Saturday, June 9, 2012
Saturday Evening Post.. Kathileen Woodiwiss
Anyway I was re reading The Reluctant Suitor and came upon this interview in the back of the book. I loved it.. and I felt it brought back a piece of Ms Woodiwiss.. thought you all might enjoy it
An Interview with Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
Q: Some people credit you with being the “inventor” of the Historical Romance as it is known today.
What prompted you to write a book [ The Flame and the Flower] with so much more historical detail than anything else that was being written at that time?
KEW: I love history, historical settings, and the fashions of bygone eras. It was much easier to escape into the realm of fiction when I allowed myself to imagine what it was like centuries ago. To build a firm foundation for my first books, it seemed necessary to create a vivid picture of what life was like back then and to settle the stories’ roots deep in the history taking place at those times.
Q: Your early novels, The Flame and the Flower and The Wolf and the Dove among them, were among the raciest novels ever published in the Romance genre.
KEW: Would you consider Valley of the Dolls in the Romance genre? If so, then I’d have to say that was the raciest novel I had read prior to becoming published. I also found it a most depressing book. I didn’t finish reading it but gave it back to the friend who had loaned it to me and started writing The Flame and the Flower instead — but I never imagined I’d get it published. If not for Valley of the Dolls, I doubt I would have made any serious attempt to write a book of my own. I just wrote it for myself. I was definitely tired of searching for a romantic book that had a satisfying conclusion ... and I am most certainly a happy-ending-oriented person. Then, after finishing The Flame and the Flower, I allowed some people to read it, and they encouraged me to make an attempt to get it published.
Q: What did you like to read, growing up?
KEW: I started out reading fairy tales. From there, I graduated to Nancy Drew mysteries, horse stories, and other books that appeal to young girls. Though I even read Jules Verne. I was an avid reader, and I was always searching for a “wonderful novel.” Of course, I count Gone with the Wind, Jane Eyre, Rebecca, and a host of other classics among my favorites.
Q: Some people feel that romance novels should depict an idealized but realistic portrait of relationships, while others feel that novels should be more escapist fantasy. What’s your take?
KEW: To each his own. I write the kind of books I enjoy reading. It’s as simple as that. I would never attempt to instruct another author on the kind of book she/he should write. It should be their preference.
After all, what motivated me may not motivate the next person, and vice versa.
Q: What is your favorite time period to write in?
KEW: Usually the period I’m writing in, whatever that may be.
Q: The Reluctant Suitor is your first novel to be published in hardcover. Does this have any special significance to you?
KEW: Actually, all my other books have been published in hardcover. However, the paperbacks came first; the hardcovers followed. Cart-before-the-horse, more or less. I was somewhat leery of making the switch, knowing in these hard times the difficulty some women will have paying for a more expensive book, but I was told that it was time for me to be published first in hardback. After all, my first book was published over thirty years ago.
Q: Do you have another book in the works?
KEW: Yes, I do. The next one will have a medieval setting.
Q: Do you ever have thoughts of retiring?
KEW: As far as retiring, I really can’t see that happening unless I lose interest in writing. I recall hearing some years ago about a woman still editing books at the age of eighty-two. I’d count myself fortunate if I’m still able to write books at that age. Besides, writing a book is stimulating to the brain. I’d much rather do that than let it molder from disuse.
Adapted from a February 2003 interview with Ms. Woodiwiss by Waldenbooks.
Hope you all enjoyed this.. I felt for a moment that we had her back with us..