Monday, November 16, 2009

Welcome TWRP Author Kat Henry Doran

      Welcome TWRP author Kat Henry Doran to The Word Place. Be sure to come by for the next four days and leave a comment. At the end of the week, Kat will be drawing for a hard copy of each of her two novels!

        Judy, thanks so much for allowing a little arm twisting on my part when I asked to participate in your blog. This sounds like a lot of fun! I hope it brings you as much success as you deserve. First, a bit about me.
       Over the years I've been honored to work at a number of occupations: nurse, malpractice insurance investigator, forensic nurse examiner, victim advocate, wife and mother.
        Even if I sometimes wish they'd remain in the closet, the years I spent advocating for victims of sexual violence have contributed significantly to the voice of my writing. You can't spend twelve years haunting police stations, Emergency Rooms, and criminal courts and not come away with a feel for misogyny, apathy, and bigotry.
         I retired my speculum a few years ago but I continue to advocate, quietly, for disenfranchised populations through Panties for Peace and Doctors Without Borders.
          My website,,  has information about my books and how to order them as well as the workshops I present to writers' groups. Occasionally an injustice, committed by some idiot who possesses few socially redeeming qualities, will spark my ire. For my latest rant, check out

 A brief description of the line I write for:
          Last Rose of Summer features the more mature heroines and heroes. Though the editors don’t follow cut and dried age limit, they want H&H’s who have some life experiences behind them, such as but not limited to: widowed after 20+ years of marriage [happily or not] ; the man or woman, suddenly abandoned for a younger/richer “trophy” spouse; the long-time employee who is downsized at the workplace, and forced to not only reinvent themselves but also compete with twenty-somethings for gainful re-employment.
         When I consider plot lines, I like to reverse the usual: it's not a trophy wife but a trophy husband; the college professor [her] confronted with a “mature” student, the man she loved as a young, immature college student; the woman who served time in prison, perhaps a wrongful conviction, perhaps not, who must learn to readjust to drastic changes in society, ie cell phones, the Internet, emails, text messaging, the lengthened MLB and NBA playing seasons; DVD’s and Hi-def TV.
          I like the idea [fiction-wise not real life, thank you very much] of a the man or woman whose adult child dies suddenly, leaving the hero or heroine with custody of the grand-children. There’s nothing funnier than a 50 year old struggling with disposable diapers while searching frantically for the cloth diaper and diaper pins. Ask me, I saw it with my own eyes!

 My motivation for writing for this particular line
Heroines experiencing the last ticks of their biological clock, teetering on the edge of peri-menopause, don't win a great number of “feature” roles in romance fiction right now. If they are mentioned, it is the secondary character, maiden aunt or goofy older best friend, primarily there for comic relief. A few of the New York houses tried [Harlequin’s Next line] devoting lines to the older heroine; in the end, the number crunchers claimed the lines weren’t commercially successful.
        In my personal life I am attracted to men who have been around the block a time or two. I like to see a bit of gray at the temples, a few lines of experience in the faces [the most recent James Bonds, Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan; Tommy Lee Jones; Dennis Quaid; Timothy Hutton, and the actors who play Flynn and Provenza on TV’s The Closer]. I want someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously and, of course, he has to make me laugh. To quote my writing hero, Nora Roberts, “If he doesn’t make me laugh I don’t want him in my bed”. Whether we care to admit it or not, we do invite our heroes into our beds.
        Equally important is that I create strong, capable female characters who practice one of the many helping professions: medicine, nursing, the  criminal justice system, victim advocacy, and/or social work to name only a few. I’m not enamored with the young pretty thing whose brain is consumed with her next date, or who only wears shoes with a name brand, or the latest MTV or YouTube offering. I appreciate women with a spine, maybe it was always there, maybe it grew out of adversity. This is not to say all the heroines I've created are mouthy, ball-busting man haters [though in truth a few are]. I have women in my head, and on paper, who are quiet, reticent, “real ladies”, but aren't pushovers.

Tomorrow: Great tips for writers!


nlindabrit said...

Thank you for a most interesting and entertaining blog post, Kat! I enjoyed reading about your fascinating work history and how it has impacted on your novels and the characters that you have created. Your books sound very intriguing indeed.

Mary Ricksen said...

I gotta get one of your bookz. I certainly am a late bloomer!

K9friend said...

Your prior career paths sound very useful to your current writing career. And I agree that the more "mature" heroines can provide a wonderful story line!

Debra St. John said...

Oh, I agree, I do love a touch of grey at the temples. Especially if we're talking Pierce Brosnan!

Judy said...

Kat just emailed to say she's having difficulty posting in order to respond to your comments. Not sure what the problem is, but she's reading them! Just wanted you to know.

Kat said...

nlinda, mary, K9friend and debra,
thank you all so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment!
Mary, only one of my books is available currently at Wild Rose Press [Captain Marvelous]. The second, Try Just Once More, will be out in reprint in May 2010.
I hope you'll be able to stop by again this week. Judy's giving me 4 whole days!