Robin Leigh: Tell us about your latest published novel.
KH: My debut novel is Untethered. It is a paranormal coming of age novel that follows 16-year-old Sylvie on a unique and slightly sinister journey of self-acceptance. Sylvie has an ability to leave her physical body and astral project. While it could be akin to a superpower, she sees it as a curse. That is, until the day she decides to play with its dark side. Sylvie then sets an evil plan in motion that she believes will change her life for the better. But she doesn’t count on it spiraling out of control.
KH: Wish I could say I have a backlog of books published, but I don’t. There’s Untethered, and a young adult short story that takes place in the 1950’s – Kissing Clarisse. I’m working on building up my list, though!
Robin Leigh: What can you tell us about your current writing endeavor?
KH: I’m working on a series that involves creepy masks, the lost colonists of Roanoke and stories of the devil. Happy, light stuff, you know. Ahem.
Robin Leigh: Can you give us an excerpt from one of your favorite scenes in Untethered?
KH: I guess I’ll go with the beginning of the flashback in Chapter 19, when Sylvie and Cassie decided to become blood sisters:
The summer we were ten years old, Cassie and I held our fingers over my mother’s biggest, shiniest knife and looked into each other’s eyes.
“Ready?” Cassie asked. Her eyes shone. She dragged her front teeth across the plump cushion of her bottom lip.
The knife was her idea, not mine. I would have gone with a needle.
Robin Leigh: What was the inspiration for Untethered?
KH: Two things:
1. A fall down my basement stairs when I was about six, where I swear I had a split-second out-of-body experience. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but the weirdness stuck with me.
2. Reading the book Stranger With My Face, by Lois Duncan when I was 17. That novel was the first I read involving astral projection and I knew I wanted to write a story with that as the main thrust. I did it twenty years later.
Robin Leigh: How did you decide what the title of this book would be?
KH: I am the absolute worst at titles. Really. My brain goes on lockdown the second it’s time to come up with one. So this novel had the cringe-worthy title of Precious Possession until a friend’s husband suggested Untethered. Whew. Thank you, Robbie.
Robin Leigh: Would you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser?
KH: I’m a total pantser. But I really wish I was a plotter. I’ve tried to outline, unsuccessfully. My writing style is complete and utter chaos. I write. I tear the manuscript apart, picking away the fleshy parts and gnawing on the bone. And then I rewrite and move a little forward. And rip apart. And rewrite again. It’s a very long process, but when I outline I never, ever stick to the plan.
Robin Leigh: What made you decide to become an author?
KH: I am the youngest of six children. I don’t know how my parents did it. My mom worked non-stop around the house all day. But in the evenings, my mom would sit in her recliner with a bowl of popcorn and a book. No matter how much noise was around her, no matter what kind of chaos we’d create, she was lost to the world in her novel. She always looked so interested - enraptured even – that I needed to try out reading novels for myself. The reading right away took me into writing. Authors were (and still are) my rock stars. Apart from a flamenco dancer, there is nothing I would rather be.
Robin Leigh: In your latest novel, who’s your favorite character male/female? Tell us why.
KH: Nelson. He’s the boy who has a crush on the main character, Sylvie, though she’s too obsessed with her own crush on Kevin to notice. It’s funny Nelson is my fave because he wasn’t even in the early drafts of the novel. But for the first half of the novel Sylvie is a fairly unlikeable character and I needed to show that she wasn’t always that bad. It was kind of hard to show how decent Sylvie could be if no one liked her. So Nelson went from not being in, to just making appearances, to being one of the main characters.
Robin Leigh: Do you set aside a specific amount of time to write, write/answer emails, and market/promote your book[s]?
KH: I try to. It all depends on my kids’ schedules. But I do have a writing “date” every Monday with a good writing friend. We meet up at the university and sit down together with our laptops.
Robin Leigh: Do you read books outside the genre you write in? What are they?
KH: Most of the books I read are YA – I write it because I love to read it. However, I do venture out and read other genres as well. Book clubs like RRBC introduce a whole range of indie books to check out, and I think that’s great. Most recently, I’ve tried memoir and historical fiction.
Robin Leigh: What must you have around you when you write; food, drink, music, etc?
KH: Food and coffee. Lots and lots of it. Unfortunately, writing is not helping me get any thinner!
Robin Leigh: When you were an aspiring author you needed advice. What advice would you give to those aspiring author in those shoes today?
KH: Publishing is a seriously tough business, and your skin has to be thicker than a castle wall in order to survive. My advice is, if you love writing, don’t give up. EVER. No matter what. Keep working, keep reading, keep learning and keep writing.
Robin Leigh: Is there anything else you’d like to briefly tell us about your book, your writing, or yourself.
KH: I’d just like to say thank you so much for having me on your blog, Robin!
Where can we find your book?
On Amazon – both in kindle and paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Untethered-YA-paranormal-Katie-Hayoz-ebook/dp/B00C7A8YW2/
Where can we find you on internet:
FACEBOOK FAN PAGE: http://www.facebook.com/katiehayoz.author
WEB PAGE: http://www.katiehayoz.com
Katie THANKS for giving me your time in allowing me to interview you.