Somewhere in the recent digital past, I ran across this bright young lady on Twitter and begged for a stop-over on her blog tour. Why? I like her picture. Seriously, with hair like that, how can you not like her? Secondly, she’s writing about knights and fair maidens and jousting. If my characters weren’t constantly mouthing off and turning out to be thousands of years old, I’d totally write about jousting.
Also, she’s sitting in my kitchen chair–okay, not my *actual* kitchen chair, but a rogue twin, separated at birth.
Katie, can you tell us a little about your book?
Behold the Dawn is a medieval “blood and thunder” tale—with a love story at its core. It’s about rogue knight Marcus Annan, who has spent the last sixteen years fighting in the tourneys—the huge mock battles condemned by the church—trying to forget the great sin of his past. When confronted by a mysterious monk who played his own ill-fated role in Annan’s yesteryears, Annan is compelled to travel to the Third Crusade in the Holy Land, in an effort to save the life of a friend. When he arrives too late, he becomes responsible for delivering the man’s widow to safety in France. But when they are pursued by both his own enemies and those of the lady, Annan is forced to realize that if he ever hopes to be free of his past, he must face it once for all.
“Blood and Thunder”. . . how cool is that? Can you tell us a little about your writing journey?
Stories have been running amuck in my brain for as long as I can remember. I started writing them down when I was eleven or twelve. Throughout high school, I wrote, edited, and produced a newsletter called Horse Tails, before moving onto bigger game. My first novel, A Man Called Outlaw, about the land wars in 19th-century Wyoming, was published in 2006.
I think I’m seeing a theme here– strong, heroic protagonists. Maybe it wasn’t just your hair that got my attention.
So, how do you deal with rejection? Liquor? Gambling? Confession is good for the soul.
This video pretty much sums it up!
Actually, dealing with any kind of criticism is just a matter of absorbing, gleaning the good, accepting it, and moving on. I give myself a day or so to stiffen my upper lip, then get cracking again.
As a writer, who’s encouraged you the most?
I’m blessed to have a ton of very encouraging people around me. My family, friends, and writing buddies are all supremely supportive of my writing. I don’t know that I could single out just one person, since so many have contributed in some fashion or another. But my sister Amy, my dad, and my crit partners Linda Yezak and Adrie Ashford are definitely at the top of the pile.
Explain your creative process (Do you wear fuzzy dragon slippers for inspiration? Drink your morning coffee from a chalice?)
Actually, I do wear fuzzy slippers on a regular basis! My writin’ shoes, I call them.
I’m not one of those people who just sit down of a morning and let fly. I like schedules, I like being organized. I write for two hours, five days a week—and I stick to that time religiously. Tragedy or plague has to be in the wind to prevent me from sitting down at my desk at four in the afternoon. I usually spend thirty minutes warming up, divorcing my brain from the helter-skelter of the day and priming it for creativity. I jot ideas and plan my day’s work in my writing journal, proofread what I wrote the day before, and select a soundtrack to listen to while I work. Then I dive in! I don’t concentrate on word or page count. That’s an unnecessary pressure, I think. I like that first draft to come as organically as possible. Sometimes that means I’ll write five pages a day; sometimes it means I’ll only write a paragraph.
In a perfect world full of magical editor fairies granting your every publishing wish, what would you write next if it couldn’t possibly tank?
Oh, anything that would sell a million copies and let me retire a wealthy woman! No, seriously, I’m blessed to be writing pretty much exactly what I want to be writing. My next project is one that I’d tentatively say I’m even more excited about than I was Behold—and that’s saying something! It’s a historical piece about the passion, betrayal, and vengeance that dog two men and the woman they both love through the trenches of World War I, corruption in colonial Kenya, and the criminal underbelly of London. I also have a completed fantasy (about a man who discovers his dreams are really memories of another world) waiting for some serious edits.
Thanks for stopping by. Best wishes on your writing adventure~
Behold the Dawn
Marcus Annan, a tourneyer famed for his prowess on the battlefield, thought he could keep the secrets of his past buried forever. But when a mysterious crippled monk demands Annan help him find justice for the transgressions of sixteen years ago, Annan is forced to leave the tourneys and join the Third Crusade.
Wounded in battle and hunted by enemies on every side, he rescues an English noblewoman from an infidel prison camp and flees to Constantinople. But, try as he might, he cannot elude the past. Amidst the pain and grief of a war he doesn’t even believe in, he is forced at last to face long-hidden secrets and sins and to bare his soul to the mercy of a God he thought he had abandoned years ago.