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Home > People > Interviews > Chatting With Kathy... kgcummings

Chatting With Kathy... kgcummings

Submitted by: akgmag.com interviews


 


Kathy G. Cummings, kgcummings
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Author kgcummings was a teenager during the Vietnam/Hippie era.  She married a Nam Vet, had a daughter, then they moved to Florida.  There, for nearly 20 years Kathy worked for a contractor to the United States Air Force as a civilian equivalent to an AF X2 computer operator in the Standard Base Supply System.  Her first novel, The Wind Whispers War, was self published in 2006. It was followed by five sequels to continue the historical romance series based in the Vietnam era.  Kathy still resides in Florida, where she continues to write poetry, promote her novels, and support Veterans causes.

Visit Kathy's website at kgcummings.com

Thank you Kathy for answering some questions for us!  Please tell us about the latest project you've worked on. 

Thank you for interviewing me; it’s an honor to be here.  My latest project involves arranging stories that veterans of the Vietnam War shared with me starting with my first novel, The Wind Whispers War, and closing the story line by the end of my final novel, Well Worth The Wait, which is scheduled to be released this Fall.  Also, merging three separate photographs to make one stunning book cover linking the first and last novels in the series was challenging, yet very rewarding when I was finally satisfied with it. 

Have you received any awards for your work?

I have received awards for my poetry which has been read online in thirty countries around the world.  Some of my poetry has been published in anthologies, but I don’t take myself seriously as a poet.  Often I refer to my self as the ‘renegade poet’.  Only recently have I begun to learn of poetic forms and styles.  I’m not sure that is the way for me!

Do you also do speaking engagements, or seminars?

Speaking engagements yes.  Although I have received favorable comments about keeping a captive audience, my stomach churns the whole time!  I usually wear a red suit so if they throw tomatoes, it doesn’t show too much!  So far so good with no outrageous dry cleaning bills.

How has your education, profession or background helped you in your writing career? Or conversely, how has you writing success helped you in your  profession?

Working for the U.S. Air Force gave me the opportunity to speak with many Nam Vets in a non threatening, non judgmental atmosphere where they felt free to talk, and share their experiences.  For many years, no one wanted to listen.  When word got out that I was collecting stories, many Vets across the country were contacting me in person, online, or by telephone.

What kind of other works (books, scripts, poems etc.) have you had published? 

A few articles I submitted to our local newspaper have been printed.  Most memorable was one about room mates from hell which was inspired by the movie Single White Female.  And, another was about Best/Worst Vacation Memories.  The second being my favorite, was recalling a visit to England when I thought my teenaged daughter and I were being held hostage in a train station.  In reality, we had walked in on a movie being filmed!  Total fear turned in to a huge sigh of relief.

Is there any aspect to your profession that gets you in touch with your readers directly?

Yes, assuring that war stories were factual led me to sharing them with reader Vets that didn’t know each other to be certain that events were not fabricated.  I must add that not one story was challenged as being outrageous, or impossible from that era by their peers.

What will your next project be?

My next project is marketing and promoting the six novels that complete this series.  I’m looking forward to meeting more people, to share knowledge and understanding of an often misunderstood war.

Who inspires you on a personal or business level?

The Veterans themselves were, and are my biggest inspiration.  I can’t imagine the horrors of war that many/most of them endured, yet they pressed on.  We hear innuendo, “crazy Nam Vets”, yet the biggest majority went on to lead very productive lives, and raise successful families.

What type of work is the most rewarding or satisfying for you?

Other than the creative side of writing fiction, most satisfying is paying tribute to the unsung heroes of America’s most unpopular war.  It wasn’t an all volunteer military at that time in history.  Many gave up their youth to try to save a small nation from being overtaken by Communism.  Vietnam Vets were never properly thanked, and were often abused for answering their Nation’s call to service.

What can you recommend for writers who are just getting started and are trying to make a name for themselves?

Try to balance the creative, and business side of this career choice.  I’m still learning.

How did you get started as a writer?

Entertainment... my own!  I had just ended my 32 year marriage, and was flat broke.  I could not afford cable television, and didn’t have an antenna.  I did have a laptop computer so I began to type The Wind Whispers War.  It’s about a fictional young couple in love in the early 60s.  After sharing a few chapters with friends and family, I felt encouraged to publish.  It soon grew from one novel into two, then on to six.

Which is your favorite book/work published? Is there a favorite?

Besides my own, (smiles) I would have to say Gone With the Wind.  Although my story isn’t an updated revised version of that Civil War romance, it is the closest I can think of to explain what my series is to the Vietnam War.  I admired the way Margaret Mitchell wrote what the soldiers endured, while never losing focus on the trials and tribulations of the folks back home.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

Nothing about this experience has been work for me as I’ve enjoyed every moment.

Have you ever had a mentor, or someone who sparked your passion for writing?

My daughter and mother have been most encouraging, along with a very special man.  My friends at the online poetry sites keep me encouraged, as do my friends at Voices of Story, Florida Storytellers Assn., and the Space Coast Writers Guild.  I can never forget the support I’ve had from the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW where I am a lifetime member.

Who is your favorite writer/author?

Sidney Sheldon... the Master Storyteller

Finally, a most important question: what was the last song you sang out loud when you were by yourself?  :)

Amazing Grace

Thank you Kathy! We wish you ongoing success with your historical romance series!

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