Thursday, March 4, 2010

Slip into the Creative Mind of the Creator Behind Guardian

Katie and I first met through the Muse It Up Club several years ago and have stayed in constant contact with each other since our initial cyberspace meeting. It has been a thrill to watch Katie’s career blossom over the last several years. Join me today in welcoming Katie as my guest author and learn about her fascinating writing career through a personal one-on-one interview. Katie will be checking-in throughout the day, so be sure to leave a comment and/or question.

As an added BONUS, by commenting you are automatically entered into a drawing through Katie's 10-day virtual book tour to win a FREE copy of Guardian.

DMc: Your novel Guardian has been released by 4RV Publishing. Please describe to us the process you went through from the time your manuscript was accepted to publication.


KH: It was a longer process than I thought it would be. I signed my contract October31, 2008 and thought everything would fall into place in a couple of months. Wrong! I’m not sure of the whole procedure on the publisher’s end, but I spent the time that I was waiting learning about promoting and marketing. Lots of time. Media kit. Creating a blog. Creating a website. The cover was done first, and it is beautiful. Diana Navarro with 4RV did a slam-dunk job. Although originally scheduled for earlier, the book was actually released in January, 2010. There were a few miscommunications when emails that I sent didn’t make it through to 4RV, so that caused delays. Finally, in December, 2009, the copy editing began, and once that was finished, it was a mere matter of weeks before I held the book in my hot little hands.

DMc: How have you approached your marketing of your novel Guardian?


KH: I think it has helped that I already have a blog and website and media kit. I have hired a marketing firm to do some of the marketing for me. I have also guest blogged, do an author interview once a week on my blog, joined various groups that are either relating to writing or to groups that I think would be interested in my book. I have done a few radio spots. I also have a blog tour set to begin March 1, and I’m looking forward to that.

DMc: What did you find to be the most frustrating step/process of getting your first novel published?


KH: The length of time between the contract and the finished product.

DMc: When did you decide you wanted to become an author? Do you have another job besides writing?


KH: I toyed with the idea of being a writer on and off throughout my life. I always knew I wanted to write some books (like a lot of people), but actually did something about it (unlike a lot of people). I knew I wanted to write, but I didn’t want to write journalism, and didn’t want to teach English. I really didn’t think I could write a book until I sat down and began the actual writing process. I do not have another job outside the home, but I’ve got the same kind of housework, etc. schedule that other moms have. I consider “being there” for my kids, grandkids and husband to be my number one priority and writing comes after that.

DMc: Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?


KH: I’ve been reading since I was 4, and never stopped. My early love--to this date--is fantasy. Back in the late 60s and early 70s, there simply weren’t fantasy books written apart from Lloyd Alexander. Finally, in the mid-70s Terry Brooks wrote “The Sword of Shannara” and I fell in love with the book and couldn’t wait for the others to come. So, fantasy is my first love. But, I read all the fiction bestsellers: murders, thrillers, some horror, romance, you name it and I’ve read it. Thank God for the public library. There is no way I could personally finance my love for reading!

DMc: What has been your personal experience with social networking to gain a presence in the children’s publishing world? Blogging?


KH: I have a small presence on a few social networking groups, but I spend most of my time with Facebook and some on Twitter. I tend to get frustrated with Facebook because a lot of time is spent scrolling past all the Farmville and Yo’ville junk to get to personal and writing friends’ posts. I think the most important thing is exposure. For me, blogging has been a much better use of my time, but my blog tends to be geared towards writers rather than children. I did a website at one point for kids, but it wasn’t very good, and I let it lapse.

DMc: Do you feel it is essential to a writer to attend conferences? If yes, why?


KH: Essential, no. Wise, yes. Sometimes one simply doesn’t have the money to go, except for the excellent free online conference presented by Lea Schizas. By not going to conferences, you miss out on the opportunity to network, which is an important part of a writer’s life and presence.

DMc: What piece of advice would you offer to the newbie writer?


KH: Don’t be afraid to spend pre-writing time on research. There were many times when the research I did for Guardian resulted directly in integral chapters for my book. Be sure and write, write, write and read heavily in your chosen genre.

DMc: What would you be if you were not a writer?


KH: Bored.

