Welcome, Linda Kane, to An Open Book – For Writers and Readers of Intriguing Stories. So happy you are here to tell us about your latest book, The Black Madonna!
The Black Madonna is an exciting read, much like a Dan Brown, Da Vinci code, Mystery Thriller. It’s about a lost document written by Jesus. The Cathars, a religious order from the 13th century have hidden it. Luci de Foix a professor at Monterey State College receives a diary that contains a key to that lost codex-and The Order would do anything to get it from her.
Linda, the beginning of Black Madonna really pulls in the reader. The action starts with a heavy scene in a medieval prison. How did you get pulled into this historical story? What intrigued you about the story?
What interested me was learning about a religious group that Pope Innocent III declared war on from no other reason that women were as important as men, these people were way ahead of their times. They also wrote and drew pictures that were passed amongst each other to tell how their loved ones were. These came to be known as the tarot cards.
How hard was it to decide on where to begin the story?
The Knights Templar played a key role in helping to defend the Cathars. Pope Innocent wanted all Cathars dead, but they were Christian and the Knights were sworn to protect all Christians, they were in a real pickle. Guilhelm, the Knight knew of the secret and it was so important that he would not divulge its secrets. If you notice, in each chapter is named for a Tarot card...the action and suspense go along with what happens. We begin with the Hangman. Notice that he is upside down on the card...that was a way to torture people back then.
Tell us about the central characters in the book?
I’ve grown quite fond of Luci, she is strong, has seen terrible tragedy and yet she preservers. She by no means saintly, she has her faults, including trust issues. She is also plagued by panic attacks that have left her crippled, Luci struggles to overcome her fears, avenge the death of her family, and search out for the lost codex. Along comes Max, a gorgeous, engimatic man that wants to help her, but can she trust him?
What is the central theme of the book?
The main theme is never giving up, regardless of the outcome.
How would you describe your writing style? Pantser? Plotter?
I’m trying to be a plotter, I outline my idea, keep important information about my characters written down, what I want to accomplish in a chapter, but I keep going back to the pantser method.
Do you start to build your story with characters in mind or do you start with the plot?
I start with a plot in mind. Usually, it has something to do with history. I build a sympathetic character around that event in history. The struggle to achieve the goal, discover the truth, and sometimes the character discovers something important about their life.
What genre does it fit best? Or genres? Is there one particular audience you’d like to reach?
I’ve written in several genres but I think I will be staying in the YA-Adult age group and it must have historical significance and a mystery to solve. In my book Chilled to the Bones you have young sleuths discover a code, it’s the original code from the Culper Spy Ring from the American Revolutionary War. Working with each other, they use the code to discover a hidden treasure.
If you could compare this book with any book out there we might already be familiar with, which book would it be and why?
The Black Madonna is a race to find a lost document that a religious order want, at any cost. That is similar to the Da Vinci Code in that it has religious connotation, a mystery, and a thrilling ride. I could also compare certain situations of the book to a Brad Metzler or Steve Berry book.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?
The new friends I’ve met, a new career, and learning more about me through my writing.
Who are your favorite authors? What do you look for in a good book?
Truman Capote is my favorite all time writer. I think descriptive words are important in a book, they put you right into the scene, capture your imagination, and take you away to a world you’ve never been before. The Historian is a book that accomplished that for me and a new author, with a wonderful book called, Tom’s Inheritance I think is a great read.
Where can readers find you and your books?