Monday, March 22, 2010

Interview with Katie Hines, author of GUARDIAN

On the hot seat today is children's author Katie Hines, here to talk about her first novel, GUARDIAN, just released by 4RV Publishing...

Do you consider yourself to be a born writer?

I’d like to say that I was, but I don’t really think so. I know I’ve always wanted to write, but thought journalism was my only option. I don’t know who I thought wrote all those books I was reading!

Tell us about your recent release. What was your inspiration for it?

Guardian was originally inspired by a real-to-life treasure story about a place on Oak Island, Nova Scotia, called the “Money Pit” because so many treasure hunters had spent millions of dollars trying to recover what is believe to be a huge treasure trove. As I researched, I discovered facts that I used in my story, and it evolved from there.

Some writers go on long walks, others keep a journal, write at a café, or listen to music. What do you do for inspiration and unleashing your creativity?

I brainstorm with my husband.

Describe your working environment.

I’m fortunate to have a great working environment. I have my own office, a couple of printers, several bookshelves, a filing cabinet, desk and credenza. I also have papers stacked everywhere, although they are loosely “organized”--at least I know (or think I do) where I can lay my hand on any paper I want. My husband, while currently unemployed, is working on some college courses, I take his study time and make it my writing time.

Do you like to outline and plot ahead, or are you more of a stream-of-consciousness writer?

I plot ahead, but only a couple chapters at a time. When I get stuck, I sit and think about the story, where it is going and what should happen next, especially what fun kinds of twists and turns I can invent to make the story more enjoyable for the reader. I always have in mind the ending of my story as I write.

Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your works?


What are you working on now?

I have a young adult novel in the hopper. It is on slow-cook, I think, and isn’t quite ready to work on. I do have a couple of chapter books in the mix, but am mostly working on another middle grade urban fantasy called Glassblower.

Where are your books available?

You can buy Guardian at my publisher at, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and your local bookseller. You can also request it from your area library.

What type of book promotion works for you? Any special strategies you’d like to share?

I’m doing a lot of different things promotionally speaking. I created a blog, a web site, a Facebook page, joined several yahoo and ning groups, and a media kit. I have also been interviewed on the radio, and folks have read the book and written reviews about it, and went on a blog tour the first 10 days of March. All of this adds up to exposure. I’ve heard tell that it takes a person 7 times of seeing or hearing about your book before they buy it. I don’t know if that is true or not, but if it is, I’m doing the best job I know of to get that cover seen and excerpts read. I really believe in my book and believe it to be destined to have a lot of readers...not a J.K. Rowling type of success, but success nevertheless. I have also hired a publicist to do some of the marketing for me.

What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

To continue to polish, and garner critiques from some sort of critique group. I think that’s number one. I was always amazed at the things my critique group pointed out to me that needed changing. When they pointed them out, it was obvious and a “duh” moment, but it is true, you simply do not catch all your errors.

Who are your favorite authors?

Tolkien, Terry Brooks, David Eddings (all in the fantasy realm), but I also love bestselling thrillers and J.D. Robb, David Baldacci, Debbie Macomber, Barbara Delinsky, and so forth.

What was your favorite book as a child?

Island of the Blue Dolphin. I know now it was a Newbery award winner, but as a kid I just thought it was cool, and pretended I was shipwrecked on the island and met the protagonist.

What is the best advice on writing you've ever received?

To learn the rules of writing - that means actively studying about plot, scenes, character development, and so on.


Katie Hines said...

Thanks, Mayra, for hosting me on your blog today!

Alice said...

Nice interview, I enjoyed it. Thank you.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Good interview. It's nice to learn so much about Katie Hines.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

You keep revealing more and more about yourself with each interview, Katie. I wish great things for your writing career.

You always ask the best questions, Mayra. Enjoyed the interview.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Yesss! Your advice is sooo good, Katie. Too many writers publish a book and stop taking classes or going to conferences. Or worse, too many self publish before they've learned the skills. No matter how good we are, there is always more to learn!
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Author of the new booklet ($6.95!) on tricky edits for writers

Vivian Zabel said...

I always enjoy reading about Katie and Guardian.

I taught writing for nearly thirty years, but every year I took 2 - 4 writing workshops or clinics, learning more about my craft. I still attend at least two writing conferences a year, read at least two writing magazines, and continue learning.

Maryann Miller said...

Enjoyed the interview, Katie. You are so right about what writer's should do to hone their craft and be open to critique.

Joylene said...

Wonderful review, Mayra and Kate. Best of luck with your book, Kate.

Dallas said...

I also LOVED Island of the Blue dolphins as a kid! I actually live right off the coast of the Channel Islands where the real-life story took place.

Keep up the great work, Katie! :)

- Dallas

Suzanne Lieurance said...

Hi, Mayra,

Nice interview. Katie and I have a lot in common. For one thing, I brainstorm story ideas and other stuff with my husband, too. What would we do without those guys?

Mari said...

My gosh you brainstorm with your husband? That's great! Mine would look at me like I was speaking a foreign language. LOL

Great interview :)

madcapmaggie said...

Katie, I absolutely agree with you on learning the rules of writing. When I wrote "The Angry Little Boy" (to be published by 4RV publishing in 2012) I wrote the first draft in a weekend. Then it took me about two more years, including taking the ICL basic children's writin course, to learn enough to make it into the book I wanted it to be.


Accountant, Author & Freelance Writer said...

Great advice Katie! Thank you for sharing.

Katie Hines said...

I don't always use the ideas that I get from my husband when we brainstorm, but often they springboard to ideas that I can use!

Thanks, guys, for checking my post out Mayra has been a wonderful host.

Mayra Calvani said...

Thanks for being my guest, Katie, and thanks to everything for stopping by and leaving a comment!