Hello gentle reader,
Today I’m thrilled to share with you an interview with another talented YA author! I “met” the lovely Kat Ellis online a couple of years ago and now her debut BLACKFIN SKY is coming out on 14th May.
A writer in the spotlight – 18
Author : Kat Ellis
Genre : Young Adult, Thriller
Location: North Wales, UK
Book : BLACKFIN SKY (out 14th May in the UK and 2nd September in the US)
My interview (19th April 2014)
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Oh, no. Not at all. I think my career aspirations went something like this:
Actress (age 8) …singer (age 10, before I knew I couldn’t sing) …spy (age 12, before I knew my French wasn’t that good) … rock star (age 13, when I learned to play guitar – not well) …racing driver (age 21, after finally learning to drive) …uh, OK, maybe I’ll work in IT (also 21).
So I worked in admin for a bit, then moved into a more IT-ish job, where full-on geekery was obviously a MUST, and ended up falling in love with YA films… then YA books… then YA writing. I think I was about 27 when I knew that I wanted to be a YA author for real.
When and where do you write?
I’m lucky that I get quite a lot of time to write now, and have my very own writing cave at home. The walls are lined with books, and I have my guitar and piano in there to play with when I’m stuck with my writing (or just feel like a skive).
What do you say to someone who wants to be a writer?
HOORAY! (I think anyone who puts in the time and effort to make their dream happen deserves a bloody big HOORAY.)
To write BLACKFIN SKY, where did you get your inspiration from?
I started off knowing the story’s hook: I knew that Skylar drowned on her 16th birthday, and that she’d come back 3 months later and act like nothing had happened. So, breaking all my own rigorous plotting rules, I wrote the first chapters without knowing where it would end up. And I hit the mother of all brick walls when I realised I had no idea what had actually happened to her.
So I mulled it over for a while, took a break from writing, and mulled some more. And then, as happens every summer, the circus came to town. I went with my sister and niece to watch the performance, and it was while I was sitting in the stands, amazed at all the stunts going on in the Big Top, that I figured out what had happened to Sky.
Ta-da! The rest is history. Or Blackfin Sky, actually.
Which authors inspire you now? (=Any books you’d recommend?)
I like to read across the genre spectrum, but have developed recent author crushes on Non Pratt (TROUBLE), C J Skuse (ROCKAHOLIC, PRETTY BAD THINGS, DEAD ROMANTIC), and Patrick Ness (A MONSTER CALLS, THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO).
Some of my long-time author heroes are Lisa McMann (WAKE trilogy, THE MISSING, CRASH, DEAD TO YOU) Michael Grant (GONE series), and Lucy Christopher (STOLEN and THE KILLING WOODS).
As April was UKYA month, I got to catch up on reading a lot of UKYA from my TBR pile, and it’s been fantastic focusing on all the talented authors and amazing fiction coming from the UK right now. Definitely inspiring!
Thank you so much for this interview, Kat!