Interview with Kathryn Le Veque. To read excerpts from The Red Lion and Queen of Lost Stars, please see the November issue.
I was absolutely thrilled when Ms. Le Veque agreed to be a Featured Author. You can get so wrapped up in her works, that time just disappears while you’re reading.
First off, thank you so much for taking the time for the interview!
Thank you so much for having me! It’s such a pleasure to be here!
1) What was your first book? When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
That actually goes back a long way in the course of my life. I wanted to be a writer very early on – I wrote my first ‘book’ at 13, a teenage Sci-Fi tome, parts of which I still have written in long-hand. It was really silly, but it was a pretty big book, and that’s when I discovered my passion for writing. So, technically, “Journey to the Stars” was my first book (that teenage/spacy hormonal drama), but of my professional career, “The Wolfe” was my first book.
2) Who are some of your favorite authors now, and what genres do you tend to read the most?
Ray Bradbury has always been my favorite author, which is odd considering I write Romance, but the man had an imagination that defied logic – “The Martian Chronicles” is my favorite book, ever, mostly because of the way Bradbury paints a literary picture of how he envisioned the colonization of Mars. I have read that book hundreds of times and I can still see the towers of glass, or the physical descriptions of the Martians, right in my head the way he describes them. I have always wanted to write with such literary clarity.
These days, I don’t read much Sci-Fi, but I do love Clive Cussler as an author. I have read every one of his books. Historically speaking, my favorite authors are Virginia Henley and Alison Weir.
3) The book I read, Queen of Lost Stars, was a historical set in medieval times, and the premise of the book is very unconventional and very daring. How did this book come about?
I’m not exactly sure how I came up with that premise, but it was a very long time ago. Queen of Lost Stars went through a variety of changes from its original outline – originally, it was entitled “Echoes of Thunder”, but as the book progressed, I could see what a tragic figure Madelayne was. That poor woman had been through a lot. Kaspian wasn’t even the focus anymore; it was on Madelayne and in rebuilding her life, as she was literally the woman who had lost everything, hence the title change.
And you’re right – the premise was a little daring – and it could also be considered erotica or even fetish to a certain extent, so I knew I had to treat it very carefully to ensure that those parts of the novel weren’t overly graphic or glorified. In the book, Madelayne simply does what she has to do, without any sexual connotation to it, at least in the beginning.
4) Where is your favorite place to write? A lot of authors love to listen to music, and even have a playlist for their book. Do you like to listen to music while writing, or do you prefer quiet?
Honestly, I never even had my own office until about three years ago. Before that, I wrote on my bed with my laptop, or in my living room with my laptop -that kind of thing. But now, I’ve quickly become a creature of habit. I write in my beautiful, wood-paneled office listening to piano music or meditation music (no words, as that can be distracting), and I burn candles heavily. Usually lavender or something else that would be kind of woodsy and even Medieval. I like to set the mood. I’ve gotten so dependent on that setting that it’s become difficult for me to concentrate outside of it.
5) When it comes to historical books, I am always interested in the research behind them. Do you do a lot of research with your books? The world building and character development is second to none, and I know you’ve written so many great characters, how do you keep it fresh and exciting?
Those are very good questions. Yes, I do a lot of research with my books before I start. I have a big library of reference material and I also do a lot of research on the internet. I must have my research finished before I start a novel because I want to make sure I understand what I’m writing about.
As for character development, my biggest goal when I construct a character arc is making sure, above all else, there is a human element in my characters. Something relatable. In other words, I make sure to describe them physically so you can see them in your mind’s eye. I make sure they have some kind of personality quirk, because real people do. My heroines run the gamut from super-strong to super-weak, because real women do that, too. But even the weak women have a redeeming quality; that’s a must. I’ve had readers remark that perhaps they think a heroine is a ‘doormat’ or otherwise weak in a story, but you know what my answer is? That’s because she was born that way. In my mind, she was always intended to be that way, but in the end, she always shows her courage. Think on it this way – if I wrote the same character all of the time, let’s say a very strong woman with courage, after a while, that same character arc time after time would become very boring. So, how do I keep it fresh and exciting? By creating as many diverse characters as I can with human weakness as well as human strengths.
6) What is coming up in the near future for readers?
Great things next year! I’ve got a series planned called The Unholy Trinity: The Executioner Knights coming up as well as the continuing series of the Lions of the Highlands. I’m very much an English Medieval writer, so venturing into the Highlands for me has been a big deal. So many other fabulous writers out there do Highlander so well, but I’m thrilled to dip my toes into that pond.
7) What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?
First off, I love my readers. I’m so honored that they read my books. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – without them, there is no me. Without readers, there is no author, so the readers, in a sense, make us who we are. I would like to thank each and every one of them for reading my books. Fans can sign up for my blog at www.kathrynleveque.com, and follow me on Facebook at @kathrynleveque and also on Twitter @kathrynleveque.
Thank you so much for having me today!!
KATHRYN LE VEQUE is a USA TODAY Bestselling author, an Amazon All-Star author, and a #1 bestselling, award-winning, multi-published author in Medieval Historical Romance and Historical Fiction. She has been featured in the NEW YORK TIMES and on USA TODAY’s HEA blog. In March 2015, Kathryn was the featured cover story for the March issue of InD’Tale Magazine, the premier Indie author magazine. She is also quintuple nominee (a record!) for the prestigious RONE awards for 2016.
Kathryn’s Medieval Romance novels have been called ‘detailed’, ‘highly romantic’, and ‘character-rich’. She crafts great adventures of love, battles, passion, and romance in the High Middle Ages. More than that, she writes for both women AND men – an unusual crossover for a romance author – and Kathryn has many male readers who enjoy her stories because of the male perspective, the action, and the adventure.
On October 29, 2015, Amazon launched Kathryn’s Kindle Worlds Fan Fiction site WORLD OF DE WOLFE PACK. Please visit Kindle Worlds for Kathryn Le Veque’s World of de Wolfe Pack and find many action-packed adventures written by some of the top authors in their genre using Kathryn’s characters from the de Wolfe Pack series. As Kindle World’s FIRST Historical Romance fan fiction world, Kathryn Le Veque’s World of de Wolfe Pack will contain all of the great story-telling you have come to expect.
Kathryn loves to hear from her readers. Please find Kathryn on Facebook at Kathryn Le Veque, Author, or join her on Twitter @kathrynleveque, and don’t forget to visit her website at www.kathrynleveque.com.