Today we’re have the fantastic opportunity to speak to successful Author Kathryn Dionne, as a stop on her Blog Post.
Kathryn Dionne, the author of The Eleventh Hour trilogy and Derek The Fireless Dragon, lives in Southern California with her husband, Jeff, and their two Shar Peis, Bogey and Gracie.
The Eleventh Hour: The Enlightened Ones
The Eleventh Hour: Day of Atonement
The Eleventh Hour: Ressurection
Derek The Fireless Dragon
From an early age, Kathryn’s love of treasure hunting sparked an interest in archaeology. As an amateur archaeologist, she’s been fortunate enough to uncover some very unique artifacts in different parts of the globe. However, she’s still searching for that very special scroll.
In addition to writing, she manages their five-acre property and their grove of Italian olive trees. Her husband has lovingly named their business; Saint Kathryn’s Olive Oil.
In her spare time, she makes cookie jars and throws pottery in her studio. She also creates mosaics from discarded objects and sells them under the category of Found Art.
She is currently writing a new series called, Chasing Time, which she hopes to have published some time in 2013.
1.How did you start your writing career?
I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. At age 8 I had an epiphany; I was going to be a writer when I grew up. When I told my father about this revelation, he said, “You don’t want to be a writer. Writers don’t make any money. You want to be a lawyer.” I know now that he was only looking out for my best interest. But I spent the majority of my life trying NOT to be a writer. I ended up in advertising churning out copy for ads, brochures and television. But in my heart I knew I wasn’t following my dream of becoming an author. It wasn’t until recently that I fulfilled my dream. In 2012 I published a supernatural thriller called The Eleventh Hour trilogy. And this year I published a children’s book called, Derek The Fireless Dragon.
2.Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?
There are two people I credit most for helping me achieve my goals. That is my husband, Jeff, and my mother, Helen. Growing up, my mother knew how much I loved to write. She always encouraged me to keep writing and to follow my passion. While writing The Eleventh Hour, there were so many times I wanted to give up. But Mom wouldn’t hear of it! She became my editor, my beta reader, my advisor, and my cheerleader. She nurtured me when I needed it, but wasn’t afraid to give me a kick in the pants when I needed that, too. She passed away before I finished writing The Eleventh Hour trilogy. It devastated me knowing that she would never get to see our “baby” come to fruition. I should have known that even death couldn’t keep her from finishing this project with me. Every time I wanted to quit, her angelic voice would whisper in my ear; just keep writing!
As for my husband, we met at a writer’s conference. So he knew how much I loved to write. When we got married, he gave me a most wonderful and gracious gift; the opportunity to stay home and write full time. It if weren’t for his generosity, I would never have been able to finish and publish the four books that I have now.
3.Tell us about your current release.
The Eleventh Hour trilogy is an action/adventure thriller with a bit of the supernatural thrown in. It’s about archaeologist, Sophia Conrad, who uncovers an ancient scroll thought to be the diary of Jesus. As she begins to translate the writings, she discovers that this is a book of prophecy foretelling the end times, and she has been chosen to save mankind from the next cataclysmic event. But when she discovers a piece of fabric tucked inside, she and her husband, a geneticist, are propelled into a life of science, secrecy, and government conspiracy. Their efforts to save humanity are threatened by a weapon of mass destruction so deadly, so insidious, yet so unassuming that, unless it is stopped, no one will be left unscathed.
4.Where do you research for your books?
Mostly I do my research online. But I’ve used my extensive travels and my experience on archaeological digs to guide my story and make my characters more believable. They seem to travel to the same places I’ve been and dig up the same artifacts that I’ve uncovered. However, I’m still looking for that very special scroll.
5.What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?
There were so many interesting things I discovered while researching The Eleventh Hour; our government’s Remote Viewer program, Earth’s base resonance frequency, and Polar shifts. But one of the most surprising things I learned was about myself. I learned that I could write a story compelling enough to move people. One reader said in her review of the trilogy; “my soul felt better after reading these books.” As far as I am concern, there is no higher praise.
6. How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?
This might sound a little weird but to develop my characters, I throw an imaginary party for them. I did this when I was writing The Eleventh Hour. I invited all of my characters to a party and told each one to bring a guest. I also invited an astrologer to my party. I gave each of my characters (and their guests) a birthday and had my astrologer do an astrological chart on them. Strange, I know, but it gave me tremendous insight into my characters and allowed me to give them more realistic qualities.
