Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview with Kathleen Nance

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Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview with Kathleen Nance

Kathleen Nance's first career choice was detective, thank to Nancy Drew novels. In fact, books have always been one of her treasured companions because they're a source of knowledge, and a means to travel beyond her world. She's had this fascination since she discovered The Poky Little Puppy and The Little Engine That Could. The rift between her love of reading and creating her own stories took a big hop, but she made it!

Her practical streak butted in, Kathleen began a career in pharmacy. In the varied career, she's worked in almost every field except sales. Though her years writing drug monographs strengthen her appreciation for fiction. When she became a stay at home mom, she decided it would be the perfect time to put those tales she'd been spinning down on paper and see about getting published.

To her, creating characters and plots are an irresistable challenge. Especially when she got to live with the djinn, elves, and meddling Greek gods. And along the way, she got to play all the roles of her heroes, heroines and even her villains.

Five manuscripts and six years later, her first book WISHES COME TRUE, was published in 1998. Since that momentous occassion she's won a Golden Heart, a SARA Rising Star Grand Prize, the Holt Medallion, the Colorado Award of Excellence, the PRISM Award and the National Rader's Choice Award! Plus she's been a finalist for the RWA RITA.

After living in New Orleans for 18 years, she returned to her birth state of Michigan with her husband, three children and two cats. She's learning the ins and outs of empty nest syndrome since all her kids now have careers of their own, trying to stick to her exercise program, and finds herself doing a home health care variation in the pharmacy field.

I met Kathleen via e-mail many years ago. I took a leap...after much lip biting and hit send on a fan e-mail about one of her Djinn novels. To my surprise she wrote back! Afterwards we exchanged a couple of others, and then got to meet face to face at the Put Your Heart in A Book Conference in NJ. Of course I was totally delighted, and forgot to get my dh to take a picture of the occassion! Though I still remember than night like it was yesterday!

We've chatted back and forth for years, weathered some writing issues together, as well as sharing family tales. Through it all Kathleen has never said she wishes I'd leave her alone, that she doesn't have time for me (eventhough she's presently on deadline for the next Mage novel) and has always looked at the good in everything. She loves writing, even getting up early to write before she goes to her day job, and always make time for her family. Since I became a fan, I've seen her talent blossom as each new book topped the last. Kathleen awes me with the kernels she finds in a character and develops to create men and women that you hate to say goodbye too. Quite simply she creates magic...and I hope to meet many more Mages that will grace her future pages.

Can you give readers insight into the world of the mages created for PHOENIX UNRISEN and again in DRAGON UNMASKED?

It’s a world of spells and rituals, where the will of the mage is key. A world of power, where there are some who would abuse that power and some who are dedicated to protecting the innocent and the weak. The mages are steeped in tradition, yet they, too, must change with modern times. The books explore the possibilities for blending magick with science.

What prompted you to have a female mage as the main character for DRAGON UNMASKED?

When I wrote PHOENIX UNRISEN, I was fascinated by Adam Zolton, Natalie’s boss. I knew he had to be my next hero. But, I also knew he was not a mage, so it seemed natural that the woman in his life, Grace Armatrading, would be.

Can readers expect to see more of New Orleans, or will you be leading them in a new direction? How do you feel setting accentuates your novels?

DRAGON UNMASKED is set in the Midwest, mostly in Michigan, where I live now. GRYPHON UNLEASHED, the third book in the series, (out December, 2010), is set in a variety of places, so setting plays more of a minor role. A few of the scenes are set in New Orleans. Returning to the city for a future story is always a possibility. Setting can be either a nice brush stroke to the story or it can be almost a secondary character in its impact. Sometimes it depends on the story. Whatever the setting and its importance, I think you need to at least make it vivid and the realities of it have to impact the scene.

In PHOENIX UNRISEN, readers got the chance to "see" fabulous spells. Did research help you convey such realism and build an intricate web of magical rules?

Some. I’ve done research on the subject, but also a lot of was taken from imagination and from working out in my mind what the parameters and underpinnings are.

Out of all your heroes or heroines, which one would you turn to in a snowstorm for help? Which would you ask over for dinner and what would be on the menu?

Snowstorm? Well, most of my heroes are Southern, and although quite capable at adapting, I guess I’d have to say Lian Firebird from Day of Fire – he’s used to trekking around Canada. Same with the heroine, Day Daniels.

I would love to have anyone of them over for dinner. Can I have them all? If I absolutely have to pick one, I’ll go with Khalil, the hero of GRYPHON UNLEASHED, since I’m “living” with him now, and he’s lived all over the world – he grew up in circus.

The menu, well if it’s a fantasy where anything could happen, I’d have it catered by Iron Chef Bobby Flay.

When do you write and where is your favorite place to pen your romances?

Various times and places. Since I work a full time job that’s fairly intense, I have to fit writing around that. I will write in the morning, at lunch, or after work, and I do a lot on the weekends, whatever is working that day. I also write a lot of different places. I do have a desk but with a laptop and an Alphasmart that I use for a lot of the first draft, I will also write all over the house, depending upon my mood. I’ve even taken the computer to work or outside if it’s nice. I’m very flexible.

Have any of your characters been based on people around you or innocent passersby that you had the pleasure of people watching?

I will take bits and pieces from people, either known or observed, like someone who talks a lot or uses their hands as gestures or has a great laugh or is a clothes horse or has vivid green eyes. But I’ve never taken someone in entirety.

Do you have any news readers need to know about, such as clearing extra space for another release?

Yes, I’m delighted to have two books out this year! DRAGON UNMASKED will be released February 23rd and GRYPHON UNLEASHED will be available December 2010.

If you'd like to find out more about Kathleen or read excerpts from her books, go to .

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3 Responses to "Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview with Kathleen Nance"

Pauline said...

Fun interview!

Okay, I know you probably don't know, but will Dorchester/Love Spell ever get more consistently on the eBook wagon?

Skylar Masey said...

I did notice that Kathleen's 1st Mage book is now available as an audiobook! Which is something Dorchester has been doing more of of late.

Not sure they want to branch into e-books, especially in romance after the brewhaha over Harlequin's move to have an "e" wing that got them at odds with RWA.

I'll be interested to see what Kathleen has to say too.

Pauline said...

Most major publishers release their books in e. Some do some day release. What Harl is doing, is e-ONLY releases and also a self pub house. the problem with RWA is over the self pub part, not the e-only.

eBooks are tripling in sales each year. Dan Brown's latest sold more e-editions the first day, than print, so making an e-only house is not a bad idea. It allows them to see which books might work in print. IMHO. :-)

There's a lot of money in e-sales. I'm just surprised Dorchester hasn't jumped into the pool yet.