About Katie Godman:
Katie Godman is a Costume Librarian. She has an MA in Fashion History and a BA in Creative Writing. She has given talks on the historical fashion and writes book reviews for The Journal of the Association of Dress Historians. Her book on The History of Gothic Fashion is due out in October 2022. Fortune is her first novel.
What inspires you to write?
I have always imagined stories and characters, so have been writing since I was a teenager. I love reading and story telling, so am inspired by other writers and stories all the time. I like to be transported to another time and place, be it historical or fantastical and explore stories from untold perspectives. If I am not writing I am irritable, so always need to be working on something. Charles Bukowski said about writing that you either need to get it down on paper or jump off a bridge. I think he is simply talking about the compulsion that some writers feel to just write.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
Susanna Clarke, William Faulkner, Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, Joe Abercrombie, C J Sansom, Zadie Smith – too many to list!
Tell us about your writing process.
I tend to start with characters or gut feelings. Sometimes I get a really strong connection with a character. I have some characters that that have been with me for a long time and I have changed or re-invented their worlds or stories to see what works best. In terms of writing a book. I have the core characters, and the rough outline in my head. I then try and write each day (sometimes lots, sometimes only a little bit but just so the plot can get further along) and flesh it out, just to get to the end. If the story wants to go a different way I let it. I don't really edit the first draft as I go, I just try and get to the end. Once I have the first draft, I go back over it several times to edit it. I have to accept the story still might change, then I give it to a few trusted friends to read it, then edit it again. Writing the first draft might take me a few months, but then the editing and re-editing can take up to a year. Before I self-published I had same success in terms of getting an agent and getting some things nearly published so sometimes I would then go back to them and rework them after a few years, sometimes so they became very different things. Once I self-published it gave me a satisfying sense of closure.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Yes I do listen to my characters. I do a lot of character work. Questionnaires are a good thing to do with your characters, even if the answers aren't relevant to your story you should still know them and it will help you know the character. Some questions can be quite serious such as 'What is their religion?' Others can be more fun such as their favourite ice cream or drink preference. It helps to add depth and flesh out their backstories, even if it isn't all mentioned.
What advice would you give other writers?
Enjoy yourself. Write a little bit everyday. Don't be afraid of editing. 'Kill your Darlings' – i.e. don't be afraid to cut your favourite bits to see if your writing works better (also if you save both versions, even better!), try writing in both fiction and nonfiction, read widely, be observant, always try and learn, befriend other writers and share your work, don't be afraid to go on writing courses or similar if you are able to
How did you decide how to publish your books?
It took a long time to decide to self publish as I had various pieces of good feedback, but never quite got accepted by a publisher. I felt like I couldn't move on with my life until I let some of my stories and characters out into the world, so decided to give self-publishing a go!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think self-publishing is great. The hoops writers have to jump through to get published by bigger publishing houses is quite archaic, and quite painful for the author given the amount of effort they have to put in and the wall of indifference they can be met with. Self-publishing has felt more satisfying, but now I am having to learn about advertising and promotion which is challenging, but I am hoping it will be a positive experience. I think all the years in the publishing wilderness helped me refine my writing. I think there is space for both models to co-exist but I think traditional publishing needs to be more accessible and writer friendly. I am not surprised that self-publishing is growing in popularity.
What genres do you write?: Historical, Fantasy, Nonfiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
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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.
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