I had the great privilege to receive a copy of Kathi's book, The Forgotten Warrior. It is a great story of a young woman who ends up in Book of Mormon times. Syd, has many troubles in her life, but learns to dig deep to find the courage, strength and faith to face her problems. There were many times as I was reading, that I had moments of personal reflection. I was able to think of how I am handling trials in my life and relate them to the Stripling Warriors. It is always a good read for me, when I am able to take a novel and not only be "entertained," but enlightened. Take the opportunity to read "The Forgotten Warrior"; I promise you,that you will find something within it's pages to enrich your life.
Here now, is my author interview, that I was able to do with Kathi.
I hope that you enjoy it!
Q:When did you first come up with the idea for the novel, "The Forgotten Warrior"?
I wish I could say, like other authors, that it came to me in a dream,. The truth is I had just finished writing a time-travel and wanted to write another one. My son suggested I write about the stripling warriors. I loved the idea, but wanted the protagonist to be a young woman. However, I also wanted the perspective of a stripling warrior, so that's why the book has two points of view.
Q:How long did it take you to write your book from first thought to final draft?
A little over a year. The characters just clicked as well as their stories. I spent a lot of time on my knees asking for guidance, especially for scenes with actual characters from the . I sure didn't want Helaman angry with me. I'm very hopeful he would approve of my book.
Q:What age group/audience was "The Forgotten Warrior" written for?
It targets young adult, but I've had people of all ages tell me how much they enjoyed it. I've had email from young men as well as young women, which I'm very happy about. I was concerned that boys wouldn't read it because of the protagonist being a girl and there's a little romance...then I was concerned that girls wouldn't read it because of the battle scenes. Hopefully I reached a good medium.
Q:I do have to warn potential readers, you ended your novel with a nasty cliff-hanger. Did you plan this from the beginning or did it happen when you were nearing the end?
When I first wrote the book, I didn't plan on two. As I re-read it though, I realized there were two very climatic scenes: the Battle for Cumeni and the Battle for Zarahemla. And there were two very strong Book of Mormon leaders involved with each: Helaman and Moroni. Both were very important and demanded their own books, so I made two books out of one. Many people have told me that they liked the cliffhanger, and it didn't bother them at all. Though, there are others who hated it. Hopefully everyone will be happy with the release of book two.
Q: I know that there will be a sequel to this first book. How many books do you plan on writing for this series?
As many as my publisher wants. Of course, I'd love to write several. I enjoyed writing Sydney and Tarik's stories. I miss them. I've written four or five books since The Forgotten Warrior and it would be like going home. I'd love to visit those characters and see what they've been up to.
Q:On your wonderful blog, you had a series of blogs on the Stripling Warriors. These were fascinating and I hope others go to your blog and read these. What has the response been to these particular blogs?
First let me say thank you for reading them!!! The blogs were based on a lecture I'd written titled Ten Stripling Warrior You Can Apply to Your Life. Starting about the middle of January to the end of March I tried to focus on a SW character trait each week. I have given this lecture several times and even once at the University of Utah's Institute. If your readers would like to book me to speak to their youth about the Stripling Warriors, I'd definitely try to accommodate them. I think it is very important for our young women and young men to realize they, too, can be heroes like the Stripling Warriors in the choices they make every day. Right now on my blog, I'm trying something different. I want to focus on several scenes from The Forgotten Warrior. For instance, in chapter one Tarik is running toward the Battle of Judea. So I'm writing about what happened during that battle. I'm also connecting that to Sydney and how she used her karate in her opening scene and why. I'm eager to hear what my fans thought was going on with the two scenes parallel to one another. I'm also trying to post an interview with different authors each week as well.
Q:What is the message you hope your readers gain from reading your novel?
I wanted to show how important forgiveness is, though that doesn't come out as strongly in book one as it does in book two. Also that faith builds courage and courage builds faith.
Q:I am sure that you have heard back from your readers how they liked "The Forgotten Warrior". What was the most rewarding message you have received?
I'll tell you, I have the best fans! When I hear from them it makes my day. A grandmother wrote saying she was buying books for all her grandchildren because she liked it so much. Another fan, young woman, was having an argument with her friend about whether or not Helaman was really Tarik's father. Of course, I explained that Helaman called the stripling warriors his sons out of love and respect. I had one email recently saying that at first she didn't want to read my book, but then she didn't have anything else to do and so she read it. She was sooooo glad she had because it was now her most favorite book in the world. As for a favorite, they all are my favorites!
Q:Is there a "dream book" that you hope to write someday or have you already written it?
My dream book, besides The Forgotten Warrior, is my little that is scheduled to be released in October titled: An Angel on Main Street. No cliffhanger here. It's a feel-good book with a inspirational message about life after death and that through Christ we will live again. I worked on it for many years, tweaking and refining until I finally sold it. This book is special to me because my parents are both dead, but I hold in my heart their testimonies of Christ. I also set this book in a small, fictional town in Idaho, much like the small town I was raised in. My father owned a Firestone Store on Main Street, and we lived in the apartment above. I remember at Christmas time looking down on the street below our apartment and seeing all the pretty lights. I stole many scenes from my childhood for An Angel on Main Street and that is why it is very near and dear to me.
Thank you for "chatting" with me Kathi. I can't wait for your next book in this series to come out.
Thank you, Sheila!
Here are some places that you can find out more about Kathi and her books.