Featured Interview With K.M. Guerin
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Hi, I’m K.M. Guerin! I grew up in a little farm community in Michigan (I mean, I grew up next to a tractor dealer), and I didn’t get my license until I was 20, so I spent a lot of time just running the area or sitting on my computer and roleplaying on Neopets. I was smart (I got the second highest score on the ACT for my year), but bored, so I’d often forget or just completely ignore my homework After I graduated high school in 2008, I moved to Grand Rapids for school, and I spent a few semesters out there, until I was forced to move home for medical reasons. I few years later, I moved, had a baby, and got married. I now live in Flint, MI, with my husband, my son, and my two pests – I mean, pets, a dog and a cat.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I’ve always loved to read. I read “Little Women” at 8, purely because I wanted to read it, and I read the Vampire Chronicles when I was 10 because I had an obsession with this one vampire YA book and I saw them on my mom’s bookshelf. At 15, I was a member of the theatre club, and they planned on going to the Michigan Renaissance Festival. To get myself familiar with what everything might entail, I ended up picking up a historical fiction book called, The Other Boleyn Girl. I’ve read historical fiction almost exclusively since then.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
Well, like I said, I pretty much only read historical fiction (I’ll pick up other genres, but it’s on a book-by-book basis and it really has to call to me). I prefer medieval to Renaissance – 1300s to 1600s, but I’ll try anything once. I’m looking forward to picking up Philippa Gregory’s newest book, honestly, and I’m finding myself to be more and more infatuated with Jean Plaidy.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My latest book takes place directly after my first one, and tells the story of the second Trastámara king, Juan, with a special focus on his first wife, Alionor. This focuses on the early years of his reign, and is very much a bridge book between the first book, about the first king, to the third book, which continues the story of the second king and his quest to gain what he believed he was entitled to own – a completely new country.
The Trastámara were the ruling family of Castile y León from 1358 to 1555, and they also ruled Aragón, Sicily, and Navarre at different points during that time period. Most people are familiar with the Trastámara by knowing about the final two generations – either Isabella and Ferdinand (“The Catholic Kings”), Juana (“la Loca”), or Catherine of Aragón (Henry VIII’s first wife, whom he divorced for Anne Boleyn). I decided to tell the story of this dynasty starting with how they came to power and ending with the transfer of power to the Habsburgs.
This book took me about a year to write, which was about the same as the previous one. I did a lot of building upon research that I had already done, but there was a bit extra that I had to do. Unfortunately, I realized a bit too late that I ended up picking a queen who would not have been involved with a lot of the major “action” of the time period because she was pregnant, and to be completely honest, she really wasn’t mentioned a lot outside of a few events, so I did have to take some artistic license, but I did try to keep it as accurate as I possibly could.
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