Kat's Blog

Kat's Blog

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 31!

Today is the last day of my Summer Bash and closing out the party os Karen McGrath. Please help me welcome her to the party as she helps us close out the celebration.

Hi Kat, Thank you so much for inviting me to interview on your Summer Bash blog! I am honored and happy to be here. I understand I am the last one here and I have a special surprise just for you at the end here. July has certainly been a hot and muggy month in Boston and your Summer Bash has been a delightful distraction. Thank you!

1: When did you first begin writing?

I began writing at the age of 8. My third grade teacher told me to write a story and I wondered how in the world I would do that. I was a storyteller from age 5, making friends and family laugh, but putting it on paper, what a challenge that was at first.

2: Where do you get your inspiration for writing from?

I get my inspiration from God. An idea will whoosh by me and I grab it to put it on paper as soon as possible. I love how that works. It's like I'm sailing on the ocean with the sun at its zenith sparkling on the water like a thousand diamonds strewn about. A jewelfish rushes by in the current and I capture it in my hand carefully, peeking through my fingers as light streams out. If I hold it gently and let it breath, it blossoms into a living story.

3: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

No, but I do have a moleskine sketch book that my husband gave me this spring. It goes with me everywhere so I can take notes and draw what I see in my mind’s eye. I feel naked without it.

4: Are you a plotter or a pantser when you write? Why does that work for you?

I’m unapologetically a PANTSER! I start with the idea and sail on down the Nile. Then I double back and extract the plot from what I’ve written and add in interesting tidbits. So I’m a pantser first and a plotter second.

It really works for me because I love to be surprised. I guess it stems from all that story telling I did in kindergarten and grade school. Now I stand up and speak on paper.

5: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

I like action stories a lot, Lord of the rings, Chronicles of Narnia and mysteries. I like Janet Evanovich and of course, I love a good romance. My favorite author of all time is C.S. Lewis and my favorite current author is Suzanne Collins. I also read a lot of YA.

6: Are you currently reading anything right now? Yes, I’m reading a book written by a friend of mine. And Night Falls by Tommie Lyn. You can find it on Smashwords or Amazon. And another one by a new author friend. I’m also reading a two free ebook downloads I got from Barnes & Noble, a mystery and a romance. I just finished Angels and Demons by Dan Brown and loved it.

I’m waiting desperately for MockingJay to come out. That’s the third in the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins but I think I’ll have to wrestle my teens for it. LOL! I’m disappointed it’s not coming out in ebook any time soon.

7: How do you deal with writer’s block?

I don’t really get writer’s block. If I need to write for a deadline but I’m not particularly inspired, I write anyway and inspiration kicks into gear. I’ve never been wordless.

8: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

We’re big on movies in my house, we love story. Our oldest daughter gave my husband a Netflix account for his birthday so we are giddy with choices! I love taking day trips with my family and walking on the beach in the evening. I enjoy visiting historical places in Boston, there’s so much history here.

9: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Well, I have three wanderlust loves. Oh no, four… First, I’d love to go to Israel. I have roots there. Another draw is Greece, it’s incredibly beautiful. I’d love to go to Ireland, I also have roots there and England. And I’d love to go to Brazil and Peru. The Amazon takes my breath away! I can’t choose just one.

10: What advice do you have for new authors?

Let your readers get close to you. Readers want to know all about the people who write their books. Let them see you, you won’t be sorry you did.

11: Is there anything you’d like people to know about you?

I don’t know, I’m pretty much an open book, pardon the pun! I love words but you already know that. My favorite book as a child was my dictionary. I spent hours reading it and sometimes still do. Another favorite of mine was The Annotated Alice. I spent hours in that book too, studying the word and math problems. I’m sort of a closet math geek.

12: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

I don’t have a cover yet so here is my unofficial banner along with the unedited blurb.

Kylie Watson is a senior lawyer in Boston, MA, whose emotional life is in disarray. She’s entirely too dependent on her childhood pals even though as an adult she seems to have it together. She realizes her surrogate siblings have stepped into protector roles for her when her universe is rocked by her missionary parent’s unexpected deaths in a plane crash in the Amazon.

In the midst of her loss and grief, someone is stalking her and leaving a trail of clues in their wake. Kylie is driven by chronic nightmares that began the night of the accident.
Traveling to the world she left behind as a teen, Kylie runs to Brazil to be close to the last place her parents lived. There she discovers family secrets, church corruption and international espionage.

Journey with her as she navigates the waters of the Amazon and the emotional streams of her heart. Encounter the three loves of her life; one whose comforting presence makes everything right but seems just out of reach, one whose money and power can keep her but repulses her at times, and one whose fiery passion forces her to face reality but scares her to death.

Which man will pursue her and why? Were her parents murdered? If so, by whom? What was their connection to the new tribe translations that is strangely forbidden by the Missionary Alliance Board?

What does Kylie really want?

Nothing is what it seems.

Do you want the truth or something you can live with?

Primordial Sun, The Heart of the Amazon - first in the Primordial Sun trilogy
MuseItUp Publishing April 2011

Here’s my contact information

Blog: http://karenmcgrathauthor.blogspot.com/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jazzchildblue
Facebook: www.facebook.com/karenmcgrathauthor
My Author Page at Muse: http://museituppublishing.com/musepub/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=90&Itemid=82

Thank you so much to Karen and all my wonderful guests this month. This has been more fun than I can say.:-)


Karen McGrath said...

Kat, thank you so much for hosting me on your Summer Bash! I've really enjoyed all the interviews you've done. :)

Ginger Simpson said...

Karen & Kat,
This has been a wonderful month of treats and although I didn't comment on each and everyone, I've enjoyed learning about my fellow authors. Karen, you and I share being Pantsers, but I don't apologize for it. I can't plot to save my life. I can write a short story alone, but novels don't start until the voices in my head speak. :) Thanks for hosting everyone, Kat. You did a wonderful job.

Lin said...

I didn't answer the questions for my postings..I cheated, but I thought I should rectify that now that we are at the end of her summer bash and about to get down to some intense character blogging for our dynamic debut of Muse It Up Publishing. I don't know exactly what a pantser is because I'm not really the one doing the writing. I have this muse that takes over me much I think the way meduims have spirit guides who take over them and channel the Words From On High. My Muse has me write so fast sometimes I don't know what I'm writing and even when I am done writing and begin transferring it from paper...have you ever tried to convince a muse to hold on until you get to the computer, it's like talking to a two year old who only knows one word, "NO", but even when I am transferring, my muse will hijack me and take me down side roads without warning...admittedly she does bring me back and reconnect, and the story is stronger, but does that make me a pantser? I don't think I can call myself anything but a follower. She yanks and I follow.

Am I unique? I remember when I took my one and only college course in Creative Writing as an elective. It was a three hour class once a week on Tuesday night. We'd get the assignment, and luckily I had only farm roads to drive home on with no Tuesday night traffic because there I was driving with one hand on the wheel, eyes on the road, and the other hand scratching out on paper the story my muse was pouring out to meet the assignment for the following week's class. Within the hour is took to drive home, my project was all but typed and ready to turn in.

Give my muse a topic and she would crank it out...and that can be most annoying.

I have read this months guests and found some I admire for their ability to plot. Others I felt were too wrapped up in that finite process. As a former teacher I could plot my lesson plans with great expertise, but I cannot transfer that skill to my writing.

I know there are those who say I am making excuses, and perhaps I am...but for me they work, so why should I suffer great angst over the how of my dynamics and just be glad for the fact that somehow they work?

There is one huge manuscript I wrote years ago. My daughter knew where it was headed, yet I guess I wrote it well enough that when the moment came she was angry with the event and me for writing it. Does that mean I did a good job in weaving my story? I don't know, because again, it is my muse, not I who guides the process. My job is to let her speak and just record what she has to say.

Karen, Ginger, and so many others make me glad that I am now part of this sister/brotherhood and in the end, that acceptance has nothing to do with HOW I write, just that I DO write and can do it well enough to produce a story others want to read.

Lin said...
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Lin said...
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Lin said...

Blogger is acting weird so I ahve had to delete a couple postings because it posted my post three times. Sorry.

Karen McGrath said...

LOL, Ginger, I hear you! And Kat's done an amazing job here all month long. Kat, you didn't post the surprise I sent you. Do you need me to send it as a separate photo? You should put it on the front page, it's an award! :)

Karen McGrath said...

Lin, I know exactly what you mean! Sometimes I sit at the keyboard and just type away while I'm crying my eyes out. No way could I come up with all that on my own. C.S. Lewis wrote like that too. I believe it's a calling. :)

MuseItUp Publishing said...

What a grand way to end Kat's month long bash...with Lin posting and deleting her own posts. hehehehehehe

Karen, it's amazing how I find that more writer's really don't get writer's block. We may get stumped where we should next place our characters but as for story ideas I think all of us have more than enough to fulfill a lifetime.

Great interview and thank you, Kat, for an amazing July. So,what's next? :)

Karen McGrath said...

Writer's block is non-existent for me although I've had friends who were frightened when their muse abandoned them for awhile. I have to run to keep up with mine!

Yes, Kat, plans?!

Kat said...

I was very tired when I posted Karen. I had been awake for 2 days straight with no sleep and I was kind of loopy. But yes, I do kinda need it as a seperate thing. Thank you so much for the award. As for what's next, I have a few guest appearances of my own to be doing coming up.:-)

Larion aka Larriane Wills said...

July is gone already!! like they say, time flies when you're having fun and Kat's blog has made the month wipe by. what's next, Kat? Karen, the book sounds very interesting and now i've meet yet another pantser. thumbs up.

Karen McGrath said...

Thanks Larriane! Kat, I'll send it to you separate. Thanks again for the interview! :)