Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Katie Hines - Guest Author

I recently had the opportunity to chat with children's author, Katie Hines, about her soon to be released novel, Guardian, published by 4RV Publishing.

Readers, please be sure to leave a comment or question for Katie. She will be checking in periodically to field your comments and questions. Also, as an added bonus if you do leave a comment you will automatically be entered in the drawing for a chance to win a FREE signed book from Katie. Be sure to leave your contact information within your comment.

Q: Katie, you had several poems published in high school and then shelved your writing to raise your family. Did you always know you would go back to writing when time allowed?

Katie: No, I didn’t. At the time, I didn’t realize how hard it is to get a book published the traditional route. When the editor of the anthology approached me about my poems, I was surprised, but not as elated as I would be now!

Q: Your writing career is quite diverse. Please share with us how your articles are planned out for your feature writer and columnist position.

Katie: I have a cushy position with the newspaper. I write the articles of my choice, and he publishes them in the local paper. To be honest, I have pretty much set my article writing aside in order to work on marketing and promotional plans for my middle grade urban fantasy, “Guardian.”

Q: Your novel Guardian is due to be released July/August by 4RV Publishing. Please describe to us the process you went through from the time your manuscript was accepted to publication.

Katie: First of all, there was the huge high I got when I was notified my manuscript was accepted by the publisher. Then I got the contract (which I read carefully, as everyone should), and signed it and returned it to the publisher. Another huge high then! This was October 2008.

Next, I received a copy of the book cover from the illustrator via the publishing company. I have to admit it is a really awesome book cover. Diana did such a great job with it. For Christmas that year, my husband printed out copies of the book cover and copied the signature page of the contract and framed them for me. They now grace my wall in my office!

In December, I began working on marketing and promotional work. I struggled to create a meaningful media kit, but had good writer friends who helped me with that. I also began a blog. I should be creating a website, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.

I also joined several social networking sites, but use Twitter and Facebook most often. I belong to some .ning groups that I feel might have any sort of connection to a theme in “Guardian.”

A couple of weeks ago, I got the edit from the publisher, with changes to be made as indicated. That took me a couple of weeks, and I sent it back to them earlier this week.

That brings me to now. Apparently, they’re doing the layout of the book, and will get back to me to work with them about hyphenated nouns and widow and orphan control.

The final step, I believe, is to actually get the book in my hot little hands.

Q: I have heard many times over authors need to be actively involved in marketing their novel. What actions have you set in place to build the momentum of Guardian?

Katie: I pretty much signed up with social networking groups, and created a media kit. That media kit is really important because it can be sent to all sorts of people: local newspapers, libraries, book stores blog tour hosts, etc.

I also wrote to various writer friends who had already been through blog book tours and marketing, picking their brains for good ideas, and what strategies worked and which ones didn’t and why.

Additionally, I have ordered business cards. Plan to order some bookmarks, postcards, some posters of the awesome book cover. I’d also like to get some book bags made with the cover on it, as well as t-shirts for my family to wear advertising the book. Maybe even ball caps.

Q: All writers have different creative processes. Do you work off an outline or do you write straight from your heart and thoughts?

Katie: I’ve done both. I don’t like outlines, because it seems I always deviate from them. That said, I use an outline for my middle grade books because I want to know how I’m going to get to the end of the book (which I always have figured out ahead of time.) I have a young adult novel that I am writing that uses an outline, but a few chapter books that don’t. The young adult novel I write from an outline, but only in the general sense. That book is mostly from the heart.

Q: The publishing industry is ever changing with the advancement of technology. What is your opinion of e-books versus traditional print?

Katie: I personally don’t like ebooks. I’d rather hold a printed book in my hot little hands. I also don’t like reading off the computer. I can hold an ebook, I suppose, were I to print it out, but then that costs me money for paper and ink. There’s just something wonderful about cuddling under the covers, holding a traditionally printed book and getting lost for hours.

Readers, to learn more about Katie and her dynamic writing career, become an opt-in subscriber of the Write What Inspires You Newsletter by sending an email to dmcdine@optonline.net with opt-in in the subject line.

Katie, thanks for your thought provoking interview, it was a pleasure hosting you today.

Don’t forget to come back on July 2nd to read the synopsis of Guardian.

Thanks for stopping by, we appreciate your time.


  1. Katie, sounds like you got a good jump-start on the promotional aspect. The percentage of authors who do that is really very small, so you're already ahead of the game!

    L. Diane Wolfe

  2. Hi, Katie, couple of questions for you...
    --Of the promotional things you've done, which have been most successful, and if you know, why?
    --What are the items in your media kit?

    Best regards, Galen
    Imagineering Fiction Blog

  3. Katie and Donna,

    It was wonderful to learn more about Katie and congrats on the book!

    It's amazing the amount of promotional tools that are out there. Unfortunately there are just too many to use them all, so we as writers have to decide what we think is going to reach our audience best. Not an easy task!

    All the best,

  4. Congratulations on the book. It was really interesting to read about your promotional path and the timelines involved. Thank you.

  5. Galen, I cannot really tell you which has been the best since my book has not been released as yet. I can tell you that what I have strived the most to do is to create an internet presence. Hopefully, that is going to pay dividends.

    Thanks for leaving a comment!

  6. Congratulations on your book, Katie. I'm looking forward to reading it.

    Great interview, Donna. Enjoyed hearing how you work, Katie.




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