didn't. Darn it. Her story shares the best elements of women's fiction and chick-lit and yes, there are quirky characters, lots of laughs, and few tears. I would recommend Carpe Bead 'Em for a fun summer read and introduce you an excellent story teller.

 You can read the Blurb and Excerpt here

Buy: Amazon, Smashwords Available Kindle and Paperback

Carpe Bead 'Em book trailer

Tonya, I'm so glad to have you visiting here Over Coffee. Tell me a bit about you. I know you’re married and the mother of four teenaged boys. From what I know of you the past few years, it sounds like a big boisterous family setting. Do you work outside the home?

Yes! I do work outside the home with….KIDS!! Can you believe it? I can’t escape it!

I’m a Developmental Therapist for children birth to three-years old. I work with all sorts of children with disorders like shaken baby syndrome to speech therapy etc…

How do you balance writing with the rest of your life?

I put it on my head and hope it sinks in while walking really fast.

No, seriously. I keep all my writing stuff with me at all times. When I have a free second between therapy appointments I pull it out. When we are at one of many sporting events~I pull it out. The community we live in is use to seeing me with pencil, paper, laptop in hand.

What do you do to relax and recharge?

What? We can do that?? I do walk my dogs every day. Being with my family keeps me going. Plus I love my day job, and I get rewarded from helping those sweet little ones. It charges me up.

You’ve been writing for some years, how long have you had the goal to be published?

From day one. From the day I started seriously writing, I was writing for publication. I only wanted my name on a book. When that happened, I wanted to touch readers. Readers are my number one priority. It doesn’t matter about the amount of books sold, or the amount of money, it’s all about my readers.

How did you go about making that a reality? (How did writing groups, continuing education, etc help?)

I have to say, I’m very blessed to be surrounded by such a great group of writing women. My local RWA chapter has Lori Foster, Shelley Shepard Gray, Heather Webber, Jules Bennett, Dianne Castell, Toni Blake, Cathy Liggett, Kay Stockham, Becke Davis, Gabrielle Edwards, Tina Wolfer, just to name a few. They are great women who encourage me. Plus my critique group, that I meet with every other week, Heather Webber, Shelley Shepard Grey, Hilda Linder-Knepp, and Cathy Liggett, keep it real for me.

I really took a lot of classes to hone my craft. The story part is easy and flows, it’s all those grammar rules that flub me up. WHO NEEDS RULES??

You have a blog, The Naked Hero, with Misa Ramirez. How did the blog help you with fulfilling your goal to be published?

Yes, Misa Ramirez! Amazing woman! It helped me build a platform and establish a presence on line before I was published. I really do believe in connecting with readers and I found it there. I make sure I email each person who comments on my blog. I want them to feel like I hear them. I do.

How have you handled discouragement that comes with submitting and getting rejections?

I’m a “glass is half full” girl! I’m all about karma, destiny, and giving back. When I got rejections, and I did, I never got upset. It only fueled my fire, and I continued. I would send out sixty-one-hundred queries at a time. I can honestly say, I never ever got mad or upset. I accepted it and moved on.

I teach my children this every day!

You tout yourself as a high-class hillbilly (*snork), so does this tag make Tonya Kappes quirky? Or does designing and beading make her quirky?

Ummm…it’s me! I love to go barefoot, packing my Gucci bag, and calling everyone y’all. I’m a people person and can get along with the richest and the poorest, the smartest and the dumbest. There is good in everyone and I find it no matter what.

You say you love writing about, “quirky characters and even quirkier situations.” So, define for me quirky, and how it applies to your writing?

Quirky, to me, is living outside the box and letting the world know it is okay. Society lives in this box of rules, and I don’t, nor do my kids.

I love writing about these kinds of characters. They are entertaining and make a great character! It takes my reader away from their life and makes them smile.

You write woman’s fiction. What drew you to this genre?

I love reading about the growth, learning something to make your life better. It was just a natural write for me. I’m sure it’s because it was all I use to read. Now I read anything I can get my hands on.

What’s something you admire about Hallie, your heroine in Carpe Bead ‘em?

I love the fact she was able to come full circle in her life before it was too late. She discovers how important family is no matter where you come from. She has such a wonderful growth and her spirit, in the end, was gold.

(I love her friends and her interaction with Bo and his shirts, cracks me up.)

This might be like asking a mother to pick her favorite kid, but do you have a favorite scene?

