Monday, March 28, 2016

Kristy Woodson Harvey: My Writing Room {+ Contest}

It’s my pleasure to welcome author Kristy Woodson Harvey back to Thoughts in Progress today to talk about her upcoming April release of LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE.

While visiting with us, Kristy will also be talking about her ‘writing room’ and how that changed when she became a mother. In addition, Kristy has an awesome contest going on prior to the release of her new book. Please see the end of the post for more details on the contest. Now, here’s a brief synopsis of LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE:

Author Kristy Woodson Harvey presents a new novel about what it really means to tell the truth . . .
After sixty years of marriage and five daughters, Lynn “Lovey” White knows that all of us, from time to time, need to use our little white lies.
Her granddaughter, Annabelle, on the other hand, is as truthful as they come. She always does the right thing—that is, until she dumps her hedge fund manager fiancé and marries a musician she has known for three days. After all, her grandparents, who fell in love at first sight, have shared a lifetime of happiness, even through her grandfather’s declining health.
But when Annabelle’s world starts to collapse around her, she discovers that nothing about her picture-perfect family is as it seems. And Lovey has to decide whether one more lie will make or break the ones she loves . . .

Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Kristy as we find out about her writing room. Welcome, Kristy.

When I decided to write a novel, one of my first considerations was how that would look. What would I wear? Where would I sit? Would I wear glasses instead of contacts to look a little more literary? 

I was leaving a corporate job, so I remember actually going out and buying little skirts and tank tops that I thought would be cute yet comfy. (I hadn’t learned yet that pajamas were considered perfect acceptable author gear!) 

I picked the perfect sunny window with a gorgeous view, splurged on the desk I thought I couldn’t live without, lit a candle, made some tea, and got down to writing. I learned pretty quickly that I don’t see nearly as well out of my glasses as my contacts, so that bit was a no-go. And, for the first year or so, my peaceful, routine-driven writing went very well.

Then I had a baby. It is so cliché that a baby changes everything, but it’s cliché for a reason. A baby did, in fact, change everything. Even the way I wrote.

I had this image of the baby sleeping beside me in the bassinet while I jotted down a couple thousand words. That was a total fantasy. As it turned out, the only place I could get said baby to sleep was on my body. And I could complain about it. Or I could figure it out. So I learned how to write while nursing. And type one handed with a baby sleeping in one arm. Or on my lap in the car when he was snoring in the car seat, or fifteen minutes at a time while something besides me actually caught my son’s attention. 

And it wasn’t perfect. But it was progress. Some way, somehow, I got through the draft of DEAR CAROLINA. And, even more amazingly, managed to edit it, which, for me, is the part that is much more time consuming and requires infinitely more concentration. Then I started writing LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE too. And the progress was slow, much slower than the days when it had been my desk and my candle and my view and me. Much slower than when I would wake up and wash my hair and put on my make-up and get dressed before I arrived at my desk.

The coolest thing of all is that, when I quit worrying about what a writer was supposed to look like and sound like and be like, I became my very own kind of writer. And, instead of trying to sound like a writer, I started sounding like me.

And guess what? I got my first book deal.

Fast-forward to now, the toddler years. I write at Starbuck’s during preschool because my son’s school is thirty minutes away from our house. And I get in a few hundred words during Sesame Street. And, yes, if that occasional nap happens in the car, I’m always ready with my laptop. 

Upon a rare occasion, I do get to luxuriate at that perfectly chosen desk with the gorgeous water view. And, during those times, sometimes I even light my candle and have my tea. But, through babyhood and toddlerhood and all of the distractions that life throws our way, I’ve learned that being a writer doesn’t have to look a certain way. It just has to sound like you. 

Kristy, thanks for joining us today and sharing this insight into how your writing changed from your first perspective of what it should until what it is now. Sometimes if we just let things come to us, the natural order of life flows much smoother than we ever imaged. Seems like your writing has developed that way.

Now for those who aren’t familiar with Kristy, here’s a bit of background on her.

Author Kristy Woodson Harvey
Kristy Woodson Harvey is the author of Dear Carolina. She holds a degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s in English from East Carolina University. 

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and son.

For more on Kristy and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE is available at the following sites: IndieBoundAmazon. Barnes & NobleBooks A Million. Powell’sGoogle Play. Walmart. Hudson Booksellers. Kobo.


Order LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE and send a picture of the receipt to between now and April 10 to be entered to win a $1,000 Shop Design Chic gift card. Everyone who enters will receive copies of four gorgeous printable quotes from the book! Order or pre-order from an independent bookstore or Indiebound for two contest entries!

Thanks so much for dropping by today during Kristy’s visit. If you’re a writer, please share what your first writing room (space) was (or is) like. If you’re a reader, how do you envision a writing room should look?


  1. As a reader, I envisage a writing room as a cell. With no exit until the work is complete. (I am very, very greedy.)

  2. Looks lovely and she's lovely too
    Happy Easter, Pamela!

  3. I remember her!
    I can't imagine writing with a baby taking my attention though. Sounds like a lot of work.

  4. What a really interesting premise for a story! Thanks, both, for sharing. And there's nothing like a baby to change everything, including one's writing space...

  5. Congrats on all her success. I did smile at the fact that she bought writerly gear and it involved skirts! Whatever makes you comfortable, but yeah...mostly I go from PJs to yoga pants and back to PJs each day!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this!! I appreciate it. I can't wait to see who wins! xo Kristy

  7. Congrats to Kristy on the new clothes and the new baby reality. Both are wonderful and I enjoyed reading about her book.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.