Friday, October 14, 2011

Author Interview ~ Kate Burns

Happy Friday!!

What a special day at Mystery Writers Unite as I share with you an interview that was conducted with the local author of  The Ophelia Trap, Kate Burns.

Karin: I see your book ( The Ophelia Trap) is climbing the charts on iTunes.

Kate: Well, it’s not climbing anymore! It’s now stabilized to falling, but we will see how that turns out. It is selling and that is really good. And it was awfully fun to write.

Karin: Can you give us an idea of what the book is about?

Kate: The Ophelia Trap is about the ultimate victim. The name of the book is taken from Shakespeare’s ultimate victim. The trap could be one that was laid for her or one she lays for somebody else and  -- without giving too much away -- there is a little bit of both in there. It’s also about the taking back of one's own identity. When I was writing this book, September 11th had already happened, and it was sort of fresh in my mind.

I thought about the jumpers; these people who were trapped in the buildings... either with fire and jet fuel behind them or the thick smoke above them. And what lay ahead of them was this clear blue open sky and very few choices.

One of the last choices they had, the only ones left really, was the manner of their death, and how they chose the manner of their death was their very last exercise in control. The plot points in my novel and the theme ties in very closely to that – when you have no choices, what choices you have left become your most important choices.

Karin: It could be your last choice.

Kate: Exactly, and one could argue that your last choice is your most important choice. It’s the man that chooses to drive his car off a bridge rather than into oncoming traffic. He made a choice to sacrifice his life and save the lives of others on the road in a terrible moment when it seemed as if there is no time to make a choice. Like that line out of the Edmond Fitzgerald, “When the winds turn the moments to hours"… there is a space in those final seconds where human beings explore the very depths of what they are capable of doing, thinking, feeling, changing, deciding on and accepting.” So, unless you get a bullet through the brain; every human being has a chance, even if it is only a fraction of second long, to accept fate and to make a choice about it too. There is a lot of that in the first book.

Karin: Tell us about some of the conflicts in the novel.

Kate: In this novel, Julia’s antagonist, not the villain, but her antagonist, is essentially her husband, who doesn’t want her doing what she does and is in some ways the opposite of who she is. She has to find a way to work beyond that and by the end of the novel her husband no longer feels the same.

Karin: That reminds me, it seems that the place where the story transpired had a big part to play in The Ophelia Trap and your book really connected to it.

Kate:  I think if all writers went back and wrote again what we wrote before, we might do something different.  I might have played up the contrast between Aylmer and the bigger city across the river a bit more. I didn’t do that because I really wanted to concentrate on that small town feel.  Even though Aylmer is technically a city, it’s this border town – this town of English and French, and there is a natural contrast there. There is a complementary thing going on, not always but generally working and having that as a setting allowed me to explore a little bit of the fish out of water thing. Our city girl has moved there and married a small town guy and is settling into this life and finds out that in a small town your past can be a lot closer then you think it is.

Karin: Tell us about your new novel...

Kate: In this novel there are several conflicts set up – we have two worlds against each other the world of fine art and the world of commercial art and the world of the finer end of the market and the destitute end of the market, the sinner and the saved. I’m exploring juxtapositions between commercial and fine, rich and poor and city and country and all of those get to land very nicely. But Julia and Matt have to work as more of a team this time around. Their lives depend on it.

Karin: And once more, the setting is very integral.

Kate: This novel gives me the chance to take a tour around the Gatineau region, where there are so many fascinating and almost hidden parts to our region and to this beautiful area. The Byward Market has a beauty all its own, and the Gatineau hills have a beauty all of their own. Each of those settings has its own particular danger, too.

This weekend, Kate Burns will be signing copies of  The Ophelia Trap at the Art on the Ridge event being held in Luskville, Quebec on October 15th and 16th, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (see details below) .

If you can't make the event you can purchase either the paperback version of the book here: The Ophelia Trap or the electronic (e-book) version here: The Ophelia Trap.

Hope to see some locals at the event!!


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