• Mark Iles

A Little about Writing, from KateMarie Collins

I consider myself fortunate to have known KateMarie for a number of years. Our

readers are constantly looking at ways to improve themselves and KateMarie – with twenty-one published books - seemed the ideal person to approach about what she writes, and how she started out.

Hi KateMarie, can I ask firstly, what inspired you to start writing?

Believe it or not a Dungeons and Dragons game! My husband and I have played for years. We were in a game that had been going on for over 2 years, when it ended. Badly. I didn't like the end, so I changed it. There's more to the story of course, but that's the short version, and this morphed into my first book.

As a well-published author who produces novels at a prolific rate, how do you achieve this?

It really depends on what's going on. Much as I'd like to say I have a daily word count, routine for writing...it's just not so. There was one year (Nov. 2015 - 2016) where I did a LOT of writing. Mainly because my parents passed away 7 months apart. The writing gave me a channel to deal with the grief and everything else I was going through.

Do you plan out your books in advance, or write as the muse takes you?

I'm a pantser, (Editor’s note: Someone who writes by the seat of their pants) to be certain. I have a starting point and an idea of where I'd like it to end. Sometimes I get ideas for subplots or specific chapters, but I sit down and see where the characters take me rather than any sort of formal outlining.

Do you think creative writing courses/degrees help the writer to polish their work, or simply opens their eyes to things they’ve never seen or considered?

The biggest issue isn't a lack of creativity, it's a lack of humility. Authors must be ready to look at their work with a critical eye, be receptive to editing. There's no such thing as a perfect first draft. You can have a wonderful plot, but it won't matter if you ignored someone who said you confused flower with flour.

Do you follow specific writers, if so who?

I'm friends with a ton of authors, most of who are indie/small press/just starting out. The writing community is great at supporting each other. The ones I follow the closest aren't necessarily in my genre, but they're good people.

Do you find that reading interrupts with your writing?

I have a real problem with picking up the voice of other authors, so I don't read anything when I'm working on a book of my own. I don't want those influences bleeding into my voice.

What influences your writing most of all?

Life. Yes, I write fantasy and it's full of magic, mythology and other worlds. But I'm a firm believer in that bad things happen to good people in real life, and so it should be in books. Being Wiccan, I tend to see magic in the small things around me as well. A lot of my stories mirror either parts of my own life, or current events. They're just masked in another world.

For me, when I’m thinking about a section of my book, I look at images I’ve gleaned from various sources to set the scene in my mind. Do you use such sources to enrich ideas and, if so, what are they?

Most of the time, I close my eyes and let the scene I'm writing play out like a movie in my head. And I let my fingers find the words to describe what I'm seeing. The exception being the book I'm writing now. 'Guarding Connor' will be the 4th book in my urban fantasy series, ‘The Waystation Guardians’. A lot of it takes place in and around Inverness, Scotland. I was there on vacation in August of 2018. As I'm referencing places I was at within the story, I look to the photos I took. If it's a real place (this happened a few times with locations in the 3rd book, 'Guarding William'), I make sure the details are right. The internet is amazingly helpful!

What do you do, if you get a bad review?

I ignore them, they’re simply one persons opinion. I don’t ever think everyone will love what I write. As an author, I can’t control who reads my books, what character they identify with, or if the reader will enjoy the story. Negative reviews are simply to be expected. I read them to try and see if there’s something constructive that I should address in later books, but that’s it.

Most rewarding moment as a writer of fiction?

I'm not sure about rewarding, though this is definitely the most surreal. When I was on vacation, I took copies of some of my books with me. My plan was to leave them, signed, in the different places I stayed at. I ended up handing them to the owner of the B&B in Inverness, a wonderful place called The Mardon House. My hosts were terrific.

Anyway, he was so excited to learn I was an author that he said he was going to copy the photo on the back, add the words, 'American Author KateMarie Collins slept here!', put it in a frame and hang it on the wall of the room I'd had! That someone would think so highly of what I do – before even reading one of my books has me dumbfounded! I'm still in awe that he planned to do that.

KateMarie, thanks for sharing this with us. As for ‘rewarding moment’, I seriously think that will take some beating!

Book buy links:

Daughter of Hauk: myBook.to/Daughterofhauk

Son of Corse: myBook.to/sonofcorse

Wielder of Tiren: myBook.to/WielderofTiren

The Raven Chronicles: myBook.to/theravenchronicles

Guarding Charon: myBook.to/guardingcharon

Guarding Amber: mybook.to/guardingamber

Guarding William: mybook.to/guardingwilliam

Arine’s Sanctuary: myBook.to/arinessanctuary

Kick the Can: myBook.to/kickthecan

Looking At The Light: myBook.to/lookingatthelight

A Stab at the Dark: myBook.to/astabatthedark

The Rose Box: myBook.to/therosebox

Permafrost: myBook.to/permafrost

Challenges Met: myBook.to/challengesmet

Siaira: myBook.to/siaira

Fin’s Magic: myBook.to/finsmagic

Alaric’s Bow: myBook.to/alaricsbow

Emile’s Blade: myBook.to/emilesblade

Amari: Three Tales of Love and Triumph: myBook.to/amari1

Mark of the Successor: myBook.to/markofthesuccessor

Consort of the Successor: myBook.to/consortofthesuccessor

Social Media Links

Twitter: @DaughterHauk

FB: http://www.facebook.com/pages/KateMarie-Collins/217255151699492

Blog: http://www.katemariecollins.wordpress.com

Email: katemariecollins@gmail.com

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