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Sep 17

An Interview with Catherine Kean

It’s a delight for me to welcome bestselling author, Catherine Kean to my blog. I’ve had the good fortune recently to collaborate on two anthologies with Catherine, Magnificent Medieval Men and Magnificent Medieval Champions. Like me she’s a medievalist at heart.

Great to be here, Anna. To celebrate,  I’ll be giving away a Kindle, Kobo, or Nook copy of my Medieval Rogues boxed set to one lucky commenter.

Excellent! All of your books are set in the Middle Ages. What inspires you to write in that era?

I grew up with a love of the past. My British dad was a high school history teacher and he took me to England in my early teens during my summer vacations. We toured many historic sites, including Stonehenge and Avebury, the magnificent London museums, castles, churches, Roman ruins, and old graveyards. There’s a wonderful feeling to those ancient places, a sense of timelessness that stayed with me.
After graduating from the University of Victoria, Canada, with a Double Major (First Class) in English and History, I completed a one-year course with Sotheby’s auctioneers in London, England. We studied paintings, glass, silver, furniture, porcelain, tapestries, and sculpture from the Middle Ages through the 20th century. Through that experience, history became tangible to me, poignant even, represented by everyday objects used by men, women, and children centuries ago. For example, the silver coins made in the reign of King Henry II had passed down through countless hands to buy food, clothes, or other goods. They might have been used to bribe a guard to release a prisoner, or pay the ransom for a captured knight. I wondered about the people who had touched those coins. It was easy to start stories from there.

Where else do you get your story ideas?

From all kinds of places, actually! My award-winning book Dance of Desire was inspired by a medieval melody. The song on the CD I was listening to started slowly, but then picked up to a fast pace, and suddenly, in my mind, I saw a veiled woman dancing. I asked myself who she was, and why she was dancing with such desperation. Soon, I had a whole plot worked out.

I also save magazine articles that pique my interest, especially ones on archaeological finds in Britain. Sometimes a conversation triggers an idea for a character or plot, or a documentary I’ve watched on TV. I truly am never out of ideas.

Tell us about your latest book release.

EnchantedByAnEmerald_Bundle_1400pxMy latest medieval, A Knight to Remember, is one of seven novellas in the Enchanted by an Emerald anthology, available now in eBook and print. This collection was published by the Jewel Box Authors—me, Caro Carson, T. Elliott Brown, Wynter Daniels, Nancy Robards Thompson, Mimi Wells, and USA Today bestselling author Katherine Garbera. All of the stories focus on a precious emerald that’s rumored to unite soul mates.
A Knight to Remember sets up the romantic legend of the stone, which then turns up in the second story in the hands of a pirate. The emerald is shattered into three pieces; one of them ends up with a soldier in World War II, the other two pieces in modern times. The final novella reunites the pieces of what’s known as the Brigonne Emerald in a museum exhibition.

Here’s the back blurb for my novella: When widowed Lady Aislinn Locksmeade finds a naked, unconscious man lying in the forest, she wonders if he’s Hugh Brigonne, her first and only true love. When he wakes, he can’t remember who he is or what happened to him. Does she dare to love the roguish stranger, or is there far greater danger than risking her heart?

The anthology of stories connected through the centuries by a single object is a neat idea. What inspired this project?

This anthology came to be on the way to Romance Writers of America’s© national conference in Atlanta last year. During the drive, Wynter, Teresa, Caro, and I got talking about writing and came up with the idea of a series of anthologies about different precious stones. After we got home, Wynter held a lunch meeting at her house, where we brainstormed the idea, decided our first project would be about an emerald, set writing and publishing deadlines, and then got to work! I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished and the stories are terrific! 

I can vouch for that. I grabbed my copy right away. What are you writing now?

I’m currently working on a medieval Christmas novella, to be published in a boxed set in November or December. My story’s called One Knight Under the Mistletoe and is a reunion between two childhood enemies.

What else can we look forward to from you?

