This blog is for all writers, published or not, that want to connect with other writers and who want to improve their craft.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Author Interview with Katella Stegmann

1. Why do you write?
So many reasons. It’s hard to narrow it down. I’ve been writing since I was able to scribble in crayon in preschool. It was the only thing I was ever able to focus on when I was in school. I was a trouble-making ADD kid and the only way my teachers could get me to sit still was to stick a pencil in my hand and tell me to write. They knew that if they made me use my imagination I wouldn’t be riding down the school hallway on an electric floor buffer or using the kiln in the art classroom as my own personal microwave.

2. How many books have you written?
Published? Three. And the fourth is on its way. Not published? I have hundreds of stories I’ve written over the years. My family and friends were all forced to be dragged into my adventures when I was growing up. I still don’t think they have forgiven me for that.

3. What inspired you to write your (latest) book?
I wrote my series ten years ago, but it wasn’t until recently that I got the stones to publish and share my insane ramblings with the world. I wanted to get my voice out there, and to overcome my insanely neurotic fear of showing my work to others.

4. What is your favorite genre to read?
Humor. You have humor in your books and you have won me over for life.

5. Is your writing style at all influenced by those of your favorite authors?
I think we are definitely shaped by our environment. I will be honest, I did not read a lot of books when I was growing up. Getting me to read a book was like pulling teeth. I was more of a television and movies baby. I was always fascinated by some of the scripts I read. Joss Whedon in particular had a style that made me adore his shows. Bill Lawrence and Christopher Titus always knocked it out of the park on their scripts, too. But just because I’m a giant TV nerd doesn’t mean I don’t read once in a while! I have just recently discovered the world of books. Seeing the last Harry Potter movie twisted my arm into checking out J.K. Rowling’s fantastic books. I have always admired her. I just finished reading, “The Help” too. I could not put it down. I love strong witty characters!

6. Which is your favorite book that you’ve written?
Naughty, naughty! Getting me to play favorites! I have really enjoyed my characters throughout the series. I originally created The Barking Mad Tale of a Teenage Werewolf series with a direction set in mind.
The first book, “An American Werewolf in Idaho” is all about the sassy protagonist Cassie Hill and how she deals with the fact that she has been assigned a duty to protect her town from evil-doers while trying very hard not to fall in love with the new guy in town, Jackson Tucker.
The second book, “A Tale of Two Shih Tzus” delves more into Jackson’s past and his world. The novel follows Cassie and Jackson through an obstacle ridden journey while they deal with the fact that there is an impending battle.
The third, the most recent, “The Labrador of the Rings” is about character growth and learning to take off your blinders when it comes to love. I think if I had to choose I would say book three is my favorite because of the growth that takes place.
And of course, the fourth and final novel is always going to hold a special place in my heart…because of the way it all concludes. There is all out war between good and evil…and the book gets intense. In this war, anyone is fair game.

7. What is your opinion of the art of writing?
Honestly, not to sound corny, but the art of writing probably saved my life. It has opened all kinds of doors and has pushed me to become a better person. It’s the healthiest outlet I have ever had. I think that writing is good for the soul.

8. What advice would you give someone who is just beginning their own novel?
Write what you feel and have fun with it. Never get discouraged. Believe in yourself, believe in your writing. Learn to accept constructive criticism, but don’t compromise your story just to please a few people. It is impossible to please everyone. So take a few risks and stand by them.

9. Do you have any funny and / or interesting stories about how you’ve come up with plots or characters?
Generally the most outrageous and idiotic stunts my characters pull are based on my childhood. I did a lot of stupid stuff when I was younger, but if I had played it safe I wouldn’t have such harrowing tales to tell!
I also have to give credit where credit is due: my nerdy friends inspired me to throw a little sci-fi trivia and pop culture into the books. I’m a nerd, but I’m a bad nerd who doesn’t know Star Wars from Star Trek (don’t chase me with pitchforks!). I relied heavily on my friends to help me with the nerdy pop culture references. I can’t tell you how many time I texted my friends, “What happened in the Lord of the Rings again? Did Elijah Wood defeat Voldemort?” They just hang their heads and laugh at me.

10. Coke or Pepsi?
Water. I’m spazzy enough as it is without adding caffeine to the mix!

You can find Katella's books here (available in paperback too!), as well as keep up with her on Twitter and Facebook

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