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EasterCon 2000, Katherine Kurtz interview.

My post to the newsgroup:

The scene:

A large, wide room with a stage at the front and a long table on the stage. About a hundred people spread out in the chairs in front of the stage. Katherine and Carolyn came in and sat down behind the table with pint glasses of some purple looking drink. Carolyn made a valiant effort to prop up her copy of Codex at the front of the table.


I wrote down some notes about the answers Katherine gave, but not the full explanations or even the questions. But briefly, some of the answers and discussion was:

KK and Carolyn talked about the Deryni Destinations site. KK complimented the zipper sisters and Mark. Also talked about the Codex and KK is about 80% sure that Ace will do a trade paperback version. Also the new codex will include more from KKB including stuff about the "dark regions of the East" i.e. Torenth.

KK would like to relaunch the deryni series in the UK market.

She is presently finishing The Temple and the Crown and will then do the third anthology about the Templars with Betsy Mitchell (sp?).

St. Patrick's Gargoyle is due to be released next spring (St. Patrick's Day) by Ace. It is set in modern Dublin and has Templars in it as there is a possible crusader buried in a crypt of a church that is in the novel. The church name is something like St. Michen's, does anyone in Dublin know this? The book is suppose to be accurate about the places in Dublin. KK was very enthusiastic about the book. From what she said it does sound very interesting. Gargoyles hiding in cars? She would not give away anything about how it ends. If anyone knows of a British/Irish publisher, get in touch.

Then KK talked for a while about Templars. She lurks on the internet Templars list and the Henry Sinclair list. She is thinking about writing a non-fiction book about the Templars in the future.

( I think it was about this time that Carolyn suffered from a coughing fit, but she recovered well.)

The Lammas Night sequel is to be combined with the next Adept book which will tell about Phillippa working with Graham.

The Childe Morgan Trilogy is to be the next deryni book. It has been outlined and Ace have seem this.

If KK was starting the deryni books again now, she might not pick Gwynedd as the name for Gwynedd. She has visited Scotland since starting the Deryni books and then added more Scottish elements to the later books. She seems to prefer Scotland to Wales.

KK needed a fictitious saint name and picked Camber based on some local saints in south England and some place names. I did not get all the details here, but she was talking about influences and mentioned Thomas More and Thomas Beckett. A friend tells me that Thomas More was in parliament, and Thomas Beckett I do know as the Archbishop and Saint. Also said her three favourite films were El Cid, Beckett, and A Man for all Seasons. (And I have not seem any of these films! I should see El Cid, but the others I do not know, so I hope the titles are approximately correct.)



Some extra notes by Peter Wilkinson after I posted my report to the newsgroup:

Well, there is certainly a village called Camber on the borders of Sussex and Kent, and other places in south-east England with "Camber" as part of their names (Camberwell in south London, for example). But this derivation does slightly surprise me, as there is a more obvious alternative. The Latin name for Wales is "Cambria", and the medieval writer Geoffrey of Monmouth explained this as being derived from an ancient prince called Camber.

But sometimes, of course, the obvious is not the case.

Thomas More was a disciple of Erasmus, and one of the earliest people to introduce the ideas of the Renaissance into England. He was also, for several years, one of Henry VIII's chief ministers, but when Henry broke with Rome over his divorce of Catherine of Aragon, More refused to accept this and resigned. A year or two later, Henry had More arrested on apparently trumped-up charges and executed. The Roman Catholic Church proclaimed More a saint about 70 years ago.

A Man for All Seasons is actually about Thomas More's last years. It's based on a play written about 40 years ago, which was certainly highly enough thought of at the time to end up on school syllabuses, at least in England.


And some extra notes by John Pritchard:

There is a place called "Camber" in E Sussex - and one called "Camberley" in Surrey, not to mention "Camberwell" in London. Alternatively, the Latin for Wales is "Cambria" - as in that early 13th century writer, Giraldus Cambrensis ("Gerald the Welshman"), who was one of the sources of the Arthurian legends.

I think you must mean Sir (or St) Thomas More, 1478-1535; author, lawyer, judge, MP, Speaker of the House of Commons - and Henry VIII's Lord Chancellor from 1529-32. He resigned this office when King Henry moved to impose his authority over the Church in England; when More refused to take the oath acknowledging Henry (rather than the Pope) as head of the Church, he was found guilty of treason (on perjured evidence) and beheaded. He was canonized in 1935.

"A Man for All Seasons" is a play by Robert Bolt, a dramatised version of More's later days, which was subsequently made into a film - I think in the 1960's.

Interesting that KK picks out two men who held high office, and the friendship of the King, but then chose to stand up against him, even chosing to become martyrs, in defence of the ultimate authority of the Church. That is, of course, a simplified view, and More was not a simple man. However, the dramatic possibilities must appeal to an author - the conflict between conscience and compromise. Is it better to stay in power, in the hope of influencing the King for the good (not to mention retaining the comforts of power and preserving your own neck!)? Where, on a slippery slope, does conscience force you to draw a line - which, inevitably, is an arbitrary one?

I wonder what would happen if Arilan were ever to come into conflict with Kelson over an issue of principle ...?


Also some more information about the interview by James Scott:

In fact, one of Carolyn's last questions was actually something to the effect of "If you could be one of your own characters, which would it be." KK mentioned that she saw a lot of herself in Ximena -- including the trauma center specialization.

Evidently, (news to me but perhaps not to the rest of the crowd) KK spent a summer's internship in an ER/trauma center, and might well have picked that as a career rather than writing. She herself was allowed to do some limited suturing of patients -- which of course is the first thing we get to see Ximena doing (and un-doing).

KK closed that topic by noting that while they have been implementing US-style trauma centers over in Scotland and the UK, they still haven't quite made it over to Ireland. As I recall, we bridged at that point onto the topic of the "Gargoyle" book and its suitability (high) as a Dublin tour guide.

Back to my lurking...