Author Interview: Katherine Gilbert

Katherine Gilbert

Tell us a bit about you.
I’ve been born and raised in South Carolina. Unfortunately, too much of the state is exactly what you might believe–but, really, some of us are sane! I teach English at a local community college here.

Tell us a bit about your book.
It lives somewhere on the line between urban fantasy and paranormal romance. After a childhood filled with devil-worshipping devil-worshipping parents, Lydia longs for a quiet, normal life, a safe haven somewhere blissfully dull. Being the manager at the Roanoke Apartments seems to fit that bill. But Lydia soon learns that you can’t leave the past behind so easily. She finds herself faced with unclogging drains for werewolves, conducting nightly vampire counseling sessions, and caring for two talkative cats. Then there’s the distraction of Geoffrey, the hottest, and most angelic, boss anyone ever dreamed of. As if that isn’t enough, the demon who nearly killed her shows up to finish the job. So much for a peaceful, simple life…

Who is your favorite character from the book?
Sorry, I just can’t choose. Writing it allowed me to spend time playing with a dozen or more quirky gothic creatures, as they went about their lives. It’s my idea of heaven.

Tell us a little bit about your journey as an author.
I actually started out writing fan fiction for the tv show, La Femme Nikita. The show tended to leave so much unsaid that I went back and wrote “fill-in-the-blanks” stories to explain the unspoken. When I branched out for a few alternate universe stories, I started to realize that I could actually write a plot–as well as that, if I didn’t know exactly what would happen next, that was okay. The story would tell me, when I got there. After that, I started writing my own stories.

Published works require more than just an author. What sort of team members do you have to help you reach the final point of publishing a work?
Well, the first person would be my sister, Armida. She listens to every chapter, as I write it and encourages me, when I get discouraged. Protecting the Dead is my first published novel, so the team at Eskape Press has done quite a lot, too. I particularly love the cover by Elaina Lee.

What do you love most about being an author?
Getting to put down in a more tangible form these characters and worlds which exist in my mind. It’s definitely not an easy process, but when I can read a chapter or scene which fairly accurately reflects what I was thinking, it’s just amazing.

What do you dislike most about being an author?
Before I was published, it would have been trying to find a publisher. Now, it’s having to figure out how to market and publicize myself, when I’m a very non-selfie sort of person. “Hey, look at me and what I did!” is very much against my nature. I’m learning slowly, every day.

What is the most important piece of advice you have for other writers and authors?
This is my very first published novel, so nothing I’d say is expert advice. Still, for those just starting writing, my advice would be that the one trait you need more than any other is sheer bullheadedness. You have to be willing to stick with it when: the words aren’t coming out the way you want, the story takes off in an unforeseen direction, real life demands so much attention it takes all your energy to find even a few hours to write, the editing and rewriting is taking months, or agents and publishers continually tell you (however politely) to go away. For those who’ve just published, you need to stick with it even when: your sales are in the single digits, you aren’t even sure your friends are reading it, and you’re lost in the terrifying new territory of social media without a map or a clue. Find whatever outlets you can (Facebook, Goodreads, etc.), and join some Facebook author groups. Many times, you can find and share an opportunity or two there. Above all, if you really want to write, don’t give up!

What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
My sister, Armida. She’s my best friend, my teacher, my therapist, and so much more.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
There are a lot of possibilities. Back to either the Blue Ridge mountains or Brookgreen Gardens (a figural sculpture garden in SC) would probably be at the top of the list, although I’ve been to both dozens of times. They’re my definition of peace.

What is your favorite TV show or movie?
La Femme Nikita (the tv show)–I just can’t get its characters out of my head, and I really don’t want to.

How can readers get their hands on your book(s)?
Right now, Protecting the Dead is only in ebook format, although it’s supposed to be released in paperback at some point in the future. You can find it at any of the following:

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07FG1VPHZ
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/842470
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/protecting-the-dead
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/protecting-the-dead-katherine-gilbert/1128969519
https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Katherine_Gilbert_Protecting_the_Dead

What is the best way for folks to get in touch with you?
I kind of live at my Facebook page nowadays. You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/Katherine-Gilbert-Author-102573417043950/

Do you ever have moments of self-doubt or novel-doubt?
ALL the time, especially when I’m writing. Occasionally, I’ll have the voices and situations so clearly in my mind that everything just flows perfectly. Much more often, though, everything I write seems stilted and trite and boring. I have to walk away from a novel for awhile to be able to see it without the “It all stinks!” filter on.

Are there any unpublished manuscripts you have created? Will you ever publish them?
To the first question, yes, I have three other completed urban fantasy/paranormal romances. They’re all set in the same alternate universe, although in different places with different characters. There’s also one completed contemporary romance. As to the second question, God, I hope so.

What would you like to tell or ask of your readers?
I don’t write literary fiction. I don’t write grim or post-apocalyptic fantasy. My novels are for when you just want to relax, smile, and enjoy a little comic gothic romance with a bunch of quirky characters.

If you could go back in time and meet anyone, who would it be?
Hmm, hard choice. Maybe Shirley Chisholm? Although she’d be so busy getting things done the right way that she wouldn’t have time to chat with someone who just thinks she’s immensely cool.

Is there anything you would like to add?
Thanks for having me! I enjoyed it! Also, if you feel like a light, gothic, romantic read, check out Protecting the Dead, and come visit my Facebook page to see what I’m getting up to now.

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