Seven minutes with Jennifer: Interview of Katie St. Claire!

S_m_w_JI can’t even begin to tell you how pleased I am to have Katie St. Claire on my couch today! I’ve read both of her books and loved, loved, loved them! She is the one to watch as her new YA series will rock your socks off!

There, now that I got it out, welcome, Katie, and please tell us a something about yourself.

Reading, writing, learning and researching are passions. These inborn traits drive me as a person. I’m curious beyond belief and have to learn about anything and everything that catches my eye. I’m a flaming introvert at heart, but can be quite extraverted at times. I’m a true INFJ, and people have described me as complex and difficult to figure out. Writing is a way of life. It’s how I express myself and how I take ideas from conception to fruition. The real world isn’t exciting enough for me, so I create my own worlds, where anything is possible.

I’m an avid gardener and that’s my second passion. I live, breathe and dream, flowers, shrubs, perennial combinations and digging in the dirt. Beyond that, it’s photography and travel.

What is or are the genres of your book or books?

I write paranormal new adult, and am trying my hand at erotica as well. I’ve written it my entire life and it’s time to put my imagination and research to the test.

Well, obviously paranormal is so your genre! However, I am excited to read whatever you decide to write!

When and why did you begin writing?

I think all writers say the exact same thing. “I’ve been writing my entire life and started writing as a little girl or boy.” I didn’t start writing until my angsty teens, as a way to express powerful emotions I couldn’t deal with on my own. Hundreds of poems, songs, and short stories emerged from this time period. After that, I moved into short erotic fiction but never, ever published. Writing is like breathing. It’s creative self-expression. I can be whom I want at any point in time without judgment. If I want to kill people, give them super powers, or blow up the world…I can do it. Where else can you do that?

Author PhotoSo true! That is the one thing I love about writing, too! When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think when I started getting paychecks for my freelance writing. It almost doesn’t seem like you’re a writer unless you’re paid for it, but that’s a myth. I see many people on the writing bandwagon but is it their passion? Were they born to do it? It haunts me to this day because that’s what I was born to do and I trailed off in different directions like a fool. Be you, not what the world wants you to be.

Amen! Where do you get ideas for your stories?

Real life, my imagination, dreams, random things that wouldn’t even strike another person as cause to create a character or plot line. I get inspiration from my friends, movies, books, art, music, and observing people and the world.

What was the hardest part of writing your books?

Editing. I have to free flow in order to get the story out, and that method requires a lot of fine-tuning…repeatedly.

I’ve said this before…but I really, really hate editing! It is so easy to edit too much and yet you’re never sure how much is too much! Have you ever had a writer’s block and if yes, how did you make it go away?

I don’t force myself when I have writer’s block. People say you should write no matter what, but I don’t follow that advice. Instead, I look for inspiration. I might spend a weekend marathon watching a phenomenal series in one long sitting, or I might read several books for a week straight. When I have a block, I don’t focus on the block, but activities that will inspire me. That way I can flow like a river and it pours out of me like no tomorrow.

Indie or traditional publishing?

Indie. I don’t like being told what I can and can’t write. Unless there’s a huge paycheck waved under my nose, I want total control over my titles, characters, plot, cover, editing etc. I’ve been hearing horror stories about traditional publishing. It’s a dying industry and reserved only for those who are already famous and many of them are going indie. I’ve read so many amazing indie books lately, that I’m starting to think the publishing industry is daft. Sad, but true.

What is the force behind your writing?

Passion. Always.

Do you have any weird writing habits?

I write in my jammies. I write naked. I write with a glass of wine when I need that particular mood, and I write with coffee when I need intense focus on plot and character development. The humor is natural. I also bounce off other people. I get knowledge from conversations, and by watching people interact online. In fact, my first erotic novel comes entirely from watching another author online, paired with my own active imagination. When I release it under another pen name, it should be quite interesting…to say the very least.

Oh, my…I have to start watching my tongue whilst being online with you, lol! No, seriously… things are heating up here so let’s cool it down a bit… After all, this is for teen/YA readers and I don’t want their parents to throw me to the bonfire! What is your favorite cartoon character?

Wow. This one took me off guard and made me think the longest. I actually had to ask my husband. He said The Roadrunner, meep meep. To be honest, he nailed it. I think it would be great fun to tease Wile E. Coyote.

Your favorite authors? Book? Movies? 

You of course, Jennifer Loiske! I also love K.I. Lynn, SD Hildreth, Cassandra Clare, Charlaine Harris, Callie Hart is a new one, Brenda Perlin, Angie Martin. I like many of the best sellers, but I’ve found so many new Indie Authors I love, it’s impossible to name them all. I’m moving more toward buying and reading Indie than traditional. In fact, the latest Cassandra Clare is still sitting on my desk untouched and she’s my all time favorite author.

