Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Chat with Gail Kittleson in My Cozy Den


Welcome to Whispers in Purple, Gail. So happy to have you here. Are you ready for a little chat with me?

Sure am! Thanks for having me, Peg.

All right! Let’s go. To begin, tell us 5 random things about you.

    • I grew up on an Iowa farm in the 1950’s and 60’s—a baby boomer.
    • I’ve studied French in southern France.
    • My husband and I lived in Senegal, W. Africa for about a year.
    • Emily Dickinson is my favorite poet, and poetry was my first genre to write.
    • I make a great cornbread that’s gluten, lactose, and sugar free.

What is the #1 thing on your bucket list?

Returning to southern France to follow the trail of the Waffen S.S. up through the Auvergne.

What are some of your favorite things to do OUTSIDE of reading and writing?

Hiking, bicycling, and taking classes at my very artsy daughter’s store—that means trying my hand at glass, mosaics, painting, and whatever else she dreams up.

It seems that when someone finds out you’re a writer you get “Oh, I’d like to write a book someday.” What would you tell them?

I’d say, someday is today. At my age, I figure TODAY is the day to do just about everything you’d like to do sometime in the future.

Describe your favorite writing place.

GK WorkspaceWe enclosed a little ex-front porch when we renovated our ancient house. Immediately, I wanted it for ME. The only problem is, it has no door, but I ought to create some kind of covering for the open doorway. Two walls are windows, so it’s light and airy, and one side looks out on the elementary school playground. A picture...maybe. I’m a quote-gatherer and constant note-writer, so my desk is covered with such, and the shelf in front of me has maps of France for my WWII series, maps of an area of Arizona for my 1860’s story, lots of Good Earth teabag quotes, and an array of other stuff taped to it.

I also have our children’s pics from ages ago in here, and of course, the grand-kiddos. One of my signs says, Live well, love deeply, be happy, and share the joy!

What’s on your nightstand right now?

A lamp, some essential oils I use at night, and one of my many pairs of Dollar Tree reading glasses. And probably a little dust—it’s about time to take care of that again.

As writers, we’re often told to read books in the genre we want to write. Do you think that’s good advice? Why/why not?

Great advice, if that’s the genre you love. I know some authors write in certain genres because they’re popular at the time, so they read fantasy (or whatever) because they want to write it. But I doubt that would work for me.

A fun question: If you joined the circus, what job would you want/have, and why? Smile

I’d be the lion tamer. Now, that’s a leap into fantasy, as I’m allergic to cat hair. But I choose this position because there’s a lion looking at me right now from my wall ...reminds me of Aslan. And my whole life has circled around taming the lions within—doubt, insecurity, low self-image, shame-based stuff. They are SO powerful, like lions. But I’ve learned that with time, tenacity, and courage, they can be tamed.

Okay, now let’s talk about your book.


  • · Title: In This Together
  • · Publisher: Wild Rose Press/Vintage Line
  • · Release Date: November 18, 2015
  • · Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction

Tell us a little bit about it and how you came to write it.

It’s one woman’s story of taming the lions in her life. Dottie, a WWII Gold Star mother (her only son died in the war), loses her husband as the war ends. She takes a job at the local boarding house, and finds meaning in providing clean spaces and nutritious meals for the male boarders.

One day, Dottie slipped into my consciousness, is all I can really say. I was in a big old house like the farmhouse of my childhood, and voila! It hit me that a person could work in a place like this, and from there, Dottie’s personality and the other characters emerged, little by little.

This book wasn’t my first, but it’s the first to be published. I find that interesting, because the others are a bit heavier, even though Dottie loses her only son in the war.. There’s a lighter feel for me about her story, lots of hope and encouragement. It is possible to overcome haunting fears, and second chances might just wait for us around the next corner.

Please give us the back cover blurb:

It’s 1946. Dottie Kyle, an everyday Mid-western woman who lost her only son in the war and her husband soon after, takes a cooking/cleaning job at a local boarding house. But when a new employee is hired, complications arise, and when they niggle Dottie’s “justice meter”, she must decide whether to speak up or not. At the same time, her daughter's pregnancy goes awry and the little California grandchildren she's never met need her desperately. But an old fear blocks her way. When the widower next door shows Dottie unexpected attention, she has no idea he might hold the clue to unlocking her long-held anxieties.

Give us the buy links where folks can purchase it.,  itunes, and it will go to googlebooks on or about actual release day. 

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?

Give us your personal/professional bio.


My tagline, Heroines that Dare to Bloom, parallels my own long journey to blooming as a writer. Our stories are our best gifts. My husband and I enjoy gardening and grandchildren in Northern Iowa, and I facilitate writing workshops and women’s retreats.

WhiteFire Publishing released my memoir, Catching Up With Daylight in 2013, and my debut women’s historical fiction, In This Together (Wild Rose Press/Vintage Imprint) released yesterday! I also contributed to the Little Cab Press 2015 Christmas Anthology

Please feel free to contact me—meeting new reading friends is the frosting on my cake, as my heroine, Dottie, would say!

Thank you so much, Gail, for being my guest on Whispers in Purple. God’s blessings on you and your writing career.

Lighthouse of the Carolinas has contracted Gail for the release of her second women's fiction novel, A Purpose True, early in 2017. The series features three novels set during World War II.

To all those out there writing their stories, Gail says KEEP WRITING! That’s the best advice she’s received on this long journey to publication.


  1. Peg, thanks for having me in today. Your den deserves many a visit! That fainting couch…oh my!

  2. Hi, Gail, it's been a pleasure to interview you here on my blog. I live in NW Wisconsin, not too far away from Iowa :)
    Unfortunately, that's not my den...wish it were!

  3. I enjoyed reading Gail's interview. I loved her book In This Together. Would love to spend some time in your den - looks like a lovely place to read.

  4. Thanks so much for stopping by, Ann.Yes, I am totally envious of that den, especially the fireplace. It's crackling warmth would be most welcome on a cold 30° day like today.

  5. Oh, sorry it's not yours! NW Wisconsin…what's your closest city?

  6. I live in a small city called Ladysmith, about a two-hour drive SE of Superior, or 2-1/2 hours NE of the Twin Cities. :)

  7. So we're about 5 hours apart….hum, not so bad when there's no winter storm watch out, as we have for tomorrow - probably you, too.

  8. Great interview with Gail! She's a classy lady. We discovered we both raise basil, so hoping someday to collaborate on a book or series in which basil is prominent.

  9. Cool idea, it sounds, uh, delicious :)