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Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Friends: Meet Kat Henry Doran

Nic—thanks so much for inviting me to your blog. It's always a treat to talk with you!

LOL Kat, you're my best bud, I love hanging out with you!

Tell us a bit about yourself and why you write the genre you do.

I am a wife, mother, and grandmother, semi-retired nurse-paralegal, and former victim advocate and sexual assault nurse examiner. Over the years, I've been honored to work in several different areas of nursing [though at the time I didn't always consider the 'honors' side of things] which sparked my imagination, forced me to use my brain, and has left me very grateful for the opportunities I've been given.

My husband and I recently celebrated our fortieth wedding anniversary—and haven't killed each other! Our youngest child turned 30a the other day. I spent the day feeling quite sorry for myself because, of course, I'm not much older than that myself [at least in spirit] so how did that ugly reality of life rear it's ugly head? It's been an adventure, sometimes quite rocky, staying married and raising three terrific kids. I admit I had help along the way from my mother-in-law and her son.

Now, how many women can say that with a straight face and uncrossed fingers?

Why do you write the genre you do?

I write romantic suspense because it turns me on and it's fun. At this stage of my life, if it ain't fun, I can't be bothered. Since I am basically lazy, I don't have the drive to research historical figures, crucial dates, or modes of dress like you, my friend. I'd much rather slap a pair of tight jeans and a golf shirt on some guy than worry about if zippers or snaps had been invented yet. I also like to curse, so of course my characters do, too. I don't want to worry if a certain phrase was in use at the time of the story. And don't get me going on historical medical practices. It's amazing that people survived even though most didn't wash their hands often, had no refrigeration or indoor plumbing, antibiotics or immunizations. Yech!!!

That doesn't mean I don't do research for my books. I once spent the day making rounds with an equine veterinarian, an afternoon at the Mounted Patrol barn of the local police department, interviewed [read: interrogated] a physician who'd spent months in Central America, working for Doctors Without Borders. Years ago, I spent the entire summer reading every book in my local library branch about the Rom [Gypsies], a much-maligned, often misunderstood culture.

My byline is “romance takes a bite out of social injustice”. So whatever I write, no matter the length, feature at least one medical professional, one from the criminal justice system, and someone[s] who have been abused or misused by the system. Write what you know. I do.

How long have you been writing?

26 years.

Where do you get your ideas?

Often a newspaper or magazine article will stir my imagination. Occasionally song lyrics do it for me. George Gershwin and Cole Porter are particular faves. Recently, while traversing the yellow pages looking for one thing, I came across pages of ads for escort services and the “services” they offer. What an eye-opening experience that was. With that, the idea for a story was conceived. I pattern how my heroes look from movie stars. The escort story features a Daniel Craig look-alike. He's the newest James Bond with the great bod and a fabulous lived-in face. I honestly don't know who I pattern my heroines after.

Describe your typical writing day.

It depends on the time of year. From September 1st through June 30th, I provide child care for my three [soon to be four] grandchildren. Right now I'm on “summer vacation” and have not suffered one second of withdrawal. So . . . after inhaling my usual pot of coffee while ESPN's Mike and Mike in the Morning debate the latest in sports happenings on ESPN, I complete the two cross-word puzzles from the morning paper. Then, I either head to my sewing room to create the next in a long line of made-to-order tote bags which are masterpieces [not!].

Sewing for long periods of time is not good for people with tricky backs so I don't sew every day. I spend as little time as possible with emails; and admit I don't blog as often as I should. I loathe writers' loops, though I do read the digest titles and will zone in on something that interests me. As a result, I am so far out of the loop, it's pathetic. I had no idea a schism occurred recently within RWA. Whoa!!! Treason, insurrection, and heresy all rolled into one. If someone would email me privately and give me the scoop, I'll make you a tote bag!!

I tend to write at night and on weekends. When September 1st hits, beats me when I'll have time, or the strength, to do anything beyond breathing.

What was your “Aha!” moment—when you knew you had to be a writer?

It was 1983; I received a card from someone I'd worked with in the Operating Room. We'd not seen or talked in probably 5 years. I sat down at the dining room table to catch her up on what I'd been doing with my life. After a while I robbed my kids' school supplies for ruled paper. Before I knew it, I had twenty pages written. I couldn't believe it!! And I knew I had to be a writer.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

A baseball groupie or a nun.

Tell me your best cure for writer’s block?

I review what I last wrote, even if it's 50-100 pages. Never fails for me.

Tell us a little bit about your latest release.

Try Just Once More will be out in re-release through the Wild Rose Press in May of 2010, one of the Last Rose of Summer line. It's a contemporary romantic suspense, set in the Adirondack Mountains of Northern New York State.

After being cleared of murder charges, Maggie McGuire escaped back to her childhood home to rebuild her shattered life. Now, three years later, the past has returned with a vengeance and it's aimed directly at her kids.

The nosy Chief of Police is relentless about uncovering her sordid past in order to deal with the present. She once paid a very high price for trusting a cop. Is Michael Brandt for real—or another uniformed bully disguised as a smooth-talking hunk? He'll have to walk a very long road before Maggie puts the lives of her precious children in his hands.

No innocent when it comes to personal betrayal, Mike will have to put aside personal resentments in order to convince Maggie to try just once more.

Anything else in the works you can share with us?

I'm in the process of strengthening the goals, motivation and conflict[s] for the male escort story I mentioned before. The “escort” is a cop [what a new and interesting concept for me!] on the trail of tag team serial killers and an investigative reporter or photojournalist with one Pulitzer Prize under her belt and is a nominee for a second for her work in the Middle East on behalf of the plight of women in a misogynist culture. She is in town to attend an important gala where she is to receive a humanitarian award, but needs a date. Guess who's the date? Sparks fly immediately, not all are positive. Her acceptance speech blows him out of the water—and forces him to take a second look at her and all those “bleeding heart liberals” willing to risk their lives to right a wrong.

Wow. Kat, thanks so much for hanging out with me today! It was fun!


Sarah Simas said...

Hi Kat and Nicole!!

Great interview! I really enjoyed learning more about the awesome KHD.

Kat, I love your wit and humor! You're too funny. LOL On the baseball groupie or nun! I may join you on the groupie thing. Some of those gents are very easy on the eyes. :o)

Susan Macatee said...

Hi, Kat and Nicole!

A baseball groupie or nun? Ha!

I can identify with the children getting older, while I still feel young. My oldest is 26. And I often forget how many years I've been married. That's how I know it's been a long time. LOL.

Your stories sound intriguing! Good luck with them!

Kathye Quick said...

Hi Kat--

Baseball groupie or nun? I think I WAS a baseball groupiw back in the day - remember Ron Darling of the NY Mets, and Tug McGraw, Lenny Dykstra?

I'd still be one except I'm too old to run after them now!!

You are the best

Debra St. John said...

Hi Kat and Nicole! Thanks for the interview. Kat, you sound like one busy lady!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Kat and Nicole,
Terrific interview. I enjoyed it very much. Ah a baseball groupie or a nun? I think being a writer sounds easier.


Helen Hardt said...

Nice to meet you, Kat!

Paty Jager said...

Hi Kat, Fun getting to know more about you.

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