Friday, June 14, 2013

Peep Rep interviews JM Kelly - Daddy's Girl

 Welcome Peeps. The Peep Rep you elected to represent you guys has been feeling less that appreciated by me recently, so to make up for all my abuse, I'm going to allow Peep Rep to take the reins and interview J.M. Kelly.

Peep Rep: Really? Or is this just another way to torture me? 

Liza: No. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed these days and if you don't screw this up, I'll let you do more. However, if you make a mess of things, then I hope my peeps will realize they need to elect a new Peep Rep.

Peep Rep: So this is just a diabolical trick to get rid of me.

Liza: That's entirely up to you. Now best of luck. I'm off to work on other stuff.

Peep: *watches Liza leave, chews bottom lip*

Well, first thing I'm getting rid of Liza's dreary and uncomfortable Interview Room.

and putting in something nicer.

  Much better.
Next I'll invite my author in.  
Dear J.M. Kelly. You are cordially invited to visit and tell me about your lovely book Daddy's Girl and any prizes you might have for this tour.
Your delightful new friend, Peep Rep.

J.M: Thank you for the lovely invitation. Oh this couch is very comfortable.

Peep Rep: I'm so glad you like it. I've engaged a butler to bring you whatever refreshments you want.

Butler: Tea Madam?
J.M.: Wow, this is really nice.

Peep Rep: *smiles* Thank you. Now forgive me if I'm being impertinent, but will you be giving away prizes?

JM: In fact, I will. I have a gift basket containing two fabulous prizes for one lucky commenter during this tour.

Peep Rep: *wiggles with delight* What are they?

JM: Let's see, there's a $25 gift card from Amazon.

Peep Rep: I love those!

JM: And a signed copy of the Foreign Affairs anthology from Turquoise Morning Press.

Peep Rep: Be still my heart! That is a wonderful gift basket. And do I win this fabulous prize by leaving a meaning comment and my email address?

JM: Exactly.

Peep Rep: I will provide the tour links later, but right now I wish to gently interview this lovely lady bearing gifts.

What is your favorite part of writing? 

JM: The beginning: The fresh idea, the exciting possibilities, the absolute unknown of where this all is going to end up. That first moment when the idea pops into your head, that ‘Eureka!’ moment…I wish I could bottle the feeling.

Peep Rep: Is there anything you don’t like about being a writer?

JM: That inevitable moment when you get stuck in the creative mud. The ideas won’t flow, you can’t figure out how to get over a particular hurdle, and you just want to alternate between hysterical weeping, and guzzling margaritas.

Peep Rep: How does your family feel about your writing and you being an author?

JM: My mother is ridiculously thrilled with it, but mostly because it gives her something else to talk about. My mom, she’s very ‘I gave birth to a writer, I’m awesome!’ Don’t get me wrong, I love the woman. She carries my business cards everywhere, and when I visit, she loves to embarrass me by whipping one out and trying to sell my books to a teenage cashier as I’m paying for the burgers we just bought at Dairy Queen.

Peep Rep: What part of your book took you most out of your comfort zone?

JM: The father/daughter relationship was difficult to write at times, because I naturally had to refer to my own experiences with my dad as inspiration. Overall, we had a great relationship, but you know how it is when you’re young and angsty—you think your dad hates you and wants to ruin your life. It’s hard to look back on that and realize how wrong I was.

Peep Rep: What part of your book was the hardest to write?

JM: Joe’s experiences were extremely difficult. I truly love that character, and the journey he had to take was emotional for me. In my mind, Joe is real. He exists in my heart. I am forever attached to him.

Peep Rep: Has a secondary character ever threatened to take over your book? 

JM: Oh, absolutely. The best example is my first novel, Drew in Blue. The character of Kris, a former girlfriend of Drew’s, was always meant to be a background character. Snarky commentary here and there, but not much more. She refused to stay in the shadows and became the heroine. I’m really glad she spoke up, too. Changed the entire course of the story, and she was right about it all.

Peep Rep: Who's your favorite character in the book & why?

JM: They all are. Isn’t that a lame response? Okay, let’s go with Janie right now. I love that girl. See, I am a fan of presenting characters who aren’t perfectly likeable at first. Now, I think Janie has flair, no matter what, but the girl had some growing to do. She might have some flightiness, some stubbornness, some well…moments she probably needs a smack upside the head, but she’s a girl desperate to protect a fragile heart. She’s been hurt too many times, she’s lost much in the past, and she’s afraid. She has walls to bring down. 
Ultimately, she faces her fears of loss and rejection, and her bravery shines through in the rawest of moments. I think she’s very real, and deserved her redemption.

Peep Rep: What's your favorite line in the story?

JM: Just about every snarky Janie/David exchange appeals to me. I love that initial dynamic of competition between the pair. The jabs, the sulks, they were fun to write.

