Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Guest Author - Kathryn Smith (Dark Side of Dawn)

I personally first came across Kathryn Smith's books with her vampire series Brotherhood of the Blood which was one of my early forays into paranormal romance. A great read if you haven't tried it. Kathryn has a new urban fantasy series called The Nightmare Chronicles, the first book, Before I Awake was released last year and the follow-up Dark Side of Dawn hits the shelves today.

I hadn't read either of the books in this new series until recently and I was quite taken with the unique and original Dream Lands concept and the idea of a person as a 'Nightmare', a half-human and half supernatural entity.

Kathryn is here to tell us more about the new book and her writing and has offered to answer your questions. Anyone leaving a comment or asking a question will be entered in a drawing for a set of the two Nightmare Chronicles books. As usual entry details are found at the end of the post.

Short Bio:
My first book was published in 2001 through Avon Romance. Since then I've published over a dozen books and made the jump from straight historical romance to paranormal historical romance. I've also become a USA Today bestselling author! In 2008 I embarked on a new adventure with the publication of my first romantic urban fantasy series, The Nightmare Chronicles. And yes, I'll still be writing historical paranormal romance as well. Why give up a good thing when I can have my cake and eat it too?


SFG: Dark Side of Dawn is the second book in your Nightmare Chronicles series and is just hitting shelves today. I love the play on words in the title by the way. Tell us about the series and especially about the Dream Lands and the main character Dawn, who is a Nightmare.

Thank you! The series is about Dawn Riley, who is the half-human daughter of Morpheus, God of Dreams. Technically Dawn shouldn’t exist, but she does! She has the ability to walk between the two worlds, and because of this she’s blamed for the ‘thinning’ of the veil between the waking and dreaming worlds. As a ‘Nightmare’ it’s her duty to guard humans while they’re in the Dreaming, but there are those who feel the Dreaming needs to be protected from Dawn!

SFG: The world-building in the Nightmare Chronicles is a very different and unique from the usual supernatural who’s who of vampires, shifters, demons and angels. What kind of research did you do for the series?

I’ve always had an interest in dreams. When I was younger I mentioned to a friend that I’d had a nightmare, but then I “changed it.” She was a psychology major and looked at me rather intently. She asked if I knew anything about lucid dreaming, and of course, I didn’t. I was amazed to find out that not everyone can change their dreams, so that is probably what really got me interested in the subject. I don’t do as much lucid dreaming as I used to. Now, I just let my dreams play out. Regardless, I fell in love with Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics and devoured the entire series. In college I studied ancient mythology. I also have books on dreaming and on therapy through dream analysis. Very interesting stuff. From these interests the idea for Dawn first bloomed.

SFG: What’s scene or moment in Dark Side of Dawn did you enjoy writing the most? Your favourite character?

My favourite scene is the one my husband thought the most disturbing. It’s the one where Dawn turns into “mother” when she’s attacked. My more macabre side came out for that, I guess. My favourite character is Verek, whom I would love to write about some day.

SFG: How about a Canadian connection question. Your character Dawn is from Toronto and you are originally from Nova Scotia. Any particular reason for picking TO?

I chose TO because my husband and I lived there for about a year and a half. Actually, we were north of the city in Maple, but to this day we still talk about our fave Indian restaurant and bakery that was there. We miss the Wonderland theme park, and the friends we left behind. So, making Dawn a Canadian was my way of giving a shout out not only to the country I'm proud to call home, but all the family and friends we have north of the 49th.

SFG: You also have a long-running vampire romance series, The Brotherhood of the Blood. Can you give some highlights? Can the books be read as standalones?

The Brotherhood of the Blood is a 5 book, 1 short story series about a group of medieval mercenaries who stumble upon a silver chalice, drink from it (thinking it’s the Holy Grail) and are turned into vampires with the blood of Lilith in their veins. The story line arcs throughout the stories, but you don’t have to read them in order – expect Night After Night should be read last since it brings all of the vamps together at last. The series was a lot of fun to write – and the one I get the most fan mail for!


