Kathleen Korbel

Kathleen Korbel

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
March 17, 2008

Q.    Kathleen, how did you come about the idea to write DARK SEDUCTION?

A.    As a good Irishwoman, I've been well-acquainted with the world of faerie since childhood. When I finally was able to return to Ireland, I made it a point to collect what local lore I could, and found that I love the idea that the world of faerie is one more intimately related to the natural world than we mere mortals. I love the magic of faerie, the dichotomy of light and dark(trust me when I tell you that the popular image of fairies is far off. Fairies are a fierce, proud and dangerous race), the idea of possibilities only limited by my own imagination. And I thought I might like the idea of world building. To that end, I took the faerie lore I had, and invented my own world, where Mab, Queen of the Tuatha de Dannen fairy clan, and pitted against Cormac, king of the dangerous air fairies, the Dubhlainn Sidhe(the Fairies of the Dark Sword), whom I invented.

DARK SEDUCTION is the second book in the Daughters of Myth trilogy for Nocturne, that follows the trials of the three daughters of Mab, Queen of Fairies at the moment the world of fairy and mortal lies in peril. Nuala, the oldest daughter, who should have followed as queen, has already given up her heritage to follow the mortal she loves (DANGEROUS

TEMPTATION, NOCTURNE#2). It is Sorcha's turn to be considered as the queen's successor, but Sorcha, a true middle child, has no faith in her own abilities, and chooses instead to be exiled to the mortal realm to seek a sacred stone that could save mankind. To do that, she has to team up with Harry Wyatt, a mortal who wants nothing to do with the fairy world, but who is suffering terribly from its darker forces. I have made poor Harry terribly conflicted(just the prologue should tell you that), and Sorcha a true beam of light in his world. I've loved investigating that place where the worlds of mortal and faerie collide.

Q.    How did you come about the title?

A.    To be perfectly frank, I didn't. I was unimaginative enough to want to call the three books NUALA, SORCHA, and ORLA, after the three daughters of Mab. Silhouette wanted titles that reflected the Nocturne line, and I tried to fit them to the books. DARK SEDUCTION, though, does reflect on not only the ramifications of the attraction between Sorcha and Harry, but the terrible effects of the loss of the stone Sorcha seeks. A stone of creation, the Coilinn Stone gives female balance to the more masculine Dubhlainn Sidhe. Without the stone's restraining influence, the Dubhlainn Sidhe are able to unleash nightmares that challenge a good man's self-concept, images of violence and dominance that terrify any sane man. They threaten to drive Harry Wyatt to madness, which is one of the reasons Sorcha must work so hard to find the stone and restore balance.

Q.    Will you give the readers a brief synopsis of DARK SEDUCTION?

A.    Sorcha, second daughter of Mab, Queen of Fairies, is exiled to the world of mortals to recover the Coilin Stone, one of the creation stones that helps regulate the worlds of faerie and mortal alike. If she fails, it is very possible that spring will never return. Luckily for her, the first mortal she meets is Harry Wyatt, a beleaguered landowner from Yorkshire who has the bright green eyes that betray his fairy blood. Unfortunately, Harry is the last person to believe such romantic drivel. A sensible man harassed by an unsensible family and world, he wants nothing to do with Sorcha or her fairy stories. Unfortunately for him, Sorcha is convinced he is the only mortal who can help her. Worse, the terrible forces of the Dubhlainn Sidhe, a dark fairy clan who wants the Coilinn Stone for themselves, have joined the battle. These forces of light and dark have put everything and everyone Harry loves in terrible peril, and he must work with Sorcha to battle them.

Q.    How did you come about Harold’s character?

A.    Believe it or not, The Twilight Zone. There was an episode about a man who simply didn't belong in the world in which he lived. I was fascinated by that, since I feel we all have that feeling every once in a while. The man in the Twilight Zone belonged in a different time. I was intrigued by the idea that Harry belongs in a different world altogether. Poor Harry is the last person to admit that he doesn't belong on the land he has sacrificed everything to save from an improvident family. But even as he struggles, he knows that the world he really longs for--and can never reach--is the one an ancestor painted on the walls of his home, a fairy world of bluebells and magic horses and hills and dales so green it makes your eyes hurt. Of course, I can never make it that simple, so Harry is also beset by the best and worst of his fairy blood--and, of course, the beautiful fairy woman who literally falls at his feet.