DMc: What can we expect from you in the future?


KH: More books. I have a few I am working on. A couple chapter books, a young adult novel, another middle grade urban fantasy, and an adult book. I will continue to guest blog, and write for an online Catholic ezine.

To learn more about Katie Hines, please visit:

Website: http://www.katiehines.com/

Blog: http://katiehines.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Katie-Hines/1442953493

Twitter: http://twitter.com/katiehines

NOW AVAILABLE! "Guardian" a middle grade urban fantasy

Order from http://www.4rvpublishingllc.com/

21 comments:

  1. Awesome interview with good tips for new writers. Thanks for sharing. Good job.

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  2. I'm enjoying learning more about you on your blog tour, Katie.

    Thanks for a nice interview, Donna.

    Bev

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  3. Katie, each tour I get to know you more and more. Here's wishing you continued success.

    One question, however:

    Have you ever felt like throwing in your pen and paper? If so, why?

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  4. Yes, the time between signing the contract and when the book finally appears can seem forever. However, it's not anything unusual for the time to be up to two or three years.

    Many things happen during that time, though, such as editing and editing and editing and ...

    The end result is well worth it, at lest in the case of Guardian, an excellent YA book.

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  5. Welcome Katie...it's a pleasure to host you today.

    Terri, Bev, Lea, and Vivian...thanks for stopping by today, much appreciated.

    Warmly,
    Donna

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  6. A wonderful interview and lots of great information. Thanks much!

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  7. Thanks, folks, for stopping by and leaving comments and well wishes. Donna did a great job, didn't she?

    As for Lea's question, yes, I've definitely had moments where I wanted to throwing in the proverbial pen and paper. It hasn't happened often, thank goodness, but did when I got to a particular part of my book that just wouldn't get written the way I wanted to, and was stubbornly going in its own direction.

    After agonizing about it, I decided if the story wanted to be written that way so bad, then I was going to let it, and the story turned out the better for it!

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  8. The book sounds awesome and the cover is fantastic! Best of luck with it.

    Thanks for the good advice for new writers.

    Laura

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  9. Great interview ladies. I hope your blog tour is going well, Katie. I am a bit impatient--okay, really impatient--for my book to come out from GAP, so I understand your frustrations.

    I've been very happy, though, with everything from 4RV that I've read, so it makes it worth the wait from this reviewer's end. They obviously care to put out a quality product, and it shows. I'm sure you feel lucky to be with them.

    I'm enjoying getting to know more about you and your book, Katie. Best of luck!

    Cheryl

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  10. Very good interview. Thanks for sharing some of the process you went through. The book sounds interesting.
    Congratulations on your release!
    Martha

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  11. I've read Guardian and LOVED IT! It's very well written.

    I have a problem with patience, too. It's one of the "surprises" about the publishing process for new writers. I guess we'll get used to it eventually!

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  12. Wonderful interview. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Wow, I can't wait to see the book. Thanks for the great interview, Donna and Katie. Great information!

    Karin Larson
    http://www.karin-larson.blogspot.com

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  14. Thanks everyone for visiting Donna's blog today. I always feel humbled in the presence of other writers and am amazed that they would say such good things about me and my writing. A little self-image problem, guys! The line between being published and not being published can at times be very thin.

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  15. Great interview! So wonderful to learn more about you and your writing. So happy things are going well with Guardian -- and that the wait was worth it!

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  16. Thanks for sharing the great interview, Donna! Katie, I've enjoyed learning a little more about you and your background. Thanks for sharing, and best wishes to you with Guardian!

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  17. Thanks Lisa and Connie for the well wishes. Guardian was (mostly) a lot of fun to write. I hope you get a chance to pick up the book and read it.

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  18. Wonderful interview!

    Actually, the publishing time isn't too long if you compare it with the big publishers.

    I also like the cover very much.

    Good luck with your tour!

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  19. Interesting questions, Donna. This was a fabulous interview, and I have also learned more about Katie the writer. Katie, you can hide all the "junk" on Facebook. Email me and I'll tell you how.

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Thank for you taking the time out to visit with me and to learn about my writing career.

Please be sure to leave your blog address so I can reciprocate.

I look forward to visiting you too.