As part of my series of interviews with Historical Novels Society Conference Speakers, I today interview Kathleen Kent. Kathleen is the author of the bestselling novels, The Heretic’s Daughter and The Traitor’s Wife. At the conference, Kathleen will be participating in “The Witchcraft Window: Scrying the Past” panel discussion.
Question: What got you first interested in historical fiction?
Kathleen: When I was a child, my mother gave me a book on ancient Greek artifacts. Soon after, I started reading Mary Renault’s books and historical fiction became my time machine to the past.
Question: How do you find the people and topics of your books?
Kathleen: My first two books, The Heretic’s Daughter and The Traitor’s Wife were based on my 9 times great grandmother, Martha Carrier, who was hanged as a witch in Salem in 1692. I grew up hearing stories of Martha and her family.
Question: Do you have an anecdote about reading or fan interaction you’d like to share?
Kathleen: For the release of my second book, The Traitor’s Wife, I had a launch event in Salem, Mass. Over 250 fellow descendants of Martha Carrier—from all over the U.S.— attended to share their personal histories and stories that they had heard about Martha and her husband, Thomas Carrier.
Question: Can you tell us about your latest publication?
Kathleen: My third novel, The Outcasts, will be published this October. Set in 1870 Texas, the story follows both a young Texas State Policeman on the hunt for a serial killer, and a woman fleeing a life of prostitution to pose as a school teacher in a small Texas town.
Thanks, Kathleen! For more about Kathleen Kent, visit her website, http://kathleenkent.com/