Where are you from, Darby? I grew up on Cape Cod, but moved to New York City right after high school. I wanted to be part of the art scene and figured NYC was the place to be. That and my high school boyfriend had a scholarship to art school. He said let’s go and I said yes. After a few years, and a few failed relationships, I decided to come home and try opening my own gallery here on the Cape. At the moment, I’m renting the apartment over my parents’ garage in Orleans. Lame, I know, but my gallery is open for business and I love my job.
Tell us a bit about Say Yes. Winter on Cape Cod is our slow season, not too many tourists or events going on. Somehow I let my sister talk me into holding the annual Girl Scout Valentine party at my new gallery. Just another in a long series of getting talked into things I really don’t want to do. I had just decided I was never going to say yes to anyone again, about anything… when in walks Ben Phillips – you know, the artist who paints those beach scenes and dune paintings that tourists can’t get enough of? Here I am, with my little brand new gallery, on the floor scrubbing gummy bears out of the woodwork, and there he is, a Cape Cod icon and looking like sex on a stick… and he’s asking me for a favor. All kinds of warning bells went off in my head, and my new “just say no” mantra played over and over again on repeat, but in the end I said maybe. It wasn’t yes, not at first. But I just couldn’t bring myself to say no…
What did you think the first time you saw Ben? I just told you – “sex on a stick.” Those ocean blue eyes, the sexy stubble along his jawline… Actually, I don’t even know what that phrase is supposed to mean, but everything’s better on a stick, right?
Good one. And your second thought? He was asking me for a big favor, a one-day gallery show of artwork that he didn’t think would sell. I’d been doing favors for everyone since moving back to the Cape, trying to play nice and make friends, and it wasn’t working. I was starting to feel like there was a big “S” stamped on my forehead for “Sucker.”
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Love? No. Lust? Definitely.
What do you like most about him? I’ve always had a thing for artists, and love the way they look at the world differently. When I was younger, that whole tortured soul thing was such a turn-on for me. But with Ben… he’s been through real emotional trauma and can still be so sweet. Some of his art is tortured, but there’s also such light and such hope.
How would you describe him? A six-foot sea god stepping right out of the L.L.Bean catalog. Dark blond hair, cobalt blue eyes, chiseled jaw, and an intoxicating smile. I could probably get drunk off a few of his smiles.
Oh. . . yum. How would he describe you? Heaven help me if I know! I know I’m cute in a short and curvy kind of way, but I have this unruly mop of dark curls and tend to like more colorful clothes than the average Cape Codder. Not skimpy, at least not in February, but bright and cheerful.
What made you choose owning a gallery for a career? I love art, but realized at an early age that I’m not an artist. I figured a gallery was a way to stay connected. What is your biggest fear? That I won’t be able to make a go of my own gallery. I did well in NYC, but being out on your own is a little scary. And I want to be able to move out of the apartment over my mom’s garage ASAP!
Don't we all. How do you relax? Who has time for that?
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I don’t read a lot of fiction, actually. Mostly art histories and biographies.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? It just might be that little candy heart, telling me to Say Yes.
Thanks for this, Darby. Now it's time to talk with Katie. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? I’ve always been a voracious reader and firmly believe you can’t be a writer without also being a reader. That said, reading Stephen King’s On Writing showed me that tenacity and persistence are important qualities in the publishing business.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I live on Cape Cod and love the beauty of these coastal communities, in every season. I try to infuse my books with local flavor and with Say Yes, I’ve focused on the prolific and diverse art scene on the Cape.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I knew a few authors who were published with The Wild Rose Press when I submitted my first story. I’d heard good things about the quality of the editors, and love the cover art they produce. In addition to this novella in their Candy Hearts series, I’m happy to have 3 full-length novels available with them: My Kind of Crazy, Crazy About You, and Ghosts Don’t Lie.
What project[s] are you working on now? I’m working on another Cape Cod romance, as well as a sequel to Ghosts Don’t Lie. In addition to romance, I also write YA fantasy, and have 2 novels in my Son of a Mermaid series, and a third scheduled for summer 2016 (if I finish writing it before then.)
What's up next for you? More writing! And sending my middle child off to college in the fall. How time flies!
Katie O’Sullivan lives on Cape Cod, drinking way too much coffee and inventing new excuses not to dust. Living next to the Atlantic influences everything she writes, from her YA series about mermaids to her contemporary romances for The Wild Rose Press. A recovering English major, she earned her degree at Colgate University and now writes romance and adventure for young adults, and something steamier for the young at heart.
To find her online, go to:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/katieosullivan
To purchase Say Yes and other books by Katie O'Sullivan, go to www.wildrosepress.com and click on Author Search. That will lead you to Kate's books.
This has been great, Katie. Thanks for giving us a different perspective on Cape Cod and the possibilities found there. Kat and Veronica.