Interview with Katy Regnery, author of Unloved, a love story
09 Oct 2017
What can you tell us about your new release, Unloved, a love story?
This past March, my husband and I were driving from our home in Connecticut to an airport in New York City, and he was telling me all about a book he’d just finished reading called The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. This non-fiction book takes place at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, which Herman Webster Mudgett, one of the first American serial killers, used for his “hunting” grounds. He was convicted and executed for murder in the first degree, and some estimate his victims to number over 200. But of all the lurid details my husband shared with me about Mudgett, the one I couldn’t shake was that he had two children: a son and a daughter.
I kept thinking about these children—what it must have been like to learn that their father was a monster, how it affected their growth, if they felt shame or anger or fear when they thought of him, or if they blocked out his memory entirely. His daughter became a schoolteacher and his son was eventually the city manager of Orlando, which leads me to believe that they were conscientious, responsible adults. But what damage did their father’s crimes have on their psyches?
It was with these questions swirling around in my head that the character of Cassidy Porter, the hero of Unloved, a love story, was born. When the Maine State Police arrest his father, Paul Isaac Porter, on his eighth birthday, Cassidy goes from being a normal, American kid to being the son of Maine’s most notorious serial killer. His mother becomes a self-taught authority on genetics and makes Cassidy promise never to marry or have children, just in case his father’s darkness lives on in Cassidy’s DNA. And Cassidy would have kept that promise…if Brynn Cadogan hadn’t stumbled into his life, desperately needing his help.
The more time Cassidy spends with Brynn, the harder he falls for her. But, his genetics and the possibility of inheriting his father’s demons plagues Cassidy. And eventually he must decide if he can break the chains of his genetics or if giving up Brynn is the best way to prove his love for her. To find out which, you’ll have to pick up Unloved, a love story!
What or who inspired you to become an author?
To be honest, I sort of fell into it. I was an at-home mom for many years, and when my children were finally in school full-time, I felt very aimless. I didn’t want to go back to my pre-mom career as an office and facilities manager, but I needed a purpose. A friend encouraged me to take a short story writing class in January 2012. By December 2012, I had written my first novel and I sold it in March 2013. By Proxy was published in September 2013, and Unloved, a love story, will be my 34th published novel and 26th self-published novel.
Which books would we be surprised to find on your shelves?
Hmm. Let me take a peek!
<Katy leans to the right to look at her bookcases.>
Well, sorry to be predictable, but I think Welcome to the Monkey House, by Kurt Vonnegut, is the only one that’s truly incongruous. I have tons of books on writing, on writing romance, love stories and novels by other romance authors, and lots of my own books. But here’s a twist: Welcome to the Monkey House is actually my favorite book. It’s a collection of short stories, mostly science fiction or dystopian, and there are so many I love, though my favorite is “The Long Walk To Forever.” My copy is dog-eared and fragile now, with a ripped cover and pages threatening to fall out. It’s been well-loved.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I’m not trying to be provocative, but I love having control over what I write, and how, and when, and where. I love being in charge of my characters, titles and plotlines, my covers and my edits, my marketing plans and publication schedules. I mean, I also love living in the fantasy worlds I create and it should go without saying that I adore my readers. But, the first word that came to mind was “control” and I know it’s honest. You have to understand: I’m self-made. This is my career and these books are my babies and there is something completely intoxicating about it.
If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would you choose and why?
The very best dinners are the ones when you are surrounded by those whom you love and who love you back. So I would have dinner – always – with my husband, kids, parents and brother. If my best/closest friends and their husbands and kids could join us, that would be awesome too. And maybe my aunt and uncle too, if someone would fly them in. We’d be about 40 or 50 people, but you didn’t give me a limit, so I choose a super long table in a gorgeous vineyard with 20-25 chairs on each side…twinkle lights in the trees…candlelight on the table…shiny glass that catches the flickering flames and white plates clean and gleaming. There’d be music too – maybe a guitarist playing folk music and show tunes and classical melodies…and there would be tons of wine and beer and food and laughter and conversation deep into the night. And love. There’d be so much love at that dinner table.
If you had an extra hour each day, how would you spend it?
OMG. I can barely conceive of such a luxury. I have a husband, a nine-year-old, a twelve-year-old, two dogs, a cat, a home and no help. No assistant. No nanny. I’m a full-time wife, mom, homemaker and novelist. And churning out over thirty books in four years has been a lot of work. I guess I would use it for work…or to watch a show on TV with my kids…or to make my husband a nicer-than-usual dinner. As-is, my life is busy and full and happy, so I would probably fold that hour in and use it for something ordinary.
What scene in Unloved, a love story was your favorite to write?
This book has a MAJOR twist at the 75% mark. Game-changer. Mind-blower. And I have to say…I was writing bits and pieces of that chapter from the very beginning. And in my head, I was rubbing my hands together with glee, because oftentimes, in romance novels, the last 10-25% of the story can be predictable as the author wraps up the story. But I have some surprises in store for my readers that will keep them on their toes until the end.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
When my children were little, I would always ask them, “What’s the most important thing?” And they were trained to answer, “Kindness.” If you asked them today, they’d give you the same answer because I made sure the message was deeply ingrained. If that’s a philosophy, I guess I’ll claim it. Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.
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