I love all the scenes when Aunt Grace calls her in the middle of the night. Hallie never, not once, didn’t take her Aunt’s call.

What's easiest (or hardest) for you-dialogue, plot, character, or something else?

I love to cross tenses! My editor always corrects me for this. I write the full novel, then go back and make myself look at the tenses. It should get easier with each novel, but it hasn’t.

I know you are hard at work on a series. Can you tell us a bit about it and when it will be released?

OH! I love this series. It’s my first series that just flowed through me. All three novels are set in a fictitious town of Grandberry Falls, and centered around the residents there. The town is so charming with a waterfall in the middle of town square where you can throw in a penny for good luck, have lunch at The Fatted Pig, dessert at The Trembling Cup CafĂ©, or a cocktail at The Thirsty Turtle. It’s a town you will want to live in.

The Ladybug Jinx is the first in the series that will be released at the end of July. The second book, Happy New Life, will be released in September. The third and final book (I say that…) is Never Tell Your Dreams Before Breakfast, and will be released in January.

Readers will follow this town and some main characters throughout a major growth in all their life and community.

Tonya, I'm eagerly awaiting reading this series! You are such a good storyteller. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.


Tonya Kappes, the queen, princess, and jester in her family of 4 boys, 2 dogs, and best friend husband, is the author of two novels, Carpe Bead 'Em and The Ladybug Jinx. She writes contemporary women's fiction and humorous cozy mysteries with quirky characters and quirkier situations. Tonya teaches on-line classes at about those heroes/heroines/villains we love to write and read about. Tonya's Promotional Toolbox is a must-go-to workshop, where Tonya works with authors on how to effectively promote and market themselves and their books. She is the co-founder of The Naked Hero( website, and The Writer's Guide to E Publishing ( Find out what's going on with Tonya at You can also find Tonya on Facebook.


~Sia McKye~ said...

Tonya, welcome to Over Coffee from the other side! I'm so glad to have you visiting.

Pull up a chair; grab some coffee or your Caffeine of choice. Plenty of goodies here to tempt you.

I've known you all this time and didn't know you were a therapist working with children. I imagine the job is both rewarding and at times breaks your heart.

Hilary said...

Hi Sia .. some busy mother and author is Tonya ..but I guess that keeps the ball rolling along.

Wonderful Tonya that you can work and help disadvantaged kids so early in life - that must be so rewarding. I can see why you say you're a people person .. you need to be with those characters of family, friends and clients.

Sia - you've described Tonya's Carpe Bead 'Em so well .. wish I had the beach and book with me right now, I'd settle down for riveting read ...thanks to you both and much success for the next release .. cheers Hilary

Tonya Kappes said...

Hi, Sia! Just came downstairs to put my boys on the bus, and can you believe one of the twins had a cup of coffee and my laptop waiting for me??!! Oh, yea! He wants something....but what?

Yes, my therapy job is very rewarding, but sometimes super sad. Just last week, one of my therapy kids did pass away. Heartbreaking!

It's like writing, if I can touch one person with my therapy or my words in a book, I've done my job.

I work for myself and can set my own hours. That's WONDERFUL!!!!

Thanks for having me! Cheers!

Tonya Kappes said...

Hi, Hilary! Thanks for coming by. I wish I was at the beach too! Soon, very soon I will have my toes in that sand.

I am a very busy mom, but I love it. Today I have a graduating senior, and then three more to get out of high school. So I will savor the next six years!

Doesn't Sia make Carpe Bead 'em sound delicious? It makes me want to go back and re-read it~even thought I've read it a million times:) Cheers!

Have a wonderful day!

D. D. Scott said...

Fantabulous interview, Sia and Tonya!

And I'm a tellin' y'all...wait 'til you read The Ladybug Jinx!!! Talk about wayyy beyond wow wonderful!!!

I sooo want to move to Grandberry Falls! I'm just dyin' to belly-up to the bar at The Thirsty Turtle!!! And throw a penny into that waterfall too!!!

Congrats also, Soul Sister, on your Indie Epub Debut with Carpe Bead'Em...another one sooo on my cyber keeper shelf!

Anonymous said...

I have enough trouble handling retirement let alone all that you do.


jeff7salter said...

It's a terrific interview that has thoughtful questions such as these and still allows the individual's personality to come through. Congrats to both of you on a wonderful session.
And, yes, Tonya -- as I've told you many times -- I still marvel at your energy level.

