Friday, October 11, 2013

Interview with Katherine Givens, author of In Her Dreams

Today, Flashlight Commentary is pleased to welcome author Katherine Givens to our little corner of the net to discuss her debut release, In Her Dreams.

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Welcome to Flashlight Commentary Katherine. To start things off, please tell us a bit about In Her Dreams.
Thank you for having me! I’m very happy to be here at Flashlight Commentary today. In Her Dreams is my debut novella with Harlequin Australia’s imprint Escape Publishing. The story is a historical romance, one I’m very proud of.

What inspired you to write this story and why did you feel it needed to be told?
The inspiration for this story was actually very vague. I was in a writing funk, and I was without a project. I kept mulling over ideas, but the only thing that came to mind was a pair of green eyes. Since I had nothing else to go with, I decided to sit down in front of my laptop. Then, viola! A few short hours later, I had the opening scene for In Her Dreams, and the owner of those green eyes turned out to be a very dashing earl. The rest of the story fell into place very easily, because the message surrounding In Her Dreams is very close to my heart. Believe in the power of your dreams. Believe in your goals. Most importantly, believe in yourself. A little faith can help anyone achieve their greatest ambition, passion, goal, or dream.

What scene was the most difficult for you as an author?
Hmmm. The book came with such ease, I wrote it in under three weeks. There really wasn’t much difficulty in writing In Her Dreams, but maybe the end was the most difficult for me. I wanted the ending to be just perfect. I had to tie in the happily ever afters for both of my heroines, Evangeline and Angela Vernon, in a way that showed their sisterly bond. This had to be done while tying in the romance from the heroes who’d won their hearts, and also while continuing the overall theme of the story. Dreams. It took maybe a day or two, but the scene did fall into place just like the rest of the book. Also, I didn’t really want to write “The End.” I’d grown so attached to these characters, it was like closing another chapter of my own life.

What is your favorite scene in the book?
This one is a toughy. There are two comical scenes I love. However, I also love this touching, hopeful scene between Evangeline and Angela when the two decide to take their destinies into their own hands, but I’m going to say the opening scene is my favorite. It was the inspiration of a pair of green eyes that coaxed me to begin writing In Her Dreams, led to the opening scene pouring onto my laptop’s screen, my spinning a story I absolutely adore, and my first sale as an author. In fact, I’ll share a snippet of the opening scene with you. This is when Evangeline is lost in a dream with the one man who has captured her heart:

She was lost in the depths of his emerald eyes, amber drops floating in the seductive pools. The man reclined in a wingback chair, surrounded by shelved books. His head was tilted slightly downwards, his gaze piercing her where she stood. Hair the colour of antique gold shimmered in the dim candlelight. His skin was bronzed like the helmet of an Ancient Greek warrior. His harsh features seemed to be chiselled from stone, but laugh lines encircled a passionate mouth. A navy blue coat and white waistcoat hid what could only be a perfectly sculpted chest. A white cravat covered his neck. Pearl grey breeches accentuated muscular legs.

The man reminded her of a golden lion, the king of a pride. His soul must’ve been older than time itself, for he seemed to hold the secrets of the universe in his mind. This man was temptation embodied.

‘Back again, my dear?’ he inquired, his voice like velvet.

Although confidence rang in his tone, his emerald eyes revealed the humanity of this divine creature. At the bottom of those depths lay an expanse of loneliness. Blessed with beauty, he was lacking in companionship and love. It was as if he were a traveller lost in a desert with only mirages to keep him company.

‘I could not stay away,’ she declared, her voice quaking as the man rose from his chair and stalked across the room.

Evangeline took a sharp intake of breath, for the full sight of his robust body was more than a woman could take. He was tall, over six feet. His build was as formidable as the strongest castle wall, built to protect from the worst of sieges. That handsome face of his, a face Adonis would’ve fought for, matched the masculine beauty of his body.

Settling beside her, he said, ‘Nor could I. Not now. Not ever.’

The two studied one another. Both seemed to find it hard to believe the other was there. The silence that shrouded the room as they studied one another deepened the strength of this ethereal spell.

‘Is it because I am a diversion?’

‘Nay.’ He raised her hand to his lips. ‘Life would be meaningless without your visits.’

‘I could not endure my own existence without you,’ she replied, a bit breathless.

