Thursday, September 2, 2010

Interview with a….

Since my last review of The Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna, I have had the pleasure of conversing with her through email. She is an awesome woman and author. She has 8 books written, four of which are in the horror genre and the other four based on events that have happened in the past. Kathleen agreed to do an interview/questionnaire session with me and I wanted to post and share with my followers and anyone else interested.

Q: When and why did you begin writing?

I was a big Dominick Dunne fan, and so 15 years ago I wrote him, he gave me an awesome lead, I got all excited and wrote an entire paragraph. Twelve short years later I wrote a second paragraph lol, that was 4 years ago, now I've written 8, so I think I might have developed a condition of some kind!

Q: What gave you the idea for the wedding Gift storyline and the town of Dalton, OK?     
My Grandmother was born and raised in Norman OK, the house I saw in New Orleans (the cover house) gave me the idea, but I moved it to my pretend Oklahoma town for my grandma, and also I think Oklahoman's and Texans are so much fun, Leeann, could not have come from one of the older southern cities, she is too outrageous. Years ago a friend from Texas told me I was dumber than a box of hair, so how could I resist the far southwest?

Q: Do you personally identify with any of the characters? Or are they modeled after people in your life?
Sigh yeah well Miz Bethany might, just saying might remind me of my ex mother in law…LOL. The rest of them, I think they are all a little bit of people I've met and really liked throughout my life. 

Q: You have a unique style of writing, how did you come up with it?

LaToya, that's a really good question, sadly I haven't got a good answer, I write in two genres, finding Leeann's voice that came from a really happy fun place in my head, where for example Jim Jones voice came from in another book...I don't even want to think about...uhm, I think some people might say…erm, schizophrenia? 

Q: What titles are forthcoming from you? 
This year I will do book III in my southern paranormal series, and my first non-fiction book, at the end of the year I think I'll just lay in the grass for a week! 

Q:  What books have most influenced your life most?

Well I'm obviously schizo like I said, because my biggest influences are Cider House Rules, Gone with the Wind, The Shining, The Last Tsar, and 30 or 40 thousand other books, but those really never left me. 

Q:  Can you share a little of your current work with us? 
The House on Easton Drive is going to be a lot of fun, Jessie and her husband (no names read book II lol, are living in Willets House with her horrible mother, and dead Miz Bethany, things are NOT working out, so what can you do in a situation like that? Buy a more haunted house…lol.

Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 
Mmmm, another great question...I don't know, I don't think so, but....well there is one very weird thing, in The Comeback, book II in the series, I put in a friend of mine, and it's a horror novel so in the book things don't go too well for him, and then last month he died for real in a bizarre accident, and....well all Irish people are superstitious, but this kind of parallels something that happened in another book, so I'm never using people I know again!

Q: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Tied!  John Irving because I want to live in the world he writes with those sweet funny people, and the king of horror, I grew up on him, we all did, and there is only one Stephen! 

Q:  What is your work schedule like when you're writing? 
5 pages a day 6 days a week, if that only takes 4 hours great, if it takes 12 that's too bad, but lay down 5, I have NO life when a book is going.

Q: Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? 
It can be anything, a story on AOL a story a friend tells me, a strange history fact...I know its going to be a book if I think about it all day, and then maybe dream about it, from there I start tentative research and the book rules my head until its done. My best friend Claudia has taken over my research and she is AMAZING she digs up the coolest things and it adds a lot. 

Q:  How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have written 8 books, 4 horror and 4 based closely on real events. My favorite oooh…wow, books are kind of the children of your mind, so you can't play favorites, the most fun to write was The Wedding Gift, the roughest book was Jungle Rot about Jonestown, but I love them all, though I think I do have a favorite character and that is Jessie. 

Q: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Easy one, the first 5 pages, if those don't grab me, they won't grab a reader and they are horrible to get out, also its just rough, you have 90 to 120.000 words to go, the book will own you till it's done, and that blank screen..a sad sight lol.

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