Lynn Kurland has kept readers enraptured in her worlds of magic and time travel for years. She’s one of those authors who can write book after book in a series and each is new and fresh, no matter if it’s the first or the eighth in line.
Her newest release, The Dreamer’s Song, is the eleventh book in her Nine Kingdom series, and it’s hitting the spot with fans just as all the previous books in the series have done.
Lynn took a few minutes to answer a few questions for all of us today. We hope you enjoy reading about the new book and other fun things in her writing life. And be sure to check out Veena’s review of The Dreamer’s Song, which will post later this afternoon.
DUCK CHAT: If you could retire any interview question and never, ever have it asked again, what would it be? Feel free to answer it.
LYNN KURLAND: Tell us a little bit about your current release.” I love that the question gets asked, but I’m always a little uncomfortable answering it because it makes me feel like I’m tooting my own horn. Self-effacement is my thing. But . . . since you asked. J
The Dreamer’s Song is the second book in the latest Nine Kingdoms trilogy and it continues the adventures of heroine Léirsinn of Sàraichte and our very reluctant hero, Acair of Ceangail. She’s an ordinary stablehand forced by circumstance into situations of a magical nature that she has no means to navigate and he is an outrageously evil mage equally coerced into a couple of years of do-gooding, something he bitterly resents and vows to leave behind the very moment his sentence of spreading happiness and cheer is over.
My only regret is with this mini-series is that I didn’t have the foresight to just turn him into a long-term character à la Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone. A is for Acair, B is for Bad Mage, D is for Damn, How Can Someone So Handsome Be So Bad? Though on second thought . . !
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?
LK: Absolutely. I spent years when my kids were younger writing from about 10 pm until 4 am or so, and either my subconscious gets busy after midnight or I was basically live-streaming stuff straight from some other dimension. I would get up in the morning, reread what I’d written, and wonder where in the world it had come from. I’ve tried for years to plot things out ahead of time, just for the sake of efficiency, but, most of the time, most of the story happens along the way and goes in directions I honestly just didn’t expect. I try not to have any fixed expectations for characters. I figure out who they are, then just turn them loose and try to take good notes on what they do.
DC: Do you ever argue with your characters while you’re writing? Who usually wins?
LK: No arguments, just a lot of eye-rolling and snorting coming from them until I get it right. They always win. J
DC: What is sure to distract you from sitting down and working/writing?
LK: Knitting, my kids walking in the front door, or someone turning on a good episode of Seinfeld.
DC: What has been your favorite book cover from all of your releases and why?
LK: My favorite cover has to be A Garden in the Rain. The corner tower is uncannily similar to one I once saw in a family’s private garden in No. Ireland, something the artist never could have known. It was definitely a paranormal experience seeing the cover for the first time!
DC: How about your least favorite book cover?
LK: Can I answer this in public? *looks around nervously for scowling art director* While the art itself is gloriously moody and wonderful, the cover for When I Fall in Love is supposed to be the beach on the northern coast of England with the appropriate, massive castle that sits up there on the bluff—readers will know the one. . . and it isn’t. Drives me crazy!
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?
LK: I’m not sure the guys have changed all that much. Grumpy, protective, and chivalrous seems to be my type, I guess. With the women, I’d like to believe they have grown up a bit right along with me. I’ve definitely gotten better at letting them have their own ideas, things I don’t necessarily share or endorse, which was something I wasn’t quite ready to do in the early days.
DC: Is there a genre you haven’t tackled but would like to try?
LK: I would love to write mysteries, cozy things set in the UK where I would have to do massive amounts of live-there-for-a-long-time-to-do-it-properly research. I’m not sure how well it would work out because I’m always completely surprised by who-dun-it.
DC: Which fictional character would you like to hang out with?
LK: Elizabeth Bennett or Barliman Butterbur, can’t decide.
DC: What advice would you give to your younger self?
LK: Write what you love, write a lot, don’t take things so seriously, and for heaven’s sake take a walk every day.
DC: What is the best thing about being a full-time romance author? What’s the most challenging?
LK: The best thing is getting to do what I love—and profound thanks to those glorious readers who make that possible for me. The most challenging thing is trying to keep enough white space in my life for the luxury of getting to do what I love.
DC: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever learned by Googling your name?
LK: How many relatives my ex-husband’s first wife has. J
DC: What book would you like to read again for the first time?
DC: If you were a book, what would your blurb be?
LK: Follow our heroine, intrepid writer and gawker at men in kilts, as she takes pen in hand, snacks and sundries in backpack, and ventures off into the wilds of England and Scotland, bent on capturing elusive tales of love and magic.
DC: What romance book would you recommend our readers pick up during their next bookstore run?
LK: Put that copy of Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters right in your basket—not a romance in the traditional sense, but delicious just the same for the smoking pipe scene alone. Also, pick up a copy of A Garden in the Rain by Lynn Kurland. You’ll thank me for Patrick, trust me. J
DC: If you had never become an author, what do you think you would be doing right now?
LK: Teaching music at some cute little college in a small town back East . . . and probably writing in my spare time.
– dark or milk chocolate? Ack . . . dark mint?
– smooth or chunky peanut butter? Chunky
– heels or flats? Flats
– coffee or tea? Coffee
– summer or winter? Winter . . . and I’ll take that in the Highlands, thank you!
– mountains or beach? Beach
– mustard or mayonnaise? Mayo
– flowers or candy? Candy
– pockets or purse? Pockets
– Pepsi or Coke? 7-up, haha.
– ebook or print? Print for the beach, e-book for late-night reading, so . . . both!
And because we still enjoy the answers we get:
1. What is your favorite word? Whatif? (Technically two words unless you smash them together like that.) Or if it has to be one real word: magic. Or maybe $#^&. Too many words out there to choose from. :p
2. What is your least favorite word? Moist. Ewwww. Just ewwww.
DUCK CHAT: Lynn, thank you so very much for spending time with us today!