Saturday, January 31, 2015

INTERVIEW: Kathleen Hayes plus #Giveaway! #MMRomance

Hello Kathleen and welcome to The Hat Party! <3 Thank you so much for subjecting yourself to the RANDOMNESS that is a Raine O'Tierney interview! Please don your best hat, and let's get started!

This hat was a gift from my best friend when I
Moved from Texas to North Dakota to keep my face warm.

You’ve been given the opportunity to go back in time and give your 13-year-old self a message. What do you say?

“Don’t let Dad mess you up so much. He loves you in his own way and sometimes that’s all we can ask from imperfect people. Don’t be someone you are not just to keep from hurting his feelings.”

My Dad and I had a decent relationship at the time but over the years, after seeing how he treated my sister when she didn’t act exactly how he wanted, I hid the parts of me he wouldn’t like. Years later, I am learning how not to hide as much and I wish I had learned that earlier. Here is a poem I wrote after he died that kind of sums up our relationship.

So, you were editing along and zombies attack. And they are on fire! What do you do?

Haha. Ummm…are the zombies in the story I am editing or are they in real life???? IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. ;) I am something of a confidence porn slut (OMG the whole cast of Leverage makes me want to swoon) so if it were in my story, I would do research and make my character(s) the most badass of badass zombie fighters. They would of course need some flaws to be interesting but….competence porn is really a thing for me. If it were in real life, I think I would be pretty screwed. I know that two of the most important Zombie survival rules are: Cardio and Double Tap to the Head (Thank you, Zombieland). Since, I have absolutely no cardio skills and I own no weaponry, I’m probably SOL. However, I did read something the other day that Costco has enough peanut butter in a normal store to feed 12 people for something like nine years PLUS tons of other survival stuff like knives and solar panels. So I might grab my husband and my cat and haul ass to the nearest Costco and create an alliance to hold it against all comers.

Describe yourself using song lyrics.

Lyrics are hard for me because I really just don’t remember them very well. Also, I am still listening to the same mix CDs I made in high school (almost 15 years ago). However, facebook doesn’t do me wrong and I was able to find a few lyrics that I had in my favorite quotes section (before they got rid of it). So here goes:

“If you want me I’ll be at your door // And if you need I’ll be by your side // Cos every day is a long winding road // And I’ll always be here don’t you know” –Cara Dillon, Never in a Million Years

I don’t really identify with the rest of the song but one of my best traits/fatal flaws is that if a friend or someone I love is in need, I am there. It can be hard when that person doesn’t reciprocate and as an extreme introvert it can just be hard all around sometimes but so many people have been there for me over the years, I do my best to do the same.

I also really like celtic/folk music, especially if it is kind of haunting sounding. Often that doesn’t have lyrics but I think those songs sometimes get me better than the stuff out on the radio and whatnot.

You have 200 words—Make. Me. Swoon. (PLEASE!)

James was typing on computer when I opened the door and didn’t look up right away.

“I quit.” I said as I shoved the job offer on to his desk. At those words, he finally looked up. I could tell the exact moment he registered what I’d said.

I am not really sure how he made it around his desk, but the next moment he had his arms around me. It was everything I had hoped for since that fateful conversation three months ago. He was too honorable to date one of his employees. But, as of right now, I was no longer his employee.

We stood for a small eternity, just holding each other. A warmth spread through me and an unshakeable feeling of home swamped over me. Then, in the matter of a single breath, warmth turned to heat and James was pulling my face towards his. Our lips met and I would have been happy to melt into him until I got my fill, if it weren’t for the chorus of catcalls and cheers coming from just behind us.

“Finally,” James said as he leaned his forehead against mine, smile shining bright enough to rival the sun.

What makes you inexplicably happy?

I am generally a happy person so it doesn’t take much. I love when my cat deigns to cuddle with me. I love when my husband does something unaccountably thoughtful or sweet. I love when I have a day at work where I really felt like I was of use.

