"Gabrielle Holly spins her stories in a way that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster you'll never forget!"
~Paranormal Romance Junkies

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Getting Personal With Author Kara O'Neal

This week we’re Getting Personal With Author Kara O’Neal. Kara’s debut novel “Welcome Home” is the first book in the Pike’s Run series. Kara dropped by to talk about the writing life and share an excerpt.

About Kara O’Neal
Kara O'Neal was born and raised in Texas.  After surviving those awkward years of 7 to 16, she spent two years at Sam Houston State University where she met her husband.  He followed her to Texas Tech University and was proud when she graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Human Development.  Soon after graduation Kara followed her heart and became certified to teach Special Education. 

She married the love of her life in 1998 and had three children.  The happiest times of her life are spent with her family and friends.  Kara is fortunate to be surrounded by the best and most amazing people God put on this earth.

When she was pregnant with her oldest child, Kara wrote her first novel.  And then rewrote it.  And rewrote it again.  She did this while teaching, raising kids, and traveling across Texas with her husband.

Becoming an author was a dream she stumbled upon.  With the encouragement of her family and friends, she didn't discard this risky adventure.  At this time, she would like to express her gratitude to her husband, parents, siblings, children, and friends for their support, love, and suggested revisions.

Connect with Kara

And now, let’s get personal with author Kara O’Neal!

What's the best part of being a writer?  There are many wonderful aspects about writing, but the absolute best is touching hearts and minds through the written word.  Words have so much power.  My favorite authors are ones who can deliver a strong emotional impact with few words. 

What is your writing process?  My writing process….I’ve never really thought about it.  I don’t write outlines.  I don’t set specific times for writing.  I do most of my planning when I’m trying to fall asleep at night.  Writing scenes in my head calms me and makes the stress of my work day fade.  Of course, sometimes I forget what I came up with when I wake up!

Where do you write? Well….this is embarrassing.  I write in my bathroom.  (Blush!)  My husband and kids take up the house.  But I have a really long vanity, and it’s quiet.  So…I know…it’s odd.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever gotten? This is a hard one because many wise people have impacted me throughout my life.  So, I’ll stick to the best advice I ever received about writing – Always write.  Even if it’s terrible.  Write.  Even if you can’t feel the emotion.  Write. Write. Write.

What are you working on now?  I am currently working on the third novel in the Pikes Run Series.  It is J.T.’s story.

What is your most current release and what is it about?  “Welcome Home.”  This book relates the story of childhood friends being ripped apart by betrayal and circumstance.  They find each other two years later and sparks fly while love grows.

How did you come up with the title?  I am so glad you asked this question!  The heroine, Emma Prescott, is based off my sister.  She spent a few years looking for “Mr. Right”.  (Those were rough years, let me tell ya!)  However, when she finally found him, he was everything he should be.  They married in June of 2006, and I was her Matron of Honor, which meant I had to give a toast.  The last line of my toast went as follows: “Your friends and family would like to say….welcome home.”

I had already titled my novel “True Courage”.  I never really liked it.  But after that toast, and finally seeing her happy with the love of her life, I knew I’d found the right title for my book.  And I changed it. 

What's your 'guilty pleasure'? When I find a TV series I like, I watch it over and over and over.  Netflix is a severe weakness for me.  The Closer, Golden Girls, The Office….I can recite every episode by heart.  Yikes!

Thanks for visiting today and sharing an excerpt from "Welcome Home!" I’m a sucker for a great story about friends-turned-lovers.


 She swiped at her quiet tears and raised her chin. “I left home to find you, to offer my heart to you, to give you everything you’ve ever wanted, to make you the happiest man on earth. And I can do it. I know now I can do anything.”

His chest rose and fell rapidly. She had no idea how she affected him. The expression in his eyes hadn’t changed since she’d begun.

“All I need to know is…do you, can you, love me back?” she asked, her throat closing up.

Her head spun, making her concerned she might faint. She didn’t know what else to say. There was more to tell him, but she couldn’t talk about that now. Confessing her love was enough for one night.

Her hands trembled, so did her shoulders. The emotions racing through her were so strong, she was certain he could tell she’d spoken the truth.

It felt like an eternity as she waited for him to respond, to say something to her. However, in the end, all he did was walk away, and Emma was left alone…again.


Like what you’ve read so far? Find out what happens next. Buy “Welcome Home” today from ResplendencePublishing!


  1. Enjoyable interview. Hilarious location for writing but hey whatever works! GREAT excerpt. ~~Emmly Jane

  2. Great interview. I love the story of how the title came about. And that excerpt! Wow, gave me chills. I can't wait for the release.