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.
What’s the first thing (book, screenplay, story) you remember writing from start to finish?
I knew I wanted to write a screenplay, so one day I could see my name in movie credits. I had written a few before; action, thrillers. It taught me to write better because I was able to bring the story to life in my mind. I think this is also why I chose to write my first novel because a screenplay can’t really tell the story. Of course, with everything in life, things change. So, I decided to write a novel instead. I believed I could put more emotion and imagination into a novel then I could a screenplay. I wanted to bring to life my story; bring readers into my world and take them for a ride.
Behind the Mirage uses the world of mythology — what made you so enthusiastic about choosing that starting point for a story?
I’ve been really fascinated by it since I was young. I remember learning about it in school. I fell in love with the stories of the Gods and Goddesses. Reading the Iliad and the Odyssey in school, opened my mind into eventually wanting to write my own stories, and wanting to bring to life my own world introducing certain characters from mythology. My characters were chosen because of the roles they played.
It is hard to imagine that all my hard work in publishing is so close to fruition. I am extremely excited to have a cover reveal forthcoming, because it is awesome. It makes the book even more real to see my story come to life with a beautiful image on the cover.
My plans ahead are first getting the early reviews of my book. Reviews are extremely important because they help build readership and my tribe of fans. Contact like that with readers and reviewers gives me an idea of what readers are craving, what they want to know, and even insights on how to bring the book into the world.
I want the book available to everyone. Behind the Mirage will begin an an ebook version at first, then roll into a wide release with a paperback edition. It will be available through Amazon and this website, too.
As a new author, I am a little nervous. This is a major step in my life. I never thought I would have made it this far in the process and there will be more to come. I will be exploring the world of Behind the Mirage further with a second installment, one that will bring even more surprises and a deeper look into Lex's world of assassination, loss, and love.
It's hard to imagine that it has been about a year that I started the process of self-publishing. I didn't realize how much went into the whole thing that I really wasn't prepared. All I wanted was to get my first novel out; be done with the stress and celebrate that I actually did it. It's been over twenty that I wrote it. I didn't really understand the time and effort it takes into publishing a book. I have a remarkable team, that I wouldn't know what to do without them; to be honest, I would have given up. I have thrown around the idea of restarting my newsletter; its been awhile. I have never really been the best at using my time wisely. I notice that I am not the most consistent writer on my own blog. I mean to do better; now that its getting ever so closer. I constantly have ideas running in my head for other books, so of course that takes up some time as well. I believe it is just the motivation I feel like it has taken so long to get my book where it is, that I fall into my comfort zone that I will eventually write on my blog about it. What's the rush? Well, times wasting and I need to change my way of doing things.
It's been a long time since I have been on here. There is so much that has happened, I'm surprised I finally remembered. I've decided to self publish my first novel. With no luck trying traditional publishing, the next best thing was to self publish. What helped, I already had a team behind me ready and willing to help. It was a hard decision at first to make the plunge because a publishing house asked for my full manuscript only a few months before. They were excited about my book and wanted a new fantasy series. They told me they would let me know their final decision. A few months past and I heard nothing. I emailed them to find out if they had decided on my book; still no response. I finally made the decision to pull my manuscript and venture out on my own. I was very excited and hoping I made the right decision. I can tell you, I did.
I have gone through the copy-edit of my book, I've seen the inside of my cover and the book cover itself all in a matter of two months. I had waited over 6 for the publisher to get back to me. Even when I pulled my manuscript, I still didn't hear from them. I am not going to tell you it is cheap, because it is not. However, for being my first novel I wanted to really go all in. There are platforms to use when self publishing, but I just wanted my first to be perfect. It is getting close to the end. I am not really good at keeping up with posting, but now it's time to change.
Its been awhile since I wrote anything. Life always seems to get in the way. I had been contemplating for sometime if to continue on my writing journey because it has been so frustrating. I have spent a year trying to get my book published. Starting out trying to find an agent (with no luck), to looking for a publisher. I received good news from one publisher that they were looking for new authors in the fantasy genre and were excited about reading my book. The decision whether to move forward with publishing would take six months. I waited with anticipation to hear the final verdict. Six months came and went, I sent an email to find out their final decision, however they did not respond. After almost another month, I decided to cut my ties and look into self publishing. This new adventure has me exited about my book again. I haven't looked at my book for almost a year and I was about to give up. Now, I'm looking forward to starting a new journey.
Its been awhile since I posted anything. Life gets in the way and I was not in any particular mood to write. I did start reading again, after many months of staying away. I had heard, you should not read while you are writing because the lines might get blurred. The thing is, I have been in sort of a funk lately and every time I open my laptop to write, nothing come to me. I decided to take a break from writing and pick up reading again. It was interesting to find that I got my spark back. My creativity started to come, and I began to write. I feared I would get confused between my reading and my writing, but I found that they could co-exist. I never strayed into that uncharted territory where my book sounded like what I was reading. I was able to distinguish between the two, and I found my love to write again. Sometimes you need a break, but I found my break lasted to long and I ever wondered if I would pick up writing again. I'm still in the process of waiting to hear from a publisher-which is making me impatient-but at least I know that my love of writing has been there all along; just hiding under the service
These last couple weeks into a month I have taken a break from writing. Call it writers block, lack of momentum. Getting rejected from agents and publishers can put a real strain on your thinking and you will to ignore. I have been stuck in this rut for a while now, and I can tell you, it sucks. I'm trying really hard to get out of the funk, but no matter what I do, it doesn't go away. Ugh, why is it so hard to get the thought of doubt out of your head? Maybe because, I am not able to do what I have always dreamed of. I live a moderately normal life, working at a 9-5 that gives me no real satisfaction, but pays the bills; mostly. I go home and think about all the things I want to do and accomplish; start a blog, live the FIRE life (Financial Independence Retire Early) that I constantly read about. Maybe one day.
Katharine Ann Melton