DUCK CHAT: THE Kathryn Smith is in Da House!Tuesday, September 15, 2009 10:00
You’re in for a treat today! Welcome to Duck Chat!
Ohmyohmyohmy! Squeeeeeeeeeeeee! Kathryn Smith is here!!!!!
As most of you know, Kathryn’s vampire series, Brotherhood of the Blood, is a favorite of fans everywhere, but the really big news lately is that she’s writing straight historicals once again, and Kathryn will be talking about that and so much more today.
So no more lollygagging! Let’s chat!
DUCK CHAT: Kathryn, of course, the big news, the happy news for your fans is that you’ve returned to writing historical romance. Was it just time? Did something specific happen to prompt you to write that next one?
KATHRYN SMITH: The simplest answer is that yes, it was just time. I’d been writing a lot of paranormal, and even though most of it was historical, it wore on me. I loved my vamps, but they couldn’t go out in the sun! Actually, the sad truth is that historical paranormal just does not sell like contemporary paranormal and while I had some success, the move didn’t really help my career. It was upsetting to say the least, but historical was always my first love and it took me back with welcome arms.
DC: If you could retire any question and never, ever have it asked again, what would it be? Feel free to answer it.
KS: Where do you get your ideas from? Only because I never know how to answer it. It’s not like I have a magic hat or anything! My ideas can come from anywhere.
DC: And fans will not get just one new historical from you, but an entire series. Lots of happy dancin’ is going on out there! Tell us about the new series, please.
KS: Thank you! I’ve dubbed the new series a ‘Victorian Soap Opera.’ I’m introducing lots of recurring characters that will appear in some or all of the books, and there will be secrets and intrigue afoot. There’s even a gathering place – a hub – where all the characters go to be social, much like Ruby’s on General Hospital. I even have a ‘love to hate’ character that I hope readers will embrace. It’s going to be difficult keeping track of everyone, but I think I’m up for the task. The series begins with a trilogy, and after that I’m treating it as a world rather than a series. That way I don’t feel locked in to write books about specific characters. Anyone could have a book! And just like on soaps, a new character could arrive on the scene at any time.
DC: I’ve heard writers often say their stories take them in surprising directions, or dialogue flows from some unknown place. Is it the same with you? Do your characters surprise you sometimes?
KS: Yes! I’m mostly a plotter, but I like to leave room for my characters to express themselves. That sounds slightly psychotic I’m sure, but once you’re in their heads, writing from their POV, you start to understand what they’re all about. That’s when they surprise you.
DC: Do you ever argue with your characters while you’re writing? Who usually wins?
KS: No. I trust them to do the right thing. LOL. I let them do what they will and if it doesn’t work, I do it my way. There’s no arguing because either way I win.
DC: The first book of your new series is When Seducing a Duke and it will be released later this month. Would you tell our readers about Grey and Rose and how their story came about?
KS: Grey and Rose are a little bit Phantom of the Opera and a little bit Luke and Laura. He’s a little older, jaded and a little tortured. He’s had an awful past that haunts him still, and he doesn’t want the taint of that to touch her, but it’s going to just by association. He promised her father he’d look after her and to him that means NOT giving in to his feelings for her. Rose on the other hand is determined and slightly naïve. Part of her is convinced that if she can make Grey confront the attraction between them everything will magically be wonderful.
I have no idea now where the idea for them came from! I’ve always loved the kind of hero who has been ‘rode hard and put away wet.’ Grey is definitely one those. He feels awful for his past, but he also knows he’d still be the same if not for the event that changed his life. He didn’t change willingly, and he’s not sure what kind of man he is anymore. I think Rose is a little bit like me – she thinks if she wants something bad enough and works at it hard enough, she’ll get it. That doesn’t always work out for the best! It’s a ‘be careful what you wish for’ situation.
DC: What is sure to distract you from sitting down and working/writing?
KS: Email. Phone calls. iTunes. YouTube. Twitter. Cats. Shiny things.
DC: How’s work coming on the second book in your Victorian series? May we have a little sneak peek?
