Thursday, 15 November 2012

Katella Stegmann

Author of: The War of the Werewolves

Book blurb:

The sky was gray. Thunder rumbled in the distance as the storm clouds rolled in.

Tobias looked at me with a grin on his face. He raised his right hand and wiggled his knobby fingers. He extended his razor sharp claws and curled his lip back,exposing his fangs.

“It’s a perfect day to die.”

His words struck a nerve in me. He was playing with my emotions, trying to hit me where it hurt so he could throw me off of my game. A growl built up in my throat.

“You’re right,” I replied coolly. “I’ll make sure that’s etched on your tombstone.”

As an introduction, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I was an introverted child who loved to escape reality by writing. If I didn’t write I would act out, so writing became a comfort in my life. It’s not what I do. It’s who I am.

What is your book about?

It’s the fourth and final installment in my series about a band of misfit werewolves who deal with every day life drama while protecting their town from those who want to cause their loved ones harm. The series has been interesting to write because throughout the books you get to watch these kids grow up, deal with stress, love, school, and other bumpy obstacles on their journey. It all comes down to a war between good and evil…and anyone is fair game.

When and why did you begin writing?

I was practically writing the moment I came out of my mother’s womb. The moment I could grip a pencil I started putting words to paper. I could see these vivid stories in my head and I wanted them out. Writing is the only thing that kept me out of trouble when I was in school. The teachers knew that shoving a crayon or pen in my hand would keep me occupied and away from dangerous equipment…like the laminator I accidentally got my hand stuck in when I was in first grade.

Writing is a healthy outlet. I loved every second of my troubled childhood. It opened so many doors and has pushed me to become a better person and I believe it improves my soul.

What genre do you prefer to write in?

I like all genres. I will admit that I do lean heavy on the humor in my fantasy novels. Life has enough drama in it as it is, so I like to bring laughter to the world. It’s really fun to write in all genres because it stretches my role as an author.

What is your biggest writing achievement to date?

The fact that I actually published after I was terrified to do so, and not only did I publish one novel, I published three (and four is on its way!).

What inspired you to write this book?

The story came to me eleven years ago when I was sixteen. I was distracted in class and scribbling on a piece of scrap paper while my teacher was probably teaching something highly important. I just started writing one scene and then I couldn’t stop.

Who is your favourite author, and what is it about their work that strikes a chord with you?

I have a handful of people who inspire me. A lot of them are writers for the TV industry. Bill Lawrence, who will have you laughing one second and in tears the next. I am also a huge fan of Joss Whedon. His characters are so raw and real and his dialogue is witty and smart. And lately I’ve been singing high praises to Suzanne Collins. Her Hunger Games series has been on very opposite ends of many a debate. A lot of people hated the later books. I loved them. I thought she did a brilliant job moving the story along without losing site of who her characters were in the beginning. That’s a hard thing to do. She made it a point that her books were more than about teenagers and love. She made it about society as a whole and drew on our negative realities in life. Some of her stuff breaks my heart, but a writer’s job is to evoke emotion. She succeeded.

What book are you reading now, and would you recommend it?

I’ve read it before, but I’m reading it again. Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help” was phenomenal. The way she set the book and made you compassionate about the characters was nothing short of amazing. I felt like I was in the story. I was immersed.

What are your current projects?

I’m finishing up book four of my series and I’m trying to work on releasing a short story with the book, as well. After The Barking Mad Series is done I plan to move on to an espionage thriller. I’m excited about it, because it’s different than all of my other stories.

Where and when do you do most of your writing?

Everywhere and anywhere. Sitting in the car, if a line comes to me I record it for later. Sitting in class, if I think of a perfect way to end a scene I’m writing it down while the teacher is talking. If I’m outside walking my dog I’ll tell my idea out loud to him, so I won’t forget it before we get home. I can write anywhere, anytime, any place.

What would you say was the hardest part of writing your book?

Trying to come up with an ending that satisfies all readers. I’ve known from the beginning how it’s going to end, and I don’t doubt I’ll piss off some fans, but not because I mean to. It’s just not possible to write a satisfactory ending for everyone.

Who designed your book cover – and was the cover something you deemed important?

Absolutely. You want the cover to be unique, creative, and eye-catching. I designed all of my covers.

Did you try to go down the route of traditional publishing first – or did you feel that self-publishing was right for you from the beginning?

I started in traditional publishing and while I was waiting to hear back from agents I decided to do some digging about self-publication. Once I realized how easy it was I just did it myself.

On the whole, how have you found self-publishing?

If you know what you’re doing it is extremely easy. But like a lot of things in life, there are a lot of instructions to follow. I did a lot of research before I self published, and I’m glad I did. Otherwise I would not have been ready for it!

Where can we buy the book? and Barnes and both have digital copies on Kindle and Nook. There are also paperbacks for sale on Amazon.

Do you have a website or blog where we can keep tabs on you?

I have a facebook page where I update with character quotes, blurbs, and general information as often as I can. I also have a twitter that I don’t use as often as facebook. I'm a terrible internet nerd. Right now I do not have a full working webpage. I am in the process of building one.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write what you feel and write for you. It doesn’t have to make sense. You can go back and edit it later. Have fun with your stories. Never get discouraged. Believe in yourself and believe in your writing. Learn to accept criticism, but don’t compromise your story just to please a few people. It’s impossible to please everyone, so just focus on your own happiness. Take a few risks and stand by them. Now that I read that back I realize that I sound like a fortune cookie.

And, finally, do you have anything else that you’d like to say to everyone?

It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time. Ha. No, in all seriousness I wouldn't be where I am today without my readers. So from the bottom of my heart I thank anyone who has ever read anything I've ever written, from my award winning story scribbled in markers in first grade to my self-published novels that I have out today. It means the world to me that my words actually reach people, that they care about my characters as much as I do. As a writer the only time I have trouble with words is when I am thanking my fans...and that's simply because I don't think I can put into words just how much I appreciate the support.

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