Thursday, September 26, 2013

Kindar's Cure by Michelle Hauck: Interview and Excerpt


Tell us about your current release. What was the inspiration behind it?


The germ of an idea for Kindar’s Cure came to me one night while I was propped in bed with a bad cough. That actual event became the very first scene. I wondered what it would be like to create a heroine suffering, not from the death of her parents or some other traumatic event, but from a disease. I knew that in medieval times, afflictions like sickness or plague were considered a sign that God found the victim unworthy or sinful. Thus was born Kindar, shunned by her family and the entire court due to her choke lung.


Does travel play in the writing of your books?


Travel plays a part both in the storyline of Kindar’s Cure and the descriptions. Kindar spends part of her time, traveling through one of the other countries of her realm. A country I tried to pattern after the countryside and customs of Scotland from the works of Robert Louis Stevenson.


Also I based some of the descriptions for settings on places I had actually visited. Leeds Castle in England became my Belmore castle. A pool of hot springs in Yellowstone with its distinctive turquoise water became the spot of Kindar’s searching for her cure. 


What is the hardest part of writing your books?


The hardest part of writing has always been action scenes for me. There is just so much description and stage direction. This person did this and then this happened. It’s very hard to keep the sentence structure varied and the pace rapid all while creating a unique and interesting fight sequence.


What books have most influenced this story?


Gone with the Wind was a big influence. My main hero, Henry, has a love of the land that comes directly from that book.


But the biggest influence came from the history books I read about Elizabeth the First and her parent, Henry the VIII. One often forgets that Henry the VIII had children, everyone tends to focus on him and his wives. But his children must have lived lives of fear what with constantly being in dread of losing their heads.

Instead of making my main character’s father a tyrant, I switched that around and gave Kindar a tyrannical mother, then decided to make the whole theme one of a matriarchal society. 


The relationships of distrust and instability within the royal family I created for Kindar’s Cure all comes directly from the real royal family of Henry VIII. I just threw in a little murder and magic.


Plotter or Pantser? Why?


All my writing is done as a pantser. I have a general direction that I try to head toward, but I never write anything down on paper or do any outlining. So many of my ideas seem to strike me out of the blue that any planning I attempted to do would surely get washed away.


What do you do to unwind and relax?


Besides reading and watching tv, I like to interact with other writers. I used to hate blogging, but then I got into a stride and found a theme. Now I really enjoy running contests and posting helpful information for new writers on my blog.


Twitter has become another source for unwinding after work. Writing is such a solitary hobby/job that it’s really fun to interact with other writers there.  


Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?


Find critique partners that are better at writing than you are. Use their help to build your craft and learn more about the rules of writing.


That and, a quote from Galaxy Quest, “Never give up. Never surrender.”

Do your friends think you are an introvert or an extravert? Why?

My writing friends must think I’m an extravert because I love to chat and blog and interact on twitter and at Agent Query Connect. They’d be wrong. I’m painfully shy. I’m only brave through the internet.


What do you find most rewarding about writing?


I like to surprise readers. I love to end chapters on cliffhangers and throw in twists. If I can fool a reader even after throwing out hints, I’m a happy camper!

Princess Kindar of Anost dreams of playing the hero and succeeding to her mother’s throne. But dreams are for fools. Reality involves two healthy sisters and a wasting disease of suffocating cough that’s killing her by inches. When her elder sister is murdered, the blame falls on Kindar, putting her head on the chopping block.

No one who survives eighteen years of choke lung lacks determination. A novice wizard, Maladonis Bin, approaches with a vision—a cure in a barren land of volcanic fumes. As choices go, a charming bootlicker that trips over his own feet isn’t the best option, but beggars can’t be choosers. Kindar escapes with Mal and several longtime attendants only to have her eyes opened that her country faces dark times. 

Her mother’s decision to close the prosperous mines spurs poverty and joblessness, inciting rebellion and opening Anost to foreign invasion. As Mal urges her toward a cure that will prove his visions, suddenly, an ally turns traitor, delivering Kindar to a rebel army, who have their own plans for a sickly princess.

With the killer poised to strike again, the rebels bearing down, and the country falling apart, she must weigh her personal hunt for a cure against saving her people.





“Princess Kindar, Her Majesty will see you,” a chamberlain barked from her mother’s bedchamber.

Kindar strode forward alone. As the door closed after her, she sank into a deep curtsey before moving forward to the center of the room. Empress Eugenie Stefanous sat before a large mirror, clothed in her undergarments. Seventeen when her first daughter was born, the empress was still young, her belly and hips pleasantly rounded. Her auburn hair fell in a thick mass of long curls around a delicately painted face.

After bearing three daughters, Empress Eugenie had retired her husband, not wanting to ruin the fortunate omen with another child. Now she confined herself to her own amores. The empress’ two current favorites lounged on a chaise. Young enough to be her children, they sported more paint than their mistress. Kindar pushed down irritation that these wretches sat while she must stand.

Behind her mother, the First Minister Hayden wore a military uniform which had never seen a day’s fight. He held a sheaf of papers from which to report his latest information. Information his extensive team of spies provided. “… and the disposition of the Cushwair rebels remains unchanged.” Minister Hayden cut off as he saw her, stooping to whisper into her mother’s ear.

Eugenie lifted her eyes to Kindar’s reflection in the mirror. “I hear your humours are clean this morning, Daughter.”

Suddenly, answers clicked in Kindar’s mind. The physician had been suggested by Minister Hayden as punishment for failing to show him favor. Kindar narrowed her eyes. From such men as this, her mother sought the advice that would dictate her children’s futures. But this meant her mother might be well-disposed toward her. Her optimism grew to a painful intensity. After all, Eugenie needed all three daughters to give weight to the omen. Kindar curtseyed again. “Yes, Majesty.”

“Strange.” The empress turned her eyes from contemplating her own face in the mirror to favor her daughter with a glance. “Your humours are seldom clean.”

“It is more auspicious for the wedding, Majesty, if I’m not bled.”

“Perhaps.” Empress Eugenie set down a thick rope of diamonds and picked up a necklace of pearls. “That gown doesn’t suit you. You look like a scrawny washed-out rabbit. Why did I ever choose it? Never mind, I suppose it will do for you. I have made a decision about your future.” The minister bowed, looking suitably impressed.

“Yes, Majesty.” Kindar waited with a fluttering heart. The throne could not belong to an unmarried woman; the law made that clear. In addition to making her a legitimate heir, a betrothal would give her certain freedoms, such as the end of these painful morning visits. Even if she did not care for the peer chosen by her mother, a betrothal would give her status. She would be higher than Ceria, instead of equal, and able to overrule her actions.




Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two teenagers. Two papillons help balance out the teenage drama. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. A book worm, she passes up the darker vices in favor of chocolate and looks for any excuse to reward herself. Bio finished? Time for a sweet snack.

She is a co-host of the yearly contest Query Kombat. Her epic fantasy, Kindar's Cure, was published by Divertir Publishing. Her short story, Frost and Fog, was published by The Elephant's Bookshelf Press in their anthology, Summer's Double Edge. She’s represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary.


Goodreads: Kindar’s Cure


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