Kathleen Eagle

More stories to get lost in…

Today, I’m incredibly excited to welcome USA and New York Times bestselling author Kathleen Eagle to Get Lost In A Story.

Kathleen Eagle published her first book, a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award winner, with Silhouette Books in 1984. Since then she has published more than 40 books, including historical and contemporary, series and single title, earning her nearly every award in the industry. Her books have consistently appeared on regional and national bestseller lists, including the USA Today list and the New York Times extended bestseller list.

Born in Virginia and raised "on the road" as an Air Force brat, Ms Eagle earned degrees from Mount Holyoke College and Northern State University. She taught at Standing Rock High School in North Dakota for 17 years. She continues to teach writing at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

A CERTAIN KIND OF HERO is a two-fer—“Broomstick Cowboy” and “Defender.” Two of Kathleen’s favorites from Silhouette. Both came out in the early 90’s.

Harlequin Enterprises, Special Release, December 2010

Two bad boys find redemption when they become unlikely heroes to two very special women and their families.

Gideon Defender understood hard choices. Innocent and pure, Raina McKenny had deserved someone better than him, so he'd stepped aside and watched her marry his brother. He'd stayed away when they adopted a baby and created the perfect life he could never offer her. Now, fifteen years later, Raina had returned to the reservation a widow with her fatherless teenage son in tow, and Gideon faced the toughest choices of his life. Between desire and duty, between condemnation and trust, between fatherhood and honor…and even between life and death.

Broomstick Cowboy

Amy Becker needed a man. Tate Harrison wouldn't have been her first choice…but then, her first choice had gone and died, leaving her pregnant, broke and on the verge of losing everything. Surprisingly, Tate was a good father figure to her children, a tireless worker and far too tempting during those long winter nights. But Tate wasn't one for roots; he was hers only until spring. Unless she could convince him to stay.

CAT: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
KATHLEEN: A wonderful romance, of course. I read lots of historicals—Regency England is not my favorite setting in most cases—and all kinds of contemporaries. That said, I can get lost in any well-crafted novel. Give me really great characters, and I’ll follow them anywhere.

CAT: What’s the first book you remember reading?
KATHLEEN: Let’s see...when I was able to read on my own I remember going from fairy tales to children’s Greek mythology books. Ironically, the first non-picture book (what the school calls “chapter books” nowadays) was a “junior biography” of Custer. It ended with him “falling for an old Indian decoy trick” and riding over the hill at the Little Big Horn. I knew what was going to happen, and I cried.

CAT: What’s your favorite “love” word?
KATHLEEN: cherish

CAT: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
KATHLEEN: “Beauty and the Beast”

CAT: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
KATHLEEN: Bugs Bunny (otherwise, I was never a big cartoon fan)

CAT: What turns you off like nothing else?
KATHLEEN: whining

CAT: Where do you read and how often?
KATHLEEN: I read in bed every night.

CAT: Do you write to music? If so, what kind?
KATHLEEN: When I write to music, I don’t want to hear lyrics. I like classical music, American Indian, “new age” music, Hawaiian slack key guitar. When I’m not writing, give me that ol’ time rock ‘n roll.

CAT: What was the first story you remember writing?
KATHLEEN: In 4th grade wrote a series of stories about a girl who solved mysteries with her cat. I didn’t have a cat.

CAT: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
KATHLEEN: So many, but “Dirty Dancing” is one that I’ve probably watched a hundred times.

CAT: Who’s your favorite villain?
KATHLEEN: Iago, the master manipulator who engineered Othello's downfall. He's much worse than Hannibal Lecter, who's a really scary. But Iago is nearly perfect evil. Hannibal likes Clarice, respects her, and he's true to his word. Iago abuses trust and uses love to bring about a good man's downfall. For those who believe that love makes the world go 'round, that God is love, that the capacity for love is the root of man's capacity for nobility, this is the ultimate perversion.

CAT: Be honest, when reading 1st person...do you miss the hero’s POV?
KATHLEEN: Definitely. I’m not a big fan of 1st person, but there are standout exceptions. One is SILENT IN THE GRAVE by Deanna Raybourn. Wonderful book.

CAT: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?
KATHLEEN: Fiction writing IS story-telling, and it ain’t easy. Writing has always been my “best thing.”

