Welcome to the tour for the New Adult Historical Paranormal The Keys of the Watchmen by Kathleen C. Perrin.
The Keys of the Watchmen by Kathleen C. Perrin
Katelyn Michaels plans on hating every moment of her visit to Mont Saint Michel with her father’s new French wife. Once there, she is confused when she experiences sensations of déjà vu and hears voices as she and her younger brother explore the medieval village and abbey.
When the oddly-dressed but alluring Nicolas slips Katelyn a strange medallion, she is whisked back through time with him to the 15th century where her Watchmen hosts tell her she is the only hope to save Mont Saint Michel from the invading English armies. Even worse, she learns those armies are led by a fallen angel intent on learning the mount’s closely-guarded secret.
Katelyn is torn by feelings of anger at being taken back in time, inadequacy at finding a modern solution for a medieval problem, and responsibility for the mount’s starving inhabitants. She is also perturbed by her surprising attraction to the ill-tempered Nicolas. Will she stay to learn why she was chosen by the Archangel Michael and find a way to save his mount?
Kathleen C. Perrin holds Bachelor’s degrees from Brigham Young University in French and Humanities, and graduated summa cum laude. She is a certified French-to-English translator. While completing her education, Kathleen met and married a dashing young Frenchman. They have spent years investigating the mysteries and beauties of his native country, and have a cottage in Brittany. For a ten-year period they took tourists to Mont Saint Michel, where she served as tour guide.
Kathleen has lived in Utah, New York City, France, and for eight years in French Polynesia. She has worked professionally as a language and music teacher, translator, interpreter and writer. She has published several non-fiction articles, academic papers, and a religious history about Tahiti.
Traveling and learning about new countries and cultures is a passion for Kathleen, but her latest passion is sharing the mysteries of France through her fiction.
The Perrins have three children, and currently reside in Utah.
1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
After having received bachelor’s degrees in both French and Humanities, being a professional French translator, being married to a Frenchmen, having traveled extensively throughout France, having taken tourists to France for nearly ten years, and having lived in France (where my husband and I have a cottage an hour and a half away from Mont Saint Michel), the settings and plots of my novels are a result of my life experiences. Furthermore, my muse is not just France, but the mysteries of France.
And so, after delving into the origins of Mont Saint Michel (one of my favorite places in France), some of the ancient beliefs about it being the site of the great battle between Saint Michael and the dragon, about it having pre-Christian significance as a place of worship, about it being a link between the underworld, the earth and heaven, and even that it was considered by many medieval Christians to be the site of the future New Jerusalem prophesied of by John the Revelator, I was completely engulfed by the mysteries of this site. I was also inspired by the history of the Montois resisting the English attempts to conquer the island during the Hundred Years’ War, and I marveled at their willingness to sacrifice everything, even their lives, to resist their enemies.
Walking Mont Saint Michel’s stone streets and exploring its abbey too many times to count has given me an inexplicable intimacy with this magical, mystical place. Several years ago on certain days in the summer months, it was possible to visit the abbey at midnight accompanied by Gregorian chants and guided by moody, muted lighting. Once you have had that experience, you will never forget it. It is like turning a page of history and going back in time. And thus Katelyn’s story was born. I wanted to share this place with an American audience through the eyes of a typical American teenager, and I wanted my readers to not only learn something about the political undercurrents that have created conflict between England and France for generations, but also how French support of American Revolutionaries assisted America to become an independent nation. I also wanted to find a way to connect all of the ancient beliefs, superstitions and traditions of Mont Saint Michel through one binding tie, and thus my fictional secret about the Mont was born. I hope my readers will try to discover this secret as they read.
And, finally, I want to let Americans know that France is one amazing place, and the French people are pretty amazing too. You just have to get out of Paris to find that out! And if I have not given my readers a burning desire to see Mont Saint Michel for themselves, then I have failed.
2. Who is your favorite character in the book?
I think it has to be Jean-le-Vieux. Both Katelyn and Nicolas have a lot of growing and maturing to do, and it is fun working on characters who evolve, but Jean has reached his apex. He has led a rich, full life, jam-packed with service, sacrifice, love, loyalty, heartache, sorrow and ultimately, complete faithfulness to God and his calling as a Watchmen. He has done it all and seen it all, and he has lost the two most important people in his life as a direct result of his devotion. Consequently, he has an understanding and compassionate heart that surpasses average mortal abilities. I wept as I wrote of his sacrifices and losses and of his ultimate sacrifice for Katelyn, as if I knew and loved him personally.
3. Which came first, the title or the novel?
The idea for the novel and the title of the novel came on the same day. Since that time, I have had several people try to get me to change the title for something edgier: a one-worder à la Young Adult market, but I felt pretty strongly about its title, and about the titles of Book II and Book III in the WATCHMEN SERIES. All three titles (the last two which will not be revealed yet) are integral to the plotline of their respective novels.
