Lovely #Interview with Kristen McKenzie, author of ‘The Forger and the Thief’
I’m very pleased to welcome Kristen McKenzie, author of ‘The Forger and the Thief’, here today and thank her for kindly answering my questions so I can share her replies with you. Read on to find out more about her inspiration, her writing, her book and herself……
Where did you get the inspiration for the book?
I was inspired to write ‘The Forger and the Thief’ after a family trip to Florence, Italy. We’d stumbled upon a photographic exhibition commemorating the devastating 1966 floods in Florence. The flood destroyed and damaged millions of masterpieces of art and rare books. Sadly, 101 people lost their lives. The water peaked at 6.7 metres and 600,000 tons of mud, rubble and sewage swept through the city, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how easy it might have been for an opportunistic thief to steal priceless art under the guise of helping during the rescue operation.
Do you have any writing advice?
Finish your book. Even if you think it is rubbish, finish it. You can’t edit a book which doesn’t have an ending. You can always massage bad words or plot into good words and plot. You can’t reshape words which don’t exist. And believe in yourself. You are your finest champion. Lots of people say ‘don’t read reviews’. I read all my reviews. And many times, I’ve reshaped my stories based on the feedback from reviewers. I’ll always remember one reviewer for ‘Fifteen Postcards’ called Sarah Lester (the main protagonist), a “bubblehead”. At first I was miffed. But then I realised that the reviewer was right. So as I was writing the second book, she came to the self realisation that she’d been a bit clueless. So thank you to that anonymous reviewer. They made it a better series.
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
I write straight into my computer. But for a number of years, I would take a notebook to my daughter’s swimming lessons, and write longhand in the notebook, transferring it into my computer later. I kind of miss those days. I always have a notebook with me when I travel though. And I like to write on plane journeys and long train trips. I love trains. In fact… I might just set a book on a train. Hmm, more research I think!
Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?
My favourite character is Pauline in my medical thriller Doctor Perry. She’s based on a real person, and the real Pauline is just as strong and wild and protective as the Pauline in the book. I wish more people were like Pauline.
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
Ooohh, I like the idea of being The River from ‘The Forger and the Thief’, and punishing the people who ruin the natural environment. My favourite non-fiction book at the moment is the book ‘Wilding’ by Isabella Tree, about the rewilding of Knepp Farm in England. Very inspirational.
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
The name of the ‘Wife’ in ‘The Forger and the Thief’ is Rhonda Devlyn, who is actually the name of one of my readers. I met Rhonda in 2019, at an event I was on a panel for at Hamilton Book Month. She had been commenting and liking my author Facebook posts, so we’d already built up a rapport. Rhonda has the most incredible blue eyes you’ve ever seen. And I asked her if it would be okay to name a character after her.
Leo Kubin comes from my best selling novel ‘Painted’, and it was a surprise to find him forcing his way into this story! But that’s the way of things sometimes.
For characters I like, I try to mix and match the names of my friends. For the villains in my stories, I mix and match the names and characteristics of people who I’ve found challenging in the past… Never cross an author!
Thank you again for answering my questions – I thoroughly enjoyed reading your responses . . . and remember getting work done during my own daughter’s swimming lessons, too!
Read on to discover more about The Forger and the Thief and Kristen McKenzie….
FIVE STRANGERS IN FLORENCE, EACH WITH A DANGEROUS SECRET. AND AN APOCALYPTIC FLOOD THREATENING TO REVEAL EVERYTHING.
A wife on the run, a student searching for stolen art, a cleaner who has lined more than his pockets, a policeman whose career is almost over, and a guest who should never have received a wedding invite. Five strangers, entangled in the forger’s wicked web, amidst Florence’s devastating flood of November 1966.
In a race against time, and desperate to save themselves and all they hold dear, will their secrets prove more treacherous than the ominous floodwaters swallowing the historic city?
Dive into a world of lies and deceit, where nothing is as it seems on the surface…