Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Interview with Kathryn M. Hearst, Author Feast of Mercy Order of the Sinistra Dei Book Two

What made you decide to be an author? In my previous career, I wrote technical documents, training materials, and grants. I started writing the Order of the Sinistra Dei series in the late 90s, but life happened. When I made the decision to homeschool my youngest child, my friends harassed me to finally finish the book. I wrote the first draft of Feast of the Epiphany in three weeks, rewrote it, spent some time learning the craft, and rewrote it again. After all of this, I still didn’t know if I had what it took to be an author. I submitted the novel to Awesome Indies for a manuscript review and received a 5-star rating. I wrote a second book, The Spirit Tree, and won a contract with Kindle Press via a Kindle Scout campaign. The feedback from professionals and reader reviews overwhelmed me. I’m still not sure I’ve decided to be an author, but I plan to keep writing books until I figure it out.

What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least?
The best thing about being an author is the free therapy that digging into a character, problem, or storyline provides. I can take painful things that have happened to me and rewrite the endings. I can take people who tick me off (you know how you are) and kill them in creatively brutal ways. I’m in control. The thing I like the least is the uncertainty of it all. I pour my heart and soul into my books in hopes of creating something people enjoy. Releasing them is like sending your children off into the world. You pray they will be accepted, loved, and will thrive.

How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing?
I spent almost fifteen years tech writing. I’d like to think some of that helps me when writing fiction, though I’m not sure. My crazy family, unusual life paths, and characters I’ve met along the way provide me with more than enough material to use in my books.

Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book--as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with? Feast of the Epiphany came to me in such a gush. My only choice was to vomit the words into the computer. The story consumed me and left me emotionally exhausted. I carried a notebook with me everywhere and jotted down thoughts. At night, the notebook stayed beside the bed. It was crazy. 

You’ve written seven novels and are working on an 8th novel. What’s your favorite time management tip? I will preface this by saying I don’t always follow my own advice, but my tip is to create a writing schedule and stick to it. Make writing a priority and treat it like a job. You wouldn’t call off work to sit on the couch and watch pay-per-view. The same should be true for writing. With that said, sometimes you need to sit on the couch and binge watch Netflix to recharge—just don’t do it every day.

Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer? I’m a horrible pantser. I start out with six to eight things that need to happen in the story, and the approximate word count where they should occur. Half-way through the first draft, I end up in a state of panic, thinking: I’ll never finish, I’ve dropped a plot line, or I wrote myself into a corner. After I pick myself off the floor, I promise myself I’ll outline the next project. I’ve yet to keep the promise.

If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be? Surround yourself with professionals and successful authors who are willing to tell you what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. Believe them when they say your early work stinks. They speak the truth. Forget what your friends and family tell you. Granny isn’t going to tell you that you suck. This is the woman who gushed over your preschool crayon drawings. Be professional, set your ego aside, and learn the craft. Almost every new author thinks they can break the rules or justify bad writing as voice. Likewise, most indie authors sell less than 100 books and give up. If you want to be a successful author, put in the time to learn to write a solid story.

Did music help you find your muse with this book? If yes, which song did you find yourself going back to over and over again as you wrote? Nick plays piano in a bar on Bourbon Street. I found myself listening to New Orleans’ blues and piano covers of classic rock songs to get in his head.

An ancient feud. A threat from the Vatican. Two lovers caught in the middle.

Nick never wanted to live forever, and he certainly didn’t want to join the Order of the Sinistra Dei. Unfortunately, before he’s able to get used to the idea of immortality, the High Judge from the Vatican arrives in New Orleans to investigate the strange events of Fat Tuesday. If Nick doesn’t play his cards right, his forever could be a whole lot shorter.

Marin, a relatively new immortal, is forced to serve as assistant to the High Judge while he investigates the alleged crimes of those she holds most dear. She’ll do what she has to do to protect her clutch. However, her efforts bring her closer to facing the executioner’s blade.

As their world spins out of control, Marin and Nick struggle to reconcile past hurts and hold onto their budding relationship. New enemies, new abilities, and new desires threaten to tear them apart. It isn’t long before they realize love can’t heal all.

Loving someone means you want the best for them...but what happens when what’s best isn’t you?

Feast of Mercy is the second book of the Order of the Sinistra Dei series, an Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance like no other. If you like mysterious supernatural creatures, conflict-ridden romance and a lot of heat, then you’ll love this series.


Nick expected sounds from her—moans, maybe a scream or two. What he didn’t expect was for her to bolt upright and let out a blood curdling scream. Déjà-fucking-vu.

“Get out,” Marin shouted.

For a brief terrifying second, Nick thought she spoke to him, then a male voice spoke from the door.

“Marin, I require your services,” a man said from behind him.

Nick covered her body with his unsure of what else to do. He didn’t recognize the voice, though he detected a European accent. Anyone who called her by name would have recognized him, even with his face buried between her legs. It had to be Lysander.

When the door clicked shut, he hopped off. “Who was that?”

“The High Judge. He’s practically a priest. A freaking priest saw my boobs.” Marin scrambled off the couch in search of her clothes.

“He’s not a priest. Worse.” Nick laughed deep in his gut. If looks could kill, he’d be stone cold dead, for keeps this time. “I’m sorry. Do you think he recognized me?”

“Where is my bra, dammit?” She pulled her jeans on commando style.

Nick handed her the scrap of lace she called panties. “Where are we going?”

“You aren’t going anywhere. You’re going to hide here until he’s gone, then go back to Gia’s. I need to find out what the hell he wants.” She snatched her bra from the edge of the desk and rushed it on.

Nick ran his hand through his hair. “Shit. This is bad.”

“Call Gia.”

“I will.”

“Now.” Marin slipped out the door.

Gia’s phone rang until he thought it would go to voicemail. “Hey, Nick.”

“Gia, the High Judge came looking for Marin.”

“Where? Did he see you?”

“The bar.” Nick’s stomach clenched. “I don’t know if he saw me.”

“Did he say why he wanted Marin?”

“No, but you need to be careful. Nicholai and Serena are still in town. If he comes to the townhouse, Nicholai doesn’t need to be the one to answer the door.”

“Shit, hang on.” She spoke with someone. “Okay, where are you now?”

“I’m still upstairs in the office, he barged in and caught us…um…making up. I didn’t get a look at him.”
Kathryn M. Hearst is a southern girl with a love of the dark and strange.She has been a storyteller her entire life, as a child, she took people watching to new heights by creating back stories of complete strangers. Besides writing, she has a passion for shoes, vintage clothing, antique British cars, music, musicians and all things musical (including theater). Kate lives in central Florida with her chocolate lab, Jolene; and two rescue pups, Jagger and Roxanne. She is a self-proclaimed nerd, raising a nerdling.

The Order of the Sinistra Dei is her first series and includes titles, Feast of the Epiphany and Feast of Mercy. Kate's novel, The Spirit Tree, won a publishing contract with Kindle Press through the Kindle Scout contest. Her short stories have been published in various anthologies.

Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet?

My website is the best place to learn more about my books. I’ve included the first chapter of my published novels on my blog.



Buy Links

Feast of the Epiphany: Book 1
Feast of Mercy: Book 2

Kathryn, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.

Tour giveaway

1 $50 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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