Thursday, 21 February 2013

Kathryne Arnold - Author Interview


The Resurrection of Hannah
A Novel Inspired By True Events
by Kathryne Arnold
 
Interview With The Author:
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
Throughout my school years, I dabbled in poetry and short stories, purely for personal self-expression. I experimented with a creative writing class in college, but never pursued my secret desire of a writing career, feeling the vocation was too self-indulgent, not sensible enough for my German blood. Over the next twenty years, I concentrated further on my work in counselling and social services, later becoming a licensed practitioner. Several years ago, due to a deep yearning to express my feelings in a more artistic manner, I literally sat down one day and began writing my first novel. The resultant book, The Resurrection of Hannah, (published in 2011) had been born out of a series of powerful dreams, along with compelling and coexisting experiences that inspired me to create a story that would capture the strength of my emotions. Once bitten by the writing bug, I could not help but pen my second work of fiction, The Fear of Things to Come, which was published in the summer of 2012. I am now in the process of writing another novel in what I consider a unique collection of adventure stories, the third in the Samantha Clark Mystery Series. I occasionally write thought-provoking, inspirational blogs, which are published on my website and other social media sites.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER? 
That I can turn into myself and get in what is termed “the flow”- an emotional and creative space where time melts away. I become one with my writing space and the written word, hours fly by without a notice. I had a longing to shape a tale based around individuals in my life that I believed would make engaging characters. I had a strong desire to experience a higher level of creativity, to literally produce something out of nothing– a fascinating and challenging endeavour I could not ignore.

WHAT IS THE HARDEST ASPECT OF WRITING?
Finding a block of uninterrupted “me time” to engage in writing when I’m not mentally drained, or too physically tired. I work at a demanding full-time job, and being single means I have to take care of every other aspect of my life, leaving little energy left over for creative undertakings. I’ve been very fortunate in that I never experienced the dreaded “writers block”. I’ve been fleetingly stuck here and there, but mostly because something else was going on in my life that was taking precedence. But usually a good night’s sleep or some fun clears my fuzzy brain, and I can get right back into the work of writing.

HOW MUCH RESEARCH GOES INTO YOUR STORYLINE?
Quite a bit of research and study goes into formulating the plot/subplots, overall theme of the novel, character development and any historical elements that might be of importance. I want any subject or activity mentioned in my books to sound realistic, and that I am relatively knowledgeable about that which I write. For example, when writing about the incredible garden at the manse in Gableton (based on Gloucester) Massachusetts where the character Hannah lived, I researched extensively the flowers, greenery, trees, etc. that would have been indigenous to the area back around 1785. It was then important that I describe every aspect of the garden in a convincing manner, and it was necessary to find pictures/drawings of everything that was to be in this garden in order to be as accurately descriptive as possible.

HOW DO YOU PLAN YOUR STORYLINE?
I don’t really sit down much and plan a storyline. I have a rough draft in my head and start documenting a major theme, some characters, plot(s), point of view, etc. I use Microsoft Word and make files for characterization, research, short descriptions of chapters, etc as I’m developing them. I’m big into organization and prioritizing generally in life, so this goes also for reviewing and editing. With the initial writing, often I’m just sort of daydreaming about my book, questioning where it might go, or I sit around, clear my head, and think about difficulties with the writing that I want to hash out. I let ideas flow in and out and try not to censure myself too much, keeping my mind open to new thoughts and possibilities of where the book might go. I became aware a long time ago that the writing is not following me, but I am following the writing. The story takes me where I need to go, the path it should naturally take. It’s exciting and fun to see where my mind and ideas lead me. Often this is when I write my best work and it usually makes sense to the story, and if for some reason I later discover that it doesn’t, I can just delete it!

WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
What inspired me to write my first book took place over many months after much curiosity with alternative health practices and treatment modalities, which I was always interested in, especially since I work in one of the healing professions as a mental health therapist and hypnotherapist. I met with a group of counselors and nurses that met monthly who had a collective interest in talking about and experimenting with a myriad of subjects, such as meditation, hypnosis, dream interpretation, reincarnation, and the like. Our lives were becoming more intertwined and closer because of our group meetings and the intimacy of some of the topics we discussed, so that played into the book as well.

