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An Interview with C.S. Kjar, Author of Finding Love in the Snow

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C.S. (Carol) Kjar is an award-winning, self-published author who lives out west where the antelope, deer, and bison play. Her humorous, wholesome books are about small-town people (mostly people past mid-life) who face big decisions they wish they didn’t have to make, but in the end, they are stronger for it. Her last name is pronounced “care” which she loves. It’s what we should all do: care for each other.

You can buy Finding Love in the Snow here.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I’ve always been an avid reader and loved writing letters to faraway friends. In my many jobs, I loved the writing part the best. Being stuck in a very boring accounting job pushed me to write my first novel as a means of therapy. I plotted in the day and wrote at night. When I was done, it was horribly written, but the story was amazing. Classes and workshops taught me the skills of writing and the value of a good editor. I found who I was meant to be after I retired: a writer.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I was supposed to be happy as a wife and mother, but I found I wanted to be more. I graduated from college at age 36 as a high school math teacher. I didn’t like it. I got a job as a secretary and was soon promoted to senior statistician, a job that involved technical writing. Next, I worked at a college writing newsletters before moving on to being a timber sale accountant, the most boring job I ever had. From there, I became an archeological technician doing fieldwork and writing reports. Then I got my dream job as a natural resources technical writer/editor. I loved every minute until I retired and became a fiction writer.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

Book titles come very hard for me and usually at the end. The story of being caught in an avalanche was inspired by the years we lived in Colorado and Wyoming. Rescuers find plenty of bodies in the snow but finding someone to love would be magical. Having lived mostly in small towns, I love the setting the books in them. Milo Creek, Colorado is a fictional town that I’d love to live in, a blend of where I grew up and Telluride before it exploded population-wise.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

I was torn between two versions of the cover but chose this one because I love walking in the snow while it’s falling. The snow forms curtains around the couple and noise is muted so that they feel like they’re alone in the world. With their backs to us, they are walking into their futures. That’s very romantic. I was so excited to hold this book in my hands. I loved the story, and I loved writing it.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

The soundtrack would hold Christmas music like “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” “Silent Night,” and “Jingle Bells.” A little James Bond theme music might be included when the main character, Marissa, is suspected of being an industrial spy. Being a lover of golden oldies, “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” by Frankie Lymon would fit perfectly in the New Year’s Ball near the end of the book.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

My perfect readers would be anyone who loves Christmas or sweet romance. The story is based on looking at your life and seeing if you’re going the direction you want to go or if you are going through the motions and doing what is expected of you. Taking stock of your life and finding a new direction can free you from the chains and burdens of others’ expectations.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

My readers were asking for another of my books, and I was happy to give them this one. I’ve had many great reviews and feedback from them about it. The book was a finalist in the 2022 American Writing Awards competition and placed fourth in the 2023 National Excellence in Story Telling competition. I’m very proud of my book and the awards, but I treasure the good things my readers say about it. They are the ones who I write for, and they keep me going.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

My current project is rewriting one of my first books and turning it into a cozy mystery series. The characters are older, retired, and not afraid to solve crimes by themselves. Book one is tentatively titled “Walkers on the Run.” I’m writing book two during NaNoWriMo 2023. I’ve also completed a historical fiction manuscript set in 1948 about a Rosie the Riveter who didn’t want to stop working and become a housewife after the war. She wanted to be a mechanic but was rejected on most every level. She can’t trust anyone after her best friend is murdered and the killer is after her. I hope to publish it in the next year or so. And not being one to have only one project going, I’ve started another sweet romance about one of the secondary characters in Finding Love in the Snow. It’s plotted and partially written. Now you know how I deal with writer’s block: move to another manuscript. My husband and I love to travel, and we do a lot of it which sometimes cuts back on my writing time. He’s very supportive and prods me to keep writing.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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