Friday, January 18, 2008

Interview with Kathryne Kennedy


I’d like to welcome our guest today, Kathryne Kennedy. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.






I understand you have a new release out called ENCHANTING THE LADY, the first book in the RELICS OF MERLIN Series. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

I’m very excited about my new RELICS OF MERLIN series coming from Dorchester Publishing (thanks to My Most Awesome editor, Leah Hultenschmidt). Although the books are stand-alones, they are all connected by Merlin’s thirteen relics—jewels that the sorcerer Merlin crafted, each holding a different spell of power. Most of the jewels have disappeared and they allow the owner a magic that surpasses that of a Royals’, and no one is sure what spell each relic contains. Each book is about a different jewel, different characters, and different time periods in Victorian England. The first book, ENCHANTING THE LADY, is Felicity and Terence’s story…a duchess under an evil enchantment, and a baronet who is a were-lion, and immune to all magic. My editor wrote an amazing back cover blurb, so I have to share it here:

In a world where magic ruled everything, Felicity Seymour couldn’t perform even the simplest spell. If she didn’t pass her testing, she’d lose her duchy—and any hope of marriage. But one man didn’t seem to mind her lack of dowry: a darkly delicious baronet who had managed to scare away the rest of London’s Society misses.

Sir Terence Blackwell knew the enchanting woman before him wasn’t entirely without magic. Not only could she completely disarm him with her gorgeous lavender eyes and frank candor, but his were-lion senses could smell a dark power on her—the same kind of relic-magic that had killed his brother. Was she using it herself, or was it being used against her?

One needed a husband, and the other needed answers. But only together could they find the strongest magic of all: true love.

Enchanting the Lady is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

All of the RELICS OF MERLIN books have ‘enchanting’ in their title. I wanted readers to know that although the setting is Victorian England, they would be reading a novel about magic and spells and an alternate reality. Whenever I’m brainstorming names for my books I always google them, in order to try and create a unique title. Surprisingly, ENCHANTING THE LADY hadn’t been used as a title before, which is another reason why I chose it.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book?

Yes. I’ve read and own many books on the Victorian era, from architecture to furniture to social economics. (I listed many of my research books on my website blog). I have always loved that time period, so I found the research fascinating. Then I created maps of my alternate Victorian London to keep track of changes to name places (Pall Mall became Pall Mage, Belgrave Square became Gargoyle Square, and I added the Hall of Mages next to Buckingham Palace, for example) because with the influence of magic, the city would develop differently. I also have a ‘map’ of a Victorian mansion, with the type of furniture for each room listed (In England, the first floor of a home is the ground floor, and the first floor is called the second, which is often confusing to my American mind :}). I also have a chart with hereditary titles, how each peer is addressed, and their level of magic. I keep a dictionary of my own words, because I often make them up; and a chart of the relics, when they were discovered, what type of jewel and spell (if known). I also create character sheets along with animal references, since my heroes’ natures are so strongly influenced by their were-creatures.

What character did you like writing about the most, and why?

Oh, tough question. When I’m in the middle of a book, I fall in love with my characters. They’re the most wonderful characters to write about…until I start the next book.

If your book was made into a movie, what actor would you like to fill your hero’s shoes?

My imagination is always better than real life. I can’t think of a man in existence that could fill my hero’s shoes--or paws, in the case of Terence.;}

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Hundreds. Mostly, of course, romance and fantasy authors. Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey, Robin Hobb, Andre Norton and Robin McKinley come to my mind right now.

What do we have to look forward to next?

The next book in the series, DOUBLE ENCHANTMENT, is Jasmina and Sterling’s story. Jasmina is an earl’s daughter who cast a simple illusion of herself, unaware that the jewel in her possession was one of Merlin’s relics…and the spell took on a life of its own. Sterling is a were-stallion and meets Jasmina’s illusion. He can’t resist making love to her, then does the gentlemanly thing and marries her. When he finds out the truth, and meets the real Lady Jasmina, love really starts to get confusing for him.

It was such fun to write. DOUBLE ENCHANTMENT will be released September 2008.

I’m currently brainstorming the third book, ENCHANTING THE BEAST.

Thanks, Kathryne!

To celebrate her book release, Kathryne is offering a free, autographed copy of ENCHANTING THE LADY to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Check out author’s website at http://www.kathrynekennedy.com/

37 comments:

Kathleen Grieve said...

WHOO HOO! I'm the first one here! Congrats on your continued success Kathryne! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy & read it!

Kathryne Kennedy said...

Hi Kathleen! You're awesome! Thanks so much for leaving a comment for me so early.:}

Meljprincess said...