KS: Currently I’m working on revisions for When Marrying a Scoundrel, the second book in the series. It’s about Jack Friday and Sadie Moon. He’s a self-made man with a secret and she’s a tea leaf reader – with a secret. The secret is that they married when they were very young, but then Fate tore them apart. Now, the two of them are reunited and neither one of them is very happy about it.
KS: Wow, what a difficult question. The lovely man who runs the Avon Art Dept is one of my favorite people in the entire world. He’s been so very generous with me over the last few years. I’ve always loved the cover for Into Temptation painted by Diane Sivavec. More recently I think the cover for Dark Side of Dawn, which comes out in December – but that might just be because of the gorgeous nekked man on the cover! Of the Brotherhood covers I think Let the Night Begin is my favorite. I love the golden color of it and the fact that she’s going for his neck.
DC: How about your least favorite cover? Why?
KS: Wow. I’ve never had a cover I hated. I’ve been very lucky. Although if I had to choose it would be In Your Arms Again. I’m not a fan of the pose where the hero is behind the heroine and she has her skirt hauled up. Not sure why. And then, if you don’t look closely it looks like the hero isn’t wearing pants – just a belt and boots. His trousers are almost the same color he is. Still, I’ve seen much worse.
DC: How do you feel your male or female characters have evolved over your career? Do you think you write them differently now than you did when you started?
KS: Oh yeah! I think my heroines have gotten more realistic. They’re not entirely good little girls. Nothing interesting in that. My heroes have changed as well. I used to think I had to write Alpha guys, but I’m not good at that. I like guys who can be both tough and sweet. Real people have uncharitable thoughts, absurd thoughts, insecurities and vanities. That’s what I’m interested in writing now.
DC: Your Nightmare Chronicles is also a fairly new urban fantasy series, one book out last year and the second due out in November. Would you tell us about the series over all and and then we’ll talk about each book.
KS: Dawn Riley is the half-mortal daughter of Morpheus, God of Dreams. That’s the crux of it. Dawn is able to walk between both worlds, something no one else can do. It makes people fear her. The veil between the dream realm and our world is thinning, strange things are happening. And no one is sure if Dawn is the solution to the problem, or the cause of it.
DC: First in the series was Before I Wake, which was out last year, and next month Dark Side of Dawn is being released. Would you give a look inside each book, please?
KS: In Before I Wake, Dawn has repressed who she is. She’s working in a sleep center and crushing on one of her ‘clients,’ Noah Drake. One night Noah is attacked in his dreams and somehow Dawn gets pulled into that very dream. She becomes the target of a Night Terror and the only way to stop it is to accept what she is and use her abilities. This means reconciling with Morpheus and her mother. It also means telling Noah the truth about who and what she is.
In Dark Side of Dawn, Dawn is working on honing her abilities and dating Noah. But then someone close to Noah is attacked and Dawn has to use both her professional skills as a psychologist, and her skills as a Nightmare to help. But this puts her in the path of another monster – an earthbound one this time. She’s also in trouble with the Nightmare Council for something she did in book 1. Dawn just can’t catch a break, and if she doesn’t do something fast, she might not live to stand trial in the Dreaming!
DC: Is there a genre you haven’t tackled but would like to try?
KS: Hmm. Young Adult. Historical. Paranormal. Urban Fantasy. I think I’ve written everything I’ve wanted! Actually, I would love to write mysteries, but I don’t think I’d be very good at it. I really want to do more Young Adult. I had two historical YAs out in 2001-2002, and I’ve wanted to do more ever since. So, while there’s not a genre I would like to try, there certainly is one I’d like to do more in.
DC: What advice would you give to your younger self?
KS: Don’t date him. LOL. Actually, I think everything we’ve done has led to where we are, so I don’t think I’d encourage myself to do anything differently. I might, however, tell myself to have more confidence and not take quite so much attitude from other people.
DC: If you were a book, what would your blurb be?
KS: She’s a big girl with a big mouth and an even bigger heart, but does she have what it takes to make the big time?
