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!
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)!!
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