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Interview with Kate Breslin

Kate Breslin loves the written word and creating stories that inspire. One of her favorite parts of writing any novel is the research involved, as she delves into learning about different people and places around the world. She sets a timer to remind herself to stop researching and start writing. Kate is an early morning writer and listens to music while she works. An avid traveler, she was thrilled to be able to visit Barcelona, Spain, one of the locations in her book. Her newest release, Far Side of the Sea, involves spies, suspense, and carrier pigeons. We're thrilled to welcome Kate as she shares some of her inspiration and writing habits.

What message do you hope readers take away from this book?
While I hope that my stories entertain and give readers a history lesson without seeming like a history lesson, it’s always on my heart to share some facet of God’s love. In Far Side of the Sea, it’s the idea that our heavenly Father isn’t one to be feared, but to befriend. He is always with us, and we are each unique and equally important in His eyes, and in His unconditional love.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Definitely a plotter. I’ve tried the other method and end up hitting too many unexpected snags. :-) I like having a map when I write, so even when I get creative and veer from my outline, I still have a solid grasp of my story’s direction.

The use of carrier pigeons in your novel is fascinating, what inspired this storyline?
I was researching espionage details from the war for my second novel, Not By Sight, when I came across some fascinating facts about the world of secret communications—and using carrier pigeons for espionage during WWI. With the idea that I would write a sequel to the Mabry family saga in my newest release, Far Side of the Sea, incorporating the pigeons was the spark that helped me to create Colin Mabry’s story.

Did traveling to the location of the book change any aspect of the story? Did you discover something you just had to add to the story?
I actually wrote the Barcelona scenes shortly after visiting that city and it really helped me to provide texture to the story setting and add genuine flavor to the atmosphere, especially La Rambla, the busiest promenade in the city and the place where I stayed. While I wrote my story, it was easy to envision the people and shops and sights I had experienced there. I was quite taken with all of the outdoor cafés lined up along the promenade and I used those to help with a plot twist in my 1918 story!

What was your favorite part of visiting Barcelona?
I have too many favorites to post here, but I really enjoyed visiting Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, the famous unfinished cathedral in the heart of Barcelona. Gaudi’s nature-influenced design of the church shows his architectural brilliance, and while a bit unusual, it is very beautiful. Construction of the Sagrada Familia began in 1882 and while Gaudi died in 1926, the community came together to finish his dream. The cathedral is slated for completion in 2026. What a marvel!

Who or what spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?
I think my passion for stories kept me tenacious for those 20 years of writing, prior to selling my first book, but God has played the larger role in my writing journey. Without His grace and inspiration, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today in my career. As for creating story and characters, I usually develop those as I research a particular timeline in history, and right now I still enjoy exploring the many facets of WWI.

What is your writing routine? Any quirky habits or must-have snacks?
It takes me 4 months to fully outline my story through research and then I sit down to start writing. Ideally, I write 5-6 hours a day, 5 days a week, but it can go up to 10 hours a day, 7 days a week when I’m on deadline. I enjoy having my cup of hot tea at the ready and I love coffee-flavored Nips™ candy once in awhile. I also have an ugly olive green sweater vest that I wear when I write (I’m wearing it now.) It keeps me warm in the winter and has big pockets for all of my pens, notes, paperclips, etc.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing almost my whole life; even as a child I wrote poems then short stories in school then song lyrics for my guitar. A few newspaper articles here and there. I didn’t start novel writing until I reached my thirties, when I ran out of books by all of my favorite authors. I was also bookseller for fifteen years prior to publishing, which was a dream job for this avid reader!

What led you to choose the genre in which you write?
I fell in love with history—not in school with the usual jumble of dates and places—but through stories. I have countless historical fiction authors to thank for that, and I hope to honor them and pay it forward by writing novels that both entertain and enlighten readers, about the people and places of the past.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
I love to cook when I have the time and in summer, I enjoy digging in my rose garden. I also like making my own vinegars and oils, using herbs and other ingredients and I give them as gifts to my friends.

What authors have inspired you?
Too many to count, but my interest in writing inspirational fiction developed years ago while reading novels by author Linda Nichols, who wrote for Bethany House at the time. I loved Linda’s edgy stories and characters and her faith message came through naturally, without feeling preachy or added in. Shortly after that, I spent a weekend binge reading Francine River’s Mark of the Lion trilogy. I was hooked! That series still has a place of honor on my bookshelf.


Jody Stinson believes every story deserves a happy ending—even if she has to write one herself. After an international upbringing, she continues to travel whenever she can. Her goal is to take her readers somewhere new, make them smile, and give them hope through Christ. She currently writes freelance including articles, devotionals, commercials, and even a client's wedding toast.

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