Interview with Author Kristy Woodson Harvey | Author Jan Moran
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Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.

Interview with Author Kristy Woodson Harvey

Under the Southern Sky book cover woth beach sceneNot long ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Kristy Woodson Harvey on board Queen Mary for a celebration of books and reading with Adventures by the Book. Since the grand old ship is docked in Long Beach, after the event we went exploring. Along with other authors and friends, including Mary Alice Monroe, Kristin Harmel, Kate White, Fiona Davis, Kristina McMorris, and others, we ventured into the bowels of the ship into the engine room searching for the ghosts we'd heard were in residence. (Spoiler: We didn't find any.) After this event, Kristy and I have kept up, and I'm so pleased to share her upcoming new book, Under the Southern Sky, as well as a chat we had about her writing. Read on to find out about her new book, our interview, and fun photos aboard Queen Mary!

About Under the Southern Sky

Here's the overview of this fascinating story, with endorsements from authors Kristin Harmel and Lisa Wingate:

“Two childhood friends discover that love—and family—can be found in unconventional ways in this timely, moving novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of the “beautifully Southern, evocative Peachtree Bluff series.” – Kristin Harmel, internationally bestselling author of The Winemaker’s Wife

Recently separated Amelia Buxton, a dedicated journalist, never expected that uncovering the biggest story of her career would become deeply personal. But when she discovers that a cluster of embryos belonging to her childhood friend Parker and his late wife Greer have been deemed “abandoned,” she’s put in the unenviable position of telling Parker—and dredging up old wounds in the process.

Parker has been unable to move forward since the loss of his beloved wife three years ago. He has all but forgotten about the frozen embryos, but once Amelia reveals her discovery, he knows that if he ever wants to get a part of Greer back, he’ll need to accept his fate as a single father and find a surrogate.

Each dealing with their own private griefs, Parker and Amelia slowly begin to find solace in one another as they navigate an uncertain future against the backdrop of the pristine waters of their childhood home, Buxton Beach. The journey of self-discovery leads them to an unforgettable and life-changing lesson: Family—the one you’re born into and the one you choose—is always closer than you think.

Sometimes the key to new love lies hidden in old friendships. In Under the Southern Sky, Kristy Woodson Harvey stirs up a warm-hearted mix of hometown charm and the sort of thoroughly modern problems that bring us back to the people who know us best and the places that remind us of who we really are.”–Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours and The Book of Lost Friends

Author Interview: Kristy Woodson Harvey

Kristy and I had a good chat, so without further ado, let's welcome Kristy…

Your latest book, UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY, is so intriguing. How did you come up with the idea? Please tell us more!

Kristy Woodson HarveySeveral years ago, I was at a Christmas party, and a friend pulled me aside. She was concerned because she and her husband had just realized that, after their last successful in vitro attempt, they were going to have to figure out what to do with their leftover embryos. As we were chatting, she said, “So many families that never even considered this are going to be making this huge decision. You should write a book about it.” As you know, Jan, as an author, people tell you to write a book about something constantly! But I knew this was something I would explore. It just took me a few years to find the right story that would become UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY, which releases April 20, 2021.

How did you get started in your writing career?

In a lot of ways, I’ve always been a writer, since I was a little girl. But, the year I turned 25, I got this wild hair to write a novel—and I fell in love with writing books immediately. I never expected to be published and am as shocked as anyone that my seventh novel, UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY, is releasing in April!

Is there one thing you've done in your writing career more than any other that's been the secret to your success?

Those first few years, I said yes to everything. I’m serious. Everything. Want me to drive eight hours to talk to your book club? Sure! Want me to write an essay for your three followers to read? Absolutely! I would think, if I can pick up one lifelong reader, just one, everywhere I go, then I can create a career for myself. The big, life-changing thunderbolts have happened to me, and I hope they will continue to. But never underestimate the power of the small things. They add up to something really big in the end!

Do you have an interesting story from research or book tours that you’d like to share?

Yes! In my research for UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY, I found out how many embryos have been deemed “abandoned” and what a huge issue this is. Since embryos are fertilized, depending on what side your beliefs lean on, they could be considered a viable life. So, destroying them seems unethical, but when owners quit paying for storage space, leaving them abandoned, doctors and fertility clinics are left with a huge problem. The law is undecided about whether they can be destroyed, donated for research, etc., so these clinics are running out of freezer space for new embryos for current patients. This is an issue that comes to play right off the bat in UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY.

In your free time (what’s that, right?), what genre of books do you enjoy reading? Do you follow the work of specific authors? Do you prefer ebook, print, or audio?

I am an equal opportunity reader, I think! Because I write women’s fiction, I end up reviewing and blurbing a lot of that genre, so I’d say that’s what I read the most of. But I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, literary fiction, and I’m always excited for a great debut. During the pandemic, I co-founded a web show and podcast, Friends & Fiction, with Mary Kay Andrews, Kristin Harmel, Patti Callahan Henry, and Mary Alice Monroe. We have had the most interesting and amazing guests, and I have read some great things outside my usual genres that I’m so happy came across my desk.
I don’t read ebooks at all. I don’t even have an e-reader. I get the appeal, and I wished I enjoyed reading on a screen. It would save so much space! I just love the feel of a book in my hands, the way the flipping of the pages sounds. I’m also a big audiobook fan. I listen while I’m cleaning or driving.

What’s next on the horizon for you? Any new projects under development?

Yes! My 2022 book is edited and nearly ready to go. I *think* it’s going to be called THE WEDDING VEIL, but don’t hold me to it! It’s a contemporary/historical novel about a modern-day grandmother and granddaughter who discover an unexpected connection to Edith Vanderbilt—the first mistress of Biltmore House—and her daughter, Cornelia. At its core, though, it’s really a story about these four women in four different time periods fighting to create—and re-create—their lives despite the pressures put on them. Researching this book during the pandemic was a teeny bit challenging, but, wow, did I ever learn a lot!
I also have a special surprise coming in late 2021 that I can’t announce quite yet. So stay tuned!

Where can readers find you online?

My blog and website: www.kristywoodsonharvey.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/kristywharvey
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kristywoodsonharvey
Friends and Fiction: www.facebook.com/groups/friendsandfiction
And I have an interiors blog with my mom called Design Chic: www.mydesignchic.com

And now, those author photos I promised you!

Author Kristy Woodson Harvey

Author Kristy Woodson Harvey aboard the Queen Mary

Author Kristy Woodson Harvey with Kristina McMorris and Jan Moran

Author Kristy Woodson Harvey with authors Kristina McMorris and Jan Moran

Adventure by the Book Authors aboard the Queen Mary

Adventure by the Book authors aboard the Queen Mary

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Where to Buy Jan's Books

  • Buy on AppleBooks
  • Buy on Amazon
  • Buy on Barnes & Noble
  • Buy from Google Play
  • Buy from Kobo
  • Buy from IndieBound
  • Buy from Audible

Jan’s books are also available to purchase in Deutsch, Dutch, Italiano, Lithuanian, Polish, and Russian. More languages coming soon!

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