About Kate Ristau:
Kate Ristau is an author and folklorist. She writes young adult and middle grade fiction, along with grammar primers that won’t make you cringe. In her ideal world, magic and myth combine to create memorable stories with unforgettable characters. Until she finds that world, she’ll live in Portland, Oregon with her husband, her son, and her dog. If you can’t find her there, you can find her at kateristau.com.
What inspires you to write?
Angela Bourke wrote a book called The Burning of Bridget Cleary. It tells the true story of a woman who was burned as a fairy in 1895 in Ireland. That book sparked an idea in my mind: what would it really be like for one of the goodpeople to enter our world? When I started writing Shadowgirl, I realized that any fae story would not be filled with light and laughter. And as I studied Celtic folklore in graduate school at the University of Oregon, I dove into the world of Irish folklore, and learned the real truth of what a fairy tale would be like in modern times. It would be dark and devastating. It wouldn’t be Tinkerbell.
Tell us about your writing process.
I have been working on this book since 2010, and it has changed so much. I am a much better writer than when I began, and Shadowgirl is a much more developed novel. As a former writing professor, I have one big focus: revision. I don’t send out the book until it is ready to go, and I try to remain open to feedback as much as possible. I am thrilled to finally share Shadowgirl with my readers.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I listen and I talk. I think when I start a novel I tend to talk more. I have an idea of what a character is like. But, as I revise, I start to listen, and the character becomes more true to life.
What advice would you give other writers?
Just write. Write when things are awesome. Write when they’re not. Write when you want to express yourself. Write when you have nothing to say. Eventually, it will be easier to find the right words. Just write.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I chose Lycaon Press as my publisher because their book list was similar to mine: challenging YA with a fantasy twist.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the future of publishing is strong — though we are seeing a shift toward eBooks. I think that could be a good thing!
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Young Adult, Middle Grade
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.