Katherine Kurtz, author of the Deryni novels – Exclusive Interview

Author of the Deryni novels, Katherine Kurtz

Kurtz updates fans on her upcoming release (King’s Deryni), the future of the series, and personal inspirations that have influenced her writing.

JMW: Hello, this is Jean Marie Ward for BuzzyMag.com. With me today is Katherine Kurtz, the author of the much beloved Deryni series, the Adept series, and many more. Welcome, Katherine.

Katherine Kurtz: Thank you.

JMW: December will see the publication of the King’s Deryni, the third book in your fifth trilogy, set in the Eleven Kingdoms. Is this your final word on the series or will there be more books set in those Kingdoms.

Katherine Kurtz: There will be, definitely, more books. I haven’t totally decided on the next one, but I think it’s going to be about the killings of war in 1025, when so many people died. As soon as I finished proofing this last book, I will be starting on that.

JMW: Oh, that’s great. What can readers look forward to, as you wrap up the Childe Morgan trilogy?

[easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0425276686″ cloaking=”yes” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”buzmag-20″]Katherine Kurtz: This book takes us up to the time where Alaric is 14 and the birth of Kelson and the King puts Kelson in his arms and it’s right after the christening. He has a whole future to look forward to from there.

JMW: Which gives us a lot of options for more stories. Your fans will be very happy to hear that. You’ve been involved in role playing for a long time, Saga, the Swordsman, and Sorcerer’s Guild of America, the SCA aka The Society for Creative Anachronism. How do these activities influence your writing, or was it the other way around?

Katherine Kurtz: Well, Saga was never really a roleplaying society. It was a society of authors who were writing in sort of the sorcery genre. The Society for Creative Anachronism, the SCA, I was very heavily involved in for many years and I loved it. I learned a great deal from it and I wrote ceremonies, I was a Herald, and I held most of the offices in the SCA. I was Princess once, I was Queen once, I was [inaudible 00:02:31] of society. I was a Laurel and a Pelican and that was great.

I moved, then, to Ireland and there was not much SCA there. I think I went to three or four events while we lived there, but I still love it. I don’t think I’d recognize it if I went back to my home Kingdom in southern California, but I still love the SCA.

[easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0441012094″ cloaking=”yes” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”buzmag-20″]JMW: You can never step in the same river twice.

Katherine Kurtz: No, you cannot.

JMW: I imagine that living in Ireland was sort of like living out what you were playing out in SCA. I mean, you were in a castle.

Katherine Kurtz: Well, it was almost a castle. It was sort of like a cross between Castle Dracula and Toad Hall. It was really a great house and we loved it to bits. What was sort of like acting out the SCA stuff was that we were involved in a number of chivalric organizations and we got to wear insignia and capes and be in ceremonies and involved with my husband’s clan, Clan McMillan. When our new chief was inaugurated, I went back into the historical records and recreated an inaugural ceremony for him, because they didn’t have what had been used for the previous chief and that will be used when the next chief is inaugurated, hopefully sometime in the distant future, because our chief [inaudible 00:04:01].

JMW: Did these activities play into your writing? Was there any synergy between the two?

Katherine Kurtz: Somewhat. I know that when Deborah Turner Harris and I were working on the Adept series, I took her to a chivalric investiture, so she could see what it was like, in Edinburgh. When we were working on that series, we went to all the sites that we featured in the series. One or the other of us, and quite often both of us, would go there. So, in a way, there’s an Adept trail in Scotland of, largely, national trust or Scotland properties that have gotten increased visitation because of the books. That makes me proud.

JMW: That’s good. It’s always good to be a boost to tourism.

Katherine Kurtz: Absolutely.

JMW: It makes you feel like you did your job.

Katherine Kurtz: Absolutely.

JMW: With all this neat stuff and your books have such a flair for history, such a flavor of the period, how could you bear to move from Toad Hall cum Castle Dracula back to the United States?

Katherine Kurtz: Well, we could see the handwriting on the wall. The economy was getting ready to go… and we decided we would rather be poor in America than poor in Ireland.

JMW: Yeah, I can see where that would be useful.

Katherine Kurtz: So, we sold our house and we bought a very nice historic property in Stanton, Virginia and it’s federal period. We would have preferred gothic, but there aren’t too many gothic houses in that area, but there’s a lot of history in Stanton. We’ve got Black Friar theatre, which is the reproduction of Shakespeare’s first indoor theater and a fine Shakespeare company there that performs year around and fine restaurants, in a beautiful part of the country, so we’re happy.

JMW: Virginia is a beautiful part of the country.

Katherine Kurtz: Yes, it is.

JMW: Now that you’re back here, can we look forward to any stories, perhaps, set in the United States?

Katherine Kurtz: I don’t know. I had to move to another country to write my first American novel, which was Two Crowns for America. I don’t know. I have not been intrigued by American history as much, although Two Crowns, I enjoyed that very much. I might do something. I don’t know.

JMW: The door is open, in other words.

Katherine Kurtz: Oh, yes. The door is always open for any good idea.

JMW: Speaking of good ideas, what are you working on now?

Katherine Kurtz: I’m finishing the proofing on this current book, which will be out December 3rd, and I haven’t started on the next book yet, although I know what I want to write.

JMW: Hints or is that too spoilery?

Katherine Kurtz: No, I haven’t got it nailed down specifically.

JMW: Okay. Fair enough. The last question we always ask is anything you’d like to add. This is your chance to talk about something that’s important to you. Anything.

Katherine Kurtz: Oh, gosh. I can’t think of anything. I’m too busy trying to catch up with technology. I just got my first smart phone a couple of months ago and I’m still exploring its mysteries. I got a new computer in December which has Windows 7 and Word 2010 and they’re both different from what I was using before. This version of Word is driving me crazy. I need to update my website. I’m beginning to feel very much like technology is leaving me behind, so I’ve got to do some serious catching up in the next few months.

JMW: Well, I’m sure you will and the fans will follow you there.

Katherine Kurtz: I hope so. I do have a chat every Sunday night at my website, RhemuthCastle.com and, if I’m in town, usually I show up at 7:00 to chat for an hour or so. There’s some great folks that show up there.

JMW: That’s cool. Well, thank you very much, Katherine.

Katherine Kurtz: You’re welcome.

JMW: And thank you, from BuzzyMag.com.

Interviewed by Jean Marie Ward

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Jean Marie Ward
Buzzy Mag Reporter & Reviewer

Jean Marie Ward writes fiction, nonfiction and everything in between, including art books, novels (2008 Indie Book double-finalist With Nine You Get Vanyr), and short stories such as WSFA Small Press Award finalist “Lord Bai’s Discovery” and “Personal Demons” in the award-winning anthology Hellebore and Rue. Her videos include author interviews and tutorials.
Jean Marie Ward
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