Sunday, May 09, 2010

An Interview with K. Dawn Byrd author of 'Queen of Hearts'

 Today it is my pleasure to welcome author, K. Dawn Byrd. She has graciously stopped in to answer a few questions and give a teaser about her new inspirational historical suspense novel Queen of Hearts available now through Desert Breeze Publishing

How long have you been writing (stories)?

K. Dawn -- I've been writing for about two years. It's a wonderful, stress-relieving hobby for me.

Do you have another job, or did you get to live the writer's dream and quit your day job?What did you do before you started writing?

I do work a full-time job. I'm not sure I'd want the pressure of writing full-time. I'd have to worry about landing the next contract, plotting the next book, writer's block, etc

Why do you write? If you couldn't write, what would you do?

I write because I love it. If I couldn't write, I'd probably still be riding a Harley (I gave it up to have more time to write.)

Does your family back your writing?

My husband is very supportive and helps me with titles and plotting. Sometimes it helps to get a guy's perspective.

Since it's was just mother's day, tell us how your mother feels about your writing?

My mother believes that I take on too much. She's probably right as I'm more driven than can possibly be healthy.

How long did it take you before you were published?

I wrote for about a year and a half before landing my first contract. During that time, I studied everything I could find about craft.

Writers have been know to be quirky people, would admit to having any quirks?

 I'm terrified of driving in snow. We had so much of it last winter that it was a real challenge for me to just get out there and go.

 Tell us something people may find interesting about you.

I have two hairless dogs. Almost hairless anyway. My Chinese Cresteds have hair only on their head, feet and tail.

Most writers have an inspiration moment when they start a new book, ( a dream, a thought, etc), did you have such a moment for Queen of Hearts?

No such inspiration for Queen of Hearts. I love romantic suspense and had written two. I wanted to try something different. A historical fit the bill nicely.

How long did it take to write Queen of Hearts?

It was my NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) project. I wrote it during November of last year.

A WWII era story cast in an abandoned mental institution, quite a mix for setting. What sparked your interest for the asylum?

I ran across a website containing photos of dozens of abandoned mental institutions. It gave me the idea of placing my heroine inside one.

What kind of research did you do for mental institutions?

I watched a couple of videos of frontal labotomies and also studied the photos of abandoned asylums. That's pretty much it.

And Photography, since your heroine is an OSS operative/reporting photographer?

Since photography doesn't play a huge part in the story, I didn't really research it. I did, however, have to research the O.S.S.

What's one of the strangest things you've done for research?

I traveled to a small town an hour away and in the middle of nowhere. It's only a few miles wide, but I had to know what was there.

What actors or historical figures would best describe your hero or heroine?

My heroine reminds me of Isla Fisher


                                                           and Vito, a young Clark Gable.

Do your characters resemble you in anyway? Like in traits or quirks?

No, my characters don't resemble me unless you count the fact that they love pickles.

Thanks for stopping in, K.  You can be scared all you want of driving in the snow, I'm scared of Harley's.

As for research, for one book, I've taken the trip up the Oregon trail stopping at every site I could hit in two days. Twice. You must have an iron stomach, cause I might read about it,  but I doubt I'd watch a lobotomy, frontal or otherwise. 

I love stories that take place during the WWII era. So much espionage took place then that we don't understand fully. I am amazed by how many asylums there are in the US that were in use during that time. That your character hides in one, is intriguing.

I wish you well with your book, K. Thank you again for coming by.Following is a short excerpt from Queen of Hearts. To read more follow the links below.

Daphne Dean is proud to be serving her country stateside during WWII as a reporter and an Office of Strategic Services operative. When the photograph she takes of the crowd at a murder scene places her on the mob's hit list, she's forced into hiding in a vacant mental asylum in the middle of nowhere with terrifying secrets of its own.

Daphne believed herself to still be in love with her ex-fiance, Kenneth, until she spends several days locked away in the asylum with Vito, the mob boss' son. Can she put the terrifying events that occurred there behind her and allow herself to pursue a relationship with Vito? Or, will she return to Kenneth who has turned his back on his country by becoming a draft dodger and a black market racketeer? One thing's for sure, it won't matter if she can't escape the mental institution alive.

Purchase links:

Queen of Hearts at Desert Breeze Publishing

Queen of Hearts for Kindle at Amazon

Youtube: Queen of Hearts Book Trailer


StephB said...

Tina and K Dawn,
What a nice interview. I think Isla and young Clark are perfect pics for your leading characters!


Melanie said...

Great interview, Dawn. Your book sound great. I'm impressed that you sold so quickly after you started writing. Kudos to you! I'm not familiar with either of the people you chose for your h/h, but they're a handsome pair. I'll have to look them up.

Shawna Williams said...

Great interview! I'm crazy about dogs, K.D.! And I love how you cast your characters. I can totally see that!

Diane Craver said...

I haven't read Queen of Hearts yet but I want to. It sounds thrilling and I know it's a great read because I've heard from others how good it is.

I'm impressed how fast you write, K. Dawn. I need to write faster.

Great interview, Tina and K.Dawn!

K. Dawn Byrd said...

Thanks everyone for all the kind comments!