* you can find the original interviews and much more on my 'everything writing' blog (http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com), including author spotlights, guest posts, book reviews, flash fiction or poetry - new items posted 6am UK time Monday to Saturday and writing exercises at 6pm very weekday.
Tuesday, 29 May 2012
Author interview no.74: Katie Knight (revisited)
Back in July 2011, I interviewed author Katie Knight for my WordPress blog. I hope you enjoy it...
Welcome to the seventy-fourth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, directors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. Today's is with Fiction author (inc YA & flash) Katie Knight. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate the author further. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here.
Morgen: Hello Katie. Lovely to have you involved. I’d like to start by asking you to please tell us how you came to be a writer.
Katie: I started to write a book in my spare time, enjoyed the whole process, and soon realised I was unhappy when I didn’t get the chance to write. This prompted me to change my life in order to accommodate writing.
Morgen: I can relate to that. :) What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Katie: I am very flexible, like YA at the moment and enjoy flash writing – getting as much emotion as possible out of just a few words.
Morgen: I love flash fiction and have recently heard about http://duotrope.com so there may be outlets there for our writing (http://duotrope.com/listallmarkets.aspx?search=flash) suggests loads. :) How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
Katie: I have read a lot around this subject, and at the moment I am concentrating on Twitter and Litopia to connect with others, but I don’t consider this marketing.
Morgen: Technically I guess not but that audience is likely to be readers as well as writers so you never know. I’m on Facebook as well as it’s great for building up contacts because you only need 10 people to tell 10 people… who tell 10 people… and so on. :) Do you have an agent yet Katie? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Katie: No agent yet, though I am starting to investigate as I can see the advantage of having one – someone else to cheer in your corner. Are they vital? Maybe not vital, but definitely important.
Morgen: What is your experience to-date of eBooks?
Katie: I have a kindle, and I have downloaded ebooks – a couple from self published authors – and to be honest I was a little disappointed – this is where an agent and publishing house come into their own – with the editing.
Morgen: Yes, that’s the downside I’ve heard of eBooks; the lack of quality control (which is why I have a freelance editor an email away :)). Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Katie: I have had rejections, and as I am new to this, I am not too fazed and take it as part of the learning curve, but ask me again in a couple of years how I feel – it might be different!
Morgen: Hopefully you’ll feel just the same but with some acceptances interspersed (like me). What are you working on at the moment / next?
Katie: My next project is going to be rather sinister which has surprised me, but I am being stalked in my mind by a psychopathic midwife. I am fascinated by psychopaths at the moment.
Morgen: They always make gripping reading. :) Do you manage to write every day? What’s the most you’ve written in a day?
Katie: Yes, it is a must to write every day. The most I have written is about 3000 words, anything after that is total drivel.
Morgen: I like that. :) Well, what you just said, not that it’s drivel (which it probably isn’t). What is your opinion of writer’s block? Do you ever suffer from it? If so, how do you ‘cure’ it?
Katie: I see it as fear. For me reading lulls me back into writing, but also Julia Cameron’s book ‘the sound of paper’ is a great agony aunt when it is hard to write.
Morgen: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Katie: I get an idea, run with it, then plot as I go along, so both really.
Morgen: Good plan. :) Who is your first reader – who do you first show your work to?
Katie: My partner, he is Icelandic, and if the story grips him – then I know the basic plot is working, I then have to sort out the words.
Morgen: Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Katie: I edit, edit and edit some more. Leaving it for a while is good as the mistakes really glare at you.
Morgen: Absolutely. Being too close to something doesn’t help. What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
Katie: I have a cup of coffee :)
Morgen: Or tea in my case. :) Do you write on paper or do you prefer a computer?
Katie: I used to write everything on the pc, but now I earn my living as a copywriter – which is all on the pc, I find I enjoy my creative writing using pen and paper – it separates the two styles, and I feel freer using a pen, more relaxed, and you don’t get screen glare in the garden with a notebook.
Morgen: If anything, what has been your biggest surprise about writing?
Katie: How obsessed and focused I am. I have done a few jobs n my time, but this is a passion – I adore words, I love reading and am so very lucky that I can do this full time.
Morgen: Me too. My mum said recently not to let writing take over my life but she’s a couple of years too late. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Morgen: I agree (strangely it’s a word I sometimes struggle to spell, not sure why). What do you like to read?
Katie: Too diverse to mention – just finished a book by Diane Ackerman – beautiful.
Morgen: I hope she’s reading this. :) Are there any writing-related websites and/or books that you find useful and would recommend?
Katie: Sol Stein – excellent advice, and the Stephen King book ‘On writing’ – and the Litopia site.
Morgen: Ah yes, http://litopia.com is great and Stephen King’s book is often mentioned in these interviews. Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how invaluable do you find them?
Katie: I like Twitter as I have a naughty sense of humour.
Katie: I like Litopia as you have to work your way up the scale before you get help means you are serious.
Morgen: I didn’t know that. I’m invariably involved on a Friday and Sunday night but have woefully neglected the site in between. :( Where can we find out about you and your work?
Katie: My blog: http://katielara.wordpress.com
Morgen: What do you think the future holds for a writer?
Katie: I feel positive – books and reading and writing will be around until we can telepath, and even then we will want to curl up in a corner and escape with a good book –in whatever form that takes.
Morgen: Me too. :) Thanks Katie, lovely to ‘meet’ you again.
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the questions. You complete them, I tweak them where appropriate (if necessary to reflect the blog ‘clean and light’ rating) and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) :) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.