Welcome, Katherine, to Keta's Keep. We're so happy you're here.
First, I must disclose (willingly) I read Katherine's latest release WATER DREAMS and loved it! For anyone who loves paranormal "different" you must get a copy of Katherine's wonderful novel. We're talking a sexy merman and a human woman who loves him. Of course, it's forbidden love so fasten your seatbelts, kids!
Katherine's here to answer some questions about her writing life (and maybe a little bit about her personal life). Let's hope she tells us more about Water Dreams and how it came about.
1) I'm always asked ‘where do you get your ideas’. So, we want to know where do you get yours, and where did you get the idea for The Sea Witch and The Mage and Water Dreams?
I read in all genres, but I knew my first novel would be a paranormal romance, because that’s my favorite. I love vampires and werewolves, but I wanted something different. I also planned to set the story in my home town of Tarpon Springs, Florida. At the time, I lived in West Virginia and battled homesickness, especially in the winter! So, I thought about what kind of shifter might live in or near a town on the water. There was only one answer—mermaids and mermen. Water Dreams is about a young woman of Greek descent, who is forced to confront her fear of water when she falls in love with a shape-shifter merman, whose job it is to convince her to help him and his people.
The idea for The Sea Witch and the Mage is kind of weird. One day before I wrote the story, I arranged some small seashells, pieces of coral and polished pebbles inside a large Welk. It looked like they were inside a cave. A couple of days later, we ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant, where my plate arrived accented with a tiny bruja, (witch) doll. I didn’t know what to do with it, but I didn’t want to throw it away. When I got home, I spied the seashell arrangement and realized the doll was the right size to fit inside, so I stood it up beside a shiny rock. After The Sea Witch and the Mage was published, I noticed the seashell arrangement and it hit me: a witch in an underwater cave. Until that moment, I had no idea that was where the idea came from. The subconscious is an interesting place.
So, I guess the overall answer is that ideas come from everywhere.
2) Which comes first for you, the story, the characters, or the setting?
Lately the setting inspires me. I feel so lucky to live in Florida again. Different towns and parts of the state are amazingly diverse and there’s so much more here than palm trees and theme parks.
3) Do you think your heroine in Water Dreams, Nik, is anything like you? Like...small facets of her personality or anything else?
I think if authors are honest, all our characters are somewhat like us, even the villains. Nik is quite different from me. However, being strong and independent is vital to her and that’s definitely a characteristic we share.
4) One thing you're really good at, in my opinion, is description. You bring the scene alive, placing the reader right there. Here's a sample: 'Spanish moss hung from intertwined oak trees, creating a shadowy canopy. Night blooming jasmine scented the air.' So, my question is: Does this type of writing come natural to you? Do you see the night blooming jasmine and shadowy canopies in your head while you're writing?
I do see the scenes in my head when I write. Of course, a lot of the locations in Water Dreams are real, so I just write what I know.
5) What is the single most important part of writing for you? For instance--typing The End, making your readers happy, or a great feeling of relief that you accomplished something great?
When I lose myself in writing, hours pass in what feels like seconds, characters take over and act or speak on their own, and the story becomes as real to me (or more so) than my life, that’s like magic to me. It’s gives me something similar to a runner’s high, only without burning all those calories (sigh).
Okay. folks, now I'm delving a little into Katherine's personal life. Hope she doesn't slap me!
I would never do that!
6) What’s the most romantic thing a guy can do (or has done) for you?
Ladies, please don’t hate me because I’m blessed with an incredibly romantic husband. He buys me jewelry for my birthday, takes me on yearly cruises to exotic lands, tells me he loves me every single day, and has never forgotten an anniversary. If I had to choose, I would say our honeymoon, which he completely planned, was the most romantic thing he ever did. During our three-week trip, we visited Niagara Falls and New York City, where we saw a performance by the Rockettes. We also visited his family in Michigan and mine in New Hampshire. It was fall and the weather and scenery were glorious. It was a dream come true.
7) Nobody would hate you for having such a real-life romantic man. We might envy you, though. Okay...are you a City Girl or Country Girl? Since you're great at description, without disclosing your personal lovation, describe the setting for us.
I’m a country or small-town girl. I already spilled the beans that I live in Florida. Here’s a little description:
My office window looks out on towering pines, whose tops seem to spear the cottony clouds above them, and oak trees grey-bearded with Spanish moss. A pileated woodpecker taps and raps on a dead tree trunk, searching for grubs, then squeals out a monkey-like call to warn others this is his territory. As a gopher tortoise digs his home a little deeper, the sandy soil at the base of the woods erupts into a pile two feet high. Then the turtle trundles out to the grass and crops the blades, while he warms himself in the sun. I stretch and stand, leaving the world of mermaids and swamp mages for a reality break. As I step outside, the warm breeze carries the scent of roses. Hard to believe it’s December. I live in a magical place, where winter never comes, not that different from the imaginary world of my books.
8) Now we're definitely envious. What's your favorite TV show?
I like lots of shows, but my favorite right now is Siren. Big surprise, LOL
9) What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
I read a lot. I’m also a clog dancer and dressage rider.
10) Lace or leather?
It would have to be both. Lace for clothes. Leather for saddles and other tack.
11) Coffee, Tea or martinis?
Coffee and Chardonnay
12) And lastly, when did you start writing? And whatever possessed you? LOL.
I started my first novel in grade school. In high school I penned short stories, edited the yearbook, and reported for the school paper. During my career as a clinical social worker, I wrote professional papers, newspaper articles, and brochures and took on every writing related project I could find. When I retired from social work, I finally had the time to do what I always wanted, which was and still is, to write novels. I think I was born this way.
Thanks again, Katherine, for visiting us today and for being such a good sport. Please tell us below where we can find Water Dreams and, also, where can we find you on the Net?
Water Dreams is available from on-line retailers including AMAZON
Or from the publisher, FOUNDATIONS
Katherine is giving away an e-book copy of her novella that precedes Water Dreams - yes, I read that FAB novella too. The Sea Witch and the Mage will captivate you! Leave a comment and your email address below to qualify. Katherine will choose a winner three days after this post appears.
And thank you, fans, friends and followers for stopping by to meet Katherine E. Smits!