Thursday, October 7, 2010

Interview and Giveaway with USA Today bestselling author Kathryn Smith

Today I'd like to welcome USA Today bestselling author Kathryn Smith who writes paranormal and historical romance.

Tina: You’ve combined my favorite two genres: paranormal and historical romance. Did you think writing in one sub-genre of romance wasn’t quite difficult enough, so you figured you’d add some more world-building and rules, or what made you combine those two genres and create your Brotherhood of the Blood series?

Kathryn: LOL. Actually, my editor at the time and I were talking about what I wanted to do now that the Ryland brothers books were done. She knew I loved vampires and so she offered me the chance to do a series. I could have written the books as modern stories, but I really wanted to keep it historical. Dracula and Frankenstein, Jekyll and Hyde … they all have that great 19th century gothic feel to them and I wanted to try to capture a little of that. Oddly enough, at that time readers weren’t really into historical paranormal so the books didn’t perform as well as was hoped. However, what I find so fascinating is that 5 years after Be Mine Tonight came out, it’s still selling!  I guess I was a little ahead of the curve.

Tina: Since you’re combining paranormal and historical romance, have you thought of writing Steampunk? It appears this sub-genre is looking for more talented writers who can handle both the historical as well as the paranormal aspects which you’re so eloquently combining in your books.

Kathryn: It’s so funny that you would ask me that because I have a Young Adult Steampunk novel coming out in June 2011. It’s called The Girl in the Steel Corset and is written under the name Kady Cross.  I’m currently shopping an adult novel as well. Steampunk combines everything I love in fiction – science fiction, sometimes horror, sometimes romance, fantasy and history.  I love writing the YA books and I hope I get to do more with this fantastic genre.

Tina: I just finished reading Let the Night Begin – one of your books in the Brotherhood of the Blood series (Readers: please see my 5-star review on this blog). You’re giving your vampires some interesting traits: flying for one thing. What vampire traits do you most like in your characters and why?

Kathryn: After the success of Twilight, I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have made them sparkle! J My favorite vampire aspects are: only being able to come out at night, and therefore unable to face the day. It gives them a vulnerability, but also something for which readers can sympathize. I do like flying – who doesn’t? I think my favorites have to be the superior senses, strength and speed.  As to why… well, I suppose I’m a bit of a traditionalist, but I really like the idea of them being ‘monsters.’ Really, they have every advantage over humans except for daylight, but are acutely vulnerable to them as well. They depend on humans for their very sustenance, so I think it’s an interesting relationship.

Tina: In Reign, the hero of the book, you captured an interesting combination: Regency rake and vampire. He has flaws and he does the heroine Olivia a terrible wrong by turning her into a vampire against her will. Were you afraid that your readers wouldn’t like the hero at first because of what he’d done? Or were you certain that his redemption was assured?

Kathryn: I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t consider if readers would forgive him or not. I just knew that he had done this awful thing, and he’d done it because he was afraid of losing her and wanted to keep her forever. Of course, this only succeeded in driving her away. He suffered for it, though. I figured if Olivia could eventually forgive him then readers would too. I think he was my favorite of all the vampires. I loved them all, but there was just something about Reign that made him feel more real to me.

Tina: The way your vampires were created in the first place was very different and original. Would you please explain to us what their origin is and how you came up with the idea?

Kathryn: People have always touted Lilith as the mother of all vampires/demons. During some of my research I read a story in which Lilith had children with Adam (in Jewish lore, Lilith was the first woman, not Eve). Eve was looking after the children when God told her He wanted to see the kids. For some reason, Eve hid Lilith’s children, and when God asked if there were any more, she said no. God, however, was God and knew she lied, so He said that those who were hidden should remain so. The story went on to say that this was how the Faery race was born. I thought, what if that was how vampires came about? So, God rejecting them explains why holy relics work against them, and silver harms them because Lilith was cursed into silver so that she might be passed from man to man as her curse dictated. That she was the silver paid to Judas came from that, and then the Templars fell into place since there are all those stories about some of them worshipping a dark lord and having unfathomable treasure.

Tina: How many books are there in the Brotherhood of the Blood series and how many more are planned? Do you have release dates so your fans can keep track?

Kathryn: There are 5 books and an anthology in the series. And they’ve all be released and are available in book stores or online. At the moment, I have no plans to write anymore, though I’m certainly open to the idea. There are so many vampire books out there right now that I’m not sure I could bring anything fresh to the table, so if I write more paranormal books I may have to look at other types of beings to write about.  Right now I’m writing the YA and I have a couple of projects with my agent, so we’ll just have to see how things go.

Tina: What is your writing routine like? Are you more a panster or a plotter? Do you write every day at a specific time or specific place? Give us a flavor of what your writing day looks like.

Kathryn: I’m a plotter who likes to leave enough room to be a pantser. ;-) I do tend to have my ‘cave’ that I write in, but I can write anywhere. I seem to get more done late at night after my husband has gone to bed. There’s too much to distract me during the day!  Basically I get up, have coffee and breakfast while checking email, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Then, I work. Sometimes this is easily said than done. Then, I break to make supper, etc. I spend the evening with my husband, and then get back to work when he toddles off to bed. I can write more between midnight and 3 a.m. than I can all my long, distracted day.

Tina: And just for fun: if you could live in any city of the world, where would it be and why?

Kathryn: Hmmm. I think that would have to be London. All that history! And the accents! LOL. That would be lovely. Also, my husband and I share an affinity for San Francisco. I’d be there in a heartbeat if I wasn’t such a chicken about earthquakes.

Tina: Here's a little secret between you and me, Kathryn, there aren't actually that many big earthquakes in San Francisco. I personally have only felt one which was around 4.0 and did no damage - and I've lived here for nine years.

Many thanks to Kathryn for the great interview. If you want to find out more about her, please check out her website: Kathryn's Website

And now to the Giveaway!

Turns out I have an autographed copy of Kathryn's book "Let the Night Begin" right here in my little home office and my arm can be twisted so I'll give it away to one reader.

To enter:
Leave a comment with your email address below.
Contest open to US residents only due to shipping costs.
Get extra entries:
  • +1 for being a current or new follower of this blog
  • +1 for being a current or new Facebook friend of Tina
  • +1 for being a current or new follower of Tina on Twitter 
  • +1 for tweeting / blogging or Facebooking about this contest

Contest closes Wednesday October 13, 2010 at 10pm PST. Winner will be notified by email and has to respond within 48 hours with a mailing address, or a new winner will be chosen. Please note that I will have to receive the winner's mailing address before Saturday Oct 16th 1pm otherwise I will not be able to mail the book before my vacation.

Good luck!

The contest is now closed.

The winner is  


  1. Sound like a great book. And can't wait for the Steampunk to be published.


    isa1smyth at gmail dot com

  2. Thanks for the chance to win, I've been dying to read one of your books and I've seen you all over the blogs I follow. I'm crossing my fingers :)
    +1 Follower
    +1 friend on facebook
    +1 follow on twitter

  3. Great interview. Dont enter me I have the book, just wanted to stop in to read the interview. I was wondering myself if maybe Smith would write anymore PNR. This is one of my favorite series.
    Thanks for the inteview Tina.

  4. Hi Laurie,
    I'm actually quite excited that Kathryn will come out with a Steampunk novel. There's so little in that sub-genre so far.