Today I decided to open up my blog to something a little different! I want my blog to be inclusive and cover a wide-range of authors and genres. So I am super pleased to feature a guest Q&A with author Katie Salidas.
Katie Salidas is a best-selling author known for her unique genre-blending style that led to the award-winning Paranormal Dystopian Thriller: Dissension.
Host of the Indie YouTube Talk show, Spilling Ink, nerd, Doctor Who fangirl, Las Vegas Native, and SuperMom to three awesome kids, Katie gives new meaning to the term sleep-deprived.
Since 2010 she’s penned four bestselling book series: the Immortalis, Olde Town Pack, Little Werewolf, and the RONE award-winning Chronicles of the Uprising. And as her not-so-secret alter ego, Rozlyn Sparks, she is a USA Today bestselling author of romance with a naughty side.
Find out more about Katie Salidas by visiting her website and signing up to be a VIP Reader with access to exclusive FREE books and sales.
Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?
A) Happy to be here today, and thank you very much for the opportunity to chat with you and your readers! I’m genre-blending paranormal author, Katie Salidas.
The paranormal realm is my playground. I have always had a love of creatures that were beyond what we consider normal and have secretly wondered if it was possible that such beings could really exist. That’s the underlying theme to all of the books that I’ve written and published.
When I was a child, my greatest inspiration came from reading Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. She wrote characters that were traditionally beastly creatures ruled by their lust for blood. But, what she did with them, that set them apart from other novels that fit squarely into the horror genre, was give them life and meaning. She showed us that these creatures could be more. They could do more. They could also, and this is the kicker, fit into society nearly undetected by the humans surrounding them.
That thread was something I took and ran with in my own writing. I aimed to deliver stories about creatures who, at times, are more human than the humans they interact with.
One of my favourite series, The Little Werewolf, is all about dealing with very human issues but from a supernatural point of view. Being a freak, or thinking you’re one, is something all teenagers go through at some point or another. But, what if you were really a freak of nature? In Giselle’s case, she is a werewolf who was lost into the foster care system when she was just a baby. She never grew up with a family or a pack so she truly considers herself a freak of nature because she was never taught that it was okay she sprouted a big bushy tail and howled at the moon each month. Naturally, her condition has caused her many problems growing up, and she’s never been adopted, so growing up this way has made her guarded, unable to trust, and wary of getting close to anyone. Other than the fact she’s a werewolf, many of these feelings are things kids who have had a rough childhood or grown up in the system have experienced. Even kids who’ve had normal upbringings struggle with whether or not they fit in and deal with social anxiety. And that’s what makes this series so popular. It’s relatable while capturing all of this from a supernatural perspective.
Just like with the stories I read in my youth, I wanted to give my creatures a real place within the normal world and maybe, have the reader questioning if these creatures could be living next door to them and going to school or work with them.
Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?
I like that you call it a journey because it is very much that. There are two types of writers out there: Pantsers and Plotters. And of those two types there are varying shades of grey in between, but for arguments sake, let’s look at black and white. I’m a pantser. That means when I set out to write a story, I experience the plot unfolding as I go. I meet the characters and, in essence, follow them along on their journey, chronicling the story as it happens.
I may start the story with an idea of what I want to happen, a to-do list if you want to call it that, but ultimately the book takes on its own life as I work through each chapter and surprises me with new twists and turns I never expected.
And that is the easy part. Writing that first draft is very much like jotting down the short hand of what you see watching a movie for the first time. After that there are numerous rounds of revisions that take place before it is ready for anyone to read.
I call that first draft the skeleton draft. And once the bones are in place it’s time to add the muscle, the flesh, and the heart into it.
Between finishing that first draft and eventually going to print, that manuscript of mine sees no less than 8 layers of revisions and improvements, making its way through beta readers, my editor, and proof-readers.
Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?
I’m very pro indie author. I work with a lot of independent authors through my youtube show, Spilling Ink and have found a wealth of new and innovative reads from some extremely talented authors. Depending on your genre preference I’d suggest Jenna Elizabeth Johnson for some wonderful Middle Grade to YA epic fantasy. For the Upper YA readers, Alexia Purdy. If you’re a thriller or horror reader, check out Jason LaVelle.
The indie market is filled with some very excellent authors and a variety of stories that break from traditional tropes and really deliver thought provoking ideas.
Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?
My love of supernatural creatures began with, as I said above, Anne Rice. As a teen I also enjoyed reading the Vampire Diaries (before they became a popular TV series), and being the oddball that I was, I really enjoyed Tolkien.
I must have read and re-read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings at least 5 times. I really enjoyed the depth of that world, all the way to the songs that often broke the pace of the book, to sing.
Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?
The best moment any author can hope for is when a reader tells you, in person, that they loved your work. When I go to conventions or bookstores with my backlist, nothing brightens my day more than seeing a familiar face come up to me. Maybe they picked up a book at a previous show. Maybe they friended me on Facebook. Whatever the circumstances are, I remember them. I cherish my readers! When I get to stand with that reader and chat with them one-on-one, and hear how much they loved the book, it’s pure bliss.
Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?
My family are so supportive of my writing. My oldest daughter loves to attend events with me. She brags to her friends that her mother is an author. My mother and father both tell me how proud they are. My father is always bragging to anyone who will listen about his talented daughter. My siblings too. They are like my cheering squad. Without them, I doubt I would have made it this far. And in this business you really need to have people in your corner, bolstering your confidence, because as an artist your self-worth is often tied to how your art is received by the public.
*Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.