banner 2Howdy!

And welcome to another Tuesday blog.  Well, SENECA SURRENDER has just been released in e-book format — here is the Amazon link to the book:

In celebration of the release, I thought I’d give away one e-book copy of SENECA SURRENDER to some lucky blogger — but also, just to celebrate the release of SENECA SURRENDER, I’ll also be giving away a mass market copy of the book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE to another lucky blogger.  So do come on in and leave a comment.

Recently, E.E. Burke posted a blog and interview concerning SENECA SURRENDER.  You can still go and see that particular blog, and here is the link:

So I thought I’d repeat the interview here on Petticoats and Pistols.  So grab that cup of coffee and sit back, and I do hope you’ll enjoy the interview.


Seneca Surrender Gen Bailey 3 Web

  • What drew you to write in the genre(s) you do?


As long as I can remember, I’ve been attracted to the life and times of the American Indian.  I grew up in the 50’s and still remember always being on the side of the Indians, even if they were portrayed in an unfriendly light.  Always, I felt that there was another side to the story.


And then there’s my daydreaming about love and romance when I was practicing the piano.  I’d make up stories or scenes to what I was playing – I still do this.


And so when I picked up pen and paper (literally), two things drew me to this genre:  My love of romance and my love of the American Indian culture.


  • What inspires you daily?


rwa-2012-001In truth, this would have to be my husband.  I met him when I was writing GRAY HAWK’S WOMAN.  Our first kiss is in that book, and he continues to find his way into my stories, even if I don’t intend it.


Then there’s history – real history – or perhaps I should say the truth.  : )  It’s a real eye-opener to read accounts of people who were there at the time.  I think I can truly say that the old saying that  “the winner is who writes the history” is true.  The truth is rarely found in history books in school.  At least this is what I’ve found.


And so I find it inspiring to find the truth of different aspects of the American Indian way of life and to write about it.


  •   Is writing or story-telling easier for you?


This is an easy question for me.  Story-telling is hands down easier for me.  As a matter of fact, I consider myself a story teller first and a writer second.  Lately I’ve been telling my grandchildren stories off the top of my head – mostly because my grand daughter found out that I write stories and she’s asked me to write a story about mermaids for her.  And so I’ve been telling her several stories lately to see which she likes the best.


So definitely story-telling.


  • Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?

Yes, I do write to music – sometimes.  When I’m actively creating a story I find music helps.  However, if I’m editing my work, sometimes it detracts, cause I get lost in the words of the song or some such thing.  Then, there’s just the fact that I love music and so it’s a real pleasure to turn on music that I love and write to it.

When I was growing up, my brother and sister and I had to practice the piano and our other instruments every day.  As piano playing grew easier for me, I found I would start making up stories to fit the song – especially if that piece was beautiful and romantic.

seneca-surrender-ad-graphic        I write to all different kinds of music.  The only thing I look for in a song is if it inspires me.  If it does that, then I’ll play it while I write.  Right now, country music inspires me, particularly Keith Whitley songs.  But in the past I’ve written to classical music, opera, Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy operetta, and sometimes contemporary – but rarely contemporary unless it’s country.  I find the classical and the old country  sad songs have a lot of heart and that makes a difference when I’m writing creatively.


  • How often to you get lost in a story?


Actually I get lost in almost every story that I read.  I have my favorites, of course, but I get lost in these stories. ..particularly if the stories are about something that I write.  And that includes all genres.  I’ve had to give up horror stories, however, as they can cause me to lose sleep.


Once on a writing tour, I was driving at night (not something I usually do).  But this time I was.  I had a book on tape playing in the car – and it was a scary story, and I was really frightened.  I decided after that to never listen to this kind of story if I’m driving when it’s dark – even if it’s early evening.  : )


But I get lost in stories and am known to stay up getting no sleep whatsoever rather than put a book down.


  • What’s the first book you remember reading?

That would be Fairy Tales, I think.  It might have been Cinderella or maybe Alice in Wonderland.  It might even have been Woody Woodpecker – remember him?

Or it might have been Dick and Jane from school.  But I like to think it was Fairy Tales.

Now the first romance book that blew my socks off was a library book entitled THE PINK DRESS.  I read it over and over and over and over.  It was a teen romance, and I literally fell in love with the genre right there.


  • Can you tell us about a real-life hero you’ve met?

lila-paul-me-313This is a really easy question for me.  A real-life hero I’ve met is my husband.  And who has he saved? Well, me for one.  After my divorce early on in my career, I wanted nothing more to do with men, marriage, relationships, or even dating.

My husband turned all that around form me by simply being kind.  Yes, he’s a real man, who very much loves things that men do (cars, gadgets, trucks, etc).  But he is one of the kindest people that I know.  He tempers the forcefulness of a man with kindness – and that’s about the most beautiful thing I’ve seen.

Who else has he saved?  Two of my cats – he literally saved one of my cats lives, and found a lost cat, whom he saved.

He is a hero.  Truly a hero.  Above here we are with our granddaughter.


  •  What is your real opinion about books?  Why are we drawn to them?

Well, I think of books in a rather intense way.  I believe they help us through difficult times, and some of the stories I read are as though those characters become real people.

It was when my own children were young that I sat up and took notice of romance books.  I’d always read stories – mysteries, romance.  But if I’d had a choice to play outside or read – it was always outside that I would choose.

