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Category: Author Interview

Author Interview with Katherine Ganzel

Or, Meet Wattpad Star Katherine Ganzel

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Author Bio: Katherine Ganzel is a married mother of two, who found herself with too much time on her hands when her children reached their late teens.  Looking for something to do, she began writing a love story based on an idea she’d had since she was a teenager.  20 months later, she is completing the sequel to that story.  Her books, Stolen Hearts and Love You Forever, have been posted on Wattpad.com, a free reading and writing website, under the user name KatherineArlene.  The chapters of both books have been read over 1,000,000 times combined.  She currently resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband, two daughters,  three cats and two dogs.

Anna Abner: Welcome, Katherine. Let’s start with what made you post your novels to Wattpad rather than an online retailer like Amazon?

Katherine Ganzel: I had never written anything before, so the idea of pursuing self-publishing never occurred to me.  After working almost nonstop for 6 months, I felt I’d produced a fairly well written love story.  I thought there might be a few people who would enjoy reading it as much as I did, but at the same time it was a somewhat dark story that dealt with mature subjects and I wasn’t exactly comfortable having people I knew read it.  My whole goal with going on Wattpad was to share it with anyone who might be interested while remaining completely anonymous.

AA: That makes perfect sense! Then, what is the best part of sharing your writing on Wattpad?

KG: The most unique part of being an author on Wattpad is the interaction you’re able to have with the readers.  At the end of each chapter readers can make comments on what they’ve read which you can reply to, as well as giving it a vote.  They can also ‘follow’ you, which is similar to following on Twitter.  That allows you to send group messages to them and they also receive notifications as soon as you upload a chapter or start a new story.  Each user, whether they’re a reader or author, has a profile where you can leave personal messages as well.  I think it’s also unique because authors can be more proactive in reaching out to readers.  You can see when someone adds your book to their library or votes on a chapter which gives you the opportunity to thank them.

AA: Would you recommend Wattpad to new writers?

KG: I would definitely recommend WP for new authors!  The best part for me was getting so much feedback from regular readers.  First of all, just hearing they loved my story was a huge deal for me.  At the same time they let me know what parts they were responding well to, and they also pointed out problems, some of which were easily fixed with editing and some were huge plot holes I had no idea existed.  Since my story had a lot of mysterious elements, I was able to weave in those loose ends as I wrote the sequel.  I’m extremely grateful I posted my work on Wattpad first because the story that I ended up writing was a lot different from what I intended to write.  If I hadn’t had that feedback from my readers it wouldn’t have turned out nearly as well as it did.  Wattpad is also a great place to meet other authors.  It’s an incredibly supportive community and I’ve made some really good friends there.

AA: You’ve mentioned how much you love music. Do you write to any specific artists or genres?

KG: I wish I could write to music but I’m one of those people who has to have silence when I’m working because I’m easily distracted.  When I’m not writing, I listen to music all the time and I enjoy almost all genres but electronic dance music is what’s usually playing on my iPod.  Music is an incredible inspiration to me and I can point to certain scenes that were inspired or shaped by a song I heard.  One of the cool things about Wattpad is the ability to add YouTube videos to your chapters.  Since both my characters play the piano a lot in Stolen Hearts, I included a lot of piano music videos.  I wrote a list of all the songs I used in the story and posted it as the last chapter so readers could make their own Stolen Hearts playlist.

AA: Speaking of Stolen Hearts, which is great by the way, do you feel like your writing is more character or plot driven?

KG: Definitely more character driven.  I started Stolen Hearts with a basic idea, a young man, Robert, wakes up and finds he’s been kidnapped and being held a prisoner with a girl, Georgie, whom he assumes is one of the kidnappers.  The story that came after that, Robert coming to terms with his captivity, realizing Georgie wasn’t exactly who she seemed and then falling in love with her, just flowed out of me and was driven by the choices the characters made.  I had to be a lot more structured when I wrote Love You Forever because I needed a resolution to the story that included the answers to all the mysteries.  I also used flashbacks to tell what happened after Robert was released while in the current storyline he struggles with severe depression and P.T.S.D. after what he’s been through.  That required me to be a lot more careful with my plotting, but even then the characters sometimes surprised me with the choices they made.

AA: When you started Stolen Hearts did you know it would be part of a series or did it just end up that way?

KG: When I began posting the chapters on Wattpad I didn’t have an end to Robert and Georgie’s story because I’d run out of ideas.  It didn’t seem like that big of a deal at the time because I wasn’t sure anyone was going to read it.  After a few months, I’d built up a fan base of regular readers and realized I better start thinking about the ending.  It was clear that Stolen Hearts should end with Robert being taken out the prison, not knowing what was going to happen to Georgie, since the story was going to change dramatically after that.  What I’d already written after Robert was released, pointed me in the direction I should take Love You Forever to it’s final conclusion.

AA: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

KG: I knit quite a bit and make my own yarn on a spinning wheel.  I also enjoy doing bead work and making my own jewelry.  Oh, and I love to read.

AA: What advice would you give to struggling writers just starting out?

KG: Write what you love and don’t let anything take that enjoyment from you.  So few authors find success and for the millions who don’t, it can be terribly demoralizing.  Even on Wattpad there are extremely successful authors, ones with huge fan bases and who rack up millions of reads on their stories.  I realized early on I would go crazy if I spent my time worrying if I would ever be that successful.  I also believe that if you love what you’re writing, someone else will too.  I guess you can say I’m an optimist.

AA: Are there pieces of your writing that will never see the light of day?

KG: I guess I’m lucky that I’m so new at writing there isn’t too much terrible stuff lying around but I wrote a retelling of a fairy tale before Stolen Hearts that was pretty darn awful.  No one will ever be allowed to see that.

AA: Fair enough! What can you tell us about future projects (which I’m sure are not terrible at all)?

KG: My next story has been percolating in the back of my mind for a while as I’ve been finishing Love You Forever.  It will be a love story that takes place in the late 1950’s and center around a girl and two boys, but it won’t be a love triangle.  Since it’s not planned out completely, it’s hard for me to talk about it in depth but it will be dark and mysterious, just the sort of thing readers of Stolen Hearts will love, and I’ll be posting it on Wattpad.  I’m also mulling over the possibility of self-publishing Stolen Hearts and Love You Forever, but they need a lot of work before I take that next step.

Oui or Non

Contact Katherine:

Wattpad profile

Facebook page

Twitter @misskitty64

<3 Anna

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Don’t Miss my Q&A with Wattpad Author Katherine Ganzel on Monday

Or, Look For The Interview With This Amazing Author Sep. 16th

Monday Katherine Ganzel will be stopping by to answer a few  questions about her two novels, Stolen Hearts and Love You Forever, as well as her Wattpad experience.

See you then!

<3 Anna

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Announcing Upcoming Author Interview With Katherine Ganzel

Or, Check Out The Interview Right Here Sep. 16!

Katherine is a rising star on Wattpad, a popular new story sharing site. Look for the exclusive Q&A about her Wattpad experience on Monday, Sep. 16.

Until then, read her bio below and visit her online at www.facebook.com/AuthorKatherineGanzel and @misskitty64.

Oui or Non

Author Bio:

Katherine Ganzel is a married mother of two who found herself with too much time on her hands when her children reached their late teens.  Looking for something to do, she began writing a love story based on an idea she’d had since she was a teenager.  Twenty months later, she is completing the sequel to that story.  Her books, Stolen Hearts and Love You Forever, have been posted on Wattpad.com, a free reading and writing website, under the user name KatherineArlene.  The chapters of both books have been read over 1,000,000 times combined.  She currently resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband, two daughters, three cats and two dogs.

<3 Anna

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Interview With Big Bad Bite Author Jessie Lane

Or, How Crystal Leo and Melissa Pahl Work Together to Write Fun Paranormals

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Author Bio:

Jessie Lane is the writing team of Melissa Pahl and Crystal Leo. The two sisters-in-law share a passionate love of naughty romance, cliff hanging suspense, and out-of-this-world characters that demand your attention, or threaten to slap you around until you do pay attention to them. Because really, it is ALL about the characters.

Crystal and Melissa often live half their lives with their heads in the clouds dreaming of alpha military hunks, werewolves, and kick ass heroines.

Their first YA novel, The Burning Star, was released in May 2012. Big Bad Bite is their second novel, but their first adult paranormal romance, and it was released in January 2013. They are now working on their next three novels, Secret Maneuvers, Walk On The Striped Side, and The Frozen Star. With these projects underway, they are looking forward to showing the rest of the world the crazy stories, heroes, and heroines that often plague their minds until written, and hope you will join them on their journey!

Anna Abner: First, thank you for stopping by to talk about your paranormal novels The Burning Star and The Big Bad Bite. Can you start by telling us how you write as a team?

