5-STAR Fantasy / Sci-Fi

Friday, April 10, 2015

Indie Author Interview: Katharine E. Hamilton

Indie Author Interview with Katharine E. Hamilton - Author of the Epic Fantasy The Unfading Lands.

Katharine E. Hamilton started her writing career nearly a decade ago by creating fun-filled stories that have taken children on imaginative adventures all around the world. By using her talents of imagery and suspense to illustrate the deep, underlying issue of good and evil within us all, Katharine extends the invitation for adventure to adults everywhere.

Interview with Katharine E. Hamilton

Author Katharine E. Hamilton
Author Katharine E. Hamilton
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Katharine E. Hamilton: I first started writing in college, about nine years ago. Writing was one of those secret talents/dreams I pursued in my mind for years before I actually felt brave enough to give it a shot professionally. My first works are actually Children's Books. I wanted to learn the publishing business and get my feet wet by writing fun little stories for my nieces. They then turned into books and evolved from there.

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
My favorite writers are Henry James, Jane Austin, Charles Dickens and Frank Peretti. I know... quite a wide span in genre there. My favorite books are The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James, Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, and The Prophet, by Frank Peretti.
I would say all four of these writers have influenced my writing in some shape or form. I love the good vs. evil motif that Frank Peretti uses in all his works. I love the family dynamic that Jane Austen has in her works. Dickens and James have a complexity and formality to their writing that I love. I think too, I love the fact Austen and James usually have strong female characters. I love that aspect as well.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
It wasn't until I was in college I expounded upon brushing up on my writing skills and taking it seriously. I had thought about writing when I was younger, but it seemed too far-fetched for some reason. It wasn't until college I actually wrote and illustrated a giant poster book for my niece for her Christmas present... it was passed around the family, and my Grandmother, a writer as well, looked at it, then looked at me and said, "I think you found your calling, Kid." And that is all it took for me to take the leap into giving it a go.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I was in second grade. Haha! No, seriously... My teacher would have us come up with small stories and illustrate them. Then she would bind them for us. They were maybe ten page stories ranging from my family to pets to friends. I loved making those. And each time you made one, she would let you read it to the class. I loved creating something and sharing it like that. My first one was about how my siblings and I caught Santa Claus sneaking around our house to put out Christmas presents. We truly believed we saw his shadow. :)

"I am a big fan of spider web graphs."

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?

I think the idea of an actual writing process sounds fascinating... but unfortunately, my process is a little... scatter brained at times. I think every writer can say that actually. I do have a few methods I use, but they are ever changing. I am a big fan of spider web graphs. It helps me keep in mind my major scenes and character interactions. I tend to make one of those every single time I sit down to write. It guides me in what I want to accomplish in my manuscript for that particular day. I also like to write in the mornings. I think clearer in the mornings, I'm relaxed, the house is quiet... I wake up early to reserve at least an hour in the mornings just for writing. If I am able to work longer, I definitely take advantage of that and will.

Please, describe your desk/workplace.
I rarely sit at a desk when I type. I tend to take my laptop out to the porch swing on warm days. On not so warm days, I sit in my favorite spot on the couch and set up shop there. I have my notes, my graphs, and my laptop. Pretty basic. Not too messy. I don't like to have clutter around me for fear of distracting myself.

"It's easy for me to get lost in the story [...]"

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
The easiest aspect of writing, for me, is the creating part. I love to daydream ideas or spin a story. I love typing and seeing where the story takes me. It's easy for me to get lost in the story, and I love that. The hardest part about writing is the vulnerability aspect. I did not realize I would feel that way. But whenever someone is reading my work, I feel as if they are getting a glimpse of my heart and soul. I pour everything into my books, so it was a little scary to have those first few people catch a glimpse of ME in those pages.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love creating and being able to use my imagination. I love losing myself in the process and seeing an adventure unfold.

"From the moment you open the book, you are introduced to the brewing storm of conflict."

Katharine, please tell us a little about your Epic Fantasy Novel The Unfading Lands.
The Unfading Lands is an adventure. From the moment you open the book, you are introduced to the brewing storm of conflict. There is Prince Edward who abandons his family to cross into the mysterious Land of Unfading Beauty, only to learn he can never return home. The lands are ruled by a mysterious, yet dark, leader named Lancer, and his power and lands start taking over the lands from which Prince Edward originates. Lancer wants to take over the entire realm, and that leads to the kingdoms of the realm uniting and battling this mysterious foe. The story follows the path of Edward's younger sister Elizabeth, as she joins in the battle to save their father's realm from the clutches of the Unfading Lands. It really focuses upon the battle between good vs. evil. And not only in its physical forms of the Realm vs. the Unfading Lands, but also within the character's themselves. It makes you think of that inner struggle we all have when faced with the temptation of darkness. Do we give in? It's tempting sometimes... or do we fight it? The Unfading Lands is actually the first book in a series of three, so the reader will definitely learn the backgrounds of all the kingdoms and characters involved in the story and this sets the stage for the remainder of the series. Battles, love, mystery... what more could you ask for? :)

The Unfading Lands - Katharine E Hamilton
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
I have actually had the idea for this book for about nine years. I had my characters named and picked out, etc. But I held onto the idea and never sat down to actually write it, because I did not think I could do the idea justice. But it nagged me for years in the back of my mind. When I was contemplating transitioning from Children's Literature to Adult Fiction, there was no doubt in my mind that THIS was the story I needed to write. I love stories that take a reader on a journey of emotions and intrigue. I love books that pose a deeper meaning in their words. Yes, there is a land of darkness, but how do the characters deal with such darkness without being tempted by it themselves? I love that moral dilemma between right and wrong, good and evil, light and dark, and the inner questioning that can come from that. I think it forces the reader to not only face the story but also themselves in a way. I find that intriguing. I'm an avid reader, but sometimes I want to rewrite an ending, or come up with something completely different. I write what I want to read. So the inspiration behind the book is that I want to read something that takes me on a wild adventure while also presenting me the opportunity to think and dive deeper.