Plans are underway for several more medieval boxed sets that will include my books. One of my ongoing works-in-progress is the last novel in the Knight’s Series, called A Knight’s Seduction. I’ve received a lot of email about this book; it’s taking me longer to write because there are many story threads I need to wrap up, and I want this final novel to be extra good! I’m planning to release A Knight’s Seduction in 2015.

How can readers connect with you?

I am so grateful for my readers! Since I was a child, I wanted to be a writer; I am living my dream, and it wouldn’t be possible without readers. For everyone who has ever bought copies of my books, thank you!

Website: http://www.catherinekean.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/catherine.keanauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/695820.Catherine_Kean

Here’s an excerpt from A Knight to Remember. This is the first time the wounded hero, who has amnesia, sees Aislinn:

As she shifted items on the table, busy with a task, he dared to open his eyes a little. She stood in profile, her body limned by sunlight, allowing him to study her features—a slender nose, strong cheekbones tinged a delicate pink, a lush mouth. Her light-brown hair was drawn back in a shiny braid tied at the end with a dark blue ribbon. The elegant plait accented the graceful column of her neck and fell to her lower back.

She was of moderate height. He guessed that if she stood before him, the top of her head would reach just above his chin. Her slender figure was nicely defined by the twilight-blue woolen gown that was of plain design, but well made. This lovely healer obviously earned a good income.

Indeed, she was more than lovely. She was a stunning beauty.

At that moment, she glanced at the bed. She looked right at him—and he was caught. He opened his eyes all the way, taking in the full beauty of her, her eyes so blue they reminded him of the sky on a cloudless, icy spring morning. Her mouth, ripe for kissing, had fallen open when she’d realized he was awake. Now, she pressed her lips together. She seemed uncertain whether to be upset that he’d feigned being asleep or to brush off her annoyance and talk to him.

“Who are you?” he asked, broaching the silence between them. His voice sounded dry and hoarse.

“I am a friend.” She smiled, revealing straight, white teeth. “You are safe here.”

Her voice was warm, light, a voice he liked just by its cadence, but not one he recognized. Or did he? A glimmer of acknowledgment skimmed the edges of his consciousness, but swiftly vanished as his mind shifted to the significance of her words. Safe, she’d said. Yet, he was tied to the bed.

Was she a friend? Or was she his enemy?

He must keep her talking, charm her, and find out for certain.

“Where is here?” He tried again to turn his head to see the rest of the chamber. Stabbing pain raced through his skull, and he stilled, closing his eyes against a violent wave of dizziness and nausea.

“You are at Pendersley Keep,” she said. “Please, do not try to move. You have a bad head wound.”

“So I gathered.” He groaned, hating to sound weak, but the pain was almost unbearable. “What happened to me?”

“You do not remember?”

A plea wove through her words, as if she hoped he did know what had befallen him. He fought the agony in his skull and struggled to recall even one small detail.

His mind was as blank as an unmarked wax tablet.

He was about to shake his head, but at the last moment recalled ’twould not be a good idea. “Nay, I do not remember,” he said, disappointment heavy in his voice.

“Try,” she urged. Again, a plea. Now, it shone in her eyes.

Eyes that beautiful he’d never forget.

“I have,” he ground out. “My mind is…” He tried to lift his right hand to gesture, but remembered again that he was restrained. His frustration merged into a flare of anger. “While I may not have my memories, I do know that friends do not tie each other to a bed.”

A flush stained her cheeks. “True, but—”

“Unless, of course, ’tis some wicked form of seduction—”

What? Nay—”

“—and in that case,” he said with a grin, “you have me completely at your mercy, love.”

Here are the buy links for the Enchanted by an Emerald anthology:

eBook
Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/lsabnzr
Nook: http://tinyurl.com/pxt6t6b
Kobo: Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/n8547de

Print:
Amazon:  http://tinyurl.com/pm257jq
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/nfxshh6
Books-a-Million: http://tinyurl.com/pgoslny

Don’t forget to add your email (in non spammable format) to be entered for the draw for a copy of Medieval Rogues.

