Wednesday, May 13, 2009

IMHO Welcomes Medieval Romance Author Catherine Kean!


Catherine Kean, a fellow Medallion Press author, writes medieval historical romances featuring headstrong heroines and emotionally-tormented alpha male heroes. She penned her first novella at age twelve, and first full-length manuscript at sixteen, not long after she graduated from Alberni District Secondary School in Port Alberni, B.C., Canada. After completing a B.A., Double Major (First Class), in English and History from the University of Victoria, B.C., she was accepted into the prestigious, post-graduate Works of Art Course run by Sotheby’s auctioneers in London, England, where she studied centuries of history, antiques and fine art, no doubt preparing for her eventual career as a writer. She worked in Canada for several years as an antique and fine art appraiser, which inspired some unique ideas for her novels.


Prior to her first publishing contract with Medallion Press, her manuscripts finaled in thirty contests, including Georgia Romance Writers’ 2003 and 2004 Unpublished Maggie Awards. The fifth novel she wrote, Dance of Desire, was the first book she sold. It was released by Medallion Press in March 2005. Her latest is A Knight’s Temptation, the third book in her Knights series. Catherine will put a signed copy of A Knight’s Temptation in the “Mother May I?” gift basket today.

Romantic Times BOOKreviews rated Temptation 4 Stars, and said, “Kean presents plenty of romance, adventure and action . . .” Coffeetime Romance says “filled with stunning descriptions, hilarious events, remarkable emotions, and unforgettable characters, this novel will have you pleading for more . . .”

Catherine’s published novels have won numerous awards and she’s been named a "Rising Star of Publishing" by loveromancesandmore.com. She lives in Florida with her Knight-in-Shining-Armor husband and daughter.

IMHO: Welcome, Catherine, and tell us about your “Dark Knight in Shining Armor.”

CK: I adore creating heroes. The leading men in my medieval romances don chain mail armor, wield swords, and live by the code of chivalry. While my handsome heroes like to appear to be in control of every situation, inwardly, they’re seething with torment. They’re men with flaws and emotional bruises. Not just because I, as Lady Author, can dish about their angst. :-) But because the more darkly complex my heroes are, the more conflict I can evoke between them and my heroines. That makes for unique characters and interesting plots.
One such man is aspiring knight Aldwin Treynarde, hero of my current release A Knight’s Temptation, Book 3 of my Knight’s Series. Readers of the first book, A Knight’s Vengeance, met Aldwin as an idealistic squire. He was manipulated into shooting Geoffrey de Lanceau with a crossbow bolt (a climactic moment in Vengeance). When Aldwin learned he’d almost murdered a man who deserved to be Moydenshire’s lord, he was mortified. Shame has haunted Aldwin ever since, especially as his parents, resenting the dishonor brought upon their noble family, told him never to return home. As penance for the shooting, Aldwin swore allegiance to de Lanceau for the rest of his life and strives to excel for his lord.

Aldwin, however, hates himself for his misdeed. That self-loathing runs deep, for it roots back to a childhood game in which he almost caused the death of a friend’s eight-year-old sister. The girl—my book’s heroine Lady Leona Ransley—survived. Aldwin believes she perished, and all because of his stupidity.

As A Knight’s Temptation opens, Aldwin’s determined to complete the mission de Lanceau assigned him—to retrieve a valuable stolen pendant before de Lanceau’s enemies get hold of it, sell it, and use the money to start a rebellion. He’s proud to be given the important duty. Part of him, though, hopes that by succeeding, he’ll achieve his lifelong dream: knighthood. Then, his name will be spoken with honor. Then, he’ll respect himself.

He steps into a tavern’s back room for a prearranged meeting, expecting a trap. He doesn’t anticipate Leona, who has the pendant to exchange for the reward. Aldwin doesn’t recognize the secretive beauty before him, but Leona definitely recalls him. Anger and hatred boil inside her, even as she sees he’s very different to the reckless, grinning boy she knew. What forged him into a man who raises goose bumps on her arms, but still, she finds so intriguing?

When Aldwin takes her captive to take her to de Lanceau for questioning, and they must outwit murderous enemies, she learns all that’s wounded him. When, despite the painful past between them, they fall in love, Aldwin is forced to confront the anguish in his soul. He finds not only forgiveness, but the honor he has always craved. It’s a dramatic, exciting journey that, I hope, will leave my readers cheering. Because to me, there’s nothing more romantic than when a dark hero is redeemed by his lady’s love.

