Thursday, May 15, 2014

Get Lost with Ken Casper's First Family of Texas

Get Lost in a Story readers, Ken Casper is a storyteller. I’m a huge fan and can attest he lures you in, then grabs you by your heart strings and refuses to let go. And now he’s even
more devious. He’s re-releasing some of the stories that gave him name-brand recognition.

Please welcome back Ken Casper.


The First Family of Texas

            She sold him out. The First family has owned the Number One Ranch in West Texas
since the days of the Republic. Until now. Adam First’s bitter, alcoholic daughter has just sold
controlling interest in the vast spread to a Houston bank. They’re dispatching someone to
determine if he should continue to manage the multimillion-dollar enterprise.
Sheila Malone knows the heartbreak of losing land and loved ones. She also realizes she
has to please the bank executive who hired her, if her fledgling consultancy firm is to stay in
business. Helping Adam save his ranch might make up for past failings, but will the bank let her?
Will he?
            What neither the temperamental rancher nor the opinionated efficiency expert have
anticipated is the emotional involvement they’ve awakened in each other, responses that might
cost both of them dearly.
            It all comes down to trust, but trust doesn’t come easily when you’ve been betrayed.

            The First Family of Texas is the opening story of the First Family series, which will be released in the coming months.


DONNELL: Ken, welcome back! As someone who’s about to sell her home of 20 years, this
story means something near and dear to me. The conflict is insurmountable. It’s material, it’s
not flesh and blood, and yet nothing brings out the emotions more than losing the land you’ve called home. Talk about the story behind the story. What inspired you to write this?


KEN: An article I read some years ago about the board of the King Ranch voting its senior member, a Kleberg, out of the CEO position. That was a business decision, but it got the old gray matter playing the “what-if” game. The Number One Ranch isn’t as big as the King place (over a million acres at one time), but it’s still big. The resemblance ends there, however. All my characters are purely fictional, as is the situation that created the furor.

DONNELL: Conflict. You do it so well, and yet I believe you have a solid home base. An
alcoholic daughter selling off her family property – well, I think I might find objection to. How
do you forgive someone like that – or do you?

KEN: It takes a big heart, a lot of love, and in this case a nagging sense of guilt. Nobody’s perfect.

DONNELL: You’re a man. (In case you’ve never noticed). You’ve written many romance
novels. I’ve seen you speak about men’s perspectives vs. women’s. What would you say is the
number one thing that YOU, the man bring to your stories that a woman doesn’t.

KEN: I want to say I hope nothing, that my writing doesn’t reflect my gender. I’m very much aware that my audience is overwhelmingly female, that I must appeal to them. Early reviews referred to me as Ms. Casper, which I took as a great compliment. In fact I’ve never had a reader chastise me with “just like a man to say that.” I probably show the man’s perspective more than some women writers, but I don’t think I do so significantly. I guess it would be better to ask readers how they think my writing is different.

DONNELL: You’ve had women editors. Have you ever had to fight for that male perspective?

KEN: Nope. We sometimes differ in plot nuances, but even those are rare. I’m more likely to be asked to explain what a character, male or female, is feeling. Analyzing feelings isn’t a typical guy thing, so it’s a challenge for me.

DONNELL: Let’s talk about Ken Casper outside of writing. When you’re not writing, what
will we find you doing these days?

KEN: Technically I’m retired. Ha! We have a small horse farm—the farm is small, not the horses—so there are always chores to do, whether it’s pruning trees, mending fences or insulating feed rooms. We also have rose and vegetable gardens, each of which could be full-time projects. I enjoy rough carpentry and woodworking, as well, and wish I could spend more time at them. In-between writing projects, of course.

DONNELL: It’s time to sit down for a Sunday meal. Who’s invited, and what’s for supper?

KEN: The usual suspects—family, friends, friends of friends. Good food, good drink, good conversation—the good life. As for the menu, it runs the gamut from chicken and dumplings to Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding. Mesquite-smoked brisket, sometimes salmon. Chili rellenos are a special treat, as is strawberry shortcake (homemade). I’m getting hungry!

DONNELL: How close together will you be releasing these books, and what would you like
readers to take away from them?

KEN: One book a month. The First Family saga is five-books. They, along with most of my other romances and my Jason Crow West Texas mystery series, are set in Coyote Springs, so they share secondary characters and places. It’s been fun creating the community. I hope readers enjoy meeting old friends and settings.

DONNELL: You’ve been writing a lot of years. What is the most interesting/unusual thing
you’ve ever discovered while doing research?

KEN: While doing research? No big ah-ha moments. Mostly little surprises, but a lot of little details. For me the surprises come during the actual story writing. Characters think, do and say the darndest things: like the heroine goes to port to pick up the car she shipped from overseas. I was expecting a 5-yr-old Ford Escort; turns out she drives a brand-new Porsche 9-11. All of a sudden my character had changed. Of course, mysteries are full of surprises. They make writing fun.

DONNELL: Ken, now it’s time to ask the reader a question.

MY QUESTION TO READERS: Many authors write across genres. Nora Roberts, Judith Arnold, James Patterson, Carolyn McSparren, just to name a few. Are you as inclined to read them in one genre as another? Do you prefer them in one over the other?

I hope readers will check my website: www.kencasper.com and follow me on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/ken.casper.10 and watch for my upcoming giveaways and FREE books.

My books are also available at:

Amazon.com
Smashwords.com


Nook.com

Thanks for being our guest, Ken! Please come back and visit.

5 comments:

  1. Ken, welcome to Get Lost in a Story. I really enjoyed reading the answers to your questions. You make retirement look fun!

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  2. Great interview! The book cover is eye catching and I can vouch for the story inside. It has a timeless quality with memorable characters.

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  3. Ken, love the cover of the book. As someone who has read all of Ken's books I can truly say he writes wonderful male and female characters with great sensitivity. I'm sorry he didn't say he'd invite me to dinner. I can attest to the fact his wife makes the best Chili rellenos. And they used to stock my favorite wine, too.

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    Replies
    1. I love chile rellenos. May I have the recipe?

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  4. I thoroughly enjoyed The First Family as well as The First Daughter. The characters and setting took me right back home to the Texas Hill Country. I'm eagerly waiting for the rest of the series, Ken.

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