Peep Rep: How does the reality of being a writer compare to the one TV writers live? Say for example Castle.

JM: Well, I am sprawled out on my couch in flower-print pajama pants, hot pink fuzzy socks, and an Avenged Sevenfold tee shirt. I haven’t combed my hair since I took my bubble bath earlier, and I have tortilla chip residue down the front of my shirt. I have the Weather Channel on the television, and I think I may be sitting on a bottle of contact solution. I may eventually investigate that.
My life…it’s not glamorous.

Peep Rep: If your main character had been allowed to write the novel rather than you, how would the story have been different?

JM: I don’t know, that would be dangerous. If Janie had complete control, she’d have conjured a story in which she were Queen of the World, and David would have become her shoe-shine boy. It would not be a good idea to give her any input.

Peep Rep: How would you describe your relationship with your muse?  Have you ever needed intervention?

JM: On occasion, my muse takes out a restraining order on me, and goes on vacation to Acapulco. It stinks, because dang it, I want to go, too.

JM: What's that?

Peep Rep: It's not a what, it's a who. That's Liza, evidently NOT SO BUSY after all.

Liza: I have a responsibility to JM to check up on you. Why didn't a Foxlike News break occur on her last statement?

Peep Rep: I told them you'd left your blog and wouldn't be on today.

Liza: And they believed you? What idiots! That's a real nice couch, JM. Did you bring it yourself?

Peep Rep: This is my interview. Go Away. *shuts down camera then turns to JM and smiles* Tell us a good joke.

JM: Here is a variation of my father’s most-told joke. It is so infamous in my family that my nephew recited it at the old man’s funeral.

A man is in an accident in which he loses an eye. He goes to the doctor and finds out that a glass eye is too expensive so he decides to go with the cheaper solution: a wooden eye. He becomes very self-conscious about the wooden eye—so much so that he rarely goes out. A buddy finally talks him into going to a dance.
He does his best imitation of a wall-flower, until he notices a girl who has just arrived at the party. She’s a homely gal, with large ears and stringy hair, and the self-conscious man decides, “What the heck? I’ll ask her to dance.”
He goes up to the girl and nervously asks, "Would you like to dance with me?"
Very surprised and excited, the girl claps her hands and replies, "Would I? Would I?!?"
“Oh, yeah?” Enraged, he points at her head and retaliates with a loud, “Big ears, big ears!!'

Peep Rep: *rolls on floor laughing for several minutes while JM enjoys her tea. Finally, Peep Rep continues interview.* Tell us the stupidest thing you’ve ever done. 

JM: This changes on a weekly basis. Last week, the dumbest thing I did, while driving around the Smokies, was not mentally processing a sign that said a road was ‘unimproved’ ahead, and it was recommended for only 4WD vehicles. I have an economy car. In my defense, I think there is a huge difference between words like ‘unimproved’ and ‘eight miles of gravel, rock, giant gaping craters, and fifty-seven creeks to drive through’. At any rate, my car is enough of a champ to (sort of) cancel out my stupidity, and somehow I survived that mess.

Peep Rep: *smiles* Now can you tell us about your latest book.
J.M. Kelley


Sometimes, returning home isn’t about confronting your past; it’s about discovering your future.

Janie McGee, the black sheep of her family, is free-spirited, uninhibited, and never one to stay in the same place for too long. When Janie learns her father, Joe, is gravely ill, she reluctantly returns home to rural Pennsylvania to care for him. Joe’s neighbor, David Harris, sports a pocket protector, collects coins, and is addicted to Antiques Roadshow. Everything about him rubs Janie the wrong way, from his nerdy wardrobe to his enviable friendship with Joe. And to make matters worse, her father thinks they’re perfect for each other, proof positive of how little Joe knows his own daughter…or so Janie thinks.

A shared devotion to the elder McGee begins to close the gulf between Janie and David, but a burgeoning romance opens the door to new problems and unexpected consequences neither could foresee. Joe, however, remains steadfast in his resolve to show Janie that Daddy knows what’s best for his little girl. Can Janie finally open her heart to David while watching the first man she ever truly loved fade away? 

Before he even opened the door, David knew something was off. Late night visitors, in his experience, rarely brought good news. When the visitor turned out to be Janie, his heart leapt into his throat. “Janie,” he said when he threw open the door. “What’s wrong? Is Joe okay?”

“Yeah. He’s fine.” Relief hit him so hard he took a step back and leaned against the doorjamb.

“You scared me.”

“I didn’t mean to.” Janie rubbed her hands up and down her arms and looked over her shoulder. “It’s cold out here. Mind if I come in?”

“Oh. Right.” David gestured for Janie to enter. “Come inside.” He followed when she slid past him and walked into the living room.