IMHO: Sigh…so romantic…

Thank you so much for telling us about your dark knight in shining armor, Catherine! And readers, be sure to leave a comment for Catherine in order to be eligible to win the “Mother May I?” gift basket (remember, you’ll need to visit our guests’ posts this month each Wednesday and leave a comment for at least two of the authors in order to be eligible to win the basket. The more comments you leave, the better the chance of winning). Tell Catherine if you believe a past tragedy can make a dark hero stronger, and why?

TJB

37 comments:

host said...

Hi Catherine and TJ! I loved your post and A Knight’s Temptation sounds so interesting. I think that past tragedy can make any hero stronger because he has to overcome his past and afterwards he becomes a better person and just the right person for his heroine. (I hope you understand all this explanations:))

Carol L. said...

Hello Catherine and TJ,
Catherine I love Aldwin already. I think Heroes with trajedy in their pasts , although appearing hard and aloof always seem to end up with such big hearts and a lot of compassion.Making them even bigger heroes.At least in my mind.
I loved your post.
Carol L.

Keena Kincaid said...

Good morning, Catherine. Love your post, and A Knight's Temptation sounds intriguing. I love reading about a hero's journey to redemption and hope.

jcp said...

I believe the hero is more vunerable after tradegy

Angelwolfstorm said...

I feel that as women we want to nurture so that these heroes that are tormented makes us want to help heal them and when the heroine does this it makes such a good story! Can't wait to read it!

Margay said...

I love a good medieval romance! Thanks for sharing yours with us, Catherine.

Margay

CatherineKean said...

Good morning, everyone! I'm raising my cup of coffee in a toast to all of you. :) Thanks so much to TJ for inviting me here today. You're all so right in that heroes who have endured tragedy (like Aldwin) are not only heart-wrenchingly vulnerable in their own ways, but deserved to be healed by the right woman.
I love reading your comments. Thanks for stopping by!
Best wishes,
Catherine

chey said...

Hi Catharine,
Great post.
A Knight’s Temptation sounds intriguing! What has happened and how do they know each other? I'd like to read this book.

kerribookwriter said...

Hey Catherine,

What an exciting and prestigious past you've had! Color me impressed about you completing your first novel at such a young age. You must be very dedicated and gifted.

My question for you is about your writing style...

do you plot everything out in advance? work off an outline? use writing software?

Or...

are you more of a spontaneous writer? just sit down and write? set daily or weekly goals?

Can you give us some insight into your writing routines and methods?

Thanks for sharing.

LisaG said...

I think a past tragedy developes character and a certain maturity. Diversity makes us grow in ways we couldn't imagine before.

Lisa said...

I think a past tragedy developes character and a certain maturity. Diversity makes us grow in ways we couldn't imagine before.

Jen said...

Hi Catherine. I love your books! Not only because they are set in my favorite time period, but because you write such engaging, romantic stories. Thanks for being an inspiration to me, an aspiring author working on two Medievals.

Lee R. Duncan said...

Catherine, you're such a great author, and your love for the heroes and the times you write about shows in everything you say. Can't wait to read "A Knight's Temptation" -- it sounds facinating.

CatherineKean said...

Hi Lee! *Waving* Great to see you here, and thanks for your kind words about my writing. :)

CatherineKean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CatherineKean said...

Hi all!

Kerribookwriter, thanks for the great questions. :) When I start a book, I usually work up a rough outline that runs 8-10 double spaced pages; I see this as my story "skeleton." I reference this to write the book, but if my muse offers me a great idea that fits the story and characters better than what I came up with in my initial outline, then I'll run with that new idea.

I've never used writing software, but some authors swear by it.

I do set myself weekly goals. I try to write 2-3 polished pages a day, with a weekly page minimum of 15 solid pages. I write 6-7 days per week. I'm not a fast writer, and prefer quality over quantity when it comes to my page production. Some days, when my muse seems to have taken the day off to go to the beach (Ha!), getting those 2-3 good pages can be tricky. But I make myself write and usually, when I look back on what I've written, it isn't so bad.

Thanks again for asking about my writing process! :)

Best,
Catherine

CatherineKean said...

