Meet author Kit Hawthorne

Kit spent years in a Celtic folk band, singing, composing, and playing Irish pennywhistle. She lives on a Texas farm that’s been in her husband’s family for seven generations. She’s an avid reader who enjoys logging her reads (and plotting her life) in her Bullet Journal. She also enjoys drawing, sewing, quilting, knitting, and restoring old furniture to beauty and usefulness. She writes historical romance and contemporary western romance.

Tell us about your newest book.

My latest book is Treason Trail, book 3 in my Cape Fear Legacy series, set in South Carolina during the American Revolutionary War.

What inspired you to write Treason Trail?

I’d already written two books sets in the Carolinas during the Revolution. I loved the setting, the time period, and the characters—especially the Shaw family. Nessa Shaw is the third Shaw sibling. She’s outgoing, nurturing, forthright, and brave, and I wanted her to have her own love story. I was also interested in ways the war could have plausibly been lost at this stage, after the huge Patriot victory at the Battle of Yorktown—and in ways my hero and heroine could prevent that from happening.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

In the final days of the American Revolutionary War, Nessa Shaw tends to the sick and wounded at the Continental Army camp in Charlestown, South Carolina. When she stumbles upon a man lying unconscious on a forest trail, she quickly realizes he is unlike any patient she has ever encountered. With no memory of his past, his only clues to his identity are his first name—August—and the certainty that he is a Patriot. Against her better judgment, Nessa grows closer to August, trusting him with secrets that could cost her dearly. But when she discovers a deadly plot that could change the course of the war, Nessa must question everything she thought she knew about August and his true allegiances.

What genre do you focus on?

I’m currently focusing on historical romance. I’m fascinated by the American Founding and by the manners, clothing, furnishings, etc. of that time period. The backdrop of another time period shows not only how different people were in the past, but also how the most important things—like love, loyalty, and courage—have stayed the same.

Why do you write?

I love to read, and I constantly think in terms of stories and “what if” scenarios. I try to write the sort of stories that I would want to read. The world can be a frightening and heartbreaking place. As a Christian, I know that God turns bad things to good for his children, and brings order to all the apparent chaos around us, but we lack the perspective to see or even imagine the scale of the pattern he is making. Stories give us the closure and resolution that we long for, and wait for, in real life. I want my stories to give comfort and hope to my readers.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

I chose the surname “Shaw” because there were Scottish immigrants of that name who settled in North Carolina in the 18th century and because it’s a good strong name. “Nessa” is also Scottish, and it’s both strong and feminine, like the character.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

Up before dawn, feed the dogs, feed the cats, feed the chickens and whatever livestock we’ve currently got on the place. Start the Roombas. Bible reading and Bullet Journal with Darjeeling tea. Then three to four hours of work on the current book, interspersed with breaks for light housework and making more tea. I try to get all my actual writing done as early in the day as possible, leaving afternoons for clerical work and exercise.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Keeping up with all the administrative stuff. I have spreadsheets, Trello boards, printed calendars, and my Bullet Journal to help me keep track of it all, but it still stresses me out.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

The fact that I get to work alone, wearing yoga clothes, surrounded by pets and livestock, and can set my own hours to allow time for all the stuff I want to do—gardening, home improvements, or just taking a long lunch while reading a good book. I’m a very regimented person and have always enjoyed setting my own schedule.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

In the late 90s, I used to play and sing in a band. We were a Celtic folk group and performed at coffee shops, festivals, and the occasional bar. We all went to the same church and played together in the church band as well. Once we even went on tour to Muscatine, Iowa!

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I used to labor over my writing, endlessly polishing or else starting over completely. That all changed with my first traditionally published book. I have learned to set and meet deadlines and to write with specific genre requirements in mind. Perfectionism is often a form of procrastination. Letting go of it has made me a better writer, as well as one who finishes projects and gets paid.

What is your favorite pastime?

I love to ride my horse around the property.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

I have an eight-book series with Harlequin Heartwarming called Truly Texas. They are set in a fictitious rural community in the Texas Hill Country. My Cape Fear Legacy series, set in the Carolinas during the American Revolution, is currently at three volumes—Savanna Storm, Carolina Crossing, and Treason Trail (coming 18 June 2024).

What are you working on now?

I’m in the planning stages of a contemporary novel tentatively titled The Stand-In.


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