Hi. My name is Kat Holmes and my mother fellow author L.J. Holmes, told me I was born in the center of a beautiful peach colored tulip. When I was old enough to understand what she was claiming, I gave her my gimlet eye and said, “Ma, I think you’ve mistaken me for Thumbelina.” Before we go any further, I should tell you I’m not in the least bit petite, as my picture shows. What I can say is my mom is a little bit weird. She does keep our cats entertained though, and truthfully, she’s also my best friend…which is a good thing since we live together, write together, and drive each other crazy together.
Marion: What was the first book you ever read that really blew your mind, that you couldn’t stop thinking about after you’d finished?
Actually, I have to blame my mom again…big surprise! I’m a voracious reader-always have been. I’d already gone through the “normal” books for my age group by the time I was twelve. The Babysitter’s Club, Nancy Drew. The Hardy Boys. You name it, I’d read it! There really wasn’t anything left, so Mom let me dive into her books, and OMG…WHAT an incredible array of material. You want me to choose just one. That would have to be AMETHYST by Mary-Rose Hayes. I was totally captivated. I couldn’t put it down even though it was a school night. I was hooked and have been ever since.
Marion: How do you start thinking about a book? Is it the characters that first pop to mind, or the setting, or the plot? Where do you usually start?
How do I start thinking about a book? It varies. Sometimes I get bombarded with this massive batch of film-like clips, other times my head will get crammed with images, sounds, scents, words. I have a bunch of scratch paper with notes and details for stories and series that will keep me busy for the next decade or two. Right now I’m writing three series, but I have enough data for six more…and that doesn’t include the stand-alones.
Marion: If you could invite five writers, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?
What a great question. My first two choices are really easy. There’s my mentor, best selling e and print author N.J. Walters and my mom’s mentor, International best seller Glenn Kleier. These two incredibly gifted people have become more than just friends. They inspired us in ways that would take too much room to enumerate here, but I’d love to get them in on this literary dinner.
Mom and I do this rather warped, in a twisted sort of way blog where we pit our prolific releases against William Shakespeare. It’s a comedic take on our current place in the publishing world. Here’s the direct link to that blog for those who’d like to check it out. http://holmesauthors.blogspot.com It’s always good for a laugh, but back to this dinner…it might be interesting to see what The Bard really might think of today’s breed of authorial genius.
Agatha Christie. Mom says my first book with Muse It Up Publishing, THE LIGHTHOUSE reminded her of the Dame because she couldn’t figure out “who-dun-it” until the end and then went back and saw all the clues I’d salted the book with.
Finally my publisher at Muse It Up Publishing, Lea Schizas…one because she is such a deliciously gifted author, but also because she’s dedicated to her authors. She’s supportive, encouraging, and doesn’t JUST send form letter rejections…she takes the time to SHOW you where you need to work on your script to prepare it for resubmission. I don’t know, maybe because she’s an author she’s more in tune with aiding the needs of her authors. All I know is not all publishers care about their authors first and foremost. Besides, I can picture her, Shakespeare and Dame Christie debating the merits of good books. Not to mention a fantastic experience for me, N.J. and Glenn to chime in on too.
Marion: Hee! That sounds like a lot of fun! When was the last time you just had to write, and what inspired that feeling?
Yesterday, actually. No rest for the average writer thanks to the meddlesome muses living inside our heads.
Marion: When you’re writing, what game do you most often play during “breaks”?
Sims Medieval Game. I LOVE creating monarchies I can treat to my brand of “justice” depending on my moods.
Marion: Okay, that's totally my kind of game! Have you ever tried to shake up your writing routine? Writing at a different time? Writing in new places? Writing nude? *waggles eyebrows*
I don’t really have a routine, so shaking it up would require me getting one first. I don’t think my inner muse would take kindly to my disturbing HER resting times.
|Cover art by Delilah K. Stephens|
Marion: What one scene do you think you spent the most time editing? What was it about it that you couldn’t seem to get right?
