Monday, February 9, 2015

Interview with Kathi Haacke Moorehead, WHITE NIGHT

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
WHITE NIGHT is the story of one woman’s quest to learn who she really is, rather than the person she believed she was. It sounds very cliché, I know. I think we all want to see and believe ourselves as possessing certain qualities and characteristics. Sometimes our understanding is correct, sometimes, it’s not. WHITE NIGHT begins at Jo Campbell’s deathbed, and walks with her through an afterlife she wasn’t expecting, and doesn’t feel she deserves. It’s up to her to learn the lessons she needs to learn to change her circumstances. It’s hard though. Not many of us are brave enough to look that deeply inside, especially in Jo’s situation where her salvation is at risk.

Do you have a favorite character?
I do. My favorite is Soul. She is actually Jo’s soul, and she is responsible for guiding Jo through this series of lessons to be learned. She and Jo have a very non-traditional relationship, to say the least. I love Jo as well, but Soul has the sense of humor and a “take no prisoners” attitude. It was fun to write her.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
No. In fact, to be honest, when this story was conceived, there were only two characters period. All of the supporting characters are intrinsic to the story, so I have to say that while they may not be “major” characters, they are all equally important to the balance.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I did not. I published a (very poorly written) memoir last year and went the traditional route. I did everything wrong that was possible to do, including sending a mass mailing with wrong information in it. This time, as WHITE NIGHT progressed, I realized that I didn’t want to go through the time, trouble, and frustration of appealing to a group of people who aren’t like the folks I hang out with. I am not a literary snob. I am someone who wears their heart on their sleeve. I don’t really want or expect to appeal to someone who edits The New Yorker. So no. I focused on professional editing and marketing.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
It depends. In WHITE NIGHT, the song “Johnny Angel” is a theme that runs through the book. I can’t tell you how many times I had that cranking on certain chapters. Since this is the only fiction work I’ve done, I have no idea if a song du “novel” will become part of the process. I find that I hate interruptions (which … well … my husband can tell you about), so I have to say that my process is very solitary and quiet.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I probably have made every single freshman novelist mistake with this book! I just thought of a point I wanted to make, and wrote a story about it. I would do a chapter or two a day. I know how I wanted to start it and finish it. The middle .. meh. I wasn’t so concerned with. Can you imagine? I am laughing as I say this. So I’m a “muser”, not an “outliner.” No. Let me qualify that. I was a “muser” for WHITE NIGHT. I have absolutely no idea what lies ahead. It kind of scares me!

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Ohhhh yes. If there is one place that I’d advise beginning authors to put their money, it is in editing. WHITE NIGHT is told in the first person. The odd thing about my book is that it is basically one person speaking to another aspect of herself, so it was a real challenge to present dialogue in a believable way. Plus. I am the “ellipse queen”. I had a terrific editor. She went all the way through the creation of the book with me. Then, she suggested that it go to another copyeditor because she was too close to it. Which I did. I still, even with it published, cringe when I see a missing comma or a run on sentence. But what I see published is so much better than what I could have done on my own.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Believe in yourself, because if you don’t, no one else will. Trust me. Be confident, but humble. And more than anything, don’t lose your sense of humor!

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Laughing. Loudly. Enough to embarrass my children.

What’s next for you?
I am working on a chapter to contribute to an anthology on women conquering obstacles. I am also slated to co-author a book on spiritual learning. I am also sort of considering a sequel to WHITE NIGHT. I’m honestly not sure I want to take it further, although there are certainly ways to do so.

Joanna Anderson Campbell lived the perfect life ... loving daughter and sister, loyal friend, faithful wife, and devoted mother. She was happy and content. What more could she have asked for? Life could not have been better. At least ... that's what she believed. Until she died. Can death teach the most valuable lessons about life? Jo Campbell is about to find out. 

Autographed Copy:  

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Kathi - White Night Author PicAbout the author: Kathi Haacke Morehead makes her fiction debut with WHITE NIGHT. She is the author of HEART BLEED: Letting go and stanching the flow, and THE BEST FROM THE CHEAP SEATS. She has also written numerous articles for Mind Body Green, and Boomeon. She also blogs daily at A View From the Cheap Seats Today. Kathi lives in Brunswick with her husband Dave and their four finicky felines. Her motto is "love and laugh!"

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