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
I think women will be drawn to this story... anywhere from teenage years and above. The book is available on Amazon or my website: www.katharinehamilton.com

"I do not curse in my writing."

What makes your book special?
One thing about my book that is slightly different and important to me is the purity behind it. I do not curse in my writing. I do not write sex into my books. It's just not for me. I feel like a lot of the books on the market are somewhat saturated with both of those things, and I wanted to show that they aren't necessary. You can have an incredible story without having those particular elements. I also wanted to write something that was fresh and new in the market, and by eliminating those two things, I think I did just that.

How would you describe the success of your book so far?
Well, my book does not release until April 10th. So I cannot give many stats thus far. However, I did have a wide beta-reader audience. My goal was to put the manuscript in as many hands as possible before I published just to see if the book would have a warm reception. It did. And thankfully, I have talkative fans, so the word is spreading about it, and I'm excited to see the future success it receives.

How long did it take it to write the book?
Once I made up my mind to write the book, it only took me a few weeks to type up the story. But the process of editing and rewriting and editing some more has taken me about nine months. I'm a bit of a perfectionist.

"Don't be afraid of what other people will think."

Can you give some advice for other Authors regarding the writing process?
Advice... I guess one big hurdle for me was myself. Don't question yourself so much. Write what comes to you. Don't be afraid of what other people will think. JUST DO IT. Get that first draft done! You can always edit later.

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I am actually working on book 2 in The Unfading Lands series. It picks up right where the first one leaves off only the emphasis switches from one particular character to another. It's got a lot more... hmmm... let's just say it is a bit more intense, but in a great way.

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
I think eBooks are great, but there is something about holding a book in your hands that I personally like better. I don't know if I see bookstores completely disappearing for that reason. I think others feel that way as well. Plus, I would hate to see us all THAT reliant on technology. When the power goes out, and your batteries die on your phone, kindle, or laptop... you will wish you had an actual book in your hands. So I hope the eBook market continues to grow, but I also hope the bookstores remain as well.

"I read most of my books in paperback or hardback [...]"

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read most of my books in paperback or hardback, but I do use a Kindle occasionally. Sometimes it is easier to pull up a book on my Kindle on the airplane than lugging around a giant Charles Dickens book. :)

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job? When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I currently do not write full-time, though that is my goal. But I have the 8-5 job and then squeeze writing into my schedule in the mornings and evenings. When I am not writing, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Brad, and our two dogs, Tulip and Cash. We live on a ranch in South Texas, so ranch work... and fun... keeps us pretty busy. I also love to travel, so I am often on the road to somewhere. :)

How can readers connect with you?
Readers can find me on several social media platforms and contact me directly.
Facebook under Katharine E. Hamilton
I also have a website: www.katharinehamilton.com
Twitter: @AuthorKatharine
Instagram: katharineh

Thank you very much for the Interview, Katharine.

About the Book The Unfading Lands

The Unfading Lands - Katharine E Hamilton
Click to Read an Excerpt
A selfish betrayal. Goodness long forgotten. A land with terrifying power. Something sinister is at work in the Land of Unfading Beauty, a land that promises eternal youth and splendor. Something evil. Under the fa├žade of charismatic leader, Lancer, an enemy stalks--taking life and power in the most devious of ways.

Prince Edward, the heir to the Northern Kingdom, abandons his family in pursuit of a beautiful woman by venturing into the Land of Unfading Beauty, never to return home. Has Prince Edward been swept away by love, or was it part of a strategic plan?

Lancer has high ambitions of destroying the Northern Kingdom and will stop at nothing to acquire its power and strength. A desperate attempt to save the Realm forces Edward's father, King Granton, to call upon the rulers from neighboring kingdoms for help. As the kings and their children unite, relationships are strengthened and loyalties tested, and Edward's younger sister, Elizabeth, rises as a force to be reckoned with. Headstrong, yet pure of heart, this young princess breaks the barriers of her role in order to fight for the safety of her Kingdom. Fierce battles emerge between good and evil and unexpected heroes arise. But it will take courage, unity, and strength to overcome the temptation of darkness.

A darkness, invisible to the eye, threatens the safety of them all.

Can it be overcome?
Can Edward be trusted?
Who is the real enemy?

What Elizabeth discovers within herself, her kingdom, and her brother, will change the course for the entire Realm and leave one question:

Where does your allegiance lie?

"A beautifully written book! Full of rich descriptions, enchanting undertones, suspenseful good versus evil plot and amazing characters. Truth be told: I fell in love with the characters, and I could not put this book down! It is a unique but remarkable blend of styles.[...]" - Reader Review

Link to the Book

Link to the Paperback The Unfading Lands on Amazon

Link to the eBook The Unfading Lands on Amazon

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