Crystal Leo: Melissa and I realized a long time ago that we feed off of each other’s creativity. Others might have a hard time writing with someone else, but the two of us are so alike that it doesn’t bother us at all. In fact, it’s common for one of us to pick up the phone when we’re stuck on a sentence or an idea and the other is able to know exactly where we were going with the idea and help get the ‘stuckee’ subsequently ‘unstuck’.  That’s very much how the partnership began. I called Melissa to complain about what I was stuck on and she walked me right through all of the problems I had. That’s when I realized that we were on to something. So, the process between us is simple. One of us starts the story and the other adds to it and polishes it. That technique works very well for us.

AA: You’ve written both, but do you prefer writing young adult over more adult stories?

CL: I would have to say that Melissa and I feel like we can be more of ourselves in the adult genres. With the young adult genre we constantly straddle a line between what we want to write and trying to be respectful of what parents would want their children to read. So personally, I try to think in terms of, ‘Would I let my daughters read this if they were 15 or 16?’ That question usually helps me through the books. That isn’t to say that some parents still won’t have issues with some of the things we write, but we do have to be true to ourselves as writers.

AA: I loved Burning Star, book one in the Star Series. What do you have planned for future stories in the series?

Melissa Pahl: Thank you, and we’re happy you loved it! We don’t want to spoil too much, but book two, The Frozen Star, is in the works. Our goal is to release it by the end of this year. What I can tell you is that this book will focus on Kira’s journey into her new life and how everyone is working together to rescue Kay.

AA: The heroine in Burning Star has cancer. What made you decide to give Kay a terminal disease?

CL: This book was inspired by a very crazy dream I had one night. (My husband blames the Mexican food I ate, but we’ll just ignore him.) So in my dream I saw a very sick girl. When I started writing Kay’s story I chose cancer because I was hoping to shed light (and perhaps give a little bit of fantastical hope) to those kids that do suffer from cancer. Cancer runs in my family in many forms, and it’s a very hard thing to deal with. I look forward to a day where it does not exist anymore.

Anyone interested in finding out how they can help the cause of fighting cancer should check out St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and The American Cancer Society.

AA: In your novels you write about werewolves, faeries, witches, seers, and spells. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

MP: Our imaginations are always running wild. Plus, we read a lot. I personally have too many books and encyclopedias about everything ranging from mythology to the creepy paranormal. My husband started this addiction of mine with a book on Egyptian mythology and continues to feed the habit, so to speak.

AA: You mentioned encyclopedias. How much research is involved in your writing?

MP: I think we over research sometimes, which often makes for interesting emails and phone calls to one another. They normally end up with one of us laughing hysterically and spitting coffee on our computer screen.

AA: Who are your favorite authors to read in your down time?

MP: Shelly Laurensten, Kristen Ashley, Cassandra Clare, Jo Davis, Shayla Black…um I read a lot and so does Crystal. I think we will have an endless list if we keep going. Lol.

AA: When did you know you were a writer?

MP: Honestly, I’m not sure exactly when I knew, but when I was a teenager I was always writing in my journal. It was bits and pieces of quotes and poems or even lyrics that meant something. I actually still have all those books…Might need to look in them for motivation for when I get writers block.

AA: Sounds interesting! What advice would you give to struggling writers just starting out?

MP: Don’t let the negativity get you down. Not everyone will like what you write. Take the criticism with a grain of salt and learn from it. But most of all, you wrote it so be proud of it. Remember, you are a writer and no one can take that from you.

AA: What can you tell us about your upcoming projects?

CL: *rubs hands together in glee* We’ve got a lot of exciting things going on right now! Last January we released our first adult paranormal book, Big Bad Bite. It’s made a few of the Kindle bestseller categories on Amazon. That was seriously exciting! We have our first adult contemporary romance, Secret Maneuvers, scheduled to release June 15, 2013. Make sure you put it on your Goodreads ‘to-read’ list! At the end of this year readers can look for The Frozen Star (book #2 in the Star Series) to be released with a new, professionally edited version of The Burning Star. We’ll also be releasing Walk on the Striped Side (book #2 in the Big Bad Bite Series)! We’re very busy girls this year, but it’s all a work of love anyways!

Thank you for having us on your blog today Anna and readers! We enjoyed our visit and hope you’ll stop by our website to enjoy excerpts and playlists for the books!

Secret Maneuvers - Ex Ops #1 cover

 

The Frozen Star

Visit Jessie Lane at these social sites:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thanks for stopping by, Melissa and Crystal! I wish you the best of luck in all your future projects.

