Author Spotlight – Katherine Gilbert

Introducing Katherine Gilbert

31 Days Of Halloween - Katherine Gilbert - Author Spotlight

Katherine Gilbert was born at house number 1313 and then transplanted to a crumbling antebellum ruin so gothic that The Munsters would have run from it. She has since gained several ridiculously-impractical degrees in English and Religious and Women’s Studies. She now teaches at a South Carolina community college, where all her students think, correctly, that she is very, very strange, indeed.

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

The decaying nineteenth-century mansion in South Carolina I mention in my bio was so creepy many people simply refused to enter it. They were the smart ones. About ten years after I finally managed to escape it, I was told by a family friend that it had burned down. He was quite surprised, when I laughed in hysterical relief. Since then, I’ve been fascinated by the gothic and paranormal, although I demand large doses of humor to make life worthwhile.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Lydia, the main character in Protecting the Dead, has spent the first 18 years of her life being raised by parents who intended from the start to sacrifice her to a demon, so she’s got some definite social anxiety disorder issues she’s having trouble overcoming. She’s decided the way to be happy is to just be the most normal person possible and ignore anything weird or strange. Since she ends up getting a job at a supernatural apartment complex filled with werewolves, cat people, ghosts, vampires, and many other creatures of the night, this isn’t easy for her. Her attraction to her angelic boss doesn’t help matters, either. It’s really a character’s journey from an uncertain past to a future where she starts to realize that embracing weirdness can lead to happiness.

Who is your intended readership?

Hoo boy–where to start? First off, I don’t do dark or gritty. To my mind, life has too much of both those qualities as it is. There are also too many unpleasant people out there in the real world either causing or enjoying the suffering of others. I’ve never wanted to spend my free or dream time with them, so (while this type may show up as a villain) they will never be my protagonists. I actually like a character I can, well, like. In other words, if you root for Sauron over Frodo or Aragorn, I’m not the writer for you.

Two of my greatest loves, as well, are humor and the weird or paranormal, so that kind of tells you something about what you should be expecting (well, if you toss in that there are romances, too). My writing is full of strange, funny, quirky characters in weird, paranormal situations.

Another aspect of my writing is kind of a quirky spirituality. Nothing in my novels will resemble any religion you ever heard of. There are both angels and demons in Protecting the Dead, but they probably won’t fit most preconceived religious notions. Still, I’d rather create worlds where the protagonists and their friends are working toward seeing good happen in the world and helping out all those around them.

It was only after my novel was published that I came to realize how much it doesn’t seem to fit most people’s expectations. If you approach it solely as a romance, the protagonist’s journey is really only partly about her relationship, so this may throw you off. If you approach it solely as urban fantasy, it will seem weirdly humorous and light. If you expect it to be a typical (i.e. rigidly codified Christianity) inspirational, your brain will probably explode. My sister attempted to define it once as an inspirational comic paranormal urban gothic romance. I guess I’d just say it the way I do in my newsletter. My writing is for those times you want humor, romance, and the paranormal–and you aren’t willing to settle for just one.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I actually started out as a fan fiction writer for a show I was obsessed with. At first, the stories all filled in the blanks left by the episodes, but, once the show ended a few years later, I branched out into alternate universe stories. I realized through these that I was actually able to create my own plot and characters. In fact, the characters always know where they’re going, even when I haven’t a clue. I just need to get the time to put my fingers on the keyboard and let them tell me what they want written about them.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

There are a lot of favorite authors for me, but Terry Pratchett probably comes out on top. He mixes humor, fantasy, the supernatural, and real-world truths and concerns with absolutely seamless brilliance. I’ve reread some of the Discworld novels so many times I’ve nearly memorized them.

