25 September 2012

Today's Conference Guest: Kathryn Johnson

writing as
Mary Hart Perry

Looking back over the authors and stories that have most influenced my writing, I recognize one very important element. They were all fun reads. Not one of the authors tried to preach or teach (at least that I was aware of), or overwhelm me with verbal acrobatics. The characters, historical elements, and fantasy blurred together in a way that swept me into their fictional world. Every time I read a story by Arthur Conan Doyle or Kenneth Roberts or even Isaac Asimov, I fully gave myself over to their tale, wishing it would never end. 

 If there is one thing I want to do for my readers, and I've tried my very best in my latest novel, The Wild Princess (inspired by events in the life of Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll), it's to entertain. To whisk readers off on an adventure that will make them forget, if only for a few hours, the turmoil, stress, and possibly even the pain or loneliness of their own lives. 

 No, I don't believe all readers of historical fiction are hurting. But I know that some of the very hardest times of my own life were made bearable by disappearing into a wonderful novel. And, to me, simply being there for my readers when/if they need me--that's enough reward for me. I wish you all amazing reading, and writing, adventures. Kathryn Johnson, aka Mary Hart Perry

Kathryn's Banquet Guests

Jane Austen--Pride and Prejudice was the very first real novel I ever read, and it changed my life. As a kid, I wanted to be a ballerina, but in my teens I decided that writing novels was my new dream.

Tchaikovski--Because when I listen to his Violin Concerto in D Major I can write with passion...and very, very fast.

Christopher Kendall, Director of the 21st-Century Consort--Because I'd love to hear Tchaikovski's reaction to modern classical composers.

Anna Pavlova--My childhood idol. Oh, to dance like Pavlova!

Shakespeare--How could I not invite the man who stands at the top of my profession-the greatest story teller of all times?

Christina Rosetti--Because her poems and life intrigue me, and I want to learn more.

Michael Dirda--As a literary critic for the Washington Post and NY Review of books, as well as Pulitzer Prize winner and the author of witty essays focusing on the love of books and storytelling, he'd keep conversation flowing.

Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll--Her 21st century attitude toward life, art, and a woman's value in the world--though she lived mostly in the 19th century--so fascinated me that I had to write about her in The Wild Princess. Go, Louise!

Charles Dickens--He did what all writers hope to do, tell irresistible tales. And he'd feel entirely comfortable in our digital age, where serializing novels is becoming the next "new" thing. (He was doing it over 100 years ago!)

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Twitter : @Mary_Hart_Perry
Twitter:  @KathrynKJohnson

A brief thing-y about my latest book:
The Wild Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria's Defiant Daughter  
by Mary Hart Perry

Published July 31, 2012

The novel is a romantic Victorian thriller, inspired by history
but venturing into the imagined adventures of Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll,
fourth daughter of Queen Victoria.
Previous novels:
                The Gentleman Poet   by Kathryn Johnson
                HarperCollins/Avon Published 2010
                A novel inspired by Shakespeare's masterpiece, "The Tempest"


  1. Helen, thanks for this entertaining way of meeting other authors attending HNS12. I'm in awe the talent and can't wait to meet my new friends (as well as renew long-lasting friendships). Now back to packing, packing, packing...what have I forgot?

  2. What a great table. Although, I must say, I'm happy just to eat the dessert named after La Pavlova. And wouldn't it be interesting to see if Princess Louise was quite as you imagined her in The Wild Princess? You did such a wonderful job describing her life and times. I thoroughly enjoyed her book!

  3. Thank you Willa and Kathryn - I am so looking forward to meeting so many lovely people at the conference!


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