Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Today I am very happy to welcome Kitty Howard who has a new book out called, Rings of Trust, and from now through January 15th all profits are being donated to The Wounded Warrior Project. Today she has agreed to stop by and answer a few questions...

Before we get to the questions, Marcy, I'd like to thank you for having me over. You've got a super blog I've long admired and am beyond delighted to be here. (And no editing out the 'super blog' part! :))), Sweet Lady! 

1. Where did the idea for RINGS OF TRUST and how long did it take from start
to publication?
  A news item on TV last year about the rise of 'hate groups' in the U.S. triggered the story. During the commercial break, I got on my soapbox about how the Klan had ridden against my grandfather, in particular, and about how, in general, these people lash out at others because of poor choices made in their  lives and how they thrive on the fear they create, a sick revenge of sorts. Then, as I was loading the dishwasher, Rings popped in my head. "Rings of Trust" took about a year, from start to finish. I wanted to get it right. Not everyone belonged to the Klan. But the mentality still exists in pockets. Everyone knows that so I had to get that right, too. Since the South is so layered, this takes time.  

2. Who did you model David Broussard after? A single person? An amalgamation?

  I modeled David Broussard after someone I never met or saw, actually. When I was a kid, there was a rural two-story house where the curtain in a front window sometimes moved. My father said a man had been disfigured during WWII and didn't want kids to see him. Years later, after I had married Dick, this man died. I learned that his USMC comrades would drive from Baton Rouge to visit him through the years. Since Dick was in the Corps, I understood this. The Corps truly does take care of its own. David Broussard looks like a typical Cajun in his mid-twenties. They're very handsome. :)) His personality, though, is an amalgamation of Marines I've known through the years. Dick took a keen interest in the profanity I used in Rings and where I used it. A Marine in uniform has never - ever! - cussed in front of me, including my husband. Like all women, I'm 'ma'am.' 

3. What was your favorite scene to write?

 The scene where Madeleine looks at the white rose bud! A close second is where David Broussard puts his weapon down and walks around his Ford. That's the Marine in him.

4. What was hard about getting this book out?

 The dialect. I had to devise a system that reflected the accent without it being too much for the reader. Actually, Southern Writers' Magazine contacted me to write a blog post about writing in dialect and experiences gained (which I submitted last night.)  If I had devised a consistent system in the first place, I would have saved myself a lot of time. But I assumed too much. What was normal to me, really wasn't normal. Even though Dick's been to Louisiana countless times and speaks conversational French, he had a problem with the written dialect. And that's why I included "Da Lingua Franca" up-front. Had to be some concessions here.

Now for the fun part…

5. What’s do you love about the state you live in?

 Scenery-wise, it's the bayous at sunset. OMG, how the sun plays among the Cypress trees and smiles on the brackish water. . . it's breathtaking! And the food. *sighs* My idea of a perfect meal would be one of your lobsters and Louisiana's oysters. I don't care how either is prepared -- bring 'em on! *drooling at the thought*

6. If you could live anywhere for a year where would it be and why?

  Cape Town, South Africa. I've visited about six times, each time wishing I could linger longer. The area is  beautiful beyond words. The people are fabulous. The food's delicious. 

7. Did you ever play an instrument and if so what? If not, what instrument do you wish you could play?  

The clarinet! I was in our high school band. Once a year, there was 'Band Night' at an LSU football game. Bands from all over the state would gather. We'd march onto the field playing the LSU fight song as we formed a big LSU. I was lead one year on a row that fed into the U. My, er, lack of sense of direction remained with me, LOL. The U was a bit fat on one side.

8. Favorite Hostess dessert you’ll miss the most?

Sorry, I bought a package of Twinkies once but couldn't finish the first one. Waaay too sweet. My downfall is cheese! It wouldn't surprise me if I mooed one day, LOL.

