Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Author Interview – Katie Hayoz

Have you developed a particular writing style? Yes.  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 outlines make me nauseous.

Who designed the cover for Untethered? The totally awesome Sue Niewiarowski from N-Design.  I know her from the Geneva Writers’ Group and not only is she a cool person, she is fun to work with.  What I like about the cover of Untethered is that it doesn’t look like all the other YA covers out there and that it gives a sense of mood.  Just from looking at it, you know the book will have a slightly dark edge.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? 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.

What is your favorite quality about yourself? My sense of humor is probably what I like best about myself.  I’m not a comedian, but I love to laugh and I don’t take offense too easily.

What was the hardest part about writing Untethered? The main character, Sylvie, is not your usual YA heroine.  She’s not drop-dead gorgeous, isn’t a kick-ass warrior, doesn’t have some ancient supernatural secret to hide.  She astral projects, but it makes her an outcast.  She sees herself as a loser of sorts and is somewhat self-centered.  All of these things add up to making it extremely difficult to write her as a character the reader wants to root for in the end, despite her flaws.  Getting her to the point where we might begin to sympathize with her took me forever.

How much of the book is realistic? Untethered is YA paranormal, with astral projection being the supernatural edge.  I enjoy paranormal novels because they involve an escape from reality.  However, my goal is to create an escape from reality that somehow amplifies reality. The book is set in the real world and Sylvie experiences real-world problems.  From family issues to questioning friendships to a complete lack of self-confidence, the main thrust of conflict in the novel comes from everyday events that just happen to get even more complicated by the paranormal.

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Genre – YA Paranormal / Coming of Age

Rating – PG13

More details about the author & the book

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