LOL. That’s so corny, but it’s the best I can do without sounding totally bollocks.
DC: What would be your “voice’s” tagline?
KS: Realistic characters. Fantastic passion. I’d actually have a ‘wink’ after that too. I have a hard time talking myself up.
DC: Your vampire series, The Brotherhood of the Blood, is a favorite with readers. There’s five books in the series so far, with Night After Night being released earlier this year. First would tell those one or two people who aren’t familiar with the series what it’s about?
KS: The Brotherhood was originally six mercenaries who found what they thought was the Holy Grail, but it was actually the Blood Grail, made from the silver paid to Judas, infused with the essence of Lilith. When they drank from it they were turned vampire. 6 centuries later the group who originally had the Blood Grail wants it back – and they want the Brotherhood as well.
DC: Is the series evolving as your originally envisioned it?
KS: Yes. It played out exactly as I’d planned book-wise. I had an arc and I followed it. Success wise, I have to be honest and say that I was much higher hopes for it. Maybe someday paranormal historical will become what I’d hoped it would be and I can give fans of the series some new books.
KS: Night After Night was Temple’s story. He was the leader of the Brotherhood of the Blood once upon a time. In Be Mine Tonight, you discover he’s gone missing, and throughout the series the mystery of what happened to Temple runs through every story. This is also the book that reunites the Brotherhood. It is a romance, however. Temple meets Vivian, who is far more than she seems – more than she even knows. And she’s part of the group that would see the Brotherhood destroyed. That’s conflict, huh?
DC: Are there more books planned in the series? What can we expect next?
KS: As of right now, there are no more books planned for that series. That story line ended with Night After Night. If I do anything in the future, it will be with a new group of vampires or other supernatural creatures.
DC: If you had never become an author, what do you think you would be doing right now?
KS: I’d be a rock star. Actually, I once wanted to be a makeup artist. I love makeup.
DC: Who’s your favorite author(s)?
KS: I have so many. I love Julia Quinn, Laura Lee Guhrke, Connie Brockway. Sherry Thomas and Meredith Duran are two new authors that I do not feel worthy of when I read them! Lorraine Heath is another favorite, along with Jenna Petersen, Sophie Jordan, Sabrina Jeffries, Loretta Chase, and Liz Carlyle.
DC: How about a favorite book or two?
KS: Stranger in My Arms by Lisa Kleypas. Love that book. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase. Secret Desires of a Gentleman by Laura Lee Guhrke is a current fave, as well as When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn. Those are the first that come to mind.
DC: What else is on the horizon for Kathryn Smith?
KS: More Victorian soap opera books. I’m currently outlining the third, which I’ve tentatively titled When Tempting a Rogue, but that will probably change to better suit the story. I’m hoping to perhaps continue on with the Nightmare Chronicles, and I do have a little something else I’m working on, but I’m keeping mum until I see what happens. That makes me a tease, doesn’t it? Sorry!
- dark or milk chocolate? – milk
- smooth or chunky peanut butter? – chunky
- heels or flats? – heels
- coffee or tea? – both
- summer or winter? – Actually, autumn
- mountains or beach? – beach
- mustard or mayonnaise? – mayo
- flowers or candy? – flowers
- pockets or purse? – Purse – anyone who knows me is laughing at this, because they know I collect purses.
- Pepsi or Coke? – Coke
- ebook or print? – Print – but I want to try an e-reader.
And because folks still like seeing the answers:
1. What is your favorite word? – friend
2. What is your least favorite word? – nourishing
3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? – nature
4. What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally? – willful ignorance
5. What sound or noise do you love? – the sound of Steve’s voice
6. What sound or noise do you hate? – a cat coughing up hair balls.
7. What is your favorite curse word? – I don’t curse! Right. I say fuck a lot, but I’d like to use the word twat more. I can’t believe I just admitted to that.
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? – makeup artistry. Maybe teaching.
9. What profession would you not like to do? – anything where I’d have to put my hand in another person.
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? – “I’ve read all your books.”
DC: Kathryn, it was such a pleasure to have you here today! Thank you so much!