~Sia McKye~ said...

DD, I'm jealous! I can't wait to read it.

Jo said...

I am testing Sia, having trouble commenting.

~Sia McKye~ said...

No problems Jo. I had problems with commenting with my name and not anonymous last night. Frustrating.

Other Lisa said...

One question, Tonya...

When do you sleep???

Anonymous said...

Thanks for blogging about the up and coming new author Tonya Kappes. I have read Carpe Beadem and I love It!! I can't wait for the next Tonya Kappes book. Tonya is there a chance that you may write a sequel to Hallie's story?

~Sia McKye~ said...

Tracy, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who didn't want to end.

VA said...

Wow! Tonya, your vivacious personality bursts out in the interview. Nice, Sia. I get the feeling that you are one of those blessed, infectiously uplifting persons :)

I agree with you about karma and I think everyone has something they can teach me if I am interested enough to wait and listen. Everyone.

Off to read the excerpt. Ciao!

tonya said...

Hi, Jo! I'm glad you got through!! Retirement? What's that? I'm rushing now trying to get ready for my senior's graduation tonight:0)

Tonya said...

Hey, Lisa! I do fall over about mid-night, then right back up at 5:30! I can sleep in six years when my kids are out.

Tonya said...

Thanks, Sia and Tracy! You just might see Hallie again...not too soon though. The secondary characters all have stories to tell.

Tonya said...

Hi, VA!! I do have a high energy level and I cherish it. One day it won't be there. I hope you enjoy the excerpt!

Tonya said...

LOL, Jeff! I had a BIG birthday this year...I hope I'm not slowing down! Can't wait to see you at a book signing.

Kat Sheridan said...

Tonya, what a great interview! And I'm pretty sure, based on the authors you named, that I used to belong to the same chapter! What a terrific group they are for inspiration! As are you! I love that you grab whatever snippets of time you have and you keep reaching for your goals! Wishing you every success!

Tonya said...

Hey, Kat! Was it OVRWA??? I've been there for four years and LOVE It! This weekend is The Get Together presented by Lori Foster and Dianne Castell. I love going to it b/c it's such a great cause! Thank you so much for your kind words. I truly appreciate them!!

Beth said...

Sia, a great interview. Tonya, the books sound like fun and your life sounds busy. Here's to family for keeping us in touch with real life and readers for keeping us in pursuit of the writing life.

Nancy Naigle said...

What an entertaining interview. Loved it.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Thank you Nancy.

Anonymous said...

I loved the book Carpe Beadem! Tonya I love the way you write. I can't wait for your series. I enjoyed the interview, thanks so much.

tonya said...

Hi, Beth!! Carpe was so much fun to write!! Yes! Here, here to family and keeping us grounded!!

tonya said...

Hi, Nancy! Awesome seeing you here!! I loved your Books on the House interview!! Very cool.

tonya said...

Hi, Anonymous~who sent me an email and is Linda! I really appreciate your sweet kind words. Thank you so much for taking the time to read Carpe. I'm sure you will LOVE The Ladybug Jinx!! The town is to die for!

tonya said...

Hi, D.D!! I didn't see you up there until today:((( I'm sorry! I must admit, D.D. has a sneak peak of The Ladybug Jinx! Plus I have the honor of having her give me a quote for the book. I'm so happy you have fallen in LOVE with Grandberry Falls. It is definitely a town that would be a blast to live in.

Sheila Deeth said...

Loved the interview. Felt like listening in at the table while drinking coffee. You, and your books, sound really neat.

Anonymous said...

Tonya, fun interview. I'm in awe that you're balancing job, family and writing, and still coming up all smiles. As somebody who stayed single for a bunch of years, I can easily relate to what Hallie's going through when yet another relative proposes a blind date. Keep up the good work.

tonya said...

Hi, Sheila! Thanks for stopping by for a hot cup of coffee!! I appreciate your nice comments. I hope you pick up a copy of Carpe Bead em!

tonya said...

Thanks, James! I think it takes less muscles to smile! Cheers!~

Thanks for stopping by.

tonya said...

Sia! Thanks for having me!! I think that's the longest coffee break I've ever had! And it was a blast!!!

Talli Roland said...

Great interview, ladies! I've seen this book around and I really want to read it.

Tonya Kappes said...

Talli! Thank you for the kind words! I really appreciate it. I bought your book this week! I'm loading up on my kindle and getting ready to hit the beach! Cheers!!