Did you rely on any formal training or schooling in writing along the way to your debut book, or are you a self-taught artist?
I took a few creative writing classes in college, but nothing really beyond that. I thought about what type of story I wanted to write, and just did it. There were many trial and errors like I explained earlier. Eventually, I found the story I wanted to write.
Was there a writing craft book that helped Behind the Mirage appear in your everyday life?
No writing craft book, just my own thoughts and imagination.
How did your work habits to create the novel change over time?
Journals and notebooks hide in boxes in my closet. I have recently opened those cherished things and reminisce on what use to be. How the story started, and what it turned out to be. I will tell you, completely different. I never really imagined that Behind the Mirage would actually end up where it is today. I dreamed of where I wanted it to go, but I never allowed it to get beyond that point.
I would never let anyone read my book, or any of my stories. I was too afraid someone would not like it, and then I would give up. There are many times I have to admit that I did give up. I stopped writing altogether for over twenty years. What can I say? Life happened.
Mythology gave me the idea for the book; the different stories, intertwining. However, it wasn’t a book that was magically brought together page by page. The idea for Lex being an assassin stated out by her just being a soldier. I eventually wanted her to be almost one of a kind so I found that being an assassin for Oberon might give her a bit of an edge. The whole writing process was handled differently too. I would write different scenes and begin to weave them together. The ending always came first, then the beginning. I would struggle with the middle; bringing everything together. I cannot tell you how many changes the book went through before the final.
What did you dream about the impact your book would make?
After years of procrastination, doubts, frustrations, here is where I am. I have to say, it was a wonderful decision to put myself out there and see what would happen. It’s a question that always comes to mind. ‘What if?’ I still have a few lingering questions for myself, but I try to keep positive thoughts and understand that it might be tough doing this all at first, but eventually it will be worth it.
What was your favorite book as a child? What book has changed your life?
To be completely honest, I never really liked to read. I did not have a favorite book as a child. There wasn’t a book that changed my life. Many people say you cannot be a writer if you do not like to read. Well, I disagree with that. I think it came from being forced to read certain books in school, I could never find anything that interested me.
What did you do to keep the faith about the project?
When I was laid off from my job, all I would do is job search. It would sometimes become tedious and I needed an outlet; something to keep me losing my mind.
Who was your biggest cheerleader for your writing when you began your project?
My mom has always been my champion. There were many times I wanted to give up, and she would be right there encouraging me to keep going. She didn’t care if I sold zero books or a million, she never wanted me to give up on my dream; which I can say is pretty hard.
How much mythology research and reading had you already done when you got started writing, and how much happened along the way?
I knew the main characters of mythology pretty well. Zeus, Hades, Ares and Apollo. They are very prominent in my book. I just took what I knew of them, and tweaked it a little bit. There were a few characteristics from the old stories that I wasn’t going to address in the book. I wanted my story to be different, but still have a little of the same.
Where were you in life when you decided to start writing your book? Was it a happy time, or uncertain, or sad?
It wasn’t until I moved across country and left everything I knew behind that I picked up writing again. Behind the Mirage was the beginning of my writing life again. I dabbled in it here and there; just enough to keep me going. It wasn’t until I lost my job that I focused more time to it. After the final chapter was written, I decided to take a stab at trying to get it published.
What made you choose your setting for the book?
I chose Greece for Behind the Mirage because it is the place, I want to visit more than any in the world. Plaka came into the picture from a friend of mine. A person he knew had visited and spoke fondly of it. Once I did my research on Plaka; how charming it is, how beautiful, I knew it was the best place for my location. It’s a beautiful neighborhood that felt so right, even though I haven’t visited. Not yet. I knew I always wanted to write a story that takes place in Greece. It was just finding the right ideas and characters. I could imagine seeing my main character; Lex walking through the neighborhood of Plaka. I imagined her entering the many shops and restaurants. I guess I wanted to see myself in her, to be able to walk in her shoes until I can visit there myself.
Katharine Ann Melton