Kristy Woodson Harvey: When Readers Open their Hearts (and their Homes) to an Author

When Readers Open their Hearts

I knew I loved to write books from that very first rather mediocre manuscript I produced. When I dreamed of becoming an author, I had this vision of curling up with a cup of tea behind my desk and crafting books, emailing them to my editor, maybe heading up to NYC every now and then to talk about said books with said editor.

And, sure, I knew I would go to a book signing or two. Did I imagine that I would tour for well over a month each time a new book came out? No. Or that I would spend the year running around the country meeting readers? Certainly not. (Which is the grandest of grand ironies because, for someone who despised flying her entire life, I now do it at least a couple of times a month!)

But this, as it turns out, has been one of the greatest joys of writing books. If you’ve met me, you know I love to chat. And I love to speak to a crowd. So this life suits me a to a tee, really. And it has helped me to visualize and know who it is that I’m writing for. It is all of you that I think of when I’m crafting a story, you who I visualize turning the pages of my latest novel when I think about it being released into the world.

When someone comes to see me at an event, I’m pretty easy to recognize. There’s usually a sign in front of me with my name on it, and books all around.

But, just last week, I was in one of my favorite gift shops in my hometown. A woman came up to me and said, “Oh my gosh! You’re the author!”

I laughed, and, of course, was totally thrilled. I never, ever expected to be recognized by a stranger in a store. I assumed, of course, that these women lived in my town and maybe knew me but I didn’t know them, as they gushed about Dear Carolina and Lies and Other Acts of Love, and I blushed and felt generally thrilled and had my faith in the good of humanity reaffirmed—and thought in the back of my mind that maybe they thought I was someone else…

“We want to have you to Maryland!” one of the women exclaimed.

Maryland? I’m from North Carolina. Maryland?

“Yes!” another chimed in. “We’ll have a party for you at my house!”

These three wonderful women from a whole other state who happened to be visiting mine absolutely made my day to say the least. But, I have to admit that quite a few incredible readers have made me smile in a similar way.

You see, my next novel, Slightly South of Simple, is about an interior designer and her three, grown daughters. My publicist is always full of fabulous ideas that, quite frankly, exhaust me sometimes. She had the fun idea of creating a “homes tour” for the Slightly South of Simple launch.

I thought it was brilliant. But the question was: How do we get people to let us come tour their houses?

Some of you may know that my first gig, before the novels, was—and continues to be—my interior design blog, Design Chic. My mom and I have had the best time over the past six years or so growing this site and meeting new people through it. So we put a little announcement on our blog. If you want the Slightly South of Simple tour to come to your home, please let us know!

We had no expectations. We figured maybe one or two people would respond, if that. But then two became three and three became five and five became ten, and, before we knew it, we were planning fifteen “home tours” amidst the five week tour schedule for Slightly South of Simple—and letting others know that we were so appreciative of their generosity but couldn’t make it to their town this time.

I definitely, absolutely, certainly never expected that. 

Which is all to say that I am just overwhelmingly grateful and surprised and want to give every single person who has read my book and shown me so much love a great, big hug and kiss and write them a thank you note and send them chocolates. But I can’t. So I guess just saying it will have to do. 

So I’m saying thank you to all of you, from the very bottom of my heart, for giving me my dream. As I’m typing this, I’m sitting at Laguardia still beaming from four days of meeting readers and, yes, meeting with my editors. But I’m looking forward to going home and, just like I imagined all those years ago, curling up with my laptop, my cup of tea, and getting to know a whole new set of characters.

About Kristy Woodson Harvey

Kristy Woodson Harvey is a born-and-bred North Carolina girl who loves all four seasons—especially fall in Chapel Hill, where she attended college, and summer in Beaufort, where she and her family spend every free moment. The author of Dear Carolina and Lies and Other Acts of Love, Kristy is also the founder of the popular interior design blog Design Chic.

Connect with Kristy around the web:

Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Author Website | Design Website

Books by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Buy Dear Carolina
Buy Lies and Other Acts of Love
Preorder Slightly South of Simple

Thank You

Kristy is such a dear, and we thank her from the bottom of our hearts for sharing her story. It is clear that Kristy has been able to make so many meaningful connections with her readers and fans in such a short time, having published her first novel less than two years ago. If you want to catch Kristy on tour with Slightly South of Simple after its release in April click here.

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