Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday - Interview with Kathy Fischer Brown #MFRW

1. What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write, but I loved the theater growing up and majored in dramatic arts as an undergraduate and in graduate school. I even taught for a while. Following a brief stint in New York after college, taking acting classes and going to “cattle calls,” I returned to school for an MFA. My thesis project was about the preparation and performance of the role of Kattrin, the mute daughter in Brecht’s Mother Courage and her Children. During rehearsals and performances I kept a journal to record how I settled into character, the “aha” moments and the myriad questions. Because the character doesn’t speak, I did a lot of work writing out her inner life and subtext in the margins and between the lines. While working on the written part of the thesis, I began scribbling ideas for stories in notebooks (the wire bound kind). Something about being so immersed in a character must have opened a door previously left ajar, and so I went inside. I haven’t come out since J And yes, studying acting definitely influenced my writing in many ways.

In my latest release, I follow eight viewpoint characters. While the process isn’t as immediate or as conscious as it was some forty+ years ago, I still find it difficult to know my creations until I’ve seen the world from his or her perspective. These are the moments that make writing almost magical.

2. Are you genre specific or general? Why? I don't mean genres like romance, mystery, fantasy etc. There are many subgenres of the above.
I write the story as it presents itself, in the way it wants to be told. Since I have certain preferences, I’d be surprised if an idea came to me for a mystery or a story about zombies. I don’t have any interest in certain genres, don’t read them, and I don’t watch movies or TV shows about them. I’ve written historical romance, as well as straight historical fiction. My latest, The Return of Tachlanad, is an epic adventure fantasy, and I’ve had a time-travel on the back burner for more time than I’ll admit.

3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres?
You could also say I write what I like to read, and I love historicals set in certain eras, and creative fantasy of the kind Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote in The Mists of Avalon. To me, as a lifelong Arthurian nut, that book was eye opening. I also love a well written nonfiction in which the author writes about past events with the skill of a novelist, such as John Demos’s The Unredeemed Captive.  I take great pleasure in researching different time periods (which entails lots of reading), finding and incorporating all the little details, speech patterns, and nuances that make the setting and the era come alive and my characters true to their time and place.

4. What's your latest release?
The Return of Tachlanad is the first book in “The Sword of Names” series, a fantasy adventure for young adult and adult readers.

5. What are you working on now?
I’m working on the second book in the fantasy series, a continuation of the story and character arcs from Book One. I hope to have it finished by the middle of next year.

6. Where can we find you?
Amazon Central


Ann Herrick said...

I'm impressed with all the research that must go into writing historical novels.

Kathy Fischer-Brown said...

Thanks for having me on your blog, Janet!

Janet Walters said...

Kathy, Thanks for being here. Ann, Thanks for visiting.

Margaret Tanner said...

Nice post Kathy, lovely to learn more about your historical research. Your meticulous research certainly shows up in your writing.

Janet Walters said...

Margaret, Thanks for stopping by.

Tricia McGill said...

I love these interviews. It's so interesting to learn of other authors and their writing journey.

Janet Walters said...

Thanks, Trisha for the visit. I rather enjoy them, too