Hello everyone! LITERAL ADDICTION and Book Monster Reviews are very happy to welcome the incredibly talented Katie MacAlister to our sites today!
Two years after she started writing fiction for real, she sold her first romance, “Noble Intentions”, Book #1 of the NOBLE series. More than thirty books after that, she is printed in numerous languages, is sold in audio as well as print, and has received several awards for her work. She’s a regular on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller lists, and even writes Young Adult fiction as Katie Maxwell.
The proud creator of several series, Katie can claim the NOBLE, SILVER DRAGONS, AISLING GREY: GUARDIAN, DARK ONES and LIGHT DRAGONS as her very own.
The NOBLE series has 3 books - “Noble Intentions” [Katie’s first sale], “Noble Destiny” and “The Trouble with Harry”.
The SILVER DRAGONS series has 3 books as well – “Playing with Fire”, “Up in Smoke” and “Me and my Shadow”.
The AISLING GREY series has a few more installments with 5 – “You Slay Me”, “Fire Me Up”, Light My Fire”, “Holy Smokes”, and the novella in the Anthology, “Death’s Excellent Vacation”.
Her two most recent series, DARK ONES and LIGHT DRAGONS, have 12 and 2 stories respectively.
The DARK ONES series consists of “A Girl’s Guide to Vampires”, “Sex and the Single Vampire”, “Sex, Lies and Vampires”, Even Vampires get the Blues”, a novella in the “Just One Sip” anthology (re-released this year as “Bring Out Your Dead”), “The Last of the Red Hot Vampire”, a novella in “My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon”, “Zen and the Art of Vampires”, “Crouching Vampire Hidden Fang”, a story in “Cupid Cats”, “Confessions of a Vampire’s Girlfriend”, and “In the Company of Vampires”. The 13th installment, “Much Ado about Vampires”, is due out on October 4th, and is one of the reasons we have Katie here today - to celebrate and promote.
Her LIGHT DRAGONS series has 2 available titles, “Love in the time of Dragons” and “The Unbearable Lightness of Dragons”. The 3rd book, “Sparks Fly”, is due out on May 1, 2012.
We know, it’s not nearly enough, and we STRONGLY suggest that all new readers check out the synopses for her entire backlist by clicking on any of the incredible Cover Art images here: http://katiemacalister.com/books/ , but for now, it’s going to have to do, because we would really like to get to the interview and learn some more about the amazing author behind these fantastic series, and hear some more about her books directly from her.
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Hi Katie! We’re so proud to have you here today, and are very excited to help you promote “Much Ado about Vampires” and talk about the LIGHT DRAGONS series a bit as well!
KATIE: Thank you for including me in the sites! I’m always thrilled to talk to readers about books, and especially so for those books that I know so well.
KATIE: Yak wool hates me (i.e. it refuses to let me spin it).
My favorite beverage of all time is Lemonade, followed closely by Fresca.
I sing Christmas songs all year long.
Q2): Your bio states that you started writing fiction after writing non-fiction and finding it too….er….confining!? Limited!? Was there any specific inspiration besides trying your hand at non-fiction that led you to the knowledge that being an author was what you wanted to do?
KATIE: Not really. Before I was asked to write the first non-fiction book, I was a dedicated reader, but it had never occurred to me to try writing my own stories. Once I did, though, it kind of unleashed the Kraken of my muse, and she started flooding me with story ideas.
KATIE: My friends, my dogs, and squirrels hanging upside down off their nut wagon (AKA the squirrel feeder).
Q4): What are some of your hobbies and/or things that you enjoy doing when you’re not writing or taking care of other author business?
KATIE: I spin wool using one of my sizeable number of drop spindles. Ostensibly, I also knit using the yarn I’ve just spun, but in reality, there’s more spinning going on than actual knitting. Plus, my knitting skills are pretty basic. I also enjoy doing Jacobean embroidery when I can’t spin due to wrist owies, and also I’m reproducing a freehand-drawn version of the Bayeaux Tapestry. Why? I have no idea. It’s just one of life’s mysteries.
KATIE: To Christian I would ask if he wouldn’t mind dumping Allie and taking me, instead. To Ben, I’d ask if he wouldn’t mind dumping Fran, and taking me instead. And to Iakovos, I’d ask him if he wouldn’t mind dumping Harry and taking me instead. Sadly, I know how they’d all answer, because I wrote them to be faithful and monogamous. Drat them.
Q6): Who are some of your favorite authors, and what are a couple titles in your TBR pile/list right now?
KATIE: I have very ecclectic reading tastes, so my faves vary depending on what book I’ve got my nose in at the moment. But some of the people in my Keeper Bookcase are Agatha Christie, E.F. Benson, Barry Hughart, Georgette Heyer, William Marshall, and Jane Austen. Romance and paranormal author faves include Christine Feehan, Sandra Hill, Lynsay Sands, Jo Beverly, Amanda Quick, and Charlaine Harris.
