Hey there everyone.
Welcome to another wonderful way to beat those regular Monday Blues…by finding out about new authors, amazing books and creative endeavours!
Tonight, we are very lucky to have the pleasure of chatting with author Katherine Hastings, as we participate in her Blog Tour for her latest Historical Romance book, along with finding out more about her writing methods and processes.
Katherine currently has a giveaway that is still open for the next 14 days where you can win an Amazon Gift Card for yourself and your chosen charity to the tune of $25 each. Here is the link where you can find out more about this giveaway and get your entry in before the closing date:-
So, enjoy the show folks and hope this helps banish those Monday Blues – until next time, have fun and keep smiling 🙂
Hi there Katherine, a pleasure to have you here today to discuss your debut novel release, along with your own passions, influences and writing experiences.
Thank you so much for having me!
Let’s start first with your debut Historical Romance novel itself “In the Assassin’s Arms”. Please tell us more about the plot and themes of your book, along with the romantic challenges your lead protagonists John Douglas and Charlotte Cornewalle face, as they explore their intimate feelings for each other against a backdrop of assassinations and vendettas that complicate their relationship over the course of your novel.
“In the Assassin’s Arms” is the story of John Douglas and Charlotte “Charlie” Cornewalle who were childhood friends, and each other’s first crush. After spending years apart, they are reunited…but not how John had hoped. Charlie waltzes back into his life and the little girl he remembered is now a skilled assassin, just like him…and she thinks his father murdered hers. He thinks she killed his friend. To make matters worse, they are each members of different factions of assassins…and sworn enemies. When they both swear they are innocent, the two assassins, though wary of each other, decide to trust their childhood connection and try to work together to solve the mystery that unfolds on their adventure.
Independent and angry, Charlie doesn’t need anyone, and her closed-off nature makes things difficult when sparks start flying between them. John has his work cut out for him, not only in clearing their names, but in chipping away at the armour she surrounded her heart with. They go to battle, not just with the assassins chasing them, but with their feelings for each other.
If your novel was to be made into a film (or even a TV series), who would you cast in the lead roles?
Good question! The role of John would be perfect for Stephen Amell or Jay Ryan. Not only do their looks work, but they have that cocky and playful attitude they both pull off with ease. Katherine McNamara would make a fantastic Charlie. She’s got the red hair and all the assassin moves from her role as Clary Fray in Shadowhunters.
What would you choose as your own personal mascot or spirit animal when it comes to you and your style of writing?
I’m going with a honey badger. LOL I love their fearlessness and tenacity. Once I get a plot in my head and set my mind to writing the novel, nothing is going to back me down. I write the first draft of most of my books in a few weeks or less, because I sit down, chomp on and refuse to let go until it’s done. Sleep, eating, and anything resembling a life are minimal until I type those last two words…The End.
What do you think most characterizes or defines your writing? Do you have any writing quirks or themes that constantly crop up in your stories?
Besides romance, most of my stories have action and adventure in them. I love a good action romance and it never fails that my characters get into all sorts of physical situations. My characters always end up on both an emotional and a physical journey.
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?
The most difficult thing for me about writing is finding the balance between keeping things moving and not rushing through a scene. I don’t like to read books where I spend five pages in an internal monologue about the emotional conflict of the character, or multiple pages just describing a sunset. I like books that are more action-based and prefer to have things move along. However, I also don’t want to rush out of it and leave my readers with whiplash. It’s a fine line a writer must walk to keep things engaging, yet still give depth to a scene.
The easiest part about writing for me is action scenes. When something riveting is happening, I feel like I step into the scene and I’m like a court reporter just scribbling things down as fast as I can. My characters are in complete control and I’m just following them around trying to catch every detail. Once the scene is over, I go back and pretty things up, but when I’m writing an action scene, my fingers can barely keep up!
Who are some of the authors, musicians, poets and/or historical figures that inspire you?
J.K. Rowling inspires me so much that she was living a hard life, yet still found a way to write such a wonderful book and didn’t quit until it got published. I love people who don’t give up. Maya Angelou for the same reason. I’m inspired by people who continue clawing and scratching their way to get to their goals. I guess this brings us back to that darn honey badger.
