Kate Breslin

 

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Posted July 29, 2015 by

A Florida girl and former bookseller, Kate Breslin migrated to the Pacific Northwest where she lives with her guitarist husband and a persnickety cat. Author of travel articles and award-winning poetry, Kate received Christian Retailing’s 2015 Best Award for first time author, and her debut novel, For Such a Time, is a Christy award, RITA award, and Carol award finalist. Kate’s second novel, Not by Sight, will release in August, 2015. When she’s not writing inspirational fiction, Kate enjoys reading or taking long walks in Washington’s beautiful woodlands. She also likes traveling to new places, both within the U.S. and abroad, having toured Greece, Rome, and much of Western Europe. New destinations make for fresh story ideas. Please visit her at www.katebreslin.com.

 

KELLY: Thank you for visiting BookTalk today, Kate! What’s the journey been like for you, from debut author to bestseller?

For Such a TimeKATE: It’s been amazing, Kelly! I’m honored by the recognition that For Such a Time has received this year and keep pinching myself, wondering when I’ll wake up. Joyful is the best way to describe how I feel; that God has allowed me to be an instrument of His grace through doing what I love most.

You have two published novels under your belt now. If you could go back in time and visit that unpublished writer working on For Such a Time, what advice would you give her? And what might you do differently with this story?

Great question! I certainly would have taken myself a bit more seriously and spent the precious time writing instead of doing other things, like dusting. :-) For Such a Time took me many years, plotting and doing rewrites, and I really had no map. If I could go back, I would definitely write the synopsis before starting the story.

I know we have some aspiring writers reading this, so from concept to submission, how long does it take you to write a novel? What’s your process?

My second novel, Not by Sight, took 14 months from start to finish. I tend to be a slow writer, and my novels require much research; however I’m always discovering ways to streamline. I like to create a story outline once I’ve done my research on the setting and events of the time period I’m writing about. The characters seem to grow from the story. I write in the mornings when I’m the most creative, Monday through Friday with weekends off unless I’m on deadline. Each day I start by reviewing the pages I wrote the day before, to get my bearings, then try and write at least 4-8 new pages. Some days the words come easier than others, so allowing myself an average keeps me motivated. The important thing is to keep going until the first draft is finished. Years ago, I made the mistake many new writers make, of polishing those first three chapters until they gleamed but struggling to get beyond that point. We must turn off the editor and just write. As someone wise once said, it’s easier to edit a terrible first draft than it is to edit a blank page.

How have your reading tastes/habits changed since becoming a published writer?

I read a lot more inspirational fiction. As a bookseller for many years, I was able to try several genres, historical romance always being my favorite. Since I signed with Bethany House I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy many wonderful stories from amazing inspirational authors. I admit that I’m still partial to historical romance, but I enjoy a good contemporary or suspense romance when it comes along.

Speaking of stories, some people say that Christian fiction, with its general lack of questionable content (profanity, sex, graphic violence, etc.) is irrelevant or unrealistic compared to life in the 21st Century. What would you say to them? What does Christian fiction mean to you?

I would first disabuse them of the notion that profanity, sex, and graphic violence are necessary to writing a great story. :-) As far as being irrelevant or unrealistic for today’s reader, I urge them to give Christian fiction another look. The genre today offers something for everyone, from gentle romance to edge-of-the-seat drama, and from faith-focused to a light message with simply clean reading. I love the way Christian fiction inspires me, and I always gain new insight, whether it’s in my relationship with others or in my journey with God. I lean toward stories with deeply flawed characters working through tough issues, and a lighter faith message so that I can be allowed to draw my own conclusions. These stories are out there, and becoming more available as Christian publishing continues to grow and keep pace with today’s readers.

I’m an aspiring writer myself, and I know there are many in our audience who are as well. How did you know God was calling to you write? What advice can you give us hopeful-authors?

This may sound odd, but it was more like I couldn’t not write. For years I tried to get published in the general romance market, and while I felt like quitting many times, something always made me get back up and start again, even while I kept ignoring God’s call to write inspirational fiction. In the end when I did listen and I finished writing For Such a Time, nothing I’d ever put down on paper had felt so right. Since then, my writing journey has been blessed. My advice: Believe in yourself. Keep writing. If God does have other plans, He’ll make them known to you. None of that time is wasted. For me, I needed those extra years to hone my craft, to grow older and wiser and write with more depth and insight. God had it all figured out. :-)

Not by Sight-Kate BreslinNow, let’s talk about Not By Sight. Was it hard writing this book? What will you miss most about these characters/this story?

The biggest challenge in writing the story was time. I’d had the luxury of years to craft For Such a Time and mere months to write Not by Sight. So yes, it was a learning curve, and I’ve never worked harder. As to my characters, I loved them all, especially Grace and Jack, and it’s always difficult to leave them in their world as I start to create a new one. I hope one day I’ll be able to revisit the others in some new story.

What was the most unusual thing you found in your research for this story?

Okay, here’s a bit of history trivia: Mata Hari, the exotic dancer and well-known spy who was tried in a French court and executed during WWI, may have been innocent after all. Recently released records indicate that because the war was going badly, she was more scapegoat than secret agent and there was no real proof found against her. I’ve included footnotes at the back of Not by Sight if you’d like to know more. Even now it seems tragic to me. Despite her infamous reputation, she was a child of God and a wounded soul. She didn’t deserve to die.

What’s up next for you?

I’m currently researching for my next novel with Bethany House, and since I’ve find Europe during WWI so fascinating, I plan to write another story in that era. It will be a stand-alone novel like Not by Sight, but readers just may recognize a character or two in both stories. :-)

Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Kate! In closing, how about a Top 10 Speed Round?

