Kat Flannery - Historical Romance with Heart
Kat Flannery is a bestselling author with a deep love for history. She says that she wouldn't write about a character before she actually feels she knows him/her personally. This technique lends an incredible depth to her characters and makes their stories feel very real. As our Author of the Day, Flannery reveals how much research her book, Lakota Honor, required to get the history right, how the main villain in the story ended up as a hero and talks about her writing habits.
Please give us an introduction to Lakota Honor and what the book is about
Lakota Honor is about a man, Otakatay, torn between two worlds, and does not seem to fit within either. It is about the journey two very different people go through to find love, and acceptance. What I love about this story is that you have Otakatay, who is hard and mean and full of anger due to the life he was forced to live, and then you have Nora who has dealt with similar situations, but chose to deal with them in a completely different way. It is love and hate combined…and the best part is love always wins.
You have won multiple awards with your books. Was there ever a single, defining moment when you suddenly thought "Now I am an author? As in - this is now my career?"
I’d have to say the moment I felt I’d truly become an author was when my first novel Chasing Clovers made 62 on Amazon.com’s Top Paid 100 Bestseller List. This was huge for me to see my book sitting next to some of my favorite authors, like Nora Roberts, and Stephen King.
Tell us a bit more about Nora Rushton's character. What makes her so special and what inspired you to create her?
I adore Nora. I love everything about her. She was a lost soul searching for acceptance from her father who could not give it to her. Nora is a breath of fresh air, she is light and feathery, yet when needed she will fight for what is right. She is the strength, and love I see in most women. She is real.
Your story is set in a time when society's views on race and the paranormal are still very narrow-minded. Why did you pick this setting?
I chose historical because I love the genre, but I also chose it to show more of how people reacted to anyone who was different, whether it be a mixed race, native, gifted, or handicapped. People did not accept change, or anything that did not make sense to them. I wanted to show how even though someone is different it does not mean they should not be shown kindness and love. Everyone has come from somewhere and their journey may have been difficult…it is not for us to judge. See all people as equal.
How much research did you have to do to keep the history elements of the book realistic?
A lot. When writing historical there is always a ton of research to do, and with this particular book I had to know the time very well. I also had to learn the Lakota language for my translations. This took a lot of time. The healing elements the Lakota used also consumed me for weeks. I researched the way they dressed, spoke, the towns back then, horses, and food. I could write three other novels from the research I did on the Lakota’s alone.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book? Does it have an underlying story?
I hope they feel for Otakatay, and Nora and what they had to go through. I want them to look at others with an open heart instead of a closed one.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Well, I cannot sing. Hmmm…I love to decorate. Is that a skill? Oh, I know…I am skilled at drinking whiskey especially when I’m on a deadline. J
What are some of the things you do to make your characters this complex and give them depth?
On occasion, for very difficult characters, I’ve created long biographies so that I can understand them better. In order for me to write three-dimensional characters I need to know everything about my characters…they become real to me. Once I know them entirely I can sit and write with them answering the dialogue for me.
Do you have any interesting writing habits, what's your average writing day like?
I work during the day and write in the evening and on the weekends. I am a night hawk and do my best writing when the house is quiet, the candles are lit and Dean Martin is crooning in the background.
Did you work out the entire plot of your book before you started to write?
No. Lakota Honor was supposed to be something entirely different than what it was. Otakatay was my antagonist. He was the villain in the original manuscript.
I got 30,000 words in and stopped dead. I had nothing left. No story. No words. Nothing. The story hadn’t flowed from the beginning I was having trouble with Otakatay…there was something I’d been missing. I sat staring at the screen for over a week until I realized I was meant to tell Otakatay’s story all along. Once I had a clear picture of whom he was and how tortured he was the whole story came to me within a few hours. I wrote this book in three months.
What are you working on right now?
I am currently working on the second book to The Montgomery Sisters, POPPY. Look for it in the Spring of 2017.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
You can always find me on Facebook, Kat Flannery author, and my website www.katflannerybooks.com