And coming around the turn, in the lead, kicking up dust and all of the others to the rear, we have Kathy Rowe! Yes, Kathy Rowe ladies and gentlemen winning the Kentucky Derby!
I mean, okay come on, with a cover like that, how could I not? And she’s from Kentucky. It fits. Shut up.
A little about the author.
K. Rowe is a multi-genre author and retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant. She has been writing for the last twenty plus years. Stationed at various bases around the U.S.A. and in Europe, she draws from her years of active service. Blending fact and fiction, she spends hours researching technology and locations for her work.
She lives on a 100-acre farm in eastern Kentucky with her husband, four dogs, three horses, two cats, and a house pig named Sherman. When not pounding out several novels a year on her laptop, she can be found working in the garden, or in the fields proudly driving her 1953 Ferguson tractor.
Her favorite part about being an author is interacting with her fans, and she appreciates reviews and feedback.
And now, the interview (da da da DAAAAAA!) Okay. I’ll stop. I promise.
What got you into writing in the first place?
I blame my best friend for that. We were in high school and she went to some sort of comic con and came back with a tattered old Airwolf script. We looked at it, and decided we could be writers. 25 years later, I’m retired from the military and writing, she’s working for a college law department. She’s got great stories and I keep bugging her to write, but she says she just doesn’t have time.
Why your genre? Do you plan on branching out or do you feel at home in what you write?
I actually write a multitude of genres: erotica, sci-fi, military thriller, romance, supernatural thriller/ horror, and even screenplays. I don’t like sticking to one genre; I think I’d go nuts if I did. I write what strikes me at the moment, and sometimes I have to shelf it for other projects that need to get done. But eventually I pick it back up and finish.
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
A little of both depending on what I’m doing. Currently I’m tacking a historical fiction screenplay and it’s tough to keep straight on details and timeline. For most of my fiction, I may have a short synopsis in the beginning, but by the completion of the WIP, what I end up with rarely matches what I started out with. I enjoy letting my muse run amok sometimes; never know what you’ll end up with. The Hall is a good example; I started out with a haunted house idea, and eventually changed to a ghost and demon being the main protagonists, not the house itself. I think it came out better with the ghost—it allowed more interaction with the main character.
Do you have a writing room or place that you go to write?
I have an “office” in the house. It has an old Victorian rocker and foot stool, a treadmill desk, and a wall of book shelves. It also houses my crawdad tank, and the pig lives in the bathroom next to it. If it’s cold, I gravitate to the living room and cozy up to the wood burning stove. In the spring and summer, I may even venture outside and plop down on one of the porch swings, or get a lounger and soak up a little sun on the back deck. We have a 100 acre farm, so there’s no telling where I’ll feel inspired.
Take me through your writing process. How do you begin?
In the middle of the night, I wake up with an idea. I can’t go back to bed, (of course!) and toss and turn for hours on end. The next morning I get up, take care of all the animals, and finally get to sit down at my laptop and download the contents of my brain. Most of the time it’s just a logline or a brief synopsis, maybe even a title with a few words describing what I think should happen. If I have time, I dive into it. Just open a blank Word doc and start writing. Along the way, I may remember to do character sketches and locations, but if it’s short, I don’t worry about that. Normally a novel takes about 4-6 months to write. I let it “marinate” for a few months while I finish other projects. Then I take it out, dust it off, and perform re-writes. After a few months of that, it’s off to my editor so she can lovingly bleed all over it. She returns it to me, I make changes, and she gets is back. For the most part, she only wants to see it twice, since she’s gotten me well-trained on how to catch more of my own mistakes. When all editing is done, I work on the covers, back copy, formatting, and get it ready for publishing. Being a 100% Indie author, it’s a lot of work to get a book in print and have it look just like a traditional publisher. I take great pride in putting out books that are nice to look at and fun to read.
Tell me about your book. Why could only YOU have written it?
Oh, tough question! Well, Silks and Sand is mostly based in Kentucky, and now that I live here full-time, it’s easier to scout locations. The cover was shot at Keeneland Race track during the fall meet. I originally wanted a cover that had jockey silks positioned on sand, but that wasn’t going to happen. So I had to elbow my way to the rail to get the photo I did. As for the story, I think I brought a unique blend of horseracing and romance together for a spicy, character-driven novella. Having been associated with horseracing in my younger days, I understand the lingo and can create a believable story. I contacted the owner of one horse and got information and permission to use that horse in the book. When I had questions on which races would be best for the main four-legged character, I emailed the racing manager of Churchill Downs and Keeneland— he was most helpful!
Tell me what makes your book(s) special. Why should I read them?
I cater to many kinds of readers. Oddly enough, I have a few fans that will read any book I put out. I guess they’ve grown to appreciate my straightforward style and no-holds-barred approach to telling a story. I love to entertain, make folks laugh, smile, and on more than one occasion, cringe. Yes, cringe. Some of my stories are “to the bone” and in your face with gory details or horrific scenes. My military thriller series doesn’t sugar coat what it’s like to be in the service, and what war and battle can do to you. Realism plays a very important role in my writing.
Writers say that reading is important if you want to write well. Keeping that in mind, what kind of books do you read?
Admittedly, I’m kind of bad about this. And for a reason: when I read too much fiction, say, sci-fi, or even watch too much of it on TV or movies, I find myself “accidentally” borrowing from those sources. My goal is to create stories with a “pure” storyline. Yes, they may somewhat parallel another story (who can’t do that nowadays?) but I want to allow the characters and plot to develop more in my mind rather than being influenced by an outside source. I do read a fair amount of non-fiction—usually relating to writing or screenwriting. After I finished writing the 2nd book in the Space series, I finally got to watch Firefly. I’d watched Farscape, and loved Lexx, but when it came time to write, I distanced myself from all things sci-fi. In the end, I got a story that blended little things from each show into a completely unique story that will hopefully be picked up by a Hollywood production company. The script for Space Junk is with 2 A-list producers right now—fingers crossed!
You’re in a coffee shop. You get two authors to have coffee with. Which ones and why. GO.
Don’t hate me, I don’t drink coffee. But change it to hot chocolate and I’ll be fine. Let’s see, two authors, hmm. Well, I think one would be Stephen Coonts http://www.amazon.com/Stephen-Coonts/e/B000AP701W/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1365001157&sr=8-2-ent because reading his books shaped my early writing endeavors. I’m friends with him on Facebook, and left him a nice message when he accepted my friend request that he was one of the reasons I became a writer.
The other, would be Indie author Hugh Howey http://www.amazon.com/Hugh-Howey/e/B002RX4S5Q/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1365001277&sr=1-2-ent who I’m FB friends with as well. It would be nice to get them to sit down and pick their brains to see just how each approaches their writing. It’d like to hear how Hugh made his big break into the best sellers and what advice he’d give authors who’d like to see more sales. And Stephen has had several of his books made into movies; I’d be very interested to see how that process went.
Do you wear mismatching socks? It’s okay if you do. Don’t be shy.
Once in a while. I do the laundry and all the folding, so I usually manage to get all socks in pairs. Although, I am missing one right now…
Now, here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to saddle up (I can’t help myself. I try. But I can’t) and click through these links. You’re going to ‘follow’, ‘like’, ‘subscribe’, and of course, buy! Why? Because you love the interview and my Kentucky Derby puns.
You know you do!