Happy Friday, everyone! Today we're chatting with author Michele Kallio about her book, BETRAYAL.
Welcome, Michele! Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a former teacher/librarian and retired medical office manager. I live in Canadia's picture province of New Brunswick, home to lighthouses, covered bridges and the world's highest tides with my physician husband, David, and our 11 year old golden retriever Sara.
How long have you been writing?
I would say I have been writing for more than a third of my life. I began writing short stories in high school but set it aside to raise my family. Now that I am retired I have taken it up again.
Tell us about BETRAYAL. What is the story about?
BETRAYAL is the story of two women seperated by thousands of miles and almost five hundred years., told in alternating chapters. Modern day Lydia is trying to cope with frightening nightmares that she doesn't understand and the impact they are having on her life. Elisabeth, is a sixteenth century woman living in Cardinal Wolsey's household whose life changes when she meets Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. The two worlds collide in Lydia's dreams and when Lydia begins have 'waking dreams' which start affecting her relationship with her physician boyfriend, Dan, she realizes she needs help to get to the bottom of what is going on. Dan persuades her to see Dr. Alan Stokes, a psychologist and dream specialist who has experience in regression hypnosis. Will he be able to help Lydia understand why she is reliving Elisabeth's life and what the horrific image of the severed head is all about?
How did the idea of the story come to you?
BETRAYAL grew out of my pen-pal friendship with Christine Ware, of Devon, England. I had written a short story telling about the two women for a writing course I was taking. Christine encouraged me to enlarge the story. In fact, Christine became my eyes and ears in England, taking me to many of the places mentioned in the book and helping me with all things English.
Do you have a critique partner or beta readers or do you self-edit?
My husband, David, the light of my life was my line-editor. Christine, of course, helped with English speech and mannerisms and alll things English in Tudor and modern times. My friend Geramine Chevarie was my beta reader, as each chapter was written she would read it, and her comments helped me make it so much better.
Are you are planner or a pantser?
What a delightful question! I would say I am definitely a seat of the pantser when it comes to writing. Although I do write biographies for my characters, I allow them to take shape. Dan, for instance, turned out to be his 'own' man thus turning out to be a very different character than I had envisaged.
What's the hardest part of writing for you?
As I live in a very rural area, access to research books has been difficult. I have had to purchase most of my research books. I now have more than two hundred books in my personal library on the Tudors alone.
What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
I must have a dictionary and a thesaurus nearby when I am writing. Often I will have the latest biography of Anne Boleyn handy to cross-reference. As I write about two different time periods (modern day Canada and 16th century England) there are always maps handy and location reference materials as well.
If you could have any super power what would it be?
Oh my, a super power? I think that would have to be the ability to time-travel. I am a history buff, I love history but especially English History. I would dearly love to be able to transport my self through time, but I would want to be protected so that I would not/ could not change history.
What was the weirdest thing you've googled?
I have googled gyspy love potions and charms as well as curses and spells for research on gypsies for my book.
Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: opportunity, bazaar, and suspicious.
In the grand bazaar in Istanbul, she had the opportunity to bargain with merchants, keeping a suspicious eye on the price.
Here's the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout-outs.
First and foremost I would like to thank Christine Ware for all her loving support and the energy she expended in helping me to research both Tudor and Modern England...without her, our story would never have been told.! Next of course must be my husband, David, for without him there would be no book! His loving support allowed the time I needed to research, write, re-write, research and finally polish Betrayal. I want to thank Germaine for being my first reader and all the support she gave me over endless cups of tea! And of course I want to thank Steve and Lucy, of Boston, who continue to believe in my book and me. Thank you all!
And finally where can people find your book online?
http://www.amazon.co.uk/, http://www.amazon.de/, http://www.bn.com/, and numerous other online booksellers worldwide.
Check out my website at http://www.michelekallio.com/ for further information and reviews.
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Michele. I wish you lots of success with BETRAYAL.
Thank you Dorothy for the opportunity to have this interview with you!