Monday, July 05, 2010

Guest - Kathryne Kennedy

Good morning, everyone! Today's guest, Kathryne Kennedy, is a multi-published, award-winning author of magical romances. She’s lived in Guam, Okinawa, and several states in the U.S., and currently lives in Arizona with her wonderful family—which includes two very tiny Chihuahuas. She welcomes readers to visit her website where she has ongoing contests at: www.KathryneKennedy.com.




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Thank you so much for having me as your guest today, Lynda. I’m glad to be here!

I decided to write about what steps I took in building the world in my new novel, The Fire Lord’s Lover. Since I write a blend of historical, fantasy and romance, it surprises me how it all jells together, and I hope you enjoy a brief look at some of the ways it happened for me:

I start farther back in history than the era I’m actually going to write in, because all of the changes I’m going to make to the time I’m writing in has to start and develop prior to that period. So I went back to the time when William the Conqueror invaded England and split it into several baronies…a time of great change that significantly altered England’s history, and made it easy for me to alter it yet again with the introduction of The Elven Lords series. Instead of William bringing England under a unified rule, I had my seven elven lords breach the barrier between their world and ours, defeat William, and take England under their own unified rule. The elven lords made seven sovereignties (baronies) using their magic and beauty, enslaved the English people, and made the king nothing more than a puppet ruler, a prize to be won in their elven war games.

Since I used a historical world as the basis for my new series, I researched the eighteenth century, Georgian era. Even though I alter the world with magic, I have to start with that historical world that readers can identify with. I often use real historical figures, like Sir Robert Walpole in The Fire Lord’s Lover (he will appear again in book 2,The Lady of the Storm), and create their personalities based on what I read in their biographies. Sir Robert was such a strong influence in the era that I realized he had to be the might behind the Rebellion, the secret society created to fight against the elven lords’ rule. I apologize to King George, who became a pawn, his interests focusing on the only thing he could control: the court fashions of the era.

To make it more interesting, I gave each elven lord a scepter that reflected his individual magical strength: Black for Mor'ded who rules fire, Blue for Breden who rules sea and sky, Green for Mi'cal who rules the forests, Gold for Roden who is master of glamour and illusion, Silver for Lan'dor who masters the blade, Brown for Annanor who rules the earth, and Violet for La'laylia who enspells gems.

I then drew a map of each of the sovereignties, using England’s existing cities for the palaces of the elven lords. My sketch was pretty rough, so I had my artist husband draw up another version to share with your readers today.



In The Fire Lord’s Lover, I used the common practice of arranged marriages and conspired to have one of the elven lord’s half-breeds, Dominic Raikes, wedded to one of the Rebellion’s spies, Lady Cassandra Bridges. With the fantasy element, I gifted Lady Cassandra with the death dance, and she was used as an assassin against Dominic’s father—the arranged marriage a subterfuge by the Rebellion.

I love researching fashion (as frustrating as it sometimes can be) and realized that the white wigs common in the era were a perfect foil for the white hair of the elven lords. In my world, the wigs were worn to copy the beautiful locks of the elven, with powdered stone used to imitate the silver sparkles in the elven lords’ hair.

So I started with history, changed it by adding a healthy dose of magic, infused it with romance and passion, and the world of The Elven Lords was born. If you should have any questions or comments—about my process or my world—I’d love to hear from you!

All my magical best,
Kathryne

THE FIRE LORD’S LOVER BY KATHRYNE KENNEDY—IN STORES JULY 2010
Kathryne Kennedy's historical fantasy romances have garnered awards and a growing readership. This exciting new series, set against the lavish backdrops of Georgian and Victorian England so beloved by romance readers, is deliciously dark and exciting.

Fighting for control of a kingdom that is split into seven domains, Elven warlords use their human slaves to breed an endless supply of soldiers for their armies. Dominic Raikes, the half-blood son of the Elven Lord himself is one such warrior. Betrothed to Lady Cassandra, who has been raised in a convent to keep her pure, he little suspects that she's been secretly trained as an assassin to murder his father. Dominic and Cassandra soon discover that each one is not what they seem, but the price of trust may be their very lives, and the destruction of the magical realm each is desperately trying to save…

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-- Lynda Again

Sourcebooks is offering two free copies of The Fire Lord's Lover to readers of this blog. To enter the drawing, leave a comment here AND send an email to me at Lynda@LyndaKScott.com with the subject heading of FIRE LORD and your snail mail addy in the body by noon on Friday, July 9. Wookie, my fabulous fluffy buddy (you can see her picture at http://lyndakscott.com/about.html ) and I will select two winners.

