The Debutante Ball Welcomes Kathleen Grissom! (Giveaway!)

Kathleen Grissom was born and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada, and is now happily living in southern Virginia. THE KITCHEN HOUSE is her first novel. She is presently at work on her second novel that is set in 1810-1830 and takes place in Philadelphia and on a plantation in North Carolina.
THE KITCHEN HOUSE is the story of a little Irish girl who, in 1790, is brought to a plantation in Virginia where she is put to work as an indentured servant in the kitchen house alongside the slaves. There she becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she
is set apart from them by her white skin. As she matures she finds herself straddling two different worlds and when she is forced
to make a choice, lives are put at risk.



Kathleen Grissom Takes The Deb Interview!

Talk about one book that made an impact on you.

I read GAP CREEK by Robert Morgan when it was first released and I loved the grittiness and the truth of it. A few years later I was steeped in research and preparing to write THE KITCHEN HOUSE, but I had never before written a book and I didn’t know how to begin. That year I had the privilege of being in the audience when Robert Morgan attended the Charlottesville Festival of the Book and there he spoke of his work before he read an excerpt from GAP CREEK. The story was written in the voice of a sixteen-year old female and it was during his reading that I realized I could, as he claimed he had done, access the voice of my protagonist by getting out of the way and letting her speak. In short, Robert Morgan gave me the key on how to take that next step.

Where do you love to be?

I love to be out in the country in our tiny little farmhouse where all you hear are the birds chirping and the cattle lowing.

Share something that’s always guaranteed to make you laugh.

It’s Complicated, a movie that has been out for a while, makes me roar every time I see it. I seldom watch a movie more than once, but I’ve seen this thing at least four times and will likely watch it again. Is there anything better than a good laugh?

Which animal would you like to be, and why?

I have no desire to be an animal but I can tell you who my favorite animal is, and that would be Kip, my Collie. He is three years old, knows that he is beautiful and thinks that he is Lassie…not Laddie, but Lassie. He is fussy in the extreme and I give you this as an example. He will not step onto grass when it has just rained, as he doesn’t like to get this feet wet. He becomes offended if I lose patience and force him onto the lawn, and after doing not a darn thing, he tiptoes out as though walking through a minefield.

Have you ever met someone you idolized? What was it like?

Some years ago, when I lived out in the country, everyone kept telling referring to a woman that the whole community held in high esteem. I was not only curious to meet her, I was quite excited as well, for she was a respected poet and I considered myself to be an aspiring writer. Eleanor Drewry Dolan is a southern gentlewoman of the old school, where good manners speak for themselves. When she came to my Tearoom and I was finally introduced to her, I nervously tried to impress her by telling her that I also wrote. She smiled and kindly asked if I had anything that she could read. In my excitement, I handed over a big, thick manuscript of a memoir that I had just finished. Some days later she called me on the telephone. I was elated, certain that we were now destined to be writing buddies. Instead, she asked, “Kathleen, would you like some help?” This dear woman took me under her wing, and over the course of the next two years, taught me to write. Eleanor is my beloved mentor and I still idolize her today.

Kathleen, thank you so much for coming to the Ball–and congratulations on THE KITCHEN HOUSE’s recent appearance on the New York Times Bestseller list!

To learn more about Kathleen and THE KITCHEN HOUSE, you can find her at her website and on Facebook. AND Kathleen is giving away a copy of her novel to one lucky commenter (US and CA only, please) so let’s get talking!


11 Replies to “The Debutante Ball Welcomes Kathleen Grissom! (Giveaway!)”

  1. Hi, Kathleen! Lovely interview. I especially liked “I realized I could, as he claimed he had done, access the voice of my protagonist by getting out of the way and letting her speak.”

    Kip sounds like a very interesting four-legged companion. Fussy indeed, but your affection for him shines through.

    I can tell from the description that THE KITCHEN HOUSE will be a marvelous read — can’t wait to add it to my TBR pile. 🙂

  2. Thanks for being with us, Kathleen. I particularly love your story about your mentor – isn’t is amazing when you find that special someone who is generous and takes you under their wing, even if you don’t know it’s what you need? All the best with THE KITCHEN HOUSE – it sounds fascinating!

  3. Yay for nice people named Eleanor! I really love it when people (and movies and books!) come along right when we need them.

    The Kitchen House sounds so interesting! I haven’t even read it and I’m already in awe of your research. So glad you visited – I’m looking forward to checking it out!

  4. I cannot say enough good things about this book! I was swept up from the first page of THE KITCHEN HOUSE and riveted to the very end. It is one of those rare books that takes hold of you and won’t let go, both for the beauty of its language and the power of its story.

    Kathleen, thank you so much for visiting. And I, like Joanne, especially loved your tribute to your mentor. It can take that one person to step in and make all the difference in our writing. You have certainly made Mrs. Dolan proud.

  5. THE KITCHEN HOUSE sounds fascinating… I would love to read it. I would also love to see a picture of Kip, who sounds adorable. Riley is similar about wet paws, and will actually shake them out as he walks through the dew.

  6. Hi Kathleen-
    I loved your interview! I would also love to have a house in the country sounds heavenly! :). Your book sounds wonderful and I’m hooked because I want to know what happens to the little girl!

Comments are closed.