Friday, August 27, 2010

Katherine Camp Interview

I can't believe this week is over. I've had a great time hosting Katherine and her query for DRAGONSAYER and my hope is that she's learned a lot. I know I have.

Now we're going to take a little time to get to know Katherine better. By way of author interview. If this happens to be your first day here this week be sure to visit Katherine's blog and become a follower.

Now, to the questions!

When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always loved storytelling. I made up my first story when I was 6 about these people who lived on a prehistoric island with dinosaurs, and they had to hide in a network of caves and store up food for the winter when the T Rexes attacked. I started writing stuff down and telling people I wanted to be a writer at age 8.

How long have you been writing seriously?

I began writing with the intent to publish about 3 years ago. DRAGONSAYER is the 4th novel I finished, and the 2nd I queried.

What is your favorite thing about writing?

Being finished with the book… haha. Actually, I love creating worlds and characters and then seeing how other people breathe life into those things as they enjoy them. Someone cried once reading something I wrote, and that stunned me. It was amazing to move someone that deeply. That’s my favorite part.

What is the most difficult part?

Probably the writing itself. I am a champion procrastinator and I have a very, very short attention span, like a squirrel.

Did you ever play Dungeons and Dragons, the real pen and paper tabletop game?

My husband used to be a devoted D&D player in college, but I’ve never played. We haven’t been able to get a group together. I get to keep my geek card though b/c I have a WoW account. Also I play a lot of geeky board games like Settlers of Cataan.

What about computer or video games based on Dungeons and Dragons?

I played a lot of PC games as a kid, but I’m actually more of a sci fi person than a fantasy person. I played a lot of Star Wars PC/video games … I really like technology and the challenges it introduces.

Ooh I hope you played Knights of the Old Republic. Both iterations are two of my favorite all time games, on X-Box, PC or anything.

If you had to meet one of your characters in a dark alley who would you last want to meet, and why?

Anabis, one of the Seekers. They’re like evil Jedi/wizards plus mind control.

And which character would you want there with you for protection?

Kael, the leader of the Monarchist “task force.” He has enough magical ability to give him an edge in his reflexes, and he’s an excellent physical fighter. But he acts bookish and quiet, so people underestimate him initially and that gives him the advantage. Also he’s a good-looking dude.

Can you tell us a little more about DRAGONSAYER than what is revealed in your query? For example, a little about your characters, where the idea of them came from, what sparked your initial idea, and how you decided what genre it would be?

I first made up Kael and Briand when I was 17, and since then the story’s evolved a lot. There’s a bunch of characters… Kael is a member of the Monarchists. He’s made some mistakes and he’s sort of in trouble, so he’s been sent on this crazy mission to find this person who can control dragons.

Briand is this kid who Kael & Co knew while they were looking for the dragonsayer. Then she turns out to be the dragonsayer, much to everyone’s surprise/dismay. In my mind, the story is both about Briand finding her own strength/figuring herself out as well as being vindicated in the eyes of the group who doesn’t trust her or like her at first.

There’s a bunch of other characters—my favorite is Tagis, a snarky, insult-wielding fencing tutor/Monarchist rebel who HATES Briand but ends up having to teach her to fight.

Eventually when the Seekers ambush them, Briand has to make some choices about whether she’s going to save her own skin or help these people who used her. I really like stories about enemies who become friends, so that’s sort of what I’m going for with DRAGONSAYER.

Are you working on any other projects right now? If so, could you tell us a little about them? If not, have you got any ideas marinating?

After writing DRAGONSAYER I wrote three other books while I was query/waiting on replies, one of which is a DRAGONSAYER sequel called CROWNBRINGER. I tried to make DRAGONSAYER stand-alone since I have no guarantee I could sell 3 books even if I sold the 1st one, but ideally it would have sequels, so I plotted them out and stuff. I am currently working on a sci fi dystopian thriller and another fantasy that’s more of a secret spy/court intrigue involving shape shifters and assassins.

I tend to write very fast and then take much longer to edit and revise, that’s why I have all these MSS lying around. I’ve been told to work on other projects while I’m querying, so that’s what I’m trying to do. But querying is a long process.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

THANK YOU everyone who offered comments and especially to everyone who said they liked my idea! It’s very encouraging to see interest. Sometimes I feel horribly depressed because the kind of things I want to write (steampunk, blended fantasy, crossovers) aren’t seen much in the market. I’m just writing the kind of books I want to read. Hopefully other people like them too.

Fun Random Questions for The End (I stole this interview idea from Jen at Unedited, though I made my own questions up). Which would you rather be?

Wizard or Warrior? Wizard. Magic is cool and I’m a total wimp when it comes to hacking people’s limbs off. Blood of any kind scares me, really.
Airship Captain or Dragon Rider? Dragon rider. I guess either way you get to fly, but hey, dragons are really cool and I imagine the whole process of dragon riding is a lot more autonomous than having command of a ship.
At the Lake or In the Woods? Woods.
Reading Harry Potter or Writing Twilight? Ahahaa … Harry Potter. I’m a pretty shy/reclusive person, and the idea of being Stephenie Meyer with all the negative attention and rabid fandom … that terrifies me.
Drinking a Fine Wine or Eating a Gourmet Cheese? Ooooo cheese. It’s my favorite food.

