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Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

15 July 2008

Welcome, Kimberly Killion

Her One Desire
by Kimberly Killion
Available Now!

Astride a stolen horse, encircled by the shackled arms of Broderick Maxwell, a Scottish spy escaping certain death in the Tower of London, Lizbeth Ives rides to the north, hidden by the merciful darkness. By stealth and by cunning, the daughter of the Lord High Executioner has undone her father’s cruel work, compelled to save the innocent man with her. There is no turning back—they are bound as one in his iron chains. Consumed by mortal fear, driven by passion, they disappear into the night…

A single raven follows them. Is it an omen? Or only the first of those who would capture them? They must ride on. If captured, they will face death together. But if they reach Scotland, he will claim her for his own…forever.

Yep, we're welcoming another Zebra Deb to the blog. Kimberly is a debut author with Kensington's wonderful (and discounted!) Zebra program that brings you shiny new authors each and every month (Katherynn Dennis and I, as well as alum Hoyden Victoria Dahl were all Z-Debs). Kimberly continues this program's strong tradition of hot historical reads!

HER ONE DESIRE is set in 1483 England/Scotland. Is there a particular reason you chose that year?

I have always loved the 15th century. It is when Italy exploded with art and when England was trying to be the Big Bad Wolf. This time period is made of heroes. Research for HER ONE DESIRE was fascinating. I bought books on the history of torture and execution, the mystery behind the princes in the Tower, and biographies of Richard III. I discovered that things are not always as they seem and this became the ‘theme’ behind HER ONE DESIRE.

Anything you flat-out altered or “fudged”? If so, why?

Wow! You are asking me to confess? Very well…in the very first scene, the hero and heroine are escaping the Tower of London. They succeed through a ‘secret’ passageway built beneath the Tower grounds. As I was writing it, I had a map of said grounds and realized the moat might be a bit difficult to get around. So I had them go ‘under’ the moat. Most likely this would be impossible, but it is fiction and I had to get them out, otherwise they would have been caught and executed and then I wouldn’t have a book. J

Any gaffs or mea culpas you want to fess up to before readers get their hands on the book? I know I always seem to find one after the book has gone to press. *sigh*


There are a couple things, none of which were within my control to change. The first time I read the back cover blurb I panicked. In Her One Desire the hero and heroine are trying to reach the ‘borderland’ of Scotland, but the back cover blurb says, “If they reach the Highlands…” Ack!!! I tried to point it out to my editor several times, but it never got changed. Also, I had more than half the book written when I received my cover flats. I had originally created the heroine with strawberry blonde hair and the girl on the cover shows up with dark brown hair, so I changed her hair color. There is one other thing about the cover model and her ‘flawless’ skin, but I’m make you read the book to find out.

Tell us a little about your hero. Something fun, like his favorite childhood pet, or his first kiss.

Oh this is a fun question. Laird Broderick Maxwell prides himself on being skilled at holding his breath. Here is a bit from the story that shows his humorous personality as well:

“I am the son of a man who sired twelve bairns. ’Tis expected of me to do the same.”

“Twelve?” Lizzy practically drooled. She would have given anything for just one sister.

“I can say all their names in one breath.”

The tickle dancing in her throat snuck out between her lips in a sort of hoot.

His head turned, popping his neck in two snaps. “Think ye I cannae do it?” He took a deep breath, held it, for extra drama, no doubt, and then…“Magnus—named after Da, but died in infancy; Aiden—named after my grandda; Broderick—that would be me, named after my da’s brother; Muira—named after my mam; then Radella, Jean, Lindsay—named after my aunts on my mam’s side; Beth, Deirdre, Lilian, Mattie—named after my aunts on my da’s side; and Ian.” He inhaled and beamed a wide grin.

What sparked this book? Was it a character? An historical event? A scene you just couldn’t get out of your head?

I suppose I was contemplating my next story when I was watching a documentary of the lives of the executioners and how they lived. I was fascinated by their stories. I had been researching the life of Richard the Third, as he plays a role in HER ONE DESIRE, and discovered he, too, had been party to several execution. My little mind went to work and it hit me…what if I wrote a book about the executioner’s daughter? It took root from there.

Did you have to do any major research for this book? Did you stumble across anything really interesting that you didn’t already know?

My bible for this book was a Richard the Third by Paul Murray Kendall. The book is 600+ pages and I read it more than once. I discovered fascinating concepts that made me rethink my original ideas of creating a villain out of the executioner. Instead, I wanted to make the executioner a bit of a hero himself. As history buffs, we all know the mysteries that surround the princes in the Tower. I, too, have always wondered about their disappearance and decided to use that mystery as a twist in the storyline.

What/Who do you like to read?

I’m afraid I have one genre that I read for enjoyment; historicals. I have tried horror just to get a feel for how to write the ‘scary stuff’, but honestly, it scare me. J As far as my favorite authors…this list could go on forever, but I have my favorites: Hannah Howell, Julie Garwood, Teresa Medeiros, Gaelen Foley, just to name a few.

