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We are writers mainly from Australia and New Zealand who write speculative fiction with romantic elements. Be it fantasy, paranormal, dark urban fantasy, futuristic and everything in between.

Saturday 20 June 2015

Darklight On... Kathrine Leannan

 Today's Darklight On is ... Kathrine Leannan
Welcome, Kathrine


How did you come to write fantasy? What attracted you to the genre?
To write for me, is as innate as it is to breathe. I couldn't imagine a world without dragons and faeries, unicorns or Pegasus. I have always been drawn to the fey. Magic is all around us, as is darkness. My muse is named Mimi, she is a 1000 year old dragon who crashed into my life two years ago.


Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?

Until very recently, I was a Pantser.

In the past, I would know, say, the end of a story, or a great middle bit, but little else. I always have a good idea of the main characters, but as is the way of epic fiction, numerous other characters are born along the way. At least that was the way it had been with the writing of Warrior Born - Book 1 of the Katana Series. 

However, that apparently was the honeymoon period. Reality well and truly set in when during the recent edit (rewrite) of Redemption - Book 2 of the Katana Series, I learned the rhythm of each scene and how crucial that is, to good writing. The great first line, the story arc and the BAM sentence to finish. That takes planning. This I have learned.

Do you have a favourite of your characters?

I love Angus. He to me, is just a delicious Highland male. I love that he is so strong, honourable and protective. Yet at the same time he can be brutal. Of course I love Hades the magnificent Friesian stallion. He is beautiful beyond words. As for Jilly Louise she is all sass. She is me.


What are you currently working on?

I am currently in final edits for Redemption. I am also mapping out the book from my PhD thesis—but that is another story for another day. All of my works of fiction have a Scottish theme or influence. I am so completely drawn to them. Curse of the Witches of the Moor is a book about a secondary character in the first two Katana books. This is very different from the first two. I am looking forward to finishing it.

What is your favourite part of the process of writing? 

That moment when Mimi and I are in sync and the ideas come so fast I only have time to make dot points. This is why I have a note pad and fifteen pens in every handbag I own. Mimi is oblivious to  anything but the story. Many times, I have had to veer off the road, grapple with my handbag and scrawl the words down—dragons don't take kindly to repeating themselves. Also the elation when after reading the work I am satisfied with the voice, style, flow and tempo. Those two words "The End" also feel great, especially after rewrites and edits.

What can we expect from Kathrine Leannan in the future?
Books with strong characters, written with passion, in a style that is different. Also I hope to achieve critical acclaim as an author of non-fiction and leave a legacy to my profession. Such is my commitment to these goals, that I have given up work, to write full time. The Katana Series is four books in duration. The Dark Witches Coven Series also is four books. After that, I imagine the creatures of the dark will continue to find their way to my pages.

Who are your favourite authors?

I am a fantasy/paranormal devotee. I rarely read outside the genre because I am easily bored - the exception to that statement is Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander Series. My favourites (Who else) J. R. Ward., J. K. Rowling., Karen Marie Moning., Richelle Mead., Sara Douglass., Jean M. Auel., P. C. Cast., Sherilyn Kenyon., Kresley Cole.


What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading: The Ruby Circle - Richelle Mead

Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?

Beauty and the Beast- the series, The 100, Star Crossed, Penny Dreadful, Stargate Atlantis, 12 Monkeys, Eragon.

Do you have advice for emerging writers?

This is something no one will tell you. There are rules to writing. Find like-people, join groups, learn the craft. But most important of all, keep writing—find the joy that the words bring and give them life.



Warrior Born - Book 1 of the Katana Series

From the immortal kingdom of the Samurai, Imperial Leader Yokami Sukani and his wife Tomoe Gazen yearn for the child they know they will never birth. Tomoe’s Katana keens bereft, for the next Daughter of the Sword. Meanwhile, Bishamon, the God of War, and his Katana, wreak havoc in his endless pursuit of pain and suffering. 

Bishamon’s Sword of War must disappear, forever.
The battle of Culloden Moor is forty-eight hours away. Epona, Goddess of horses, dogs, healing springs and crops, prays for the coming of the girl child prophesized to be born with the Sight for the magnificent Friesian horses.

Yokami’s Katana recognises Marie MacDonald.
A bargain is struck.

In modern Australia, the awaited one, Connor MacDonald is birthed, awakening the ancient Scottish Horsemen from their three-century slumber.

Brutality finds her.

Bishamon, mad with rage, hunts for his blade.

Will he regain his instrument of destruction?

Born of the blood of the ancient Scots, named Daughter by the immortal Samurai, doubly blessed or doubly cursed, will Connor MacDonald be Bishamon’s instrument of revenge?

Buy links:  Amazon / KoboSmashwordsiTunes / Barnes & Noble / Grimoire Books

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Friday 5 June 2015

Real Life Paranormal with Kathrine Leannan


In 1986, I became aware of the relentless tick, tick, ticking of my biological clock. At 29, my then, partner and I decided we should tie the knot and set about making a baby. We were ecstatic, when just three months later, I was pregnant. I had all the usual worries that occur to all mothers to be, praying the baby was born well and healthy.
As the pregnancy progressed, I became increasingly worried and anxious about the child. I had no evidence on which to base these concerns as I was very well and everything was proceeding as expected.
By the time I was eight months along, I had gained the body weight of a small horse and my dreams started to be invaded by darkness and fear. I couldn't explain it. All I knew was that I was terrified that my baby was going to die. I knew these were unreasonable thoughts. I also knew, as an overachiever, I was worrying myself to a frazzle over nothing more than fear and my constant companion—dread.
My son was born after a long labour. He was beautiful, healthy and...did I mention beautiful? I on the other hand, became a she-bear. I wouldn't let him out of my sight. He slept with us and was always in the same room as us, so I could see him and hear him. My sense of fear for his wellbeing escalated. I became obsessed with checking on him. Twenty times a night, I would lay my hand on his chest to make sure he was breathing. I lived in absolute, unreasonable fear of losing him.
When he was just four months old, I was working a casual shift in Neonatal Intensive Care, when I received a phone call at work. It was my husband.
My blood ran cold.
In the background, all I could hear was the sound of a gasping child. My husband was frantic. He said our son was very hot and that he kept going stiff and then floppy and that he wouldn't wake up.
I don't remember the hour drive home. I flew into the house and all of my worst fears came crashing down on me. My son was fitting continually and he was unconscious.  Every bit of training as an RN and a Midwife left me. I walked around the house, holding my son, telling him not to die, pleading with him, not to leave us.
Sometime after this, common sense kicked in and we called an ambulance. A paediatrician friend was at the hospital waiting for us. After he assessed our son, he came out and put his arm around me and told me that my little boy had suffered a massive cerebral haemorrhage (stroke), was completely paralysed down the left side and that he was going to die.
My son was transferred to a big city hospital paediatric intensive care unit. The overwhelming fear that I had lived with for so many months, paradoxically had left me. I knew in my heart that the threat to him had passed and that with our love, he would survive.
 It took a very long time with exercise, stimulation and absolute determination to achieve not only his survival, but his continued improvement. I still wouldn't let him out of my sight. I would still wake up twenty times a night to make sure he was still breathing. He was 7 years of age before he slept through the night.
It took me a lot longer.


Trailer to Warrior Born - Book 1 of the Katana Series. 
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