I am extremely honored and excited to have award-winning author Kate Breslin stop by the blog today!! I count both of her books among my very favorites, the kind that linger with you long after you’ve finished reading. Beautifully crafted with stunning twists and vivid characters, Kate’s novels are exactly what historical fiction should be.
“Downton Abbey meets The Scarlet Pimpernel in Kate Breslin’s wonderful historical novel set amidst the drama of England’s World War I home front.”—award-winning author Elizabeth Camden
“Set in Great Britain during the first World War, readers will feel that they have been transported to the world of Downton Abbey. With a great deal of romance, along with intrigue, espionage and suspense, Breslin creates a tale difficult to put down until its touching, soul-satisfying ending.” –Romantic Times Book Reviews
See? Other people agree with me 🙂 You can also read my review of Not By Sight here.
Let’s dive right in to the fast four!
Me: Apples or oranges? Why?
Kate: Apples, instant gratification (no peeling required) less mess, and served with slices of cheddar cheese, deelish!
Me: yummmm… apples are my fave too!! So far, among the authors I’ve interviewed, apples are the clear winner.
Skittles or M&Ms? Why?
Kate: Skittles, hands down. Chewier, love the fruit, and I’m not an M&Ms fan. (I prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate.)
Me: Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!! FINALLY! Some love for Skittles!!! It was getting very chocolate-heavy around here!
Ok… Dogs or Cats? Why? (NOTE: my dog Zuzu takes this question very seriously. She likes me to make sure you’re aware lol)
Kate: LOL! I’ve had both and I love animals, but cats are my companion choice these days. Like dogs, they have their funny quirks that make me laugh, but they’re also lower maintenance–you can leave them on their own for a day, no bathing required, and no rainy walks outside. Sorry Zuzu!
Me: Zuzu is not pleased, as you might be able to tell from that picture. “Cats” is never an acceptable answer around here. BUT since you did send her a scratch behind the ears the other day, she is willing to let it go. You may proceed. 🙂
Coke or Pepsi? Why?
Kate: I’ll admit to a diet Coke once in a while. Fresca is my favorite, though.
Me: At least you didn’t pick diet Pepsi 😉 From other interviews I’ve read, Kate, you worked as a bookseller for several years as well as in the construction industry. What inspired you to start writing novels? (Whatever the answer, I’m SO GLAD you did!)
Kate: Thanks, Carrie! 🙂 I’ve always written, even as a child—poetry, short stories, song lyrics, and as a “suit” in the construction industry, I wrote a pretty intense business letter. 🙂 So after reading tons of books in my favorite genre, historical romance, I decided to give it a try. It took me many years, but I finally reached publication.
Me: Oh I love that – poetry, short stories, and song lyrics!! I bet you were such a creative child!!
I’m sure that hours upon hours of research goes into writing a novel of historical fiction. What is the most surprising fact you’ve stumbled on during preparations for your books?
Kate: Great question, Carrie! I usually find a lot of fascinating facts researching for each book, so it’s difficult to pin any one thing down. I think the biggest surprise is in finding those exceptions to the rule; “gray areas” we don’t get to read about in the standard classroom history books. Like ordinary people, who with remarkable cunning, rise to the occasion of saving lives or simply surviving in the most imaginative ways. Oftentimes, it seems the stuff of novels, instead of real history. Believe me when I say that truth can be stranger than fiction. 🙂
Me: Ohhhhhh that appeals to the history lover in me, something fierce!! (I almost became a history teacher; now I just read historical fiction haha!)
In “Not By Sight”, one of my favorite characters is Jack! He’s a yummy brooding mix of Beast, Phantom, Mr. Darcy, Mr. Rochester… and a whole lot of unique dreamy-sigh-worthiness too! Who was your favorite character in this book, Kate?
Kate: Well Carrie, I love them all, but if I were to choose one…I find I’m drawn to explore Clare Danner a bit more. She’s prickly to start, but fiercely loyal and she doesn’t put up with a whole lot of silliness. She has a strength about her, which in part is due to her past and inherent to her nature. Her pragmatism makes for a great companion to Grace, who tends to have her idealistic head in the clouds. 🙂
Me: Clare intrigued me. She had a surprising depth that took some time to uncover, and you’re right – she made a great companion for Grace!
Now I want to know – were there any characters that took on lives of their own during the process?
Kate: Carrie, when I’m writing in the “zone” they all seem real to me LOL! But it’s true that I might be creating a scene between two characters when suddenly one of them does something unexpected—which either works or makes me rethink the scene. Dr. Strom, for example, is normally the voice of reason and respects the boundaries of class, but he loses his temper with Jack, a peer of the Realm! And Becky started out as having a very open and readable nature, but toward the end, she has her moments of poignancy, too. Despite the silliness, she knows what’s at stake.
Me: The writing process fascinates me! They seem real to me when I’m reading in the “zone” too LOL.
What can your readers look forward to next from you, Kate?
Kate: I’ll be writing two more novels for Bethany House, both set during the WWI time period. And they’ll include a bit of espionage and romance, of course. All while all of my novels are standalone, readers will likely recognize a name or two from Not By Sight in them. 😉
Me: Oh, that makes me so happy!! Both the thought of two more novels full of espionage and romance… and that we’ll see some names we recognize! And now I’m wondering which ones and imagining all sorts of delightful possibilities 🙂
Kate, thank you so very much for taking time out to stop by my blog!! I truly consider this a wonderful privilege to be able to chat with you! 🙂 Before I let you go, what is something about you that would surprise most people?
Kate: Well, I don’t know about surprising—I’ve never gone sky diving or cave spelunking. I did post online recently that I was an avid motorcyclist for several years, when you didn’t see too many gals riding. I suppose as a novelist and former bookseller though, it might seem strange to learn I struggled with reading as a child. It wasn’t until I attended a school that used the Phonics system of sounding out words that I finally “saw” them on the page and got it. To me, it underscores the fact some of us learn differently, and how fortunate we are to live in an age when many different options are available to us. Literacy is so important! I cannot imagine never being able to visit other worlds or experience new adventures between the pages of a book. 🙂
Carrie, thank you for hosting me on your blog today. It’s been so much fun! I love connecting with fellow bookworms, too! Please visit me at www.katebreslin.com and click on the social media links to find me on the world wide web.
GIVEAWAY!!! Kate Breslin has graciously offered to give away ONE paperback copy of either of her books – For Such a Time or Not By Sight. (US shipping only) To enter, simply leave a comment on this post about the interview. For extra entries, follow my blog (readingismysuperpower) and/or share this giveaway on social media (facebook/twitter/Pinterest/etc). **Make sure you let me know in another comment what you did to qualify for extra entries!** (You can follow my blog by entering your email address in the box in the top left of this page or by clicking “follow” with your wordpress or twitter accounts.) Winner will be chosen by Random.org on Saturday August 29th after 10pm EST and notified by email. If I don’t hear from you within a week, a new winner will be chosen. Good luck and thanks for reading!!
About the Author:
Former bookseller-turned-author Kate Breslin enjoys life in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and family. A writer of travel articles and award-winning poetry, Kate received Christian Retailing’s 2015 Best Award for First Time Author and her debut novel, For Such A Time, is a Christy award, RITA award, and Carol award finalist. Kate’s second novel, Not By Sight released in August, 2015. When she’s not writing inspirational fiction, Kate enjoys reading or taking long walks in Washington’s beautiful woodlands. She also likes traveling to new places, both within the U.S. and abroad, having toured Greece, Rome, and much of Western Europe. New destinations make for fresh story ideas. Please visit her at www.katebreslin.com.