The Readers’ Writers: Second-anniversary edition

DA Kentner

Thanks to you the readers, the (Freeport) Journal-Standard and GateHouse News Service, this column has been coming into homes for two years now. Again, thank you all very, very much for allowing me to share some time with you, and for the fun I’ve had interviewing a wide range of authors. I wasn’t sure what to do for this edition, so I asked my friend romance author Evanne Lorraine for some advice. She said I should talk about me.

Nah. I didn’t want to carry on about myself. However, not one to miss an opportunity to hawk my books, I told her to do it. Evanne gulped and said she’s not a journalist. I said, “You are now.” Ladies and gentlemen, here’s Evanne Lorraine:

On a road outside Freeport, Ill., five acres of rolling lawn surround a well-kept house and a barn stuffed with antiques. This is where David Kentner lives with his beautiful wife, Virginia. He mows grass, sneaks off to fish, deals in the above-mentioned antiques and interviews famous and soon-to-be famous authors for this column. In his spare time, he writes romance and mystery under the pen name KevaD (Dave K backwards).

When I first met David, he mentioned he was a writer and author (the two are not necessarily the same thing), blazing a path to where he had no clue, spinner of tales, purveyor of misfortune, U.S. Army vet, retired cop, former auctioneer, son, brother, uncle, father and grandfather, commentator on anything that strikes a chord in a moment of passion, and willing to share his trials and tribulations as he blindly plodded his way through the swamp toward literary success … or failure.

As time passed, I became familiar with a slightly different man. He’s an author of poignant, funny and gripping tales. He’s generous with his time, gentle with his insight and incredibly brave. Confronting armed drug dealers is nothing compared with the hazards of having dreams sliced, diced and left to bleed out on the cruel pages of critiques by ruthless women and red-pen-wielding grammar Nazis. (Um … please remember Evanne said that - not me.)

Q. Your first published novella, “Out of the Closet,” remained a best-seller at Noble Romance Publishing more than a year after its release. What’s makes this romantic comedy stand out from the crowd?

A. I wish I knew. At some friends’ urging, I brought together two unlikely characters and a sadistic cat, and turned them loose. They played havoc in my mind, grabbing every punch line I’d ever imagined until their story took shape. Fortunately, my wife didn’t call the men in the little white coats, and readers apparently have enjoyed some of my outlandish foolishness. The story was a total departure from what I ever thought I’d write, and at the same time, a complete joy.

Q. “Whistle Pass” from Dreamspinner Press is your newest release. It’s already showing signs of becoming a perennial favorite. What inspired you to write this unique story set in 1955?

A. The 1950s was a dangerous time for minorities in this country. I wanted to present a tale unlike what we as readers have come to expect from that era. The horrors inflicted because of skin color can never be nor should ever be ignored, minimized or trivialized. What many aren’t aware of these days were the court-ordered lobotomies and placements into insane asylums for the “offense” of being homosexual. Again, at the urging of friends, I decided to tell the story of Charlie and Gabe, two war veterans caught up in a time they didn’t want to be a part of, and a series of events that would plunge them into a mystery they would either solve, or die in. I also elected to give their story a small-town setting instead of the usual major city fare such as L.A., and yet provide the political corruption, illegal gambling and backroom maneuverings that were so commonplace in 1955.

Q. “Kantu’s Heart” will be released this summer from Decadent Publishing. Please share a little bit about the characters from this time-travel romance.

A. Decadent has a line called Western Escape. The stories range from the 1700s to modern day, all surrounding the fictional town of Freewill, Wyo. When I was approached about writing a book for this line, I decided to take their concept a step further and created Kantu, a cave-dwelling warrior and clan leader who makes a mistake that costs his clan their lives, including his heart and mate, Sanda. What Kantu doesn’t know is the means to correct his mistake lies 50,000 years in the future. He’ll have to find that means, win back his heart, and then return to his own time so he and Sanda can birth and guide their people to the tribe’s ultimate destiny.

Q. Is there a common thread that runs through everything you write?

A. I have to include a few unexpected twists and turns as well as a love story, regardless of whether the book is a comedy, romance or mystery/suspense.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?

A. Only to say thank you once more for keeping this column in existence for two years, and I hope you’ll pick up a copy or six of my books. Thank you, all!

Evanne Lorraine is an author who never wanted to work as a journalist.