Kara Isaac: The Writer & Her Book (with giveaway)

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Delighted to be chatting with the fun and fabulous Kara Isaac today! Despite both of us living down under, we have only spent time together in the US – in 2013 and 2016. I adore this girl and her writing and I’m sure you will, too. Don’t miss your chance to enter the giveaway below (Australian, New Zealand, and US entries only).


The Writer

Please describe yourself in three words (ask your best friend or family if you are struggling!)

Stubborn, loyal, sleep-deprived!

What’s your favourite season, and why?

It used to be autumn. I love crisp leaves, a slight chill in the air, and bunkering down with blankets and comfort food. But now that I have three children it’s summer. Any day that we can’t get outside to let them burn off some energy is a long day!

What is the best part of your day?

Snuggling with my kids (if they are happy and not shoving or hitting each other to try and get more space on my lap J ) and catching up on whatever our current TV show is with my husband (it’s currently House of Cards).

What do you miss most about your childhood?

Roaming. I have memories of pretty much just roaming with the neighbours’ kids around our little cul de sac from after school until dinner time without a worry in the world. I wish my kids could experience that but unfortunately we don’t live in that world anymore.

Which TV talk show host would you like to be interviewed by? Why?

This one is really hard because we don’t have any TV talk shows in New Zealand. I’m going to go with Oprah because having her just mention one of my books would do great things for sales, let alone an interview!

You are at a fruit market – what do you reach for first?

If it’s summer a nice ripe golden nectarine. Winter, a crisp Eve apple.

What was the first Christian Fiction novel you read?

The first one I remember is Brock and Bodie Thoene’s Vienna Prelude.

What is one author and/or book you always recommend?

Susan Meissner’s A Fall of Marigolds is always the first book I lend to anyone. Whether they love it or not determines if we can be book friends!

What book character has stuck in your mind from a book you have read this year?

To be honest I haven’t actually read many of the books in my TBR pile this year because I’ve been busy rewriting and editing Then There Was You. However, I adored Jane in Hillary Manton Lodge’s Jane of Austin. I thought her obsession with tea was very clever and unique.

The Book


Paige McAllister needs to do something drastic. Her boyfriend can’t even commit to living in the same country, her promised promotion is dead on arrival and the simultaneous loss of her brother and her dream of being a concert violinist has kept her playing life safe and predictable for six years. Things need to change. A moment of temporary insanity finds her leaving her life in Chicago to move to Sydney, Australia. There she finds herself, against many of her convictions, as a logistics planner for one of Australia’s biggest churches, and on a collision course with her boss’s son.

Josh Tyler fronts a top-selling worship band and is in demand all over the world. But, in the past, his failed romantic relationships almost destroyed both his reputation and his family. He’s determined to never risk it happening again. The last thing he needs is some American girl tipping his ordered life upside down. Especially one who despises everything he’s ever worked for and manages to push every button he has.

When Josh and Paige are thrown together to organize his band’s next tour, the sparks fly. But can they find a way to bridge the differences that pull them apart? Or will they choose the safety and security of what they know over taking a chance on something that will require them to risk everything?

What was the working title?

Turning Paige was its original title when I started writing it in 2008. But then Laura Jensen Walker had a book called Turning the Paige and Erynn Mangum had one called Paige Turned so I knew I had to change it. I just thought of it as “Paige” for years and only officially retitled it Then There Was You late last year.

Describe your book in 5 adjectives

Romantic, funny, international, surprising, emotional.

Which character took you by surprise?

Josh! When I first started writing Then There Was You in 2008 it was my first attempt at a romance (but first manuscript was chick-lit. A genre that kindly up and died right as I typed THE END). I actually had a different hero in mind for Paige and then this Australian worship pastor from Sydney showed up at an airport in the second chapter and refused to get off the page and took all her attention away from the other guy! For awhile I played with having three POVs in the story – Josh, Paige and Guy #2 but then I realised that if I wrote it well then at the end half the readers would hate me for having her choose the “wrong” hero!

Side note: I was single when I started writing the manuscript in March 2008. In the way that only God can orchestrate in October 2008 I met an Australian worship pastor called Josh at an airport. I married him :)

What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Just after 1am.

Which character’s name was the hardest to choose? Why?

The names were settled a few years ago so I’m trying to remember! From memory I think I went through a few options for Janine Tyler (Josh’s mum) before Janine clicked with her character.

What’s something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Originally I had Josh and Paige meet at the check-in counter at the airport. It was a scene that I really liked but my developmental editor pointed out it that for all the words it took it didn’t really add anything to the story. I spent a week trying to rework it to prove her wrong and then eventually conceded that she was right and cut it!

Thanks Kara!