 

15 comments

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  1. Ashley York

    Very nice interview, Catherine. I’m looking forward to reading more from you. How many books do you have? I bet your father was an engaging history teacher since he was able to instill such a love of history in you.

    1. Catherine Kean Author

      Thanks for stopping by, Ashley! 🙂 Yes, my dad was a very good teacher; he’s retired now, and writing his own novels (I am thrilled for him that he’s doing this!), but I am forever grateful that he shared his appreciation of history with me. I still love visiting museums, art galleries, and historic sites. I guess it’s in my blood. 🙂

  2. Sydney

    Catherine, I knew we had something in common with our British fathers, but I also ended up with a double major in English and history. I loved the Tudor (Elizabethan) and Stuart periods. And every trip to England to visit relatives has included some sort of historical adventure, be it a museum or a royal residence or what have you.

    The last time I went, in February of 2013, my sister, my mother, and I and my children sprinkled some of my father’s ashes into the Thames so he could flow through London. It was very meaningful.

    I am putting my email here in hopes of winning your boxed set: sydney @ sydneyjanebaily [dot] com.

    1. Catherine Kean Author

      Hi Sydney! I didn’t realize you’re a History and English double major, too! We are soul mates! 🙂 I’m so glad your visits to England have included historical sites; there’s SO much to see, and all of it awe-inspiring and quite humbling (Stonehenge certainly was for me).
      What you did with your father’s ashes is very touching. It brought tears to my eyes. That was a lovely gesture and I can imagine it was one of those poignant moments you and your family will never forget.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it! 🙂

  3. Lana Williams

    Lovely to learn more about you, Catherine! Enjoyed the excerpt and look forward to reading more of your stories!

  4. Catherine Kean Author

    Hello, Lana! I’m so glad you enjoyed the excerpt. My novella was a lot of fun to write (cheeky, alpha-male heroes are ALWAYS a treat). Thanks for stopping by today!

  5. Mary Anne Landers

    Thanks, Catherine and Anna. Got a question for Catherine What’s next for the Jewel Box Authors? Another anthology revolving around another gem? Good luck!

    maryannelanders at centurytel dot net

  6. Melissa Keir

    The box set sounds like a great read and I love the idea of the Emerald being passed down. I wish you all the best!

  7. Cynthia Woolf

    Hi Catherine and Anna. Great interview. Enjoyed it very much.

  8. Catherine Kean Author

    Hi, Mary Ann! 🙂 Up next for the Jewel Box Authors is the RAVISHING IN RUBIES anthology, due out in late 2015. Some of us already have ideas in mind for stories, and we’re looking forward to knuckling down and writing them. We will have more details next year. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  9. Catherine Kean Author

    Hi Melissa! We had a great time writing our emerald stories. It really is amazing what came of a simple idea of crafting connected stories about a gemstone. We’re really proud of the anthology and hope readers will love it, too. Thanks for your good wishes, and it’s a pleasure to chat with you here at Anna’s blog.

  10. Catherine Kean Author

    Hi Cynthia! I’m so glad you enjoyed the interview. Thank you! I really appreciate you stopping by! 🙂

  11. Sally

    I love exploring new authors and think box-sets are wonderful. I’m sure it is exciting to be part of one.I usually like to mix up my reading but this year I’ve been on a Historical Romance kick 75% of the time and throw in a few other themes. It’s kinda like using water to clear my pallet between courses. Thanks for a chance at this giveaway.
    nerdsrgood [at] msn [dot] com
    I hope I did that right.

  12. Sylvie Grayson

    I loved the interview Catherine. Your hero is in a difficult spot, will she help him out of it or make it worse? We won’t know until we read the book. Well done with the introduction. Sylvie

  13. Anna Markland

    Thank you all for your comments. Sally is the lucky winner of a copy of Catherine’s Medieval Rogues.

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