This week on Author on the Couch,
I conduct a session with
Katie is giving away an e-copy of ON THE FLY, the first book in her series, to a random person who comments on this blog.
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Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.
Katie: Attending Seton Hill University for my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction was one of the best and most life-changing things I’ve ever done. I found a family of supportive genre writers that I get to keep for the rest of my life. My thesis novel, On the Fly, sold before I graduated thanks to a publisher tip from one of the mentors in the program. Because SHU helped me polish and finish that first book, it led to four more. I try to go back to campus every summer for a giant alum book signing because I love geeking out with my tribe. SHU has been described as Hogwarts for writers, and it is truly magical.
Me: That sounds like such an incredible experience!
What personality trait of yours helps you most as an author?
Katie: I am tenacious. When I commit to something, I don’t give up, and I’m very self-motivated. I set daily word goals for myself and always finish books before deadlines.
Me: What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?
Katie: I am also a procrastinator. Say I have a 1k daily word goal. I may wait until 10 o’clock that night to start typing. I know I can produce under pressure, so that leads to me putting it off as long as possible. But it gets done!
Me: What was your high point as a writer?
Katie: My high point was selling my first book. There’s nothing like it. I’ve gained a readership since then and published three—soon to be four—more books, but nothing touches that original adrenaline rush the first time someone loved my work and wanted to buy it.
Me: What was your low point as a writer—a time when questioned your path as a writer, a time when you felt really crappy about your writing?
Katie: The low point came quickly after when my first content editor (not the one who bought the novel) didn’t get my writing at all. She wanted me to make major changes to the plot that would have not only changed the story but the foundation of my quirky characters. I had two weeks to basically rewrite a book that had taken me 10 years to perfect. I panicked. Then I talked to my more experienced classmates at SHU, and they told me to calm down, make a list of what I didn’t want to change and objectively explain why. So that’s what I did. I sent my objections to the acquiring editor who’d loved my book, and she agreed with me. I changed a few things the content editor had mentioned because I could admit it was in the book’s best interest, but for the important things, I stuck to my guns, and I’m glad I did.
Me: Good for you! It’s awesome you had friends to consult with.
Which of your characters are you most like? Why?
Katie: There’s a little bit of me in all of my heroines, but I’m most like Allie from Full Strength. She’s kind of the team’s den mother. As the sports psychologist, everyone goes to her for advice. She’s on an even keel and gives it to them straight with a little quippy teasing but always with respect, objectivity, and genuine caring. She’s not afraid to voice her opinion, but she often sits back and observes and remains the level-headed one. She’s the team’s rock.
Me: How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Katie: When I was twelve, I fell in love with The X-Files. But I was frustrated that the show wouldn’t let Mulder and Scully be together (as they were so obviously destined) in those early days. I started writing short stories in notebook after notebook. Then I started typing them up. The Internet arrived at our house, and I found an entire online support group for this in the form of fan fiction archives. I wasn’t alone! I posted my scenes and got a lot of good feedback and the praise needed to grow a young writer. That’s when I realized what I was. I wrote XF fan fiction throughout my teens and finally branched off into my own original characters.
Me: So many writers have gotten their start in fan fiction. What a great place to dip your toes in the water!
What’s your life motto? Why does that motto speak to you?
Katie: Last night as I was about to fall asleep, a line from a Monkees song kept going through my head, and I realized that it was a good life motto: “She owns and operates her own sunshine factory.” That’s me. That’s what I strive to do. Life can throw a lot at you, but you can choose to create your own sunshine. Happiness is a choice.
Me: Wow! I LOVE that line: “She owns and operates her own sunshine factory.”
Tell me a bit about your book FAIR TRADE.
Olivia Parker spent years climbing the career ladder. She finally reaches the highest rung when she’s offered the spot for assistant physician of the Las Vegas Sinners hockey team, and she’s determined to prove she belongs there. The problem? It’s lonely at the top. All of her accomplishments cost countless personal relationships, including her marriage, but she’s ready for a fresh start. What she’s not ready for is a patient who sneaks past her professional barriers and shows her everything she’s been missing. Letting people in had never been easy, but keeping him out is harder. Could a shot at real love be worth risking her ethical code?
Grayson Gunn played his entire career for his hometown team and was ready to retire there, never having won hockey’s greatest prize. A surprise trade to the Sinners gives him one last chance at glory before he hangs up his skates, and nothing will stand in his way. Newly divorced, he’s not looking to open his heart again, but when injuries land him in the office of the team’s pretty new doctor, he can’t help it. In a few months, he won’t be her patient any more. When an opportunity to keep playing presents itself, he’s torn. The game he’s lived for or the woman he can’t seem to live without?
Me: Share with us a favorite paragraph or two from your newest release.
Katie: My hero is looking at what he thinks is his last season playing hockey before he retires. This is from his last ever game. The emotion here hits me hard, and my heart breaks for him:
Walking into the arena, time slowed. Colors were brighter, screams and cheers louder, the smell of popcorn and beer and fresh ice stronger. Sensory overload. And then it hit Grayson. This could be the last time. The thought was almost strong enough to bring him to his knees. He’d had almost a year to get used to the idea, but it’d been distant until now. Something to deal with when the time came. It was here. A rush of emotion hit him, and tears threatened, but he held them back, chewing hard on his mouth guard. It was too soon. If he lost it now, he wouldn’t be able to play, and that was not an option. Just another game. It was a lie he needed to believe, at least for the next three hours.
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Thank you![Tweet theme=”basic-full”]#AuthorontheCouch @KatieKenyhercz discusses how attending Seton Hill for her MFA changed everything. Via @Abbie_Roads http://wp.me/p5h5aN-jm[/Tweet]
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[Tweet theme=”basic-full”]#AuthorontheCouch @KatieKenyhercz chats about how the X-Files helped her become a writer. #giveaway. via @Abbie_Roads http://wp.me/p5h5aN-jm[/Tweet]
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Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but she always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages. Her first book will be out October 2016 from Sourcebooks.