Thursday, July 20, 2017

Debut Author Interview: Kate Hickey Discusses her Novel It's Me

As I mentioned in a prior post, my friend Kate Hickey has written and self-published a book. Her debut novel, It's Me, is now available on Amazon for purchase.  As someone who has always wanted to write a novel, I was impressed with Kate's perseverance, and curious as to what the novel-writing-and-publishing process entailed from start to finish. Luckily, we're friends, so I had the chance to sit down with her and chat about her experience. I have never interviewed an author before, but I found a wealth of interview questions on Writers' Digest, so I was able to tailor those for our purposes.  

So Kate. When people are deciding on the book they want to read next, they obviously want to know some details about their options. Will you describe to us what your book is about?
Sure. It's a coming-of-age story, focusing on the awkward, humorous ride known
as college, and the hardships of navigating life as a young adult in
the real world.


That will resonate with a large audience. When you're writing, where do you write from?
I write from my home office. I really want to be one of those
people writing from my laptop in a coffee shop,
but I am easily distracted and end up people watching.

Maybe the people watching is what helped you to write your story! What did lead up to this book?
I have always been interested in writing and have sort of an odd
sense of humor that I think many people share deep down. Once, I was
visiting my brother in Maryland and an amateur bank robber closed down
the main street where we were walking and I thought in that moment,
"People are ridiculous. I need to start documenting that." That weekend
I went home and started writing down stories and the book evolved from
there. For those interested, the bank robber was caught and no one was
hurt. And no, there is no mention of that particular story in the
book, but maybe one day.

Hahahaha what? Are you serious?
100%.

That would only happen to you, honestly. Okay, so what was the time frame for writing this book?  Tell us an interesting detail or two.
The book took me just about two years to complete. It started out
as something completely different, following the main character,
Perry, from when she was in middle school. Then one day I was staring
at the computer screen and saw the real story within the story. I
erased the first forty pages and from there it sounds cliche, but the
story wrote itself.

That's amazing. Also, you self-published. What were your 1-2 biggest learning experiences or surprises throughout the publishing process?
Like you said, I self-published my book and what I learned is, there is no wrong
or right way to publish. A good story is a good story no matter what
format it's in. If you believe in your work and you love it then you
have a product right there. What was surprising to me was how slow the
traditional publishing world moves.

Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in?
Writing is hard, but worth it. I think what helped me is making it
a priority and sticking to a schedule. There were days when I was so tired
that I didn't have the energy to write, but I still sat down at the
same time to make a habit out of it. Even if I wrote one sentence, or
edited one word. I was at the computer every day.

That follow-through, I've found, is always one of the hardest parts of trying to write a book. Or, I suppose, of any project, really. On that note, what would you have done differently if you could do it again?
I would be more patient with myself and enjoy the process more. In
the beginning, I was so focused on the finished product that my story
was not forming the way I wanted because I was anxious to get as much
done as I could. It was only once I started focusing on the process
that I was able to cut the b.s. and the real story began to form.

Did you have a platform in place?  On this topic, what are you doing the build a platform and gain readership?
I'm relying heavily on word of mouth. Social media is genius!

For marketing, it really is! Do you have any choice writing advice we haven’t discussed?
My advice for aspiring writers would be don't force it. You may
have an idea that's great, but if it doesn't work with the story, cut
it. The faster you can recognize that, the easier it will be down the
line when you're ready to edit the final product.

Okay. Tell us something about you. Something personal about you people may be surprised to know.
Something personal people would be surprised to know is that in
the last ten years I have lived in four different states. I love to
move. I'm always on the go. I love exploring new places, learning
about them, and then moving on!

This is why we're friends. What’s next?
Next is the follow up book to It's Me. The ending leaves a lot up
in the air!

It's Me is available on here on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback versions. Also, stay tuned on this blog, as I will be hosting a giveaway within the next week! You'll have the opportunity to enter the contest to win a paperback copy of the book. Details will follow!

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