Today we have Kathleen Bittner Roth joining us all the way from Budapest! Isn’t the internet grand? Budapest, people! I’ve had the pleasure of being Facebook friends with Ms. Roth for some time now, and I always look forward to what she has to say – she’s whip-smart and has great insight.
I hope you enjoy this little interview, and leave her a comment or two!
Thank you for having me as your guest today, Margaret!
[ML: Thank YOU for joining us! Woo hoo! Romance author in the house!]
When it comes to inspiration, I’m a real addict. I live in Budapest, Hungary, a fascinating city both historically and architecturally. Just about any place I go around here is a visual inspiration. People inspire me as well. Not long ago, my twelve-year-old nephew asked if I would include him in one of my stories. Since I write historical romance, I didn’t think I could. He’s fascinated by anything having to do with WWII. Suddenly, an idea popped into my head to transpose his age from 12 – 21, make him a P-51 Mustang fighter pilot and a story was born. I just returned from Northern France for some fabulous WWII research. Talk about inspiring!
Which type of romance do you love most, and why?
I love historical romance, particularly those stories set in the Victorian era, a time when women were willing to stand up and fight for their rights, when new laws were being set in place, and when the idea of marrying for love was taking hold. Aside from getting carried away in a setting far removed from the oftentimes raw world of today, I love the research.
My latest book, Josette, which released yesterday, takes place in New Orleans in 1857. My heroine runs an exclusive shop for women where she concocts creams that are meant to both heal and keep a woman’s skin soft and ageless. Of course, this meant tons of research in order to write as much as one paragraph in the story. I found it fascinating that back then spider webs were placed over a wound to protect and enhance healing. I wonder why we stopped using some of the natural remedies that actually worked.
Name two things people don’t know about you.
Thing one: I was once a serious ballet student.
Thing two: I lived four years along the Adriatic Sea in Opatija, Croatia. Emperor Franz Joseph built the town as a spa area for his wife, Empress Elizabeth. Soon, the wealthy followed suit which accounts for all the grand old baroque villas both in town and lining the coast. If you ever get a chance, vacation there.
What fellow romance author do you recommend reading, and why?
Heather Ashby’s Love In The Fleet series. Not only does Heather write riveting stories, she is ex-Navy herself. She also co-writes with active pilots so her details are spot on. Heather donates half her royalties to Fisher House to benefit families of wounded soldiers and sailors.
I wish someone would have told me not to listen to naysayers, to listen carefully to my intuitive heart, write what I love, and connect with good, supportive critique partners. Early on, I made the huge mistake of showing what I had written to someone I respected but who knew nothing about the industry. This person tore me and my work apart. Devastated, I put my manuscript aside for years. She also dogged me to use a pen name so as not to embarrass my family. I boldly write under my own name and my relatives love my work.
What’s your favorite romance novel of all time, and why?
The Devil In Winter by Lisa Kleypas. The banter between the hero and heroine is priceless, the hero is a badass I loved and detested at the same time, and the lamblike heroine turns out to be strong-willed and tough as leather. The chemistry that builds between the two, and the personal growth that takes place keeps the story moving forward on several levels. I couldn’t put the book down. Once finished, I started reading it again for a slower, more seductive read.
And now, a bit on Josette!
“Monsieur Andrews, welcome to my home.”
At the smoky, velvet sound, Cameron swung around. Every function in his body–heart, breath, blood ceased to function.
She was lovely. More than lovely.
Tendrils of raven hair framed a face so exquisite, it disarmed him. Her mouth, a soft, dewy pink, parted. And those eyes, as dark as Creole coffee, intelligent and assessing, roamed over him and then back to take hold of his. He needed to step closer, to stroke her skin. To possess her. But would his wealth and worldly experience be a match for the free-spirited Cajun-born widow?
Across the oceans, between worlds old and new–two lost souls find themselves at a crossroads.
Kathleen Bittner Roth thrives on creating passionate stories featuring characters who are forced to draw on their strength of spirit to overcome adversity and find unending love. Her own fairy tale wedding in a Scottish castle led her to her current residence in Budapest, Hungary, considered one of Europe’s most romantic cities. However, she still keeps one boot firmly in Texas and the other in her home state of Minnesota. A member of Romance Writers of America®, she was a finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart® contest.
Want to connect with Kathleen?
Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing a bit of your very exciting life with us, Kathleen!
Wishing you the best with Josette, and all of your romances.