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An Interview with Kara Cueto Osthoff


Kara is a writer who lives with her family in the Midwest. With degrees in History and Interior Design, she brings a wealth of knowledge to every project she tackles. Kara also serves on the city council in her hometown and proudly serves on the local library board.

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

I have always been interested in history, design, and stories focused on women. This book gave me an opportunity to explore all three of these themes, and dive into the entertainment world as well.

What inspired you to start writing this book?

A tour of the Ryman Auditorium when we dropped my daughter off at school inspired this particular story about Lula Naff.

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

The title, The Patron Saint of the Mother Church, came very quickly. The Ryman is known as the “Mother Church” in country music. And Lula was certainly the Ryman’s “patron saint” since she served the institution for decades and guided it through many incarnations.

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

Too many to even count. The Grand Ole Opry is obviously the soundtrack to the Ryman, but the venue hosts so many various acts, it would be hard to select just a few. But I know everyone would recognize Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Tanya Tucker and so many more. Fun fact, which is in the book, Elvis only was allowed to play at the Ryman once!

Describe your dream book cover.

A color photo of the Ryman with an imposed black and white image of Lula in her prime.

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

I am an interior designer by day, and also serve as an Alderwoman on the city council, which includes many committees and outside organizations. I proudly serve as the council member on the Library Board.

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

I hope my readers find out about a remarkable American woman who impacted the entertainment world for the first half of the 20th century. As a woman and a single mother and a manager of such an iconic venue, Lula Naff’s story is one that history lovers will enjoy.

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