Kathryn is a member of WisRWA with me, and about the sweetest person you’ll ever meet. I was thrilled when I heard she’d sold her first book to Harlequin and I’m just as thrilled to have her visit my blog for an interview.
Name: Kathryn Albright
Favorite Candy: My favorite candy is a Lindt milk chocolate bar, but just about anything chocolate will keep me happy :D.
Favorite Cartoon Character: Cartoon character would have to be Stewie on the Family Guy. He is so warped—a huge ego and no power—what a combination.
Superpower would most like to have: If I could have any superpower…hmmm…I’d want to fly – like superman. Fast–so that I could be anywhere in the world I wanted to be at any given moment. What a rush!
Q.) Can you tell us about The Angel and the Outlaw?
KA.) Love too! The Angel and the Outlaw is my debut release. The story is set in 1873 San Diego on the peninsula. The main character, Stuart, is hiding from the law and at the same time trying to raise a young girl. He doesn’t count on the interference of the local school teacher who wants Hannah to come to school.
Q.)Your books are a bit unusual in that they are set in the western part of the United States in the 1800’s but aren’t necessarily what we think of as “Westerns.” How do you categorize them? What kind of writer do you consider yourself?
KA.)The setting for The Angel and the Outlaw had more to do with being raised in San Diego myself and being exposed to the city’s history from an early age. Early San Diego history fascinates me and with its Spanish and Indian influence reminds me more of a Zorro than of a John Wayne western. As to what kind of writer I am? I’d have to say Americana historical.
Q.)Did people ever advise you to go with a more “expected” combination of time period and setting? What are your thoughts on writing outside the box so far as period and setting?
KA.) Actually, no. Not until the last contest I entered before the Golden Heart did a judge caution me with the words—“sounds like a great story, but a hard sell because of the setting.” For me, it is the setting and history that draw me in. I must have a passion for the story or the whole thing will fall flat.
Q.)What can readers expect to find in all your books no matter the setting?
KA.)A tender love story, hopeful ending and accurate historical detail.
Q.)The Angel and The Outlaw finaled in RWA’s Golden Heart contest. How was this experience? Did you enter a lot of contests before selling?
KA.) I entered four contests for the invaluable critiques—first with the manuscript, then with the synopsis. I did well in the smaller regional contests and that gave me courage to send it off to the Golden Heart. When I found out I’d finaled in the GH, I was simply overwhelmed. It has been an unbelievable journey to publication ever since.
Q.)Are you a plotter or a panster? Character-driven or plot-driven? Ever try to be the opposite? Do you have a set method you use when starting a book?
KA.) I’m definitely a plotter. I have to know where I’m going. And the beginning and end come into focus quickly for me. It’s the middle that makes me pull my hair out. I shift gears when I feel blocked and do the “seat of your pants” type writing. It helps unblock me. My stories start out plot-driven, which makes me work extra hard on the characters so that they are not cardboard or stereotyped. By the end of the story I want the plot and the character motivation to dovetail seamlessly. When I start a book, I number a piece of paper from 1-20. Then I write in turning points and scenes until the page is full. This keeps the story concise and manageable for me. This paper evolves into a much longer work, but I always try to keep the abbreviated version around for quick referral.
Q.)If someone were to compare your writing to any author, who would you most like it to be (be most complimented by) and why?
KA.) I love the work of LaVerle Spencer. Her stories are tender, deep, and touching and her characters are so real and easy to identify with.
Q.)Any new projects on the horizon? What would you like to try next?
KA.) I’m finishing a story set in Texas. This is much more “western” than my debut book. I’ve had the idea for the story on a “back burner” for awhile and then when Harlequin asked me to write another western-set historical the timing seemed perfect to begin. I also have a New York City immigrant story nearly finished.
Q.)Finally, where can readers find out more about you and your books—and buy your books?
KA.) My website is www.kathrynalbright.com. You can buy my books at a local bookstore or go through my website. Additionally, you can go directly to www.eharlequin.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, or www.amazon.com.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us—and happy reading!!
Thank you, Lori. It’s been fun!