Care to share a bit about your writing process? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you write multiple drafts or clean up as you go?

I am a pantser. I like to write as if I were reading. That way I am as surprised by the events as the reader will be. In my opinion, it is less like work when you write like a pantser. I write in the mornings. Typically from 4:00 am to 6:30 am. I type in a first draft, mostly dialogue, then I comb it a second time for internal dialogue and deep emotions. The third time through I will add in the senses, which is my favorite part. I am usually pretty content with the scene after three rounds.

What are you planning to work on next?

I am currently working on a new book that begins in 1488 Italy. As an artist by trade, I’ve always been a lover of the Renaissance era. I am a fan of incorporating historical figures into my books, Lorenzo the Magnificent makes an appearance in my next book. Laird Taveon Kraig travels to Italy in search of an amulet that is said to hold the heart of a woman who cursed his clan. In Italy, he meets Mistress Viviana Gorini de’ Medici Martinus da Vincenza, a ward of Lorenzo the Magnificent who has already suffered the burden of the marriage bed twice and has no desire to wed again. Until…


If I’ve intrigued you, then don’t miss my debut release: HER ONE DESIRE
QUICK BLURB: England 1483—A time when the nobles would do anything to steal the crown. Proof of a conspiracy lies in the hands of the executioner's daughter. Her quest to save her father's soul endangers her life along with the Scottish spy she frees from the Tower of London.

EXCERPT:
http://kimberlykillion.com/hodexcerpt.asp
BOOK TRAILER:
http://kimberlykillion.com/hodtrailer.asp

Thank you, Kalen, for inviting me and since I’ve been in a celebratory mood as of late, I’ll be picking a commenter’s names at random to WIN an autographed copy of Her One Desire.

15 Comments:

Blogger Cynthia Owens said...

I'm more intrigued than ever, Kimberly. I can't wiat to read this one!

3:25 AM  
Anonymous Kimberly Killion said...

Good Morning all, and thank you Kalen for having me here today at History Hoydens.

Cynthia, I hope my editor is equally as intrigued. LOL

The real job calls, but I will be in and out to chat.

3:58 AM  
Blogger Mary Blayney said...

Hi Kimberly and welcome to the Hoydens. Loved the tidbit with the hero naming his sibs. I love the insight into the character that comes from just a few sentences. It sounds like you know Broderick very well.

How did you balance contemporary values with the way of the world in the 15th century? It is something I grapple with in writing regency set historicals and think the farther back you go, the harder it must be.

7:20 AM  
Blogger CrystalGB said...

Hi Kimberly. Great interview. Her One Desire sounds wonderful. Love the cover.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Amanda Elyot said...

Welcome, Kimberly!

I love the idea of setting a novel during the reign of Richard III, and I, too, love the hero's monologue where he lists his siblings' names. It has great melody and rhythm; you have a good ear for dialogue.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Elaine said...

I loved the character trait of holding his breath. I appreciate the humor; it takes an intelligent writer to write it. I will put this on my TBR shelf.

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Kimberly Killion said...

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome. I'm at the 'real' job right now and I teach so I only get ten minutes breaks before every hour. So, Mary, I'll be back to answer your quwestion in 50 m inutes. LOL

9:00 AM  
Blogger Jane said...

Hi Kimberly,
Is "Highland Dragon" going to be set in the same period at "Her One Desire"?

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Kimberly Killion said...

Mary,
>How did you balance contemporary values with the way of the world in the 15th century?<

I try not to create the bionic woman goes to Scotland. LOL I have had a few people already email me and tell me that my heroine was a refreshing treat. Lizzy is a woman of her era--submisive, proper, always does what she is told sort-of-gal, but she is placed in unusual circumstances. It was her growth in becoming strong that the reader connected with (I think).I can sympathize with your problem, because women today and women from the 15th century are not the same. So I advise, maybe keeping them proper in public, but they can go crazy with internal thoughts that might cause them to bite off their tongue. :)

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Kimberly Killion said...

Jane,
Highland Dragon is set in 1503. So, yes, 15th century, but Highland Dragon is set completely in the Highlands by the Isle of Skye, whereas Her One Desire was mainly based in England and the lowlands.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Kimberly Killion said...

I'm actually headed out to my second booksigning at my local library. I'm speaking about my road to publication, so these have been great questions! :)

2:17 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

Hi Kimberly,
Your time period and settings are different than many of the historical romances out there. Did you do that deliberately? Your story sounds unique and different.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

Welcome, Kimberly! Love the premise of "Her One Desire"!

And oh, how I can relate to your blurb and cover snafus. ;-)

Kathrynn

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Kimberly Killion said...

Maureen,
I just simply like that time period. I think the fact that it is different helped to sell it. But not necessarily the time period but the fact that the heroine is the executioner's daughter. That was really what sold this book.

2:29 AM  
Blogger MsHellion said...

I finally got my copy yesterday!! I'll be starting it tonight!! :)

2:05 PM  

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