Check out the interview below!
A couple of your books, including your latest, Secret Chemistry, involves shape-shifter characters. What about shape-shifters interests you most and makes you want to write about them?
I've always had a thing for paranormal books, and especially for stories with shape-shifters. The thought of humans changing their form fascinates me to no end! There are so many questions in need of answers, like: Do the people know about their ability to shift into an animal or does it come as a surprise? How much of the typically associated animal behavior shows in the human's personality? How do the shape-shifters deal with their special abilities? Are they glad about them or do they wish for them to vanish miraculously?
I think it would be awesome to see the world from an animal's point of view—at least for some time. Also, how does it feel to walk on all fours, or to be able to run really fast and jump over whatever gets in your way? How does it feel if someone else pets you? Like I said, I'm simply fascinated by the whole concept. :)
How did you come up with the concept for Secret Chemistry?
I'm not only fascinated by the idea of shape-shifters but also by foxes, especially the red foxes. Some would probably call it an obsession... These animals combine typical characteristics of dogs and cats, a mixture I find very endearing. Their outer appearance also appeals to me: the coats in various shades of red, the black socks, the white belly, the white tip of their tail, the bushiness of their tails and... I could go on forever!
However, since I wrote a fairly long fanfic about a were-fox I didn't want to go the same route again. I've read a lot of werewolves-stories and love them but for Secret Chemistry I wanted to add a little twist: what if there weren’t only pure blooded werewolves but hybrids too? How would the werewolf community react? Just like that, the concept for Secret Chemistry was born.
Your novella, Silver Lining, was described as bittersweet, beautiful, angst filled, unconventional and heartbreaking on goodreads.com. How did you mentally and emotionally prepare yourself to write this story?
I didn't. That's the whole truth. The idea for Silver Lining jumped me, dug its teeth into me and wouldn't let go. I had the whole story in my head, jotted it down on paper so I wouldn't forget anything but at the time couldn't start on it because I needed to finish another manuscript. I thought (hoped even) the pressing urge to write Silver Lining would vanish or at least lessen because I knew Riley and Scott's story wouldn't be an easy one to tell.
The urge to write that story never left me, so as soon as I had the time, I wrote it. Or maybe I should say it poured out of me. I wasn't prepared for how much the story would get to me. I felt constantly drained (mentally but foremost emotionally) during that time. I can't tell you how relieved I was when I finished the first draft. For a reason I can't pinpoint, this particular story needed to be told. Afterward, I felt liberated.
I'm very glad that readers gave Silver Lining a chance and overall liked it because this story means so much to me.
Is there a subgenre under the m/m umbrella that you would like to explore? Why?
I'd love to explore the fantasy genre and the BDSM genre. I'm a big fan of David Eddings' Belgariad series as well as Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series and would very much like to write an m/m fantasy story.
I've written several stories about two men in a disciplinary relationship and would love to write a novella or novel with this topic, to explore it in depth. I know that it's not everyone's cup of tea but I really like depicting the dynamics between the two partners, how they both receive something they both long for.
Once I've settled on a story, I decide which view point I want to use. Mostly, I write in first person (it's the easiest for me) or in third person limited. Then, I start writing from start to finish. Sometimes I leave out details and add them later. My day job doesn't allow for much writing time, so I mostly write on the weekends. I wish I was able to write in the evenings but sadly that doesn't work for me at all!
While I write I make notes of aspects that need more exploring or more explaining. When the first draft is finished, I pull up my notes and fix details and so on. After that, I do two rounds of edits, then I send the story chapter by chapter to my beta reader. This process takes a few months. When I get the complete story back, I do another round of editing and then finally submit it to my publisher.
What are some of the most difficult aspects of being a published author, and how have you overcome them?
Time is the biggest issue. Like most other authors I work and take care of my family, which makes freeing up time to write a real challenge.
Another thing I find difficult is promoting. For my first e-book Seizing It I only made announcements on my blog and that was it. The more I got to know about the business the more I realized I needed to do more, so now I'm trying to connect to other authors and exchange guest posts, giveaways and the like.
I haven’t overcome the difficult aspects of it but I'm working on it. This also includes finding out which social media platforms work for me and how much time I can spend on these without neglecting my family.
What advice would you give aspiring writers who may be nervous about putting their work in the public realm?
Hmm, I'm still very new to the business so I'm not sure how helpful my advice can be. I'll try anyway. ;-)
If you're nervous about putting your work out, try finding a writer's group and post your first stories there. You'll get instant feedback and the people usually are very supportive. I started out as a fan fiction writer and loved it!
When you put out your work in the public realm be prepared for criticism—some of it will be the good sort of criticism, some will just hurt. Try to learn from it but don't let it discourage you.
If you would like to win your very own copy of Secret Chemistry, visit the goodreads contest page here.
For more information about Chris T. Kat, please visit her blog.