Monday, January 19, 2009
Interview with K. Celeste Bryan
Today, I have a guest blogger. I am interviewing historical author K. Celeste Bryan, also known as Kat.
1. Welcome, Kat! So, tell us a little about yourself? What is your typical day like?
I bet most readers think we sit around all day and munch on chocolates or browse through bookstores at our leisure, or perhaps vacation in the Bahamas every winter. Ha! Nothing could be further from the truth, at least in my little corner of the world. Most days, you’ll find me sitting at my computer praying my muse is patient today. There’s a fat kitty on my lap and a big dog curled up at my feet, but I wouldn’t trade one minute of my writer’s life for another.
2. When did you start to write and how long did it take you get published?
I have written in one form or another most of my adult life. I started researching histories of pioneers in America and then joined the US Web Historical Sketches site. I was fascinated by the stories about out industrious ancestors and soon, the “what ifs” surfaced and full-length novels took over my brain. I began writing historical fiction and then branched into romance.
3. How many stories did you finish before you were published?
I was very blessed to be accepted by a medium-sized publisher for my first book. When my contract ran out, I submitted some stories I had been working on for two years, and they too were accepted. I now write for New Concepts Publishing and The Wild Rose Press, wonderful publishers.
4. How did you break into publishing?
Oh, I knew nothing about it, but had written this story and my cousin any mother asked me every day to read the next Chapter. When it was complete, they encouraged me to send it in. “Where?” I said. So I bought a copy of Writer’s Digest and sent it in two publishers. One didn’t take my type of story, and the other bought it.
5. What inspired you to write romance?
When I realized how many women read it, and don’t read historical fiction. Romance accounts for a majority of the sales in the book industry. And . . . of course, I love writing about dashing heroes and sassy heroines.
6. What genre or sub-genre do you write? Why did you choose this genre?
Generally, I write historical romance, but somehow an element of paranormal worms its way into all my novels. I like the concept of the paranormal, the suspended belief concepts. Anything can happen in a paranormal – ghosts, time-travel, shapeshifting, and let’s not forget vampires and werewolves.
7. What difficulties does writing this genre present?
For historical, your research must be very accurate. Readers are astute these days and will call you on mistakes. My editor recently caught one of these oversights in my novel. I had referred to a book in the novel only to find out the book hadn’t been published until two years later. OOPS!
Thank goodness for editors.
8. How much time do you devote to writing each day?
At least five, and then another three answering e-mails, promoting and marketing.
9. Tell us about your other works, books, stories, etc.
Presently, I’m working on a pirate historical and tossing around a Highland warrior novel. And there have been readers asking for a sequel to Where The Rain Is Made, my time-travel, shapeshifter book. Hmm, this is going to take some heavy plotting.
10. How do you write? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Is it your characters or your plot that influences you the most?
I’m often asked this. I’m a rather unconventional writer, I think. I plan the story in my head for months, every scene, every conversation between the characters, until I know them inside and out. I need to know how they would react to a situation, whether or not they would actually say what I write down. Then I begin a scene, and most often it’s not Chapter One, but ends up somewhere in the middle of the book. From there, I work backward or forehead if called for. I never outline and don’t use note cards. It just doesn’t work for me.
11. What has surprised you about being a published author?
That people buy my books and then e-mail me to tell me how much they loved it. I still can’t get over this. I love my books, but hey, I’m a little biased, so I don’t expect other people to fall in love with the story or the characters. It’s so nice when they do.
12. 18. What was the most usual way you came up with a story idea? What made you to think, ‘hey, I could make that into a story?’
When my youngest son was ten, he became fascinated with Native American lore, particularly Cheyenne dog soldiers. We checked out everything from the library pertaining to the subject and I listened for hour upon hour about their customs, their beliefs and . . . their brutality, courage and honor. At some point, I figured, hey, I should put all those hours to good use and write a book about the Dog Soldiers, thus Where The Rain Is Made.
13.What advice would you give aspiring writers today?
Be patient, persevere and pay attention to everything in the market. If family and friends tell you to get a real job, ditch them. Listen to your gut while you’re writing. Pretend the character is standing over your shoulder. Ask, would he really say that? Would she really do that? You’ll know the answer.
14. Thanks for joining me today! Good luck with all your writing!
Thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed it. From now until the end of February, I’m hosting a “reader’s special.” These are tough economic times for all, and I’d hate to think readers stopped buying books. If you purchase either Where The Rain Is Made or Sojourn With A Stranger, I’ll send you the other one free (e-format). E-mail me your receipt (minus your credit card information) and I’ll send you the book that day.
K. Celeste Bryan
http://katskwipsandrants.blogspot.com/ (Kat’s Kwips and Rants Blog)