This week we are pleased and just a little bit excited to meet the author K J (aka Katie) Taylor. You can find out more about Katie’s fantastic (in every sense of the word) books here.
Last Word of the Week: Welcome Katie! Tell us, when did you write your first story?
KJ: In primary school, aged about six. I loved books so much that I started making my own – not just writing them but putting them together with pages, cover art, and even little publisher’s logos I made up. I still have them, and they’re adorable.
LWOTW: They sound divine. Maybe the world should see them. You must have been an imaginative kid. Tell me, what do you think of dreams, imagination, and planning?
Usually dreams are too silly and illogical to easily translate into novels, but I’ve had the odd one which inspired a book. Imagination is important too, though when it comes to writing – and especially in spec fic – sometimes it’s equally important to do as Terry Pratchett suggested and apply a lack of imagination. By which he meant to ask yourself the sorts of logical questions little kids ask because they haven’t learned that it’s not polite to ask those questions. Such as, if Death rides a horse, does the horse have to poop? Does it have a stable? What does it eat? Where did he get it from? Asking questions like that lead to far superior worldbuilding – lazier authors often just resort to explaining things away by saying “it’s magic” or “it’s like that because I say so”.
Some authors plan out their books; I’ve seen pictures on Facebook of terrifyingly elaborate diagrams with highlighter pens and sticky notes. This isn’t a technique that’s ever worked for me, but I do plan what I write – it’s just that the plan is in my head, and is therefore more flexible and loosely defined. I often don’t know how the book is going to end when I start writing it. However, going into a book with no plan at all is rarely a good idea and will generally lead to the story meandering all over the place, which was a problem I had a lot when I was younger and still occasionally encounter today.
LWOTW: Great advice for us spec fic folk! What’s the highlight of your writing career so far?
I’d say it was back in 2011 when I made my first and so far only appearance at ComicCon in San Diego, and a packed audience of more than three hundred people all cheering. I felt like a rockstar!
LWOTW: That must have been completely amazing. So, what are you most busy with at the moment?
I’m currently working on a bunch of things, and at this particular moment I’m focusing on the final trilogy of the series I’m most well known for, which began with The Dark Griffin in 2009. There have been a few shall we say hiccups along the way – I had to find a new publisher after the bottom fell out of the fantasy market in about 2015 or so and publishers dropped most of their fantasy authors including me. Then the new publisher I found shut down without notice, so I had to start all over again. It’s been a major pain in the proverbial booty. Honestly, I find the writing side of the business easy. It’s the business side of the business that’s aged me horribly.
LWOTW: Haha, I would like to be so *horribly* aged 🙂 Now, if you could say one thing to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Don’t write for the fame and the money (or assume that there will be either). Write for the love of the craft, and because you have something to say. If your heart truly is in it, you’ll get to where you need to be in the end. It won’t be easy, but you’ll get there one way or another.
And the Last Word of The Week: What’s your favourite colour?
It used to be purple, but now it’s blue!
Thank you so much for sharing, Katie.
You can find all thing K J Taylor at www.kjtaylor.com
Katie’s Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/kjtaylorauthor/
And she tweets @WorldStitcher