As to my inspirations, there are a couple. First, my sister listens to every chapter as I write and is unbelievably supportive. It’s wonderful to have someone who really gets me listening to what I’m working on. Second, a lot of my novels come from either dreams or the seed of a real-life encounter. Protecting the Dead was inspired by a run-down apartment complex my sister and I visited. When she asked about the tenant turnover, she was told, “Oh, our residents never leave.” Thus, my brain started sizzling. Third, though, are just the characters themselves. When I finally published this first novel (after years of trying), a friend asked me why I never gave up. I told her truthfully that I couldn’t betray my characters that way. They wanted their story told, so I needed to do what I could to see that that happened.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Mostly, as I said above, if this is something you really want to do and the stories are just burning in your mind, don’t give up. This is true even when: you’re halfway through writing and either realize you have no idea where this story is going or it takes off in a sudden new direction you never expected; agents and publishers are thoroughly uninterested in your work; you’re bogged down in editing which seems to be driving you close to madness; the thought of trying to “create a platform” for your published work makes you want to hold your head; nobody’s buying your book; or some of those few who review it just say some version of, “Whuh?” Trust in your characters; do the best you can for them and yourself, and, whenever possible, help out others, as you go along.

Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

In Protecting the Dead, there’s this little old Jewish woman who keeps popping up in Lydia’s dreams. For the longest time, I was as clueless as she was as to who this old woman was and why she kept invading my story. It was only partway through a chapter about halfway through the novel that it finally dawned on me who she was (although, to avoid spoilers, I won’t explain further).

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

My hobbies are mostly mundane (tv, movies, books). As to what I’m passionate about, I suppose spending time with my sister and friends. I love to go on small adventures somewhere beautiful or strange, whether it’s a place I’ve never seen before or one I’ve been to any number of times. Honestly, too, even if my sister and I go nowhere, just spending time laughing and talking with her is one of my greatest joys. I utterly, thoroughly scored in the cosmic sister lottery, and I always enjoy my good fortune.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

I’ve got one book I’m writing and another I’m editing. For the one I’m editing, it involves magic and some demonic secrets in an antebellum mansion on the Battery in Charleston, SC. Sometimes hidden family secrets can reach out to grab you.

Protecting the Dead

Protecting the Dead-Cover

After a childhood filled with demons and her devil-worshiping parents, Lydia longs for a quiet, normal life, a safe haven somewhere blissfully dull. Being the manager at the Roanoke Apartments seems to fit that bill. But Lydia soon learns that you can’t leave the past behind so easily. She finds herself faced with unclogging drains for werewolves, conducting nightly vampire counseling sessions, and caring for two talkative cats. Then there’s the

distraction of Geoffrey, the hottest, and most angelic, boss anyone ever dreamed of. As if that isn’t enough, the demon who nearly killed her shows up to finish the job. So much for a peaceful, simple life…

Buy Now: E-Book, Paperback (Coming Soon)

Author Pages:

Amazon, Smashwords

Where to find Katherine Gilbert:

Website (Facebook)

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Author Spotlight – JK Allen

JK Allen

Introducing JK Allen

JK Allen began writing the day after she learned to write and hasn’t looked back since. Her work is featured in several anthologies and Angelborn is her debut novel. She loves all genres, but especially loves YA and fantasy, and can often be found lost in a book. Or on Facebook.

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I received my degree in Creative Writing in 2010 and got really serious about my writing. It’s been a dream of mine to be an author and I’ve been working hard to make my dreams come true ever since. Common themes in my writing include identity, everyday magic, and the kind of courage found in ordinary people.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

High school is all about boy meets girl, girl gets demon mark, and girl discovers she’s half angel at least that’s how it is for Ginny Gracehurst. Ginny gets caught up in a world she never knew about after getting a demon mark. Now she needs to figure out who she is and how to stay out of the hands of a powerful half demon hell-bent on using her for his own plans. Can she keep herself and her loved ones safe?

Who is your intended readership?

Anyone who loves YA and urban fantasy.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote my first story when I first learned how to write and never stopped. I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until I was older, but I was always writing something. Poems, songs, short stories, I always had a pen in my hand. Writing has always been such a big part of me.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I love such a wide array of authors from Jane Austen to JK Rowling. I feel there’s so much to learn from everyone.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Write first, edit later. It’s so important to just create first before putting on the more critical hat of editor. Just get the draft down. You can perfect it later.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

I love drawing and painting when I’m not writing. Being creative really fuels me. I also adore reading.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

The sequel to Angelborn, Heavenfire, is slated for an April release. Right now it’s with the publisher waiting to get edited. I’m excited to keep the story of Ginny going.

Angelborn

High school is all about boy meets girl, girl gets demon mark, and girl finds out she’s half-angel. At least that’s how it is for Ginny Gracehurst.

