Friday, July 6, 2018

Friday's Guest - Katherine Pym #MFRWauthor #BWL Publishing #History #research

    What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?

I was a normal every day person who went to school, got married, had children, then was divorced, went to work, took the kids to daycare, and because I could not afford to go anywhere or do anything, I started reading historical romances. My sister and I, who were intellectual snobs, said over a night of drinking a few wines, we could write one. How hard could it be? Well…

It was harder than we thought, the research daunting. My sister bailed after a while but I was hooked. Research took me away from historical romances into real life history. Often regular people are more interesting than fictional, or in my usual cases, real life events are more interesting than fictional events.

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. 

For the most part I am genre specific, even as I’ve written a YA fantasy and an alternative historical fiction. My YA fantasy, The Salt Box, was researched, especially the use of a ‘god-door’ that appears on the side of a hill, and has a lot of ancient Celtic mystical lore. The alternative story, Miri’s Song, the love story of Joshua & Magdalene, has no research behind it. I just sat down one evening and started to write it without prep. I was surprised by the outcome.

The rest of my work is based on intense historical research, down to the everyday life people led. I want the reader to ‘feel’ as if they had walked the streets of Paris and London.

3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres? 

Very much so. I like history but as taught in school those heavy tomes rarely tell you how technicians reacted to the new x-ray machine in hospitals (early 1900’s), how they eventually died of radiation poisoning.

How often have you had a history teacher say due to the 2nd Anglo/Dutch war (1665-1667), when King Charles II’s cousin, Louis XIV, sided with the Dutch, Charles disavowed everything French. He changed his fashion to what everyone considers the norm of the 18th century with the long coats and tight breeches.

Generally, historical texts focus on government decisions and the wars they brought. Often the discussion is about endless battles, their names and dates, the generals. It does not tell the reader true people stories, their thoughts, their fears.

I went another way and received a degree in Literature where one can peruse what people of different eras thought and felt. After all, they wrote of their trials and tribulations and how big events and government decisions affected their lives. Their tales told of tragedies and comedies, exploration of the world, the mind, and the body. Theirs were the human interest stories I craved while studying history but could not find.

4. What's your latest release? Highwayman, A Boisterous Bawdy Tale, May 2018

5. What are you working on now? A story for an anthology. All of our submissions will deal with the Bubonic Plague. Light reading, huh?

6. Where can we find you? 
twitter: @KatherinePym

No comments: