About Kathy L. Brown:
Kathy lives and writes in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Her hometown and its history inspire her fiction. When she’s not thinking about how haunted everything is, she enjoys hiking, crafts, and cooking for her family.
What inspires you to write?
When I was ten, I was captivated by a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. Somehow that was when I realized that every story has a maker, and I could be a maker, too. I immediately wrote a knock-off Sherlockian story, which was greeted with wide critical acclaim (by my teacher). That was it, really. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had ruined me for honest work.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m always striving to be more organized so that I can produce more stories, more quickly. So, the meandering process that resulted in a handful of short stories and my first two novels isn’t tenable anymore. For my current work in progress, I’ve developed a ten-page treatment, which includes a rough outline and thumbnail character and location sketches. For each thumbnail I’ve written an in-depth piece, which often included historical and other types of research. I draft in Scrivener software, so my next step will be to turn that outline into about fifty to seventy scene plans. I moved to scene plans about halfway through my last novel and it saved my bacon! Of course, once the story truly gets underway, things change. I’ll go back and make additional notes on characters and places, and new ones may show up as well. The plot may take unexpected turns, and new or different scenes may be needed.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I see the story unfolding and write down what I see and hear. For the most part I eavesdrop on the characters. We don’t usually talk to each other, but sometimes it is necessary for me to lay down the law or for them to spell something out for me, since I’m quite dense at times
What advice would you give other writers?
You DO have something unique to say, a message for the world. Don’t let anyone or any pervasive social attitude make you think your writing isn’t important. Keep writing and reading—they are both vital. Be gentle and kind as well as brutally honest with yourself! You are doing a great thing with your writing, something that many people aspire to and few accomplish. On the other hand, you must keep learning and striving for perfection. “Good enough” isn’t good enough.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
The books I’m currently publishing independently are of a weird “non-commercial” length. They are much longer than the typical short stories in magazines, etc., but much too short to interest a traditional publisher. My novel-length story is currently out-and-about with agents and publishers. Publishing is hard work and much different than writing. I’d be happy for any expert help with it I can get!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’m excited about the future. I think people need stories as much as they ever did, maybe more so, and many avenues for writers to directly get their tales out to readers exist. It’s empowering. On the other hand, readers have so many choices, it can be hard to find what one truly wants to read. I’m also excited about all the alternative ways to experience story that have developed: Interactive puzzles and games, podcasts that are essentially radio plays, etc.
What genres do you write?: Modern urban fantasy, fantasy, weird, mystery, historical fiction, supernatural
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.