Orphan Kate Evans is determined to make a life for herself on a Utah ranch, taking care of a little girl named Addie. But when she meets her irritable employer, Kate is forced to confront the past she’s been running from—and face a future she never dreamed possible. This latter-day twist on the classic Jane Eyre is a romantic and gripping read.
Lauren Winder Farnsworth was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is an avid reader, a chocolate enthusiast, a musicophile and a CPA—which, yes, is somewhat unusual for a novelist, but don’t let that freak you out. She obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the University of Utah, went to work as an auditor of various financial statements, and then decided that writing down the stories swimming in her head sounded like a good creative outlet on the side. Having obtained two degrees from the same institution has made Lauren somewhat of a compound collegiate fan, and the only entity that holds more of her heart than the University of Utah is her husband, Bryan. Lauren currently lives in South Jordan, Utah, where she spends entirely too much time watching Gilmore Girls and looking for excuses not to clean.
When people discover that my day-to-day activities revolve around ledgers, spreadsheets, reconciliations and the like, and then hear that in my spare time I like to write novels, I tend to get, by way of response, some variation of confusion and skepticism. “So … what do you find to write about? You penning the next hit accounting thriller?” they scoff. The answer to the latter question is no. No, I am not. Or, in more fitting language, heck no. Because I actually do know enough of my chosen profession to comprehend that most people don’t find it particularly interesting. And I prefer to write books that someone will actually read.
Besides, I like to think of myself more as a romantic than a bean counter anyway. A mystifying mix of the analytical and the artistic, if you will. The accountant part of me pays the bills, while the imaginative part keeps me sane and desirous of soldiering on. It’s a give-take relationship.
In response to the “So … what do you find to write about?” question, which I prefer to think of as a serious instead of a sarcastic one, I like to reply, “Happy endings.” As a woman who married a bit later than most of my friends, I had a LOT of time to dream. And hope. And fantasize. Admittedly, my imaginings were aided by the kinds of books and movies that I enjoy (Jane Austen is my homie), which meant my hopes were often somewhat, ah, unrealistic. But cute. Very cute.
So, in order to adequately separate my dreams from my reality, I decided to write said ideals into stories. I wrote a lot of stories before I got down to penning Keeping Kate. And I will forever be grateful that I never felt the need to submit those stories for publication, because I’m sure the responses I might have received from publishers would’ve cured me of writing forever.
But I had so much fun creating lives and personalities and emotional attachments for the characters in those stories. Though it was blatantly apparent that I never would be, they at least were allowed to be perfect … and to have perfect, beautiful, happy endings. Of course, when I began writing with a goal of publication, I knew my stories needed to be a bit more complex and realistic than that. And they are. Except for the endings. Those would always be shiny and happy. After all, what do we read fiction for, if not to convince us that endings can be perfect now and then?
Keeping Kate was written primarily from the perspective of being a re-imagined classic (based on my favorite romance—Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre) … meaning that it had to contain at least an element of unreality in order to align with the original storyline. However, I was very concerned with making the characters thoroughly human. They needed character flaws. They needed to be confused sometimes and to say the wrong thing now and then. They needed to make mistakes and take a while to learn from them. They needed to have their ‘whiny moments’ and to misunderstand each other every so often. Granted, these elements tend to make a story more difficult to write and resolve, but they also make it easier to relate to and more fun to read—especially when characters remain likeable despite their deficiencies. Which mine do. You know, hopefully.
So that’s my primary goal for Keeping Kate. A relatable, enjoyable, comical, adorable romance. Who knows if I actually succeeded in my purpose, but if I didn’t … I have no doubt I’ll hear about it. Happy reading!