Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Interview with Katherine Owen, THIS MUCH IS TRUE


Can you give us a brief overview of your book? Is it part of a series?
Both on the verge of fame. A ballerina who lies. A baseball player who believes her. Well, the truth changes everything.
This Much Is True is the story of Tally Landon, a gifted ballerina, and Lincoln Presley, an up-and-coming baseball player intent on pleasing the world. Fate brings them together through tragic circumstances the first time, and the second time they both experience this powerful connection. Even so, the lies Tally tells Linc as well as the truth he withholds from her eventually tear them apart.

This isn’t a sugar-coated love story with a bad boy covered in tattoos and a good girl waiting to be rescued. Um…no. This is an emotional read full of angst about a heroine, who is both selfish and self-destructive, and a hero, who has his own set of baggage preventing him from being there for her when she needs him the most.

Are they destructive? To each other? Yes, at times.
Salvable? Most definitely.
Redeemable? Absolutely.

This Much Is True was written as a standalone, but readers wanted more so it has become a series. The Truth About Air & Water, Book 2 in the True, Truth In Lies series is available. I’m writing Tell Me Something True, Book 3. Look for its release in mid-2015.

Do you have a favorite character?
There’s probably a tie between  Tally Landon in This Much Is True and The Truth About Air & Water (Truth In Lies series) Jordan Holloway in my novel, When I See You. These are very complicated characters which made them a challenge to write.

In When I See You, Jordan is capable, prepared, realistic about what happens in life; and she is a survivor. And I like all those things about her.

In This Much Is True, Tally Landon is not quite at Jordan Holloway’s level yet. Granted, Tally is ten years younger. In This Much Is True, Tally is becoming seasoned and tested by fate, but she is resilient; and she will survive. Both characters are wicked smart and somewhat intent on an implicit, self-preservation quest. These two would have to be my favorite characters because, at times, they were hard to love and garner empathy for which challenged me to write in such way to gain empathy and love for them, especially Tally’s character.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Yes! This happened in This Much Is True with the character of Rob Thorn. In the early novel drafts, I really liked Rob, but he was eclipsing our hero, Lincoln Presley, far too  much, so I had to make Rob more of a bad boy in the final draft of the book, but he became an important character to the storyline.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I did try the route toward traditional publishing. I came close with a few agents with full manuscripts with my debut novel Seeing Julia, which won the Zola Award with the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest in 2010. However, self-publishing was beginning to take off, and I was tired of waiting and changing and trying to read into the minds of agents in getting my work out into the world. I like being in control of my own destiny and self-publishing provided that opportunity for me.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I didn’t use a graphic designer. I do all my covers for both the e-book versions as well as the trade paperback versions. I have a background in this from my days in corporate public relations and marketing work.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I don’t belong to a critique group. I did take classes for a few years with The Writers Studio, which I cannot recommend often enough. At The Writers Studio, we had peer reviews of our work every week as well as the writing teacher’s critique of each assignment. It was a tremendous experience. I really grew as a writer. Now, I have beta readers for some of my novels, but I don’t belong to an organized critique group right now.

What is your writing process? Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I’m not sure you could ever identify my actual process. I have trouble identifying it.

Sometimes, I outline. More and more I’ve begun to outline; I hate it. I outline. I write. The story changes and evolves. It looks nothing like the outline I started with. I do an Excel spreadsheet to keep my timeline together but everything else about the process of writing a novel somehow fails me. In the end, the book gets done, but I can’t always tell you nor identify my entire process for getting there. Lightning in a bottle is an apt description for the writing process at times. At least, for me.

As far as music? It’s really quiet when I am not into the heart of the book and writing. Then, when I finally get it together, music plays a huge part of my process. I have massive play lists that ultimately represent the book I’m writing.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Yes, I have a line editor that goes through the manuscript for typographical errors and such. I edit as I go so the story is mostly together by the time it reaches a line editor. I do not utilze a development editor at this point in my writing career because I spend a lot of time on plot and structure with my storylines.


