Where is your favorite place to write? Is it difficult to find time away from family obligations?
Kelly: I write in a little alcove off my bedroom, where I have a desk. But I am trying to get better about writing when I can, wherever I am. This has become especially true since I had my daughter. The days fly by and it can be easy to put work last.
Where do you find the inspiration for your books?
Kelly: I love to read about history. I especially love to read primary source documents: Journals and letters written by the people of the time. There’s something about these firsthand accounts that really fires up my imagination.
Life was so different for women in the late 1800s than it is now. Do you identify with any of the female characters in In Need of a Good Wife?
Kelly: Life was different in many ways. It was a lot more work, for one thing! Every domestic task, from cooking to laundry to nursing a sick family member, was arduous and took a lot of time. But in other ways, women were the same then as they are now. They had secret lives and dreams, interests and talents and love. I try to bring out those timeless traits in my characters as I imagine what it would have been like to walk in their shoes.
What are you working on next?
Kelly: My next novel focuses on a woman in 1835 who escapes a violent marriage in Buffalo, NY, and travels to an island in northern Michigan for refuge. Stay tuned!
What are your top three favorite books?
Kelly: Oh, this is a very difficult question because it is always changing! Here are three that I love: I Capture the Castle, Prodigal Summer, The Hotel New Hampshire, Plainsong, Housekeeping, everything by Alice Munro, and everything by Laurie Colwin. Oops, that’s more than three!
Kelly O’Connor McNees Online Tour Schedule:
Oct. 2: StyleSubstanceSoul
Oct. 3: Great Thoughts
Oct. 4: Nomad Reader
Oct. 5: Erika Robuck
Oct. 8: To Read or Not to Read
Oct. 9: The Maiden’s Court
Oct. 10: Literate Housewife
Oct. 12: Reading the Past
Oct. 25: Women’s Fiction Writers
Oct. 29: Wonders & Marvels