Friday, March 20, 2015

Showcase: The Keys of the Watchmen by Kathleen C. Perrin

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Katelyn Michaels plans on hating every moment of her visit to Mont Saint Michel with her father’s new French wife. Once there, she is confused when she experiences sensations of déjà vu and hears voices as she and her younger brother explore the medieval village and abbey.

When the oddly-dressed but alluring Nicolas slips Katelyn a strange medallion, she is whisked back through time with him to the 15th century where her Watchmen hosts tell her she is the only hope to save Mont Saint Michel from the invading English armies. Even worse, she learns those armies are led by a fallen angel intent on learning the mount's closely-guarded secret.

Katelyn is torn by feelings of anger at being taken back in time, inadequacy at finding a modern solution for a medieval problem, and responsibility for the mount’s starving inhabitants. She is also perturbed by her surprising attraction to the ill-tempered Nicolas. Will she stay to learn why she was chosen by the Archangel Michael and find a way to save his mount?

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Kathleen C. Perrin holds Bachelor's degrees from Brigham Young University in French and Humanities, and graduated summa cum laude. She is a certified French-to-English translator. While completing her education, Kathleen met and married a dashing young Frenchman. They have spent years investigating the mysteries and beauties of his native country, and have a cottage in Brittany. For a ten-year period they took tourists to Mont Saint Michel, where she served as tour guide.

Kathleen has lived in Utah, New York City, France, and for eight years in French Polynesia. She has worked professionally as a language and music teacher, translator, interpreter and writer. She has published several non-fiction articles, academic papers, and a religious history about Tahiti. Traveling and learning about new countries and cultures is a passion for Kathleen, but her latest passion is sharing France through her fiction. The Perrins have three children, and currently reside in Utah.





Q.  What inspires your writing?

A. My muse is and has always been the mysteries of France. My husband is French, we have a cottage in France, I am a French translator, and my husband and I have taken groups of tourists to France, so I know and love this remarkable country, its history and its culture. But even more, I love the mysteries that thousands of years of French history have created.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an writer?

A. I love sharing my passion for France with my readers and hope that they can also learn something as they read. I also love it when the ideas just flow out of me. Unfortunately, that usually happens to me in the middle of the night, and I have to get up and capture them before they slip away like fleeting dreams. I don’t like the getting up part, but I do love that tender mercy of not having to struggle with writer’s block.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an writer?

A. For me, it is making and finding the time to write, because I have a very busy and full life.

Also, it’s pretty tough to read reviews of my writing that I find blatantly unfair. I don’t mind a good honest critique, and I can accept the fact that not everyone is going to like my stories or writing style, but when someone hasn’t even finished the book and writes a critique without getting the whole picture, has a clear agenda, or is downright mean, it is tough to swallow. However, I know that it comes with the territory. As with any public form of expression, whether it’s acting, politics, art or writing, one can never please ‘all of the people all of the time.’

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?

A.  I am a French to English translator, and the income from that has allowed me to use my ‘spare time’ to write. But I am also passionate about music. I was a piano teacher for twenty years, and I love to compose and arrange piano and choral music.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A. The Thirty-Year Journey, which is how long it took me to publish my first novel after actually completing a novel!

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A. Honestly, can anyone actually answer that question? I will say that the Scriptures have to be my favorite non-fiction works because I am a deeply religious person. However, my reading tastes in fiction are so varied, and I read so many different types of genres, that it’s an almost impossible questions to answer. I have so many favorites! But I have to admit that I really love action, adventure, spy and mystery novels with largely male audiences by the likes of Steve Berry, Dan Brown, Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton, Clive Custler, Ken Follett, John Grisham, John Le Carré, Robert Ludlum, José Rodrigues dos Santos, James Paterson, Brad Thor etc. I love the modern classics: James Clavell’s Shogun, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, Leon Uris’ Exodus, Herman Wouk’s Winds of War series, and yes, I love Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games (which I simply could not put down), and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. However, if I had to choose a book that perhaps most influenced me to write, it may be the 1980 Italian novel, The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A.  How about Mother Fox, the wife of Allie Fox in Paul Theroux’s novel The Mosquito Coast. I followed my husband (who is NOT like Allie Fox, thank heavens) from New York City to the small, isolated island of Tubuai in French Polynesia where he did research for a doctorate from Columbia University. Now that is culture shock! Even more challenging, however, is that we took our six-month old infant daughter, a preemie born at 28 weeks and weighing less than three pounds at birth. From Tahiti, it required a three day boat journey through turbulent seas on a very small, dirty fishing vessel to get to Tubuai, an island of 1500, which at the time had no running water, no electricity, no stores, no doctors, no automobiles, little contact with the outside world, and no modern comforts. We lived in a rat-infested shack in the jungle, where my daughter and I were soon infected with scabies. I learned to hunt for chicken eggs in the jungle, cook manioc and taro, gather bananas, papaya and mangoes, and trust in our good Polynesian neighbors to bring us fish. Believe me, I know what it means to rough it!  

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?

A. Probably Christine in a historical suspense novel I have written, which is not yet published, called THE SIGN OF THE OWL. But I have to admit, I do have a bit of Katelyn Michaels’ sarcasm from THE KEYS OF THE WATCHMEN.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?

A.  I have been a lucky woman to have had the opportunity of traveling all over the world. I have been to over 50 countries throughout Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Oceania, so I would have to say it would have to be a fantasy setting. How about a weekend at Hogwarts, Harry Potter’s school of wizardry, and a stroll down Diagon Alley?

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A. Believe it or not, it’s winter! After living for nearly eight years in Tahiti, where the only change in the weather is from hot, humid and miserable to slightly less hot, humid and miserable, I realize how much I need a change of seasons for my own sanity. And honestly, what is Christmas—my favorite holiday of the year—without snow? I look forward to that first snowstorm of the season, and I love curling up with a good book next to the fire.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A. I wanted Mont Saint Michel to be the focus of my book cover for THE KEYS OF THE WATCHMEN, and I wanted the model on the cover to look exactly the way I envision my heroine looking.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A. While at a book signing, I was placed by the store manager at a table right between two very busy checkout lines. Book signings for those of us who don’t have hoards of fans clamoring for our books are excruciating at best, and it didn’t help to have the customers in line keep saying: “You know, you really are in the way!” It was miserable then, but now, I laugh about it every time I think about it.

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A. Yes, I’m right in the middle of Book II in the Watchmen Saga. I just got back from France doing research and taking photos for it. I can’t reveal the title yet, because it gives away too much about the subject matter, but stay tuned! There will also be a third novel in the series. I also have two other adult historical suspense novels finished, which I would like to get published, THE SIGN OF THE OWL, and THE PEACOCK STONE, also both set in France.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  Give THE KEYS OF THE WATCHMEN a chance. I don’t think you will regret it, and even though it might be considered a YA novel because of its 17-year-old protagonist, it is a cross-over into adult historical suspense and romance. It has been very well-received by adults who have never read the YA genre. And I promise you will learn something along the way! Also, check out my website to see my own photos of its magnificent setting, Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, France at: www.kathleencperrin.com





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