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Katherine Grant Interview - Multilayered Characters in Romance


In your new book, THE GOVERNESS WITHOUT GUILT, your heroine Sophia Preston decides to become a governess. What inspired to create a governess character? Were you a JANE EYRE fan?

Yes, I am a fan of Jane Eyre! Beyond that, I am really intrigued with how a woman could assert her independence in Regency England. Earning her own income as a governess is one way to do that. From the start, Sophia has yearned to be independent from her family because she feels different from them, and so she decided to become a governess. However, like many of us, by the start of the novel, she is disillusioned with her job, so the question becomes: are there any other options available to her?


Your hero, John Anderson, is a doctor. How would you describe his personality?

John is a very caring, anxious person. When researching accoucheurs (the precursor to a modern OB-GYN), I was struck by how much of the care afforded aristocratic mothers was focused on creating psychological comfort, as opposed to actual medical interventions. That informed who John is - a person who reads the room to see how everyone is feeling and then reacts to do his best to meet everyone’s needs. However, he is very anxious about not doing anything wrong because his entire livelihood relies on a good reputation.


What is the dynamic like between Sophia and John? Do they have an immediate attraction, or does it develop over the course of the book?

With Sophia and John, I flipped the script: Sophia is attracted to John from the start and wants to act on it, while John is more cautious about the attraction he feels. Not only is he more concerned with protecting his reputation than Sophia is, but he also needs to build an emotional connection before he can enjoy a physical relationship. While they are both interested in each other, it takes a while for them to meet in the middle. This is an insta-lust, hero-loves-first, steamy romance.


From the book’s description, there seems to be an element of mystery in THE GOVERNESS WITHOUT GUILT. Do you try and maintain an equal amount of mystery and romance?

When planning the Prestons series, I sketched out a basic concept for each book and decided on the titles before writing a single word. Initially, I meant that “without guilt” as synonymous to “without shame.” When it came time to start planning Sophia’s book, I realized that “guilt” could also mean culpability…and I decided to finally try writing a mystery!

My goal is for the book to be a romance with strong mystery elements, as opposed to letting the mystery take over. I think readers will find that the mystery moves the relationship forward. I hope they are also intrigued to find out what happened and whodunit!


As an author, what is your favorite part of creating a story – the setting, dialogue, character development, or something else?

If I have to choose, I will say I enjoy character development the most. Before writing the first draft of THE GOVERNESS WITHOUT GUILT, I read Judith Ivory’s BLACK SILK and was struck by how beautifully specific, nuanced, and character-driven the book is. I tried to carry that with me while writing Sophia and John by sinking deep into their points of view and focusing on their neuroses and emotions.

That said, I also really enjoyed researching and developing Robin Abbey as a gothic backdrop for the mystery.


If you could only pick one of your books, other than this one, for a romance reader unfamiliar with your work, which one would you pick? And why?

I’m particularly proud of THE HUSBAND PLOT, which is the third and final book in my first series. It’s a marriage of convenience that investigates slavery in Regency Britain through one couple’s marriage and inheritance. It was the first time I took some really big swings with my plot, and I’m proud that it has won honors from the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards as well as the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.


Other authors I’ve interviewed have told me that the kinds of books they enjoy reading are different from the kind of books they enjoy writing. What do you like to read? Favorite books? Favorite author?

I’m a mood reader, so my answer depends on when you catch up with me! In historical romance, some of my favorite authors are Courtney Milan, Rose Lerner, Mia Vincy, Mimi Matthews, and Eva Leigh. You’ll also often find me reading mystery series (most recently, Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley books). Recently I have been picking up non-fiction instead of fiction on a wide range of topics, including Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe about the Irish troubles, Seth Rogen’s memoir Yearbook, and Non-Violence: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Kurlansky.


What are you currently working on?

I’m in the rough draft phase of the next Prestons book, THE CHARMER WITHOUT A CAUSE!


The Prestons #2

The Governess Without Guilt

One bored governess, one handsome doctor, and unlimited unchaperoned nighttime activities. What could possibly go wrong?

Sophia Preston wants adventure, excitement, and self-determination. She hired herself out as a governess to gain independence, and now she has it at Robin Abbey: every day, she gets to mind the Cosgrove children, eat the Cosgrove’s food, and live by Cosgrove’s rules.

When John Anderson arrives as accoucheur ahead of Lady Widlake’s next baby, Sophia immediately sees the potential for excitement. Who wouldn’t want to seduce the handsome young doctor who is guaranteed to move on once Lady Widlake’s baby is born?

John doesn’t mind flirting with the intriguing governess - as long as they aren’t caught. He has goals, and they don’t include ruining his reputation. Still, he must admit that Miss Preston is everything he ever wanted in a woman: smart, beautiful, unlike anyone else he has ever met…

When counterfeit bank notes surface in town, the authorities suspect someone at Robin Abbey is the criminal. Suddenly, both Sophia and John are put under the microscope. They have no choice but to band together to find the true culprit. The only question is: will they find true love, too?


Romance Historical [Self Published, On Sale: July 15, 2022, e-Book, / eISBN: 9798986125909]

Buy THE GOVERNESS WITHOUT GUILTKindle | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Katherine Grant

Katherine Grant

I write award-winning romances with smart women, sensitive men, and a historically-inspired plots. My books have won recognition from the National Indie Excellence Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards. If you love ballgowns, secret kisses, and social commentary, a book hangover is coming your way.

The Prestons





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