But when my kids were young, my husband was often gone.  And he didn’t support me or the kids when he was gone – usually because he was doing some study or apprenticing, and so he wasn’t making money.

This left it to me to be everything, from earning the money – to paying the rent – to buying the food – to taking the children out each day – to planning and cooking the meals, etc., etc.  Yes, daycare helped.  But the brunt of the raising of the children was left to me.

It was during this period that I discovered that books could take me places, could ease fears, could sympathize when I needed it, could even educate me on things I didn’t know.  And all of these books were romance books.  Every single one of them.

I gave up reading almost any other genre at this time because romance books ended well, and I knew that no matter what, the characters would work it out.  They were…delightful, inspiring and they helped me through a tough time period.

I’ve never forgotten that.  And so when I write, I try to entertain, yes, but I always remember that I need to take people to other places, other times and that the most important thing is that this book becomes a companion when one needs it, and sometimes that’s all we need to get through these trying times.

I love writing.  I love this genre and I fall in love with my characters – and other people’s characters too.  And this is probably the reason why I write.

Well, that’s it for the interview.  Sure hope you enjoyed it.  So come on in an leave a comment.


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KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
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21 thoughts on “SENECA SURRENDER, An Interview”

  1. What a great interview. Thanks so much! There are so many wonderful people in this world but sometimes we cannot find them

  2. My husband is my true hero, also, in a hundred different ways. Heroism can be giant and flashy, but it can also be those who continue to meet responsibilities, even when things are hard beyond belief, with a quiet optimism that is unflagging.

  3. I love reading for the escapism and the entertainment. I also like learning bits about history that I never did in highschool.

  4. Lovely interview – sounds like you got a real winner!! My husband let’s me rescue cats 🙂 I totally agree about your thoughts on the American Indian. From an early age I always, always took their side and I’m still for the underdog. I always seem to have a lot of different opinions than those around me – I want to look into all sides of a story and dig a little deeper. That’s probably why I enjoy historicals the most! And I love print books – want to be surrounded by them!

    • Hi!

      Yes, we, he and I, rescue cats and dogs, although at present we only have one cat and one dog — mostly cause we are renting here and can’t really have more than that. Ah, you love print books. Me, too. Love having a well-stocked library. : )

  5. Hi Kay, I love the remark that your hubs inspires you every day, even when you don’t realize it. What a wonderful tribute It’s always great to get to know you better, my friend. xo

  6. Hi Tanya!

    Thank you so much. And I love getting to know you better, too. Sometimes I wish I still lived in the greater LA area. So many friends there. Thanks for coming here and commenting.

  7. Thank you for such a lovely post. I agree with you about the winners writing history and the deficits of school history. Like you I grew up drawn to Indians likely because my mother always told me about Indian events she went to growing up in Oklahoma since we have Choctaw and Cherokee cousins and roots. Although I have researched my own history in the Indian rolls and those on the Trail of Tears, somewhere along the line I got hooked up with the Lakota Sioux working with teens at risk. So when I starting reading Indian accounts I went to those written by the Indians themselves for their POVs, from the past like Charles Eastman, Luther Standing Bear and Black Elk, and also more current times like Vine Deloria Jr. Aside from only Indian history, I also love reading stories the Indians told. (I think I have about three full boxes of Choctaw, Cherokee and Lakota books in my book storage room since not all of the books I own will fit on shelves any more! I’m obviously a paperback fiend. 😉 )

  8. Hi Eliza!

    I’ve probably told you that my heritage is also Choctaw — although I’ve never looked on the rolls. Love Charles Eastman’s work and have also read Luther Standing Bear and Black Elk, but have also read — and I can’t recall their names now, but have also read the work — I say the work — it was translated by others — of some Crow Chiefs and Blackfeet chiefs. Am familiar with Vine Deloria, Jr. but the subject of his work is so sad that I have a really hard time reading it. So great that you worked with the Lakota — beautiful tribe. Thanks for your comment.

    • Yes, there are a lot of sad books on the Lakotas, especially those on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in western South Dakota, the home of those who fought until the end. Did you know that the Pine Ridge Reservation is the poorest county in the entire country? Besides the work with teens, Oglala elders also come east each summer to get wood for winter heating for their elderly people. Winter is a hard hard time on Pine Ridge.

  9. Hi Eliza,

    I actually didn’t know that Pine Ridge is the poorest county in the country. So sad. I know the winter months are hard up there — it is also so on the Blackfeet rez. That’s the down side. On the plus side, it is so very, very beautiful. But in the winter, when one is cold, this can be hard. Thanks Eliza!

  10. Karen – Enjoyed your interview. Looks like you had a rough life until you met THE ONE person who loved you & your children for yourselves. Life can throw you some curve balls. Glad you took up writing about your heritage & the native Americans. You have a way of drawing us into your story as you keep the story flowing to the end. Appreciate all the amazing books you have written. Your wedding pics were awesome.

  11. Hi Lois!

    Thank you so much for your thoughts and your compliments. There were some bumpy spots, that’s for certain, but we do get through those times — and it certainly drew me to the written word. : ) And yes, I got lucky (knock on wood) — wise move on my part to marry this fellow, my husband. : )

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