What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Study the market. Follow various writers blogs including JA Konrath’s. His blog posts helped me in terms of making my decision to self-publish.

Don’t be na├»ve in thinking you have to hire everything out; you don’t. Take classes at Lynda.com if you need to learn a software program such as In Design or Photoshop.

Take writing classes. I recommend The Writers Studio. You will up your game and challenge your craft with writing classes.

Read a lot within your genre and out of it. Reading other writers’ work will improve yours.

Believe in your work, take critique, and plan for it. Readers will tell you the most about your work, good or bad.

Maintain humility about yourself and your work and you will be mostly fine.

This is a lonely profession. Accept it and balance that out, which means participating in the world occasionally. It will feed your stories as well as your soul.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I cook about twice a year usually at Thanksgiving and Christmas. My family appreciates those efforts and laments the time before I was writing full-time when I used to cook more often. Don’t get me started on cleaning.  

Other passions include watching movies from action films like Alien, Divergent, and The Hunger Games to romantic films like Silver Linings Playbook, The Vow, Love & Other Drugs, and Crazy, Stupid Love. Now, you know my favorites.

What’s next for you?
I released the second book in the Truth In Lies series, The Truth About Air & Water, in late August 2014. The enthusiasm for more of Linc and Tally has me writing a third book about these two called Tell Me Something True. It should be out prior to Summer 2015. I’m also working on another novel, Saving Valentines, which I hope to release in the Fall of 2015. Writing, I’m always writing.

Thanks for having me on your lovely blog and asking such thought-provoking questions.

Best,
Katherine Owen


Book & Author details:
This Much is True by Katherine Owen 
(Truth in Lies #1)
Publication date: August 11th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Synopsis:
Both on the verge of fame. A ballerina who lies. A baseball player who believes her. Well, the truth changes everything.

Tally Landon is just trying to survive the death of her twin sister, graduate from high school, and escape her tragic story by pursuing her ballet career in New York. She doesn’t count on Lincoln Presley, Stanford’s baseball wonder, to affect her at all. Adding him to a long list of one-night stands is the plan. Lying to him about her age and name is her standard method of operandi. She doesn’t count on being found out, on seeing him again, or falling in love.

Lincoln Presley’s life is all mapped out for him. There is only baseball. With Major League Baseball circling their favorite prospect with a lucrative offer, he cannot afford to mess up. And, he doesn’t; until he meets up with the girl he saved in that burning wreckage on the 101 on Valentine’s Day months before. By the time he learns her real name and of all the lies she’s told, he’s in far too deep to ever really let her go.

Fate has a different set of plans, but when fame and lies tear them apart, one truth remains.


Purchase:
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/this-much-is-true-katherine-owen/1116395071?ean=9780983570769

Purchase book 2:

AUTHOR BIO:
Katherine Owen writes contemporary edgy fiction, which translates to: she writes love stories that are contemporary in setting and both edgy and dark. Some readers term her books emotional roller coasters. With her writing, Owen admits she has a fondness for angst, likes to play with a little drama, and essentially toys around with the unintentional complications of love. She contends this began early on when she won a poetry contest at the age of fourteen and appears to be without end. Owen has an avid love of coffee, books, and writing, but not necessarily in that order. She writes both Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction which includes her bestselling TRUTH IN LIES Series (a series despite despising 'series') beginning with This Much Is True and her latest release, The Truth About Air & Water. The TRUTH IN LIES series is fan-driven. So. There will be a third book about Linc and Tally released in 2015 titled Tell Me Something True.

About Owen's fiction...This is NOT the light trope stuff. She travels a unique, writerly path and enjoys writing dark and angsty (a "non-word" she is fond of) emotional love stories. She often warns readers to be prepared with: time, tissues, wine, Advil or your drug of choice. And, as her most favored character, Lincoln Presley, would say, "do what you must, Princess."



Tour-wide giveaway (US & Canada)
  • 1x signed print copies of both This Much Is True and The Truth About Air & Water 
  • 3x signed copies of This Much Is True

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