Hi Kathryne,
I am just as thrilled as you about the release of ENCHANTING THE LADY. I receive your newsletter so I've been following your progress along with you. I will admit I haven't purchased the book yet but I will. I love stories that take place in Victorian England and stories with jewels as a major theme.
Are you going to the Romantic Times convention in Pitts?

Melissa K.

Cherie J said...

Welcome Kathryne,

I have been hearing such great things about your book all over the blogosphere. I must admit that I am intrigued by the uniqueness of your plots and must get a hand on a copy of Enchanting the lady. Double Enchantment sounds great as well. Thanks for sharing that blurb. This series sounds so awesome. I am looking forward to reading your books and I am hoping to read Enchanting the Lady soon.

Kathryne Kennedy said...

Hi Meljprincess! So nice of you to stop by and visit. My newsletter subscribers are so wonderfully supportive! I wish I was going to RT, it sounds like everyone has such a wonderful time! Hopefully next conference I can go.:}
Nice to talk with you!

Kathryne Kennedy said...

Hello Cherie j! I'm hoping you get to read it soon, too.:} Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment.

Meljprincess said...

Nice talking with you too, Kathryne. I meant to tell you...you have beautiful hair! The RT conferences are lots of fun. Wonder where the next one will be. Anybody know?

Melissa K.

Kathryne Kennedy said...

Well, I'm just hoping it's close to Arizona, cause I don't like to fly.;} Oh, and thank you so much for the compliment, Melissa, but that's just a good picture...with lots of mousse in my hair.lol

Meljprincess said...

You're welcome! *g* It's still gorgeous! Oh, I'd love to visit Arizona again. I've been there but it was back in the 70's when I lived in Lubbock, Texas. I want to go to four corners. I love anything and everything Native American and I've studied them all my life. As an aspiring writer I started a story but stopped a while back. One day I hope to finish it. I'll have a looky loo and see if I can find out where the next conference is.

Melissa K.

Kathryne Kennedy said...

Melissa: Yes, we have lots of writers here who use the fabulous inspiration of our native/desert life for their books, and they're wonderful. Hey, I hope you finish that story one day. The world always needs new writers and different visions. Oh, yes, lemme know when the next RT is if you find out. Thanks!

Melissa Markham said...

It looks like a great book! I am always interested in meeting a new author.

Kathryne Kennedy said...

Hi Melissa M! Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out this new author.:} Greatly appreciated.

RowanElder said...

I have yet to find your book in my area. I'm really interested in reading it! If you know of any place in St. Louis, MO I can definately find it, let me know!
:0)

Kathryne Kennedy said...

Hi Rowanelder! Friends of mine here in Arizona have scoped out a few stores for me and have found it on the shelves of Walmart as early as December. But we haven't seen it at Target yet. Kmart is also supposed to carry it, and we've seen it on the shelves of Borders and Barnes & Noble. I think with the holidays, the department stores are restocking their inventory, and often they've had my book but it was still in the back. So if you don't see it on the shelves in MO at any of these stores, just ask. And hey, it will help get it on the shelves quicker, which is awesome.:}
Thanks so very much for your interest!

RowanElder said...

I checked a couple of Wal-marts near me in St. Louis and no one had it. I'm going to be in another city in MO this weekend...I'll scope it out at the Wal-mart there. I hope I can find it. I'm really excited about reading it! I'm a huge fan of all things even remotely Arthurian. In fact, eveyone calls me Morgan for Morgan LeFay (from Marion Zimmer Bradley's 'Mists of Avalon'). It's handy because I have a degree in British literature and creative writing. :0)

Kathryne Kennedy said...

Rowanelder, would I love to pick your brain sometime! Are you a writer? You certainly are more than qualified.:} I love MZB! My first professional sale was in her Sword & Sorceress book anthology...that was a thrill I'll never forget! I hope you find Enchanting the Lady, I'd love to hear from you.

RowanElder said...

Yes! I am a writer...unfortunately, only an aspiring one at this current moment as I am CWP (currently without publisher). I'm actually working on a Modern Arthurian story...the Court is reincarnated into present day. I spent three months in England and an entire day in Glastonbury (I even climbed the Tor) for research purposes. It was the time of my life. I'd love to get together and talk shop sometime. I'll check out your website and email you if you have an address listed.

Kathryne Kennedy said...

I do! And I'm looking forward to hearing from you!:}

RowanElder said...

Email away! :0)

Kim Watters said...

Hi Kathryne,
I can't wait to read this book. Thanks for doing the intervew for us!

