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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Author Interview & Contest with Kat Richardson

My guest this week on Amberkatze's Book Blog is author Kat Richardson. Her Greywalker series is about a paranormal detective featuring Seattle PI Harper Blaine and the fourth book 'Vanished' is due out in August. I for one can't wait to see what happens next but if you haven't already had the pleasure of reading any of the series make sure you check out the contest below!

Enjoy the interview and make sure you check out the Greywalker series. It is one of my favourites and I am looking forward to 'Vanished'!

----------------------------

Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you as a guest here! The Greywalker series is very different to your normal paranormal genre series. How was the idea for the series born? Was it a long process or something that just came to you?

Kat - It was a long process. I had the basic idea in college, but I didn't really get it in shape until I'd been out of school for almost ten years and had moved to Seattle. I was a little influenced by the British TV show, Randal and Hopkirk: Deceased, which was about two London P.I.s one of whom is a ghost, but my version went off in a more Chandleresque direction. That idea, about a tough-guy Private Eye from Los Angeles whose clients are all ghosts, got a shot in the arm, some remodeling, a sex-change, and a new setting... and voila! I didn't even know there was such a thing as the paranormal genre or Urban Fantasy or anything like that. I just wrote what sounded nifty to me.

Amber - Are you anything like Harper Blaine? Are any of the other characters in the books based on people you know?

Kat - Me, like Harper? I kind of hope not, but sometimes I'm afraid we're too much alike: she's got a crazy family she doesn't stay in touch with; doesn't always communicate very well; and has a lot of supid moments in her past, just like me. On the other hand, she's a lot more competent at everything physical than I am and isn't afraid of much. She's also younger, and a lot more athletic. As to other characters, there is always a bit of people I know mixed in. For instance, Quinton has a lot of my husband's technical and scientific interests. I sometimes "borrow" friends and family and sneak them in as minor characters (with their permission of course). You can usually figure them out by reading the acknowledgments up front in the books. Mostly I try to make up characters who are realistic, but aren't exactly modeled on any one person. Even where I slip in my friends and family, they get modified; my mother-in-law is not, in fact, a crazy homeless woman who thinks she's a police detective, nor is my friend John Purcell a vampire (he appears in VANISHED.)

Amber - What kind of research have you had to do for the books so far?

Kat - I'm a history buff and kind of a research fiend, so a lot of reading and poking around, or walking around go into every book. I use a lot of websites as starting places, then follow up with books or materials from the library or bookstore, or I go out and look at areas in person. About two-thirds of VANISHED takes place in London, so my husband and I took a trip to London and spent about a week walking around and looking at things and taking pictures. My husband was kind of bored by hanging around in obscure museums and wandering with apparent aimlessness around funky neighborhoods with my camera, but I thought it was fun!

Amber - Vanished the fourth Greywalker series is due out soon. What can we expect from the new book?

Kat - VANISHED is the book where Harper starts to look at her own life and try to figure out why she's a Greywalker. In the process, she discovers a lot of things she didn't know and that leads to a lot of other revelations and dark hints about things that are in store for her in Book 5. There's also a lot of information about Greywalkers in general and Harper specifically in VANISHED. And as I said, about two-thirds of it takes place in London. It also sets up the end of the vampire arc that began in the first book.

Amber - How many Greywalker books will there be? Do you see an end in sight?

Kat - Well, I'm under contract for a total of six at this point, but at this point I don't have a particular end in mind, so... it's kind of up to the publisher and the fans as to how many more there are after Book 6. I originally only imagined five, so right now Book 6 will either stand alone or start a new arc, depending on how well the next two are recieved.

Amber - Is Greywalker series keeping you busy enough or are you working on any other projects?

Kat - Oh, it's keeping me a lot busier than I'd expected. I'm kind of a slow writer. I try to do more, but I dont' seem to get more than one book and a bit done each year. I was hoping to do three this year, since I have several ideas I'd like to get into, but the schedule for re-releasing the first three books in mass market required more of my time than I'd anticipated, so the other projects got back burnered... again. But I have hopes that I'll have enough time once Book 5 is written to get a bit more done on the other projects.

Amber - How did you end up being a writer? Was it something you always wanted to do?

Kat - It was something I always did. I didn't really think about it as a career until I was in high school and even then I figured it would be something less interesting than writing novels. My dad was an English teacher, so writing was kind of natural and I've always been good at presenting information in text--I always preferred essay exams over multiple-choice since I could bullshit my way through those. I wrote to amuse myself, but I didn't think I'd be published as a fiction writer until I was in college. Even then, I was kind of unsure and I got my degree in Journalism, not in Creative Writing (and I was a vocal music major before that). Sometime between high school and college I guess I started to think I might be able to write something other than research papers. But submissions scared me and I only sent out a couple of short stories which were rejected quite soundly. I gave it up for a while and just wrote fiction for myself. Then one day I told myself I needed to either get something published or give up imagining I was a writer and buckle down to doing something practical. So I polished up the manuscript that became Greywalker and sent queries to agents until someone said "send us the rest. And that was the start.

Amber - How did you end up writing Paranormal? Was it planned?

Kat - Not planned at all. I thought I was writing a detective novel that happened to have some ghosts and vampires and so on in it. Who knew there was a whole genre out there? Not me.

Amber - What books do you like to read when you have time? Do you have any must read authors/series?

Kat - I like Mysteries, especially the hard boiled, or realistic kind. I love Sean Chercover's Ray Dudgeon and Laura Lippman's books about Baltimore. I am a massive fan of Hammett and Chandler, but also of Dorothy L. Sayers. I love Science Fiction and Fantasy a lot too: I grew up with Asimov and Clarke and Fantasy classics like The Wind in the Willows and the Chronicals of Narnia. I just love books! I don't have a lot of reading time, so I tend to grab what looks good and if it doesn't live up to expectations by page 50-100 I drop it and go on to something else. I read a bit of everything.

Amber - How do you relax?

Kat - I walk a lot, or take my motorcycle out. I used to go dancing, but I haven't been in a while. Or I play World of Warcraft with my husband, hang out with friends, or just wander around and look at new things. We live on a sailboat, so sometimes we take it out for a short sail.

Amber - Lots of authors have playlists for their books. What music or bands would find their way onto a playlist for the Greywalker series?

Kat - Curiously, I rarely do that. I don't listen to music much while I'm working, because I get distracted by the lyrics. Though I did use a lot of Latin music as inspiration while writing the novella "The Third Death of the Little Clay Dog" which is set in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature what would you be and why?

Kat - A dragon! I love dragons! I was even born in the Year of the Dragon. Dragons are keen!

Amber - You are stranded on a desert island. What 5 things do you hope to have with you?

Kat - A boat, a compass, a supply of clean water, a notebook, and a big, sturdy knife, because no matter how lovely the island, I want OFF it. I have things to do! Otherwise, I want satellite radio and a lot of sunscreen. And cabana boys. With foofy drinks. And notebooks. Lots of notebooks and pencils.

Amber - Thank you so much for being a guest on Amberkatze's Book Blog. I hope you will pop by again sometime!

Kat - Thanks for having me, Amber! It's been great!




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Contest Time!

There will be two winners this week and both will win a copy of Greywalker signed by Kat Richardson! Thank you to Kat for donating such great prizes!

To enter the contest tell us what you like to do to relax (except read)!!

No Relaxation = No entry!

The usual rules apply!

Earn another entry for each place you link this contest on the net. Make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries!

You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

The contest will stay open until Sunday 12th of July 2009 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.

If you are claiming a prize, have emailed me and have not heard back before the 7 day limit is up then post a comment here on the blog. Your email may get sucked into my spam filter.

93 comments:

Kathy said...

Reading has to be at the top of my relaxation list, but I also like to play video games and travel.

I posted the contest on my blog : http://kathyschaos.blogspot.com/2009/07/contest.html
KathyB

cdhall00 said...

Well, reading is the best, but I also take walks around town. Folding origami is also great for relaxing.

chey said...

To relax I like to sit in the hot tub! If that's not an option, I like to go for a walk.

Calcamanin said...

I like sudoku (math was always my recipe for calm)

flinxsfollies said...

I generally listen to classical music and also play World of Warcraft (thanks Kat! :D)
Also a walk in the International Rose Test Garden is very relaxing in summer.

-Jay

housemouse88 said...

I generally read to relax. However, I also clean and watch tv to relax also. Have a great day.

SiNn said...

hummm good question when i read it relaxes me but sometimes gets me hyped ups o i read to read but to relax a bubble bath dim lights or a nap staren up at the ceiling but my fav thing to do is jot down quotes or book ideas its relaxing

Blodeuedd said...

I like to sit down on the sofa, and watch a movie. Just turn of my brain and not think at all

Maija P. said...

My main relaxation thing is books. But if I have to say something else... watching tv. Usually some comedy series :)

andee said...

My favorite thing is to just enjoy my husband and kids. We have the best time just hanging out and doing nothing at all!!

Vickie said...

http://iyamvixenbooks.blogspot.com/2009/07/amberkatze-with-kat-richardson.html

I love watching my favorite shows (Bones, NCIS, Eureka, Diners DriveIns and Dives...) on TV or on DVD as a relaxation other than reading. I putter on the computer while I watch. I also like cross-stitch.

tetewa said...

Lounge on a raft in a swimming pool!

cait045 said...

What I do to relax is running...it helps clear my head and excape from stressing.

I put this contest on my twitter account
http://twitter.com/cait045

Kytaira said...

I like to surf the net while watching TV (CSI, Bones, Law & Order, America's Got Talent). Or sleep.

amdsmrnitesdrm said...

I write to relax. I also just love to hang out and talk with my friends and family.

Llehn said...

Reading something light.

angel28140 said...

Believe it or not, I relax by writing. It's a therapy all its own. That and TV...TV mind-numbing but good...

Lori T said...

Reading is usually my first choice, but movies are a close second. When I am having a rough day...I just take myself off to the movies.

Kat~
I am really looking forward to reading this series. It has been on my to be bought list forever!

Caffey said...

Hi Kat, so nice to meet you!!! Total neat to hear about your Greywalker series!! I love books set in London. I think because too I love historicals set in London and some day I'd love to visit there! Kat, do you have any idea when the books will start to be released in mass market? It was so much fun to read about these books and your writing.

For relaxation besides reading (you knew we'd probably all say that one) but I love playing card games! There's like 50 different solitaire games I love to play (I like to play with others and do with my daughter now and then).

Amber, I put this contest up on my blogs at:
http://caffeys-reads.blogspot.com
http://myspace.com/auntcaffey
http://facebook.com/CaffeyCathie
I too just twittered it! (CaffeyCathie)

Caffey said...

oops wrong address for my facebook, LOL
its CathieCaffey :)

RKCharron said...

Hi :)
Thanks for such a great interview!
I love the Greywalker series :)I'm SO going to get Mean Streets, for I read every author in there.
For relaxation I love to make love, the afterglow is awesome.
Also I like to take walks, that relaxes & rejuvenates me.
Drawing also relaxes me: I enter a zen-like state which really frees me.
Thanks.
Love From Canada
twitter.com/RKCharron
:)

05BkGTduptkVDZKqE4xgI7XuDou0BdfaAnw- said...

To relax I just love to curl up on my bed or the couch with a good movie or a television series that I just bought or am rewatching.

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

Good Morning! After work every day, I take a jog with my ipod to relax and then lay out in the sun (with a good book, of course!)

Thanks! Miranda

delitealex said...

To relax I soak in a hot bath with bath salts or bubbles.

I posted the contest on my blog.

http://mustlovebooks-delitealex.blogspot.com/2009/07/giveaway.html

I have this series on my to read list.

Katie said...

Kat, thanks for the interview!

I'm totally addicted to America's Next Top Model and will watch marathons for hours to relax.

Thanks!
Katie

quiltingreader said...

I play with my cat to relax.

texasheartland said...

I love to watch my dog play in his kiddie pool! It's so funny and relaxing!


texas_heartland84[at]yahoo[dot]com

bridget3420 said...

I like play with my nephew or my puppy. It relaxes me to watch them play and have fun and figure things out.

bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

bridget3420 said...

tweet

http://twitter.com/bridget3420/status/2500153180

bridget3420 said...

Shared on my Myspace blog

http://www.myspace.com/bridgetlaprairie

Book Junkie said...

To relax I just sit on the porch by myself. I adore my family but sometimes I need peace to re-charge my brain without interruptions from my little monkey boy and my husband.
bjwaldron(at)gmail(dot)com

Book Junkie said...

To relax I sit on the porch with a glass of wine. I need to tune out everyone and everything and re-charge my brain in peace.

Hagelrat said...

I play bass to relax, although i'm pretty rubbish so it's not always that soothing. Anyway, don't include me because I am an obsessed fan and have a signed Mean Streets book and the whole greywalker series so far. I just thought it was a fun question and wanted to say great interview thanks!

Tooyfel said...

Sports and watching DVDs.

kathy said...

I like to crochet to relax. The movement of my fingers is almost mesmerizing and relaxing.

heatherzilla said...

A hot bath helps me relax.

Felicity said...

I like to relax in the pool.

Pat said...

I like to play games on my computer

abfantom said...

I like to lay on the beach and listen to the ocean.

abfantom (at) yahoo (dot) com

MOMFOREVERANDEVER said...

I like to read in the bath to relax.

Daelith said...

Well besides reading, I like to relax by going out on the Harley with my husband. We did a small trip on the 4th to a state park and had a picnic with some other riders. Nothing like the feeling you get riding.

Also like to veg out in front of the tv with some favorite shows or a good movie.

Thanks for the interview. I'm also a dragon lover and born in the year of the dragon.

mmentor said...

sign me up

Kathy said...

To relax I love to watch an old movie that I love, Like Aresenic and Old Lace or Bringing Up Baby

Kathy said...

Tweeted here
https://twitter.com/kdet62/status/2504538563

LuAnn said...

OK, so I can't say I read, even though that's usually what I do. The other thing I do is take a drive through the nearby wildlife refuge and look for photo opportunities. I love to find animals and birds to take pictures of and lately, I've been looking for interesting cloud formations.

Kimberly B. said...

I depends on the kind of relaxing I need to do. If I have a lot of stressful, nervous energy, taking a long walk helps. I also like to belly dance, if not in a formal class, then with a video in my living room. If I have a lot of thoughts turning about in my head, I'll write a poem or jot down my thoughts in one of my journals.

bridget3420 said...

Blogged about giveaway

http://bridget3420.blogspot.com/2009/07/76-book-giveaway-list-1.html

Katiedidtoo said...

The only way I relax these days is total vegging out with mindless Facebook quizzes and silliness like virtual farming.

And it has to be really mindless.

tlaws said...

since I can't say reading, I relax by working in my garden. Frustrating right now though with the lack of rain, my veggies are looking pretty scraggly.But I can still work in it, and for the moment forget about the things that are stressing me out

Valorie said...

I like to soak in a bath. Close my eyes, sink back, and just relax.

I blogged: http://www.morbid-romantic.net/2009/07/06/book-giveaways-07-06-07-12/

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Carol EL said...

I relax by watching tv and playing the different POGO games on my computer.Ialso play TOONTOWN on the computer. jelly15301@gmail.com

clynsg said...

Since you have forbidden reading (shame on you for a book related site!), next would be doing handwork while watching TV.

clynsgatyahoo.com

jwx4 said...

I like to watch tv or soak in the tub.
jwx4 at yahoo dot com

Ladytink_534 said...

I love to take really hot baths to relax!
Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

Joy said...

I like to watch foreign movies to relax. You can't do anything else except read the subtitles. So I love to enjoy those and unwind. I LOVE Korean tv shows. Thanks.
magic5905@embarqmail.com

All This Silence... said...

Hmm... I usually sleep... But lately I've been into watching Will & Grace re-runs. Heck yes!!!!

sarah_bear_38@yahoo.com

Sunnyvale said...

Laying down and relaxing for 15-20 minutes does it for me.

tawnda said...

I relax with my computer

Luvdaylilies said...

I like to relax by just sitting down and listening to itunes=)
Thanks for the giveaway!
Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

A. said...

I like to lounge on the couch with my husband, watch silly romantic comedies, and munch on popcorn! Thanks for the giveaway!

luckymegs1981 AT yahoo DOT com

Kat Richardson said...

To respond to Caffrey about mass markets: Those started coming out in the US in June. Poltergeist came out today in mm and Underground mm will be out in August along with the hardcover of Vanished. After that, the mms will come out about a year after initial release in hardcover.

Carmen R said...

I listen to music to relax. Most people wouldn't consider the music i listen to relaxing but it works for me :)

dag888888 said...

Paint the house, very relaxing and zen!
dag888888[at]yahoo[dot]com

ellie said...

Well since I can't say reading, which is how I usually relax, I'd say take a hot bath and/or watch an old sitcom on TV. My two favorites are Leave it to Beaver and The Andy Griffith Show to relax to.

Bill and Lorie Shewbridge said...

I like to sit on my porch with my husband and my dog with a glass of wine and just talk about nothing!!
Thanks for the chance to win such a great giveaway.

Deborah Wellenstein said...

I've always liked to walk on the beach. Since I am in Kansas where there is no beach, I like to walk in the country. Thank you!

Cynthya said...

If I can't read (horrors) I relax by doing some light gardening or taking a walk with my husband.

amanda said...

To relax I like to garden and take hot baths.
oheeyore at hotmail dot com

valerie2350 said...

i like to sit outside to relax

valerie2350 said...

http://twitter.com/valerie2350/status/2527919987

tatertot374 said...

I like to sit on my swing on the porch in the evenings when the kids go to bed.
Thank you for the chance
tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

kygirl said...

I relax by sitting on the sunporch and watching the squirrels play

Meaghan F. said...

To relax, I usually sit on my bed, get on Pandora radio and play some fun video games like Cooking Dash or Wedding Dash.

RE said...

I relax by taking time out for myself, be it a walk on the beach, a nice glass of wine, or a night on the town with the girls!

Gabriel J. said...

A good book and some chocolate!

blackroze37yahoo.com said...

WELL SINCE YOU TOOK OFF REAIN,, I LOVE MUSIC AND JUST LAYIN BACK WITh IPOD ON AND ZONIN OUT AND TRYIN TO BLANK MIND AND JUST JAM WITh MUSIC

Nickolay said...

I sit in my rocker at the cabin and stare at the Lake at night

jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

Alicia said...

Chillin' with the kittehs is a great way to destress.

Thanks for the giveaway >^..^<

bloggyig at gmail dot com

LadyVampire2u said...

Reading is relaxing for me. As is brushing my dog, taking a walk in the park or having a long bath. Music can also be soothing.
Thanks!
LadyVampire2u(AT)gmail(DOT)com

drey said...

Getting a massage or a pedicure. =)

I tweeted: http://twitter.com/dreys_tweets/status/2568389899

Indigo said...

Relaxing? Spending time with Pickles my working dog. She brings out the kid in me, romping in the yard, going for walks or just curling up on the couch together. At 65lbs. She's over half my weight but a pure delight to be around. I've gotten so much calmer with her in my life in the past couple of years. Thanks for this opportunity! Indigo

ravensquietscreams(at)gmail(dot)com

Becky said...

I like to take walks. Something about being outside watching and listenin to nature just relaxes me.

CinemaSista said...

Something that I love dearly that helps me relax is watching a good movie, for relaxing I would choose a good drama or period piece. =) I am a huge movie lover.

MovieMomma@gmail.com

CinemaSista said...

Tweeted!

http://twitter.com/CinemaSista/status/2578051134

MovieMomma@gmail.com

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) said...

Hi Kat,

I'm looking forward to reading your Greywalker series, I've seen a lot of praise for this series. I'm a little late to the UF genre so I've been playing catch up.

I surf the web, *nerd alert* for how tos or next best practices on coding. I can get lost for hours doing this and it does relax me strangely enough. LOL!

I posted about this contest on my blog's sidebar under Contests/Giveaways.

CanAmBlond said...

I like to bake things...cookies, cakes,etc, to relax. Then I have a snack for when I'm reading. Thanks for the chance to win what looks like a killer book!

NesieBird said...

I love to read and listen to music (but not at the same time) to relax. kneecree at gmail dot com

Marianna said...

A nice hot bath with the bathroom door locked! lol

kcatlin said...

I like to play online :)

purango said...

I like to take a long soapy bubblebath with candles, flowers and some Sinatra music playing. garrettsambo@aol.com

Betty C said...

To relax I love to lounge in a nice warm scented bath. If I add candles and wine that's all the better.

lilyk said...

To relax I like to eat some snacks.

pjgirl74 said...

To relax, I like to walk my dog every evening. It makes me feel so much less stressed out at the end of the day. Thanks for the book giveaway!
pjgirl74 at aol dot com