Q.    How did you come about Sorcha’s character?

A.    Dick Francis. I know, what could a mystery writer who specializes in the world of the racecourse have to do with fairies? Dick Francis makes a specialty of heroes who have no idea they're heroic. Every one of his protagonists considers himself completely lacking in the skills that make a hero. They're everyman. Well, how much more interesting to make that an everyfairy? Sorcha, a middle child of the wild, capricious, often cruel Queen Mab, and sister to two of the most powerful forces in her world, has spent her life living happily in their shadows. She is the Stone-Keeper, who bestows the gems that reflect each fairy's particular gift or talent. To be able to do this correctly, she spends her days with the fairy children, teaching them their magical heritage.

She considers her skills small, her talents negligible, certainly nothing great enough for the task she is given. But I think she rises magnificently to the occasion, as true heroines do.

Q.    Why did you chose for Lilly to have down syndromes?

A.    I had no idea she would when I conceived of her. I knew that I was writing a book that would torment Harry Wyatt from the first page, and I'm afraid that I just can't tolerate that for 300 pages without some kind of relief(and I was sure Harry would agree with me) So I had to find some kind of leavening agent to all that distress and darkness. Someone to make him laugh. I also knew that I wanted to have an heir to the land Harry has fought so hard to protect. Since he had no children of his own, I thought to give them to his cousin. Three, I thought, for no apparent reason. A boy and two girls. And then, Lilly came down the steps to greet her Uncle Harry and she was an impish 4 year old with Down Syndrome. And I realized that not only would she open the heart of her Uncle Harry in ways nobody else could, but she could act as a reflection to my world of fairies. For my fairies consider children with Down Syndrome to be the "Cherished Ones." After all, these children are the only ones who will never lose their joy and wonder, and fairies revere nothing more. These children are the only ones who will always be able to see the fairies. I have to admit that Lilly is one of my favorite characters I have ever created, and I was really glad that she made a return appearance in the third book of the trilogy, DEADLY REDEMPTION, which will be out in September.

Q.    What genre(s) do you write under the name Eileen Dreyer?

A.    As Eileen Dreyer, the majority of my books (8)have been forensic-medical-suspense. In my other life, I was a trauma nurse who is trained in death investigation and forensic nursing. It's an endlessly fascinating field with unlimited possibility for mayhem, and I've been culling it with relish. The latest, SINNERS AND SAINTS, from St. Martin's Press, is not only a forensic suspense, but my homage to New Orleans. Eileen(I always think of us as evil twins) has also co-written a collaborative novel with Jenny Cruise and Anne Stuart, THE UNFORTUNATE MISS FORTUNES, which helped me leap into the world of paranormal romance(the Miss Fortunes are three sisters with paranormal powers they neither want or can control, until their true loves show up on weekend). And if you don't think that creative process was fun, you don't know Jenny or Anne.

Q.    How many books have you written?

A.    All told, 34: DEADLY REDEMPTION will be my 25th Silhouette, I have 8 suspense, and the 1 collaborative novel. I have also published 10 short stories, and multiple non-fiction essaysl

Q.    Are you currently working on another novel?

A.    Always. Right now I'm researching my 9th suspense novel, which I'm still too superstitious to talk about(a regular stage in my writing), and I'm writing the first of a historical romance adventure trilogy for Grand Central Publishing. The trilogy is THE THREE GRACES, about three women who meet the night before Waterloo and stumble over a plot against the British throne. It's my first foray into historical romance, and I'm having a blast. It's my favorite period of history, and the story's been banging around in my head for the last seven years or so. The books will be published in 2010.

Q.    What message would you like readers to receive from reading DARK SEDUCTION?

A.    I think it is that the smallest of us can be enough to change the world. That heroism is in the heart, not in the sinews. Neither Sorcha nor Harry consider themselves particularly heroic, but together they help save the world from literal destruction.