Welcome, Kate! In Binds That Tie, you decided to feature characters who were… less sympathetic than your average protagonists. How did that feel? Did you go all out making them horrible, or did you find little things to relate to them?
I wanted my readers to be conflicted. Ultimately, they both perform horrendous acts, but I wanted their actions to be understandable. I wanted to make unlikeable characters sympathetic. Maggie had a cold childhood. Chris is trying to make amends for mistakes in his past. They’re both victims of circumstance, and prisoners of their choices.
Your two books, Binds That Tie and Thought I Knew You are pretty different. Now, I know there’s no asking a parent to choose a favorite child, but if you had to pick, which of your books do you like better and why?
Binds That Tie, without a doubt. I learned so much about writing. The craft, the art of subtlety, showing instead of telling, deeper characterization. I truly loved Binds. I thought Thought I Knew You was a good book, and it was a decent first effort, but I was learning. I still am learning. I’m going to love each book more than the next, I hope. It means I haven’t gotten complacent.
Writing a second book is both the same as and different from writing a second book. How have you felt about the process of writing and publishing your second book, compared to your first?
Writing your second book is TERRIFYING! What if people hate it? What if I’m a one hit wonder? What if people don’t like that it’s different than my first? What if I reuse stuff from my first book and forget? There’s so much anxiety.
I have heard a rumor that you are not a fan of the fantasy genre—or any of the less “real” speculative fiction genres. I say this not to judge, but because I am almost the exact opposite. What is it that draws you more to the stories about “real people”?
I’m sorry. I’m not. I can’t follow it. I feel like an idiot when I read science fiction or fantasy or any kind of speculative fiction. I’ve TRIED. I want more than anything to be supportive of my friends who are really good writers! Mary Fan, you, Paige Daniels! I did read Artificial Absolutes, which is the only true science fiction book I’ve ever read and I really, truly enjoyed it. I just started Non-Compliance, by Paige Daniels and I’m enjoying that, too. I have no idea why I’m drawn to “real people”, other than I can’t get fully immersed in a book if I have to keep wondering about the rules of the world or the technology. I get distracted by it, maybe? You know what? I don’t actually know.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to market your book?
I sent it to Oprah. Not all marketing efforts are successful.
So what’s next from your writerly brain? Suspense? Romance? Something entirely new?
My third novel, THE VANISHING YEAR, is about a woman ten years out of witness protection who locates her birth mother only to discover that someone will stop at nothing to keep them apart. It’s part suspense, has romantic elements but in my weird, complicated way.
So, I have to ask. Because it is my question. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I wanna clone myself at will. Is that a superpower. I want three of me. One of me that works. One of me that does great things with my kids so I can stop missing their events at school. And a third one to write.
What’s one question you wish someone had asked you on your tour, but no one did. Question and answer, please.
You already did! You asked me which book I liked better and why. I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to brag about how much I love Binds That Tie.
And we hope all the readers out there do too! Thanks for being with us, Kate! And Happy Birthday!