Several of us were working at a hospice at the time, so we talked a lot about practices used there, such as reiki, aromatherapy, therapeutic touch. We talked often about our experiences at the hospice working with dying patients and their families. I personally had a lot of existential questions, such as the meaning of suffering, what was our purpose here on earth, what about an afterlife, those sorts of things. At the same time, I was also frequenting health food stores and started researching and using more herbs and supplements to help increase my energy level, improve my immune system and sleep, etc.

Well, all of these events and relationships seemed to come together at the same time in my life when all of a sudden I had my first overpowering, I guess you would call it a “dream” experience, which was way more than just a regular dream. It was very surreal, full of color, depth and texture, where I felt I was watching it at the same time I was experiencing it, what one would term an out-of-body experience. I couldn’t ignore what had occurred because of its impact and intensity. I didn’t know or understand what had happened, which sort of shocked me and pushed me into questioning even more about the “here and now”, alternative levels of existence, the way energy manifests itself, and so on. I truly believe, and always will, that I was blessed to have had several extraordinary dream events and know that they happened for a reason, primarily I think to wake me up, to move me along, to help me better reach my potential. So after all these events I mentioned occurred over a period of about 18 months, and upon the urgings of one of the group members to write a book, I just sat one day and began writing.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PUBLICATIONS/AWARDS IF ANY?
I’m pretty new on the writing scene, so I haven’t won any awards, but I’m hoping to submit some of my work in the future when I have the time. I’ve written the sequel to The Resurrection of Hannah, which came out several months ago. I was pleasantly surprised when The Fear of Things to Come hit the Amazon Bestseller list during a giveaway; it was #16 out of the Top 100 free ebooks in all of the Suspense category. In December 2012, Chique Travel Books published the Chique Travel Anthology 2012, titled “The Beauty and Inspiration of Travel”. I’m proud to say that I was asked to be one of the co-authors for this delightful, uplifting book by a group of wonderful authors.

WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING THING ABOUT WRITING/PUBLISHING THAT YOU HAVE LEARNT?
Just how much work goes into both. I used to think that you wrote a book and zap, it was out there and people would just want to read it. It is infinitely more difficult than that. You have to really put your work out there, stand behind it, be open to marketing and publicizing your books. I used to be humble and shy talking about my book/blogs, but that doesn’t get you anywhere. People want to hear about your work, your life, how you write, how the heck you got published, etc. So even though I’m still a bit hesitant to talk so openly about my books, it has helped tremendously with public speaking and learning to use the internet to create buzz and exposure for your writing.

DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
Follow your own voice, your own intuition and style. Develop your own method of putting words to paper, listen and pay attention to your inner callings. Don’t be swayed by others. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. This also holds true for editing, promotion, developing presentations, etc. Learn to really know yourself, and then to believe in yourself. It is obviously important to pay attention to experts in the field, and those that have you in their best interest. Be open, but cautious. Trust your instincts and follow what is important to you. Try not to be influenced too much by other writers that you admire, stay true to yourself. You will hear a hundred different ways you should do something. When overwhelmed or unsure of which road to take, and trust me, this will occur many times in your writing life, I suggest that you stand still, breathe, lighten up and guide yourself toward what feels genuine and honest to you.

OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
I love the outdoors, walking and exercising when I have the time, especially on the beach. After work, I love sitting on my porch and staring at the wide-open bay, a cool breeze flowing over me, with the wind chimes clinking around, just decompressing. I love baking cookies, and of course, eating too many of them. I love to travel, which I never seem to have enough time or money to really indulge. I like to spend quality time with my friends and family. Of course I adore my toy poodle, playing and cuddling with her. And movies, can never get enough of them!

WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
This is definitely a hard one! Don’t think I can boil it down to one author, but I would have to say Eckhart Tolle. His books are so clarifying and enriching, they feed my soul. Makes me want to be a better version of myself, to strive for excellence, to open myself up more to the universe, to understand and relate to others on a higher, more spiritual level. My favorites are A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose and because I am an animal lover, Guardians of Being: Spiritual Teachings from Our Dogs and Cats.

