Thursday, November 1, 2012

Meet Kate Monroe

This post was supposed to come out on the 29th of October, but things went screwy. So officially, the Coffin Hop is over, but since I'm late with this one, I'm going to extend it for my blog. Comments on this post will still get you an entry to win my prizes.

I met Kate when I accepted her story, "Lullaby" for inclusion in Satan's Toybox: Demonic Dolls. It's one of my favorite stories in the anthology. So when I was approached about helping her out with a blog tour for her new book, The Falcon's Chase, I was thrilled. So, I'm interviewing her today. Stay put after the interview and I'll give you all the info about the book!

How long has writing been your passion?

Ever since I was a child I’ve been creating stories. I used to make up stories for my little brother when we went to bed, and then at the age of six I painstakingly wrote and bound my first book; a twenty page wonder about the adventures of a budgie named Snowy. Since then my passion for all things literary has grown exponentially. The more I read, the more I wanted to write, and I finally took the plunge two years ago to take up writing as a career.

What was the first thing you ever had published?

The short story ‘Lullaby’ in the Angelic Knight Press anthology, Satan’s Toybox: Demonic Dolls. When Stacey and Blaze accepted it for publication, it was a massive validation that other people saw value in what I was writing and that I’d made the right choice in sharing my work with others. I will forever be grateful to them for giving me what was at the time a much-needed confidence boost!

Do you write full time or do you also have a day job?

I’m fortunate enough that I can now write full-time, but in the past I’ve squeezed my writing time in around all sorts of jobs, from waitressing to music photography and everything in between. These days the only other demand on my time is my three-year-old daughter, but some days it feels like she’s a full-time job in herself!

What is your writing routine like?

In a word, erratic! I take any and every chance to write that I can get; sometimes I’ll be sat at the computer at 7am with a steaming cup of coffee, making the most of the early morning peace, and then other times I’ll stay awake until 4am writing until my head is finally empty enough to sleep. The only constant in my routine is that I have to write something every day, no matter where I am. If I don’t it’s impossible to sleep, so wherever I go I carry a notebook and pen with me to scribble things down as and when they come to me.

Where did the idea for this novel come from?

It actually evolved from a single sentence that I wrote for another novel entirely; the first of a trilogy that’s still under wraps. The sentence I wrote didn’t fit the character I originally drafted it for, but as my finger hovered over the delete button it grew wings all of its own and, within the space of an hour, The Falcon’s Chase was born. It was by far the easiest story I’ve ever written, as it seemed to spring fully-formed from that one sentence.

What drew you to this particular genre?

For a long time now I’ve had a lot of love for steampunk and all its sub genres. It’s a very liberating genre to write in, for there are very few strict rules; steampunk is all about letting your imagination take you on a journey into an alternative history. Add in a twist of tantalisingly anachronistic technology like the nanobots in The Falcon’s Chase and you’ve got a genre that’s utterly compelling. It’s no wonder that it’s taken off so spectacularly in the last few years.

What do you hope readers will take away from your book when they finish it?

I’d be delighted if it inspired them to look further into the steampunk genre. There’s something there for everyone, especially sci-fi and fantasy fans; William Gibson’s The Difference Engine is probably the definitive starting place, and from there it’s really just a question of personal taste as to where to go next.

Who are some authors that you admire?

I devoured the classics when I was younger, but the one book I returned to time and time again was Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The way that he defined an entire genre with one novel is staggering; every vampire novel written since has aspired to match that, and Dracula will forever be the standard to which other vampires are compared. From current authors, the undeniable stand-out to me is Neil Gaiman. The sheer scale and ambitious depth of the stories he writes never fail to impress me, and he even wrote an episode of Doctor Who last year that won a Hugo award. His portrayal of Idris in that episode was incredible, and his characterization is an absolute inspiration.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

To improve your writing, read. It’s frightening how many authors think that it’s not necessary to read anything beside their own work, for in my opinion it’s crucial if you’re ever to improve.

What advice would you give to aspiring or new authors?

Write for yourself, no-one else. If you’re not writing what you genuinely want to, then what you produce won’t be as good as it could possibly be. Writing to fill a niche in the market or simply to publish in a genre that sells well shouldn’t be the driving aspiration for a new author; write because you have a tale to tell, and stay true to it. Only by doing so will you truly connect with your prose, and then the words will flow.

Kate's Bio:

My name is Katherine Seren Monroe – but when call me, you can call me Kate. I’m a redheaded author and editor who lives in a quiet and inspirational corner of southern England. I have penchants for the colour black, horror and loud guitars, and a fatal weakness for red wine.

I suppose I’m what you would call a geek. I love Doctor Who and Star Trek (Tom Baker will forever be my Doctor, and Patrick Stewart my captain). Gary Oldman’s turn as Dracula fostered a lifelong passion for Victoriana and the world of steampunk, but despite the fact that I specialised in history and literature, my one great love is for science. Nothing entrances me quite as much as theorising on all the mysteries our world has yet to reveal.

My interests in writing range from horror to erotica, taking in historical romance, steampunk and tales of the paranormal on the way; whatever I dreamed about the night before is liable to find its way onto the page in some form or another…

You can find Kate's blog here. Kate can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

The Book:

Captain Reuben Costello is just hours away from facing his execution when the unlikeliest of rescuers storms into his cell. Lady Arianne Dalton needs the assistance of the infamous Black Swan to flee England and all its constraints. He finds himself more than willing to help the fiercely independent Ari in exchange for his freedom.

However, when they come to find their fates inextricably tangled in a plot that threatens the very foundations of British society, they are swept away on a chase that puts not only their lives, but their hearts at risk - and neither of them can defy the wild and stormy ride they find upon the Falcon.

Author: Kate Monroe

Publisher: Pink Pepper Press

Number of Pages: 298 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0615695662
ISBN-10: 0615695663

Release Date: October 5, 2012

You can find The Falcon's Chase on Amazon and CreateSpace.



DarcNina said...

Kate is a wonderful writer, and an even nicer person! Great interview!

Spot said...

She is indeed, on both counts! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!