As for developing the plot, I just start writing. I know that some authors write an outline of their story first and then build the plot around that. But that has never worked for me. I just start writing and allow my characters to tell me where they want to go. While writing The Eleventh Hour, I had a certain idea of where the story was going to go, but my characters took it in an entirely different direction. So I just followed along. As it turns out, I like the direction they took much better than the one I had intended on taking.
7.Are the names of the characters in your novels important? How and why?
Yes, one in particular. I chose the name Sophia for my main character in my Eleventh Hour trilogy because it means wisdom. Since she was chosen to save mankind from the next cataclysmic event, her ability to distinguish between selfish and selfless acts had to prevail. She had to be willing to use her wisdom and judgment for the sake of all no matter how much it cost her in her personal life.
As for the others, I just wrote down the names my characters gave me.
8. What would you consider to be the best book you have ever read?
That’s a tough question. I’ve read many books that I would put in “the best” category. It really depends on my moods and what is going on in my life at that particular moment. One of the best series I ever read is by Diana Gabaldon. I absolutely love her Highlander Series. She is a master at bringing a story to life by the historical details she weaves into her stories. I would love to be able to write like her.
9.Is there one passage in your book that you feel gets to the heart of your book and would encourage people to read it? If so, can you share it?
Yes. This particular passage is when Sophia finds the scroll hidden in the cave;
‘…Show yourself to me. Reveal yourself. Please let me find you.’
As Sophia reached into the crevice and pulled out the scroll, her heart raced, and her palms began to sweat. She knew this was something much more important than just another scroll. She had sensed it the moment her fingertips caressed the ancient leather.
‘This is it,’ the little voice inside told her. ‘This is what you were born to do.’ Sophia slipped the scroll into her pocket just as Dr. Morgan walked up.
She had not intended to steal the scroll. That was sacrilegious in the archaeological community. But an urge greater than her conscience took over. And in that split second, Sophia’s actions fulfilled the first of three ancient prophecies.
That evening, when Sophia was finally alone in her hotel room, she put on a pair of latex medical gloves so that she wouldn’t leave incriminating fingerprints and carefully removed the scroll from her pocket. The two thousand year old camelid hide, which encased the papyrus scroll, looked flawless. How could that be? Normally, natural fibers that old crumbled into dust as soon as someone touched them. She could come up with no logical explanation for that anomaly.
The longer she held the perfect specimen, the more she knew in her soul that this was something sacred and divine. Her heart pounded as she laid the leather bound scroll on the table and gazed at the symbol branded into the ancient hide. She knew the meaning of the Flower of Life symbol in a normal mathematical context, but she wondered what its meaning was here, on this scroll.
She couldn’t resist the temptation any longer. She removed her gloves and traced her fingers over the indented symbol, remembering the first time she saw the same likeness, not in a book or on a poster but under a microscope.
David Conrad, her fiancé and a fledgling geneticist, had prepared a laboratory slide with human cells. As she watched them multiplying and dividing under the microscope, creating a flower pattern, David touched her on the shoulder and said, ‘Behold, the seed of life.’
Now, the ancient image before her was a clear representation of the actual building blocks of all life. But surely this symbol must have meant something different to these ancient people. They couldn’t possibly know or understand about human DNA back then, could they?
With great care, Sophia untied the leather thong holding the leather covering in place. Encased in the leather lay a scroll of papyrus parchment approximately eight inches wide by thirty-six inches long. As she gently unrolled the scroll, she began to translate the ancient symbols:
‘…and for my Father, who are in the Heavens, shall I write these words. This writing, the first of three, shall be guarded by the Mother of Wisdom. The second one shall rest with the true Remnants of Israel. And the third shall remain hidden until the Day of Atonement is at hand.’
As she unrolled the scroll a little more, she noticed a small patch of fabric approximately an inch square. Careful not to touch it, she pulled a pair of tweezers from her dopp kit and picked the swatch up by its corner.
‘Is that dirt on there, or something else?’ She wondered out loud as she placed it in a plastic Ziploc bag. Then she continued to translate:
‘…and from these fibers shall emerge the next immaculate conceptions.’
10.Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
Yes. The desire to write has always been in me, struggling to get out. What kept me from succeeding sooner was my own self-doubt. If I could offer any advice to fellow writers it would be that those stories inside of you were placed there for a reason. Maybe by writing them you will be touching someone in a profound way. Another one of my favorite authors, Richard Bach said; the difference between a writer and an author is; an author is a writer that didn’t give up!
So, never give up. Strive to become the author you were always meant to be.
For more information Kathryn and her books and where to buy them: