Guest Author — Kay Layton Sisk

T's Trial finalI’d like to welcome fellow author, Kay Sisk to the purple velvet couch. I’ve known Kay a long time – a really long time. We were Kiss of Death RWA on-line chapter members together back when e-publishing was crawling from the primordial ooze. Then we found out our hubbies were both doctors and both loved golf, so we met up in Arizona for a golf vacation (sharing a condo and we had never met before!) and became fast friends. This led to other shared vacations. While hubbies played golf, we’d hit the antique and used book stores. Kay is a small-town Texas gal and many of her romance novels give us a look into small town life. I love her voice and her books – I am fairly sure all you all will, too.


 Kay, tell us a little about your latest release – and the series as a whole.

 Moni, first of all let me tell our readers that every word of the above is true. You only forgot to add that both your mother and my mother-in-law felt that we were going to be mugged by the other couple!Rabid golfers? Dishonest antiquers? Never! You were waiting for us at the airport with a welcome sign since your plane wasn’t delayed and ours was. The rest, as they say, is history.  [LMAO, I forgot that! Yes, they did. We had a blast and lived to tell about it.]

But back to the question. T’s Trial is an updated version of a novel I wrote as a stand alone many years ago. Its original title, Heaven on a Kitestring, was a 1997 RWA Golden Heart finalist. It went through two e-publishers as Lyla’s Song and last spring I asked for and received my rights back to it and the rest of my books.

I still believe in this story and in the truth that goes through the six in the Bone Cold—Alive series: redemption is possible. While each of my characters find love, they first of all have to find their inner strength and grace in order to be worthy of it.

What draws you to write your genre and sub genre?

 Ah, romance. So many people pooh-pooh it and roll their eyes. I feel sorry for them, reading all that literature with sad endings. (Mysteries are excepted here.) Yes, I tell them, I know how the book ends. I know how it ends if I’m reading it or writing it. But it’s the journey!

I write contemporary because I know it. Much as I love history, I don’t want the burden of getting it wrong. As to the 7 books I’ve written with musicians as the heroes… what can I say? I feel the rhythm.

Having visited your home town and your current residence, I know you are a big fan of small towns. Are any of your personal experiences reflected in your writing?

 If there’s one thing true about small town denizens, it’s that they travel. In books 4-6 of the Bone Cold—Alive novels, I take my mentor/third POV character Fletcher to Australia on a search for his first love. He takes the train from Perth to Adelaide—been there, done that!

I have a good idea of the fishbowl of small town life and that’s certainly reflected my books.

Why a rock band?

 I wanted to write a character who, while seemingly on life’s downward spiral, was capable of being redeemed. But he had to be a stinker to start with and a music-obsessed rock star seemed to fill the bill.

Are you working on another book?

I’ve concerned myself with the publishing of my two unpublished titles, ONCE UPON A MCLEOD and AFTER THE THUNDER ROLLS AWAY. They were my test cases for digital publishing before I tackled reworking those already published. That’s the long answer.

The short answer is, yes, I have another one started.

How many books have you written? How many have been published?

Thirteen books. All are/were/will be again published.

Do you have a favorite character from one of your own books? Who and Why?

Mick from The Mermaid and the Eagle. My first hero. He grows up on the Texas/Mexico border and has only a jaundiced view of life until a priest steers him in the right direction. Which includes, eventually, the arms of a good woman.

Are your characters a reflection on you or anyone you know?

My friends say they can see me in my writing and with one exception, I think the heroines are partly me. That one exception, soon to be published as Tib’s Temptation, is a female version of a bad boy.

Love scenes: Open or closed door? –and why?

Usually open, but as I’ve gone along in my career, I push the door to more and more.

Is there one particular thing you find challenging about writing?

Getting started. Putting the old rear in the chair.

 What is your favorite thing about writing?

The fulfillment I feel when I’ve written a good scene.

 Who is your favorite author?

 Can I have two? Grace Burrowes who writes these wonderful family entangled series, Regencies and now Victorian. CS Harris, who is really Candice Proctor. As the latter, she wrote historical romances with exotic settings like Australia. As Harris, she has a series with a Regency detective and a fulfilling romance that is now, I think, 9 books long. I try to convert everyone who wants romance with their mystery to Sebastian St. Cyr.

What inspired you to write?

 I’ve always written, even in 4th grade. Maybe before? What’s the saying: A writer can’t not write?

What are you reading now?

At the moment, I’m finishing an anthology of summer romances for my Romance Readers Book Club.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Crossword puzzles. Mah-jongg. Onion rings—an entire order to myself!

 Short Answer:

 Favorite Food:   Cheeseburger with guacamole. Or just the guacamole. Or onion rings.

Favorite Alcoholic Beverage:   California zinfandel.

 Outlet Mall or High-End Mall:  High end. North Park in Dallas. Outlet malls used to be unique and wonderful but now I find them too ubiquitous and the bargains aren’t really bargains.

Favorite Weekend Activity:   Antiquing!

Morning person or night owl:   Morning, morning, morning!


Where can your readers reach you?

Blog: Sisker’s Lair, which I’m much better at keeping up than I am the website
Facebook: kaylaytonsiskauthor

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share?

 As a matter of fact, I do.  This is the opening of T’s Trial. —

“It was the music. Always the music. It started somewhere deep in his soul and coursed through his body in a mad rush to explode on the surface. He had felt it as a small child, this urgent need to touch the piano keys, to hear the notes, to reach inside the old upright in his grandmother’s parlor, close his eyes and feel the strings and make the vibrations. To release the music from within himself and then take it back inside, remold it and start all over again.

“He felt it now. Eyes closed, hands splayed on a keyboard, his foot pumped, his head moved, his body swayed. He felt the music, was the music and both started and stopped with the music. Smoke, lights, crowd, video screens, revolving stage—all enhanced his music, helped others feel it. But no one knew the music as he did. No one was the music as he was. Not the four other members of Bone Cold—Alive, not even his twin brother, who lolled his head as he sang to the 75,000 fans that screamed and yelled and gyrated with them. The drums modulated the rhythm, increased, called to him. He felt them. The crowd called to him. He felt them. Shifting his weight, he took a deep breath, and began to sing into the mike attached to his headphones. His words, his song, his music.

“His soul.”

Moni, thank you so much for this opportunity to be on the purple velvet couch.


T’s Trial Buy Link:


2 thoughts on “Guest Author — Kay Layton Sisk

  1. We love our hot rock stars, don’t we? Thanks for joining us today, Kay! Any friend of Moni’s is a good friend of ours. 🙂


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