Studio Carry On Harry [ Interviews with Authors ] Book Talks with Author Katherine Nichols . Occasion being her New Book Release “’The Sometime Sister‘” . Today in this interview session she is about to introduce her book to us and shares her experience as an author. She is also going to share her writing process and will share some tips for new authors .
About You and Your background ?
I was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee and have lived in the Atlanta area for over thirty-five years. I taught high school and college writing and literature. The release of my first novel from Black Rose Writing is the realization of a lifelong dream and the beginning of a new career. I have two beautiful daughters and four incredible grandchildren. I currently live in Marietta, Georgia with my husband, two cats, and a dog.
How much does your life influences your story telling and the characters that you bring to life ?
The people I love—family, friends, authors—always sneak into my novels. Their actions and reactions drive the story. My grandmother gently, and sometimes not so gently, inserts herself into my work. In The Sometime Sister, she is the protective matriarch who sets the standard for loyalty, even if it calls for murder. My own grandmother wasn’t a killer, so far as I know, but she would have stopped at nothing to protect us.
What is the central theme of book ?
The only way to survive family secrets and betrayal is through forgiveness.
Where did the idea came from ? How much did you tweak it ? Your Initial planning and analysis of final stuff ?
A friend of the family married a man with ties to illegal drugs. We suspected he was abusive. They moved to an island country with loose extradition laws. Within two years, she was found, beaten to death by an “intruder.” Shortly before, she had announced she planned to come home. They never found her murderer, but her husband had a heart attack and died at a very early age. So, there was some justice. The devastating grief her family experienced overwhelmed me. Other than the dynamics of the marriage and the depth of the loss, the only other similarity is both women were lost twice.
In The Sometime Sister, once was from betrayal; the second to murder. I have a brother, not a sister, and always wanted both. But I never considered how losing someone so close might change a person. While writing the book, I suffered a great loss. Like my protagonist, I didn’t get the chance to forgive my loved one. I outlined chapters but gave my characters the final say, which is the way life works. We work within certain constraints, yet we have the power to change course. Those shifts contribute to our outcomes. The novel is realistic because I let my people make choices but allowed for the random nature of fate.
How much are you playing in the book as one of your characters ? