Monday, November 30, 2009
Interview and Giveaway with SFF/Romance author Kathryne Kennedy
Kathryne is the author of the upcoming December release My Unfair Lady. She is also the author of the The Relics of Merlin series. Please give her a warm welcome!
Thank you very much for stopping by and answering some questions for my readers. I know you are a busy woman and appreciate your time.
So let's get started.
Hi Jenny! Thanks a million for having me here. It really is my pleasure!
1.) You attribute your love of fairy tales as a child to your inspiration for fantasy writing. Do have a particular favorite fairy tale or collection? Mine is Sleeping Beauty.
I have to say that my favorite is Cinderella. There’s something so satisfying in having the heroine transform herself on the outside, to match her true beauty on the inside. There are many other facets to the story though, which is what I wanted to explore in My Unfair Lady. Does a woman really need to change herself for a man? Is that true love? Does changing your appearance truly make a difference on what lies within you? I enjoyed helping my heroine figure out these questions for herself.
2.) In My Unfair Lady your heroine is a bit unconventional and rough around the edges by London standards. Besides being great attributes for a character, is there another reason why you chose to make Summer this way? Would My Fair Lady be one of your favorite musicals?
I live in Arizona, so it felt natural to have Summer grow up here, albeit in the 1800’s. And I needed a very tough heroine, physically and mentally, to be a match for my hero, the Duke of Monchester. Growing up in a mining town and having to depend on herself shaped her character, and made her a perfect match for the duke…although it took them some time to figure that out. And because of Summer’s lonely upbringing, she came to regard animals as part of her family, picking up strays wherever she found them. Her ‘critters’ made for some fun moments in the book, and showed the depth of her compassion. They were a connection into the duke’s childhood as well, although it will take Summer some time to discover that. The duke has done a good job of building up a wall of arrogance and indifference in order to protect himself from the difficulties of his life.
I would have to say that My Fair Lady is *one* of my favorite musicals. I also love Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Hello Dolly, and Yentl (my favorite song is Streisand singing “Papa can you hear me?”).
3.) You do tremendous amounts of meticulous research for your Relics of Merlin series. How is that series coming along and do you write books like My Unfair Lady as a way to take a break from that series?
I do spend a lot of time on research, and I try to be as accurate as possible, but I’m only human, and luckily so far I don’t think I’ve made any goofs. :} So, thank you, I appreciate the compliment very much. It might be interesting for you to know that My Unfair Lady actually inspired the Relics series. The entire time I was writing it, I kept thinking how unfair it was that men inherited the titles, but if titles were based on magical ability, it might even things up for the women. And so the Relics series was born. The fourth book in the series is currently on hold, as I received an amazing opportunity to write a new series with Sourcebooks Publishing (the largest female-owned publisher in the industry).
Set in the Georgian era (back to research!), it’s also an alternate historical reality, where seven mad elven lords have found a way into the world of man, and have taken over England using their magical scepters. I just finished writing the first book in The Elven Lords series, The Fire Lord’s Lover, which is about a half-elven hero (picture Legolas in The Lord of the Rings) and his assassin bride. A bit more intense than the Relics series, it stretched my imagination in unbelievable ways. The Fire Lord’s Lover will be released in Spring or Summer, 2010.
4.) Besides Victorian England is there another time period you be interested in exploring and utilizing as a setting, such as ancient Greece or Rome?
Think I answered that above, since I’m writing a new series in the Georgian era. :} But another time period I would love to write about one day is ancient Egypt. I’m fascinated with mummies and pharaohs and tombs…and a lot of women were powerful back then. Imagine what would happen if the magic of their gods was real? My mind boggles.
5.) What is your writing process? Do you go to your office, sit down and get to work, or sometimes take your laptop to the park for inspiration? Do you think you have improved your writing process over time; realized what works and what doesn't?
I wake up and try to maintain that kinda dreamy state and immediately start writing, before any other distractions pull my head out of the story. I don’t listen to music or anything while I’m writing. It might just be me, but I have to imagine myself in the story, and then I tell my reader what I see. And I’m not sure if I really know what I’m doing yet, some days I think I do. :} But I do hope my writing has improved, since practice is supposed to do so…and I spend a lot of time practicing.
6.) What do you do to unwind? Any hobbies?
I used to play indoor soccer, until I received a bad neck injury. Since I had surgery on it this year, I haven’t been up to doing much. But I keep trying to talk my sister into taking clogging lessons with me when I’m fully recovered; I think it would be fun. But so far, no success in convincing her. I might get my husband to do it, but I just can’t imagine him clogging without giggling. He’s a big, brawny kind of guy.
7.) What books are you currently reading?
Oh, I’ve read some great ones lately! Soulless by Gail Carriger (A Victorian fantasy, yes!) and right now I’m finishing up The Trouble with Demons by Lisa Shearin. I keep looking for books similar to mine, with an equal mix of romance and historical fantasy, but other than a few (Shana Abe and Nalini Singh come to mind—wonderful stories! Although Nalini is more futuristic) I’ve had little luck.
If you or your readers have any suggestions on titles, I’d love to hear them! In the meantime, I’ll keep writing what I love to read.
8.) What can we expect to see you from next?
Good golly, I keep answering your questions ahead of time--you must be a kindred spirit. :} So I’ll add that I’m currently working on the second book in The Elven Lords series, titled The Storm Lord’s Daughter, which continues the journey of a character rescued in book one.
Thank you so much for your time Kathryne. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to chat. Hope these questions were not too tough. Give your dogs some pets from me.
Have a great day.
Again, Jenny, it’s my absolute pleasure to be here! Thanks so much for having me, and for asking questions that I wanted to answer so much I kept skipping ahead. :} My two little Chihuahuas, Precious and Baggins, are snuggled up next to me, so they each got a scratch from you under the ear. They thank you.
For more on Kathryne feel free to stop by her blog or website
About My Unfair Lady, Historical Romance (Victorian),
A wild west heiress, Summer Wine Lee knows that she's not an acceptable bride for her fiance's knickerbocker family. She grew up in an Arizona mining town, cares more for her animals, keeps a knife with her at all times AND she has a highly improper secret from her past. Summer goes to London and asks the Duke of Monchester to change her into a real lady. Reluctantly, the Duke agrees… but the more time he spends with Summer, and the more social scrapes he has to rescue her from, the more he finds it impossible to change her into a proper lady. How could he, when he's falling in love with her just the way she is?
So here's the Giveaway scoop!
1. Open to residents of U.S. and Canada only. No P.O. boxes please.
2. Leave a comment with your email address so I can get in touch with you.
3. Extra entry if you leave a book suggestion for Kathryne.
4. Extra entry for posting about this contest on your blog or side bar. Leave me a link please :)
Contest ends at midnight on Monday December 14th.
Good luck everyone!
Thank you to Danielle from Sourcebooks for arranging this interview and giveaway.