Thursday, June 24, 2010

Meet Katie Hines

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,


Journaling Woman said...

Katie, your books sounds very interesting. Your work area sounds wonderful too. I am working on one. Also, I understand your breaking up your work times. I have to do that as well. That's how my brain works

Jane, thanks for interviewing Katie.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

What's your next project, Katie?

Joanne said...

Katie, thanks for sharing your writing story with us. I took a look at your web site and it mentioned your considering a memoir as your start in writing. As someone who enjoys memoir, I'm wondering if you have written that book, or would you ever consider it?

Thanks for the interview Jane!

Mason Canyon said...

Jane, thanks for hosting Katie today.

Katie, I read lots of good buzz about Guardian. It sounds like a great read. Best of luck on your tour.

Thoughts in Progress

Accountant, Author & Freelance Writer said...

Katie, It's great to learn more about you and your writing. Best wishes with your blog tour!

Mari said...

Oh I am sooo jealous you have a whole room to yourself. That must really be a motivator :) It would be for me.

Great to get to know more about your new book. Sounds intriguing!

Darcia Helle said...

Great interview, Jane and Katie!

Katie, I have to agree about marketing. It's one of those necessary evils that takes too much of my writing time.

Nancy Famolari said...

I have to agree, Katie, I hate marketing too. I guess it's because it's so hard to see a result. Your book sounds terrific.

Great interview, Jane!

Carol Kilgore said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I love learning how other writers work.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting. It's always interesting to read other author's journeys.

Kim Baccellia

Helen Ginger said...

I love that YA and children's books are becoming more complicated and visual today. Readers can immerse themselves in the books. This sounds like one of those.

I, too, love my office. I have to give it up when we have guests over, but otherwise it's all mine.

Straight From Hel

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Katie, I put away writing for a few years, too. It was the biggest mistake I ever made. Actually made me sick to deny that part of myself. And, you know, my family appreciates me more (and I them!) when I'm taking care of myself. (-:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging resources for writers at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick

Martha said...

I agree with your comment about marketing. It takes up a lot of time and not something I enjoy.
Your book sounds wonderful.
Martha Swirzinski

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the interview. Learned something new about Katie.

Guardian is a great book!

Wishing you the best with your WIP.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Katie's book sounds good and I certainly agree with her and all the others who made comments about marketing.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Jane, thanks for interviewing Katie for us. Her comment about marketing hit home with me, but I mostly hate the stuff that requires I leave the house. Whatever I can do from my computer is more fun.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Great interview! I always like to hear about writers' processes--sounds like yours is a winner for you!

Katie Hines said...

Well, hey, folks. Thanks for reading the interview! Jane did a slam dunk job, didn't she?

Diane, you asked what my next project is. Well, I'm working on about 4 things at once, which also means I'm not getting very far on any of them. The way I'm going all of them will be ready at the same time!

Joanne - yes I wrote that memoir, but it is truly terrible. One of these days I'll go back and rewrite it; just don't feel motivated to do that right now.

Mari, I love my little office, too!

Thanks again, Jane, for hosting me. You have such a great group of followers.

Virginia S Grenier said...

Katie, thanks for sharing your writing story with us. Your books sounds very interesting, too.

I also agree about marketing. It's takes too much of my writing time.

Karen Cioffi said...

Katie you offer some great advice. I still haven't got a schedule. I work purely by priority lately. And, it seems ghostwriting and copywriting is eating into my own writing time.

I'd love to have an office. My computer is set up in my dining room.

Anonymous said...

Breaking up work times is something a writer has to accept. There will be interruptions so no need to get upset and make yur family members angry because something important needs to be addressed.

Stephen Tremp

Anonymous said...

I think this was my first visit to your blog, but it won't be the last. I've been a fan of Katie Hines ever since I read the Guardian. I enjoyed the interview.
Aday Kennedy
The Differently-Abled Writer
Children's Book Author & Inspirational Spokesperson
Klutzy Kantor & Marta Gargantuan Wings J.

Dallas said...

Great interview, Katie! I am envious of your writing space! I agree that having a writing area to call your own is key.

Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world