Greetings! Today it’s my pleasure to welcome over talented author Katherine Givens for a Midweek Meet & Greet. Published with Harlequin Australia’s Escape Publishing and Red Sage Publishing, Katherine will be dishing out about her latest release and sharing other fascinating tidbits. So relax, cozy in and read on!
If you would like a chance to win a free, digital copy of In Her Dreams, please comment below. The giveaway is open internationally.
SKY: Welcome! Tell us a little bit about yourself. Did you always want to be an author? When did you first start writing? What have you published?
KATHERINE: I am a museum employee with a secret. Few know the truth of my greatest passion, but those closest to me know I love to write historical romances… Alright, maybe more than a few people know I am a writer. Anyone who will listen to me can glean this from a conversation.
So, I am a museum employee who wishes I had a devilish secret or a jaw-dropping double life, but the characters in her manuscripts often do. From the withdrawn duke mesmerized by his quiet maid or the savage viking eager to ravish a Christian girl, her heroes are always bound to have a secret or two. It is often up to the headstrong heroine to unravel the mysteries surrounding the man that has captured her heart.
I’ve always wanted to be an author. Yeah, I am one of those people who have been dreaming about this since childhood. Can you blame me? Writing is fun! I just didn’t figure out what exact genre I wanted to write in until four years ago. I have two novellas out right now. In Her Dreams (Harlequin Australia’s Escape Publishing) was released October 1, 2013. Love Amidst the Egyptian Sands (Red Sage Publishing) will be released in January 2015. My short stories and poetry have been published in various magazines, including The Copperfield Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Nazar Look, and WestWard Quarterly.
SKY: I like to write at night. Inspires me. Where and when do you like to write? Why?
KATHERINE: I’m a night owl. My most creative hours are from 7PM to 2AM. Sometimes I stay up even later than that. The words just start flowing, and I cannot stop until the images in my head are put onto paper.
SKY: You know you’ll always pen a particular genre. What genre and why? You might also dabble in other genres. Care to share what those are and why?
KATHERINE: Historical romances are my true love. *WINKS.* To be more specific, I adore Regency and Victorian England. There is something attractive about a time period riddled with rules about morality, etiquette, and how to appear in society. There are opportune moments for scandalous and clandestine affairs to take place, which always makes for a great love story.
I don’t ever intend to wander away from historical romances, nor do I plan on dabbling in a different genre anytime soon. If I was to do so, I would want to write fantasies. Something about George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (a.k.a. Game of Thrones) makes me want to build my own world based on different histories.
SKY: We writers are often urged to write what we know. Have you? Perhaps implemented a scene from your life or somewhere you’ve traveled. Tell, tell!
KATHERINE: For starters, I do hours and hours of research before I sit down to write a new novel. I need the details in my historical romances to be accurate. So, after pouring over books in my local library and scouring the internet for information, the facts end up stuck in my head. In that instance, I write what I know.
I also draw on my personal experiences. I’ve never been ravished by a handsome duke or anything like that. Although, who wouldn’t? Nor will you find any details of my boring life integrated into my writing, but more of my emotions. I tap into different experiences to exude the mood of my writing. If I am writing a scene where my hero and heroine are arguing, I think back on a time where I was angry myself. I use my own anger to produce the anger of my characters. If I am writing a scene where my heroine is, say, mourning the death of her father, I think back on my own experiences to create her sadness.
SKY: Let’s get down and dirty. Writers typically love to read. You especially enjoy certain authors for a good reason. Why? Their use of prose, voice, characterization, etc. You’ve got pet peeves as well. What are they?
KATHERINE: Oh, boy. My favorite authors range from the classics, to modern romance writers, to anyone in between. I admire Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Alexandre Dumas, and Charles Dickens above all. However, I love the following historical romance writers: Liz Carlyle, Connie Brockway, Sabrina Jeffries, and Jane Feather. I also love George R.R. Martin, Khaled Hosseini, Elizabeth Kostova, and several others. Each writer holds something I enjoy, such as Jane Austen’s wit or Charles Dicken’s melancholy. Khaled Hosseini is profound while Connie Brockway is very original. Each writer has something special to share with readers.
My pet peeves usually have to do with characters and plot. Quirks in the plot that just don’t make sense will make me close a book and never pick it up again. Characters I can’t invest myself into just alienate me. I’m sure we’ve all experienced this at some point, even with the most prolific of writers.
SKY: You’re writing or have written the book that will always hold a special place in your heart. What is it and why?
KATHERINE: In Her Dreams, my book with Harlequin Australia’s imprint Escape Publishing, will always hold a place in my heart. A novel I recently finished writing and self-editing will always be a part of me, and the novel I am now working on is the dearest thing. All my books have a special place in my heart, so I could never choose. It is like asking a mother which child she loves most. My books are all equal in my eyes.
SKY: We’re all guilty. Though we like variety, we tend to adore a certain type of hero and heroine. What does your perfect hero look like? Tell us about his personality. Same goes for the heroine.
KATHERINE: My perfect hero has ebony hair and piercing, blue eyes. He is tall with broad shoulders and a narrow waist. His muscles ripple underneath his breeches and linen shirt, which hints at wicked delights. (Yes, I am thinking of a regency man. *SMILES.*) He embodies sin and temptation, but has a kind heart. Confidence is key in a hero, but he must be gentle and loving. Also, he needs some intelligence and a love for books. I recently finished writing a book with just that hero, and it will be difficult to top him in future manuscripts. However, I think I can in my current project.
The heroine… Hmm, I think she has dusky hair that cascades down her back when it is unpinned from her coiffure. Her eyes are the shade of a cloudy day, the outer rim of her pupils tinted green. She isn’t the skinniest of women. Slender, but with meat on her bones. She has a pert nose, lush mouth, high cheekbones, and a heart-shaped face. She is timid and demure, but she loves deeply and greatly. She might only seem like a slip of a girl, but she has dreams and ambitions she means to fulfill. And that is the heroine from my current project!
SKY: What’s next for you? What are you currently writing?
KATHERINE: I am focusing on writing over the next couple of months. In Her Dreams is my debut novella, but I am currently hell-bent on producing novels. Stories that have been lingering in my head, details of the plot mulling over and over. Now, I am prepared to write each and every one.
SKY: Where do you see yourself five years from now? Ten?
KATHERINE: Five years from now I see myself with several published books under my belt. Ten years from now I see myself cemented in traditional publishing. And, yeah, I aspire to be a bestseller, but I am very happy just to share my work with willing readers! Let me say thank you to those who have taken a chance on my, or followed my journey from the start via my blog! I’m so grateful.
SKY: Here goes. The grand finale. Share with us one thing you think readers would be surprised to know about you.
KATHERINE: I am dying to share this one detail about myself, but I just can’t. Not right now, at least. I intend to reveal the surprise in a few years when I am more grounded in my career as an author. Until then, I am what you see!
SKY: Great interview. Thanks so much for sharing!
KATHERINE: Thanks for having me, Sky! I loved stopping by.
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If you would like a chance to win a free, digital copy of In Her Dreams, please comment below. The giveaway is open internationally. Contest ends Saturday, December 21'st 12 AM EST.
Sky here. Please check back soon as Katherine Givens will be joining me for an End of the Week Character Blowout!