Great! Let’s get started!

Kate’s Top 10 Speed Round

1. Name 3 of your favorite authors of all time.

Jane Austen, Francine Rivers, Julie Garwood

2. Name 3 books in your TBR list/pile right now.

  • In Good Company by Jen Turano
  • Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon
  • Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig

3. Name 1 famous book people might be surprised to learn you’ve never read.

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

4. One novel you could read for the rest of your life and never get bored is…

The Secret by Julie Garwood

5. Print or e-books?

Print!

6. What is the oldest book you own?

“The Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott, Vol. 1,” Edinburgh, 1868.

7. Favorite snack/beverage while reading or writing?

Hot Lemon tea.

8. Craziest place you’ve ever been caught reading or writing?

In my closet with a book, a lamp and a pillow. (I was twelve and had three little brothers who loved to pester me.)

9. You’re having a dinner party. Which 5 fictional characters (none of your own!) would you invite?

  • Jane Austen’s Emma Woodhouse
  • Masterpiece’s Ross Poldark
  • Elizabeth Gaskell’s Roger Hamley
  • Downton Abbey’s Sybil Crawley
  • C.S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower

10. Favorite activity that has absolutely nothing to do with reading or writing or research?

I love taking nature walks in the forests and occasionally hugging trees. :-)


Kelly Bridgewater

 


25 Comments


  1.  
    Vicki G

    I have not read any books by Kate Breslin yet, but that is changing today! Thank you for the great interview and the giveaway opportunity! :-)




  2.  
    Kristine Morgan

    I loved For Such a Time, but I think I love Not By Sight even more! Thank you for wonderful stories!




  3.  
    Amy

    I haven’t had a chance to read any of Kate’s books yet, but I can’t wait to read Not By Sight! I love the cover and it sounds like such a great read!




  4.  
    Sarah

    I adored Kate’s first book, For Such a Time! I think I actually reviewed it! It was excellent and I am SO excited to read Not By Sight! WWII fiction is definitely a favorite of mine, so I know I’ll lvoe it. Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy! :-)
    God bless,
    ~Sarah




  5.  
    Linda May

    I haven’t had a chance to read her books, but I would love a chance to get started on one, she sounds like an Awesome Writer. Thanks for this wonderful chance.




  6.  
    Mary Tullila

    Very excited about her new book….she’s such a gifted writer.




  7.  
    Dana Michael

    It was so fun getting to know you Kate! These books sound fascinating. I really haven’t read much on WWI so this will be a good education for me. I also loved your little history insight into Mata Hari.




  8.  
    Soleil

    I loved For Such a Time! Can’t wait to read your new book!




    •  
      Kate Breslin

      Oh, Soleil, thank you! I’m excited to have you read Not By Sight and let me know how you like it!




  9.  
    Pam K.

    I read For Such a Time and thought it was excellent. I recommended it to my book club for one of our monthly selections. We had a great discussion. Since it was such a terrific book, I’m really looking forward to reading Not By Sight.




  10.  
    Abby Breuklander

    Hi Katie!! I haven’t had a chance to read any of your books yet, but they’re on my reading bucket list!!




  11.  
    Brenda Murphree

    I really enjoyed the interview. I’ve been seeing your book and would love to read it. But there is one thing you are missing. Please read “Gone with the Wid” if you like historical fiction. It is much better than the movie! I’ve read it several times. At least 3 or 4 times.




    •  
      Kate Breslin

      Brenda, see me ducking my head in shame. 😉 Yes, absolutely I will read it, thank you!




  12.  

    Kelly, thanks for hosting Kate. I loved your 10 questions (as well as the whole interview)!
    Kate, thanks for writing about this era. I enjoy reading about characters who face every day obstacles against the larger background obstacle of war.




    •  
      Kate Breslin

      Thank you for visiting today, Elaine! And I’m happy you share my love for this time in history. Sometimes, I find it a comfort to realize that many before us managed to get through the tough times and survive; maybe we can, too. :-) God bless!




  13.  
    Lientjie Human

    I haven’t read any of your books yet but would love to read them both.
    I really enjoy the time frames you picked.




  14.  

    I loved For Such a Time!! My daughter and I both read it and absolutely loved the new take on an old story and we’re both excited to read Not by sight. As an aspiring writer, your words of encouragement about knowing no time is wasted, are huge for me! Blessings to you!!




    •  
      Kate Breslin

      Sharee, thank you! I’m glad both you and your daughter enjoyed reading For Such A Time, and I hope you’ll enjoy Not By Sight. I wish you the very best on your writing!




  15.  
    Kathleen Clark

    This is the first that I have heard of Kate Breslin. I found out about this interview on the Facebook page Christian Historical Fiction. I would love to read one of her books and get to know her as an author better. I love learning aobut other places and times.




  16.  
    Connie Saunders

    No, I haven’t read Kate’s work but I hope to change that. I will recommend her to our librarian.
    Thank you for this review and giveaway.
    Connie




  17.  
    Beverly S.

    I have not read a book by Kate Breslin so Not By Sight will be my first. It sounds so interesting. I love books set during this time frame. The cover is especially pretty too. :-) Thanks for this post….I enjoyed reading about Not By Sight and your interview with Kate was fun too. Hope you are having a wonderful summer and finding lots of time to read.




  18.  
    Melanie Backus

    Kate is new to me and her book sounds absolutely wonderful! thank you for this most generous giveaway!





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