Jordan Holloway has never fully recovered from the unexpected deaths of her famous Hollywood parents. At 27, she is still slow to trust and remains uncertain about the true duration of love and happiness. Yet, it's been four years since she fell in love with Ethan when he rocked her world even as he marched off to war leaving her alone with their young son Max. Now, Ethan tells her this will be his last tour in Afghanistan and that soon the three of them will be together. Still anxious at his leaving again, Jordan extracts a promise for Ethan's safe return from Brock Wainwright, her husband's sniper partner and best friend. But, can she put all her trust in Brock and can he keep such a promise?
At 29, Brock Wainwright fully embraces the dangerous life of a Navy Seal. He enjoys his freedom and not being committed to anyone; and, there's been a long line of women who can attest to that. Everything changes for Brock after he meets Jordan. When the two men return to Afghanistan, Brock's intent on keeping his promise to Jordan about keeping Ethan safe for a variety of reasons, including the most disturbing one of all, he is more than just attracted to his best friend's wife. This revelation plagues Brock on the battlefield and in a violent moment changes everything.
Follow the tour HERE
Q. What inspires your writing?
I draw inspiration from various aspects of real life as a starting point and begin with the “What if?” kind of questions. The first inspiration for When I See You came from a singular scene in the movie Shooter for a writing exercise I was doing for one of my advanced fiction classes with The Writers Studio over two years ago. Classmates loved the premise of the soldier story (only about a thousand words) and it eventually developed into what became the start of chapter three of When I See You. With that exercise as a starting point, I began with this premise: What if the story centered on a woman, who has been left behind by pretty much everyone she’s ever loved? How does she start over? Then, Brock’s character started to form and it became clear that readers would need to hear from his point-of-view as well. Wow! What an undertaking—two points of view from a male and female perspective—as if I hadn’t complicated the story enough already. As the novel evolves and the characters form and become real in my mind, inspiration for the story lines evolves from the characters themselves. For example, I wrote Jordan Holloway as a strong, independent woman. There’s a reason she’s a chef. Jordan needed that kind of control in various aspects of her life because in so many ways she doesn’t have any control. For Jordan then, food preparation and presentation fulfill certain needs for her that are missing in her relationship with Ethan. The first chapters of the book subtly reveal this. It is little nuances, like this these, that help both inspire and complete the story.
Q. What is your favorite thing about being an author?
There’s nothing quite like the writing process itself, especially when everything is going well. If I re-read back something I’ve recently written and have that wonderful moment where I can see how good it is; that’s the part I love most about the writing process.
Q. What is the toughest part of being an author?
For every “Great book! I loved it!” review or note, there will be one that tells me everything they hated about my novels. Hmmm… For me, that whole cycle wreaks havoc on the delicate balance of writing, so I go with the adagenever believe your own press because too much ego or too little doesn’t serve me well in either case.
Q. If you could not be author, what would you do/be?
I spent years in high tech sales. I suppose I could always return to that. If this is a whimsical question and I could be anything, besides a writer? I’d be a ballerina. The romantic idea of this nicely segues to the next question. What is my work-in-progress novel This Much Is True about? It’s about…a ballerina and a baseball player.
Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?
This Is What I Have To Say About That
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
I have a running top ten list of favorite books. The Time Travelers Wife tops that list for a few reasons. Audrey Niffenegger broke all the rules (publishing-wise, writing-rule-wise) in writing this book. The timeline was all over the place. It’s a bit fantasy mixed with science fiction mixed with romance. She persevered in finding a small publisher (at first) to get it published and it took her years to write it. As characters, Claire and Henry were so real and their love and desire to be together so heartbreaking, I loved it. Loved it. I’m a huge fan of Niffenegger’s writing style. She wrote the story the way it needed to be written. I have no idea how she kept it all straight just from a timeline perspective. It was a huge risk as a writer to do it this way because she could easily lose the readers’ interest, so I admire Niffenegger’s courage for taking the risk and writing the book the way it needed to be written. It provides me with the necessary permission to write the way I think it needs to be written in my own work.
Other books I love include: Gone Girl, The Gargoyle, April & Oliver, Falling Under, Reason To Breath, Easy, Slammed, and The Sea of Tranquility. There’s a love story with a bit of angst at the heart of each one of these novels (even Gone Girl), which is probably why I love them all and strive to write compelling story lines like this as well.
Q. Which part of your book(s) was the easiest to write?
There are no easy parts to writing a book. I enjoyed the scene between Jordan and Brock where she is cutting his hair. There’s a lot of tension rising in that particular scene with such an innocent act by the somewhat oblivious Jordan in cutting this virtual stranger’s hair. The things these two unwittingly reveal about themselves in the process are all the more intriguing.
Q. Which part of your book(s) was the hardest to write?
I debated for days about a particular plot line in When I See You that leaves most readers reeling. I’m not going to say which one because, after reading the book, readers will know which one I’m referring to. That scene was one of the hardest to write.
Q. Which character from any book are you most like?
I am probably most like Jordan. She is strong, independent, and willful. She has a bit of temper and perfectionist tendencies. I exhibit a few of these characteristics as well, which made it much easier to make them believable.
I spend way too much time on this particular aspect. The When I See You book cover went through a couple of reiterations before I found this one: Beauty looking out a stormy, rain-spattered window. I wanted a book cover that would starkly convey Jordan’s loneliness and her never-ending quest for happiness. I think this one does that. Additionally, there’s a double entendre going on with this title and book cover for When I See You that subtly conveys both Jordan’s point of view as well as Brock’s as the story unfolds for readers.
Q. What is your favorite season?
Fall because it signifies change and renewal.
Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book(s).
I have a largely female fan base, but one of my Twitter followers (a guy) read When I See You and loved it. Since he wasn’t necessarily the intended audience, I’m always pleased when the story resonates with an outlier.
Q. Are you working on something new?
Yes, I’m in the process of finishing my fourth novel This Much Is True.
Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
First of all, thank you for considering my work. As a novelist (a fictionista as one follower on Twitter phrased it) as a writer of contemporary fiction, I tend to write love stories that are both edgy and dark. I write about trust, love, and fate and how relationships are often tested by all of these things in one way or another. My stories include: the considerations of a moral code or the lack thereof, of infidelity, of betrayal, the impact of best friends, of starting over, of love, and loss, more often than not, all of these in some form. I would just like to take this moment to say: it is fiction and it isn’t your light, everyday romance and as long as you don’t mind the sprinkling elemental special effects that I personally think the f-word can sometimes provide; we’re bound to be best friends, however virtual.
About the author: Katherine Owen graduated with a journalism degree and a minor in English from the University of Washington and promptly went into high tech sales because someone told her it was fun and there would be stock options. For years, she damped down the urge to write and spent money like Evian water. But after a successful, storied career in high tech sales and public relations, she finally made what felt like a necessary, soul-calling leap to writing full-time in April of 2009. Owen has written three novels SEEING JULIA (debut novel and Zola Award Winner), NOT TO US and WHEN I SEE YOU. She lives near Seattle in an old house with a fabulous view with her husband and two children. When she isn't writing, she can be found cheering at her son's football games or her daughter's volleyball games or heating up frozen dinners for the "fam-dam-ily" as she fondly refers to them.
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*At all these social media locations, she talks about her writing life and what inspires her as well as her novels and, sometimes, her latest work-in-progress.
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