The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Monday, 8 November 2010

Welcome historical WRP writer, Kathy Otten!

  1. So pleased to have Kathy Otten guesting with me again today - Kathy has been here before talking about her books and I am happy to interview her and find out about her latest release, Lost Hearts...

  2. 1) When and why did you decide you wanted to be a published author?

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until my kids were in high school that I seriously began to pursue publication.

  1. 2) What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given as a writer?

I can’t think of anything specific, but I saw Clint Eastwood once on Inside The Actor’s Studio, and he was telling James Lipton something about once the audience has been introduced to a character and has gotten to know him, you don’t always have to show his face for them to recognize him. I’ve tried to do that with the characters in my books too, and show their backs, their feet through the grass, just keeping it different.

  1. 3) What is the best thing you have learned from an editor/agent?

I don’t have an agent, but from my editor, Patricia Tanner, I’ve learned to double check my facts, and I have still have no idea whether it should be laying or lying, so I should shut up and let the editor fix it.

  1. 4) And the worst?

I haven’t had a bad experience with an editor so I can’t comment.

  1. 5) Share your blurb or short excerpt from your latest release with us

Trapped in a life of violence and abuse, Johnny Bodine disguises her femininity and dreams of a family who loves her. Haunted by flashbacks he can't remember, from a war he wants desperately to forget, U.S. Deputy Marshal Richard Bennick arrives in Indian Territory with warrants for a notorious outlaw and his feisty, irreverent son, Johnny.
As they journey through the dangerous Choctaw Nation, Richard and Johnny must learn to trust each other in order to survive, forming a unique bond of love between outlaw and lawman that can only be broken by Richard's oath to uphold the law, and by the justice of the hangman's noose.
(Pages 352) Spicy
ISBN: 1-60154-860-5

  1. 6) Who would you cast to play your hero & heroine in a movie?

That is a tricky question. My characters come to me in my mind fully formed. I don’t have to imagine what they look like, only describe it. Maybe Goran Visnjic cause he has dark hair and brown eyes and his hair is always falling over his forehead, like Rab’s. And for Johnny, maybe Demi Moore from Ghost, except with blonde hair and deep blue eyes.

  1. 7) Did you plan this book? Or write it as it came?

I wrote this story in a thick spiral note, totally out of order, as each scene came to me. When I tried to put them in order I realized the newbie mistake of having written myself into a corner, with no clear idea of Johnny or Rab’s internal goals and motivations. I had to sit back and explore that along with their biggest fears so I could force them to face those in the end. Then I rewrote the whole thing again.

  1. 8) What surprised you the most when you became a published?

That I feel more like a real writer with each success.

  1. 9) Do you have a dedicated writing space? What does it look like?

I write on the back porch, surrounded by windows. I’m jammed into about ¼ of that space. Along the wall behind me are the vacuum cleaner and brooms. Next comes the freezer and a rack of coats, beneath which is a pile of boots and shoes. Two window lengths to my left are the bins for cat/dog food, the kitty litter boxes and dog dishes, recycle bins and scratching post. Piles of research books, note books, a file cabinet, two printers, and two computer screens surround me. And the freezer is covered with post-it notes. The dogs are usually laying/lying?? Behind my computer chair, so I’m constantly rolling into Jake or pulling the hair out of Max’s tail with the wheels. The cats sleep on the handiest pile.

  1. 10) What’s next for you?

I’m playing around with a possible holiday novella which takes place in Victorian Boston. I also have short story started about a doctor and nurse during the Civil War. And I’m half way through the rough draft of another western novel about a down-on-his-luck bounty hunter and runaway wife.

Finish with details of where readers can find you – website, Facebook, Twitter etc

Web site:


Great interview, Kathy! I absolutely love the sound of your upcoming projects too! I vote for the Civil War first and then go on to the others, LOL! I adore a American Civil War story, I suppose it's because I'm from the UK and just learning more and more about that time in American history. I look forward to seeing it in print...

Questions?? Comments??


  1. Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for having me here today. Some great questions. I also never realized you were from the UK. I'll have to get busy on the Civil War story for you.

  2. Kathy, beautiful cover! Best of luck with sales.

  3. Thank you, Caroline. Nicola Martinez did the cover art.

  4. Lost Hearts is a fantastic story! I enjoyed getting to learn more about you, Kathy. I didn't seriously start writing either until my oldest kids were in high school. I was a dabbler until then.

  5. Nice interview, ladies. I vote for the bounty hunter/runaway wife.
    Liz Arnold

  6. Hi Paty,

    Yes, it's tough to write when you have kids. But they were my first priority, now it's mom's turn to have a life. If I could just keep the animals out of my writing space all would be good. :)

  7. Hi Liz,
    The bounty hunter is my favorite right now.