Welcome back Katya! Today we focus on Part 2 of the Author Interview and spotlight another of Katya's novels, Sad Moon!
When you write, do you adhere to a strict work schedule, or do you work whenever the inspiration strikes?
As you've probably noticed, I'm not a very organized person. I'm writing in my head most of the time, but I don't always get all that much time to get it down, so I write when I can. A writer, I think it may have been Faulkner, said that he only wrote when inspiration struck and he made sure it struck every morning at 9am. I try to take my writing seriously enough that when I have the chance, I write. I don't always succeed, of course. Sometimes I dance instead. Or Facebook. Or Google. I tell myself it's research.
What aspects of storytelling do you like the best, and what aspects do you struggle with the most?
I think this is my favorite question. Because the answer is - everything. I like it all and I struggle with it all. It's both easy and hard all at the same time and there's no way to explain it rationally but there it is. It's hard getting people dressed, and describing buildings, so I don't bother with that too much. Kurt Vonnegut said he got bored with describing journeys, so he never has any in his books. People just arrive where they're supposed to be. I think that's brilliant. And I think, if Mr. Vonnegut can do it, so can I. So I do the bits I love, even if they're hard, and leave out the bits that bore me, even if they would be easy to write. That way I think I keep the narrative and the action and the dialogue on a high, and, I hope, not dull. That's the plan, anyway.
What are your favorite things to do when you are not writing?
Reading. Dancing. Shopping. And reading. And dancing. Eating french fries. Oh, and watching Grey's Anatomy, NCIS LA, Burn Notice, White Collar, all those wonderful, intelligent shows that we are so blessed with. I love comedy. Big Bang, Modern Family, New Girl, Friends, which I've watched so many times I can recite the lines together with Rachel and company.
What was the best piece of writing advice that you have received?
I think I might have every book on writing ever written. Fiction, non-fiction, plot, POV, hook, action, pace, the works. But I think the best advice is the thing I have cobbled together for myself and then heard Donald Maass say in his book, The Fire in Fiction. Passion. Write what you love. Write what stirs you. And trust that passion, that love. It will lead you in the right direction.
What is the most gratifying thing you feel or get as a writer?
That feeling that dragons can be beaten. Hope. Fun. Watching your characters lead their lives in your mind is amazingly satisfying. I love being surprised at what they do and what they come up with. I know it's all supposed to come from my mind, but it feels as if it comes from somewhere entirely different and I'm just trying to catch it and write it all down, like when you're a kid and you're catching the soap bubbles you've just made. You made them, but they still delight you, surprise you, and make you laugh. And sometimes they make you cry, too. I'm grateful for all of that.
How do you usually communicate with your readers/fans?
By email nowadays but I've had a few fans who were assistants at agencies that didn't work out, and I talked to them by phone, which was wonderful.
Is there anything in your books based on real life experiences, or are they all purely from your imagination?
All the events and characters in my books come from my imagination, but that imagination comes from the sum of my experience and the people I have met, as well as my own personality and dreams, and so on. So although I don't take events directly from reality, I recognize events and people in my books through an emotional connection. Sometimes this is clear to me when I'm writing, other times it becomes clear to me later. It's a kind of alchemy.
What authors have been your inspiration or influenced you to become a writer?
I've never had a doubt that I would be a writer but I think every author I've ever read and every story that has ever moved me has inspired me further. That includes Disney, particularly Beauty and The Beast. The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen had a profound effect on me every time I read it as a child. I was very aware of its deep moral core and I yearned, even at a young age, to write something like that.
What is your definition of success as a writer?
Publication, readers, and money. I'm sorry to be so shallow. I know that Faulkner wasn't even in print when he won the Nobel Prize and yet he is one of my favorite writers and there is no doubt he is a great writer. But I can't help it. I still feel that if I'm not in print I'm not a real writer and if I don't have many readers I haven't made it yet. Those high numbers mean you have written a story that many people want to read, which is the point of writing, for me.
Are you currently writing a new book? If yes, would you care to share a bit with us?
I have about ten book started and in various stages of completion. This is always the case. But I have recently redefined and honed the genre that I would like to be working in from now on. It includes more frankly supernatural themes, which have always crept into my writing. In the past I struggled to keep them out but now I see that there is no need to do that. So I'm saying hello to my witches and vampires and humor. As I've already said, I feel most at home writing things that are quite close to the work of Charlaine Harris, and I'm having a lot of fun with that.
The Belly Dancing Club, which is out on Kindle, had a ghost in it, and the book I'm writing now has more supernatural elements in it still, so I'm definitely heading in that direction.
I'm also writing a children's book. I have a children's book out on Kindle, Lewis Mortimer and The Three Tears of Mesrad, and I enjoyed writing that a lot. It's fantasy, with dragons and dwarfs and wizards.
I would like to say a huge thank you, Kathleen, for doing what you do. It's a great service both to the writers, who are often working alone and in the dark, and to readers, all of us looking for great books. ~ Katya
Thank you Katya for allowing me the opportunity to interview you on Jersey Girl Book Reviews, and for taking the time to share some things about you and your writing career with us!
About The Author:
Katya Dillon was born in Slovakia, nourished by the air breathed out by rocks and mountains. She had her first stories published when she was seven years old and her payment came in the form of a huge box of books, which was heaven. Her first brush with fame brought an early reality check, an accusation of plagiarism by a jealous classmate, an injustice which wasn't as much fun as it might have been, had the young Ms. Dillon had thicker skin.
Katya spent her childhood hiding in trees, watching people, and telling stories to her her friends, who refused to go on car journeys without their pocket-sized storyteller.
Apart from language, Katya was obsessed with biology and went on to study at the world-famous Institute of Neurology, where she discovered with horror that most science isn't the mystical mixture of poetry and magic she longed for. She changed direction and followed her passion for herbs, vitamins and health, while continuing to write fiction, with much swearing and yelling at the typewriter, which always seemed to come up with drivel after she had tapped in the most sublime, profound sentiments into the damn thing only moments before!
So what's next? Katya Dillon's Lipstick Writing on Kindle. The future is here!
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE
BUY THE BOOK: Sad Moon
Book Description: Sad Moon
Sad Moon is a gothic romance, When Ralph Tyler falls passionately in love with a wild, mysterious woman, Leah Herne, his whole world is turned upside down, and his dark, intense obsession transforms him from a man into a hero.