Fun! Katherine and I would both really like to thank Candace, who made this all possible with her amazing Joy to the World Contest. The contest is over but you can still get t-shirts!

I would also like to thank Katherine for being such a good sport. It's scary putting you artwork out there publicly for people to judge, especially if you're relatively new to blogging and all the judges are going to be complete strangers.

Any questions?


Vicki Rocho said...

Awesome interview! About that captain vs. dragon rider...are we guaranteed the dragon won't be trying to eat us? Riding a dragon is pretty cool and all, but if he toasts me like a marshmallow, I'll have to reconsider climbing on board.

Ted Cross said...

I wish I could write fast. I write slowly and edit slowly!

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Off to check out her blog now! Sorry about missing out on all Katherine's stuff. Been flat out busy. Hopefully I can catch up on it over the weekend! :o)

salarsenッ said...

Thanks Matt for the interview. Katherine, great answers. I agree with you about the procrastination part. Wish there was a pill.

Emily White said...

Great interview! I'm going to have to second Vicki's question. Riding a dragon would be cool, but only if I was guaranteed to not be eaten.

Christina Lee said...

Wow Dungeons and Dragons questions- blast from the past! great interview and here's to cheese ;-)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

great interview. Looks like I missed a lot while I was away on vacation.

And yay to cheese. Just wish it wasn't so fattening. :(

Jen said...

I'm honored that you gave me a shout-out on the fun & random questions!!! Your twist rocked so I'm glad you added it!! I do the same with mine :)

HARRY POTTER!!! A girl after my own heart... seriously she's already freakin' awesome in my eyes!

I love that she also moved someone so much that they cried in a story she wrote. Now that is something special!!!

Fantastic interview Matthew! Always a pleasure to visit :)

Bish Denham said...

Wonderful interview. I feel like I got inside the world of Dragonsayer.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good interview. Katherine, I hope you do get to play the tabletop D&D some day.

Em-Musing said...

Wow! What she's a great storyteller. Hmm? What if the stories we write are created from past lives we actually lived? It's been fun following your blog this week. Have fun in MN.

Jess said...

Great interview! The fine wine and gourmet cheese question was a mean one though- those things are obviously meant to go together. I'm still seething at your insistence on separating the two.

aspiring_x said...

jiminey! she IS a fast writer! i love the character of Kael! i love it when characters appear to be one thing, and then... GOTCHA!! nice!

Alissa said...

Great interview! I'm glad I had the chance to "meet" Katherine and learn about her books, which sound great. Good luck with the querying!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Awesome interview. I can't wait for the day you post a query success on Katherine. :)

Sorry I've not been round much this week. Writing (okay, okay Mockingjay) stole me away and the guilt is creeping up on me now.

Joanne Brothwell said...

Great interview. I especially loved the questions at the end. Dragon rider all the way!

LTM said...

too fun--gamers are most qualified to write fantasy fiction, IMO. Good luck to Katherine! :o)

Elana Johnson said...

Ha ha! Attention span of a squirrel. I so feel that right now.

Nikki said...

Great interview and I love your blog! Awesome insight and really cool pics.

Nikki said...
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Old Kitty said...

Lovely interview - and thanks for more info about your book, DragonSayer! I wish you all the very best with it - it's been so great seeing how so many were helping you with the querying and hook writing - your book truly deserves the best advice!!! Good luck!

Take care

Angie said...

Great interview. I feel the same about writing what I want to read and hoping that others will want to read it too. Your book sounds great!

Donna Hole said...

Showing my age: "I get to keep my geek card though b/c I have a WoW account." See, when I was in school at the very end of the dark ages, geek was not a word you wanted associated with your personality. Now its a badge of honor :)

Some changes are most excellent!

Great interview. This book sounds totally awesome, and I'm sure the sequel will do well also. I'll look for it at my bookstore. Fantasy is my first choice for a read also (Go Anne McCaffery . .)


Jackee said...

Great interview! So awesome that you help others with their queries. And then the cool interviews after! Perfect.

And cheese... a girl after my own heart.... :o)

Robert Guthrie said...

"Enemies who become friends..." I like that.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Matthew, I just found your blog, but it's great. Fabulous interview!

Are you sure you can't have wine AND cheese? Being forced to pick one is just evil. ;)

storyqueen said...

Great interview!

I think I'd rather be a dragonrider, too.

(But I think I'd want the wine and cheese together....just sayin')


Lenny said...

wow! i would like to ride a dragon for sure. how cool would that be. this was a nice interview. i like the part where someone cried about miss katherines words. that gotta mean you wrote something so good it got right into that persons heart. i think that not so easy to do in writing. the book is soooo neat sounding.
...smiles from lenny

T.J. Carson said...

Wow it sounds like such an awesome book and that's so cool that Kathrine dreamed it up when she was younger and developed it. I think that's something that is truly written from the soul!

Ha, and so glad to hear that someone else as a very short attention span. Mine is awful, no idea how I get anything done. Sitting around is hard for me... unless it's winter (hate the cold and wet). I actually have a wed. post planned about writing and attention span. Great post Matt!!!!!!!!