Welcome, Paula and Kathy. I know that this is a collaboration. How did this story come about?
Paula: Kathy and I discovered we shared a fascination with the RMS Titanic. We kicked around some ideas and shared them with our critique group. Everyone was so enthusiastic, and we loved the story idea so much we decided we had to write it. We actually hid out at a writer’s conference, skipped a few sessions, and birthed it.
Kathy: We’re releasing this primarily as an e-book. The e-book thing came about when the manager of the Barnes & Noble spoke at one of our local chapter ACFW meetings. He talked about the Nook and how their brick and mortar stores were dealing with this new way of buying books. Since the 100 year anniversary of the Titanic was coming up pretty quickly, we knew e-book would have to be the only way to go, and his talk gave us the encouragement we needed.
Did you find it easy to work together on it?
Paula: The story brought out our strengths. Kathy loves to plot while I tend to do a really rough skeleton and fly by the seat of my pants. We plotted carefully at first. I learned a lot, though I kept teasing Kathy saying, “Can we start writing now?” But our writing styles and personalities blend very well. We’re both pretty easy going and have similar passions, so most of the time we found collaboration only strengthened our original thoughts.
Kathy: I wouldn’t write with just anybody. But Paula exudes so much grace that I knew if we had any misunderstandings they would be resolved quickly. Titanic: Legacy of Betrayal is a contemporary story with a historical frame. She started writing the contemporary heroine’s point of view and developed her while I worked on the hero. But she was also researching the historical. When that storyline started to become more than we had originally planned, she asked me to take over the contemporary so she could concentrate on the historical. We essentially wrote two different stories, and I like that better.
How did collaborating with this team impact you?
Paula: I think it strengthened my understanding of story structure and plotting. It also gave me some good “friend” time with someone I already adored.
Kathy: And I could say the same thing. (Hugs to Paula!)
What is the hardest thing about writing as a team?
Paula: I think there were two issues that were hard. Waiting on the other person to write the scenes they were responsible for sometimes interrupted the creative flow. Also, at first we each took a character from the romance thread. I felt it stymied romantic tension and eventually Kathy took both the hero and heroine in our contemporary thread—so when you read Ember’s story you’re actually reading a character written by two people. I was pleased with how seamless this was. I’d interject here and there on little things to keep Ember true to the way she was first written, but Kathy picked her up and made her blossom.
Kathy: I agree with Paula. When you’re used to just sitting down and writing, it’s hard to realize that you can’t go on until your partner writes about such and such. But, when life gets in the way, that’s to be expected. Once we started writing two different stories, it was much easier.
What are you reading right now?
Paula: I’m constantly reading! Every Friday on my blog I post about a new novel I’ve read. I think the last one I posted was Brandilyn Collin’s Gone to Ground, but I’m very eclectic. Right before that was Christmas Belles of Georgia, a romance anthology which included my pals Rose McCauley and Debra Ullrick, and before that I wrote about a couple of novels with a literary feel and a couple of historicals! I also read non-fiction. Right now I’m reading One Thousand Gifts and just finished a book of devotionals based on the works of Charles Dickens.
Kathy: Paula exhausts me. LOL I’ve been reading The Help for the past couple of weeks now. I think I just passed the halfway mark. I read very little non-fiction, but a friend just gave us both one on spiritual sensitivity. I’ve barely cracked it, but like it so far.
Paula: I loved The Help!
I did, too. I remember that time period so well. How did you choose your characters’ names?
Paula: Ember was the most fun to choose. We felt she had this tiny flicker inside of her that needed to flame for her to become all she was meant to be and to enjoy life, so the name just fit her. Plus, her mom was a flower-child and so she’d have chosen an unusual, earthy kind of name for her.
