© 2013 Clive Eaton
Katherine is a marathoner and an avid reader who turned her love of reading into
a passion for writing and has completed a sweeping time-travel romance The Ruby Brooch.
She is currently working on two additional time-travels and a romantic suspense.
A graduate of Rowan University in New Jersey, she earned a BA in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice. Following graduation, Katherine attended the Philadelphia Institute for Paralegal Training earning a General Practice Certification.
She returned to Central Kentucky and worked for twenty years as a paralegal and law firm office manager. With an educational focus on psychology and the law, Katherine’s plots typically present a mystery for the hero and heroine to solve while on an emotional search for love and forgiveness.
Katherine is a grandmother and spends several weeks every year in New York City with three of her five grandchildren. The other two live about ninety minutes away in Northern Kentucky. Her life is filled with enjoying family and friends, writing and running.
THE RUBY BROOCH, Book 1 of the Celtic Brooch Trilogy
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the
risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin
Can a 21st century paramedic find her heart's desire on the other side of time?
From the white-plank fenced pastures of Lexington, Kentucky, to the beautiful Bay of San Francisco, The Ruby Brooch, a saga steeped in family tradition and mystery, follows a young woman's journey as she searches for the truth on the other side of the heather-scented mist.
As the lone survivor of a car crash that killed her parents, paramedic Kit MacKlenna makes a startling discovery that further alters her life. A faded letter and a well-worn journal reveal that she was abandoned as a baby and the only clues to her identity are a blood-splattered shawl, a locket that bears a portrait of a nineteenth-century man, and a Celtic brooch with mystical powers.
After studying the journal, she decides to continue her father's twenty-year search
for her identity and solve her birth parents' murders. For safety reasons, she adopts
the persona of the Widow MacKlenna. Although a perfect cover for her eccentric behavior,
she will be forced to lie and MacKlennas don't lie, or so she thought. Finally, dressed
and packed, she utters the incantation inscribed on the ancient stone and is swept
back to Independence, Missouri, in the year 1852.
Upon arriving in the past, she meets Cullen Montgomery, an egotistical Scotsman with a penchant for seducing widows. The San Francisco-bound lawyer happens to resemble the ghost who has haunted Kit since childhood. She quickly finds the Bach-humming, Shakespeare-quoting man to be over-bearing and his intolerance for liars threatens her quest.
If she can survive his accusations and resist his tempting embrace for seventy-three days, she might be able to find the answers she seeks, and return home to a new life without changing history or leaving her heart on the other side of time.
What do you do to relax when you are not writing?
When I get away from the computer and relax, I read, and I read in a variety of genres—fantasy, mystery, suspense, and of course, romance. When the weather is nice, I enjoy evenings on patios at local restaurants sharing dinner and a glass of wine with family and friends. But probably most of all, I relax or de-stress by running. It has become a passion late in life, and I love it because I don’t ponder or worry or plan. I just run because it feels good.
What, or who, inspired you to become a writer?
I started writing poetry as a teenager and still dabble a bit. There are a couple of original poems in THE RUBY BROOCH. From the fall of 1996 to September 1997, I read almost three hundred romance novels. I started with Elizabeth Lowell’s WINTER FIRE and from there read her entire back list. Then I moved on to Beatrice Small, Linda Howard, and others. After all those books, the day came when I put down the one I was reading, and said, “I can do this.” Ten weeks later, I wrote The End to THE RUBY BROOCH. Over the next several years, the story was either in the closet or going through one of a dozen rewrites. Then, in 2012, the book came out in print.
What or who inspired you to write your current novel?
After reading all of Elizabeth Lowell’s stories set in the west, I knew I wanted to write a story set in the mid-1800s in the American west. I happened upon the Oregon Trail by accident.
Tell us three interesting facts about your book which are not covered in the synopsis.
1) There are two little girls similar to Mary and Laura Ingalls
2) There is a lovable Golden Retriever named Tate, a depressed Maine Coon cat named Tabor, and a racehorse name Stormy
3) Kit is an artist and plays the guitar
What research did you need to do for this book?
I read countless Oregon Trail journals to get a feeling for the life and challenges the travellers experienced.
I joined the California-Oregon Trail Association and had dozens of conversations with experts about life on the trail.
I talked to people all around the world about carbon dating, Thoroughbred racing, guns, clothing, food, snakes, and the list goes on.
I travelled the trail from Independence, Missouri to Portland, Oregon, and in many places followed the actual wagon ruts. The round trip from Lexington, Kentucky to Portland took nineteen days. It was an incredible adventure.
Are any elements/characters of your book based on real life experiences or people you’ve met/known?
I think many of the characters have traits of friends and family members. And I can certainly identify with Kit’s grief and trauma. My husband died five days after I wrote THE END. During the many rewrites over the years, I was able to pull from my own experiences and add depth to Kit’s grief and recovery.
Tell us a little about your current work-in-progress.
The heroine in THE RUBY BROOCH is Kit MacKLenna. Her godfather is Elliott Fraser. Elliott played his supporting role so well that he got the next book, which was supposed to go to Braham McCabe, best friend to the hero (Cullen Montgomery) in THE RUBY BROOCH.
Why did he get his way?
A couple of reasons. Braham’s story is a Civil War story, which takes place during the same time frame as the recently released movie LINCOLN. If I had known of the movie’s release, I might have ignored Elliott’s demand. But at the time, all I heard was that Civil War stories weren’t selling. The second reason is that I fell in love with Elliott and had to write his story. The title is THE LAST MACKLENNA. It isn’t part of the Celtic Brooch Trilogy, but it is a sequel to THE RUBY BROOCH.
The story is a romantic suspense about Dr. Elliott Fraser, a fifty-year-old vet with as many emotional scars as physical ones. When the story opens, he’s just been released from the hospital following a fifth surgery on his leg. He’s on his way to Edinburgh for the holidays. He gets news that there’s a problem with his $25,000,000 Thoroughbred who is returning home to Kentucky after standing stud in New South Wales.
Meredith Montgomery is president of a 160-year-old winery in Napa. The winery is intending to celebrate its anniversary with the release a new label. Meredith discovers a lump and fears she might have another breast cancer. While waiting for the pathology report, she is encouraged not to cancel her genealogy trip to the National Archives in Edinburgh.
Elliott and Meredith met at a B&B owned by Elliott’s long-time friends. They are enchanted with each other and spend the Christmas holiday lost in a romantic adventure.
When Elliott’s horse is killed, he rushes back to his farm. He invites Meredith to stop in Kentucky on her way back to California to spend New Year’s Eve, but Elliott’s fears and stress push her away. She returns home to face her own problems: cancer and the winery’s celebration.
The bond, however, that developed while they were in Edinburgh pulls them back together, but that bond is stretched and twisted by events that force them to deal with their misconceptions about what is most important in their lives.
What process did you adopt from inception through to the finished book?
Write, edit, put it away for a while. Write, edit, and do it again. In 2007, I decided to get serious about learning the craft of writing. For the next four years I worked with a mentor, entered contests, took on-line classes, and worked with a critique group. When the manuscript was as good as I could get it, I hired an editor then went through another round of rewrites.
What do you need (or not need) around you whilst writing?
I only need a computer/laptop. I can write anywhere.
What prompted you to self-publish your current book?
I went the query agent/editor route and had full requests from editors for THE RUBY BROOCH. They passed after reading the story telling me westerns and time travels were hard sells, but that they were interested in seeing other work.
I’m a member of a local writing group with a dozen members who have self-published and are doing well. With their help, I took the plunge and have never looked back.
What were the three biggest challenges you faced when writing your book?
1) Sifting through a large amount of research to make the story historically accurate
2) There are 5 POVs in the story. Keeping them straight was difficult at times
3) Providing clues throughout the story to keep the reader engaged without giving away the mystery
Every author seems to suffer with writer’s block at some point. How do you overcome it?
It’s a struggle. I have to make myself write whether I want to or not. I might delete everything on the page, but at least I’m writing.
What single piece of advice would you give to any aspiring writer?
Write what you love and read books outside the genre in which you’re writing. Study authors you enjoy. Mark sections of their books that you particularly like. Take sentences apart line by line. Study the words the authors use, plot devices, and characters arcs. Learn the craft of writing. Take online courses. Then read, read, read and write, write, write. And don’t quit.
What genre does your book fall into?
Romance (sub-genre: time travel)
How did you get interested in this specific genre?
I’ve been interested in time-travel since childhood. “The Time Machine”, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” and my all-time favorite “Somewhere in Time”
You as a reader
Which three authors have inspired you the most, and why?
1) James A. Michener: Michener is the author of sweeping sagas. I fell in love with historical novels reading HAWAII, THE SOURCE, CENTENNIAL, and others
2) Elizabeth Lowell: I love her voice, her settings, her characters, and the incredible amount of research she puts into her books.
3) Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child: They co-author fast-paced, mind-blowing stories, and I love their character FBI Agent Pendergast
What was your favourite book as a child?
The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and the Boxcar Children
What is the best book you’ve read in the last 12 months?
I’ve read three books recently that have stayed on my mind. I highly recommend them: by M.A. Granovsky, by Michael Gunter, and by Clive Eaton. (Thanks Katherine - I honestly didn’t put her up to saying that!)
What was the last book you recommended to a friend, and why did you think it was worthy of recommendation?
I’ve recommended all three of the books listed above. Wonderful stories, great characters, and each kept my attention at a time when that wasn’t easy to do.
Kindle (or other e-reader) or paperback, and why?
It took me a while to give up my hardback and paperback books, but I’m glad I did. I love my Kindle.
Hollywood is calling
You’ve had the call from Hollywood and they want your opinion on who should play the leading roles in the film based upon your book. Who would you choose, and why?
Elliott is a Mark Harman and/or George Clooney-esque character. Cullen Montgomery is Ben Affleck or Hugh Jackson. Braham is Brad Pitt. Meredith could easily be played by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kit by Nicole Kidman or Kate Winslet
The film of your book is now going to need a soundtrack. Which musician(s) would you want to write and play it?
I’d go with the composer of the soundtrack from the movie “Titantic” – James Horner. He uses Celtic musical elements which fit my stories.
Drink – I drink water mostly, but I love chardonnay
Meal – Fried chicken
Holiday destination – to the beach – any beach
TV programme – Downton Abbey and Dancing with the Stars
Film – One of my all-time favourite movies is LEGENDS OF THE FALL, but the favourite is GONE WITH THE WIND
Method of travel – I love travelling in the car, but you can’t beat Delta!
Sport – University of Kentucky basketball – Go Cats!
How can people connect with you?
Authors always appreciate feedback and comments. Please leave your comments by using the following link: Author Feedback/Comments - Thank you.
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