Be in the know:
Kasey Michaels is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 110 books (she doesn't count them). Kasey has received four coveted Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly. She is a recipient of the RITA, a Waldenbooks and Bookrak Bestseller award, and many awards from Romantic Times magazine, including a Career Achievement award for her Regency era historical romances. She is an Honor Roll author in Romance Writers of America, Inc. (RWA)
Kasey has appeared on the TODAY show, and was the subject of a Lifetime Cable TV show "A Better Way," in conjunction with Good Housekeeping magazine, a program devoted to women and how they have achieved career success in the midst of motherhood (short version: "with great difficulty").
A highly praised nonfiction book, written as Kathryn Seidick, "...OR YOU CAN LET HIM GO," details the story of Kasey and her family during the time of her eldest son's first kidney transplant.
Kasey has written Regency romances, Regency historicals, category books including novellas and continuities and a few series "launch" books, and single title contemporaries. She has coped with time travel, ghosts, trilogies, the dark side, the very light side, and just about everything in between. Hers is also the twisted mind behind her ongoing Maggie Kelly mystery series starring a former romance writer turned historical mystery writer whose gorgeous hunk of a fictional hero shows up, live and in color, in her Manhattan living room to melt her knees, to help her solve murders, and to leave the top off her toothpaste. And, says Kasey, she's just getting started!
Why does Kasey write? Here's her answer:
When our oldest son was eight years old his kidneys failed. I had two other young children at home; I was pregnant. And here I was, on the Critical Care floor of a children's' hospital seventy miles from my husband, my other children, surrounded by sick children, injured children, dying children ... and sleeping on a cot beside my own very ill son. For weeks on end. For nine long months, until his first transplant (and three weeks after the birth of our daughter), I performed dialysis on our son at home and in the hospital. I rode in too many ambulances, I watched too many children die, I sat, unable to sleep, in the Parents Lounge with other mothers going through their own hells and I noticed something.
The nurses who lived with all this pain and suffering every working day, all seemed to have romance novels stuck in their pockets as they rode the elevators to the lunch room in the windowless basement. The mothers hid inside the pages of romance novels when they couldn't sleep, knowing they could be interrupted when the words "Code Blue" blared over the loudspeaker, knowing one of those calls could be for their child. A librarian friend kept me supplied with romance novels I had a special small suitcase for them and lugged it to the hospital with me along with my pajamas, maternity clothes, and stash of cookies.
We mothers would read, share, trade the books that kept us sane. We all lived in a real world in that hospital, a world too real; we all functioned at the highest level, because there was no choice but to function, to persevere and we all occasionally escaped that world into the hope and happy endings of romance novels. Those moments of "escape" made it easier, never easy but easier, to deal with the real world.
I'd written my first book, THE BELLIGERENT MISS BOYNTON, just before our son's kidney failure. It wasn't a career move, it was just an idea I had and wrote with little thought to a career. I wrote my second book during those long nine months, staying awake all night twice a week, to scribble it in longhand at the dining room table. A Regency romance, a very funny romance, this book became THE TENACIOUS MISS TAMERLANE and, looking back now, as I write this, I guess the word "tenacious" was, sub-consciously a pretty good choice.
Years later I was told, by a reviewer, that she called this book her "rainy day" book, because if she felt down, she knew reading this book would make her laugh. I wrote that book for me, and for those nurses, for those mothers trying to make it through just one more night. So that's how it really began, with that second book, before the first one was sold. It was that second book that told me, yes, you have a chance for a career here. You can do something for yourself that just might make somebody else's day a little brighter. It sounds hokey, but that's how it happened...
A quarter of a century later, I am writing my 100-and-some novel for these same people. I want to believe, do believe, I bring smiles, I bring hope, I bring the CHANCE of happiness; not a promise, not a certainty, but the CHANCE. I know, have learned, that one of the best ways to keep your sanity is to escape reality every once in a while.
What do you hope your readers will take away from your books?
Hope. A smile. A few giggles. A guffaw or two would be nice. That isn't to say that, out of more than 100 books, I haven't written some darker ones. I have, when an idea hit me and I couldn't let it go until I'd written it down. But even my darker stories end with hope I don't deal with unhappy endings in my books; there's enough of that in real life.
Seriously... I don't write to change the world. I write to entertain, and I want my books to bring a smile, maybe a tear or two, but then more smiles and just be the sort of story that, when the reader finally closes the book over the last page, she just sits there and sort of rubs at the back cover for a moment, wishing the story wasn't over yet. That's my dream...
Who has had the greatest influence on your writing? Who inspires you?
has its greatest influence on and most inspires my writing. All of it,
from its beginning to now, every facet of life, of just plain living,
influences my writing. The beauty of writing novels is that nobody says
you can't, that you don't have the training, the education, credentials
of any kind. You don't have to pass a test in order to write a book.
You don't have to prove anything to anyone except yourself, you have
to please yourself, and when you please yourself, others will be pleased.
It's you and that blank page, and the dreams that live in your head.
So everything influences me, and everything inspires me ... from a great
work of art, to a commercial for fast food hamburgers. I look around,
and there it all is...