Monday, September 15, 2014

Character Interview: Landon Kingsley from Megan Whitson Lee's 'Song From the Ashes'





We’re thrilled to have here today Landon Kingsley from Megan Whitson Lee’s inspirational fiction, Song from the Ashes.  He is coming to us all the way from the great state of Tennessee.  It is a pleasure to have him with us today at The Literary Nook!

Thank you so for this interview, Landon.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?


I think it was more than fair. She may have even cut me a few breaks. I think I actually smoked more than she suggested, and although I’m not proud of some of the behavior portrayed in the novel, I actually think the thoughts in my head were worse than she let on.


What do you believe is your strongest trait? 

 
A guilty conscience? (laughs) No, actually my strongest trait is probably my restraint. I tend to think things through before acting upon them. That’s a big part of my struggle in the novel—I’ve always been so careful and methodical. I’ve always done what was expected of me. When faced with possibilities that seem a little reckless, a little exhilarating…well, a lot of consideration goes into those decisions.


Worst trait?   


Indecision.


Do you have a love interest in the book?   


Yes. Two, in fact. April May and Ella Casey. April is much younger than me. She’s twenty-five, I’m thirty-seven, and April’s extremely tied to her parents.

Ella Casey is this fantasy woman for me in a lot of ways...but she’s also April’s cousin. Ella’s always lived her life the way she’s wanted—pursuing her dream of having a career in Nashville. She’s free…and I admire her for that.


At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out? 


Well, my engagement to April comes right around the time I realize I’m having deep feelings for Ella. It’s a terrible place to be because I feel committed to April and her family. As I previously stated, I’ve always done the right thing—always followed through with my responsibilities—and suddenly I find myself seriously contemplating dumping April for a more exciting possibility.


If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why? 


I think I really wouldn’t want to be Joe Josephs. That poor guy has one problem after another. First his daughter disappears into the drug community, and then his wife comes down with Hodgkin’s Disease. Tragic. Made my problems seem pretty small.


How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away? 


I think it was the right ending—and although some may disagree, I think I made the right choice. I sort of feel like God had a hand in the way things worked out. It wasn’t an easy ending, and events and people didn’t necessarily “fall into place”—but that’s life. It’s hard sometimes. At any rate, things worked out for the best.


What words of wisdom would you give your author if she decided to write another book with you in it? 


I hope she’d allow me to give up my smoking. I just can’t seem to kick that habit—and I’m really sneaky about it, too. And if she really wanted to write an exciting book with me in it, she could write about my college days. Whoa. She’d have some tales to tell there…but that book would have to be in a different genre all together. 


Thank you for this interview.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?


I think I will be retiring for now. I mean, you never know—you may see me in some future novel serving as some character’s attorney, but I think I’ve had enough excitement for my own lifetime.



About the Book:

Attorney Landon Kingsley craves order and normalcy, and aside from his well-hidden vice of smoking, he lives the life that everyone expects from him
in his hometown of
Kingsport, Tennessee. Recently engaged to beautiful nursing student, April May, Landon’s new fiancée is everything he could want in a wife. She is devoted to her faith and family and truly loves him.

April’s cousin, Ella Casey, has returned to Kingsport after ten years of pursuing a career as a country music singer in Nashville. Ella’s failed career and affair with a married music producer scandalizes her in the eyes of the town, but her legal troubles drive her to Landon for help. Landon finds himself increasingly attracted to Ella and more discontent than ever with the path he has chosen for his life. Amid a firestorm of family and town gossip, Landon is tormented by his past and the complicated decision of whether to listen to God’s voice or follow his own desires.

SONG FROM THE ASHES, a modern retelling of the classic Edith Wharton novel The Age of Innocence, explores the dilemma between the pursuit of dreams and personal happiness versus contentment in God’s plan for marriage and love.

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 About the Author:

Megan Whitson Lee grew up in Tennessee but moved to the Washington, D.C. area as a teenager.  She worked for criminal attorneys before earning her master’s degree from George Mason University’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. Previously she received a Bachelor of Arts in Music followed by a year-long residence in London where she worked as a Literary Assistant. Her self-published first novel All That is Right and Holy won second place in the 2009 Christian Choice Book Awards. Megan teaches high school English in Fairfax County, Virginia where she lives with her husband and two Greyhounds.
Her latest book is the Christian fiction, Song From the Ashes.
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