Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to this week’s featured author! I had the great pleasure of interviewing author Thomas M. Kane!
Author Thomas M. Kane grew up in the woods of Maine, with bears as his closest neighbors. He started writing by publishing supplements for role-playing games. While studying international relations in California, Thomas took an opportunity to finish his PhD with a noted British scholar named Colin Gray. Thomas ended up living in England for twenty years and teaching at the University of Hull. Since then he has returned to Maine and published "Mara of the League" series of fantasy novels.
Of course my first question in every interview is about how the author got into writing in the first place. Author Thomas M. Kane answers:
“When I was eleven, my teacher read The Lord of the Rings aloud. He did the black riders’ screams. Discovering Tolkien crystallized my desire to become a writer.”
Inspiration can definitely come from anywhere for authors, and when it comes to the wide world of the fantasy genre, I can understand how “Lord Of The Rings” would be the perfect motivator! So, my next question for author Thomas M. Kane was what steered him to writing in the YA fantasy world? Here’s what Thomas says!
“I like the atmosphere and endless possibilities of the fantasy genre. Also, it offers the opportunity to explore issues at a distance from real life. My Mara of the League series features war and political intrigue. I want readers to think about the debates and dilemmas involved without immediately applying whatever preconceptions they might have about controversial topics in real life.
Mara of the League follows the protagonist’s life from childhood to middle age. So, one reason I write about YA-aged characters is to tell the first half of the story. Another reason is that I have a lot of thoughts on my own experiences from that time in my life.”
I like that. Telling the story from when the characters are young, or from the first half. This reminds me of some of my favourite series from when I was younger, which I enjoy passing down to my kids. Next in our interview I asked author Thomas M. Kane to tell us a bit about his writing journey of his debut novel. Thomas explains here!
“I trace my idea back to childhood, when my mother told me the story of Cassandra. My plans came together when I was in graduate school in the 1990s. Work got in the way of writing for almost two decades. In the late 2010s, with a lot of really valuable support from members of my writing group and other friends, I published the story.”
My next question for author Thomas M. Kane was about where he gets his great story ideas. Here is what Thomas said!
“Walking is my main mode of transportation. And I came up with my most recent story concept on the way home from town, so walking might be a good answer.”
Walking would certainly be a great way to let your mind wander and come up with all kinds of fun ideas! Starting from first idea to full novel is a long process for an author so I asked Thomas how long it took him to write his first book!
“If memory serves, my first book was a sourcebook on Chinese history titled GURPS China. I wrote it in about eight months.”
Next in our interview, I wondered if author Thomas M. Kane had anything new coming out soon that he could tell us about!
“Very excited to be working with narrator S.M. McCoy to convert the Mara of the League series to audio format. You can hear a sample here: steviemarie.com/narrator/ Also writing a stand-alone sequel to Mara of the League titled The People vs. Abigail Bennet. It’s a fantasy legal thriller in which seventy-eight-year-old lawyer Abigail Bennet comes out of retirement to defend an outcast accused of murder. I plan to publish it in autumn 2022.”
A huge thank you to fantasy author Thomas M. Kane for the amazing interview, and for sharing your work with everyone! I wish you all the best in your writing journey, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for your new releases! To find author Thomas M. Kane and his fantastic YA series, click the link below, or visit www.thomasmkane.com
Mara of the League: The Complete Series An inquisitive little girl tries to save her aunt from witch-hunters. This draws her into political intrigues which will define her life. Thirty-six years later it will be up to her to stop a catastrophic war.
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Thanks to all the readers and reviews out there! Come back next Sunday for a special feature spotlight with dark romance author Wynter Adams!