“It’s late.” As if she needed to tell him. The atomic clock on the wall, a Christmas gift from his mother, showed the time at almost two in the morning. Janie stood in the middle of the room and focused her gaze on the bookcase in the corner. “I didn’t wake you, did I?”

“I was reading. A little too wired to sleep, I guess.” David moved up behind her and raised a tentative hand to her shoulder. “Are you sure everything’s okay?”

The sound of his voice jolted her out of her thoughts and she jerked her head toward him. Her movements were stunted. Wooden. “Ever have one of those moments when you’re convinced you may float away, and no matter what you do, you can’t keep yourself grounded? And you need to hang on tight to something until the sensation passes?”

Whatever was going on, he thought, she was not in a good place. David gently spun Janie toward him and gazed at her. “Tell me what you need from me.”

Janie closed her eyes and lowered her forehead to David’s shoulder. “Ground me, David,” she whispered and laid her hand on his chest.

Peep Rep: This book sounds wonderful. Where can I buy it?
Daddy’s Girl purchase links:


Three years ago, native Pennsylvanian J.M. Kelley packed her bags and moved south. Now, the wannabe Carolina Girl can’t speak a single sentence without adding the word y’all at the end of it, and regards a blast of snow flurries as a doomsday-level event.  When the day job allows, and when she can pull herself away from George Takei’s Facebook fanpage, she likes to go on writing jaunts to her favorite lake, or a local coffee shop with delicious shakes and questionable Wi-Fi connections.

J.M. Kelley is a proud recipient of a Carrie McCray Memorial Literary award, and is a member of The South Carolina Writers Workshop and Romance Writers of America (PAN). Readers interested in more information may visit her website at



Peep Rep: Don't forget to leave a meaningful comment and your email address. And here is the link so you can improve your chances of winning JM's great gift basket.


  1. Well, it’s Friday. Had fun following you around this week and looking forward to more good stuff next week. Have a great weekend!
    kareninnc at gmail dot com

    1. Have a wonderful weekend, Karen, thanks for following along!

  2. Thanks for the great interview, I think it is super sweet that your mom is so proud of you and wants to promote your work to everyone

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

    1. Yes, can I have your mom JM?

    2. She's definitely a hoot. Try to explain ebooks to her though, and you will know the meaning of pain. "You mean you put your book inside a computer? How??"

  3. Fun interview and great excerpt, thank you.


  4. I love that one of your secondary characters took over a book & became the heroine. That's one of my favorite parts of being a writer. And you are so lucky to have such a supportive mom. All the best.


    1. Andrea, it was fantastic. She may always be my favorite heroine, too. I love how outspoken and true to herself she always remained.

  5. I vote for guzzling margaritas!! Sounds like a fantastic read.
    sherifredricks @ charter .net

    1. Guzzling margaritas is always the better option ;)

  6. Awe, that's so awesome that you have such a supportive mom.

    Good luck!

    1. Isn't it? She's so funny, trying to worm her way around technology that she just can't fathom.

  7. Good job, Peep Rep! I love your description of your hero.

    1. Thank you D'Ann. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Hopefully JM liked sitting on a couch sipping tea rather than Liza's normal interrogation room. Had I known her love of margaritas, I would have asked Thornton to serve those instead.

    2. oh, this was Peep Rep, I forget I have to sign my name.

    3. The couch was a wonderful touch, lol. Thanks for stopping by, D'Ann!

  8. Awesome questions and great answers. I'm sure JM appreciated the couch. It sounded very comfy.
    The characters that are imperfectly perfect are the best.

    lulu83060 at gmail dot com

    1. Did Peep Rep read you the entire blog. I expected it to LOOK comfy. Peep Rep! You can't get anything right!

    2. Laurie, you're right. I am a tremendous fan of couches.

  9. Hey JM. I'm keeping you for another day. Peep Rep needs more experience doing an interview. He made some serious mistakes today that he needs to make up for.

    1. Why, thank you Liza. And thanks so much for hosting!

  10. Replies
    1. Thanks, Mary Jo. I like the cover too. Can't wait to read the book.

    2. Thanks, Mary Jo. I love the cover art, too. My publisher really did a wonderful job.

  11. LOL, your mother sounds like my MIL. Loved the interview and the redecoration. Tweeted.

  12. Well, I love books, and reading, and contests, so this post is great for me. A nice blend. Will be sharing this one. And my email address -

  13. That was fun

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  14. I love your dad's joke! And your mom sounds like a hoot.
    Do you live in the Smokies or were you just visiting those "unimproved roads" recently? I love the Smokies but haven't been there in years. My hubby & I honeymooned there.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. Thanks, Catherine! I live in SC, but I realized the Smokies were too close to not explore.

  15. LOVED the interview thank you!!!



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