MEET KATEMARIE COLLINS
Born in the late 60's, KateMarie has lived most of her life in the Pacific NW. While she's always been creative, she didn't turn towards writing until 2008. She found a love for the craft. With the encouragement of her husband and two children, she started submitting her work to publishers. When she's not taking care of her family, KateMarie enjoys attending events for the Society for Creative Anachronism. The SCA has allowed her to combine both a creative nature and love of history. She currently resides with her family and three cats in what she likes to refer to as "Seattle Suburbia".
KateMarie is an international best-selling author and has published twenty titles. She has been awarded a certificate of recognition for Author of the Year from Whole Life Activation in London, England. and has been asked to participate via donation to a prestigious convention in Scotland! Guarding Charon, the first in KateMarie's Waystation Guardians series, won fourth place in the 2016 Preditors and Editors Reader's Poll for Best Scifi/Fantasy Novel. I recently had the pleasure of reading Guarding Charon and Guarding Amber, and I highly recommend them. And, like all of KateMarie's legion of fans, I'm looking forward to the third book in the series, Guarding William.
When she's not writing, KateMarie acts as the Chief Operating Officer of Solstice Publishing. It was KateMarie who made the final decision on the wonderful cover art for Dear Heart, for which I will always be grateful, and, along with Kathi Sprayberry, KateMarie has been a generous source of inspiration and guidance for all of us who are part of the Solstice family.
I was very lucky to have landed an interview with KateMarie recently, and am pleased to share it here with you. Don't pass it up! It's chock full of good advice and savvy insights.
MY INTERVIEW WITH KATEMARIE COLLINS
TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW BOOK.
“Guarding Charon” is about someone breaking free of the expectations of those around her and finding who she really is. She gets help from an unexpected source, but she has to do a lot to get there.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE TITLE FOR THIS BOOK?
If I said that, I’d give away too much of the plot! LOL
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK? IS IT PART OF A SERIES?
I was working on another book and woke up one morning with the entire first chapter of this book in my head, including dialogue. When the muse talks that loud, I listen. LOL. I didn’t start with the idea of a series, but it’s morphed into that. Book 2 of The Waystation Guardians is “Guarding Amber” and came out in January of 2018. I’m working on book 3 now.
HOW MUCH OF YOUR BOOK IS BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES OR THOSE OF SOMEONE YOU KNOW?
There’s a bit of me in all of my characters. I can’t say I had the easiest childhood. LOL. For me, writing is a form of therapy. If I can have my characters deal with some of the same issues I’ve had – and come out on top – then it helps me move forward.
WHAT KIND OF RESEARCH WENT INTO WRITING YOUR BOOK?
More than normal. I tend to write high fantasy, where I control all aspects of the world. This one’s set in the US, and modern day. I had to research travel distances, etc, to keep the idea that this could happen there.
WHAT CRITERIA DID YOU USE WHEN SELECTING THE COVER FOR YOUR BOOK?
The moon and water were really central to the plot, so I went with those.
WAS THERE A MESSAGE IN YOUR BOOK THAT YOU WERE TRYING TO CONVEY?
To be true to who you are, not simply follow along with what others expect of you. It’s hard for some people to realize that they do know how to make themselves happy and that it’s not what the people around them think.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD CHANGE ABOUT YOUR BOOK?
I’ve learned to let go of my stories once they go up for sale. If I didn’t, I’d constantly second guess every single word.
IF YOUR BOOK WOULD BE MADE INTO A FILM, WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY THE LEADS?
Oh, my…let me think. Jennifer Lawrence for Grace/Amber, Chris Hemsworth for Charon, Summer Bishl for Kate, and John Goodman for Larry.
WHEN AND WHY DID YOU BEGIN WRITING?
I grew up in an environment that didn’t encourage creativity. It was always going to be ‘someone else’ that would get the shot, so I shouldn’t even try. I didn’t start writing until I was 40. I was playing in a D&D group that ended badly, and I didn’t like it. I wrote a short story to change how it ended, and it woke up my muse. I started to submit to publishers because I didn’t want my kids growing up thinking the way I did. The best way for me to teach them that the risk was worth taking was for them to see me do it.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST CONSIDER YOURSELF A WRITER?
Probably the moment I first held a print copy of my first book in my hands.
DESCRIBE YOUR WRITING STYLE.
I write by the seat of my pants. LOL. I start with a premise…get a vague idea of how I want it to end…and let the characters/plot evolve as I write.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST LESSON YOU HAD TO LEARN AS A WRITER?
That people don’t understand the amount of work it takes. They expect you to simply give them copies of your book because they want one.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE AS A WRITER?
Getting used to marketing and putting myself out there. I was raised where any sort of self-promotion was the worst sort of bragging/bad manners. As an author, I’m my own best promoter.
NOT INCLUDING FAMILY, WHO SUPPORTED YOUR EFFORTS TO BECOME A PUBLISHED AUTHOR?
Friends were a big support. Plus, I was fortunate in that an author I’d admired for a few decades, Nick Pollotta, took me under his wing. He really taught me a lot about the business before I got my first contract.
WHO WAS YOUR FIRST PUBLISHER AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THEM?
I’ve been with Solstice Publishing for 6 years now. They took a chance on my first book, and the 19 that followed. They have an amazing support system that lets me communicate with other authors and learn from what they’re doing. See what fits in my system.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW WRITERS?
The only difference between a published author and an unpublished one is that the published one hit send. You’re going to get rejections, that’s part of the business. Be ready to roll up your sleeves and do some work. New authors don’t sell overnight. It takes years of promoting and marketing to brand your name.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE WRITERS?
Nick Pollotta, David and Leigh Eddings, and Patricia Kennely Morrison.
WHAT ARE YOU READING NOW?
Nothing. Sigh. I have a REALLY bad habit of picking up other authors’ styles, so I don’t read much when I’m working on my own stuff.
WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
Pain, fear, and death.
IF YOU COULD MEET ANYONE WHO EVER LIVED, PAST OR PRESENT, WHO WOULD THAT BE?
I wish I could’ve met Nick Pollotta. He died in 2013, three weeks before my second book came out and I’d dedicated it to him.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOWS AND MOVIES?
Star Wars movies (all of them), Lord of the Rings (all of them), basically anything scifi or fantasy.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC TOUCHES YOUR SOUL?
I enjoy a diverse amount of music. I don’t listen to country or rap/hip-hop, but my playlists can go from 80’s pop to movie soundtracks.
WHAT DO YOU WANT WRITTEN ON YOUR HEADSTONE?
You’re tough. You can take it.
DO YOU HAVE A BLOG OR WEBSITE READERS CAN VISIT FOR UPDATES, EVENTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS?
I’ve got my blog: http://katemariecollins.wordpress.com
My Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/KateMarie-Collins/e/B008I67BBE
Or you can find me on Twitter: @DaughterHauk
And FaceBook: and
Or via email: .