The Writing Life of: Katrina Hart
This week on ‘The Writing Life of:‘ I am thrilled to be interviewing author Katrina Hart. Katrina will be sharing with us detail of her writing life, telling us all about her latest book ‘Finding Destiny‘, which was released on 3rd March 2017, and answering a few fun questions too.
So without further ado I’ll hand you over to Katrina Hart
My name is Katrina Hart, but my friends call me Katie. I live in the East of England with my family and my two cats−Holly and Smokey. They are a nutty bunch, but I love them all the same. I have always had a passion for reading. I could easily spend a whole lifetime engrossed in a good book. In my twenties, I joined an online writing class where I fell in love with writing my own stories.
Since I started writing I have discovered a new love for quotes. A quote that really inspired me was from Toni Morrison. Toni said: “If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” I came across this quote whilst I was studying. It was one of the many things that inspired me to begin writing my first novel.
1) As a child what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be many things when I was a child. In my early childhood days, I wanted to become a hairdresser and a vet. I had a doll I loved with fake hairs that could be cut with real toy scissors. I also remember convincing my granddad to let me cut his hair and he was shocked when I actually did it.
I hung up my hairdresser dreams and moved on to wanting to look after pets. I loved my cat and would spend a lot of time with him. But then I also loved reading books. My Nan used to encourage me to create little stories. I don’t think I really settled on one thing when growing up.
2) Who were your favourite childhood authors?
Beatrix Potter and Enid Blyton. I was forever reading Peter Rabbit and books such as The Magic Brush and other stories.
3) At what point in your life did you realise you wanted to be a writer?
I realised I wanted to be a writer a good few years back when I decided to take an online writing course. I loved it and the course really helped me get the stories out of my head on to the page. I also love to write diaries and found that it brings me peace and joy turning the snapshots of my life captured in my past diaries.
4) How did you go about following that dream?
I started with an online creative writing course for short stories. The course inspired me and gave me confidence that I could write a story. From there I took my short story and turned it into my first novel Finding Destiny. I was very lucky that throughout my writing adventure, I’ve had supportive friends and a fantastic editor to keep me on track with my creative process.
5) What is your writing day like? Do you aim for a certain amount of pages or words before you stop for the day?
I write mostly in the afternoon and throughout the night as I don’t sleep very well at night and it’s also a time my boyfriend and I Skype, so we can do our writing at the same time. I don’t set daily writing targets. I just write until my mind is not able to focus and then I know it’s time to stop. My writing varies from day to day, some days I write a lot other times not so much get done.
6) Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I did think of using one of my character’s names as a pseudonym but thought it might be confusing to readers and went with my own name.
7) Do you have any strange habits before starting, or whilst in the midst of writing?
When writing all my novels I found myself listening to a lot of country music. When I wrote my second novel I tried whiskey and would do a lot of daydreaming on my characters at random times.
8) Do you write longhand, typewriter, or on a computer?
I write mostly on my laptop, but sometimes longhand in my diary.
9) How many books have you written? Do you have any unpublished work?
I’ve written three full-length epic fantasy novels. Finding Destiny was my first published novel. Second is, The Lost Town of Man’s Crossing. that I plan to publish in March on my birthday and my third manuscript titled Thawing Hearts is still in editing stages. I’ve also published two romance novellas: The Flower Angel and Love in Little Snow, as well as a Christmas short story called The Naked Sleepwalker’s Christmas.
I have other stories and a novella still unpublished and in different stages of writing.
10) Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a Pantser. I’ve always followed where my characters go and finished when they pointed to the end.
11) Do you read all the reviews left for your book(s)?
I do try and read all the reviews of my book and print them out because it reminds me that people took the time to read my stories and, in most cases, have experienced the adventure, magic, and romance. I also think it’s nice to look back and realise that the story of my characters was read by someone out there who might have embraced them just as I did.
Negative reviews are a part of the publishing business. I do think as a writer they affect you. But with the one negative review I got I took a few days to consider what was written and then printed it out and put it in a folder with the rest, because a review is really just like the book itself a piece of subjective art that we can see from someone else’s perspective and sometimes learn from, then back to writing one goes.
