Beth: Welcome to the blog, Kathleen! Tell us about your book.
Kathleen: Oh boy, this is exciting! I’ve never been interviewed before. (Don’t swear, Kathleen. Be cool, be cool, girl.) Between Fire and Pines is the first in a (probably) 9 book series that follows the misadventures of Natalia Artison. Her parents are black op agents who are, most regrettably, unexpectedly super dead. This leaves Natalia and her half-sister in the hands of the Agency, who employed their parents. That would be all fine and dandy, except Natalia discovered a secret tucked into a nesting doll. A secret her parents gave their lives to protect. Now Natalia is in the crosshairs of the same person who slaughtered her parents. The Agency sends in a reluctant ex-agent, Steven Delarno, who is currently being haunted by the ghost of his dead child, to protect Natalia and Beth. Sarcastic antics ensue. Also explosions. There are a few of those tucked in here and there.
Beth: Ooh, much excitement! And a character named Beth–I approve 😉 Plus notes in dolls and sarcastic antics? I’m in! Is this your debut?
Kathleen: It is my debut! My shiny debut. 420 pages of explosions, mild swearing, and some violence. But no romance. I’ve had a few coworkers ask me if there is romance in it and I just throw my head back and laugh gregariously.
Beth: Do you have any writing habits? Quirks?
Kathleen: I’m a night owl, and I tend to get my best work done at night. This is problematic because I also have the body of an old woman and am generally in bed by 9:30 with a Werthers caramel and a cup of weak tea by my bed. That being said, when I am up late I’ve discovered that writing is easiest to me, and this is true, between 1:30 and 3:15(ish) in the morning. By the time I hit 3:30 I am drooling on the keyboard.
Aside from that, I always have to have music playing. Plugging in to Spotify and listening to my curated Code Soundtrack is a necessity. Music and writing goes hand-in-hand for me.
Beth: 1:30 – 3:15 is crazy-early, but you gotta do what works for you. What was the most challenging part of putting a book out there?
Kathleen: Two things. The first, coming to terms with the fact that I can never, ever, ever rewrite it again. Ever. Never ever. For that reason alone I still haven’t been able to actually crack the book open and read it. I’m sure I’ll see all these itty bitty mistakes that I made six months ago that I wouldn’t make now, and that would drive me crazy. But even more than that, I’m still a bit uncomfortable talking about it in any details beyond ‘There are explosions!’ and ‘I only used one racial slur!’ This wouldn’t be an issue except I also work in a bookstore, so as you might imagine my coworkers are as book-obsessed as I am. I’ve never been particularly good at tooting my own horn, or plucking my own strings. Whatever you want to call it. I have my first signing on June 25th, so I better get my rear in gear and learn how to describe Between Fire and Pines without mentioning the racial slur.
Beth: I know what you mean about tooting horns. Seriously uncomfortable. Good luck with your signing, Kathleen. Before you go, do you have any advice for beginning writers/authors?
Kathleen: I’ll say the same thing Gregg Hurwitz told me when I was 18 and emailed him for advice on writing. Write every single day. Even if it is just a line here or there on a napkin. Always write. No one is going to do it for you (Unless you are independently wealthy and can afford a ghost writer, or someone to clean up the cat vomit, ugh, gross. Hold on a second.)
Gross. Okay, where was I? Right. No one will write your novel for you. Since I’ve published I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and say “Oh yeah, I want to write a novel” or “I’ve got one I’m going to write some day” and it is actually a little sad to hear, because they’re always talking about doing it later, some other day. You can’t do that. If you want to write then you need to write. It’s almost insultingly simple. It doesn’t have to be good, and you can delete it all when you are done, but I’m a firm believer that if you don’t get into the habit then you’ll keep putting it off. Sort of like how I put off filling in this interview until you reminded me and then I had to set an alarm on my phone to get it done. Even then, I’m still late. Write every day, set reminders, clean up cat vomit. That is my life now.
Beth: ROFL! I would LOVE to hire someone to clean up cat vomit–alas. Seriously, though, you’re right: no one’s going to write for you. So write, guys! Write right now!–But not before getting Kathleen’s book, which I’m about to add to my Amazon wish list 😉
Thanks for visiting, Kathleen! I wish you many sales and thousands of rave reviews.
Keep your pen on the page,