Saturday, 2 March 2013

Kerry Letheby, author of Mine To Avenge

Mine to Avenge by Kerry Letheby is available for Kindle and the Kindle app from and
US: Mine to Avenge by Kerry Letheby on
UK: Mine to Avenge by Kerry Letheby on

Mine to Avenge by Kerry Letheby
Mine to Avenge by Kerry Letheby

When Alcandor is blamed for the tragic death of his friend’s sister in Greece in 1940, little does he know of the repercussions this will have for him and his family for the next seventy years. Unable to forgive himself, and wanting to give his young family a new start, Alcandor leaves Greece and brings his family to settle in the Riverland of South Australia in 1948. Although Greece and his past are far behind him, Alcandor harbours a terrible secret and he remains a fearful man.

Alcandor subdues his fear, and he and his family adapt to an idyllic life of freedom and opportunity. However, eighteen years after leaving Greece, Alcandor learns that his past has caught up with him. His family needs to know the truth, but circumstances tragically intervene before he can warn them.

Years later, Alcandor’s sons show signs of odd behaviour hinting at possible mental instability, before disappearing without a trace. And in the next generation, Alcandor’s grandson exhibits the same strange behaviour not long before he is killed in the tragedy of September 11, 2001. It is not until 2010 that Alcandor’s great- granddaughter, Alethea, discovers that there is far more behind her family’s tragic history than mental illness, and little does she know that the threat against her family is much closer than she realises, and very far from over.

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Author Quiz interviews Kerry Letheby...

Do you ever feel yourself becoming quite emotional when writing a particularly intense scene and is there a specific passage in particular where this was the case?
There is a specific passage in Mine to Avenge that affects me this way, though it didn’t at the very beginning when I first wrote it. The emotional response was triggered further on in the process, once I had read and re-read the story so many times through the editing process. I believe that as time passed and I read the story frequently, my characters were becoming real to me. I always get a lump in my throat now when reading this scene towards the end of the story when a particular character is reunited with family he hasn’t seen for many years. At this point in time, I haven’t heard of any readers having such a response to that scene, but I would be very pleased to learn if they had.

Where did the inspiration for your novel, Mine to Avenge come from?
The inspiration for Mine to Avenge came from the events of 11th September 2001. As I watched the events unfold on television over the first 24 hours, I had a particular thought come to me - a ‘What if…’ thought, which sowed the seed for one of the major plot lines in the story. Unfortunately I can’t share the nature of the ‘What if’ thought as it would be a major plot spoiler, but I have since found out that many works of fiction begin with precisely such a thought, triggering a train of possibilities that make for the outworking of an absorbing story.

Is there a particular scene from your book, Mine to Avenge, which would translate well to canvas and provide a powerful inspiration for a dramatic or emotional piece of artwork?
I think that chapter 3 is one of the most powerful in the book, describing the breakdown of a previously close friendship. One of the major characters, Alcandor, blames himself for the accidental death of his best friend, Constantine’s sister, Helena. At Helena’s funeral, the two men come face to face across the open grave, and Constantine ignores his friend, much to Alcandor’s dismay. As an artist, I have often imagined trying to portray the differing emotions of the two men on the canvas as they face each other.

If you could choose someone famous to record your book in audiobook format, who would you choose as the voice and why?
I’d never thought about this at all before but a name came to mind immediately I read the question. I have always been drawn to certain voices and the one I thought of first is Patrick Stewart of Star Trek fame. It is difficult to explain why other than my ‘thing’ for a certain quality in some male voices that I am at a total loss to describe. I just know it when I hear it.

Have you ever written a supporting character who took on a life of their own or turned out to be far more popular than expected and if so do you have plans to feature them as the lead character in a story of their own?
In Mine to Avenge, there are two female characters whose names are mentioned several times with respect to their relationship to other major characters, however, they don’t actually appear in the story at all, so in that sense they are even less than supporting characters. The characters are a mother and daughter, Christina and Anna, who are mentioned as having left their husband and father, Spyridon, after many years of abuse. Spyridon is the main antagonist in Mine to Avenge.

By the end of the novel, I was imagining the life of these two women prior to leaving Spyridon and afterwards, and already had an outline of their story in mind. So I have already begun to write their story as part sequel to Mine to Avenge and part companion volume. The story of the women’s lives is the companion part to Mine to Avenge, in that the events take place in the same time frame as parts of Mine to Avenge, but in a different location. The second half of their story will be a sequel, in which another character from the novel will endeavor to trace these two women, who are his aunt and grandmother.

If you could go back to the moment when you completed your first book and were at the stage where you were ready to release it to the world, is there anything you would do differently this time with regard to promotion?
There are probably many things I would do differently, but largely those things are to do with my prior lack of understanding of what is available in online marketing. Essentially, Mine to Avenge was released before I fully understood how to take advantage of the many online promotional and marketing options available such as this blog. I think it would have been better to be doing promotion and marketing well in advance of the book being released, but Mine to Avenge has been out since early November 2012, and I am really only getting into the promotional side of things post release. With my second novel, mentioned in the previous question, I will begin promoting it if possible at around the same time I send the novel off to begin the editing process.

