Author Name: Laura Kinsale
Genre: historical romance
Latest book in shops now: Shadow Heart
Before we begin this interview, I need to check that you’re still grounded and that your head isn’t swollen from all of your success, so with that in mind, what was the last thing you bought on Ebay, and do you know how much a carton of milk costs?
I have extensive records of all my ebay transactions.:p The last one being item #3762802670, a little souvenir vase from the French Pyrenees marked Poterie du Terrior, with a picture of a Great Pyrenees dog on it. I collect Pry stuff and have a cool set of postcards with the dogs on them from the turn of the century.
I forget what milk costs, even though I buy 4 quarts at a time, but blueberries are $2.99 a carton. I read somewhere that blueberries have more anti-oxidants than spinach, which is the best news I’ve heard in a long time.
Name your top five favourite books that you read as a child:
I have a memory like a sieve, can’t really recall.
What does a typical day as a writer consist of?
Ride my horse, hike or take my dog to the dog park, play computer games, do stuff. Maybe write. Maybe play more computer games. Eat blueberries.
I get the feeling you like blueberries a lot! *g*
Name your top five favourite books of all time.
Mechanters Luck, C.J. Cherryh
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
The French Lieutenant’s Woman, John Fowles
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Sylvester, Georgette Heyer
Which authors are you glomming at the moment? (i.e. reading a lot of)
None. I read very little fiction. An unfortunate by-product of being a novelist.
Do you have other close romance writer friends, and if so who are they?
Not close friends, no. I have many fine acquaintances, however.
If you could have a one-to-one conversation with a famous historical figure, who would it be with and what would you talk about?
Thomas Jefferson. Ethics and writing.
What is your ultimate goal when it comes your writing?
Hmmm. I don’t really have an ultimate goal. Each book is it’s own goal.
What’s your favourite food?
Bean and cheese nachos from El Fenix, with jalapeno juice. Thanks, now you started me thinking about them.
Which of your books is the dearest to your heart, and why?
When I’m asked which of my books is my personal favorite, I always answer that it’s The Shadow and The Star. I began to write it because I was haunted by the image of a young boy left alone in vile circumstances in my earlier book, The Hidden Heart. So I set out to give Samuel a better future, and make him a hero in his own right.
Without really realizing it, I turned to my own heritage as the truest means to heal his anguish, creating a heroine in Leda who embodied the steadfast, kind and courageous ladies who influenced my own life as I grew up–the circle of my grandmother and aunts and their friends in a small Texas town. Proper, generous, proud; sure of what was right and what was wrong, they gave me a foundation, a place to stand in life.
Perhaps they were as shocked by a crooked hem as by a crooked banker, but there was always a pie or a boiled custard going out the door for an ill neighbor. They represent a feminine community and a standard that has quietly sustained civilization for centuries, unnoticed and unreported in newspapers and history books. Not all strength is obvious. Sometimes the most important gestures aren’t made on a grand stage.
In small everyday acts of courage, self-respect, and concern for others, these women taught me that a straight hem means something–it means you cared enough do it right, so that you could be proud of yourself even if no one else took notice.
The Shadow and The Star is, in part, my celebration of this hidden culture among women and its quiet power to mend the cracks in our lives. It will always hold a special place in my heart.
Has anything a reviewer or reader said or written about you changed the way you write?
I’ve gotten more and more cynical about reader and reviewer comments. They all contradict one another, and they’re all sure they’re right. So basically I just pay no mind to any of them unless I agree. This saves me from paying for large doses of Prozac.
If I was an author, I’d probably avoid reviews too:)
When was the last time you went overseas and where did you go?
I went to Italy. Venice, Rome, Florence, and the Italian Tyrolean Alps.
Who’s your favourite romance hero of all time?
Sylvester (Georgette Heyer)
Who’s your favourite romance heroine of all time?
What’s-her-name in Pride and Prejudice. Jane?
Erm, I think she was called Elizabeth… but it was near enough, lol!
What kind of characters would you say you typically wrote?
Intense, flawed characters who have some uncertainties about life and themselves.
If only one person could read your book, who would that be?
Do you mean who normally wouldn’t read them? Or who matters the most?
Who matters the most?
My husband David
What was the last movie you saw?
Don’t remember. I don’t watch many movies.
Name your favourite romantic film.
Shakespeare in Love
If you could be any other author, who would you be and why?
I wouldn’t want to be any other author, though I sure wouldn’t mind being as prolific as Nora Roberts.
What was the last book you read?
Have you ever written a book that you didn’t particularly care for, and do you cringe if you see people picking it up to read it?
No. For a long time I was led to believe by some reader response that The Dream Hunter wasn’t very good. So I didn’t pick it up for a number of years. When I did, I thought it was great, particularly the hero. It made me laugh. Certainly there are some flaws in all of my books, and things I’d change, but as a whole I’m proud of them all.
Finally, when’s your next book due out, and what’s it about?
Not sure yet when it will be out. The Lucky One is a light regency romp about a wallflower and a French emigre rogue. There’s a gigantic prize bull that vanishes. Chaos ensues.
Thanks very much for taking the time out answer my questions Laura!
OK, coming up next week, we have Robin Schone in the hot seat!