Don't forget, you can still enter my Heartstone Grand Prize Drawing until my novel is released. Go to www.lyndakscott.com then click on News to get the contest details.

Hope to see you there!

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18 comments:

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

Hi Lynda!
I wanted to thank you for the lovely review you posted. So glad you enjoyed the book, and very glad to be here today!

loves2read said...

I loved the review and interview. It was great to see how much hard work went into the book. I look forward to reading it.

marcie.turner@yahoo.com
http://2readornot2read-loves2read.blogspot.com

Donna Cummings said...

I loved reading how you combined history with fantasy. I am more of a historical romance reader, but you've gotten me HOOKED on this story because of the way you've combined the two genres. I can't wait to read this!

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

Hi again, Marcie! So good to see you here, and very kind of you to follow my tour. Best Wishes in the contest!

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

Hi Donna! I hope you enjoy the magic I've brought to historicals. It's a bit different, so it's good to know that you find it intriguing. Best wishes to you as well!

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Kathryne! I have to say...I used to read nothing but fantasy. Then I met a bunch of very talented romance writers and fell in love with that genre. So it was a gradual thing for me to move from fantasy/SF to romance to a combination of the two.

If I'd read The Fire Lord's Lover way back then, the change would have been much faster :-)

While I've got you here, who were the writers that most influenced you as a reader and writer?

And thanks for being with us!

Chicks of Characterization said...

Wow, Kathryne I love how you did your research! Starting before the actual period is a great idea! This looks like a fantastic read and will definitely be on my TBR pile! Best of luck!!!

Andrea

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

Ah, Linda, we are apparently kindred spirits! :}
That's a good question, and I sure have a lot of writers who influenced me. My first fantasy reads were fairytales when I was younger. Then my DH introduced me to Michael Moorcock, and I was blown away by the wonder he created with the worlds he built. I'm still reading romance right alongside, of course, and flipping back and forth between the two. So authors like Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey, Andre Norton, and Mercedes Lackey are all combining in my head. And when I couldn't find that mix on the bookstore shelves, I started writing my own stories. Not that I'm in their league, but these are the authors that inspired me. :}
And I am very glad to be here!

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

Hi Andrea!
Thank you for leaving such a kind comment. :} I do hope you enjoy my books!

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Kathryne! Thanks for the answer. I thought I recognized some influence from one of my favorite writers - The Grand Dame of Fantasy and SF Andre Norton :-) Ms Norton and Isaac Asimov started me on this fascinating road though I've read and enjoyed many, many authors - Lackey, Moorcock, Garwood, Lindsey et al. Sigh. Happy memories, lol

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

I tell my kids that they are so lucky! They will read my favorite books for the first time. :}

Stephanie said...

Amazing research! You've blown me away with the time and energy you've put into your stories! The overall tale has me truly intriguied. Can't blame Lynda for being unable to set it down.

Thanks for sharing with us.

DragonStar1974@aol.com

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

Hi Stephanie! It's my pleasure!
(And it seems that Lynda and I have a passion for the same kind of stories.)
Best of luck!

Stephanie McCarthy said...

I love your other series and I am glad that you have continued with a similar theme in The Fire Lord's Lover.

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

That's so good to hear, Stephanie! I was concerned because this series is a bit darker. I hope you enjoy!

Dot S. said...

Oh Wow! I'm totally intrigued.I will be looking for your books when I go to the bookstore today. I'm so glad I caught this review and post.
salvagin@verizon.net

Kelsey Card said...

Wonderful post, Kathryne. Thank you for sharing your technique for world building. I love how you adapted the wigs worn in the period to the new culture (and I love the powdered stone detail). The book sounds fantastic, best of luck.

Lynda K. Scott said...

And the winners of the Fire Lord's Lover drawing are...

Dot Salvagin
&
Stephanie Balistreri

Congrats and I know you'll love the book as much as I did!

Thanks for playing!