4. What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
Perhaps the scene on the English ship after Katelyn has been kidnapped by a group of uncouth seamen because it not only required careful technical accuracy (I did a lot of studying about 15th C sea vessels), and dialog adjustments to reflect the coarse 15th C English seamen lingo, but it also required a lot of introspection about the psychological impact of the situation on the protagonist. This is the turning point for Katelyn Michaels. This is when she leaves her childhood behind and faces the realities of her recently-revealed destiny. This is when she finally realizes that her calling as a Watchmen is not only authentic, but that it will also forever place her life in danger. In order to escape, she has to call upon an inner strength she doesn’t even realize she has in order to remain calm and rational. She must lean upon her own ingenuity and her special skills to escape because there is no one else to assist her. Nevertheless, her grave situation does not entirely squelch her snarky personality. She still has an appropriate moniker for each of her captors and her own quirky personality shines through as she takes the time to leave her ‘calling card’ in the form of the bloody flux-contaminated undergarments strategically placed in the captain’s clothing drawer.
5. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
When I first started this journey, I thought the hardest part about being a writer was writing a book. Boy, was I wrong! That’s the easy part. I had received several writing awards at writer’s conferences, and had some very positive feedback from publishing professionals, and so I felt that I had the talent to be a writer, but I wasn’t prepared for the difficult journey that takes place after a book is written. The very hardest part of being a writer is trying to market, sell and promote your work, which continues after it is published. I always just thought that once I got published, people would just read my book, like it, and the word would spread like wildfire. That was pretty naïve, because it’s the “getting people to read my book” that is the challenge.
There is so much competition out there—increased exponentially with the world of self-publishing opening up a completely new frontier—that it is sometimes overwhelming. I read somewhere that there are 3,500 books published every day in the United States. ‘The odds are forever’ not in a writer’s favor!
I have had such great feedback about THE KEYS OF THE WATCHMEN, but guess what? It is an everyday battle to get the word out there and to promote the book. I think it’s probably a good thing I didn’t know the realities of today’s market or I would have given up entirely (which I almost did anyway). Without the encouragement of my husband and youngest daughter, you would not be reading THE KEYS OF THE WATCHMEN today, so I also learned how important it is to have a few key people who believe in you and support you unfailingly. But this is not a journey for the faint of heart.
The other thing I have learned is to stay true to who I am. I’m certainly willing to take critical advice and I have made lots of changes because of outside input, but when I feel strongly about something staying in the book that others feel should be edited out or modified, I have to look at it objectively and critically and then go with my gut. Along with that, I have learned not to compromise my own moral compass, my ethics and my standards. I can tell a great love story without having to use graphic sex scenes, and I can tell an exciting, suspenseful story without having to insert filthy language or excessive violence. Many reviewers have said they couldn’t put the book down once they got into the story, so I must be doing something right!
6. What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The cover for THE KEYS OF THE WATCHMEN was a collective collaboration using my own photographs of Mont Saint Michel. I wanted the mount itself to be the focus of the cover, because this is, above all, a story about this magnificent place in France that has a mystical and implausible history. Furthermore, I wanted the model on the cover to look exactly how I envision my heroine, Katelyn Michaels, looking. In addition, having her dressed in Nicolas’s monk’s robe alludes to the fact that this is not just a story set in modern times.
7. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2015?
I am currently working on Book II of the three-part WATCHMEN SAGA, and hope to have it in print by the end of the 2015. My husband and I were in France in January where we took 1500 photos and visited sites that will be featured in Book II. We will also go back to France in May and September before the final manuscript is completed for additional research. And yes, Katelyn and Nicolas will be back!
8. What was your favorite book in 2014?
Besides THE KEYS OF THE WATCHMEN (of course), I would have to say the SILO SAGA (Wool, Shift, Dust) by Hugh Howey, which my son recommended to me. What an auspicious discovery. To quote the author: “This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.”
But equally interesting to me is how this series came about. WOOL began as a simple novelette, but because of ardent readers and Amazon reviewers, the author was inspired to write more tales that have turned into three full-length books with hopefully at least one more to come. Howey’s success comes from readers, not from publishing houses!
Dear Readers, writers depend on you for their success so hooray for those of you who take the time to review a book and spread the news of a good read with their friends!
9. What’s up next for you?
In 2016, I hope to get the third and final book of the WATCHMEN SAGA out, which will tie up the story of Katelyn and Nicolas (at least for the time being!).
I have also written two romantic historical suspense novels that deal with other mysteries of France, which have not been published: THE PEACOCK STONE (set on the island of Bréhat off the northern coast of Brittany) and THE SIGN OF THE OWL, set in the city of Charroux (Vienne Department). I would like to get them published after the WATCHMEN SAGA is finished.
10. Is there anything that you would like to add?
Give THE KEYS OF THE WATCHMEN a chance. I don’t think you will regret it, and even though it might be considered a YA novel because of its 17-year-old protagonist, it is a cross-over into adult historical suspense and romance. It has been very well-received by adults who have never read the YA genre. And I promise you will learn something along the way! Also, check out my website to see my own photos of its magnificent setting, Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, France at: www.kathleencperrin.com
The author will be giving away $25 Amazon Gift Card (INT) to the winner of the below Rafflecopter. The giveaway ends June 3rd.
This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.