My guest today is Catherine Kullmann

A few facts about Catherine

A romantic novelist who writes historical fiction, Catherine was born and brought up in Dublin. After a courtship conducted mostly by letter, Catherine moved to Germany to be with her new husband who was German, and her children were brought up there. Prior to her move to Germany she had worked for public services in Ireland and then the New Zealand embassy in Bonn, and on returning with her family to Ireland in 1999 for the private sector in Dublin.  Following a year’s treatment for breast cancer, Catherine took early retirement and, I quote, she says ‘once I had recovered from the chemo-related brain fog, I wanted to do something creative. I always loved writing—it formed a large part of my professional life, but never had the time to write fiction. If not now, when? I thought and one day sat down with pen and paper.’

Were you inspired by someone or something?

I was inspired by all the authors whose work I had enjoyed so much. They are too many to name, but here are a few: Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Dorothy L Sayers, Manning Coles, Mary Wesley, Gillian Bradshaw.

What do you enjoy the most/least about being an author?

The most wonderful thing is when a book takes flight, when your characters take you places you have never imagined going. The worst is the day when the words just won’t come.

What genres are your novels?

I describe them as ‘historical fiction for the heart and for the head’. Unfortunately this is not a recognised genre, nor is ‘historical women’s fiction’. I have settled for Historical Regency Fiction.

Why Regency?

I find the extended Regency period from, say, 1795—the year of the later Prince Regent’s marriage—to 1830, the year of his death as George IV—absolutely fascinating. The events of this period include in 1800 the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland , the Anglo-American war of 1812 and the twelve years of war that ended in the final defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815, all of which continue to shape our modern world. At the same time, the ruling aristocracies were being challenged by those who saw the need for social and political reform, while the industrial revolution which led to the transfer of wealth to the manufacturing and merchant classes was underway. Powerful voices demanded the abolition of the slave trade. Women, who had few or no rights in a patriarchal society, had begun to raise their voices, demanding equality and emancipation. Still very much the age of sail, and of the horse, it was also the dawn of the age of steam. Within twenty years, railways would have begun to transform both the landscape and society.

I also love the music, literature, art and architecture of that time, the fashion—between hoops and crinolines—is still very wearable today, and indeed the Empire line is revived regularly

Are you a pantser or a plotter?

I am more a pantser than a plotter. I begin with a very rough idea, including the desired outcome. I do a lot of preparatory work on the characters, including developing their back stories and family dynamics, then I write my first draft which is when I plot. I have tried doing more elaborate plot outlines but found that the first draft lost spontaneity.

Note from Barbara: I would call you more of a plotter. Working out back stories and characters you avoid all the blliind alleys.

Do you write stand-alones or series?

My books are all set in the same world so that characters from one reappear in another. I would call it a loose series. In one case, where a minor character demanded I tell her story, I made it and the two preceding books where she featured into a trilogy, The Duchess of Gracechurch Trilogy so that readers could be warned that the third book contained spoilers.

Do you also write for magazines or write short stories?

I have written a couple of short stories. One, The Zombi of Caisteal Dun was in response to a challenge to write about period zombies, and is available on Amazon. A couple of others can be read on my website if you go to My Books and scroll down to Free Stuff.

Do you self-publish or use a publishing house?

I self-publish, but use the services of BooksGoSocial for cover design (although I source the main cover image myself), proof-reading, formatting and some marketing.)

How long does it take you to write a book?

About a year.

Do you have an editing Process

I edit as I go while I write the first draft. After that I do several more rounds of editing interspersed with gaps to let the story settle and enable me to come back to it with a fresh, critical eye.

What is your writing routine

I am usually at my desk between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. I am not writing all this time, of course. As mentioned above, I must also promote my work and, of course, there is personal admin work to be done too.

Can you say something about your style of writing?

My style reflects the fact that the books are set two hundred years ago. The style and grammar are quite formal and the vocabulary is appropriate to that period. I go to a lot of trouble to avoid anachronisms generally, but also specifically in the language I use.

And do you have quirks i.e. favourite words or phrase that your readers recognise, some experience from your own life perhaps.

I do draw on my own life experience, of course, but I don’t think I have any identifying quirks. Readers consistently describe my books as well-written with excellent historical detail.

Where can people go to read and buy your work?

My eBooks are exclusive to Amazon where they are also available in Kindle Select/Kindle Unlimited. Hardbacks and paperbacks can be ordered from Amazon or from any good bookshop.

Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?

To quote Mr Bennet, I think I have ‘delighted them long enough’. However, they can find out more about me and my books on my website My Facebook page is Catherine Kullmann author, and I tweet as @ckullmannauthor

Barbara, thank you hosting me, and for your interesting questions.

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