Thursday, September 30, 2010

Katie Mills Interview

Welcome back readers! Thanks so much for all your help with Katie's query. Now we're going to get to know her a little better, but don't worry, she's still working on the query and will let us know when she has a new version to share.

So here is an interview Katie so kindly agreed to give me, even while I am stuck here at work on an overnight shift, monitoring the new hires. Hey, at least it gives me a chance to write and blog, even if the sleep deprivation is starting to make me hallucinate a little.

*was that a hummingbird?*

Sorry. Enough about me. Here's the interview, thanks Katie:

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

It was kind of a natural progression for me. My first love is reading but during various periods in my life - the kind of books I wanted to read weren’t available (either because I read everything in my bookstore/library or, like in the last few years, I’m living in a foreign country where it’s slim pickins for books in English). When I don’t have something to read - I write. In 2009 I finished my first book and just thought ‘If I could do this and earn money, I’d be one of those lucky few who actually love their job’.

How long have you been writing seriously?

Since June 2008. That’s the date I started my first finished manuscript.

What is your favorite thing about writing?

Writing the first draft. I write an outline but when characters start becoming real and situations pop out of nowhere - it feels so magical to me.

What is the most difficult part?

I think all my followers know - revision and editing are my weaknesses. No magic there.

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

Um... *looks around self concisously* No?

*did you just answer a question with a question?* Nice.

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

I refused to be anyone but the Princess in Super Mario Brothers 2. (She could fly!) This might say something about my inner workings …

If you answered no to those previous two what first made you think of writing Fantasy? A book? A film? If you answered yes to either, did they play a part in your decision to write fantasy?

Well, when you think about it - pretty much all fiction is fantasy in some sense, even if you aren’t inventing new worlds. This is my first attempt at a label ‘Fantasy’ book and I have to admit I had a blast just letting my imagination run free - I get to make the rules about how things work and where things are. I don’t know any other activity that can give creativity and my manic control freak side a common goal.

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

Oooh, good question. I’d have to say ‘Mr. Harold’. He’s a malevolent spirit in my first book who likes to take on the image of a decaying corpse with red eyes. Yum.

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

Probably the MC – Gretchen from that same book. She’s got some warrior spirit guides that would kick Mr. Harold’s ass.

Can you tell us a little more about FOSSEGRIM 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?

Well, I’m one of those people that subconsciously keeps info at the back of my brain. While searching for agents, there were so many who said they want something from a male point of view. And while I didn’t write this ‘for’ the market -- when the idea for a delinquent teenage boy who turns into a stereotypically ‘feminine’ mythological creature came to me, I decided ‘why not just go with it and see where it takes me?’

I’m glad I did. Sage was a blast to write - he’s really jaded and has such a hilarious take on turning into a mermaid. But the book also let me write a lot of action/fighting sequences that I’ve never written before. Fossegrim have some serious enemies - Namely the Fiskari; an organization of Norse fisherman who capture and torture Fossegrim into controlling the weather and migrations in their favor.

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?

I’ve had this idea in mind for a while that I might start working on; about two rival circus families. One is destroyed in a fire in the 1800’s only to have its members reincarnated and reincorporated over time. A young girl discovers an uncanny talent for the trapeze and is caught up in this ancient war between the two families.

That sounds strangely awesome.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Just that, after reading the above - I sometimes feel like a crazy person sharing my delusions. Where do we get this stuff?

Tar-jay? *asked with a cheesy French accent* Man I'm tired.

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?

A Mermaid or a Faerie? Ugh … Faerie. Again … they can fly?
In Monaco playing craps or in Nice drinking wine? Nice drinking wine. :)
Sailing or skiing? Skiing (If I were good at it, which I’m not).
A rich and famous author or a poor but critically acclaimed one? Does that exist? I know I’m supposed to say poor but I’d rather be rich and famous …
Watching True Blood or reading Twilight? TRUE BLOOD!!
Yes ... TB FTW!
Visiting New Zealand or Japan? Japan. I love sushi.
Ooh. Me too. I wrote an awesome Sushi post here.

Thanks so much Katie! That was lots of fun. I'm glad it's already after lunch in France and you could share this with me tonight (or last night now). It made the hours zoom right by ... with little squiggly lights.


Anne Gallagher said...

Great interview, thanks Matt. Thanks Kate.

It's funny, I still can't get over you know where Misquamicut is.

Christine Fonseca said...

Dude! LOVE this interview you ask awesome questions. GREAT JOB both of you.

Old Kitty said...

Lovely to know a little more about Creepy Query Girl - so thanks for the interview Matthew Rush and hello Katie Mills! I agree - your idea about the circus families is AWESOME!

Take care

Christina Lee said...

"the Princess in Super Mario Brothers 2" *snort* for the WIN!

Emily White said...

Great interview, Matt! And I love that Katie always chose the princess in Super Mario Bros! That's definitely my favorite character to play, too.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Thanks for having me on here Matt- I got lots of great feedback and your interview was so much fun!

Jared Larson said...

Great interview, Matt. You always do a good job at these. And Katie, very jealous you live in France. Maybe when I go there someday you can show me around.

Colene Murphy said...

Awesome interview Matt. Neat to get to know Katie better. D&D questions cracked me up.

Melissa Gill said...

Awesome interview. Katie- you have quite an imagination. Keep on writing!

Slamdunk said...

Fun interview Matthew.

My son insists that I be the Princess or Daisy while playing Wii Mario Cart. Nothing like a son who enjoys pummelling dad's pride.

Carolyn V. said...

Great interview Matt! Katie, you just rock! This was a fab interview it's fun to get to know you a little bit more. And yes...revisions suck!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have a new mission in life now - teach all these fantasy readers how to play Dungeons & Dragons!

Bish Denham said...

Love these inteviews. Another awesome "job".

LTM said...

super interview--yay, Katie! and shew, Matt. You must sleep now.

Mr. Harold: freaky! And no way about the circus thing. I was wanting to write something set in a circus--the whole atmosphere of that creepy HBO carnival show--can't remember the name (didn't watch it)--was in my head. But I went cabaret instead. Hmmm...

and strangely now I want sushi... ;p

Nicole Zoltack said...

Awesome interview. Loved it. Great questions, amazing answers.

ali cross said...

LOL, Mr. Harold. I love that such a yucky guy has such an unassuming name.

Great interview Matt and Katie!

Dawn Ius said...

Awesome interview.
Uh, Creep, you need to read Wicked Lovely. :-)

Candyland said...

Awww great interview with 2 of my fav peeps!

Carolyn Abiad said...

Magnifique! Both of you...
I remember that slim pickin' library from when I was abroad! Wish I'd thought of writing at the time...but that was ages ago (before the internet, gasp!) so researching was impossible too.

Here's to sipping wine in Nice :D Á votre santé!

Renae said...

This was a great interview! Loved the questions Matt!

Melissa said...

Great, great interview.

The princess in super mario rocks!