Today I’m talking with debut author (and fellow Midwest Fiction Writer) Kathryn Kohorst. Ever since Kathryn shared a chapter from Marianne and the Mad Baron during one of our monthly meetings, I’ve been eager to read more of this crazy-fun Steampunk adventure. And don’t you love the cover? To celebrate her release, Kathryn shared her answers to my tough questions. Read on!
What inspired you to write Marianne and the Mad Baron?
I’ve always loved adventure stories. This series started out as an idea for a female ship captain during the early eighteenth century. The idea to turn it into steampunk happened after rereading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. I love Jules Verne and the sense of wonder that the Victorians had for their world and technology. I thought, how fun would it be to have the ship sail through space? The story grew from there.
What types of books do you enjoy reading? What is on your nightstand?
Romance! I suppose that’s an obvious and rather boring answer but there are at least three books open throughout my house at any given time. I never know when the urge to read will strike me and I like to be prepared. I probably read two or three romances a week although I occasionally spice that up with something different. There really isn’t a genre that I won’t read.
Currently I have The Best Man by Kristin Higgins on my nightstand, Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn in my living room, and The Bride Wore Starlight by Liz Selvig in my office. I love these books so much I can just open them to a random page, start reading and fall in love all over again. I do switch them out from time to time with other books from my keeper shelf but these are the current favorites.
How do you make time to write?
I get up at 4:30 in the morning. The house is quiet and I can focus for three hours before the husband wakes up and distracts me. I also find that by starting early it is easier to get words on the page. Most of the time if I don’t start writing early, I won’t write at all. I think it’s important as an author to learn what system works for you and I’m glad I figured out mine. Now if only I can figure out how to write engaging heroines from the get go without having to re-write them several times.
What is your favorite part of being an Author?
I love that I can explore the stories in my head. It’s rather busy up there and until I started writing it could get a bit hard to concentrate. Having an outlet for my imagination has been a godsend. I’m surprised I didn’t go crazy with all the voices talking in my head.
If a celebrity did the audio book reading, who would you pick and why?
I would choose Benedict Cumberbatch, because the man has a voice like melted chocolate. Rich and decadent, it always leaves you craving more.
Let’s play “Dump the purse” – What’s in yours?
Small wallet, phone, inhaler, lip balm, ibuprofen, and bookmarks. It’s kind of boring. I used to carry more but my shoulders were killing me so I downsized.
My kid’s built a time machine out of Legos. When and where are we headed and why?
This is a tough one for me. I’m a bit of a history nut and there so many periods I’d love to visit. Could you imagine being one of the first people to walk through the doors of the Crystal Palace at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London, or being present for the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge? We could go see the launch of Apollo 11 or the Wright brother’s historic first flight. I could go on and on and on. I’m not sure I’d ever be able to choose just one place or time.
You are the first person to pick the Crystal Palace and the Great Exhibition. That would be high on my list too. Dessert time! Give me your “either – or” answers.
- Chocolate, fruit or other? Chocolate! Seriously, why is this even a question?
- Warm or Cold? Both! Chocolate Lava cake with vanilla ice cream anyone?
- Buttercream or fondant? Neither, they’re both too sweet.
- Cookies or Brownies? See above about chocolate. Brownies are generally richer than Cookies and softer.
- With nuts or without? If chocolate is involved, I really couldn’t care less. If I had to choose, then I’d take it without nuts. Nuts sometimes hurt my teeth.
Arthur Tavish, Baron Summerfield doesn’t look like a hero. As he walks the crowded streets of Victorian London, his cyborg enhancements cause looks of fear, laughter, and perhaps worst of all, pity. But Tavish no longer cares for the world below. He’s found refuge as first mate aboard his beloved Aethership, Sheba. Floating high above London society, among the hardened sailors of the Sheba, he can concentrate on his work and forget about his foolish dreams of love and family.
Marianne Lindstrom’s debutant life is over. Her father’s suicide following financial ruin has left her orphaned and destitute. She must find work but with no skills, her future looks bleak. Without protection from family and friends, her ruin is imminent.
On the cruel London streets, Marianne is rescued by a monster more frightening than the thugs who attacked her. But after her initial shock at the man’s huge stature and mechanical parts, something about the stranger calls to her.
Tavish can’t leave the woman. The London streets would eat her alive in less than a day. He offers her a job aboard the Sheba. As Tavish teaches Marianne what life on an Aethership can offer, the two fall under each other’s spell.
But a dark force is after Marianne, set on killing her, or worse.
As they travel the Aether, collecting friends along the way, Tavish and Marianne must unravel the mystery of the demon chasing them and why it thinks Marianne must die.
Kathryn Kohorst Bio:
Kathryn has always loved to read. Growing up she could most often be found curled up with a book. She craved adventure, romance, and mystery. Each book transported her to a new world with new wonders to explore. Unhappy with the weak female characters she found in many of the stories she read, Kathryn started writing her own. At twelve, she was putting her own heroines in danger and allowing them to save themselves.
She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison earning a history degree and then a law degree from Hamline University School of Law. After practicing law for several years and hating every minute of it she put down her law books and picked up her creative pen, this time to write a book she would publish. She’s been scribbling ever since. Kathryn currently lives in Minnesota with her husband, and a lovable but neurotic cat named Brooklyn.