What sort of research do you do to write your books?
So much research! When I write a historical novel, everything needs research. The towns in that time, terminology, clothing…everything. I’m a stickler for details so I spend as much time on Google when I write as I do writing. My search history would be frightening to anyone who found it!
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
A few years ago, I had knee surgery and was trapped in bed for months. Bored out of my mind, I cleaned out my computer and found a file called “Book”. It was one paragraph I wrote a decade earlier starting a novel I’d come up with in a dream. Deciding I couldn’t possibly write a whole book, I stopped after one paragraph and forgot about it. That day I found it, I just started where I left off. It poured out of me and two weeks later it was done. I had so much fun writing, I started another book straight away. I enjoy writing so much, it’s harder for me not to write than it is for me to write. I’m so passionate about getting lost in my stories, it never feels like work when I write.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writer’s Block?
When I write, I really dig in and have a technique that allows me to power through writer’s block (we’re back to that honey badger again!) If I get stuck on a word or a sentence for more than ten seconds, I slap in an adverb or a note to myself to expand on it later, and I keep on trucking. Before I started doing this, I could get stuck for hours…even days on a scene. Now, I just skip over the tricky spot and keep on writing. It never fails that when I come back later, either that day or when I’m editing the whole thing, the part I struggled with just comes out naturally.
In the first draft of my novels, you’ll find things like “He’s ugly… expand on that here” or “make this kissing scene hotter”. Once I get the first draft done, it’s so easy for me to go back and work in all the things that tripped me up before. It makes writer’s block obsolete for me, and I can push through the worst of it without breaking a sweat or pounding my head against a wall. Now, please keep in mind some scenes in my first drafts can be quite laughable when I come back through wearing my editor hat, but it allows me to get to the end and then, with the pressure off, turn it into something presentable.
You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?
I’d tell her that she can write a book and to keep going after that paragraph she wrote and stopped on! I could have been writing books and diving into this passion of mine a decade ago.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
In the summer, I float in my raft at the beach most days. I’m also a dedicated horse rider, and I do dressage and train in that almost daily. At night you’ll find me next to my husband wielding the Xbox controller and laying cover fire for him while we battle zombies, aliens, or whatever enemy we’re up against. We make quite a good video game team!
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
This winter I wrote the next two books in the “Daggers of Desire” series. They will be released soon and though each book is a stand-alone, they follow along on the story from “In the Assassin’s Arms.” Just this month, I wrote my first contemporary romance after writing all historical in the past. I have to admit, I’m pretty excited about it and had a blast writing a romance that took place in current times. I’m now writing a second contemporary romance, and this one is just as much fun as the last! I think I’ll find myself bouncing between the two genres.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
Write. Just write. Write if you don’t think you’re good enough. Write if you’re too tired. Write if you’re stuck and don’t know what to say. Write until not writing is strange and you’re itching to get back to it. Channel your inner honey badger, and if you want to become a published author, then do it. Dig in and keep going until it’s a reality. Every single writer, myself included, started in the same place thinking “Who am I kidding? I’m not a writer!” The only difference between us and the rest? We didn’t quit. We kept going until we got there. Just. Write.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for joining us Katherine, we can’t wait until a copy of your book is in our arms and we can enjoy the scintillating romance as it unfolds 🙂
Katherine Hastings loves love. It’s why she writes romance novels. Getting lost writing a romantic adventure is one of her favorite pastimes. When she’s not on an adventure in her mind with her characters, she can be found at her home in Wisconsin snuggling her husband, two Boston Terriers, and the world’s naughtiest cat.
Two things make Katherine want to leave her happy home these days…going for rides on her dressage pony or floating at the beach in her big inflatable raft. Writing her novels while floating in the lake is one of her ultimate pleasures…that and Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds, of course.
You can connect with Katherine via the following Social Media channels:-
Facebook:- Katherine Hastings – Romance Author (FB)
Instagram:- @katherinehastingsauthor (Instagram)
Twitter:- @khastingsauthor (Twitter)
You can buy her books here:-
If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.