Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Interview with romance author, Katheryn Lane!

Today, I’d like to welcome contemporary romance author, Katheryn Lane, to my blog. Katheryn was raised in England, is living in the Middle East, and writes sweet, heartwarming, yet sensual stories set in exotic locations.

I recently had the pleasure of reading her novel, THE ROYAL SHEIKH, and thought it would be fun to ask Katheryn a few questions:

Jan:  Katheryn, your book, THE ROYAL SHEIKH, is an amazing story, rich with details. Did you have to research extensively or are you surrounded by all the wonderful particulars in your book?

Katheryn: Thank you very much Jan. I’m so glad you liked my book! I did have to do some specific research for it, but that was mainly for the heroine, Clare, who is training to be an architect, so I had to check how a person qualifies for such a career and how long it takes.
For the Middle Eastern details, I did quite a bit of research about the region before I wrote the book, but that was mainly because I wanted to find out more about the place that I was coming to live in! Once I started writing, I tried to incorporate some of the details I had read about, as well as the things that I started to see around me. A few of the details are based on stories that other people have told me. For example, in The Royal Sheikh, when the heroine goes on board the Sheikh’s luxury yacht she sees a bunch of flowers made of gold with jewels in the centre of each one, such as diamonds, opals etc. This description is based on a vase full of golden flowers that a friend of mine actually saw when she visited a royal palace!
Jan:  When you created Prince Rafiq and architect, Clare McKay, did you know exactly how their adventure would go? Or did you let their story develop organically?

Katheryn: I did a lot of planning and had the book all carefully plotted out before I started it, as well as detailed character profiles. However, once I began writing, the characters took over and began to change the story and make it their own. This may sound odd, but there were times when I could hear the characters saying ‘I would never do that’ about the parts of the original plot. Therefore, I changed sections to make them fit with what the Sheikh and Clare would really want to do and say in those situations. However, despite these changes, the basic structure of the story stayed the same.
Jan:  You not only write romance, but you’re also a mother, and a teacher. Is there anything you would like to share about how you make it all work?
Katheryn: With difficulty! Luckily as a teacher I have long holidays, as well as mid-term breaks and this is when I try to do most of my writing. I also try to write in the evenings once my kids are in bed, but often I’m too tired! I must admit that I do get very easily distracted by the internet and I can find myself spending hours on sites like Facebook and Twitter chatting to people when I should be writing. My New Year’s resolution this year was to be more disciplined and spend less time on social networking sites. So far I have been partially successful and I’ve managed to get quite a lot more writing done.
Jan:  What was your biggest adjustment when you left England to live in the Middle East?
Katheryn: I actually left England quite a long time ago to teach abroad and before I was in England, I lived in the USA. However, previous to moving to the Middle East, I worked in various Asian countries, so I found the Middle East to be very different. One thing that took me a long time to get used to was the desert, which seem so vast and empty compared to the jungles and mountains of Asia.
Wherever I live though, there are always certain things that I miss about England and the USA. I miss good English pub lunches and I miss the positive, can-do attitude of the USA.  On the other hand, I don’t miss the ridiculously high petrol prices or the government taxation!
Jan: You are currently writing another story set in an exotic location. Would you like to whet our appetites with a few details?
Katheryn: My next romance has a provisional title of ‘Her Latin Lover’ and is based in South America. I decided not to locate it in the Middle East because a key element of the plot is a poker game which takes place the night before the story starts and gambling is illegal in most (perhaps all?) of the Middle East. Also, the story depends on the heroine being in a very dangerous country, where she is threatened at gun-point by a local man (I won’t say who or what happens, or I’ll give too much of the story away).
Although the Middle East has dangerous areas, it’s generally a very peaceful, safe area (despite some recent press). However, I did once hear about some teachers that were kidnapped on their way to the airport in Yemen many years ago. Maybe a kidnapping could be the basis for another Sheikh romance in the future?
Jan:  Can you tell those of us eager to read this new story, when we will get the chance?

Katheryn: Although I’ve finally finished writing the book, thanks for my New Year’s resolution, I’m still at the editing stage and that can also be a long process as the book will need to go through several different readers, as well as myself, to check for errors, plot holes etc. I also need to have a cover designed which will capture the feel of the story. Like The Royal Sheikh, it is a sweet romance, so I don’t want the cover to imply an erotic story, but at the same time the cover design needs to indicate a sensuous romance.
Hopefully, the whole thing should be edited and available on Amazon as an ebook by late March - I’ve just set myself a deadline here!  As soon as it’s published, I’ll everyone know on my blog, Twitter and Facebook at:  
Thank you very much Jan for the interview. It’s been great chatting with you.
About Katheryn Lane
Katheryn Lane works full-time as a teacher, mother and wife, but somehow also finds time to manage being a part-time writer as well! 'The Royal Sheikh' is her first book and is inspired by her experience of living in the Middle East. In her free time (on the rare occasion that she has any!) she loves to lose herself in a good book.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cover for KISS ME

My next novel, KISS ME, will be released April 2, 2012, by Champagne Books!
cover designed by: Amanda Kelsey

Monday, February 13, 2012

Soapy thoughts!

We all have a place where we go to think! Mine is the bathroom...ahem...more specifically, the shower! My muse loves water and shampoo :-)  Now if someone will invent a waterproof computer I'll be all set!!

Anyway, since tomorrow is Valentine's Day, I wanted to think of a snazzy post about love and chocolate - but the typical Hallmark sentiments and thoughts about candy wouldn't come. Instead, a different kind of Valentine thought took a hold of me and I guess I'm meant to share it. (Warning: this post could get corny. If you're not a fan of corny, rush to the exit... :D  )

Here goes: Instead of the typical Valentine's Day where we give candy and cards, or make a fabulous meal for our sweetie, what if we made someone else's day special - someone completely unknown to us? I'm talking about your favorite charity! Or food pantry! Perhaps your local soup kitchen or thrift store. If you aren't in the position to make a monetary donation or food donation, how about a gift of your time? If you prefer to do something earthy, maybe spend the day picking up litter or recycling. (Include your spouse or significant other so it can be a joint Valentine's effort)

Keep love in your hearts on Valentine's Day and all year long!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Orange-Pecan Muffins

Oven at 350 degrees


1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 orange, scrubbed
1/2 cup orange juice
1 egg
1/2 cup margarine, softened

Line muffin pan with paper muffin cups.
In large bowl, mix: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Cut orange (including peel) into 8th's.
In blender, blend: oranges & orange juice until liquified. Add eggs & margarine. Blend again. Then pour orange mixture into the flour mixture.
Fill each muffin cup (about 3/4th full) with the batter, then sprinkle a small amount of sugar on each
one & then either top each one with a full pecan or chopped pecans.
Bake for 20 minutes!

(recipe originally taken from Woman's World Magazine)