Kathleen Knowles

I originally met Kathleen Knowles in the Virtual Living Room when she was featured, along with a few other authors. I asked her then for an interview, and she kindly agreed to give me one. We’ve finally managed to coordinate being able to work on the questions together.

AJ:  What genre(s) do you write in and what drew you to this genre?

KK: I write traditional romance & historical romance.

I like history in general and LGBT history specifically and I like love stories, so I decided to combine the two.


AJ: When will your next book be released?

KK: In November this year and it is a sequel to the first book and takes place in the two years immediately following the end of the story in Awake Unto Me.

AJ:  Tell us a bit about your book(s).

KK: My first book, Awake Unto Me, is a love story set in turn of the century San Francisco and concerns two young women from different classes and parts of the city. One is a cook, the other a nurse both of them harbor secrets in their pasts that could affect the present.

The second book is Forsaking All Others. This is a contemporary love story where the couple has conflicts around sexual and relationship styles. One is a monogamist, the other a polyamorist. The background is the Proposition 8 fight in California in 2008. In a way its1` like another historical novel. LOL

AJ: Where do you get ideas for your stories?

KK: AUM: I saw a photograph of a group of army nurses in the Spanish American war in a museum here in SF. My first conception was a woman who disguised herself as a soldier and was discovered by a nurse who takes care of her. Cross-dressing is known in many eras and in the military but it became too convoluted to think through and I decided to make the other protagonist from ‘the wrong side of town.’ I always knew I wanted to write about San Francisco because of its exciting and romantic history. A lot has happened here.

FAO: I’m a marriage equality geek and follow that issue obsessively. Also, I’ve got a friend who’s a polyamorist (I’m a dedicated monogamist) and the question arose, ‘What if those two opposites met and fell in love?’ The story of California first gaining and then losing marriage equality was the perfect backdrop.

AJ: What process do you use when writing? Do you work to an outline of the plot, or do you "wing" it?

KK: I do a combination. I work from outline. I have a beginning and a middle and end but I’m not adverse to meandering and deviating from the outline if it happens…

AJ: Have your characters ever surprised you?

KK: In AUM, I only conceived of Beth being a nurse but then when I was writing, she becomes fascinated by the idea of becoming a doctor. That was rare in those days but not unknown.  As it happened, that decision to become a doctor and its results form the plot of the sequel A Spark of Heavenly Fire.

AJ: On average, how long does it take you to write a book?

KK: Six months. The first took the longest because of all the research. The second not so much but for other reasons it took over a year. The third went very quickly. I seem to be getting faster.

AJ: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.

KK: I read either other lesbian romance novels—or sometimes gay romance. OR non-fiction political work.

Mary Renault is my favorite writer and my inspiration.

AJ: Thank you, Kathleen, for the interview.

Kathleen's books are available here: Amazon

A Spark of Heavenly Fire (coming November 2014)


© JEN 2014