Hi Jen! :)

So nice to "meet" you! I'm thrilled to hear you enjoy my books. Thank you for the lovely compliment! :) Best of luck with your two medievals.

Warmly,

Catherine

Minna said...

Well, a past tragedy can make a dark hero stronger, but it would depend on his character and what kind of tragedy he would have to face.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I adore the timeperiod of knights and most heartily agree that everyone is an accumulation of their past experiences. Thi story sounds great, Catherine. I'd love to read to see exactly what transpires between the two and how he redeems himself. Best of luck with your story.

Judy said...

I like to read about a hero overcoming divirsity. Your books sound exciting.

JeanP said...

Knight's Temptation sounds like such a good read, always enjoy books set in medieval times. I think tragedy can make a hero stronger, because he is working through many aspects of the tragedy to come out of it stronger and clearer

Virginia said...

Great interview Catherine, wow you must have been born to write. That is something to start writing at age 12 and then do a whole manuscript at sixteen. You just have the gift and the words come to you!

TJ Bennett said...

I'd like to thank Catherine so much for coming by today. It's nice to visit with a fellow Medallion Press author. Feel free to keep leaving comments, everyone, to be eligible for the "Mother May I?" gift basket.

And on that note, tune in tomorrow for an announcement. I've nailed down what the "and other goodies" are in the gift basket and you're gonna love it.

Next Wednesday we'll have another guest host, Tera Lynn Childs (Oh.My.Gods.), visiting IMHO. Tera is a 2009 RITA nominee for both Young Adult and Best First Book.

Take care,
TJB

Tai Shan said...

Love the description of your book and need to add it to my TBR pile! Dark Knights are my favorite. There is something about the tortured hero who deep down wants love, acceptance, and redemption, but feels undeserving, and so pushes it away. And the benefit of a romance is that there is a woman there to help him find his way.

Babyblue22 said...

A Knight's Temptation sounds great, I love Medieval Romances!!!

I like a hero who has overcome a past tragedy, It tell's me if he's a strong person, Knowing that he has endured hardships and is still going makes me want him in my corner.
~Afshan

Jody F. said...

A past tragedy makes a man realize he has to grow up and actually be a man. And once he becomes a man he's ready to find real love.

Anonymous said...

Almost every historcal romance novel is now set in the 1800's & take place exclusively in England. There just aren't that many medieval novels being written. Since regencies are popular, the publishing industry tends t shy away from other time periods.

Pat said...

Knights and honor are in inseperable combination, yet the so often saved that honor for display only among their peers. Women, servants, peasants were not worthy of the effort--unless Sir Knight was courting an heiress or other desirable mate. Makes for great storytelling.

~Ley said...

I've heard so many good things about this book! And I was just at the library ad forgot to look! Agh! Next time, must write myself a note....
Tormented heroes certainly add an entire new level to any book. Ups the ante if you will.
Yes, I must read this series. Thanks for the post!

Pam P said...

Hi Catherine, highly enjoying this series. Past tragedies can change one's perspective on what's important often, make them stronger in dealing with adversity once they finally accept what happened and move forward.

LuAnn said...

I've not read any of Catherine's books, so I'll definitely have to try one.

Maureen said...

What an intriguing hero Aldwin sounds like. I do enjoy a hero who is not perfect but does learn to change from his past mistakes.

bridget3420 said...

Sounds great!

gaby317 said...

Catherine's books sound so engrossing. I love these medieval romances with the knights in chain mail and secrets.

I do believe that a dark hero can become stronger after a past tragedy, in large part because he's forced to think back to the root of the tragedy and confront any of his own actions that might have compounded the tragedy/his problems.

All that guilt and retrospection can make the hero more self aware and sensitive to those around him.

gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

Cheri2628 said...

You are a new-to-me author, but your books sound wonderful. I love medieval historicals. It is such a fascinating time period!

Mary M said...

Catherine...

You write beautiful, medieval romances....as I always say, "I believe in Love AND Knights in Shining Armor" and you transports us there!

Mary M

Tara W said...

I've been a fan of your medieval romances for along time. I loved reading A Knight's Vengeance and My Lady's Treasure and I will have to get a copy of A Knight's Temptation as well.

I think a past tragedy does make a dark hero stronger. It takes a certain type of person to be able to overcome a tragedy. I love wounded, tortured heroes who can redeem themselves and find love.