Interview with Katie Hanrahan

When did you first start writing?
Growing up in a family of storytellers, I was surrounded by tales. I started writing my own at a young age and found that writing merged nicely with my love of reading. My early efforts were consigned to the dust bin, but I kept at it because I had to. Almost a compulsion to write, I suppose, with so many words in my head needing to be set free.
What's the story behind your latest book?
As a writer of historical fiction, I like to explore the struggle for independence from the female perspective, largely because women fought for freedom but did not really get much of it. I wrote THE LIBERTY FLOWER with that in mind, using the character of Sarah Mahon to explore the notion of independence from the view of an immigrant's daughter. In part I was inspired by the letters of Abigail Adams, who was negotiating with her husband for a little female emancipation at a time when the government of the United States was being organized. It was a time of great turmoil, both socially and economically, and I found it to be a fascinating period of history.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Any author would say that the greatest joy of writing is in the sharing. When a reader sends me a note telling me how much they enjoyed a novel I worked on for years, it's grand. Of course, a nice review is always welcome.
What do your fans mean to you?
What good would a book be if it languished unread? I want to create fiction that entertains those who read my books and come back for the next one. My fans are everything to me. They make me want to write another novel, and then another.
What are you working on next?
THE LIBERTY FLOWER is just the first in a series of books that will follow the offspring of Sarah Mahon into the early years of the American republic, leading up to the Civil War. My next book will be published in late fall of 2014 and follow the rebellion of Sarah's daughter Madeleine against her stepfather Jack Ashford. The timeline will parallel historical events that saw the fledgling United States fight a second war of rebellion against England while England was engaged in a world war against Napoleonic France.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have always enjoyed Willa Cather's books for their ability to present the difficulties that women of her time faced and overcame. She brings a sense of the isolation of the prairies that is amazing. I also enjoy the late Maeve Binchy's lighthearted prose, and I am a fan of Anne Enright and Emma Donoghue.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I set aside one hour, first thing in the morning, to write. That's all the inspiration I need to get out of bed!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Writing does not pay the bills. When I am not writing, I am plodding along at my day job, often writing in my head.
What is your writing process?
Arse in chair is the best way to begin writing. Sit down, take up the pen and put words on paper. I write the first draft of all my novels in longhand. It is slower and forces me to think a bit more. I hear the sentences as I write them, which I don't find to be the case when I type up the day's scribblings. After the first draft is completed, it gets put aside for a few months before I tackle the edits.
What do you read for pleasure?
I find that I prefer reading historical fiction, but I also read outside of my genre. I belong to a book club and that has helped me discover other genres and writers that I otherwise would not have tried. I do enjoy women's fiction and I have a tendency to read too much history for pleasure.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
We always have our phones at hand, don't we? Being able to download an e-book to a smartphone means I always have something to read wherever I am, if it's riding a train or waiting to pick up a friend.
Published 2014-07-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Mercy First And Last
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 85,000. Language: English. Published: September 20, 2016 by Newcastlewest Books. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Regency, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
The youngest daughter of a prominent radical politician, Sarah Curran has long known Robert Emmet, but not until she is caught up in the fevered calls for Irish independence does she fall in love with the budding revolutionary leader---even as Emmet's plans fall apart with deadly consequences.
The Second War of Rebellion
Price: Free! Words: 88,140. Language: English. Published: November 25, 2014 by Newcastlewest Books. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Regency, Fiction » Romance » Historical
American orphan Maddie Beauchamp rebels against her British stepfather, a battle that will play out against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars and smolder through the War of 1812. Maddie engages Jack in a battle over her right to self-determination, one she intends to win at any cost.
The Liberty Flower
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 97,100. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2014 by Newcastlewest Books. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Romance » Historical
Sarah Mahon has found success as a spy for the partisan militia, until Jack Ashford comes ashore. She leans that the enemy cannot be judged by the color of his coat because a man can change his colors, a notion her father denies. A sabotaged courtship ends with a rash act of rebellion and a face-saving marriage, but the war is not over and Jack is determined to win Sarah at any cost.
A Terrible Beauty
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 115,830. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2011 by Newcastlewest Books. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General
The penal colony in Western Australia is escape-proof...but that is about to change. Sentenced to seven years transportation, Mary Claire O'Dwyer is determined to free the Fenian rebels whose support has landed her on a prison ship bound for the end of the earth. She will find allies in a foreign land where a Royal Marine's scarlet coat can be another deception.
The Leaven Of The Pharisees
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 96,250. Language: English. Published: March 30, 2011 by Newcastlewest Books. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General
Molly knows nothing about her late father's past but when she steps off the plane in Dublin Airport, she steps into another world---a world where children were taken from parents and locked away by the State and the Catholic Church. Her journey to bury her father's ashes will take her far from her destination.