Thursday, October 17, 2013

Author Interview Thursday: Welcome Kate Brian with Giveaway! @Kate_Brian


Welcome to Author Thursday hosted by Never Too Old for Y.A. and N.A. Books on Goodreads.
Today we welcome author Kate Brian for an interview!

Have you had the chance to read Kate's most awesome books?

Rory Miller had one chance to fight back and she took it. Rory survived and the serial killer who attacked her escaped. Now that the infamous Steven Nell is on the loose, Rory must enter the witness protection program. Entering the program alongside her, is her father and sister Darcy. The trio starts a new life and a new beginning leaving their friends and family behind without a goodbye. 

Starting over in a new town with only each other is unimaginable for Rory and Darcy. They were inseparable as children but now they can barely stand each other. As the sisters settle in to Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation island, it seems like their new home may be just the fresh start they need. They fall in with a group of beautiful, carefree teens and spend their days surfing, partying on the beach, and hiking into endless sunsets. Just as they’re starting to feel safe again, one of their new friends goes missing. Is it a coincidence? Or is the nightmare beginning all over again?

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Rory Miller thought her life was over when a serial killer set his sights on her and forced her into witness protection. But a fresh start on Juniper Landing Island was exactly what she and her family needed. For the first time in years she and her sister hang out at the beach, gossip about boys, and party together. She's also made friends with a local clique--including a magnetic and mysterious boy named Tristan. 
But Rory's world is about to change again. Picturesque Juniper Landing isn't what it seems. The truth about the swirling fog that rolls in each morning, the bridge that leads to nowhere, and those beautiful locals who seem to watch Rory's every move is more terrifying than being hunted by Steven Nell. And all Rory ever wanted was the truth. Even if it means learning that she can never go home again. From the best-selling author of the Private and Privilege series comes the second novel in a heart-stopping trilogy about a girl who must pick up the pieces after the only life she's ever known ends


I am telling you, you WANT to read these books. They are totally amazing! I promise, no disappointment and you will be totally surprised by what's in them!
So let's hear what Kate has to say!
Welcome Kate!

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else? 
When I was a kid I loved to read, but I thought of writing as a hobby. As I got older I thought I might be a journalist, because I thought it would be glamorous and the only way to make money writing, but when I took classes in college, it turned out I was an awful journalist. I just couldn’t get up the guts to interview people. That was when I decided to try to become an editor, which I was for a while before I started writing full time.
How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
It depends on the book. The longest it’s ever taken me to write a novel was a year, the shortest was three weeks. Yes, three weeks. I know. It’s slightly insane.
How do you come up with themes for your stories?
I just try to write stories I would want to read, so there’s a lot of mystery, intrigue and romance. I always like a good shock or scare and I like to see characters faced with serious adversity and see how they work their way out of it.
Do you have a schedule of when you write? 
Yes. I’m pretty rigid about my schedule. I always promised myself I’d keep my weekends free of work (unless I’m appearing at a book festival or some other event), so I only write during the week and usually my most productive time of day is the morning. I try to write three scenes a day when I’m working on a manuscript. Then the next day, I read over what I wrote the day before, edit it, spruce it up, and then get on to writing the next three scenes.
How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
It’s never easy! I have two little kids, so if one of them gets sick, then there’s no writing that day. The winters have been torturous, because you never know when someone’s going to wake up with a fever and need their mommy. It always seems to happen when I’m on a tight deadline or have a great idea that I just have to get down right away! Luckily I have a husband who is able to take time off when I really need him to, so we find a way to figure things out.
What elements do you think make a great story line? 
I think complicated, flawed, interesting, layered characters with clear missions, wants and needs make for a great story. If you really understand a character, then you’re right there with them through every disappointment and struggle, cheering them on. That’s the kind of story I like to read.
What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
I’m awful at endings. I’m horrible at writing the last lines of chapters. I always like to leave on a good, compelling line and I can almost never come up with it as I’m writing the chapter. I always go back and write it later, after I’ve (hopefully) had an epiphany.
How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite? 
Believe it or not, I’ve written over a hundred books under various pen names. I’ve worked on series, TV tie-ins, non-fiction, biographies, movie adaptations, quiz books, graphic novels, advice books, romances, thrillers, supernatural novels, mysteries, friendship novels and have done both YA and Middle Grade. With all that under my belt, it’s hard to pick a favorite!
Do you have a favorite character?
I always liked Gage from the Private novels because he was crass and funny like no other character I’ve ever written. Whenever I came up with a good line just walking around on a normal day, I’d give it to Gage in the next scene I was writing.
Where do you write?
In my office in my house. It’s a lovely, bright room with an east-facing window, so it’s great in the morning. I painted it this awesome shade of garden green and I have all white furniture. It’s my happy place. I also sometimes write at a library near my home that has great windows, or at Starbucks, like everyone else.
When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took? 
I actually kind of fell into this whole thing. I was working as an editor in YA fiction (remember Sweet Valley High?), when a friend of mine was looking for writers for a series she was working on called Love Stories. I auditioned by writing two chapters and an outline and was commissioned to write a novel. The editors liked it so much that I was hired to do three more. From there on I ended up working on other series and random things until I eventually developed the confidence to come up with my own idea that I loved. Once I did that, I found an agent through a friend, and the rest is history.
Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
My mom loved everything I ever wrote, but she loved Private the most. She read it and said, “This is unlike anything you’ve ever done before.” And she just had this proud smile on her face. I knew my writing had grown when she said that to me and it was a great feeling.
What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I like to work out. I’m a gym rat. I do pilates, kickboxing, zumba, weight training and I run as well. I also love to cook and to bake, mostly cookies and cupcakes (which might be why I workout so much). And of course I like to hang out with my family. I love to run around in the backyard or at a playground with my kids. It’s the best kind of exercise. TV and reading are big with me to, I won’t lie. Lately I’ve been addicted to Food Network and devouring biographies and memoirs.
What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing? 
I always tell people that in order to be a good writer, you have to be a good reader first. Read as much as you can, and as many different types of writing as you can. Read fiction, non-fiction, romance, sci-fi, books, magazines, blogs, newspapers, plays, screenplays, short stories, poetry. People often have a hard time finding their voice, and the more you read, the more you figure out what you’re into and what you’re not. I think it also gives a writer confidence, because you realize how many varying voices there are out there, how many of them have been published, and you start to understand that whoever you are, there’s an audience for your style.
What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write? 
I’m a Jane Austen fan-girl. I re-read Emma, Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice all the time. I love Jen Lancaster’s memoirs and I’ve read Confessions of a Shopaholic over and over as well. Maeve Binchy was a big inspiration to me, because I loved her characters and her settings. Plus her prose is just so straight-forward and comforting. Her books always make me feel like the world could be a good and beautiful and loving place if we were all just kinder to each other.
Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such? 
Definitely! When I’m stuck or need to know whether an idea has any merit, I have a few people I email or call. I’d tell you’re their names, but then I’d have to kill you.
Are you working on anything now?
I’ve just started working on the third and final book in the Shadowlands trilogy, which is titled Endless. It’s so weird, knowing this project is almost at its close. I feel like I just started writing it! But I’m looking forward to figuring out what comes next!
Thanks so much for stopping by today, Kate! It's been fabulous having you here! I can't wait for the final book and to see what you come up with next!  Good luck!
Kate Brian is the prolific author of many books for teens including the Private series, the new Privilege series, and Sweet 16. She lives with her husband in New Jersey. She writes under the pseudonym Kate Brian, instead of using her real name: Kieran Scott.

Kate has graciously offered a signed copy of Hereafter (Shadowlands #2). Just enter via the Rafflecopter below!


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