I live in the Northern U.S. with my husband and son. I’m an avid reader and researcher, particularly drawn to the inner lives of my characters. More than anything, I love developing complex personalities, and plots that twist and turn. Readers often say, “I didn’t see that one coming.” That’s my goal.
Some of my passions include gardening, photography, crafts, reading, and the Caribbean. Atypical by nature, I enjoys exploring topics that stray from the beaten path. Well known for my sense of humor, sensitivity, and deep philosophical sides, I’m an old soul who will forever remain a kid at heart.
The Van Buren series is urban fantasy with a science fiction flare, and appeals to young and old alike. Readers describe these books as fun, entertaining page-turners, and hard to put down.
It’s rare today to find an author who does nothing but write for a living. Do you have a ‘real’ job other than writing, and if so, what is it? What are some other jobs you’ve had in your life?
I have a part-time job, but it would be impossible to be a full-time writer and full-time wife, mother, and everything else. There is so much involved, and marketing takes a huge chunk of time.
What compelled you to write your first book?
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I think I always wanted to be an actress. But since I’m not an outgoing extravert, writing is the logical choice.
What compels you to be a writer?
I’m not sure. I love to explore and I’m a creator at heart. To create fictional characters and compelling plots is what drives me.
Tell us a little bit about your book/s. What are their titles; which is your favorite if you have more than one, and briefly let us know what they are about. Pay particular attention to your most recent book and/or your first book:
The Van Buren series is urban fantasy but has elements of speculative fiction, mystery, romance, and the paranormal. It fits into many categories, appealing to a broad audience. Second Hand Stops is just fun. There are some deep themes in all three books, but the first one in particular gives readers an idea who the characters are and what type of role they will play in future books. Fast Forward, my latest release, has an apocalyptic conclusion in both the world and the personal lives of the Van Burens. The books are a natural progression as I grow these character up from teenagers all the way to the ends of their lives.
Are you currently working on any writing projects our readers should watch for release soon?
I am working on a psychological thriller, dystopian, science fiction and a YA paranormal romance with elements of magic.
Have you ever won any writing awards? If so, what?
I received a Readers Favorite five-star review and was a Publisher’s Weekly star of 2014.
Do you belong to any writing forums or organizations that have helped spur your career as a writer? If so, tell us about them and how they’ve helped you.
At one point in time I belonged to the Romance Critters critique group. It’s where critique partners find each other.
How did you feel the day you held the copy of your first book in your hands?
I remember thinking how talented my cover artist, Ava Glass is. The cover is gorgeous on a print book.
What type of music, if any, do you listen to while you write?
Sometimes I listen to music to capture a particular mood for a scene. I included a playlist at the end of Fast Forward.
What inspires you and motivates you to write the very most?
The love of the art and wanting to entertain my readers.
What one thing are you the most proud of in your life?
I didn’t give up. There were many obstacles thrown in my path over the years and I weathered the storms, always persistent.
What about your family? Do you have children, married, siblings, parents? Has your family been supportive of your writing?
I am married and have a teenage son, and black lab named Maggie.
The main characters of your stories – do you find that you put a little of yourself into each of them or do you create them to be completely different from you?
For my first series, written in first person, I wanted to take some of my own character traits and experiences and work them into the plot. They play a minor role, but it lent to a believable and relatable character.
Is there an established writer you admire and emulate in your own writing? Do you have a writing mentor?
My writing style is quick paced and dialogue heavy. I wanted to hold the reader’s attention because it’s hard to do in such a hectic society. Charlaine Harris is the writing style that comes closest to mine. Cassandra Clare is my favorite author, and I love the beautiful worlds, plots, and characters she creates. They are stunning.
When growing up, did you have a favorite author, book series, or book?
What about now: who is your favorite author and what is your favorite genre to read?
Cassandra Clare of course, and I love paranormal romance the best.
Hey, let’s get morbid. When they write your obituary, what do you hope they will say about your book/s and writing? What do you hope they will say about you?
I hope they were entertained. That is my only hope. Oh. And I hope I taught while I entertained. There are deep themes running throughout all three books.
Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now.
I live in the country. No influence on my writing whatsoever. Plant me anywhere, and I’ll write.
Bring us into your home and set the scene for us when you are writing. What does it look like? On the couch, laptop, desk? Music? Lighting, handwriting?
That’s a funny one. Kitchen table, couch, bed, outdoors on the patio furniture. Anywhere I curl up and get comfy.
Do you watch television? If so, what are your favorite shows? Does television influence of inspire your writing?
I love Game of Thrones, The Tomorrow People, The Carrie Diaries, Gossip Girl.
What about movies? Same as above.
Pride & Prejudice is my all-time favorite movie. Although a literary plot from a time when life moved at a slower pace, I love the theme and the characters with all my heart. Brilliantly written and executed.
How long did it take you to write your most recent (or first) book? When you started writing, did you think it would take that long (or short)?
It took me two years to write the entire series. That included mountains of editing and re-writes, professional editing and cover design, and marketing.
Is there anyone you’d like to specifically acknowledge who has inspired, motivated, encouraged or supported your writing?
My husband. He has kept the home fires burning while I worked hard to bring this series to life. Books are like sparks. It starts with a spark before it catches fire.
Is there any one particular book that when you read it, you thought to yourself, “Man, I wish I’d written that one!”?
Pretty much everything Cassandra Clare has written.
Thinking about your writing career, is there anything you’d go back and do differently now that you have been published?
Plan ahead. I’m a panster turned plotter.
What is your main goal or purpose you would like to see accomplished by or with your writing?
I want to entertain readers. I don’t write for myself, I write for an audience and I really want them to enjoy my work. There are themes running throughout the books I would like readers to pay close attention to because it’s wisdom I’ve gained over a lifetime.
How has having a book or being published in a book changed your life?
It is a lot of hard work. Readers can’t even imagine how hard authors work, and the process behind each book. Piracy keeps us from making a living, and most authors are far from rich. Before a reader downloads a pirated book, they should ask themselves how they would feel working two years without pay, expecting a paycheck at the end, only to have their hard work go up in smoke.
BookLibrary is a pirating site. People pay a fee to join, thinking the authors are reimbursed. Unless you purchase my books from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, or Google Books, it was stolen by a criminal. Support authors, not the criminals who steal, refuse to work, and profit from extremely hard working authors.
Many authors have said that naming their characters is a difficult process, almost like choosing a name for their own child. How did you select the names of some of your lead characters in your book/s?
After awhile, I settled on the names I had been throwing around for awhile. They just fit.
Have you ever had a character take over a story and move it in a different direction than you had originally intended? How did you handle it?
I create my plots in a way that I never paint myself into a corner. They can go so many different directions and that is what I love about my brain. It thinks ahead.
Is there any lesson or moral you hope your story might reveal to those who read it?
I talk about abandonment, navigating the waters of love, family secrets, ethical dilemmas, and sociopathic behavior. Those themes are consistent in all three books. The second and third book tackle love and loss, as well as death and the afterlife.
Do you have any book signings, tours or special events planned to promote your book that readers might be interested in attending? If so, when and where?
I will be at The Great Lakes Book Bash in Kalamazoo, Michigan October 10th, 2015. There will be a signing, meet and greet, and after party open to the public.
It’s said that the editing process of publishing a novel with a publisher is can be grueling and often more difficult than actually writing the story. Do you think this is true for you? How did you feel about editing your masterpiece?
Wow. No words ever rung truer than that statement. Editing, re-writing, refining, and sending it off for professional editing and critiquing, and then editing some more. Yes! It is the hardest and most grueling part of the entire process besides marketing afterwards.
Now that you are a published author, does it feel differently than you had imagined?
Nope. I’m exactly the same person I have always been. I’m super down to earth and nothing could ever change that about me.
Now, use this space to tell us more about who you. Anything you want your readers to know?
My books can be purchased at all fine retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Google Books. I have sample chapters listed with many books sites, and readers can get a feel for my writing, characters, and plot.
You can find me at: www.katiestclairebooks.com
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