<3 Anna

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Announcing New Author Interview of Jessie Lane

Or, Check Out the Interview Right Here on March 25!

I’m so excited to announce the interview of Jessie Lane, author of The Burning Star and The Big Bad Bite, on my blog on Monday, March 25. Come read about how these sisters work together to write fun, action-packed paranormals.

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<3 Anna

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Interview with 13th Floor Author Christine Rains

Or, Why I Can’t Wait to Read Dragonslayer!

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Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. She lives in southern Indiana with her husband and son in a cozy little house stuffed full of books and games. She’s a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. She has twenty short stories and five novellas published.

Anna Abner: First, thank you so much for stopping by on your blog tour for the third novella in the 13th Floor Series, Dragonslayer. Can you start by telling us about your writing schedule?

Christine Rains: As a stay-at-home mom, I have no specific writing schedule. If my son naps, I’ll get an hour or two in the afternoon. I might get an hour at night if I’m lucky. My son also goes to preschool twice a week, and I use those few hours in the morning to write. That is the only time I can be certain I’ll get to write.

AA: Your hero and heroine in 1301 are old enough to have a few wrinkles and a little gray in their hair. What made you choose to write slightly older characters?

CR: I read a lot of paranormal romances. There are a lot of young and rash characters. Even if they’re thousands of years old, they still behave that way. I wanted a couple who were more set in their personalities. I wanted strength through wisdom, and besides, a little gray hair can be sexy.

AA: I agree! Speaking of rash, supernatural characters, do you feel like your writing is more character or plot driven?

CR: Definitely character driven. I focus much more on my characters and let them propel the story forward. One of my idols, Stephen King, has amazing characterization skills. I strive to bring the people who live in my head to life on paper as brilliantly as he does.

AA: I’d say you’re doing a great job. Up to this point you’ve written about demons, vampires, and werewolves. What characters do you have planned for upcoming stories in the series?

CR: In my newest novella, there are dragons. Modern day dragons who are still hoarding and seeking power. The next book will feature a harpy who works for Zeus, and you’ll see my twist to the Greek pantheon. The vampire will return in the fifth story narrated by a banshee named Harriet. Poor girl has a rough life!

AA: 1301 and 1302 take place in Carmine on the same night. Will all the 13th Floor stories take place around that same time?

CR: Yes. All the books will take place around the same time period in the city except for the fourth book which will mostly take place out of this realm of existence. It will still be during the same time as the other stories, though.

AA: How do you develop new characters and story ideas?

CR: A lot of my ideas come from dreams and simple wonderings about the world. I like to play with ideas and characters in my head before I put pen to paper, or rather, fingers to keyboard. I’m a pantser, so all I need is one good character and I can start writing.

AA: When you’re not writing what do you enjoy doing?

CR: I love to spend time with my son and see the world anew through his eyes. I’m an avid reader and movie addict. I also love the outdoors and would happily spend my days walking in the woods if the weather was nice.

AA: What advice would you give to struggling writers just starting out?

CR: Don’t be intimidated by everything you read. Write what you love and don’t stop writing. Not for anything. Never give up on your dreams. Perseverance will see you through.

AA: Finally, what can you tell us about 1303: Dragonslayer?

CR: Dragons have not gone extinct. They have taken on human form and blended in with our society, hiding in plain sight as famous and powerful individuals. While the dragons use their influence to gain more power, dragonslayers are forced into the shadows and deemed outlaws. In my novella, a dragonslayer named Xan misses his target and incurs the dragon’s wrath. He also picks up an unwanted passenger in the form of hard-edged reporter Lois King. She’s a skeptic and won’t believe him, but he must convince her or else they both could die.

AA: Sounds exciting! Thank you again for the interview, and good luck with all your future projects.

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Contact Christine:

Website: http://christinerains.net/

Blog: http://christinerains-writer.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@CRainsWriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorchristinerains

Email: christinerains.writer@gmail.com

 

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Christine Rains’ 1303: Dragonslayer Blog Tour Announced

Or, Check Out Christine Rains’ Exclusive Interview Right Here on Feb. 15

I’m thrilled to announce that Christine Rains, author of the 13th Floor series, will be stopping by on Feb. 15 for an interview to promote her new release, Dragonslayer.

Check out the new cover! And if you haven’t read her first two volumes in the series, they’re fantastic!

TheDragonslayercoversmall<3 Anna

 

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