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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Spotlight: Keena Kincaid

Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy
--F. Scott Fitzgerald

William of Ravenglas was a tough hero to write, at least for me. He’s arrogant, threatened by past sins and driven by a need to do “the right thing.” He can be rigid and judgmental, but as he’s well aware of his own sins, he’s also quick to forgive and loyal to a fault.

He is how I imagine chivalry and courtly love probably collided with flawed human beings once the ideas left the troubadours’ tales.

What I love about him is his struggle between duty and desire. He's a deeply flawed man—proud, ambitious, and fiercely protective—who wants to live with honor and integrity in a world where there is little of either.

William is adamant about preserving the family estate and increasing its wealth and political power. To achieve these goals, he must cast aside his desires and his honor. In the process, his actions put in the midst of treason, betrayal and dark magic.

Typically, I create heroes who are in desperate need of redemption. They didn’t fall from the straight and narrow path, but jumped from it. For William, one step off that path led to another misstep and then another.  Like most of us, he falls one inch at a time.

Even more tragic than his fall from grace is his honest belief that marrying the woman he loves to Hugh is the right and honorable course. With that marriage, his foster sister, Ami, will be safe and secure, if unhappy. The unhappy part bothers him, chafing his heart like rough leather. However, if he claims Ami, he forfeits Ravenglas. All the people who depend on his family to keep them safe and prosperous will suffer for his selfish actions.

Here’s a peek into William’s heart:

“Vae.” He’d rather she throw fireballs at him than cry. “Ami, do not—”

She pushed past him and raced up the stairs, her quick, staccato steps echoing around the chamber. With her gone, he finally saw the whole room. The children stared at him, wide-eyed and frightened. Both minstrels glared.

William glared back. One of these days, he was going to be the one who got staggering drunk, danced half-naked in the moonlight and kissed every girl he saw. But not this night.

Tonight he had to break Ami’s heart.

Even a few months ago, he’d had a plan. And it had been a good one. He’d to come to Carlisle, focus Aedan’s anger, and stop treason without leaving a bloody mess behind. He would leave court an earl, and once lord in his own right, he’d planned to use his connections to increase trade, dredge Ravenglas’ harbor so larger ships could enter the port, and turn his corner of England into a prosperous outpost where even the beggars were well-fed and content.

He’d even planned to shelter Ami if Hugh of Braose was not a good man.

Instead she’d been at the gate, as welcome as spring and as complicating as an ambush.

Keena Kincaid, the author of four romance novels set in 12th century England, will be at LASR all week talking about her newest novel, ENTHRALLED. Leave a comment on one of her blogs and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a copy of her book at the end of the week. She’ll be giving away two ebooks and one signed print edition.
Her topics:
·         Monday: Eleanor of Aquitaine
·         Today: William of Ravenglas
·         Wednesday: Amilia of Ravenglas
·         Thursday: Magic and Marriage in the Middle Ages
·         Friday: The First Scene 
 Her books are available from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble online as well as anywhere ebooks are sold. You also can fan or friend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and visit her blog, Typos and All.


LK Hunsaker said...

Keena, William reminds me of someone I know - a hard path to walk. I look forward to reading about him, and seeing Aeden again. ;-)

Keena Kincaid said...

iGood morning, Loraine. Thanks for coming by. Yes, William is in a bad way and despite the agony he caused me, he was fun to write.

liana laverentz said...

The more I read, the more this sounds like a winner! Looking forward to winter, and getting some great reading done! Refresh my memory, Enthralled part of a series?

StephB said...

Keena, I love a complicated hero layered with faults and strengths. You do that well in your writing.


Mona Risk said...

William is indeed a complicated hero, too proud and too wounded. I am curious to see how he'll reach his happy ending.

Maggie Toussaint said...

William is my favorite character in Enthralled, which I've had the pleasure of reading. It's a wonderful story with a setting so rich you can see it.

I love the struggles he has with doing what is right for his family and what is right for him. well done!

Keena Kincaid said...

Thanks for stopping in. Yes, Enthralled in the third book in my Druids of Duncarnoch series. The stories follow three siblings whose family was split apart when they were children. So while each book deals with one of the three, the arc of the series is how their family is repaired.

Novels Alive TV wrote a great review of the series and you can find out more about each book on my website.

Keena Kincaid said...

Hi, Steph. I write in layers. I'm not sure if anyone else does that, but my first draft is usually about 15,000 words shorter than the second draft.

Keena Kincaid said...

Hi, Mona. It's a messy path to his HEA...although I really wish I could have figured out a way to write a scene where he got drunk and danced half naked around a fire. LOL! I really wanted to see that.

Keena Kincaid said...

Hi, Maggie! It's good to see you here.

When William first started telling me his story, I was very unsure of him as a hero. He's very different from my typical hero, but his struggle between duty/desire ultimately won me over.

Becca Dale said...

Oh, he - um-er-I mean- this sounds really good. Nice excerpt.

Jannine Gallant said...

You gotta love a tortured hero! Sounds like a terrific read, Keena.

Barb H said...

Love your excerpt, Keena. I'm looking forward to reading the book!

Keena Kincaid said...

Hi, Becca. Thanks for your enthusiasm. :-)

Keena Kincaid said...

Thanks for dropping in. I love torturing hero, too. Oops, I mean a tortured hero.

Keena Kincaid said...

Thanks for stopping in, Barb. I'm glad you like the excerpt. It's one of my favorite passages in the book. You get such a vivid flash of William and want he really wants.