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Monday, January 19, 2009

Interview with K. Celeste Bryan

Today, I have a guest blogger. I am interviewing historical author K. Celeste Bryan, also known as Kat.

1. Welcome, Kat! So, tell us a little about yourself? What is your typical day like?

I bet most readers think we sit around all day and munch on chocolates or browse through bookstores at our leisure, or perhaps vacation in the Bahamas every winter. Ha! Nothing could be further from the truth, at least in my little corner of the world. Most days, you’ll find me sitting at my computer praying my muse is patient today. There’s a fat kitty on my lap and a big dog curled up at my feet, but I wouldn’t trade one minute of my writer’s life for another.

2. When did you start to write and how long did it take you get published?

I have written in one form or another most of my adult life. I started researching histories of pioneers in America and then joined the US Web Historical Sketches site. I was fascinated by the stories about out industrious ancestors and soon, the “what ifs” surfaced and full-length novels took over my brain. I began writing historical fiction and then branched into romance.

3. How many stories did you finish before you were published?

I was very blessed to be accepted by a medium-sized publisher for my first book. When my contract ran out, I submitted some stories I had been working on for two years, and they too were accepted. I now write for New Concepts Publishing and The Wild Rose Press, wonderful publishers.

4. How did you break into publishing?

Oh, I knew nothing about it, but had written this story and my cousin any mother asked me every day to read the next Chapter. When it was complete, they encouraged me to send it in. “Where?” I said. So I bought a copy of Writer’s Digest and sent it in two publishers. One didn’t take my type of story, and the other bought it.

5. What inspired you to write romance?

When I realized how many women read it, and don’t read historical fiction. Romance accounts for a majority of the sales in the book industry. And . . . of course, I love writing about dashing heroes and sassy heroines.

6. What genre or sub-genre do you write? Why did you choose this genre?

Generally, I write historical romance, but somehow an element of paranormal worms its way into all my novels. I like the concept of the paranormal, the suspended belief concepts. Anything can happen in a paranormal – ghosts, time-travel, shapeshifting, and let’s not forget vampires and werewolves.

7. What difficulties does writing this genre present?

For historical, your research must be very accurate. Readers are astute these days and will call you on mistakes. My editor recently caught one of these oversights in my novel. I had referred to a book in the novel only to find out the book hadn’t been published until two years later. OOPS!
Thank goodness for editors.

8. How much time do you devote to writing each day?

At least five, and then another three answering e-mails, promoting and marketing.

9. Tell us about your other works, books, stories, etc.

Presently, I’m working on a pirate historical and tossing around a Highland warrior novel. And there have been readers asking for a sequel to Where The Rain Is Made, my time-travel, shapeshifter book. Hmm, this is going to take some heavy plotting.

10. How do you write? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Is it your characters or your plot that influences you the most?

I’m often asked this. I’m a rather unconventional writer, I think. I plan the story in my head for months, every scene, every conversation between the characters, until I know them inside and out. I need to know how they would react to a situation, whether or not they would actually say what I write down. Then I begin a scene, and most often it’s not Chapter One, but ends up somewhere in the middle of the book. From there, I work backward or forehead if called for. I never outline and don’t use note cards. It just doesn’t work for me.

11. What has surprised you about being a published author?

That people buy my books and then e-mail me to tell me how much they loved it. I still can’t get over this. I love my books, but hey, I’m a little biased, so I don’t expect other people to fall in love with the story or the characters. It’s so nice when they do.

12. 18. What was the most usual way you came up with a story idea? What made you to think, ‘hey, I could make that into a story?’

When my youngest son was ten, he became fascinated with Native American lore, particularly Cheyenne dog soldiers. We checked out everything from the library pertaining to the subject and I listened for hour upon hour about their customs, their beliefs and . . . their brutality, courage and honor. At some point, I figured, hey, I should put all those hours to good use and write a book about the Dog Soldiers, thus Where The Rain Is Made.

13.What advice would you give aspiring writers today?

Be patient, persevere and pay attention to everything in the market. If family and friends tell you to get a real job, ditch them. Listen to your gut while you’re writing. Pretend the character is standing over your shoulder. Ask, would he really say that? Would she really do that? You’ll know the answer.

14. Thanks for joining me today! Good luck with all your writing!
Thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed it. From now until the end of February, I’m hosting a “reader’s special.” These are tough economic times for all, and I’d hate to think readers stopped buying books. If you purchase either Where The Rain Is Made or Sojourn With A Stranger, I’ll send you the other one free (e-format). E-mail me your receipt (minus your credit card information) and I’ll send you the book that day.

Happy reading!
K. Celeste Bryan (Kat’s Kwips and Rants Blog)


Anonymous said...

great interview and i love history always have done i love the picture you have on the blog too

Martha Eskuchen said...

Hi- have to retype 'cause server had error. AARGH. Nice interview. Thanks for sharing. How wonderful that you were able to get published so quickly. Speaks well of the books and they both sound very good! HR is my #1 fav genre. I love Julia Quinn too and have all but the latest of her books. Have a few still in my TBR as I like to intersperse "old" favs to read new authors too. Q - just curious: Do you have any plans to try to write in any other genre (besides erotica)?

Unknown said...

Love the interview! I have Sojourn with a Stranger and LOVE IT! Awesome Job!

Lainey said...

I totally enjoyed your interview as guest blogger here today. Your historical research background makes it a fantastic complement to writing in the genre you do. As you say the readers like accuracy and as a researcher you must do a very good job bar the one teeny mistake above *grins*
I have always enjoyed historicals but the paranormal is my favorite genre so when you mix it up like you do it is an even better read for me. Thanks again and I hope you get a lot of response here today I know I am going to go out and check out all your books ... my TBB and TBR piles are growing as I tyoe. Thank you again. Elaine

Becky said...

Love the interview. Both of the books sound really good. I love to read historical romances dealing with Native Americans.


Wow! I'm so thrilled by all the comments. Thank you for reading the interview and leaving me a message. I don't consider Where The Rain Is Made erotica. Sojourn With A Stranger is rated that, but I didn't really think it was that hot. Not compared to the books I write under a pen name. Hasn't our world changed? Erotica is outselling other books now ten to one. And sometimes I think that's a shame. That's why I write under two names. I like the good old fashioned boy meets girl, boy and girl have a fight, boy and girl kiss and make up! But . . . a career writer must also pay attention to the market and what readers want.

Again, thank you so much for the comments. I so appreciate being here and Donna has a wonderful blog.

Best, Kat

appachi99 said...

Your uncle here Kat. I am so proud of you. You have done so well and come so far. That can only happen when people like your writing. They must just keep getting better and better all the time. Go young lady, go.
Love ya',
Ol' uncle Bob

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