IMG_3703Kat Flannery has loved writing ever since she was a girl. She is often seen jotting her ideas down in a little black book. When not writing, or researching, Kat enjoys snuggling on her couch with a hot chocolate and a great book.

Her first novel, CHASING CLOVERS became an Amazon’s bestseller in Historical and Western romance. This is Kat’s second book, and she is currently hard at work on the third.

When not focusing on her creative passions, Kat is busy with her three boys and doting husband.

Find the author on the web:

Facebook / Twitter / Blog / Website

Why don’t you begin by telling us a little about yourself?

I’m a wife and mother to three boys. I enjoy reading, researching and one of my favorite things to do is spend time with my family.

When did you decide you wanted to become an author?

It wasn’t a matter of deciding. I’ve written since I was young. As I got older and had children the urge just got stronger. I felt incomplete if I wasn’t jotting down a short story or poem. The fulfillment I feel when writing cannot be explained. As Adrian Meade said, “I write because I have to.”

Do you have another job besides writing?

Yes, I do. I am a freelance writer. I work for different companies writing web content and marketing materials.

Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?

I didn’t start reading until I was in my teens and I haven’t stopped since. I enjoyed a good western romance, anything by Louis L’Amour and of course Stephen King.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00066]Tell us a bit about your latest book, LAKOTA HONOR, and what inspired you to write such a story.

This book is very dear to me because of the emotions both main characters go through. Nora and Otakatay are outcasts. Each deal with their fate differently, one choosing to love no matter what the cost, and the other choosing to hate. We are all victims of being judged, ridiculed or bullied because of the way we look and we’ve also been the ones to inflict those wounds on others.  I wanted to write a story that shed a little light on this subject.

Fate has brought them together…but will a promise tear them a part?

Otakatay is hired to kill the witkowin-crazy women. A deadly bounty hunter, he has found his last victim in timid healer Nora Rushton. Marked as a witch, Nora uses her gift to heal those in need, and the bounty hunter is one of them. Will the desire to complete his promise drive him to kill her, or will the kindness he sees in her blue eyes push him to be the man he once was?

Nora and Otakatay must fight for their freedom in a time when race and discrimination are a threat and innocence holds no ground.

How would you describe your creative process while writing this book? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline?

I always do a rough outline. Once I have the story in my head from beginning to end, I write down pivotal points I need to hit. Things change as you get going, but with an outline I can write until I’m finished.

Did your book require a lot of research?

There is always a great deal of research that goes into a novel, but with this particular one I did a lot. With all historical pieces you want to make sure history is accurate at the time of the story.  I needed to research certain facts like when the Indians were all on reservations, what a working coal mine looked like and how it operated back then. I needed to know the Lakota language as my protagonist speaks it throughout the novel and I researched the Salem Witch Trials.

What was your goal when writing this book?

When I write anything my goal is to reach my readers on a personal level. I strive to relate to them through emotions and actions my characters go through. I chose to write stories that have a message woven throughout them.

Who is your target audience?

This book can be read by everyone, but main target would be women, and young adult.

What will the reader learn after reading your book?

The reader will always get a bit of history when reading my books, but with this one they’ll also learn some Lakota words and phrases. On a personal level I hope the reader sees that whatever year it is hate still exists and that only through love and the yearning for change will things be different in the future.

What type of writer are you—the one who experiences before writing, like Hemingway, or the one who mostly daydreams and fantasizes?

I’d have to say I’m a bit of both. With my first book CHASING CLOVERS, I didn’t lose a child but I have children and it’s a mother’s worst fear. I wrote my protagonist to feel and act the way I would in the same situation.  My grandmother lost two children, and was the inspiration for that novel. With LAKOTA HONOR we’ve all experienced being judged, or picked on. We’ve all been bullied in our lives and so I pulled from those experiences and placed them into my story. The back story and some of the other characters are fantasized.

Agatha Christie got her best ideas while eating green apples in the bathtub. Steven Spielberg says he gets his best ideas while driving on the highway. When do you get your best ideas and why do you think this is? My best ideas come to me in the middle of the night, or just before bed. I think this is because my brain is shutting down, I’m relaxed. I keep a note pad beside my bed for those moments.

Do you get along with your muse? What do you do to placate her when she refuses to inspire you?