Kathryne Kennedy said...

Thanks so much, Kim! It's my pleasure.:}

windycindy said...

Hello, You say you are "brainstorming' the third book. What is it like when you brainstorm for a book?! Thank you.....Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Kathryne Kennedy said...

Hi Cindi! That's a great question. I start playing around with different plots, just a general idea, because I mostly am a seat-of-the-pants kinda writer. Because this is a series, the world is all built, although with a new book I always add new elements. For ex., I'm considering for Enchanting the Beast, that my heroine is a baron's daughter (barons are given a magical 'gift', unlike the higher gentry, who have different levels of magical skills) and her gift will be that she can see ghosts. This is helping me brainstorm her character. She talks to people others can't see. Ghosts who maybe know secrets about people that other people don't want revealed. Maybe she's even considered a bit 'mad'. Even in a magical world, talking to invisible beings would be disconcerting to others. And then if other people know, and want her to speak to a dead loved one...she might be bombarded with seance requests, you know? So she might even have to hide her talent. So now my heroine appears to be someone very isolated, someone older, perhaps a spinster, who never got an offer of marriage. How lonely she would be. And what if she wants children? What if she has a ghostly child haunting her, and it makes her long for a real one? Would she then accept an offer of marriage from a were-wolf? A man shunned from society for his animal nature, feared for his immunity to magic, who lives in an old castle near the coast, and has his own secrets... This is how I brainstorm. Now, I'll get out my character sheets, start noting all my character's strength and weaknesses. I'll start drawing (badly;}) as well. A map of the castle. A map from London to the castle. The interior of the castle, and a labyrinth deep below the dungeons where another relic lies hidden. I'll also research the countryside, decide on a time period, and then research the clothing, technology, etc. While I'm doing all of this the plot will get even more concrete in my mind... Well, that's a general idea of how I got about it. :} And this is the first time I've even mentioned what the next book will be about. (This would be the third book, the second, Double Enchantment, is with my (awesome) editor right now.) Sorry this is kind of long, but I wanted to give you a serious answer.

blackroze37 said...

love the cover of the book!
i take it you loike long hair, it looks beautiful!!!!! my daughter, who is 11 , hair, she refuses to cut. and well her daddy too, both their hair is to their butts

keep up with the good books!

Kathryne Kennedy said...

Hi Blackroze, and thank you so much for your encouragement. It really helps to inspire me to write the best I can.

melanie said...

Hello Kathryne
Just wanted to let you know how much I loved your book and I cannot wait to read the next installment.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathryne
Just wanted to let you know I loved your book and cannot wait to read the next installment. I am a reviewer for Enchanting Reviews and I could not say enough good things about your book

Kathryne Kennedy said...

Oh, Melanie, thank you so much! That means the world to me.

And hi, anon! That's such exciting news! Now I can't wait to read the review, I'm so excited!:} Thank you, thank you for letting me know you liked it.

Laurie Schnebly Campbell said...

Kathryne, I've never been a historical or paranormal fan -- but your book was AMAZINGLY good! I kept turning pages, thinking "this is great...oh, gosh, what's gonna happen?" You've actually made me look forward to more. :)

Laurie, wishing the next ones were out sooner

Tina LaVon said...

I can't wait to read the whole series!!!

Congratulations on all of the wonderful reviews!

Dena said...

Hi Kathryne, Your book sounds so good,I really like the story and setting. I just signed up for your newsletter so I can keep up with all your new stories.

Maureen said...

Hi Kathryne!
Congratulations on the new book. I like the plot, it really looks different.

Kathryne Kennedy said...

Laurie: Aha, a convert! Mwahaha!;} Seriously, thank you so much for your lovely comments.
Tina: Thank you! Big hug.
Dena: That's awesome! So glad to have you as a member.
Maureen: Thank you, too.:}

Carrie Weaver said...

Kathryne, I can't wait to pick up a copy of Enchanted Lady! It sounds absolutely fascinating.
Carrie

Kathryne Kennedy said...

The winner of an autographed copy of Enchanting the Lady is Blackroze37. Congratulations! Please email me at: kathryne_kennedy@yahoo.com with your mailing address, and I'll send the book to you Blackroze37! A big thanks to all of you for visiting me!
(BTW, I determine a winner by using: http://random.org/integers/ and then count down to that entry. Makes it easy for me to pick a random entry, since I always want everyone to win.:})
Thanks again, Kim, for having me here!

blackroze37 said...

thank you!!!!!!!
though i prob still need therapy, this will help :)

Kathryne Kennedy said...

LOL Blackroze! You're so very welcome.