SFG: in addition to your urban fantasy/paranormals you write Victorian Romance and Regency Historicals. Can you give us some highlights and maybe a recommendation for romance readers?

When I first started writing I wrote Regency Historicals, my personal favourites are the Ryland Brother series (For the First Time, In Your Arms Again, In the Night and Still in My Heart). Then I did the Brotherhood series (personal favourite – Let the Night Begin) and became reacquainted with the Victorian age, which is the setting for my new ‘series’ -- something that I refer to as my ‘Victorian Soap Opera’. The first book in that new world is called When Seducing a Duke, and just came out in October. I think this series is darker than my Regency books, something that might be hard for my earlier historical readers to get used to.

SFG: What new projects do you have on the horizon?

I’ve turned in the 2nd of my new historical series and am currently working on a Young Adult series for Harlequin Teen under the name Kady Cross. It’s a steampunk superhero book and so far has been a lot of fun! I’ve got a couple of other projects floating around, but I’m on a strict deadline for the next few months. I also have a lot of readers asking for more vampires or historical paranormal from me, so we’ll just have to see what happens there. I’d love to do it, so it will depend on whether or not I have the time, and if my publisher wants them!

SFG: We’re all readers here so we are all curious what you like to read when you have time and what you are reading now.

I love to read! I have a huge to-be-read pile. I like to read Young Adult fiction, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror... I just like to read! Right now I’m reading a book for a quote, which I’m quite enjoying, and I’m getting into Ilona Andrews’ work. Next up is Boneshaker by Cherie Priest.

SFG: If you could be a supernatural creature, which one would you be?

An angel. Maybe a slightly fallen one.  I love the whole idea of an inner struggle between good and evil. Characters that are morally ambiguous are so very interesting.

SFG: Tell us five things about yourself that no one knows.

This is difficult as I’m a pretty open book! I’ll give it ago.
  1. As a child I had a habit of cutting my own bangs. At 13 I shaved the sides of my head to look like Cyndi Lauper. Mom hid the clippers after that.
  2. When I was two I apparently told my family that I had a ‘real’ family elsewhere and described them in detail. Later, I was distraught, saying that my parents had been shot! My open-to-anything mother was – and still is – convinced I was talking about a past life. Since the alternative is to think I’m nuts, I guess I’ll side with her. I have no memory of any of this, but my oldest sister remembers.
  3. In high school I had a huge crush on Jim Morrison, despite his having died before I was born. I also had a thing for Alice Cooper. My favourite AC recording is the “From the Inside” album – all about the inmates at an insane asylum!
  4. My family was poor. We didn’t get a bathroom until I was 5. Consequently I have a deep and abiding aversion to outhouses. This extends to port-a-potties as well.
  5. My first crush was Shaun Cassidy. I was 5, he was 18. Shaun, if you’re out there, I’m still waiting.

Thank you Kathryn for taking the time to answer our questions and spending time with us. I think urban fantasy fans will be delighted with the Nightmare Chronicles. I certainly am a fan and of the Brotherhood of the Blood series as well. Check them out folks!

And now for the giveaway. I am giving away a set of the two Nightmare Chronicles books Before I Wake and Dark Side of Dawn to one lucky winner.

Giveaway Guidelines:
  1. To enter leave a comment or question for Kathryn Smith about her writing, her books or her new series. That's it. Easy peasy.
  2. Open to anyone anywhere in the world The Book Depository ships to.
  3. Leave a way to notify you if you should win.
  4. Blog, tweet, post on Facebook or other social network sites for an extra entry. Leave a comment here to let me know.
  5. Giveaway open until Midnight, November 30 EST.

37 comments:

  1. Hi Kathryn i cant wait to read your newest book. my question is

    1)How many books to you plan to write of the Nightmare Chronicles series?

    2)How long does it usually take for you to write a book?

