Katie Marshall lives and works in Maine. She is a graduate of the University of Maine at Farmington and has three self-published books and her first novel with Black Opal Books. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can find and spending time with nature.
What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book(s), but nobody has? Write it out here, and then answer it.
What do you want your readers to get the most out of your main characters?
I wanted my main characters to be well rounded and imperfect. I want the reader to be able to sympathize with both main characters and to see that in certain circumstances all people have the capacity to be both bad and good.
What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?
My writing process isn't always consistent from book to book. I never outline and I always handwrite everything first because it helps me edit later. Some books I start at the beginning, some at the end, and some in the middle. I've never been able to write a story from start to finish in the order I place the chapters once completed. I do have this quirk that once I get started I dream about my characters all the time.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I don't normally get writer's block but when I do I'll put on music and do a few writing exercises to get my brain stimulated again. That seems to work for me.
What is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring authors?
Keep writing. It's that simple. Even if you think the story is crap and you have no idea where you're going, just keep pushing through because the results may surprise you.
What are your current/future projects?
I'm working on editing several projects in multiple genres. The one that needs the most work right now is my next thriller novel which features a woman who is obsessed with beauty and will stop at nothing to get it.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I don't really decide what to write based on genre. I don't like to feel boxed in. Most of the time my characters just appear in my head and I decide their stories are worth telling.
Are you traditional or self-published, and what process did you go through to get your book published?
I have self-published several pieces and have had a novel published with a traditional publisher and I can't decide which I prefer. Self-publishing is a lot of work and you feel out to sea in a rowboat the first time you do it. But it was nice to know that all creative decisions were complete my own. With a publisher, you have the extra help but you're also trusting someone else to take care of your baby and that can be scary. I am blessed with a great publisher who gave me a great deal of freedom in the choices made for the book.
What do you do if inspiration strikes in an inconvenient place like (car, restaurant, bathroom/shower, etc..) and how do you capture that moment before it gets away from you?
I try to have paper on hand to jot down notes for later and when I don't I try to keep repeating it to myself until I can get some. I have written on napkins before.
What are your thoughts on authors doing review swaps, paying for reviews, or reviews that just don’t seem right for the book?
I think it's great to have review swaps. I think it's hard for writers to find people willing to take the time to give reviews. I do have a hard time with paying a lot especially when I'm not sure the review will benefit me. It's hard to know what to do with reviews when you feel like they missed the point of the book but I take that on an individual basis.
What is your biggest fear about having a book published?
My biggest fear is that no one will read. I just want to make people think even if it's not the reaction I'm hoping for. I want them to take the time to read and discover.
If you have multiple books published what do you feel is your greatest work, why?
The Blackbird's Song was my first novel and I spent a great deal of time editing it. I know we're not supposed to pick favorites but it's definitely my baby.
What makes a good story, why?
A good story is built off of characters. If you have wonderful characters they will drive the story where it needs to be.
Have you ever had a book idea or characters come to you in a dream? What did you do about it afterwards?
I almost always have my characters come to me in dreams. I usually sort through the moments in my head and use the ones that I think aren't too over-the-top.
What are your thoughts about eBooks vs. print books?
I have an extensive collection of print books so I'm very supportive of the original format. I don't think there's anything like having a real book in your hand but I can understand why eBooks would be much more convenient.