KATIE: The worst part is always writing the first draft. I love to edit, but getting that first version of the book down can sometimes be a big ole pain in the patootie. The best part is watching readers tackle the books—nothing gives me so much pleasure as talking to readers about the characters, and hearing what they liked (or disliked), and how they interpreted things. There’s nothing quite so much fun as sharing a book that you enjoy. J
Q9): What is a typical writing day like for you? Do you have a routine that you follow? Are there specific things that you have to have with you to get the creative juices flowing, etc?
KATIE: My dogs get me up early, so I’ve never been one to sleep in (despite my wishes to do so), which pretty much means I’m a morning person. I spend an hour or two just trying to wake up, and giving in to my dogs’ many and varied demands, then I stagger in to the computer and write for anywhere from three to six hours, depending on how many times I’m interrupted, etc.
I don’t have any routines that I have to do to write—if I started down that path, I just know I’d end up with some complext ritual that would take hours to complete, and which would leave me with no time to write. It would also probably include chocolate, but that’s neither here nor there.
I do sometimes listen to a soundtrack when I’m writing, depending on how distracted I am with things going on in the house. The soundtracks are unique to each book, and are made up of a collection of songs that I feel match the mood I want to be in while writing. They vary from classical music to Gregorian Chants, and everything in between (except country and western. I dislike C&W).
KATIE: I think my personal motto would make a great title for a movie based on my life: Life is life, and fun is fun, but it’s all so quiet when the goldfish dies. I would be highly disappointed if I was played by anyone but Queen Latifah. We aren’t the same ethnicity, but hey, she’s a woman who is proud of her curves, doesn’t take crap from anyone, and has the most gorgeous hair. How could you do any better than that?
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: O.K, now we’ll ask some questions directly related to books and your writing… J
KATIE: I think probably the dragons are my favorite series, if only because they had no established mythology (as far as dragons in human form go), so they were really totally my creation. They also strike me as more humorous than the vamps, although that’s probably subjective.
Q13): What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, logistical, etc) in bringing the DARK ONES to life?
KATIE: There weren’t a whole lot of challenges, to be honest. I did some research on various mythologies related to vampires, but I love research so that was more fun than anything. At the time I started writing the books, no one was doing humorous vamps, so I really didn’t have to work to keep my voice distinct from other authors. And the characters worked well in the growing Otherworld, so I didn’t have too many logistical challenges to cope with in that regards. It’s kind of boring to admit that they weren’t problematic to write, but that’s really the truth.
As a reader, I tend to prefer books that entertain me rather than ones to speak to a deep well of enlightenment, and that same preference powers my writing. So long as people enjoy the books, I’m happy, regardless of whether or not they see deeper meanings.
Q15): How many books do you have planned for each series (the DARK ONES and the LIGHT DRAGONS specifically)?
KATIE: The Light Dragons have three books in their story arc; there is no limit to the number of books for the vampires. They basically will keep going so long as they have readers.
Q16): Do you plan to write any more in any of your other series; AISLING GREY, SILVER DRAGONS, or NOBLE?
KATIE: Oh, I always have PLANS. Plans are easy to come by, it’s actually putting them into action that is quite, quite difficult.
I would LIKE to write another Noble book, and have considered writing one-offs for both Aisling and May, but it all depends on whether or not I can find the time to do them in between scheduled books.
So the quick answer is yes, I hope to do another historical book sometime in the somewhat near future; the others may have to wait until the time is right.
Q17): What can we look forward to as the DARK ONES and LIGHT DRAGONS series progress?
KATIE: The third and final Baltic book will be out in May with what I hope is an exciting (and satisfying) resolution to the issues pestering him and Ysolde. The next dragon book will most likely continue a few remaining story threads, but with another dragon sept.
The next vamp book, which I’m writing now, promises to be a good one with a look in the past of Ben’s life, and will feature his father as the hero, so it should be awesome fun to write. After that…it’s anyone’s guess. It all depends on what my muse wants to do. J
Q18): Way in the future, when you decided to stop writing and retire, what do you hope your thoughts are, and what do you hope other people’s thoughts will be, about the legacy you’re leaving behind?
KATIE: As I’ve mentioned, I write to entertain people, so my hope is that my books are remembered with much fondness for the hours of laughs and entertainment that they bring. I also wouldn’t mind being remembered for genius, and my ability to do a fabulous Edward G. Robinson impression, but I don’t hold out much hope for either.
Q19): Is there a question that you’ve thought it would be great to be asked in an interview but have never been asked? How would you answer that question?
KATIE: Yes. My question would be: What is it about the Tour de France that holds you in such thrall? And the answer would be: thighs. It’s all about the thighs, baby.
Q20): Is there anything specific you would like to say to your readers while we have you here today?
KATIE: Thank you, dear readers, for hanging on during this interview when you could be off doing other things like laundry, or planning dinner, or having fabulous sex. I much appreciate the attention, and hope that everyone enjoyed reading the interview as much as I enjoyed participating in it.
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Katie, thank you so much for being with us today. We’re VERY excited for “Much Ado about Vampires”! We’d love to have you back to promote the next installment of the LIGHT DRAGONS series, “Sparks Fly”, in May if you’re interested. Maybe we can even plan a date with Baltic, Ysolde, Jim and the crew for an interview if they’re free and would be willing!??
KATIE: They would be delighted, hams that they all are. And so would I. J