I’d like to welcome Contemporary Romance author Katheryn Lane to my blog! She is the author of The Royal Sheikh and was kind enough to give us some insight into her world!
‘Sheikh’ (also spelt ‘Sheik’) is a title in the Middle East denoting a senior male. Seniority is largely based on a man’s leadership role in the ‘tribe’ or community. The ruler and his sons are therefore Sheikhs by virtue of their royal status, like the Sheikh in my novel, though being a Sheikh does not mean that you are necessarily royal, as seniority can come from other factors, such as age and wisdom. A female, by the way is a ‘Sheikha’. I teach several young Sheikhas at the school where I work. They aren’t royalty, but their families are regarded as being ‘important’ (i.e. rich).
I don’t really think there is an equivalent form of address in the West, as the title ‘Lord’ conjures up a completely different image, while the title ‘Sheikh’ conjures up the idea of a tall, dark, handsome man in long, white robes, ready to sweep you off your feet and onto a camel. To be honest, the reality isn’t too different. A lot of Arabic men are tall, dark and handsome, and they still ride camels.
However, with the immense wealth that has come from oil, they also ride around in expensive cars and Bedouin tents now have air-conditioning (as well as plasma screen TVs and Play Stations!). In addition, we are now seeing the second, third and even fourth generation of fabulously rich Arab families, so nowadays an increasing number of people in the Middle East have traveled extensively and have degrees from renowned universities such as Harvard and Oxford.
You’ve spent significant time in the Middle East. For those of us who have never been there, what is it like? What do you like most about it?
Despite the recent press that the Middle East has received, much of the Arabian Peninsula, where I live, is incredibly safe and peaceful. It can therefore be a great place for families – my children love it here as they can go out on their own at anytime without the risk of being attacked or threatened. I also like the weather, as it’s fairly predictable (unlike England where I grew up) – it’s always hot! However, in the summer it can get too hot, up to 52C (125F), which means you just spend your entire time indoors in the air-conditioning.
Why do you write in the genre romance?
I love romance, especially the great feeling that comes with a satisfying happy-ever-after ending. As a child I loved reading fairytales and when I’d read all the English ones I could find, I read ones from other countries, such as Japan and India (in translation!). I think romances are a bit like fairytales for grown-ups.
What are you reading right now?
I tend to have several books on the go at once. Without listing them all, the two main books I’m reading at the moment are not actually romance. One is a mystery, ‘The Holy Thief’ by Ellis Peters and the second is non-fiction, ‘England in the 18th Century’ by Roy Porter. I try to read a wide variety of books and I love Peters’ description of medieval English life, while the second book is a social and economic history, which I’m reading as research for a romance that I’m planning to write (one day!) set in Georgian England.
Coffee or Tea?
I love good coffee, but it doesn’t love me, as it gives me stomach ache, so instead I drink a lot of tea.
Is your glass 1/2 full or 1/2 empty?
Always, always 1/2 full. I try night to say bedtime prayers with my children and in them we thank God for everything good that has happened that day. No matter how bad our day has been, we can always think of something, even if it’s just the fact that we have enough food to eat, as so many millions of people don’t. I spent some time in India and it made me realise that no matter how little I might have in life, there are huge numbers of people with much, much less.
Let’s play the old, genie in a bottle game. You get 3 wishes. They can’t be general wishes, like “world peace” or all disease cured. No wishing health for your family, etc. These 3 wishes are for personal, material things. What 3 things would you wish for?
Can I be brutally honest with this one? I think, like many authors, I’d wish for a bestseller! Can we move on now before I get too embarrassed about the fact that I just said that?
Any upcoming projects?
I have several on the go at the moment, which is probably why none of them are finished! My main work in progress is a romance about a woman who finds herself alone in a remote village in South American and is given refuge by a local landowner. There is also the Georgian romance which I mentioned above, but that is still at the planning stage. Plus, I am thinking about doing a book on indie publishing which would be the book that I wish I’d had when I first published, telling me what to do and what not to, as it’s been a steep learning curve
What about writing/publishing has been unexpected?
The great support, friendship and help that other authors, indie and non-indie, have given me. Thank you to all of you, especially you, Tia, for kindly hosting me here and also on your great website, Cheap Kindle Daily.
You can purchase Katheryn Lane’s contemporary romance, The Royal Sheikh here:
About Katheryn Lane
Katheryn Lane works full-time as a teacher, mother and wife, but somehow also finds time to manage being a part-time writer as well! ‘The Royal Sheikh’ is her first book and is inspired by her experience of living in the Middle East. In her free time (on the rare occasion that she has any!) she loves to lose herself in a good book.