In this version of twenty questions, I send a list of questions to a willing victim author and they choose their own interview by choosing the which questions, and how many questions, they want to answer! Catherine Delors, author of the novel, For The King, played along and answered three questions. Here is what Catherine had to say about reading, writing and het tyrannical muse.
Would you give us a bit of introduction and let my readers know who you are, how you got started writing, and what kind of books you like to write?
I am an attorney, a job I enjoy. My legal training and experience have influenced by my novels in many ways. I also love history and books. The easiest way to reconcile all of these things was to write historical fiction, about a time that witnessed overwhelming changes in the legal system: the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era, its immediate aftermath. My first two novels, Mistress of the Revolution and For The King, are «pure» historicals, in that they take place only in that period. Some passages of my current project take place in the 21st century, with past and present interwoven.
I am often curious about the different ways writers respond to the process of writing a book. Can you share with us any routines, food or recipes, or favorite books or rituals that help you thorough the writing process?
I don’t have to be helped through the writing process. I write because I feel compelled to write. No external nudges needed. Yet at times of great stress I find that I can’t write at all, and no ritual or incentive is going to make it happen. This was the case, for months on end, when I was more than two-thirds into Mistress of the Revolution. I simply had to regain my grip on life, and my writerly balance, before I could return to this novel. When I did , it was with renewed energy and a fresh look at my project. Let’s say my muse is rather tyrannical and moody. Truth be told, I find her rather difficult. But I have no choice but to put up with her…
What was it about this the story that made it the one you had to tell at this time? What impact did telling this story have on your life? Did you find that it had changed you?
How true! Often, as a reader, I find myself engulfed in a book. Not necessarily a novel, by the way. I find good non-fiction just as fascinating. When I write, the feeling is still stronger, because I «carry» my novel for many months. I wrote For The King because of the 9/11 attacks. I lost no loved ones then, but someone I knew died on one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center. What a death… And it was only one of so many.
I had to make sense of that senseless, unimaginable violence, and the political fallout. What makes some people commit mass murder? Who profits by it? And who actually pays the price? This is why, in For The King, Limoelan, the actual chief of the conspiracy to assassinate Napoléon, is one of my point of view characters. I researched his story, his family, read his letters, followed the actual investigation, to understand what he felt and see the world through his eyes. That helped me understand our world better. I hope my readers feel the same.