CAT: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
KATHLEEN: Thanks, readers. Without you, I’d still be doing some version of my “best thing,” but the process isn’t complete until a story comes alive in a reader’s mind, which makes it ours. So let’s all of us keep buying books so publishers don’t fold up their tents and move on to doing something more profitable and less satisfying.

CAT: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?
KATHLEEN: I’m a teacher. Most important, most difficult, most rewarding job in the world. I still teach a couple of classes a year at the Loft, and I can’t tell you how stimulating it is for me. But teaching high school English at Standing Rock was a privilege, and seeing “my kids” again is a joy.

CAT: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
KATHLEEN: Clean and sleep. Not necessarily in that order.

CAT: If you could interview one person (and it doesn’t have to be a writer) who would it be?
KATHLEEN: Steven Colbert

CAT: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?
KATHLEEN: Okay, specifically I would go to London right around 1600 and see as many plays I could at the Globe Theatre before the city was hit by the plaque. I would LOVE to time travel, but not in the body I was born with. I would have died for sure when I was 23 and had kidney failure.

CAT: What is your favorite tradition from your childhood, that you would love to pass on or did pass on to your children?
KATHLEEN: Daddy used to build a huge ice skating rink in the yard every winter when we lived in Massachusetts. So many good memories came with it.

CAT: Which of your characters would you most/least to invite to dinner, and why?
KATHLEEN: I’d love to meet Jesse Brown Wolf from THE NIGHT REMEMBERS because in many ways he’s still a mystery to me.

CAT: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing
KATHLEEN: Making up stories and seeing them in print is a dream come true. I’m told that my books entertain and often give people something to think about, and it’s just cool to realize that I wrote those books. When I read a book that I wrote—and I do—I always think, “Did I really do this?” Once a book is printed, it has a life of its own.

If you were a T-shirt, what color would you be and why?

KATHLEEN: I’d be sky blue. It’s always always been my favorite color. I love prairie skies.

What’s one absolute requirement for you in a Romance? What’s a sure-fire turn-off for you?

Kathleen is offering a signed copy of ONE COWBOY, ONE CHRISTMAS for one commenter’s holiday reading pleasure.**

Find out more about Kathleen at her website: www.kathleeneagle.com

Thank you, Kathleen for blogging with us today.

**Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.


  1. Welcome Kathleen. I love your timetravel destination. I'm a huge fan of live theater and think it would have been amazing to be there for the opening of Shakespeare's plays.

    My requirement for a romance is a heroine I can root for. Most writers get the guy right, but there are those few that make me want to drop the heroine down a deep well.

    Thanks for joining us today!

  2. What a fabulous interview. Your childhood memory brought back some for me, too. My dad used to build us and ice rink every winter, too. So fun to be able to skate right in the back yard.

  3. Hi Kathleen!
    It's so fun to read your answers to the great questions here. I love that you wrote stories about a girl solving mysteries with her cat. I think that's a series that could still be written! My first stories were about being a jockey or marrying Alec Ramsay from The Black Stallion books. I didn't have a horse then either!
    A good romance for me must have respect between the hero and heroine. That, much more than attraction or lust, HAS to be the basis for the romance or I don't believe there will be a HEA no matter what the author has told me happens! Of course, senses of humor and great eyes don't hurt either!

    Good luck with the new re-release!! Happy Christmas too.

  4. Oh wow. I agree with Cat. I was going to say a heroine who is not TSTL is a requirement.
    A lot of things can turn me off. Poor grammer, too many exclamation points, too much cursing, animal abuse (actually any kind of abuse), heroine's a virgin and hero's not, and (as I like to call it) the 'batting lashes' syndrome.

  5. Liz, I loved the Black Stallion books. I wrote mysteries about a girl with a horse. I didn't have one either.

  6. Hi Kathleen! Thanks and welcome! :) I really enjoyed your interview, particularly your summation of why Iago was such an awful villain. I love how you described him as a perversion, so apt.

    I've never been a fan of particularly witchy heroines. I like them to have spunk, but some border or shrewish (in an effort, I think, to make them look strong, but it just comes off as someone I wouldn't like at all). I'd rather they be smart, strong AND nice. At least nice-ish :)

    Thanks again for coming by!

