Monday, 16 April 2012
Author Spolight - Q&A with Kris Tualla
STEPH: I don't know much about "A Discreet Gentleman of Discovery." What's it about?
KRIS: This is the story of Brander Hansen, a disinherited son passed over because he became DEAF at age 7 as the result of multiple ear infections. We find him in 1720 Christiania (now Oslo) practicing a trade as a 'discreet gentleman of discovery' - a private investigator. He's saving every penning until he can buy an estate of his own and prove his father's choice wrong. He's on the verge of doing so when the Baroness of that estate writes to him asking for his help in saving her ancestral home from creditors. In actuality, that means saving it from Brander.
STEPH: How long did it take you to write?
KRIS: Generally it takes me four months to write a novel, and a couple more to edit and proof.
STEPH: What was the inspiration for the story?
KRIS: An article in the Romance Writer Report (RWR) which talked about how women are attracted to men who stare at them like they are the only person in the room. I thought, "Who stares like that? Deaf men!"
STEPH: How does the cover reflect the story?
KRIS: A friend of mine offered to be on the cover and grew his hair for 6 months before the photo shoot. His curls and reddish-gold color are perfect for Brander. The background is a photo I took at the cathedral ruins in Hamar, Norway - a location where Brander has a crime-solving epiphany.
STEPH: Brander is the hero. What are his strengths? Weaknesses?
KRIS: Oh, he's brilliant. So strong and capable. And he uses his deafness to solve crimes, especially by reading lips. As he often states: When people find out I'm deaf, they forget I'm in the room.
STEPH: What does Regin find appealing about him?
KRIS: When she first sees him, she thinks he's a creditor come to claim her estate. Later, she is surprised to find out he's deaf; unperturbed, she speaks to him, not to his valet about him. She's fascinated as Brander tracks a serial killer. She feels safe around him - unlike the husband who bankrupted her estate before turning violent.
The glitch is that she doesn't know who Brander really is for the first 3/4 of the book!
STEPH: What do you hope readers take away from reading the novel?
KRIS: That a "disabled" hero can still be a memorable, sexy, and desirable hero! *fans self to keep from swooning*
STEPH: What attracted you to setting the story in Norway?
KRIS: Norway is the new Scotland. It's time for heroes who don't wear kilts! All of my heroes ("A Discreet Gentleman of Discovery" is my 6th novel) and one heroine are Norse. The stories take place in America, Scotland and Norway over 5 centuries. So far.
STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?
KRIS: My name is Kris and I'm a Kindleholic. Don't cure me.
STEPH: Fun question: Spring is in the air. Are there any spring festivals in your area? How do you embrace spring?
KRIS: I just attended the Highland Games in Phoenix and checked in with my clan: Bell of the Borders. I do love men in kilts even if I don't write about them!
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