 Also, in reading, first kisses are my absolutely favorite. Whether a first ever kiss or a first kiss between two characters, I just can’t stop grinning. Sometimes I even bounce up and down in excitement, if it is good enough. On a parallel, I love really meaningful first “I love you’s”. This takes a little more though. “I love you” during sex is never satisfying for me and an insta-love “I love you” makes me want to cringe. It is the hard won, sweet, sometimes begrudging, awe-filled, can’t keep it inside “I love you” that just makes me happy when I am reading.

What is your biggest, most-wild writing dream? (Nothing is too outlandish!)

Right now, I mainly (err…exclusively) write short stories because I always struggle with secondary plots and not wrapping things up too quickly. So my biggest, wildest dream would be to write A NOVEL. I have the basics of a fantasy novel planned out but right now it is just another run of the mill plot and I want to make it special. I am working on too many other things right now to focus on it but someday (REALLY REALLY), I am going to publish a fantastic 300+ page fantasy novel/romantic story that blows your socks off.

What is your favorite literary quote?

OK…literary quotes are my jam (way more that song lyrics) so I can’t pick just one (sorry). Here are a few off the top of my head. I won’t say top three ever because that changes almost daily but these are the ones I am feeling right now.

What is one person's diversion may be another's supreme test. And so often we sit beside one another, unknowing.” – Margaret George, The Memoirs of Cleopatra

“Grief can destroy you – or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. Or you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning that you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it is over and you’re alone, you begin to see it wasn’t just dinner and a movie together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared, sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.” – Dean Koontz, Odd Hours

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love
What one food item do you consider to be your arch nemesis?

Pizza. O I could compose odes to the glory of pizza. All of which end in heartache as my insides rebel and my organs cease functioning as they are meant. O melted cheese, O chewy dough, O crispy pepperoni: To thou dost my heart belong. Yet, where the heart is willing, the body is weak. Our love is doomed, like that of young Romeo and his sweet Juliet. My beloved pizza sleeps gently in my stomach until it cries out in despair and I want to die as well. We are enemies well met, love not strong enough to overcome our natures. Every time we try to consummate our love, a battlefield emerges. They say that you can hurt the ones you love far worse than those who don’t care. Well, it is true. My true love has become my greatest enemy. Pizza, you have betrayed me and never shall I forget it. Muahahahaha!!!

Biggest mistake you’ve made in your writing career and what you’ve learned from it.

The first two stories I published were Christmas Tradition and Broken. I self-published and didn’t really have much of a beta. I was mainly going off trends and tropes I saw in the genre as I was reading. A lot of those two stories were built based on what I thought I had to include in a story if I wanted people to like it. I look back on them and wish I could take them back and re-write them completely. I am almost embarrassed that they are out there. Now, I realize, even if it means my stories might not be as successful, I need to write what my muse is telling and write the story I want to write, instead of the story I think other people want. In the end, hopefully someone out there will want the story I have written.

And finally, for THE most important question of all: what kinds of dachshunds are the BEST kinds of dachshunds?

I think the REAL answer to this question is ANY kind of dachshund is the BEST kind of dachshund. However, that is a bit of a cop out so, if I had to pick, I would go with a long-haired dachshund.


Aren’t they adorable!?!?!

~ ~ ~

Cover by the lovely Natasha Snow

Sam works as a hospital chaplain and volunteers as a chaplain with the local police department. Called to the scene of a domestic dispute, he cross paths with Frank, best friend of the victim. Though the two share a moment, they go their separate ways…but meet again outside the hospital after one of Sam’s patients dies…

Excerpt (POV is Sam):