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  2. oops i forgot to give my email...just in case i win :)

    mvreyes31@yahoo.com thanx for the oppt

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  3. Hi Kathyrn very interesting interview! I love learning more about my favorite authors and I just loved your vampire series! I hope to get to read your other books very soon!

    Did you ever try to find out more about past lives because of your experience when you were a child? That was really interesting! Or could it be that you were seeing ghosts and that was before you were old enough for society to discourage that sort of thing? Just a thought I have an interest in the paranormal so I immediately thought of that when reading about your experience. :)

    jennj28(at)yahoo.com

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  4. This is a series I have yet to pick up... I'm always up for discovering a new author!

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  5. Oops! chrissy [dot] morin [at] gmail [dot] com

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  6. Great interview.Brotherhood of the Blood has been on my TBR list for awhile now.I didn't know Kathryn had another series out.Sounds good though,I'll have to check them out.

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  7. tweeted https://twitter.com/elaing8/status/6007551604

    elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

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  8. This sounds like a great new series. I have to say that I have not tried any of Kathryn's books yet. Sounds like I need to remedy that soon. Can the books be read out of order?

    cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  9. Hi Kathryn. My question is: what do you do when the muses don't cooperate?

    carianmoonlight@gmail.com

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  10. Kathryn is one of my go-to authors! I re-read the Brotherhood novels about once a year and I loved the new Nightmare book. In fact, I'm hoping I get the new one for my birthday on Monday.

    My question is: How do you shift gears between writing historicals and writing paranormals?

    Anna
    vampchixreadbooks@gmail.com

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  11. You found the cover for From the Inside!

    Victoria -- I don't know how many books there will be. To be honest, I think it depends on how well this one does as to whether I'll be asked to write anymore.

    I can write a book in 6 weeks or less if I have to, but I prefer to have at least 2-3 months.

    Jenn, so glad you liked the vamps. Those were so fun to write. I never did try to find out more about my 'past life.' My family never told me about this behavior until I was a teenager -- doing a paper on Reincarnation!

    Cherie, the books can be read out of order, but you should read Night After Night last as they all come together in that one.

    Silent Raven, when my muse doesn't want to cooperate I bully her into submission. lol. Seriously, when you're on deadline you really don't have the luxury of just letting creativity come to you, sometimes you have to force it.

    Anna, thanks so much for your lovely compliment. I don't find switching gears all that difficult, really. It's all a matter of head space. ;-) Although, what I'd really like to do is combine history and urban fantasy -- that would be my dream book.

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  12. Hi Kathryn, been a big fan of yours throughout the Brotherhood series. Can't wait to start your new series!! Thanks for stopping by.

    Rosie
    rosie0512 @ hotmail . com

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  13. Hi Kathryn! I was wondering if your characters' personalities are ever influenced by people you actually know?

    lilazncutie1215(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  14. I love the covers of your books. And the stories sound great, too!
    Please enter my name in your draw. Thanks.
    wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. Hi Kathryn. Thanks for stopping by. This is the first time I've read about you and your books. My interest is definitely sparked.

    Doug - thanks for inviting Kathryn and for the giveaway.

    *Jen*
    iiiioneloveiiii(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  16. Read and truly loved your vamp series, Kathryn! I was sad to see it come to an end. So what is your new YA series going to be about?

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

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  17. Hi Kathryn! (waving from Ottawa)

    Congrats on the release of Dark Side of Dawn--it sounds terrific. Boy, are you one busy lady. That's the first I've heard about a YA steampunk book. Awesome!

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  18. Just tweeted about this (@jone402)

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

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  19. The Nightmare Chronicles series sounds interesting! How many will there be in this series?

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

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  20. I'm back! Thank you all for your comments. Jeanette, I do sometimes base characters on people I know, but not very often. Basing them on real people makes it hard for me to let bad things happen to them -- unless they're based on nasty real people! lol.

    Joder, the YA series is a steampunk. It's set in 1897 and is about 5 teens who have evolved to a point that they're 'more than human.' The first book takes place during Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee.

    Hi Annette!

