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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Spotlight: Keena Kincaid

I am my own heroine
--Maria Bashkirtseff

The first question I ask my character is: “what do you want?”

Usually that question comes at 3 a.m. when the character won’t let me sleep, but it’s a vital question and the most important I ask. Some of my heroines want esoteric things, i.e. “to learn.” Others want independence. In some form or fashion, all of them want a choice—something few medieval women were granted.

Ami’s desire is more tangible, if equally impossible. She wants William.

Her tragic past along with her magical ability to see others' emotions and separate truth from lies has left an indelible mark on her soul. She is slow to trust and quick to give her opinion. The constant in her life is William. He shelters her, loves her, tries to coddle her, and is willing to sacrifice his happiness (and hers) to see her safe and secure.

Although raised as a sister to William, Ami is true sister to Aedan ap Owen, the minstrel—a fact she doesn’t learn until after our story begins.

The relationship between Ami and William is more complex than the interactions between most heroes and heroines, at least in the beginning of the book They’ve known each other since they were ages 9 and 6, respectively, and are fully aware of the other's strengths, weakness and faults. At times they argue like siblings. Other times, they fight like lovers. Here’s an example:

Thump. Thump.

Ami ignored the frustrated knock on her door. It was childish to barricade herself in like this, but she couldn’t face anyone. Not yet. Maybe not ever.

Thump. Thud. Bang.

She jerked at the sound of oak hitting stone. William filled the doorway, chest heaving as he glared into the room. Blood covered the front of his shirt. A small cry escaped her before the weight of this morn fell on her like tumbling snow. She straightened and glared at him. “I locked the door for a reason.”

“And I purposefully battered it open.” He kicked the door shut with his foot.

“You have no right to barge in here. This is not your room, and I am not your sister.”


“That is not my name.”

“Yes, ’tis.” He stepped closer to the bed where she sat. “You are and always will be my Ami.”

“Until you give me to Hugh. Of course, I am not real family, so ’tis no sacrifice.”

“If I could have gone all my life without telling you this, Ami, I would have.”

“So you do not mind the lie. ’Tis the confession you dislike?”

He winced, and satisfaction curled through her. She wanted to cry and scream and burn the room to ash. She wanted him to feel her hurt. And beneath the scorching pain, she wanted to curl up in his arms until he made it better.

He cupped her chin, forced her to look at him. “I did not, do not care who was fathered by whom. I only want to keep you safe.” And close, he seemed to say. “Bran offered to take you to the inn. You can stay with him and Liza for now. When I return, we can figure out what to do with you.”

“Do with me?” She laughed, letting her bitterness rise to the surface. “I have already decided that. I am going to serve the queen, be her lady-in-waiting. That means I do not need you or anything you hold over my head, like food or shelter or affection.”

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
·         Tuesday: William of Ravenglas
·         Today: 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.


Stephanie Burkhart said...

Keena, great excerpt. I love a good "spat." What I enjoy about your character is how well rounded they are.

And congrats on being and EPIC finalist for Ties That Bind. Well done!


Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Keena,

Ami is a strong character, one that resonates with the reader long after the book is done. She wants to follow her heart - don't we all? Folks, this book is a super read. I'm lucky enough to have read a review copy and I couldn't put it down.

Keena Kincaid said...

Thanks for stopping by. A good spat can reveal a lot about character, and I try to tap into that when my characters argue. But that's not always easy.

Keena Kincaid said...

Thank you! I love to hear that someone couldn't put the book down.

Yes, Ami wants to follow her heart...or if she can't follow her heart, she's determined to at least be master at her fate.