Book Nerd Interview
Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I think I always knew I loved writing. I can remember writing stories while sitting under the bar stools at our kitchen counter, asking my dad how to spell words. But I never really believed I had what it took to write fiction—especially after a high school English teacher handed back one of my short stories with the comment, “What’s the Point?” But nothing is easy, and love takes work, so I kept writing. It’s always worth it.
Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Because it helps us to experience the wider world and process our own thoughts and emotions. I have a librarian friend who said she always sent people to the YA section when they asked where they could find out about life. These books are about new love and old wounds, dreams and setbacks and pushing the boundaries.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
B-I-C. Bum in chair. I’ve heard this advice many times—and offered it myself. You can’t finish a novel unless you sit down and do it. And I’ve learned a caveat to that—T-O-I. Turn off Internet. It’s all about staying focused—not letting your bum out of the chair, and not letting your mind drift.
In your new book; Tarnish, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it?
TARNISH is the story of a girl who ultimately must choose between love and her dreams. Because sometimes they’re incompatible. It’s also the story of a young Anne Boleyn.
For those who are unfamiliar with Anne, how would you introduce her?
Anne Boleyn is known as Henry VIII’s second wife. Their love affair and marriage changed history. To terminate his marriage with his first wife, Henry broke with the Catholic church, starting the Reformation in England. Anne’s only child, Elizabeth, became one of England’s greatest ruling queens.
But Anne was more than just a wife. She was an extraordinary woman for her time. She was outspoken, had progressive ideas, tried not to be defined by the strict rules of her society. I wanted to write a story about that girl.
What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Thomas?
Thomas Wyatt was a court poet and in reading about his poetry, I learned that in Tudor times, much of the poetry was spoken word. It wasn’t necessarily meant to be written down. And much of it contained hidden meaning that we can only guess at today. So in writing Thomas, I really had to play with double entendre and innuendo and that was delicious fun.
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Wouldn’t it be interesting to get all the fictional Anne Boleyns together? From Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl and Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and even TVs The Tudors. They’d probably all hate each other on sight.
What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
When I’m still in the drafting stages of a novel, I can’t really talk about it much—I’m still figuring the story out for myself, and I don’t want to give myself any preconceived notions. But I can say that right now, I’m working on a third book set in Henry VIII’s court. It’s about a group of characters we haven’t met before in my novels, though some familiar faces turn up. I’ve also got a project in the works that is set in a completely different time period—it’s been so much fun to research!
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
I try not to. Lies have a way of taking on a life of their own, and you find yourself having to invent more of them to cover up the first.
You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Be yourself. This means making your own decisions and having your own opinions, even when it goes against what others say.
Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
My husband. He’s my best friend and closest confidant. If I’m having a horrible writing day, though, I call one of the YA Muses—my amazing group of writing friends—Bret Ballou, Donna Cooner, Veronica Rossi and Talia Vance. And when we really need it, we all get on the phone together.
What’s your most missed memory?
Summer nights with my dad, lying out on the hood of our car to watch the stars.
Who was your first boyfriend?
Someone who ended up inspiring one of the male characters in GILT.
Tell me about your first kiss
I was a total nerd when I was younger—books, schoolwork, and theater. I didn’t really have time for boys, and I was told by a friend that that scared them away. So my first kiss was practice for a role (the couple we played kissed onstage). So I learned how couples kiss through direction: “Don’t just lean forward and peck, your bodies have to touch.”
what decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
I’ve always loved the 1920’s. Women finally had the vote, they’d finally begun to shed their corsets, and that new taste of freedom must have been exhilarating. And the clothes! Dropped-waist dresses and rising hemlines, short hair and long strands of pearls. Love it. But I don’t know if I would have wanted to live through the 30’s, with the Depression and impending war…
When was the last time you cried?
My dad died a few months ago and I still cry almost every day. I miss his guidance.
What are you most passionate about today?
Telling a story well.
Where can readers stalk you?
Group Blog: http://yamuses.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/kalongshore (@KALongshore)
Undoubtedly, Anne Boleyn was an important historical figure who was a key figure in English politics and the religious upheaval that started the English Reformation. The story that Katherine has weaved had a beautiful tone laced with amazing writing. After going deep in the first chapter, it becomes obvious that the research performed for this novel was incredibly done.
The Anne Boleyn of this book possessed many emotions and were prominently shown throughout the book. The exposure of her emotions gave the perfect channel for many readers to relate to her. The capturing of Anne’s teenage years was luminously done. As most readers will come into this story with a presumption about Anne, Katherine cleverly throws them out and allows for a fresh start of this former Queen of England.
Although Anne’s life came to a tragic end, this book reminds us that hope is an important belief in life. It is imperative to be heard and the things we believe in are important. The second book in Katherine Longshore’s Royal Circle series, Tarnish, is an exciting insight into the life of one of History’s important figures and delivers a story that is utterly gripping.