  7. Welcome Kathleen! Great interview.

    I think a must for me in a romance is a hint of some friendship. That these two like each other's company. That it ain't just lust ;)

  8. Thanks for being our guest today, Kathleen.

    Great interview, I hope you had fun.

    A sure-fire turn-off for me is when the heroine is "too-stupid-to-live." That's why slasher movies never work for me. I mean, she's in a cabin, in the dark woods, alone, without a phone, and she thinks that picking up a knife and going in search of the killer is going to keep her safe? That's when I start laughing. LOL

    So a smart heroine is a must, someone who deserves a great hero. She can be inexperienced, and make mistakes like we all do...but please keep her out of the "slasher heroine" category.


  9. Kathleen! I'm sure you don't remember me, but I took a class from you and Mary at The Loft in Minneapolis years ago ... it was one of the most wonderful classes I've ever taken. :)

  10. Hi Kathleen,

    You write such great westerns--do you also read westerns for fun? I already have One Cowboy--it's a great book!

  11. I want the main characters to be folks I like, people I want to spend time with. A turn off?Heroines (and heroes) who are TSTL. Thanks for visiting. I enjoyed the interview.

  12. Hi Kathleen, I love your stories, have had the pleasure of listening you speak and you're a true inspiration. An absolute requirement of romance to me is respect. What turns me off, like you, whining. Ugh. Can't go there.

    I had to share, I gave my mom one of your books, which she's now reading and enjoying. :)

    I wish you and yours a holiday season filled with friendship and laughter. May your New Year be the best yet!

  13. What a wonderful interview, Kathleen! I've been a fan for years, but now I know so much more about you. One thing I really appreciate in a romance is characters with a sense of humor. Humor can help you get through the toughest times.

  14. Another great interview! I'm with so many others. A turn-off is a too stupid to live heroine.

  15. Kathleen, you are one of my favorite writers and it's lovely to see we share so many things in common--blue, music, etc. If only I shared your success. Sigh. LOL

    A turn off for me in a book is an inaccuracy or anachronism. Most of us spend time researching and it annoys me when an author skimps--it's as if she/he is saying readers won't notice. We do.

    What I look for in a romance is writing that pulls me into the story so that I get lost in the book and forget time and distractions.

    Best wishes for continued success in your career. Keep those great books coming! I hope I win one of yours.

  16. AArgh! You guys, I am sooo sorry for coming to the party a day late. I was out of 'net commission early in the day, and then stuff happened. Nothing unusual. Just kids (I'm basically raising 2 grandkids) and weather and, well, the kind of stuff that puts my memory out of commission. No kidding, my first thought when I woke up this morning was, Oh, no! I didn't get back on the computer and Get Lost In a Story. And, of course, we were frozen this morning. Outside as well as on my @#%! computer.

    Excuses, excuses....

  17. Oh, Liz, what a jockey you'd be! So, a few years after my cat mysteries I wrote myself into "Bonanza." I was the sister they should have had. Little Joe got shot, and I nursed him back to health.

  18. No shrewish heroines. Friendship and humor. Excellent writing. All those things are top on my list, too. I love good dialogue, and that's where I want to see the hero and heroine click--becoming friends, laughing together, trying to one-up each other. But no bickering. Bickering doesn't pass for conflict. If they're doing that, it must have subtext that truly advances the story.

  19. Angi, I agree on the TSTL, but characters can make stupid choices, probably having to do with some flaw she's dealing with in the story. Again, motivation has to be clear, even if it's wrong-headed. And that stupid move can't be the Big Choice. Subtext, layering, depth. Key to building character.

  20. Sarah, Westerns are among my favorites. Always have been. I wish more were getting published.

    Wendy, thanks so much for stopping in and for your kind words. I love the Loft!

    Diana, thanks, too, for your kind words. I know that speaking isn't "my best thing," but I try. It's an honor to be invited. And thanks so much for sharing my books with your mom. I love hearing that!

    Hey, guys, I truly appreciate the invitation to Get Lost In a Story. I hope you all enjoy the holidays and look forward to enjoying 2011. Here's to lots of great reading in the New Year!

  21. Kathleen glad you made it. Nothing much to do here in Minnesota on a snowy afternoon except hunker down and hope we have enough food to keep us until the roads get plowed.

    To all of you not watching the snow blow sideways, you have no idea what you're missing!