How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
For me, learning to cope with self-doubt is a bit like strengthening a muscle. If I concentrate really hard, I can tune out that voice for a little while, and the more I persevere through it, the better I get! When all else fails, I remind myself that editing is where a lot of the magic happens.
Why do you write?
I write because I have to, which sounds very dramatic, but it’s true. If I try not to write, it builds up and builds up until I stay up for a whole night, typing away. You could find bits of stories in every notebook and planner I’ve owned. I often have napkins with paragraphs on them, stashed in my purse!
What books did you love growing up?
I was a huge fan of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C Wrede, and the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce. Both of them featured feisty characters who did not allow anyone else to determine their life story, and the books had a good sense of humor, too! I had no patience for books that seemed designed only to depress me.
How do you feel about self-publishing?
It’s a mixed bag. As you might expect, I do not believe that self-publishing is ruining the industry. I think there are a lot of really incredible books that are being self-published, that the traditional publishers could not accommodate for whatever reason. I will say that self-publishing will give you an appreciation for the intricacies of the business. Whether you’re trying to do everything yourself, or hire freelancers, there are a LOT of details that you are responsible for getting into line. It’s not an experience that would make everyone happy. Every author has to choose the best path for them, and for their readers.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
Well, I now live with my husband and a roommate in a rambling sort of house on the outskirts of the twin cities, but I grew up in a very small town in Western Massachusetts, surrounded by gorgeous farmland! My parents are both ministers and geeks, and so I grew up in a house filled with books: Anne McCaffrey, Madeleine L’Engle, Orson Scott Card, and all sorts of books on theology. We had no TV, so I read a lot.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I think inspiration is a bit like dreaming. It’s everything you see, from news to books to videogames to sunrises, all muddled together and sent back in a different arrangement. The problem is, there’s no way to know when your subconscious will spit something back! I’m lucky – right now, it feels like inspiration is everywhere! (Sometimes, of course, it feels like I cannot think of a thing to write.)
What marketing works for you?
At the start, I reached out to a lot of book bloggers to get those first few reviews, and that spread the books to a lot of people, but perhaps the biggest response has come from getting onto a “book of the day” list – that was what helped propel Shadowborn up through the ratings enough that people found it.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
Everyone is very supportive, which is wonderful. People check in to ask how writing is going, and tell me that they’re reading my books! It’s great. Also, I have the best group of beta readers ever, so that’s amazing.
What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…
I work as a financial analyst, actually. Excel spreadsheets, and all that.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
Well, last time I studied economics, focusing on international trade and labor. I got into neuroscience right at the very end of my degree, and didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to explore that. In addition to being completely fascinating, it has a certain mad-scientist-y flair to it!
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
I write a lot in notebooks at coffee shops and on the bus (and my lunch breaks), and then transcribe that onto my laptop while curled up on the couch at home! I recommend it as a strategy, because there’s a built-in first round of editing.
Where do you get support from? Do you have friends in the industry?
I have made a few friends in the industry since I started writing, but most of my friends are avid readers, not writers!
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
My family and friends have really been wonderful. My parents were incredibly supportive, and nurtured my love of storytelling before any of us knew where it was going—our house was always full of books! My husband and my friends have been so involved in beta reading and listening to me ramble on about plot points and talking me through some moments of awful self-doubt. Of course, my fans have also been incredible—it means more than I can say to have someone reach out and say they liked your books!
Genre - Fantasy
Rating – PG-13
Website http://www. moirakatson.com