About the Author
Courtney Walsh is a novelist, artist, theatre director, and playwright. Just Let Go will be her eighth inspirational romance novel. Her debut, A Sweethaven Summer, hit the New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller lists and was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category. A creative at heart, Courtney has also written two craft books and several full-length musicals. She lives in Illinois with her husband and three children.
1. What inspired the idea for Just One Kiss?
Truthfully, I was working out one morning and a Taylor Swift song ("Speak Now") came on. It's all about someone interrupting a wedding, and I started thinking that would be such a great way to start a romance. I was already about halfway into Just One Kiss, and there was no way an interrupted wedding would fit my story, but then I remembered how much I loved Carly and her son Jaden in Just Let Go, and how much she deserved a happily ever after. Josh wasn't the obvious choice for her, but I love second chance romance, so I set my manuscript aside and started a new one. In the end, there's no interrupted wedding in this novel either, but I suppose I have Taylor to thank for the shift in stories just the same!
2. What did you as an author take away from writing Just One Kiss?
Most of my novels are written during or after some sort of revelation God's given me. In this one, it mostly had to do with Jaden, who is diagnosed with a serious illness near the beginning of the story. My own daughter was diagnosed with cancer last year, so I think in some ways this was me processing some of that. But the takeaway is, as it often is, that God can take our pain and brokenness and turn it in to something beautiful. If we let him, he can use it, and no struggle is ever wasted.
3. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about it?
I'm currently working on my next Nantucket book. It's about an officer in the Coast Guard and a private concierge. A tragic accident drove them apart--can a childhood pact bring them back together? (That's all I can share because I'm still working this one out!...but I LOVE being back on Nantucket and I LOVE learning more about the Coast Guard--they fascinate me!)
4. What top 5 books are currently on your TBR pile?
1) In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins (I started the series just to read some general market romance and expand my horizons a little and got totally hooked, so now I'm on the 4th book and loving it!)
2) Now and Then and Always by Melissa Tagg. (I read this for endorsement, but on my computer, and I think in order to properly enjoy a book I need to hold it in my hands! I'm so old school!)
3) Sweet on You by Becky Wade
4) The Southern Side of Paradise by Kristy Woodson Harvey
5) Brunch at the Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano
5. What are some of your favorite summer activities?
My summer is almost exclusively made up of two things: Writing and Directing shows. My husband and I own a performing arts studio and summer is our busiest season. Once our current show Newsies, opens, though, I'm planning to spend a lot of time reading on my back porch--this is my favorite summer pastime!
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