Katrina Morgan interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Mar 1, 2016 2:08:28 PM
Katrina Morgan interview with David Alan Binder
Katrina Morgan author of: Echoes in the Walls and These Animals Are Killing Me
The best source of information about me is my website: www.Katrinabooks.com
There are links to both books on Amazon, a link to my blog (Toolgirl2) on Tumblr, a sample chapter, contact information etc. I use my name for sites like Goodreads and Book Daily and Twitter.
1. How do you pronounce your name? Just like it looks. Think of Hurricane Katrina….that’s me
2. Where are you currently living? Westfield Center Ohio which is a tiny town south of Cleveland, west of Akron. It’s rural out this way. For example, the high school has a “Drive your tractor to school day.” Honest.
3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? When my daughter turned sixteen. I felt compelled to write her a letter and in doing so, in sharing my thoughts and emotions, a magical door opened, and I knew I wanted to write. Until then, I thought I was more inclined toward teaching and public speaking, but once the idea of being an author was explored, I could no more turn off the words than I could stop the sun from shining.
4. How long on average does it take you to write a book? So far, I have to admit it taking years. The first book was born during major restorations of an 1840’s farmhouse. We fell into bed exhausted each night so the story idea stayed in my head for a long while. We didn’t even have heat upstairs so setting up a place to write, or even having Wi-Fi was a distant dream. Once I began, the words came easily, slamming them on paper just to capture them. The edits though? Wow. I allowed myself to get too bogged down and lost a year in formatting, tweaking, rearranging the order of the chapters, deleting and starting over. Then I sent it to an editor and lost more time. Then came the process of publishing—a foreign and alien world to me at the time. The stories in the second book, “These Animals Are Killing Me” were happening during the writing and publishing of the first book. I knew they could stand on their own, but couldn’t do both and just jotted down ideas, and stuffed them in a drawer. Now, five years later they’ve emerged into a book of their own. The long time frame between occurred because life gets in the way. I became a caregiver for ailing parents, was still raising kids, working, etc. and the writing took a back seat.
5. What is your work schedule like when you're writing? I’m one of those annoying morning persons who hops out of bed and is off and running. I zoom through my chores, emails, paperwork, and then settle into my desk. I find I work best from 8:30 am to about 11 am. Then my brain is shot, or I’m distracted and I need to walk away.
6. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? I still hard edit, meaning I print out my work, slash through errors and write comments on the side, in red ink.
7. Did you self publish or have a publisher?
a. If publisher, who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?
I self published both. I tried to get an agent but because I am untried they were nervous particularly given the type of books I’ve written—Non-fiction, humor, inspirational. Agents thought I was in too niche a market
8. How do you feel about eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing? I think eBooks are important because the newer generation of readers (teen to 25 years old) grew up with technology and wants things faster and at their fingertips. I believe a good author should offer both types of media because there is still a vast majority of adults who prefer the feel of a book in their hands.
9. What process did you go through to get your book published? Research, research, research. An author should continually read. What other books are like mine? What are the similarities? The differences? What are adults reading? Will my book appeal to the YA crowd? Who is my audience? Once those questions are answered you can better find an agent or publishing house to fit your work. I spent six months just researching, making lists, working on my synopsis so I could better present the book as a package. And after all of that, still ended up self –publishing. Jeez!
10. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? The ideas for the first two books were easy. I was living those experiences, and telling the stories to friends and family so putting them on paper felt natural. I think that’s true for most authors. We start with Non-fiction, Memoir, because it is familiar. It is a good place to learn and practice and develop our voice.
11. When did you write your first book and how old were you? I started it when I was 39 finally got it on the shelves in 201l, five years later. You’ll have to do the math.
12. What do you like to do when you're not writing? I have to be busy. I’m in the yard doing landscaping, or re-doing a room, volunteering in the community, involved in a fundraiser, or taking care of my in-laws, or hanging out with my family or friends. I only sit still when I’m writing.
13. What does your family think of your writing? Initially, I think they considered it to be a hobby. I was distracted, my time was used differently. There was real concern about how they’d be presented as they are character in the first two books. Now that the books are printed, they accept my new vocation and are actually really proud.
14. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That I could actually do it from beginning to end. Confidence, initially, was low.