We have a love hate relationship. Once I’m into a story we work well together, however when I’m in the plotting stages and if there is too much going on with my other job and at home, then her and I do not mesh well. I use music, or I watch a movie, sometimes getting enough sleep helps too. But I feel that music works best.

From the moment you conceived the idea for the story, to the published book, how long did it take?

One year. I wrote the novel in 2 ½ months, put it away for a while and then edited it for another couple months before submitting it to my publisher.

Describe your working environment.

Ha! I have a desk but I never use it. I write at my kitchen table or in my bedroom. I keep a notepad with me at all times to jot down things I need to insert or points I need to hit that day.

What types of scenes give you the most trouble to write?

Action scenes. I’m an emotional writer and I put a lot of myself into those scenes so they come very easy to me, but action scenes where my character is physically fighting or there is a lot going on, those take me a while to flush out.

Do you write non-stop until you have a first draft, or do you edit as you move along?

I only edit minor things within the story its self, but I generally write non-stop until I’m finished.

They say authors have immensely fragile egos… How would you handle negative criticism or a negative review?

I’ve had negative reviews and criticism. I understand that not everyone is going to like my work, it’s a fact. I try to take into account what the reviewer is saying and if I agree I will generally try to fix it with my next book. I don’t take nasty ones personally either. Reviews good and bad are all a part of the business.

As a writer, what scares you the most?

Not being able to write. I have so many stories in my head that at times I feel overwhelmed with them. The only thing that calms the beast is to sit down and write.

When writing, what themes do you feel passionate about?

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I chose to write about love and how strong that one emotion is.

Are you a disciplined writer?

If you want this as your career you better be. Yes, I am.

How do you divide your time between taking care of a home and children, and writing? Do you plan your writing sessions in advance?

I write when the kids are in school and late in the evening. I do work, but I am not busy with that all the time, so I plan my next book around that. When it comes to the kids and husband, they come first.

When it comes to writing, are you an early bird, or a night owl?

I can be both. If I love the way my story is going I’ll be rise early and stay up late.

Do you have any unusual writing quirks?

Yes, I do. I like to have my foot heater on while writing and I listen to music. I also burn scented candles.

What is your opinion about critique groups? What words of advice would you offer a novice writer who is joining one? Do you think the wrong critique group can ‘crush’ a fledgling writer?

Critique groups can be great and they can be a writer’s nightmare. If you have a good one, then you will learn from them, if you have a bad one, get out.  My advice would be to sit in on a few meetings before you decide to join. Watch how they interact with one another and what types of comments are being said during a critique.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? What seems to work for unleashing your creativity?

Yes, unfortunately. I put everything away and spend time with my family. I relax read a few books and try to forget about it.

Technically speaking, what do you have to struggle the most when writing? How do you tackle it?

Definitely grammar. Commas annoy me and the rules that apply to them. I keep the Chicago Manual of Style beside me during the editing stage. I also use an editor.

How was your experience in looking for a publisher? What words of advice would you offer those novice authors who are in search of one? My experience was and should be like every writer’s. I worked very hard for years at finding a publisher. There were rejections, as there should be, and I took those papers and learned from them. Do your research.  Don’t assume a publisher is going to look at you if you haven’t researched them, read a few of their books and know what type of genres they publish. Make sure your work is polished, don’t hand in messy unedited stuff.  Remember every publisher knows each other so always be professional and have respect. Determination and the willingness to learn is the key to success in this business.

What type of book promotion seems to work the best for you?

I like to do social media. I can cover a lot of different venues from my laptop in one day.

Any favorite books or authors? I love Stephen King and Misery is one of my favorite books. Mr. King has a way of weaving his words into a haunting mesmerizing tune that will stay with you for a long time.

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

Never give up.

Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?

http://kat-scratch.blogspot.ca/

http://www.katflannery-author.com/

Do you have another book on the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?

Yes, I do. I am currently writing a historical western romance, Civil War novella.

As an author, what is your greatest reward?

Emails or letters from my readers. Nothing beats that!

Anything else you’d like to say about yourself or your work?

We’ve covered a lot of ground. I’d like to thank you for having me and to extend an invitation to email me. I love hearing from fans.

Thanks for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here!

 

 

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