Happy Spring everyone! Today I have Kathryn Albright with me so let's all give her a Coffee Time Romance welcome. Hi Kathryn, I am so glad you could be here with us to tell us about your book, The Rebel and the Lady. I can honestly say this book is awesome.
Thank you Liadan. It's a pleasure to be here.
First, why don't you tell us a little about yourself and how you began your writing career.
Like most writers, I've been an avid reader since childhood--and a dreamer. I wrote non-fiction articles for nursing magazines at first, but it has always been fiction that fascinated me and the power of a great story. Encouraged after placing with a short story in a national magazine contest, I started learning the craft, joined Romance Writers of America, and "roped" a few friends into starting a critique group. When I finaled in the 2005 Golden Heart Contest, Harlequin decided to publish the manuscript.
How did you begin writing Westerns?
I was raised in San Diego and am fascinated with the history of the area. My first book, The Angel and the Outlaw, takes place on the California coast in the 1870s--when the last of the Mexican bandits still roamed the area. The wildness of the times and the rawness of the land lends such excitement to any story. The men and women are strong, colorful characters. If they weren't, they wouldn't survive.
I set out to "write what I know" and just wanted to write a good story. My editor at Harlequin thought it fit the concept of a western. (Right time period set in the west.)
Could you share with us a bit of the story?
The Rebel and The Lady occurs at the time of the Alamo (1836) and is about a man searching for his younger brother who's run off to fight for Texas freedom. Jake thinks a fight over land--especially land that belongs to Mexico--isn't worth dying for. When he meets Victoria, a Spanish landowner, his beliefs are turned on end as he is confronted with a passionate woman with high ideals.
I had fun with this story because the hero is a bit of a "bad boy" at first. I'd never written this type of character before and I sure fell in love with him as he developed. He's flawed and doesn't always makes the right choices, but he's smart and learns as he goes. Victoria was fun too, as she loosened up by the end of the book.
How long did you research the Alamo and the battle before you actually wrote the book?
This story has been percolating in my mind ever since I visited the Alamo several years ago. I became fascinated with the Mexican side of the battle, and how it affected the Tejanos who had to chose sides. In some ways it was much like our Civil War in the U.S.A.--brother against brother. I started gathering research then, but it took several false starts before I got a rough outline down on paper. Actually, when my editor, Jenny Hutton at Harlequin accepted my first book, she asked what other manuscripts I had completed. I had a turn-of-the-century New York story, but she said she preferred another western. So I pitched my idea about the Alamo and she said she'd like to see it instead. That's when I started writing it in earnest.
Do you think you will try writing in other genres?
I like writing historicals and can't see myself doing another genre except perhaps YA. I would like to try different time periods and settings. I have a NYC story done and a WWII in the works. For now though, I enjoy writing westerns.
Do you have any other books that are soon to be released?
I'm currently writing the sequel to The Rebel and the Lady--the younger brother's story. I don't have a release date for it yet.
Where can our readers find you around the web? Do you have a blog?
My website is www.kathrynalbright.com. When you visit, please sign up for my newsletter. I've been a guest blogger but haven't started a blog of my own...yet.
Do you plan on attending any conventions this year or do you have any book signings coming up?
I just attended Chicago North RWA Chapter's Spring Fling and the Wisconsin Chapter of RWA Write Touch Conference in Green Bay. I don't have any more planned until September when The Rebel and the Lady comes out. I'm in the process of finalizing those plans now. Check my website for more information.
What do you consider your favorite hobby?
Being a nurse, do you think you'll write a medical romance?
Lots of people ask me this--especially my co-workers. I gave it a try once, but being a contemporary, the story lacked the escapism that a good historical brought me and wasn't nearly as much fun (for me) to write. I guess it was just too close to work.
Now--a historical romance about a nurse-I already have one in mind...
Kathryn, it has been a pleasure having you here with us at Coffee Time Romance & More. Thank you for allowing us to get to know you better. Best of luck to you in your writing career.
Thank you Liadan. It's been lovely.