Q: Please tell us about your latest book.
A: I recently self-published my second book, which is called Taela. It is the first in a six book series called The Vessel. It's a YA fantasy about a girl who longs for some kind of adventure to escape her predictable life and gets more than she expects in the process.
Q: What can we expect from you in the future?
A: Besides continuing with The Vessel series, I have several stand alone stories already in progress. One is with my editor right now and I hope to release it in December. Since my favorite genre is YA fantasy, that is what most of my books will be, but I hope to branch out a bit in the future. Also, my books are only available as ebooks right now. I plan to get them into print in September.
Q: How do we find out about you and your books?
A: I regularly post on my blog, sharing news and updates, as well as random fun. It's at www.kcataylor.blogspot.com
Q: Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
A: I've tried to make a set schedule for when I write, but I rarely follow it. I'm pretty good at making time to write everyday, but sometimes it will only be for a few minutes. I kind of need to be in a writing mood.
Q: What is your writing routine once you start a book?
A: When I first get an idea, I'll write out an outline. If it will be a series, I'll outline the entire thing. I usually come up with names and the titles a little later on, but sometimes those are the things I think of first and they lead me to the actual story. I also work on several stories at the same time. My husband, who also writes, says that's a bad thing to do, but it works for me.
Q: What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
A: I'm a TV junkie. I can spend hours watching my favorite shows on Netflix, most recently Frasier and Alias. I also love to cook and eat the things I cook. If I can do all three at the same time, I'm in Heaven!
Q: What truly motivates you in general? In your writing?
A: I love to read and when I discovered that I had a knack for creating stories, I knew I had to do whatever I could to share them with the world. But, even if I never become a successful author, I will still write. It's just something I love to do.
Q: Where do your ideas come from?
A: Random words, names, places pop into my head and I can create a story around them. Sometimes I'll have a bizarre dream and when I wake up, I'll think to myself “That could be an awesome book!”
Q: Do you feel humor is important in __put your genre here____ and why?
A: Humor in fantasy? Yes! I don't think I'm a very funny person, but I try to put at least some humor in my stories. If someone is laughing or rolling their eyes because of something someone did, it relieves tension or helps the characters seem more realistic. Humor should be everywhere. It makes life more fun.
Q: Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre?
A: I will probably stick to YA, but I have a few sub-genre's I plan to try. One story I have in the works now is more of a modern mystery/adventure. I enjoy historical fiction with some romance, so I might try something like that as well.
Fill in the blank favorites -
Favorite Dessert: Pretty much anything with chocolate, but I'd be happy with a pile of homemade chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk.
City: Well, I guess I'd choose Anaheim, CA, because I LOVE Disneyland.
Type of hero: I like a guy who is strong and confident, but reserved, at least at first. I like him to discover more about himself throughout the story, especially when a girl is there to help him.
Type of heroine: A girl who can take care of herself, but who knows she may still need help from friends and loved ones.
Q: What are some of your favorite things to do?
A: I mentioned TV and cooking already. I also enjoy drawing/painting, playing the piano, spending time with family, and snuggling with my husband.
Q: Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book?
A: Not sure I have a favorite author, but my favorite books are the Harry Potter books, especially Prisoner of Azkaban.
Q: Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?
A: Rick Riordan, Brandon Mull, James Dashner, Suzanne Collins, to name a few.
Q: Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?
A: The Vessel series has been in the works for about thirteen years, so right now, Taela would probably be my favorite book. It's sounds corny, but she has been a great friend. As for a favorite hero/herione character, I really enjoyed creating Zain Tamohar, the king from my first book The Bride. He's complex and flawed, and despite the rumors that surround him, it's easy to feel sympathetic toward him. He's pretty awesome.
Q: What book for you has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun?
A: The Bride took me about six months to write. It came pretty easily. As I mentioned before, Taela has taken me thirteen years to get published, either because I just wasn't happy with one thing or another, or I wanted to completely change a scene or two. It has been frustrating, but also fun. This story is my baby. I submitted it to publishers several years ago with no success. It wasn't until a few years ago that I started looking into self-publishing, which has turned out to be just what I needed.
Q: Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?
A: It could be, and has been, any of those things. It just depends on what pops into my head.
Q: Have you experienced writer's block---> If so, how did you work through it?
A: Heck yes. Early on there were times when I didn't write for weeks at a time. Even though I had several stories I could work on, my brain would just stop working with me. I'm not really sure how I pushed through it. Probably focusing on other things I enjoy, knowing that the blocks wouldn't last forever. I don't have them as often now, which I'm grateful for. Though, I still might take a few days off just to collect my thoughts and come back with fresh eyes.
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
A: Hearing from readers who enjoy my books is very rewarding. I already like all my stories, so it's nice to know other people do too.
Q: If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?
A: I honestly don't know. It has been such a big part of my life for so long, I don't know what I else I could do.
Q: Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
A: Don't stop writing. Find people to read what you have so you can get an idea of things you can improve on and things that you're awesome at. If you've been rejected by publishers, as most authors have been, look into self-publishing. I used lulu.com and Kindle Direct Publishing. Both have been pretty simple to use and have the potential to reach a wide audience. The hardest part, though, has been marketing. I'm not an outgoing person, so I have to find little ways to branch out and find people who might enjoy what I write.