Kev’s Author Interviews Presents:
Kev: What is your latest book about, Kate?
A wickedly good novel about magic, curses, witches, and demons.
Born a witch Deanna knew she had powers, but not the extent of them. Her parents, and their coven, bound her to keep her safe from the demons that wanted to find her. But as her powers grew the bindings weakened and they were found. She must be unbound quickly as only she has the power to fight off the demons. But what she discovers changes everything. Her place in this world is not as she thought.The time has come to make a decision and the lives of her family and their coven rest on it.
It Is The Demon In Me is the first in a three part series about Deanna and her family, their true bloodline.
Kev: Who or what influenced you to write it?
Writing was a way of dealing with my situation at the time. I picked up a pen to quiet the chaos and found a kind of focus. The main character – Deanna – and her brother are influenced by my children a little. It was the first novel I ever considered self-publishing after a writing a few short stories to test the waters.
Kev: Did you do any specialised research for your story?
I read a lot of magic books, old ones like The Key of Solomon, and the more recent information available on the internet. I spent hours on Google maps in each location to get a feel for the places I’d never been so that I could tell you at the end of a particular street in Romania was a red barn.
Kev: What challenges did you face while writing the story?
The scenes involving a lot of emotion from the characters were hard to write, not because it made me emotional but because of trying to figure out each character’s emotions and reactions to things. Not everyone reacts the same and so it was important to give each character a reaction in line with their character and not just because I wanted everyone to be upset about something.
Kev: Who is the protagonist?
Deanna is meant to be on her way to collage but through her illness and situation it never happens. She has a brother who is about a year younger than her, her parents, and the large extended family of her parent’s coven. She loves to read and isn’t that interested in being involved in the coven life of her family; she has plans for her future. She’s quite easy-going but has a strong loyal streak and a need to protect others so she’s not easily phased when things don’t go to plan.
Kev: What would you say is the protagonist’s greatest weakness or obstacle and why?
Her greatest weakness is her need to protect everyone she loves who are in trouble. She would rather they stayed home and safe than take risks on her behalf. And her greatest obstacle is the choice she has to make about her future – what she wants to do over what she was born to do.
Kev: What would you say is the main antagonist’s greatest strength?
He has highly organised well-trained armies and a familiarity with all that magic can offer, despite not being magical in the slightest himself.
Kev: Could you provide a short passage from your book to give us a taster?
“I don’t know, I can’t see anything through the snow.” Alex responded from behind her, she hadn’t realised the others had come back to join them. As he spoke, lightning lit the sky and they all saw the three-headed monstrosity heading towards them. At first Deanna told herself she was seeing things, that somehow the trees at the end of the drive where casting weird shadows, but when her Mom spoke she realised that what she had seen was real.
“And so it begins.” It was the weirdest thing she had ever heard her Mom say and it was said in the calmest of voices too.
Kev: When you write, do write off-the-cuff or do you use some kind of formula?
I let the characters lead the story but I’ve usually worked out the next few scenes in my head before I write them. I don’t plan very much on paper. I often find if I plan a book on paper it never get written, I don’t know why that is.
Kev: How do you deal with writers-block?
Music and movies. I think there are two kinds of writers-block, the kind where your brain is basically saying it needs a break and you should go do something else whilst it works out what happens next, and the kind where you’re really creating your own obstacle to finishing your book.
I’ve experienced both and in the first instance I go and watch a movie or listen to some music; if you can find some that fit what you’re trying to write – either by genre or feel – you can quickly find the next paragraph and get back to writing. You need to take breaks when you’re writing and shouldn’t expect it all to come at once.
But when you’re creating your own obstacle and using writers-block as an excuse not to get on with it, you have to give yourself a kick up the butt. Music can help you get back in the flow of it, but if you really can’t write the story any more, maybe that’s not the story you’re meant to be writing and it’s time to move on.
Kev: Preference for writing: Day or Night?
Generally I write through the day. I drop my children off at school, take care of whatever business I have to –whether that’s bills, emails, or non-fiction writing – then I sit down with a large mug of black coffee and get to work. I turn the computer off by 7pm most nights.
But if I get a stroke of genius at midnight I’ll write the scene I’m thinking in my note-book or on the back of an old letter before I go to sleep.
Kev: What is your process for editing your work?
Editing took me a long while to figure out. I think when you start out you think of it in terms of spelling and grammar so you get a few close friends to do that for you. But I’ve developed a process that begins with content editing to find the gaps and add or delete where needed, reorganising for flow. Then the fact checking and making things clearer, and making sure I didn’t suddenly start sounding like someone else’s writing. I might put it through the Hemmingway app to find other silly errors and to make sure everything is hitting the right reading age. Before finally checking for grammar and spelling –which I’m pretty rubbish at. When I think I’ve got it done I get other people to check it or in the case of It is the Demon in Me, I sent it to Leesa at Wallace Publishing to have it edited and proofread.
Kev: How do you come up with your book covers?
I leave it to someone else! I like to play around with ideas for covers and I find it really empowering to have a mock up cover for motivation. I’ve done a few myself for self-published books and occasionally they work but mostly I let someone else do that part of the job. There is a real skill in getting it right I think.
Kev: Do you think the book cover is important?
The book cover is very important. Even though the saying goes ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, everyone does. You can’t help it. It’s the first thing you see and the first chance the author has of getting the attention of their ideal reader. You can use it to give a first impression of what your book is about or create something mysterious that makes the reader want to know more.
Kev: Which publishing platform do you prefer and why?
I like Amazon for its simplicity but I do like Smashwords for its Meatgrinder and distribution channels. It helps you see where your book is faring better.
Kev: Do you face any daunting obstacles during the publishing process?
For me, the editing is the most daunting – it’s about putting a different head on and looking at your own work critically and without bias, which is sometimes very hard to do. And I always have a little bit of a sulk when I get a manuscript back from the editor and it has marks all over it where they think it could be better. So I never deal with them straight away. I have to give myself time to distance myself from it before I go through to see whether I agree with their suggestions or not.
Kev: What methods do you use to promote your work?
I have a blog and use twitter where I mention my books occasionally but for the most part, I use word of mouth. I have conversations with people and get to know them a little, then they usually bring the books up and ask where they can by them.
Family and friends are also great for spreading the word. Letting them have early copies to read gets them talking to others about it.
But I can honestly say promotion is an area I need to work on and I’m learning a lot from Leesa.
Kev: Do you have any advice for new authors?
Start building your platform early, whichever one works best for you and is where your ideal readers hang out. If you already have an audience when your book is published you won’t have to do as much work to get those first sales, unlike if you suddenly publish when no one has heard of you before. Even if you go the traditional route, bringing a platform with you will put you ahead of those who don’t have one.
Kev: Which social media platforms do you use the most?
I’ve just signed up for Goodreads and still figuring my way around it so if anyone wants to come friend me on there and help me out, it’d be like throwing me a life raft in the middle of the arctic ocean – https://www.goodreads.com/KateTrinityMcQueen
You can also find me on twitter @katetrinity where I’m a little erratic and don’t self-promote massively. It’s more about the crazy dancing and finding out what my followers are into or like to read about. And cake.
Kev: Is there anything else you would like to add?
If anyone wants to ask more, just tweet at me with #trinitydemon and I’ll do my best to answer.
Amazon book link:
Kate Trinity, Everyone!