Sixteen year olds have a lot going on in their lives, and Ginny is no exception. Grades, homework, pimples, oh and now the sudden appearance of a demon mark. And discovering her father, who she thought was dead, is actually the great angel Grace. Who is very much alive.

With unforeseen powers growing, she has to figure out who she really is. While also staying out of the reach of a powerful half demon who is hell-bent on bending her to his will. The Alliance, an organization that is supposed to help people like her, is threatened by her potential gifts. They are more invested in their own hierarchy than in upholding their divine mandate. It’s up to her and a new friend, Aiden, to protect not just herself, but the ones she loves.

Buy Now: E-Book

Author Pages:

Amazon

Where to find JK Allen:

Website (Facebook), Twitter, Instagram, Blog (Hijinks blog), Facebook

There’s An Exciting Month Ahead

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October 1 st 2018 – “31 Days of Halloween” 2018 Starts

This is my third annual Halloween blog hosting event. I’ll be giving up much of October to my fellow indie authors, and hosting interviews, book spotlights, and a range of other guest posts.

Some of these amazing authors have already been guests on this blog, and others are stopping in for the first time.

However, I’ll still be contributing the occasional post, because…


October 26th 2018 – “Wolves In The Desert” Releases

This is the third short story in the “Shadows Over Seattle: Prequel” series, and the first to take place somewhere other than Seattle.

I’m excited to be bringing this story to you during the build-up to Halloween, because the first story in the series, “Under A Hunter’s Moon”, was a Halloween release, when it was first published.

To celebrate, I’ll be giving away copies of “Wolves In The Desert” as part of the “31 Days of Halloween” event, along with other prizes being contributed by my wonderful guest authors.

Keep Your Eyes Open For The “31 Days of Halloween Schedule”

I’m hoping to firm up some details before the end of this weekend, so I can post the full schedule ahead of the October 1st start date.

WordPress Has New Features – Guess Who’s Taking Advantage

WordPress Has New Features - Guess Who's Taking Advantage

Those of you who’ve been following my blog for a while might have noticed some changes recently. There might even be more to come in the next few weeks.

WordPress is letting people try their new post builder, Gutenberg. It has a lot of features that the existing post builder didn’t have, and I’m excited to be testing it out.

In fact, this very post was created using it.

What Does That Mean For Readers?

Well, hopefully, it should mean that there will be more flexibility in how  build each post. Already I’ve started to use it’s column feature as a way to solve some of the age-old problems with formatting text around images.

It might seem like a small thing, but there are a lot of new features coming with that will make embedding videos, etc into posts.

If you’re interested in finding out more, check out WordPress’s own post at: https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/

Let Me Know What You Think

I’d love to know what you think in the comments…

  • Did you notice the changes in formatting?
  • Are you excited to see what the future might hold?
  • Do you have a suggestion of what you’d like to see in my posts?
  • Is there something about the new post formats you don’t like?

31 Days Of Halloween Is Coming – Guest Posts Welcome

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The Annual 31 Days Of Halloween Event Is Just Around The Corner

I can’t believe how fast this last year has gone by. It seems like it was only weeks ago that I was reaching out to my fellow indie authors to bring you a full month of Halloween themed posts.

And now it’s coming again. I’m reaching out to my fellow authors again, and am excited to see that many of them are as excited as I am.

If you’re an indie author, or reader, and interested in contributing an interview, guest post, article, or book spotlight click one of the buttons below. The first two have forms to fill out, but in all cases I’ll let you know what the next step will be ASAP.

What happened last year?

  • 31 Posts over 31 days, including:
  • 16 Book Spotlights
  • 5 Author Spotlights
  • 1 Halloween Movie Review List
  • 1 Exclusive Character Interview
  • 2 Exclusive Stories
  • 2 Top-10 Lists

So What’s Coming Up?

I’ve just started talking to people to see what they’re interested in contributing. If it’s anything like last year, we’re going to have an amazing line up, including author interviews, book spotlights, and more.

But here’s the best part. Several authors have already talked about donating ebooks toward a drawing that we’ll promote as part of the event.

One of those books will be my own contribution, “Wolves In The Desert”, which will be releasing on October 26th.

I’ll be posting more information as it becomes available, including a schedule of posts. So don’t forget to follow this blog, by email, or through the Wordress Follow button in the sidebar.