If you worked for a publishing house, what sort of books would you be looking to publish?
I have taken a gamble with my story, writing without the use of strong language or sex as means to make my book appealing. In that sense I may have done myself out of a lot of readers, but I believe the art of story telling without sex and strong language as props is almost a lost art.  Rather than use specific language, I’d sooner write that a particular character ‘swore’ or ‘cursed’, without writing the actual word.

Mine to Avenge includes a rape attack on a woman, but I don’t describe the attack and don’t feel the need to describe it, other than very generally, without the specifics of detail. Of course violent crimes such as rape take place in the world, and are often the springboard for absorbing drama and suspense, but I believe such stories can be skillfully told without such graphic emphases as are common today. So I would be seeking to publish books that tell a story without resorting to graphic, explicit details.

Do you have a favorite review or has anyone expressed a particularly nice compliment about your writing which stands out as your most memorable piece of praise?
I think my favorite review will always be my very first one from someone who read my book without knowing me, other than via a very brief online connection prior to her reading it. I had just begun seeking reviews and found it very difficult to approach total strangers to ask them to review my book. I had a few offers of mutual reviews and had my fingers badly burned with one of them, so I didn’t want to go that way.

Eventually I put out a call on Facebook and a woman I had only recently connected with offered to review Mine to Avenge with ‘no strings attached.’ She was pursuing her own very busy life at the time, which involved her preparing her own piece of work for a writing competition with a deadline. Mine to Avenge is not a short novel at approximately, 164,000 words, so it was a generous thing for her to do. It meant so much that she gave me a five star review, being the first time someone other than family or close friends had read it and given an opinion. For a virtual stranger to give it such a generous review gave me hope that I have written a halfway decent story! The comment she made that will always stay with me wasn’t in her final review, but it came from a status report she sent through while she was still reading it. She wrote that she lost track of her lunch break at work while reading it and was 10 minutes late back to the office.

Would you rather sell 1000 books at $10/£10 each or 2000 books at $1/£1, i.e. what gives you the greater sense of satisfaction; overall earnings or overall sales?
It’s so difficult to answer this, but I think the idea of more people reading the novel means more than how much I might be making from sales. I think that if you can price your work a little cheaper (but not so cheap that you devalue your work), you might sell more copies, and probably do better financially anyway, than if you left your price too high with the hope of higher earnings. So I think the number of sales is the more appealing factor to me, if you can be smart enough to get your price right - then earnings will follow too.

What advice would you give to a new author who has just finished writing their first novel and is unsure as to what steps to take next?
This is easy - the three things at the top of the list -
1. Resist the urge to get your book out there too fast and edit your novel first.
2. Edit your novel.
3. Edit your novel.
Get the point? I can’t stress how important this is if you want to be taken seriously as a writer and also if there is to be any hope of changing the general opinion about self-published work. People have a poor opinion of it and rightly so, for I have read many books that have been slapped up in cyberspace just to get it out there to readers, and they are full of spelling errors, typos and so on. It is a real turn off for readers, and it can also be a challenge if someone asks you to review such a book. If someone buys such a work based on your review and sees how poorly presented it is, it will impact on your own credibility and possibly make readers avoid your work as well. I very nearly chose not to edit, just because I was so keen to get my book into the public arena, but once the editor had it and started to work on it, I realised just how important an extra pair of eyes is - the eyes of someone not so close to the work. I believe that the money I spent on editing Mine to Avenge was the best investment I made in my novel.

Why would you recommend your book, Mine to Avenge to other readers?
I would recommend my book, Mine to Avenge, to readers as I believe I have been able to relate an intriguing, absorbing suspense tale in its own right, without resorting to the oft used props of sex and language. Yes, I know many won’t bother to read it precisely because I’ve taken this approach, but I do know that many readers out there are complaining that they are finding it difficult to find clean stories to read or recommend to others. I hope this story will be one of those that people are happy to recommend without having to make excuses to others for its content.

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Thanks for your comments, Kerry, and good luck with your writing.

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Kerry Letheby, author of Mine to Avenge
Discover more about Kerry and her writing at her website, blog and amazon author page:
Amazon Author Page: Kerry Letheby's amazon author page

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Kerry Letheby is on facebook and twitter:
Facebook: Kerry Letheby Author
Twitter: @kletheby

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Check out the trailer for Mine to Avenge on YouTube:
Mine to Avenge book trailer

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Mine to Avenge by Kerry Letheby is available for Kindle and the Kindle app from and
US: Mine to Avenge by Kerry Letheby on
UK: Mine to Avenge by Kerry Letheby on

Amazon also stock Mine to Avenge in paperback:
US: Mine to Avenge by Kerry Letheby
UK: Mine to Avenge by Kerry Letheby

Mine To Avenge is also available from Kobo Books:
Kobo Books


  1. Thank you so much Charles for this wonderful opportunity to be interviewed on your blog.

  2. No problem, Kerry. Thanks again for your interview.