    Throuthehaze, I'm not sure how many books there will be in the series. Depends on how this one does, I think. :-)

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  21. Great interview. I loved Before I Awake when I read it. Cant wait to get the chance to read Dark Side of Dawn.

    What made you decide to write about Nightmares and a daughter of the God of Dreams?

    Linked on sidebar here: http://donnasbloghome.blogspot.com/

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

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  22. Knowing a new author for me is always a pleasure for me :)

    please count me in the drawing.

    uniquas at ymail dot com

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  23. Ooh very exciting. Interesting interview. I'm a big fan of vamps. What go you interested in them in the first place. Or more pointedly what is it that interested you about them.

    I tweeted this @parajunkee

    - Parajunkee (@) gmail.com

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  24. Hi, Kathryn.

    What is your opinion on book trailers? Do you think they help in book sales?

    Thanks,
    Tracey D
    booklover0226 AT gmail DOT com

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  25. I haven't read any of your books as yet so I had better enter and then maybe I will be able to !

    Thanks.

    Neville


    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

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  26. Okay first let me say that loved "Before I Awake" the first book in the Nightmare Chronicles. I am so eagerly awaiting "Dark Side of Dawn".
    Have read all The Brotherhood of The Blood books and would like to know if you will at some point revisit their world?

    How many books are going to be in The Nightmare Chronicles series?

    Posted link info on:http://twitter.com/jacabur1
    Posted link info on :http://www.facebook.com/jacabur?ref=profile
    Posted link and info on:
    http://jacabur2008.livejournal.com/1937.html

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone...

    jacabur2008@gmail.com

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  27. laways love your books, and you aer getting great covers

    do u pick?

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  28. I've been reading your books for a while now, but I hadn't heard of the Nighmare Chronicles before. I'll be sure to look for them - since I've enjoyed your other books, I'm sure I'll love these as well.

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  29. Hi Kathryn :D
    it's great to see you here!
    I'm currently reading the German version from Before I Wake (Tochter der Träume) and it's gorgeous *sigh* is the story finished with the second book?
    Wish you all the best,
    Ina

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  30. Hi Kathryn!

    I love all of your books.

    My questions are:

    1) Do you find a difference in research when you write Vampire and Historicals?

    2) What is your muse when you write Historicals?


    cindyc725 at gmail dot ocm
    Please count me in!

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  31. Hi Kathryn,

    Do you outline a whole series of books then write them? Or, do you start a series & write the books as you go along?

    Thanks ~ megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

    PS - I love, love, love the cover of "Dark Side of Dawn"

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  32. I love your Brotherhood of the Blood series and I would like to read Nightmare Chronicles too:-)

    risika3(AT)yahoo(DOT)dk

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  33. I love Brotherhood of Blood and would really like to read this new series!

    eva.silkka at gmail.com

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  34. I'm not yet familiar with this series, but I'm interested in 'The Dark Side of the Dawn'.

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

    Thanks!

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  35. Hi Doug and Katherine!

    My grandparents had an outhouse on their property when I was kid, scared the heck out of me, always was afraid I was either going to fall in or that something was going to come out and get me, lol.

    Your series sounds great! I can't wait to give it a try!

    Thanks for letting us get to know you!

    Dottie :)

    gymmom_027@yahoo.com

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  36. Hi Kathryn, great interview. I've started the Nightmare series and I was really entranced by the idea. I've never really been able to hold onto my dreams after I wake up and it flows away so quickly--especially when its a lucid dream. If no books are in the immediate future, will you be willing to release some short stories? :)

    Thanks!!

    chichai_hana at hotmail dot com

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  37. Hi Kathryn! I was looking at the cover for When Seducing a Duke over at The Season earlier today. It's lovely! I love reading about Canadian characters, and Dawn sounds really wonderful. I'm looking forward to reading both Seducing and the Nightmare Chronicles now! My TBR pile is just keeps growing and growin... *sigh*

    lynzajw[at]gmail[dot]com

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