First off I would like to thank Katie for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions!
1. Have you always enjoyed writing and wanted to become and author? When did you start?
I've always loved stories; preferred the world of fiction to reality. As an only child I spent a lot imaginative play time and never really grew out of it. I started writing stories in my head during my teenage years although at that time I mainly penned poetry. When I approached my thirtieth birthday I knew it was time to put some ink to all those day dreams and I challenged myself to write my first novel before I turned thirty one. I did it.
Writing the first one is the hardest - you're dealing with all this sense of self doubt and weight of literary heritage. You have grand aspirations of making your mark in it all. Once you've done the first, you realise it's not about anything except the story and all the rest of it is quite irrelevant.
2. What is your favorite part about being an author/writer? What is the hardest part?
The best bit about being a writer is the sense of building something. It gives a great sense of satisfaction to see a story unfold and for characters to take shape. There is a real buzz when you read over a section and it makes the hairs on the back of your arms stand on end because it feels as if it has been written by magic.
The worst bit about being a writer is the frustration at never feeling like you can dedicate enough time to your writing. It's a complete juggling act between family life, the day job and the creative muse. I don't think living with a writer can be very easy.
3. What was it that inspired you to write the Knight Trilogy?
I've always been completely spellbound by the Arthurian legends and the pre-Raphaelite artists who were greatly inspired by the legends. A lot of the Knight Trilogy draws on very personal experiences and it will probably be the most personally exposing thing that I write. The Knight Trilogy is essentially about the power of love (nearly burst into nineteen eighties ballad mode there!) - but seriously, first love is such a paradox, it has this incredible potential to be destructive and yet it builds you into the adult you become.
4. Are the characters in the books based on real people from your life?
The official, legal answer to that is no - but I defy any writer to write characters without drawing on people they have met and shared a part of their life with. If they do manage this feat, I question how 'realistic' those characters are to the reader. Without this sense of the real then they become nothing more than pieces in a plot. All the main characters in The Knight Trilogy have strong elements of people I have known - but only their good bits!
5. If you had to choose, who is your favorite character and why?
It's impossible for me to pin my favour to one character, so I'll unashamedly cheat. Clearly, as many of my readers have guessed, I am totally in love with Blake; everything about him makes my heart skip. However, as a writer I am most proud of Delta. I find her completely fascinating. She's the ultimate best friend; funny, sharp, intelligent and streetwise. She started off in the plans as quite a minor character, but she was having none of that. Over the course of the trilogy she has written herself in and has demanded my attention. I have a feeling that Delta will one day have her very own story.
6. Do you have any advice for the other writers out there?
Keep going - one word at a time.
7. What can we expect in the third and final book of the Knight Trilogy?
Book Three 'Starfire' is very dark. It returns to ancient European fairytales and superstitions; there are murders, deaths and mutilations. The story splits between The Realm, the forests of France and the mountains of Switzerland. There are going to be many surprises along the way and nobody is safe. We're going to see Blake and Mina's relationship tested to the very limit and we are also going to find out a lot more about Delta. There is going to be definite need for a box of tissues and I am hoping it will cause a few gasps along the way. I know how it is going to end but I don't know exactly how it is going to play out.
I'm really excited by it but I'm also going through complete writer's angst about letting go of my story.
8. Do you have any other works in progress that we can look forward to in the future?
I have spent the last six months writing a Victorian Steam punk, Paranormal Romance, Fairytale novel (no genre confusion there then!) called 'Beautiful Freaks'. It's set in Victorian London in the Haymarket and centers around a series of paranormal and gruesome murders. The main protagonist is called Kaspian Blackthorne; he's deliciously dark and decadent. However it's a little misleading to suggest there is just one protagonist because the novel is very much about stories within stories and there is a whole cast of characters who take it in turn to reveal themselves to you. Each crime that takes place has an attached fairytale. If you like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allen Poe and Robert Louis Stevenson with a dash of very contemporary YA Paranormal Romance - then you might like this. You can read a teaser and find out more at www.beautifulfreaks.weebly.com