Six Months Later
I stopped as soon as I made it outside, momentarily shocked that the sun was still shining. I gasped deep breaths of exhaust-filled fresh air into my lungs and marveled at the passage of time. With everything that just happened, it seemed like the sun should have at least set by now. In reality, I had no idea what time it was. I didn't wear a watch and lifting my jacket to get at the pager on my belt seemed too much of an effort.
My mind kept running around the daylight issue as I made my way across the street to the benches that were just outside the Medical/Market Center Trinity Railway Express station that was situated just across the street from Parkland Hospital, where I worked. I just had to get out of the hospital for a minute. I needed to clear my head.
I stared at the bench trying to work out exactly what I had meant to do. After a moment, I realized there were hot tears flowing down my cheeks. Anger, sudden and overwhelming, bloomed in my chest. I lashed out at the trashcan beside the bench with my foot. I was taken over by such a rage that I think I might have broken my foot if someone hadn't grabbed my arm.
I spun around and caught myself a moment before I punched Frank McKesson in the face.
"Sam? Are you okay?"
I stared at him. "No." He looked at a loss. All of sudden the memory of his arms around me the last time we met surged through me. In what amounts to an out of body experience, I watched as I threw my arms around him—willing to do anything to get that feeling of warmth again.
Frank awkwardly wrapped his arms around me again, and I came back into myself as I fell apart. Somehow we ended up sitting next to each other on the bench. When I finally got my breathing under control, embarrassment flooded me and my face burned red-hot.
"I'm sorry," I muttered. "I shouldn't have just grabbed you like that."
"It's okay, Sam. It seemed like you really needed it. You wanna tell me what's wrong?"
I did. I really did. "I can't. I wish I could, but I'd be breaking about a dozen HIPAA regulations." I paused. I wanted to share something, anything to get this heavy weight off my chest. Just no details. "One of my patients died. He was just a kid and it was really bad."
Buy Links:

You can pre-order it from Less Than Three Press, Amazon, or ARe (but there is discount at LT3). It costs $1.99 at Amazon and ARe or $1.69 at LT3.


*What inspired you to write Light Perpetual Shines?

I originally wrote and submitted it to Less Than Three Press’ “Missed Connections” anthology call. The editor for that didn’t think it really fit with the theme for that anthology but encouraged me to submit it under General Submissions. And here we are. As to the setting, I work in a hospital and I had recently listened to a colleague talk about her volunteer work as a Chaplain with the local police department. I also worked at the hospital that is right next door to the one in the story so I know that area pretty well and have been in that hospital several times. It just kind of came together after seeing the submission call and that conversation with my colleague.

*Is there anything special you’d like us to know about your book?

This is the first story I ever submitted to a publisher so it is really exciting to get to see it actually being published. It is also the story the story in which my main character is most like me (Sam). For better or worse, I guess, I put a lot of myself into creating him. Although, there are some major differences (E.G. Sam is a gay male and I am a demi female).

*What are your hopes for this title?

I really hope some people read it, and maybe like it (I guess that’s probably what most authors want). I would love it if everyone who reads it wrote a review (good or bad) because I am always trying to improve my craft (If anyone wants an advance review copy, let me know).

Also, one of the most meaningful things that has happened for me since I started writing is receiving emails from readers. In particular, I write very open and accepting religious characters (as you can probably tell from the fact that my main character is chaplain). Several people have written to tell me that my characters have changed how they feel about themselves and how they grew up or that reading my stories gave them hope where they previously hadn’t had any. That was absolutely mind-blowing and humbling to hear. In no way do I want to diminish the very real harm that many religious organizations and people have done. However, I hope that maybe some people can see that religious doesn’t always equal hateful.

About the Author:

Kathleen Hayes is a bit of an all-around geek. She has mastered the art of procrastination, is owned by two crazy cats and is excited to have just added a fellow super geek to her clan. Kathleen loves to explore worlds – whether in her head or on page. She welcomes you into her worlds and hopes you have as much fun there as she does!

She writes M/M Romance and poetry. She loves to hear from y'all so if you have questions/comments/feedback comment on her blog, message her on goodreads or email her at

Social Media Links:


Comment below (and make sure to leave your email address!) for your chance to win a copy of Light Perpetual Shines in any eBook format! Contest runs until Friday, February 6th @ 11:59 PM CST!


  1. Looks like a good read. Adding to the wish list

    1. Well dang it I forgot my email-

  2. Thanks for the post and excerpt, sounds like a great read!

  3. Thank you for the interview, excerpt, and chance to win a copy!