As an author and a person who has always seen the beauty in the effort readers make, I treasure all my reviews and I’m thankful to all the lovely readers who chose to read my books because it really does brighten my heart and make me very proud.
Concerning your latest book:
Publisher – Pilrig Press
Pages – 348
Release Date – 3rd March 2017
ISBN 13 – 978-1543052480
Format – ebook, paperback
When eighteen year old Alex’s little sister’s pony goes missing, he sets out to look for her and finds himself in a strange gypsy camp in the middle of a forest. The pony is being cared for by a young girl called Faith. When Alex accepts a drink from Faith’s grandmother, he wakes up later to find himself transported into 2038 to a technologically-advanced, very colourful world inhabited by humans and robots.
Alex soon discovers that he is now twenty, married and has a magical little baby girl. A magic he only seems to notice. He soon finds out that he will have to defend his little girl from the half-breeds with everything he has. He travels back through the magic pages of books to try and save her before it is too late and she is lost from him forever.
12) How long did it take you to get from the idea’s stage to your date of publication?
I think it took me about two years from when I started writing Finding Destiny to have it published and out into the world.
13) How did you come up with the names for your characters?
Honestly, I love to create names. When I wrote Finding Destiny the names just seem to come with the characters and their personality. Although some were loosely based on names closer to home. Like Walter was named after my great granddad. However, most just came with names that suited them, like Madam Moonfighter, Flicker, Fumble and Missy Talk a lot.
14) Can you give us an insight into your main character(s) life?, What makes them tick?
I would love to tell you, but I fear I’d not get it quite right, so here is what makes Alex and Dragonstar tick in their own words.
Alex is the name. I came to Quill City not quite by choice, but I’m glad I stayed. I’m surrounded by people I love and respect and all the things I’ve been through since being here has made me the man I am today. Some things just grow a person quickly… Life has been hard but protecting my family and my home is my purpose in this new world.
Dragonstar’s the name, don’t I just strike fear into your bones? No, then I can only assume you’re a fool and should run at once because my dear question writer. I might be making my way to your world next. My dear, I’m considered as the outcast, the bad soul, the funny thing is I hold all the cards. I have different sides to myself that makes it easy to sneak up on you and before you’d know it your world is under my control thanks to me… I’m sure I’ll be seeing you soon dear.
15) Which was your hardest scene to write?
The hardest scene was the one in Finding Destiny between Bill and Suzy the first time they met in a shop because it was rather emotional and didn’t end how I thought it would.
16) How did you come up with the title of your book?
I came up with the title of my book actually because of my main character Alex, who began searching for his sister’s pony call Destiny and end up finding his own destined path.
17) Did you get a family member/friend to read your work before sending to the publishers?
I had a few amazing friends who read over Finding Destiny in different stages of the writing process. I also have a wonderful editor who helped me make my book shine.
18) What process did you go through to get your book published?
Finding Destiny was published by Pilrig Press after going through editing and having a cover designed. A few years later I self-published the paperback version so my Nan who was dying of cancer could read it as she wanted to and in fact read all my published books or had them read to her before she died.
19) What did you do once you had written the final word in your book?
I made a hot chocolate and felt kind of sad that my creative time with my characters and their story had actually come to an end. Then I put it away to read over another day and came up with the title I was going to use for my next novel. I had a few in a magic cup that I’d jotted down so was the fairest way to choose which one to do first.
20) What’s next for you, writing-wise?
Next for me is to continue working on the story that I’ve started a while back and publish my second full-length novel next year.
1) What’s your favourite food?
Pizza and salad.
2) If you had a box of crayons and you could only choose one, which colour would you choose?
Pink because it has always been my favourite colour since I was very little.
3) What movie could you watch over and over again?
P.S. I love you.
4) What would be the top song on your playlist?
Take me to your heart by MLTR.
5) If you won millions, what would be your first purchase?
I’ll start a rescue home for cats because I’d want to do good with that much money.
6) A talking duck walks into your room wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses, whats the first thing he says to you?
“Quick! is this the future? Where’s the water in this room? It can’t have turned in to papers.”
You can find out more about Katrina Hart by visiting the website/social media sites below.
I would like to say a big thank you to Katrina Hart for sharing with us details of her writing life, and for a wonderful interview.