15. How many books have you written? 2 Which is your favorite? I’m impartial I like them both!
16. Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer? The best advice I ever read or received was to write every day; even if it was to write about how much trouble I was having writing. If so, what are they? I strongly suggest authors be in book clubs or writing groups if for no other reason than to seep themselves in the writing world. I have found several group discussions on LinkedIn to be very informative. I also took out an online subscription to Writer’s Digest and it’s been invaluable. They send out weekly newsletters, offer online tutorials, link to editorials from other writers and agents and publishers. I still learn from those resources.
17. Do you hear from your readers much? When the books are first released, I do hear from readers who want to review or ask questions. What kinds of things do they say? The most common questions are how THEY can publish a book they have in mind. There’s obviously a hunger out there to create and publish.
18. Who is your main audience for your books? Adult women aged 30-50
19. What do you think makes a good story? Characters are key. Your audience needs to really know them, like them, hate them, etc.
20. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? I wanted to drive the trash compactor truck
21. How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book? As of now, I’m personally involved in the first two books. My next one though? It will be my first leap into Fiction. The idea came from my involvement in non-profit organizations, particularly the Battered Women’s Shelter.
22. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? These stories were the ones I was telling at baseball games, or writing up for the local newspapers. Because the response was good, they became books. Some are humorous and run more along the lines of memoir or essay. The others are more informative and inspirational. As I said, I’m also working on a fictional work. If you write more than one field or genre, how do you balance them? I have to have a day between the different books I’m writing. I will go run all the errands I’ve neglected, work outside, something to make a clear and physical break between my non-fiction and fictional works.
23. What do you think most characterizes your writing? Humor. Good dialogue. I tend to write the way I speak and live.
24. What inspires you? How much time do you have? A great sunrise? A sky full of stars. An unexpected act of kindness. Humans clamoring for a better life. My children. The dumb things my animals do for attention. A good song. Funny roadside billboards. I’m open and eclectic and a bit free-spirited. I go where I am moved.
25. How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Hard work, a lot of luck, tripping over a lot of obstacles, picking myself back up and always, always finding the humor
26. Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? I love Nora Roberts for her handling of dialogue. I love Grisham for a deep sense of intrigue. I Love Anthony Doerr for his ability to weave beautiful words and paint a picture. I read from all genres and authors so I wouldn’t say there is a particular influence and yet a piece of all those writings is within me and I suspect that is true for all authors.
27. Are you a full-time or part-time writer? Part time How does that affect your writing? It works for me because I’m fairly certain I have adult ADD! I could never sit and write all day.
28. What are some day jobs that you have held? Long ago in a galaxy far away I was a corporate trainer. Did any of them impact your writing? I think that job was pivotal in allowing me to become a writer. I wrote a lot of memos, developed a whole set of training manuals and reference material, and more importantly conducted new hire trainee classes lasting six to eight weeks. Having to teach and keep the interest of a group of people day in and day out is not an easy thing. Harder yet, because they were adults. It is there I honed my speaking skills, added in the humor, told stories to break the monotony, and learned to be more precise in writing.
29. What makes your book stand out from the crowd? I believe I write the nonsensical things which happen to most adults in any given day. I take what should be mundane and spin it with humor and shine a different light on the events.
30. What are some ways in which you promote your work? Marketing is hard work. It’s an endless circle in which you start in the center--local (newspapers) grow regional (larger papers and radio) and push national (Professional Press release, trying for a hook that will draw in a company or interested third party.) I am on the computer a lot linking Amazon, my own website, Tumblr, Goodreads, Book Daily, Twitter and Facebook. Marketing in and of itself could be a full time job.
31. What do you like to read in your free time? I read a little bit of everything…Best sellers, romance, non-fiction, poetry. A lot of it is determined by various book clubs I’m in, or recommendations.
32. What projects are you working on at the present? I’m working on my first Fiction Novel entitled Autonomous; A story of an abused woman who takes on the identify of one of her patients in order to escape. Think Sleeping With the Enemy or Safe Haven with a lot more emphasis on the escape. When the protagonist makes her escape, she has only a six hour window. There is quite a bit of cat and mouse intensity.
33. If you had one thing you could do over (concerning writing, publishing, etc.), what would it be and why? I think I would remind myself to slow down. You can get so caught up in the writing you forget to enjoy the moment. You can get so caught up in the publishing you overlook small details. In my case, I wish I’d put the page numbers in the middle of the page instead of the corner. I wish I’d left a little more white space on the pages. Sounds silly but those details are equally as important.
34. What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Actually, you asked it when you wondered how my family reacts to the writing. They are featured pretty heavily in the first two books and no one has ever asked their reaction.
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