Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Interview with Katie St. Claire, author of Second Hand Stops, Rewind, and Fast Forward of the Van Buren Series

Katie St. Clair writes Urban Fantasy with paranormal romance undertones and her next series will also be Urban Fantasy. Other than writing, passions include, gardening like a maniac in the summer, photography, camping, the Caribbean, and research. Her mind is busy and needs to keep learning. She’s like a walking encyclopedia on certain subjects. Summer is her muse, winter is her nemesis and she has a quirky sense of humor and view on life.
What made you decide to be an author? I have always been a writer; it was just a matter of fine tuning my craft for fiction. There are different writing rules and fiction is another breed of dog altogether.
 What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least? I like the creative process the best. It’s great fun developing characters with quirks and eccentricities and bringing them to life. Weaving a believable plot that readers can’t figure out has been my number one priority. There are so many worn out themes on the market and I didn’t want that for Katie St. Claire readers. Editing is my least favorite task, but it’s a necessary evil and one we all have to take serious. I edit so much my fingers bleed but I want the manuscript right. Then I send it off for professional editing. Then I edit and refine even more.
How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing? I think all writers take from real life experience to create believable character personalities. When writing plots sometimes we take a little from life and then use our imaginations to create the rest.
Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book--as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with? I’m not sure if that’s how it happens with me. Many writers talk about characters talking to them because they want out, but what they really mean is they are thinking and all of a sudden dialogue will pop into their head, or an idea/spark/plot idea, and they’ll race to get it down. It’s not characters trying to get out of your head it’s just that the creative process is always working. Your subconscious mind thinks about your stories even when you’re not actively writing.
You’ve written four complete novels and are working on concepts for three more. What’s your favorite time management tip? I work on them one at a time because going back and forth between novels and it never works out well. Whether it’s humor, angst, speculative, romance, or whatever I’m tackling, I want readers to believe even though it’s fiction.
Are you a plotter or a panster, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer? Historically, I’ve been a panster and allowed my creativity to run. I’m planning and outlining my next series.
If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be? Do not be afraid to keep refining your work. It can always be improved. I see so many authors publish their books without hiring an editor or having a professional critique the plot.
Did music help you find your muse with this book? If yes, which song did you find yourself going back to over and over again as you wrote? A lot of Imagine Dragons songs. I’m not sure why. I also listened to a play-list of angsty music because my plots have a lot of it.

Tell me more about Second Hand Stops.
Julia Malone is abandoned on the door of an old English manor but she’s not alone for long. Five telepathic children soon arrive to form a paranormal family of makeshift misfits. Julia packs a humorous punch with her witty way of viewing an unpredictable world. In fact, it becomes her survival mechanism when life goes topsy turvy in the craziest way imaginable.
When the children come of age they drink an unknown substance supplied by a wealthy American benefactor from New York City. It slows the aging process but side effects become a game changer. The mysterious and charming Claude Van Buren arrives at their annual autumn party and unveils himself as the man behind the madness.
Julia becomes Van Buren Industry’s vice president of product development and cracks the code by finally stabilizing substance X, also known as the elixir. Claude Van Buren promises to revolutionize the world with a new line of skin care touted as the fountain of youth.
Nic and Julia are sent on a vacation and find themselves in the middle of the jungle discovering scientific anomalies the world would never believe. 
This coming of age series is one girl’s journey into the puzzling realm of first loves, ethical dilemmas, and life that is stranger than fiction.

The story continues in Rewind, and then Fast Forward .

How about an excerpt from Second Hand Stops?
It rocks living with a house full of mind-readers—rocks like no tomorrow. I imagine our nightmare of a life once we’re unleashed on the real world.
Ginger-blue flames crackle in the fireplace, and scents from burning peach wood is rather hypnotic. If it were any other day, the flames might lull me into a peaceful coma, but today it feels as if I’m bubbling away in a witch’s cauldron.
“Inhale, Julia, you’re the master of whacked out situations.”
Lyra elbows Lincoln and he turns to study me with his normal expressionless stare and she with loathing. I avert my attention and catch Lillian moving toward a stained wooden box set upon a pedestal. She produces an old-fashioned skeleton key from her apron pocket and holds it in the air with a theatrical flair. It captures our attention. Good old Lillian, she holds the patent on dramatization.
“Julia, Nic, Lincoln, Sebastian, Dutch, and Lyra,” our names roll off her tongue with enunciated syllables, effectively quieting our chatter.
            She inserts the key and there’s a faint hitch followed by a loud releasing click. The top of the box opens to reveal six vials of amethyst liquid in four-inch illuminated cylinders. The tension in the room is conspicuous. My inappropriate giggle echoes inside the hall, the way some people laugh at funerals. Lillian glares until my throat constricts.
Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet?

Website Links:
Twitter: @katiestclaire
Buy Links:
Katie St. Claire, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.

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