Friday, October 10, 2008
Kathrynn Dennis in the Lair
interviewed by Donna MacMeans
Please join me in welcoming my friend and fellow historical romance author, Kathrynn Dennis, to the lair. Her second book, SHADOW RIDER (Kensington, Oct 7, 2008) has just hit the shelves. Here's what the reviewers say about SHADOW RIDER:
"The color, vibrancy, and excitement of the Middle Ages allows Dennis to create a memorable tale of two people whose destiny is tied to a mystical colt. Dennis tells her story with passion, drama, and a love of animals that will enthrall readers." -- 4 Stars! Romantic Times Reviews, SHADOW RIDER
"...a great read for lovers of horses, romance and history" -- Top Pick! July 2008 ParaNormalRomance.org
Welcome, Kathrynn! How exciting to see your book on the shelves this week. What do you do as an author the first week your newest release goes on sale?
First, let me say thank you, Donna, and to all the Romance Bandits, for inviting me to guest blog. Great group here!
As to what do I do as an author during release week? I eat way too much chocolate and spend way too much time checking and rechecking my email. And oh yeah, I surf the net. A lot. ;-)
That’s what it’s like I think, for most authors until they have a few under their belts (books I mean, not drinks).
Sometimes a few drinks don't hurt, especially if served by sexy young Cabana boys (grin). We do like to run out to the book stores and actually see if the book is on the shelves. I wonder if the experience ever truly feels real without that visual confirmation?
I loved Dark Rider (Congratulations, BTW, on the final in the published Maggie contest). It had fabulous medieval atmosphere. Can't wait to read Shadow Rider as well. Where did you get the idea for this unusual medieval romance? The plot involves a “lost and vengeful knight, a horse midwife, castle intrigue, and a colt that barks . . .” to paraphrase a reviewer. A barking horse? Seriously, how did you come up with that?
I eat too much chocolate and drink too much—just kidding. ;-)
I’m a horse veterinarian and you know what they say …“write what you know.” So, I drew on experience and thought “what if” a foal born in the 13th century was affected by a real-life neurological condition that resulted behavioral abnormalities, made him do strange things like gaze at the stars, sit like dog and bark? Wow. Drop that scenario right into the hey-day (pun intended) of superstition in history—the middle ages. My heroine, of course, is a 13th century horse midwife who delivers the foal and then gets accused of all sorts of misdoings and witchery. She needs a hero. Enter Guy of Warwick, who thinks the “magic” horse is meant for him. He saves them both, but things go down hill from there. Turns out, everybody wants that magic horse. The bad guy in this book is pretty bad (will not tell how for fear of spoilers). I had fun writing him.
I remember from the last time you visited that you like to say you write “horsetoricals,” all about heroes, heroines, and horses. Is there any story connection between this book and your first, DARK RIDER?
Not really, but they are both set in the middle ages, have mystic elements and the development horses as characters who are pivotal to the plot. I’ve done a bit of research lately on animals and pets in romance novels and find they run the gambit from decoration, to strong secondary characters who move the story along. In my books, I wrote them to do just that.
Also, the kind of animal a character owns tells you a lot about their personality. Writers use this to layer their character’s development. The heroes and heroines in SHADOW RIDER and DARK RIDER are just as pet-owner profiles suggest they would be: male horse-owners are dominant and high in autonomy, aggressive, and less expressive in general. Female horse-owners tend to avoid aggression and are easy going, but limited in cooperativeness and warm human relationships.
Sounds like a true romance heroes and heroines to me! If you’d like to dig a little deeper into pet-owner profiling, check out Word Wenches today: http://wordwenches.typepad.com/word_wenches/. I have a post there which goes into pet owner-profiling a little deeper.
This, by the way, was one of Kathrynn's horses, Jawknee Reb, the love of her teenage life. So Kathrynn, what’s next?
I have another book brewing, The Horse Lord, a story about a horse wizard in ancient England who seeks a soul mate, a true horsewitch. She, of course wants nothing to do with him. But they are destined (cursed?) to be together and the journey they must travel as they fall in love tests their magic beyond belief.
A horse wizard and a horsewitch? Who knew? Sounds like great fun! To read more about Kathrynn and her horsetoricals, be sure to visit her website http://www.kdennis.com/.
Thank you, Romance Bandits, for having me.
I’d love to hear about the most memorable thing your pet did—a strangely human act of love? Was he/she weirdly smart? One commentor, randomly drawn, will win a free copy of SHADOW RIDER!