Books: Good lord. I read anything and everything. I can’t even begin to start.

Movies: Pride & Prejudice is my all-time favorite movie. It’s a classic literary pairing between an INTJ and INFJ. This is the stuff romantic dreams are made of, and the greatest love stories of all time, past and present. I study this stuff because I’m sick like that.

Aww…thank you! You are so sweet! I have to confess that I also have the latest from Cassandra Clare on my TBR pile…and yes, she is one of my all time favorites, too. I actually started the new book but…

What do you do in your spare time?

What? I have spare time? It seems that almost everything I do has a master plan related to writing. Muah ha ha ha. Even my online interactions end up in my writing somehow, usually by learning or gaining new perspective. I read others’ books to spark my own ideas. And I’m a dreamer…always have been.

E-book version Second HandLOL! Any current projects you’d like to share?

Just switching back and forth between my YA/NA series and the new erotic title I’m working on.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

I had a small publishing company tell me I could resubmit if I re-wrote the manuscript to meet ‘their’ specifications. Sorry. I know all the fiction-writing rules, and I purposely break the ones I want. I will not be a drone who does what everyone else is doing, without a mind of my own. No thank you. I will have professional analyzing and line editing, which is very expensive when all three books in the series are done. No one is taking away my protagonist’s voice though, or telling me where my plot can and can’t go unless they have plans on doing all my promoting. They don’t. They take your money and you still do almost all your own promoting, which is massively time consuming and a lot of hard, strategic work. I’m studying and learning all of it, but not ready to go there until Book III is done. I recommend keeping your creative control. My biggest problem is cutting out the unnecessary.

What unnecessary??? Girl, you have nailed everything in your story! Okay, what has been the best compliment?

I’ve had many compliments but the best ones tell me that they can see my book playing out in their heads while they read. They love the wit of Julia and the way she thinks, reacts, and responds to her unusual circumstances. The best is that no one can figure out what will happen next.

If you could meet one ‘celebrity’ author who would it be?

I’m not really into the celebrity thing because I just don’t fangirl. I have to know a person before I really connect with them. In fact, when people ask me to sign my books it’s actually embarrassing. I’ll have to get over that, I’m sure. However, if I could meet Cassandra Clare, I think I would take my telepathic powers and pick her creative mind. She’s amazing and I’m in awe of the beautiful worlds and characters she creates.

Do you have any words of wisdom for the other writers?

Keep writing. Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Never let criticism stop you, but take the advice to improve and refine your work. In fact, let it be the fuel that fires you to work harder.

Don’t let it go to your head, we’re no different from anyone else (well…we’re all a bit deviant) but you know what I’m saying. We’re all human. Edit, edit, refine, refine, re-write, re-write. Perfect what you have. Always go back to your books. Whoever said never to do that, is not using logic. I’m a continual process improvement kinda gal.

Favorite quote?

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.” Dr. Seuss.

E-book version RewindWhere can people find out more about you and your books?

http://www.katiestclaire.com

twitter: @katiestclaire

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/katiesaintclaire

amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Katie-St.-Claire/e/B00HQICHDC/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Do you want to tell us something about your book? 

Second Hand Stops and Rewind Forward sparked out of nowhere, but the idea came from real life experience. I’ve tentatively titled the third and final book in this particular series, Twelfth Hour. There is a little bit of me in everything I write because it’s coming from my brain…but I tend to take what I know and blow it up to monumental proportions. It’s the same way with my humor. I’m an envelope pusher, because I can. How about I include the covers to my books and hyperlink them. That works like a charm. 😉

Thank you Jennifer, for taking the time to have a little fun with me. I’m a big fan of your books, and love the way you keep every scene hopping so the reader never has a chance to get bored. You truly keep it exciting! xoxo

Anytime Katie! You know I’m a huge fan of you and your books, so thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you here again!

 

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About jenniferloiske

Jennifer Loiske lives in Finland in Naantali, which is a small sunny town on the southwest coast. She is a pre-school teacher by profession but she stayed at home when her youngest daughter suffered brain fever, which developed severe epilepsy in 2004. She is a workaholic Teen/Young Adult author, who loves dark fantasy, teen movies, chips and candies and warm sunny days. She’s also very keen on charity work and a big part of her royalties goes to the charity; mainly to help families with epileptic children but also to the epilepsy units in the hospitals. As a huge fan of dark novels Jennifer's bookshelf is full of books from L.J. Smith, Alyson Noel, Stephanie Meyer, Chloe Neill, Michelle Rowen, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Amanda Hocking and Lauren Kate. She’s also a huge fan of music from Evanescence, Linkin Park, Within Temptation, OneRepublic and Disturbed. But her hunger for music is endless and depend on what mood she’s in or what kind of book she’s working on. She can be pretty much an omnivore when it comes to music.
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