1. Tell us about your newest release.
In Her Dreams is my debut novella with Harlequin Australia's imprint Escape Publishing. It was released in eBook format on October 1, 2013. Here is the blurb:
A flirty, fun, mix-and-match romance about two sisters who are betrothed to the wrong men…
Evangeline Vernon is a woman on the verge of spinsterhood — until the prim and proper Duke of Manchester steps in. Her family is pleased with the match, but the duke is not the passionate man Evangeline craves. Her heart belongs to an alluring, golden-haired gentleman, perfect in every way…except one: he doesn’t exist.
Angela Vernon is everything a proper, well-brought-up woman should be. She knows her place and understands society’s expectations — which include not being jealous of her sister and not coveting her sister’s suitor. But how can she bear the heartache of watching the only man she loves marry not only her sister, but a woman who doesn’t see past his exterior to the man he is beneath?
In Her Dreams is very close to my heart, because the message behind the story is that dreams do come true. As my first sale to a publisher, my dream of becoming an author flourished with this novella. So I can say wholeheartedly the message holds value.
2. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your story?
While writing In Her Dreams, I was surprised when I realized the sister dynamic of Evangelina and Angela Vernon mirrors that of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood of Jane Austen's Sens and Sensibility. I've been an Austen fan since the age of twelve, but when I first set out to write this novella my intention wasn't to draw inspiration from her work. It just happened that way as each word fell into place. Evangeline adopted the personality of Marianne, bold and inclined towards the romantic. Angela embodied the sensible and proper Elinor. Despite their different personalities, the two sisters remain close. Of course, that is where the similarities between In Her Dreams and Sense and Sensibility ends. The storyline for my novella is highly original with a message everyone can relate to.
3. How long have you been writing?
I've been writing since the tender age of four. Long time, right? One of my earliest memories is of me as a toddler sitting at a kitchen table. Splayed out before e were crayons and construction paper. I drew pictures like any other kid would, but at the bottom of each page I included a caption. The end product was a picture book about how I was a princess sent to slay a dragon controlled by a witch. My sidekick was Prince Charming, who helped me defeat the evil duo. In the end, Prince Charming and I married. Romance has been in my DNA since the beginning. *Winks*
4. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
My influences vary. Growing up in a small town, I didn't know any authors personally. My parents encouraged my writing, reading bits and pieces of my stories. Two friends of mine, Judy and Kathy, have always cheered me on. With every accomplishment, they congratulated me with a sincere smile. A college professor of mine also bolstered my love for history, making it grow tenfold. It wasn't until I joined the RWA that several authors steered me towards the right publishing avenues. Bless them!
5. What does your family think about your career as a published author?
My family is thrilled! As I said before, both of my parents are supportive. In his quiet way, my father is very proud. He doesn't say much, but when I showed him my first cover there was a glint in his eyes. My mother tells everyone she knows (her hairdresser, her boss, the mailman, etc.) her daughter is a published author. Then, my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandfather are also excited.
6. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
Oh boy. Writing consumes so much of my time, I do not have too many opportunities to do much else. When that rare chance does appear, I enjoy reading books of all sorts. Whether it be the Game of Thrones series or a historical romance by one of my favorites, I can be caught with a book in my lap.I also love my daily walks, entertaining friends and family, and listening to new music on my iPod.
7. Can you tell us what is coming up next for you?
Currently, I am working on two novellas. Both are set in nineteenth century England with the titles playing off of well-known phrases. I really don't want to say much more, but writing these stories are a blast. A novel with a darker edge is also nearing completion, and I have about a dozen other ideas buzzing in my head. Also, I'm excited about my release with Red Sage Publishing for Love Amidst the Egyptian Sands.
8. How can readers connect with you online?
Oh, I love connecting with readers! I've learned its half the fun of being an author. My website is at http://katherinegivens1.wordpress.com/books/. I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. If readers wish to email me with questions or comments, I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.