IF YOU HAD A PREMONITION YOU WOULD BE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 5 BOOKS WOULD YOU THROW IN YOUR BAG?
I’d want to throw in so many I don’t know if I could carry the darn bag…this is an impossible question! But if I have to choose, I’d want books of varying genres. 1) Classic Romance--Jane Austen: The Complete Collection 2) Thriller--Plain Jane: Brunettes Beware by Cristyn West 3) True Crime--The Informant: A True Story by Kurt Eichenwald 4) Nonfiction-- The True Story of the Greatest Elephant that Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer and 5) Humor--This Book Is Not Good For You (The Secret Series) by Pseudonymous Bosch

WHAT FIVE WORDS BEST SUM YOU UP?
Adventuresome
Inquisitive
Genuine
Youthful
Persistent

HOW CAN WE LEARN MORE?
For detailed author/book/event information, please visit Kathryne’s website at www.kathrynearnold.com.


Book Description:
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Release Date: March 15, 2011
Buy: Amazon

Samantha Clark meets with a monthly group to delve into subjects of interest. They dabble in meditation, dream work, and hypnosis — just friends having fun. But lately Sammi is feeling off-kilter and plagued with poor sleep. Searching for a natural solution, she discovers a bitter herb known to induce slumber, whips up a concoction to sweeten the herb, and imbibes. Unbeknownst to her, these areas of experimentation are whirling together to form the perfect storm, one that will blow open an entrance in Sammi’s mind that leads to another world, a door that can never again be closed.
 
She becomes enmeshed with two friends in a tug of war between life and death: Melissa is dealing with a complicated pregnancy and Julie is wrestling with cancer. Adding to this turmoil is Sammi’s disconnect with her career as a psychotherapist; her life doesn’t seem to fit any longer. Into the drama walks Todd, a handsome, laid-back guy who lightens up her days. Trouble is, Sammi is having a hard time getting close, and a nagging sense of doubt and fear. Like so many times in the past …

But the topper to all this is the dreams. They begin innocuously…but quickly morph into mind-blowing spiritual adventures. The crazy nocturnal activity appears to be related to a soulful character trying to make himself known. In a quest to uncover the truth, Sammi researches clues discovered during her nighttime romps. What she finds is another facet of herself…all wrapped up in post-colonial 18th-century clothes. Sammi flies off to New England, and with the aid of the Reverend Clark, her skeptical father, she embarks on an adventure, revealing a tragic, centuries-old mystery. One only Sammi can solve. 
 
The Ressurection of Hannah
Giveaway!
There will be 3 signed hardcover copies available to US/Canada entrants and an Ebook for International entrants.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

19 comments:

  1. I have had the hairs on my arm stand up - does that count?!

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  2. I believe so... but I'm not quite sure.

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for visiting Meghan and good luck!

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  3. Melissa,
    So happy to be on this wonderful blog and have an author interview and to share about The Resurrection of Hannah. Great site! Thanks for connecting :)
    Kathryne Arnold

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    1. Hi Kathryne,
      It is a pleasure to host you. It's always nice to read about other authors and their writing journey. Best of luck with you book!

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  4. Dear readers,
    Thanks for reading about my journey as an author and for your interest in following me on my book tour. It's been fun meeting new people who love reading as much as I do! Glad I'm able to give away some hardcovers...it's the least I can do for this great book tour!
    Kathryne

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  5. This sounds so unique. I've definitely added it to my to read list!

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    1. It sounds interesting doesn't it? Fingers crossed with your entry Jonel!

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  6. I agree that finding a block of time to write, ontop of daily responsibilities, marketing and other aspects of publishing is very difficult...

    Great interview and giveaway, wishing you continued luck on tour!

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    1. It is always so nice when we do manage to get a chunk of writing time though. Good luck with the giveaway!

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  7. I hear you about finding time. I have 3 children and I can't find much time to write anymore.

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    1. Rebecca I have 2 children and that is hard enough to juggle writing time. Keep working on finding the time for yourself though :)

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  8. Hmm, not sure about the spiritual connection, but we have a resident ghost living with us, :)
    Great interview, I always enjoy learning about new authors (new to me) and I appreciate all the work involved in writing.
    Good luck on your tour!
    -Deanna
    pit crew

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  9. I hope your ghost is a friendly one Deanna! Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. I do, is something very personal, but I do.

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    1. Thanks for entering Francielle, good luck!

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