Kara Isaac lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She is the author of Close to You, a RITA Award Double Finalist, and Can’t Help Falling, an RT Review Top Pick. Her next book Then There Was You releases on June 22. When she’s not chasing three adorable but spirited little people, she spends her time writing horribly bad first drafts and wishing you could get Double Stuf Oreos in New Zealand. She loves to connect on her website, on Facebook at Kara Isaac – Author and Twitter @KaraIsaac   

Relz Reviewz Extras
All Things Isaac @ Relz Reviewz
Visit Kara’s website
Buy at Amazon: Then There Was You

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35 Responses to Kara Isaac: The Writer & Her Book (with giveaway)

  1. Thanks so much for having me, Rel! (and sorry I accidentally named the “villianess” after you 😉 )

  2. I love learning about other countries ways and am fascinated about each country because this is the only way I will know about them! Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Barbara L Thompson

    I love learning more about the countries and also the people. You can learn the people’s choices and many things about both. When I start reading a book from another country, it becomes so exciting. I enjoyed your interview and getting to know you and you beautiful family. Thank you for allowing the opportunity of this giveaway.

  4. I love learning about the history and discovering what’s unique about that country. It makes me want to visit.

  5. I love being able to take a small imaginary adventure to another country while reading a book! Allows you a glimpse of what it is like there.

  6. I love that they take me someplace where I could not go. I most likely will not travel abroad, so books are the next best thing.
    What a wonderful interview.
    This sounds like a fun and interesting book

  7. I like learning about their dialects, places of interest, different foods (although no mushed peas for me!) and other neat things that make a country unique. Plus, I melt for men with an accent. Finished “Can’t Help Falling” a few days ago and am still gushing over Emelia & Peter. Can’t wait to read Josh and Paige’s story. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    • No mushy peas for me either, Amy! Bleh! I’m so glad you enjoyed Can’t Help Falling. I hope you enjoy Then There Was You just as much if you have the chance to read it :)

  8. I love learning about other countries through the Christian Fiction I read. I was thrilled to see you, Rel, and Kara – at our CFRR last year in Nashville!! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

  9. I’ve always been fascinated with international travel and foreign cultures. Reading allows me to “travel” without leaving home and still be exposed to a a way of life different than my own. This type of experience broadens my perspective and empathy, and keeps me from becoming too insular.

  10. I love learning more about the culture and people of different countries. It’s a great way to “visit” other places while staying in the comfort of my home and without the expense of actually travelling there. (Although I do love to physically visit other countries). I adore Kara’s books and would love winning a copy of this one.

  11. I was a Languages and International Studies major, so basically learning anything deeper about a culture, its history, the geography, or the language(s) than just a basic overview will draw me in.

  12. I love reading books set in a different country because it gives me the world-traveler experience without having to leave my bed. Of course, I would love to actually travel but travelling via imagination is just as fun.

  13. Andrea Stephens

    I LOVE this book!!!

  14. Rel,
    I always love your blog posts and interviews of authors. They are full of interesting things and questions. Thanks!
    As to the question of why I like to read books set in a country other than my own well; it lets me go to places I might never go to and see things I might never see.
    I love learning about different cultures and the beauty of those places. I’m not a world traveler by any means, yet I have gone to a couple of places. I think there’s so much to learn and glean from others. (Also…if I hadn’t gone to Japan for a year and fell in love with the culture and people, I’d never come back home and fallen in love with my husband. He’s Japanese but only 3rd generation. The funny thing is, I tried to impress him with the fact I’d been to Japan and all he heard was, I was a pastor’s kid and he thought, No way! HOWEVER, I WON HIM OVER! hehehe!)
    If we never venture out of our own little world, then we are so limited and set. That’s rather boring!

  15. I enjoy learning about different customs and ways of life. And the accents!!!

  16. I dream of the time when I’ll be able to travel internationally and visit other countries. For now, I (mostly) content myself with reading about other places! :)

  17. It is fun to read books set in a different country and learn of their culture, the countryside (or city) and different way of speaking. I can travel through my imagination and the writer’s words.
    I read Kara’s previous books and really loved them so am wanting to read Then There Was You. It sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway.

  18. I love learning about different cultures, customs, traditions, etc. I love the different words or expressions the characters use and the descriptions of the different places they go.

  19. There is something about being taken to a setting that is completely different than the one I know. Isn’t his why we read? To learn, grow and expand our thinking? Oh, and for the love of reading. This sounds like a good one!

  20. Melissa Joy Romine

    I enjoy slipping into another culture.
    I also love learning new words and expressions from the locations I’m reading about!!

  21. Books that are set in other countries add another layer of interest to a story.

  22. I can travel without the cost to a different country and feel like I’m right there! I get to visit places I’ll probably never be able to go to and live vicariously through the author :-)

    Thanks for the fun author interview and giveaway Rel!

  23. I enjoy being transported to other countries via books. It’s a wonderful way to learn about other cultures.

    Rel, thank you for hosting Kara!

  24. danielle hammelef

    I love reading books set in other countries so I can learn new cultures, see new sights, and experience life in places I’ll never even visit.

  25. Deanne Patterson

    I love learning about the historical aspects of other countries through books.

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