*Image from the publisher’s site*

Kathy Hepinstall is the author of three previous novels, The House of Gentle Men (a Los Angeles Times bestseller), The Absence of Nectar (a national bestseller), and The Prince of Lost Places. She is an award-winning creative director and advertising writer, whose clients have included top brands in American business. She grew up in Texas.


MBA&M: Kathy, please tell our readers a little about Kathy Hepinstall?

I work as an advertising creative and also write novels.


MBA&M: What was the inspiration behind writing “BLUE ASYLUM”?


I’d been wanting to set a love story in an insane asylum and was visiting Sanibel Island to write a novel on an entirely different topic and the story just kind of fell together.


MBA&M: How hard was it to write a compelling story about “madness”,”abuse”,”and “spousal crudity” during the Civil War era?


 It was a time when it was fairly easy to lock away a wife on some kind of trumped up charge of madness.  A very sad time in the history of women’s rights.


MBA&M: How much research was involved in writing “BLUE ASYLUM”?


Did quite a bit on asylums, and my sister and I had done a lot on the Civil War for another novel.  Also researched the history of Sanibel, along with flora, fauna, etc.


MBA&M: For those readers who do not know you, who would you compare your writing style to for this era?


 Don’t really have a comparison of that era.


MBA&M: If you could step into a book,which book you most want to be in,and why?


That’s a great question. If you mean a book of mine, I’d love to hang out with Persely, Boone and Alice in Absence of Nectar because I like them so much as characters.


MBA&M: Who would you say most influenced your writing career? Why? 


 Toni Morrison comes to mind.


MBA&M: What piece of advice would you give to any inspiring writer?


Think of writing as a combination of magic and muscle.  Both need to be exercised to exhaustion and with faithfulness and hope.


MBA&M: Please tell our readers where to find you and where “BLUE ASYLUM” is available? Blue Asylum is available at Amazon and surviving bookstores.



                     Kathy, do you have anything else you would like to add? 

Thank you so much for your support!

You are so welcome. What a great pleasure to have with us and our readers today!




Hardcover:288 pages

Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 10, 2012)



ISBN-13: 978-0547712079

Book Description(from Amazon)

Publication Date: April 10, 2012
Amid the mayhem of the Civil War, Virginia plantation wife Iris Dunleavy is put on trial and convicted of madness. It is the only reasonable explanation the court can see for her willful behavior, so she is sent away to Sanibel Asylum to be restored to a good, compliant woman. Iris knows, though, that her husband is the true criminal; she is no lunatic, only guilty of disagreeing with him on notions of justice, cruelty, and property.

On this remote Florida island, cut off by swamps and seas and military blockades, Iris meets a wonderful collection of residents–some seemingly sane, some wrongly convinced they are crazy, some charmingly odd, some dangerously unstable. Which of these is Ambrose Weller, the war-haunted Confederate soldier whose memories terrorize him into wildfits that can only be calmed by the color blue, but whose gentleness and dark eyes beckon to Iris.

The institution calls itself modern, but Iris is skeptical of its methods, particularly the dreaded “water treatment.” She must escape, but she has found new hope and love with Ambrose. Can she take him with her? If they make it out, will the war have left anything for them to make a life from, back home?

Blue Asylum is a vibrant, beautifully-imagined, absorbing story of the lines we all cross between sanity and madness. It is also the tale of a spirited woman, a wounded soldier, their impossible love, and the undeniable call of freedom.



Check out our “Thoughts” on “Blue

Asylum” by Kathy Henpinstall!



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