Welcome today to Kathryn Dionne, who has graciously offered to allow us to interview her! Kathryn is the author of
What do you write about? Tell us a little about your previously published works.
I like to write action/adventure novels with a bit of the supernatural thrown in. My Eleventh Hour trilogy is a supernatural thriller that takes place in Israel and is about an archaeologist, Sophia Conrad, who uncovers a scroll thought to be the personal diary of Jesus. As she begins to translate the scroll, she discovers that this is a book of prophecy foretelling the end times, and that she has been chosen to save mankind from the next cataclysmic event. But when she finds a piece of fabric tucked inside the scroll, it propels her and her husband, a geneticist, into a life of science, secrecy and government conspiracy.
I’ve also written a children’s book called Derek The Fireless Dragon. It’s a book of humorous and hopefully touching poems suitable of children ages 5-10.
How do you handle bad reviews?
Bad reviews are like getting a shot; they sting for a moment but ultimately they will make you better. I was devastated the first time I get a bad review. The person said my books had; “brevity of character and predictable chase scenes.” It’s no secret that most of us starting out receive our first reviews from our friends and family who think we are writing geniuses. So when we do get our first negative comment, it busts a hole in our protective bubble causing us to face reality. And that is the good part about getting a bad review. It forces you to look at your work from someone’s unbiased perspective. In my case, I had to ask myself; were my characters somewhat shallow? And if so, what could I do to make them more believable?
Bad reviews are inevitable. As the old saying goes; you can’t please everyone all of the time. But if you can glean nuggets of insight from those bad reviews and use them to make your work better, then those negative comments will have served you well.
Any advice for aspiring writers?
One of my favorite authors, Richard Bach, summarizes my advise for aspiring writers so beautifully. The difference between a writer and an author is; an author is a writer who didn’t give up.
If you’re anything like me, you have had this desire to write for a very long time. I like to think that the need to tell a story was placed in my heart for a very specific reason; because someone needed to read what I had to write. If you look at it from the perspective of writing a story to touch or inspire someone else, then the path of becoming an author becomes one of service and not so much one of self-gratification. So my advice is to never give up because if you do, then you could be depriving someone of something they needed at that specific moment in their life.
What is your personal writing process?
This might seem a little strange, but before I start actually writing a new book, I have an imaginary party for all of my characters. I send them an invitation and have them bring a guest. When they introduce me to their guest, I take note of who they are, what they look like and their name. Most likely, these characters will either appear in the book that I’m working on or will appear in a future book.
I did this while I was writing The Eleventh Hour trilogy. I threw a party and invited an astrologer. I gave all of my characters birthdays and had the astrologer do an astrological chart on all of them. It gave me a tremendous insight into who my characters were, their likes, dislikes, idiosyncrasies, and so many other interesting tidbits about them. I found it to be a very fun way of building the bones of my characters and breathing life into them.
What books are you reading now?
Right now I’m reading The Strategist, by John Hardy Bell, Therapy for Ghosts, by Eric Praschan, and my mother’s North American Bird book because it has all of her handwritten notes, comments in the margins, and the dates when she saw each of the birds. It makes me feel like she’s still with me.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Have you ever had a dream seem so real that when you woke up, you didn’t know if it was a horrible nightmare or a premonition of things to come? The Eleventh Hour Trilogy is based on a horrifying end-of-the-world dream I had over 15 years ago that still haunts me to this day. I cried for weeks afterwards because the images were so devastating to me. So I took that dream and incorporated it into the story, making it the potential cause for mankind’s demise. I even gave one of my characters that exact vision in book 2 of the trilogy.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The good news is having an ebook allows you to change the content at will and reload it. I have tweaked all three books many times, changing bits and pieces to help make the story better. But at some point an author needs to quit revamping their work and just let it go so that they can work on their next project. I think I’m finally at that point.
If there was one message you could send to everybody who reads your books, what would it be?
The message would be that I believe we are all connected, and what we say and do truly does matter. We have the power to move mountains or destroy them based on our words and actions. The choice is ours.
What inspires you to write?
That would have to be my mother, Helen. She always encouraged me to follow my dreams of being a writer. When I was young, I would write something, give it to her and then forget about it. I had no idea she kept all of them. But on my 50th birthday she presented me a photo album chronologically documenting my life. The album not only contained photos of me growing up, but it had all of the original hand-written poems that I’d ever written. (It was a very full album.) I had no idea she had kept them all these years. Now that she is no long with me, I miss handing her the poems and stories for her to read. But I can still hear her voice whispering in my ear to; just keep writing!
Where can readers find you and your work?
I would love to have your viewers connect with me via my website, twitter, Facebook or Amazon.
Thank you so much for this opportunity to chat with you and your viewers.
About the Author
Kathryn Dionne, the author of The Eleventh Hour trilogy and Derek The Fireless Dragon, lives in Southern California with her husband, Jeff, and their two Shar Peis, Bogey and Gracie.
From an early age, Kathryn’s love of treasure hunting sparked an interest in archaeology. As an amateur archaeologist, she’s been fortunate enough to uncover some very unique artifacts in different parts of the globe. However, she’s still searching for that very special scroll.
In addition to writing, she manages their five-acre property and their grove of Italian olive trees. Her husband has lovingly named their business Saint Kathryn’s Olive Oil.
In her spare time, she makes cookie jars and throws pottery in her studio. She also creates mosaics from discarded objects and sells them under the category of Found Art.
She is currently writing a new series called Chasing Time, which she hopes to have published some time in 2013.