Kathy: I think we came up with name for Jeff because it sounded like a 30 year old name. We went through several, discounting each because 1) we knew a kid by that name and couldn’t get past the fact that he annoyed us, 2) we knew an actor by that name, so his face would always be there when this character didn’t look like that all. And the historical names just popped out of Paula’s mouth. Apparently, that’s what they wanted to be called and nothing else would do. We did have problems with Olive Stanford’s last name. She’s the matriarch of a wealthy family who traveled on the Titanic with her grandson, Charles Malcolm Stanford III. She started out as a
but Paula had given another character in a different book that name. So we
changed it to Stanford. Ever since then, we have to think before we write or
speak that name. I even had trouble with it in this paragraph. LOL
Would you want to work on another book together?
Paula: We’re already talking about it! Charles, one of our historical characters who was on the Titanic, won Kathy’s heart, and we can’t help but dream of giving him his own book.
Kathy: Oh, Charles. How I love the bad boys. I don’t know why, but he came alive to me through a photo I found of a young man of that era.
What do you want to tell us about the book?
Paula: We’re super excited about the story. It feels like a high-concept idea with lots of intrigue and a strong romance thread. We’re also excited about writing a story that is a little outside the traditional Christian publishing market. We wanted to tell a story that might help someone who doesn’t know Jesus consider who He is. While we hope our Christian readers follow us, we tried to write in such a way that someone without faith will find it believable—and maybe even wrestle with God’s place in his or her life. Much of it explores the idea of generational bondage—how the choices of those who’ve gone before us affect how we think about life.
Kathy: A secret. A key. Much was buried when the Titanic went down, but now it’s time for resurrection.
real estate agent, Ember Keaton-Jones distrusts men, with good reason. Ever
since her great-great-grandfather, Thomas, deserted the family after the
fateful sinking of the Titanic, every Keaton male has disappointed. Ember is on
the brink of a huge sale that will propel her career upward, when a lawyer
calls telling her he is in possession of a key that opens a 100 year old safety
deposit box in New York City.
Ember risks her career to fly to New
York and protect whatever is in the box from her
flighty mother who is about to breeze into town. Jeff Dawson is a computer
techie plummeting from a failed business venture. His father, who owns an
antique shop, is sucking him into the past. Old things don't appeal, that is
until Ember walks into the shop requesting help with a century-old secret.
Together they unlock the past, but can they undo the legacy of Thomas Keaton's
Sounds intriguing. Please give us the first page of the book.
New York City
We both knew I would get what I wanted, no matter how unconventional. An incredulous flicker passed through Mr. Williams’s controlled features. The slightest rise of my left eyebrow squelched his resistance. With a deposit of cash, a signature, and a shake of the lawyer’s hand, the deed was done.
I left his office leaning hard upon my favorite cane, the one topped with the silver bird whose wings stretch forth.
I, too, make ready for flight.
Faithful Earl, watching from a parking place across the way, brought the Studebaker around. His gray, pressed uniform honored my status, and an unusual sensation beat in my chest. I thought it gratitude, but perhaps it was merely pride. Earl may be the only person in the world I truly like. With great ceremony he opened the door and settled me into the automobile. Then he offered his customary stiff bow and returned to the driver’s seat. He didn’t even flinch when directed to Cunard Pier, good man. Together we’ve avoided West 12th or 15th streets, and most certainly the docks, since that day thirteen years ago this month.
I detest April.
Perhaps others in their twilight years have made peace with the twists and turns of their earthly existence. But not I. There are events I would pretend never happened, but it is hard to fool one’s self. Earl would be surprised to know what goads me to the pier this day. Perhaps he would be disappointed in me—or maybe all these years he has known me as I really am and has not been fooled by the façade.
I can hardly wait to read it. Where can our readers find you on the Internet?
Paula: Specific information about Titanic: Legacy of Betrayal can be found at www.titaniclegacyofbetrayal.com
I hope my new website it up by the time this blog releases, but if it isn’t, stop back by. Right now www.Paulamoldenhauer.com points to my blog. Of course I love connecting through Facebook as well.Kathy: My website is www.KathleenEKovach.com. From there you can find me on Facebook and Twitter, plus there’s a link to my blog.
Thank you, Paula and Kathy, for the interesting interview.
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