9. Which authors have influenced you in some way, either through your style of writing or just inspiration in general?
I've been influenced by so many amazingly talented writers. I am a total Goth at heart and love the works of Stoker, Shelley, Walpole, Lewis, Lovecraft, Poe etc. They have been a major influence on my poetry and more recent short stories and Beautiful Freaks. I also admire the amazing spectrum of talent which can be found on the YA shelf at the moment. Malinda Lo, Suzanne Collins, Maggie Stiefvater, Lauren Kate, Stephanie Meyer, Becca Fitzpatrick are all exceptionally talented story tellers.
I'm distressed to see so much unfounded criticism of writers such as these. There is a complete failure to recognise and understand that a lot of respected writers of the English canon were once labeled as 'pulp' by cultural critics of the time. (Many of the ones that I have labelled in my first list for example) That has always been a part of the horror, Gothic movement - a refusal to bow to pseudo-intellectualism. The strength of such writers is their ability to tap into human fears and experiences - to tell a story that resonates with a soul, regardless of academic credentials.
I think that makes them some of the cleverest, talented and most enduring writers of the English canon.
10. Some quick answer questions:
-Favorite genre? Gothic horror, American Gothic,Fairytale, Transgressive, YA Paranormal Romance.
- Favorite movie? Donnie Darko, Requiem For a Dream, Dirty Dancing, V for Vendetta, Twilight.
- Favorite place to read? In the park under a sunbeam.
- Favorite place to write? In bed.
Katie M. John's Works & Where to find her:
Forest of Adventures
Series: Knight Trilogy #1
Release Date: Dec. 1, 2010
Check out my review: here
For seventeen year old Mina Singer, falling in love with an Authurian Knight on a white horse was never part of the plan--- especially being that she's an ordinary college girl living in the twenty-first century. As Mina finds herself catapulted into a land she believed only existed in the bedtime stories of her childhood, she soon discovers that Fairyland is not quiet as innocent as she imagined.
The question is.......... who will come out alive?
-- Goodreads Description
Series: Knight Trilogy #2
Release Date: Aug. 25, 2011
Check out my review: here
THIS TIME, THE DAMSEL MUST RESCUE HER KNIGHT IN DISTRESS.
As Mina Singer tries to piece together her broken heart, Blake's adventure in Egypt places his in serious peril.
As ancient and terrifying Egyptian rituals are resurrected by the sorceress Morgan Le Fay, Blake embarks on the most horrifying quest yet - one which no other mortal has ever survived.
This time, the damsel must rescue her knight in a terrifying race against death. (Goodreads Description)
Series: Knight Trilogy #3
Release Date: April 2012
Cover to come soon!
On the sunniest days, the darkest shadows form.
Within every friendship there is a potential enemy.
Summer heads towards Autumn and the cold winds of change blow. Destructive, vengeful forces gather both in distant realms and at the heart of The Realm.
For Mina and Blake, the hope of happy-ever-after is shattered by the events of one evening; Halloween. In a world where rituals and traditions are steeped in folklore and fear, nightmares come to life.
The dramatic events of Halloween call the attention of The Knights Templar; a merciless keeper of law and order and executioner of those who practice Dark Arts.
It is Mina they have come for, and the sentence is death.
There is only one hope for her salvation, Blake must find his way through the magical, French forests of Broceliande, and its Valley of No Return, all in hope of reclaiming ... the Holy Grail.
Only then might love conquer all. (Author's Description)
Thanks to the amazing Katie, I am able to give an e-copy of both Forest of Adventures & Immortal Beloved to one of my readers! ! !
~ Please comment with your email address.
~ One entry per person.
~ One person will win both books (e-copies)
~ You do not have to be a follower, but it would be awesome if you did.
~ Contest will end Dec. 15th at Midnight.
~ Must be 13 years or older and have parents permission.
~ I will choose winner using random.org.
Hope you all have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving ! ! !