I mentioned last week that I devoured Miss Mabel’s School for Girls by Katie Cross (MMSFG). She did a fantastic job of getting me( and a slew of other readers) to turn page after page after page well past our bedtimes. The next book in the series, Antebellum Awakening releases on October 15th, 2014 but, she sent out some pre-release hard copies yesterday (with some other series-related-super secret-swag) and one should arrive in my mailbox MONDAY! I can’t even stand it. I may just stakeout the entrance to my little community to nab it from the mailman as soon as he makes the turn. Yeah people, that good.
There’s no way I could compete with the synopsis she shares on her site for the series.
See what I mean? After finishing the 1st book, and the novella, The Isadora Interviews (not in that order) I had to find out the method to this lovely madness. You know me, without hesitation, and whilst in the outpatient surgery waiting room, I sent off these questions to Katie, and she, succinctly responded. Are you freaking out? I was. I had to know these answers. Let’s get started.
Me: Where did you study?
Katie: I’m actually a pediatric RN. The most studying I did for writing was a creative writing class.
Me: What was your process for writing this book? The dialog in MMFG is excellent. How did you manage to keep the flow of words and action so seamless? What’s your method?
Katie: My only process is to have no process. I like the lack of boundaries and the “chaoticness” of it. My extroverted adventurous self really thrives in a place where I feel there are no boundaries. (Which is why it’s all in my head. 😉 For MMSFG, I basically just sat down and wrote. Then rewrote x5000.
The dialogue is a lot of work to sound natural. My editors gave me great advice when they told me to read everything out loud, especially dialogue. It really changes the way you write. There were several times I read a conversation out loud and thought, “No one would say it like that!” So that was a huge thing. The other thing with dialogue is that I change and change and change until it feels right. I also try and reflect personality through what they say. (<—- longest answer ever.)
Me: Complete awe.
Me: Did you know it was going to be a series when you started?
Katie: No! I didn’t even know it would be a novel. It was an entry for a 1,000 word contest that just kind of grew into 94,000 words. 🙂
Me: Maybe I should enter some 1,000 word contests.
Me: For words like Samhain and circulis, that are important in your novel, how did those come to you?
Katie: Samhain is a pagan holiday that Wiccan’s celebrate, and the circlus I’m pretty sure I found on Google’s English to Latin converter. I use a lot of latin in this book as a basis for things. Kind of awesome.
Me: I should have finished that 7AM Latin class my mother made me take in 6th grade. O mihi praeteritos referat si Iuppiter annos. (If only Jupiter would restore me those bygone years. – Virgil Aeneid VIII.560)
Me: Did you study the Wiccan religion to gain insight for your story or did you crowdsource?
Katie: I did some studying, but nothing intense. I had a really good friend named Terry Chartier actually send me an entire box of Wiccan stuff that she used in the past, like tarot cards, Solitary Witch by Silver Ravenwolf, and a few other awesome books that help me piece together a culture without the religion.
Me: That’s why it was all so real! Write this down.
Me: You have your own publishing company, right? What made you do that? What books are you looking to publish?
Katie: I’m a workaholic sometimes, so I just decided to start a company, yes. Crazy, right? I tend to think so. It’s called Antebellum Publishing, LLC and I got the name from the world in my books. It’s been a lot of work, but I originally decided to do it to give myself ownership of this process, and for tax reasons as well. I will only be publishing my own books under AP . . . for now.
Me: So I got a shot, right?
Me: Advice for me?
Katie: Write. Just write. Oh, and then read. A lot. If you do those two things, you’ll be successful. 🙂
Me: I got the reading down, that’s for sure, now I need to get back to writing.
Thank you Katie for sharing a bit of your process with me. I pray for you everyday (and for your Grandma too).
If you all would like to catch up so we can go cuckoo for cocoa puffs over Antebellum Awakening together, get thee to her Amazon author page or better yet, her Smashwords author page and gobble ’em up. Tell her Cristina sent you!
See you all next week!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!