Interview with Kay Cove, Author of Sing Your Secrets
05 May 2023
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Sing Your Secrets?
My first serious relationship didn’t end well. Space and separation was the key to my growth and ability to move on, but I spent a lot of time thinking about what real closure means. I think a lot of those feelings inspired this story. The heroine in Sing Your Secrets, Reese, had to make a decision to not let the painful fallout from her first relationship keep her from experiencing love again and that’s a difficult thing to do! It’s so much easier to close your heart to new experiences than to welcome the risk that comes with love when you’ve been hurt before.
This story was about forgiveness and redemption but not necessarily for the rekindling of a past relationship, but for the heroine to appreciate the journey, both good and bad, that made her into the person she was. The (metaphorical) bumps and bruises along the way made her so much stronger. It was all part of the big picture and I wanted readers to see a heroine be able to forgive her past mistakes and really appreciate her evolution as a woman and an individual.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Sing Your Secrets, what would they be?
So many songs! This story is very much music inspired. But if I had to pick one from the SYS playlist to represent the main characters, I’d say it’s “Weight” by SoMo. I listened to that song so many times as I wrote this story. It’s such a raw, honest, portrayal of the tough parts of being a musician – the struggle, the pressure to perform and succeed. That song is a question to your significant other: Will you be there when I’m down? Can you help carry me when the weight is too much for one person? Are you in it for real, through the highs and lows? That song will always have a special place in my heart!
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
I typically stay in the romance genre. If there isn’t love in the story, it doesn’t really capture my attention. That being said, I definitely like to read different subgenres than I write. I’m a big fantasy romance fan! I love all the mystery, world-building, and adventure. I also have been adding a lot of dark romances to my TBR lately, just because they are dominating the market and I see so much creativity and lines being pushed (and sometimes crossed). I love to read authors who take risks and write boldly!
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
It’s embarrassingly long. I write and release pretty quickly so I don’t have a ton of time to really dive into all the books I want to, but a couple of titles at the top of my list are Song of Achilles, ACOTAR, Meghan Quinn’s entire backlist (ha!), Sara Adam’s new titles, and any and everything by Lucy Score. I also want to start Shantel Tessier’s most recent series and check out a few of H.D. Carlton’s best sellers.
How’s that for variety? I’m definitely a mood reader.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
This is kind of an IYKYK response, but there’s a scene in SYS where Miles (my MMC) finds out something that completely shocks him. He’s under the impression he was lied to and manipulated by his love interest, and I know most readers will flip the page expecting a typical miscommunication, third-act breakup situation. But I go in a completely different direction. Instead of the usual devices used to create tension and angst in a story, I decided to let my main characters have a really open and honest conversation about who they are, and what they need from a relationship. They have to decide if they trust each other. It’s my favorite scene of the story because it’s just so genuine. It’s exactly how you’d want these characters to behave, and I just wanted to give readers that gratifying moment of watching these characters sidestep a huge relationship land mine.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
Not really. I will say my husband worked really hard to help me set up a really nice office/writing area in our home that is comfy and secluded… And I never use it. Ha! I do most of my writing in our old beat-up recliner in the living room amidst all the kids’ toys, with the piled-up dirty dishes in the kitchen behind me. I used to need complete quiet and focus to write, and now I’m learning to thrive in the chaos. I actually write better that way in my opinion.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
Basically whatever Brené Brown says to do. Haha! No, in all seriousness, I have learned so much from her talks about vulnerability. It’s really difficult to take something that’s so close to your heart and share it with the world and have no control over how people perceive it. I always say that I can control what I write, but I can’t control what people read. Books are subjective, perception is different for everyone. All I can control is doing my best and writing the stories that I want to. So on the days when I stumble upon a nasty one-star review of one of my books, or sales are struggling, or I’m full of doubt, I try to remember Brené’s talks about being brave enough to be in the arena. It’s not easy to show up and allow yourself to be seen. I try to find my validation in the bravery of just showing up and being proud of myself for chasing my goals and dreams.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
Oh, that’s a tough one. I think there are a lot of life lessons I tried to convey in Sing Your Secrets. Maybe the most important would be to unapologetically be yourself and give yourself permission to love what you love and pursue what makes you happy. Living your life by someone else’s standards or expectations is incredibly unfulfilling. Take the time to define what happiness looks like for you, and let that and that alone be your guiding light.
Kay Cove is the author of the new book Sing Your Secrets
Connect with Kay CoveAuthor Site
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