Alison Bruce has had many careers and writing has always been one of them. Copywriter, editor and graphic designer since 1992, Alison has also been a comic book store manager, small press publisher, webmaster and arithmetically challenged bookkeeper. She is the author of mystery, suspense and historical romance novels.
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Kat Flannery’s love of history shows in the novels she writes. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal, and romance. When not researching for her next book, Kat can be found running her three sons to hockey and lacrosse. She’s been published in numerous periodicals. This is Kat’s third book and she is hard at work on her next.
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Twin sisters separated by war, bound by love…
After the death of their father, twin sisters Maggie and Matty Becker are forced to take positions with officers’ families at a nearby fort. When the southern states secede, the twins are separated, and they find themselves on opposite sides of America’s bloodiest war.
In the south, Maggie travels with the Hamiltons to Bellevue, a plantation in west Tennessee. When Major Hamilton is captured, it is up to Maggie to hold things together and deal with the Union cavalry troop that winters at Bellevue. Racism, politics and a matchmaking stepmother test Maggie’s resourcefulness as she fights for Bellevue, a wounded Confederate officer and the affections of the Union commander.
In the north, Matty discovers an incriminating letter in General Worthington’s office, and soon she is on the run. With no one to turn to for help, she drugs the wealthy Colonel Cole Black and marries him, in hopes of getting the letter to his father, the governor of Michigan. But Cole is not happy about being married, and Matty’s life becomes all about survival.
Two unforgettable stories of courage, strength and honor.
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Q: What’s inside the mind of a Western Historical Romance author?
KAT: On most days it’s what to cook for dinner, but when I’m writing it’s about creating raw characters with real emotion and depth and touching my readers in some way.
ALISON: Coffee… and what Kat said.
Q: Why do you write?
KAT: Because I have to. It is a part of who I am. If I am not writing I don’t feel whole.
ALISON: Also what Kat said. No wonder we work well together.
Q: How picky are you with language?
KAT: Very. I am Canadian but I prefer to write using American spelling.
ALISON: I love language. I love the way it’s used and how it evolves. Oh and I’m trilingual. I can speak and write in American, Canadian and British English.
Q: When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?
KAT: Ha ha ha! How did you know? My characters definitely talk to me and sometimes it can be at the worst times, but they usually get their way.
ALISON: Well, Kat and I couldn’t be alike in everything. That would be boring. I don’t feel godlike or manipulated. Sometimes I feel like Hannibal Smith from the A-Team. I love it when a plan comes together, but I’m also prepared to improvise.
Q: What is your worst time as a writer?
KAT: The beginning of the book. I hate that part. I am just getting to know my characters and their voices. I struggle through the first four chapters every time.
ALISON: The middle of the book. I might have to go back and punch up the beginning but getting started isn’t a problem.
Q: Your best?
KAT: Definitely the middle to the end of the book. I know the characters so well that their dialogue flows without a second thought.
ALISON: I enjoy writing the back third of the book most. That’s when the plan is coming together and the pace is picking up. It’s usually my favourite part when reading a book too.
Q: Is there anything that would stop you from writing?
KAT: That’s a tough one to answer. I don’t know. My family comes first so if I ever had to choose between the two it would be family.
ALISON: Nope… well maybe if my hands fell off. Then I’d have to resort to oral storytelling.
Q: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?
KAT: There are a few. When my publisher Imajin Books signed me, and holding my first published paperback in my hands. I will never forget that moment.
ALISON: I was the first author accepted by Imajin. Originally I applied for a job as an editor but I heard they were accepting submissions. When the publisher called me to tell me she didn’t want to hire me because she’d rather publish me… that’s definitely one of my happiest author moments.
Q: Is writing an obsession to you?
KAT: Yes. I am an addict.
ALISON: Storytelling is my addiction. Writing is my usual method of satisfying the addiction.
Q: Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?
KAT: I think as writers we take certain moments, memories, or people we’ve encountered and embellish them.
ALISON: It’s all grist for the mill.
Q: Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Do you agree?
KAT: Writing is an escape from reality. It is a place where you can create your own story and characters and do with them what you please. But I disagree. You need to have reality in order to write.
ALISON: If nothing else, if there was no reality, there would be nothing to escape from.