Featured Interview With Kathryn Longino
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Kathryn Longino is a pen name for the writing duo of Kathryn Dionne and Shondra C. Longino, who writes under the pen name Abby L. Vandiver.
Kathryn lives in San Diego, CA. She loves the weather there and has a huge olive tree grove.
Abby lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and despite the cold winters wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
Both Kathryn and Abby have loved to read since they were children. Kathryn has wanted to be a writer for a long time, and Abby just stumbled upon the idea in the last few years. But this collaboration came out of the blue. Kathryn and Abby met on Goodreads, and became long distance friends (just like the characters in their book). At the end of one of their long telephone conversations, Kathryn suggested they write a book. And they did!
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
We both love archaeology and our first books were about that. Abby loves a good mystery as well. Lately, Kathryn and Abby have inspired each other in their writings, as well as from the everyday things around them.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
Our book, At the End of the Line, is a historical/women’s fiction novel. It takes place during the tumultuous 60s, a time of racial tension and inequality for both blacks and women. A wrong number sparks a friendship that spans fourteen years, through domestic strife, civil rights struggles and the stigma of interracial relationships. History of that time really comes alive in the book and will take you back to that time.
We put a lot of research into this novel, taking up most of the three months it took us to write it. We wanted to be accurate, imposing our characters into the events of the era. We collaborated via email, and on the phone, laughing and fussing about our characters. Writing together was such a joy, we were able to share ideas and achievements.
Our main characters are Beatrice “Beanie” Peterson and Adeline “Liddie” Garrison. Beanie is forced into a marriage at fifteen with a man more than twice her age. She is Mormon and finds herself the third wife in the house with six children. Her husband becomes abusive and she wants to get away. Through it all, Beanie is a caring girl with a big heart. Liddie is a good friend of Jack Kennedy, having dated his brother Joe Kennedy, Jr. before he died in WWII. She smokes a lot, and suffers through a marriage to a prominent Boston business man because it gives her the lifestyle she prefers. Liddie has many secrets that in the end comes to haunt her.
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