Mom and I co-wrote HER LAST DAY, together. We had to rewrite it and resubmit it four times before it was accepted. When this book finally released, we were both over the moon, because we love this book so much. The character of DARIA, we wanted this to be just about her and the day she was forced by time and nature to live through. I guess we wanted it to be more of a chronicle of what that day was to her and only her, but it had to be given more emotion than we’d originally planned. That was hard, but Daria and her story was worth whatever we had to do to bring her life to the public.
Marion: What’s your worst writing habit? Something you know you shouldn’t do, but just can’t seem to stop?
This is easy. Procrastination! I have health issues. More often than I’d like to admit to, I’ll put off writing today hoping I’ll feel better tomorrow. Because of that I haven’t put out as many books, especially this last year as I have notes for. I just finally finished book six in my GODS AT WORK SERIES, submitted book two in my HEKATE’S WEB SERIES, am about to start book three in my ARTIC LIGHTS SERIES and am working on my third collaboration with my Mom.
Marion: What’s the one thing you wish you were good at, but just can’t seem to master?
I’m not sure what you’re asking here, but when I read this question I snorted and immediately thought, “I wish I could draw,” but I’m really lousy at it. I do great stick figures though. :-)
Marion: How do you ‘get into character’? Are their certain characters you find it harder to write than others?
I pretty much base my fictional characters on people from my real life. I’ve met a lot of good people and I’ve met a lot of people who make perfect role models for me to kill off or have other dire things happen to.
Marion: There are a lot of concepts about what writers are like, what’s the one you hate the
most? Like the most?
|Cover art by Delilah K. Stephans|
People think because you’re a published author, you live like Stephen King or J.K. Rowlings. Most of us, just like most actors do not live in mansions, and the closest I’ve ever gotten to a Lamborghini is the Matchbox model my brother got for Christmas the year I was eight. It takes time for most authors to get their name out there enough for people to check them out and say “Hey, this writer is good. I’m gonna see what else (s)he has out there.”
Marion: If you could choose one writing related question you never, ever wanted to hear spoken again, what would it be?
Pretty much the same as the last one…Why don’t I have a mansion? The thing is, even if I made as much as say Norah Roberts, I’m not sure I’d want to rattle around in a big old mansion anyway.
Marion: What’s your favorite book title?
Of my book titles? It’s a toss up between HIDDEN, FROZEN, and REFLECTIONS OF ICE. HIDDEN is Book One in my HEKATE’S WEB SERIES which introduces my vampire world. FROZEN and REFLECTIONS OF ICE are Books One and Two in my ARTIC LIGHTS series…my fantasy world of perpetual winter with Tichi, the god I created to invigorate it.
Marion: About how long does it take you to get from first draft to polished manuscript? What does that process look like?
It takes between a week to two weeks. Once a story comes to me it comes quickly. I write a chapter send it to my mother to proofread and move on. By the time I write the last chapter all it needs is the final formatting before subbing. It really is a huge help having another author who’s so willing to proofread and help polish while it’s in the writing stage.
Marion: What did your “favorite” rejection letter say?
That was for HER LAST DAY. This story is told totally from Daria’s voice, so when we got a rejection for “head-hopping” we just shook our heads in disbelief.
Marion: Is there a writer whose style or talent you envy? What is it about their writing that draws you in?
N.J. Walters. Her TAPESTRY series was my introduction to e-books. I used to be a print-book-snob until I was bored one night and checked out N.J.’s e-publisher. The blurbs looked really interesting so I took a chance and bought an N.J. book…and OMG! N.J.’s TAPESTRY series still keeps me pinned to the edge of my Kindle.
Marion: Give us a few parting words!
I want to take this opportunity to thank you Marion Sipe for letting me visit your blog and spend time with your readers. I’d also like to offer to the winner chosen by you free PDF copies of HER LAST DAY and HIDDEN. While I’m at it…for those who’d be interested in seeing my book trailers, I have two currently…the first for my debut Muse It up Title,
I’d also like to encourage your readers to visit my web page, and my blog. I’m also available at my Muse It Up Publishing Author’s Page.