9. Last three books you read?

I'm going to omit books by fellow bloggers as there are still many on my TBR list and it wouldn't be fair to single out three when so many good reads await. So,sprinkled among those e-books, I've also read these hardbacks: "The Wolves at the Door" (about America's greatest female spy; great book); "It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium" (sad, actually; the players never let go); and "Benny & Shrimp" (the English translation of a Swedish book a Swedish friend loaned me and a super read).

Thanks, again, Marcy, for inviting me over! I really enjoyed your questions. Great fun! Now, Dick and I are going to New Orleans for Christmas. When we return in January, I'd like to invite you over for a po'boy at my place!

Damn, I would LOVE a po’boy – whatever that is - and thank you, Kitty, for coming by and answering all my questions. And have a lovely Christmas :)


  1. I imagine getting the dialect right without overwhelming the reader would be difficult.
    Not a Twinkies fan either. I won't even notice Hostess is gone.
    Congratulations again, Kittie!

    1. not even notice twinkies gone?! Inconceivable!

  2. Congrats Kittie, on the and the magazine article. I'll take a po'boy too. Make mine shrimp!

    1. I know; they sound delicious :)

  3. Marcy, YOU are the Hostess with the Mostess. Thank you so much for inviting me over. This was great fun.

  4. Shrimp po'boy for me too,,,we need to load up the motro home, head south to partake since mail order will never do. Interesting words here about Kittie and her new book. Although I have a shelf full, have to purchase this and perhaps gift too. Wonderful that she got it to print.

  5. fantastic interview and I am thrilled to learn that Kitty has a new book out! I love the title,

  6. I happen to live near Cape Town and I absolutely love it here. In fact, I'd miss it if I lived anywhere else. :-)

  7. There are interviews and then there ARE interviews! This was fabulous. I love hearing about your book and your dreams, Kittie. You are such a dear sweet girl.

    Marcy, you're such a short distance from New Brunswick where my newest grandson lives. I love the area. And your header is very calming.

    1. Maine is a lovely state and I'll pass your compliments on the picture to my son :)

  8. Congrats on the novel! Sounds like a powerful story.

  9. Hi Kittie. Hi Marcy. Lovely interview. Yeah, the dialect makes Rings of Trust a little hard to read until you get into it. (A bit like Shakespeare - at first you're cursing ye olde English, then you start getting into the flow.)
    I'm glad you got that magazine article sent off Kittie!

  10. I could picture the Ford scene just by the little you wrote here!

  11. Congrats to Kittie for her book release! LOL on the Twinkies. Sounds like an important and intriguing book to read. :)

  12. Kittie--good to learn so much about Rings of Trust--and things about you I didn't know.

    Fellow cheese junkie!

  13. Wow - six visits to Cape Town! Sounds like a wonderful place!

  14. I like your information, ok, i’ll bookmark this site and return here in next few days.

  15. Rings of Trust sounds like a great read.
    Oh, and I love my cheese too much too ;)

  16. Thank you both for an insightful interview.

  17. What a great interview and how nice to meet you, Marcy. I'll be back to read more about Maine, a beautiful place, indeed.Congrats again, Kittie.

  18. Hi Marcy - love the Maine header photo .. beautiful. Really interesting interview with Kittie .. and I could do with lobster and oysters - suit me fine and some hot weather ... but a duration - I'd take Cape Town .. been there often enough and lived there briefly ... it's stunning and so many historical and interesting places in and around ...

    The Ring sounds as though you've achieved loads Kittie - so pleased for you .. looks good - I just might be visiting to buy .... cheers Hilary

  19. Great interview, Kittie! I'm so looking forward to diving in to Rings of Trust. I laughed about the fact that you may moo one day, I am the same. I could live on cheese.

    Thanks for hosting, Marcy. Love your beautiful header photo. I've never been to Maine but have always wanted to visit there. Some day!

  20. Hi, Marcy, love the header. It's been much too long since I've been in Maine.

    Great interview, Kittie and Marcy!

    A po'boy is indeed good eating... and Rings of Trust sounds good. Definitely taking on some difficult material there.

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