‘As a man without friends or comrades, I would be the most lonesome wretch wandering the earth.’ Pain entered his expression, the pain of one who had suffered years of isolation. His voice cracking, he continued, ‘I would be completely alone.’

Her heart nearly split in two upon witnessing his agony. She lifted a hand and caressed his cheek. ‘You never shall be.’

‘You have been vital to my life, my dreams, for these past few months.’ Turning his head, he kissed the palm of her hand. He exhaled, his breath tickling her skin. ‘Without you I I fear I would not know how to live.’

‘Do not say such things.’ Framing his face, she forced him to gaze into her eyes. ‘I shall always be with you.’

‘And I with you.’ Desperation was threaded throughout the statement. ‘I am entirely yours,’ he murmured as he angled his head, preparing to taste the sweetness of her lips…

Do you see yourself in any of your characters and is there one of them you wish you were more like? 
I see myself in both Evangeline and Angela Vernon. Evangeline is driven by determination and hope. As an author, I feed off of both of these virtues. Without either determination or hope, I wouldn’t be doing this interview for my novella. In regards to Angela Vernon, I am sometimes shy and timid like her. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a social butterfly when I’m in my element, such as when I’m with friends and family, attending writers’ conferences, or out for a night of fun. However, on certain occasions I can be very quiet, because I feel uncomfortable. I become a wallflower. And, I wish I had a little more of Evangeline in me. Evangeline is one to talk back to anyone who crosses her, and that is just not in my nature.

If you could sit down and talk with one of your characters, maybe meet and discuss things over drinks, who would you choose and why?
I would want to sit down and talk to the two heroes of In Her Dreams. Both are just so different, but both have honorable qualities. The Earl of Cheshire is striking, debonair, and just downright handsome. At least in my head. *Winks.* I suspect he has a humorous side to his reclusive nature, and I would love to see how far his wit would go. The Duke of Manchester is very gentlemanly, considerate, and gentle. He is not forthcoming in his emotions, but he is the kind of man to pull a chair out for you or to open a door. He’s chivalrous! And that is a quality men supposedly lack nowadays. If I were to sit down with these two, I’d be interested to see if they’d be the best of friends or irritated by one another. Would the Earl of Cheshire poke fun at the Duke of Manchester? Would the two men laugh with or at one another? Would they form a friendship or maintain a gritty acquaintanceship? Now that is something I’d pay good money to see.

What do you hope readers come away with after reading your work?
Readers, I want you to laugh and to have fun. I want you to yearn to be in my heroines’ shoes. I want you to swoon at the feet of the Earl of Cheshire, or to think that the Duke of Manchester is a practical choice for a suitor. I want you to be inspired by the overall message of In Her Dreams. That dreams do come true. All it takes is a little push. 

Finally, what is next for you? Any new projects waiting in the wings?
Believe me when I say I have plenty of projects in my queue. First off, I am excited to say I will have a novelette, Love Amidst the Egyptian Sands, released with Red Sage Publishing in a few months. I am polishing up the last few chapters of a novel that I can’t wait to find a home for. I’m also in the process of writing another novella, and I can’t help cracking up over the hero of this story. Also, I have at least ten novels just sitting in my head waiting to be told. At least I’ll be busy for the next couple of years!

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About the Author: In Her Dreams is Katherine Givens' debut novella, which is published with Harlequin Australia's imprint Escape Publishing. She is working on a number of other projects and always has ideas flooding her head. In her spare time, Katherine loves to read about history, craft jewellery, and play with her ornery kitten named Bucky. To learn more about Katherine and her writing, please visit the following sites. She loves to hear from readers. Connect with Katherine via her website, facebook, or twitter

About the Book: A flirty, fun, mix-and-match romance about two sisters who are betrothed to the wrong men… Evangeline Vernon is a woman on the verge of spinsterhood — until the prim and proper Duke of Manchester steps in. Her family is pleased with the match, but the duke is not the passionate man Evangeline craves. Her heart belongs to an alluring, golden-haired gentleman, perfect in every way…except one: he doesn’t exist. Angela Vernon is everything a proper, well-brought-up woman should be. She knows her place and understands society’s expectations — which include not being jealous of her sister and not coveting her sister’s suitor. But how can she bear the heartache of watching the only man she loves marry not only her sister, but a woman who doesn’t see past his exterior to the man he is beneath?

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