Thanks for dropping by, readers! We’re so pleased to have author K.A. Mitchell here with us today to introduce you to her newest novel, Put a Ring on It. I hope you enjoy spending some time getting to know a bit more about the book.
TNA: Hi, K.A., welcome back to The Novel Approach. We’re so pleased to have you here today to chat about your new book Put a Ring on It.
KA: Thank you so much for having me here.
TNA: I have to confess that when reading the blurb, the first thing that popped out at me was that Kieran is adopted. What makes that one detail an important part of who he is?
K.A.: Kieran feels a great deal of pressure, mostly from his mom. His parents adopted children from a variety of ethnicities and pushed them academically. His older brother is a civil rights lawyer who is the youngest attorney to argue in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. His older sister is an epidemiologist for the CDC. He could never match them. Although he loves his parents and siblings, he feels his parents wanted a programmable robot instead of a child and he resists by coasting.
TNA: Why do you feel it was important for Kiernan to fall for an older man like Theo? What does Theo bring to the table that makes him Kiernan’s ideal match?
K.A.: Theo hit Kieran as an irresistible force. Theo is very good at presenting himself to be adored so Kieran was intrigued, then a bit dazzled by someone so into him. As they got more serious, it was ideal for Kieran. Theo has endless energy, but a lot of it is focused outside the relationship. Kieran could have his time to be quiet and alone and then have all that energy turned on him. Theo didn’t put pressure on Kieran to be anything like his parents did. Unlike the guys his age Kieran had dated, Theo has lots of interests outside the relationship and didn’t expect Kieran to do all the heavy lifting.
TNA: And adding to that, why a Broadway producer? Do you have secret dreams of one day acting on Broadway?
K.A.: This series is different from the others I’ve written in that I planned it as a series from the beginning. I knew it would take place in New York City. I knew the core characters’ personalities, and once I had Theo, I knew the kind of job that would be perfect for him. The proposal scene was the second scene I knew for the whole series. I saw so many flash mob proposals, lots of singing, I wondered “What if the other guy didn’t want to say yes? What would happen?”
I loved the theater through elementary school and high school. I did community productions as well. But it wasn’t something I had to do like writing. If I could sing and dance, I would have wanted to play Ado Annie in Oklahoma! or Adelaide from Guys and Dolls. Those are my favorite plays and they have the best songs.
TNA: If Put a Ring on It were to one day be adapted for the stage, who would you cast to play Kiernan and Theo?
K.A.: Even though he’s the wrong look for it, I’m sure Neil Patrick Harris could play Theo, but I’d cast Tom Cullen because that’s kind of the look I had for Theo.
Daniel Henney is too tall for Kieran at 6’2” but his face is perfect. This image of him is so Kieran.
TNA: If you could put yourself in the place of any one of your characters, and live that person’s life for a while, who would you choose and why?
K.A.: Hmmm. I guess I would pick Shane McCormack from No Souvenirs because then I’d be living—and sleeping—with Jae Sun Kim and I’d have a totally awesome job (though not as awesome as hanging with my imaginary friends all day.) Though Jax and Oz have such hot sex in their book, it might almost be worth suffering with Jax’s diet. Nah. Nothing’s worth that. I’d love to live in Theo’s condo. I’d love to hang out with all my Baltimore boys at one of Eli’s parties.
TNA: Final question, kind of an off-topic one, but if you’ve ever been to Times Square (and anyone who has will totally get why I’m asking this), what’s the absolute most bizarre thing you’ve ever seen there?
K.A.: I’ve been quite a few times and as wild as the sights you can see are (Naked Cowboy, full-sized Transformer) the most bizarre thing I see in Times Square are the tourists. I’m always astounded at the way they stop in the middle of a crosswalk as if they aren’t on a busy street. The way they take pictures of things I can’t imagine are picture worthy. When I see someone do something I can’t explain, like take a picture of an ordinary fire hydrant, I always start to wonder why. Sometimes that leads to a story.
TNA: Thanks so much for chatting with us today, K.A., it’s always a pleasure. 🙂
K.A.: Thank you for the interesting questions. They were fun.
Blurb: Kieran Delaney-Schwartz—adoptee, underachiever, and self-professed-slacker IT guy—lives his under-the-radar life by the motto: Don’t try, don’t fail. His adopted siblings are all overachievers thanks to his driven, liberal parents, but Kieran has elected to avoid disappointing anyone by not getting their hopes up. He’s coasting through his early twenties when he’s hit head-on by Theo. The successful decade-older Broadway producer sweeps him off his feet for a whirlwind thirteen months that are pretty sweet, until it all comes screeching to a halt on Valentine’s Day, with an unexpected proposal via an NYC Times Square flash mob.
Now everyone wants in on the wedding, except the grooms….