The ornaments of your house will be the guests who frequent it. - Author Unknown
I am pleased to introduce author Katie Hines. Katie has been writing snippets here and there as long as she can remember. When in 8th grade, she wrote a short story called, “Underworld.” Then, in high school, she wrote several poems that were published in an anthology.
Marriage and raising two children contributed to putting away writing for a few years, but she came back to it while in her 40s. Since that time, she has been a contributing feature writer and columnist for a local newspaper, has written several features articles for another area newspaper, and wrote religious and humor articles for an online Catholic ezine.
Her short story, “My Name is Bib,” was published by the Loch Raven Review in October, 2008.
Having found a publisher for Guardian, a middle grade urban fantasy, Hines is currently working on another fantasy novel as well as a couple of chapter books, and is extending “My Name is Bib” into a full young adult novel.
I asked her the following writing related questions:
Do you have a routine you follow before you begin writing each day?
I didn’t used to, but I found I wasn’t getting any work done on ANY of my WIPs, so I posted about it, and got a lot of great ideas. I currently work on emails first for as long as it takes up until noon. Then I take a break for lunch, watch some TV (yes, I admit it), then I work on my books from about 2:00 – 4:00. I know a lot of people have better schedules than that, but for me, I need the breaks during the day. I have also found it really helps a lot to have this schedule as far as changing my brain thinking from answering/reading emails to the more creative bent.
Are there special items in your work area that inspire you or help you concentrate?
Ah, I love my work area. We actually have a three bedroom house, and my last kiddo is moving out the end of the month (thank God!). So I have the third bedroom as an office, with my desk, file cabinet, credenza, bookshelves and printers. I have to admit that having a great looking, functional office is key to getting things done. It is sacrosanct with no one allowed in it except me as far as doing work in it. It is my space totally. And, I have a great window that looks across the street at a lot filled with lovely green trees and plants. Soooo soothing!
Do you work on one project at a time or do you keep several going at once?
I actually have several going at this point in time. I have a young adult novel I’m working on, a middle grade novel, two chapter books and some science articles for kids’ magazines.
Do you write from an outline, storyboard or let the story or characters lead you?
I don’t use an outline, but I know where the ending of the book is, so I brainstorm as I go along as to how to get there. I follow the way the story wants to go – even if I don’t want to go there! Sometimes, you have to let the story dictate itself.
How did you find an agent or publisher and what do you feel first attracted them to your work?
I am fortunate to have a fantastic publisher (4RV Publishing). They have believed in my book, Guardian, all along. It was published in January 2010 and you can order it through the publisher at 4RV Publishing. My book, a middle grade urban fantasy, was picked up by them after letting them run it by a reader of fantasy. The contract was offered shortly after that.
What is your favorite and least-favorite marketing technique?
Humph. I hate them all! The easiest to take care of was creating my website and blog. I was able to create my blog without too much trouble, and I had a friend create the website for me. I do Twitter and Facebook. My least favorite thing about marketing is all the time involved. Without a plan, one could easily spend the lion’s share of her/his day working on marketing.
What bit of advice do you have for writers who have yet to be published?
Keep a list of agents/publishers as you go along who seem like they publish your kind of story. You can create this list from blogs you follow who list publishers, articles in magazines, word-of-mouth from other writers, and so forth. That’s what I did, and when my book was ready to be sent out, I already had a list of publishers I wanted to query. 4RV Publishing was the publisher I queried.
Thanks for your interesting and informative answers Katie. Feel free to leave any comments or questions you have for Katie.
Here’s an excerpt from Guardian.
Drew Newman is ready to tell his friends a secret, but two strangers burst on the scene, demanding an ancient, magical, book. He plummets into a world of uncertainty and fear as his home is invaded and he desperately tries to find the book.
Aided by the mysterious Jean-Paul, Drew’s search takes him and friends to Oak Island, Nova Scotia, where he continues his search. Joined with his Grandpa Ian and cousin, Zea, the tension ratchets up when Drew is kidnapped and he encounters the head of a sect that wants the book, a magical talisman and a treasure, for themselves.
Sprinkled with magic, “Guardian” explores the commitment of a boy determined to fulfill his promise to his mother and claim an uncertain destiny.
Links for purchasing Guardian: 4RV Publishing , Amazon, Barnes & Noble, your local bookseller, and request from your area library. You can also find out more about Katie and her books at her website and her blog.
The VBT tour continues tomorrow at Gary Murning’s blog. He’ll be hosting Elysbeth Eldering. I hope you have the chance to visit.
Thank you for stopping by today. I hope to see you again on Monday.
Tags: Katie Hines, Guardian, 4RV Publishing, VBT tours,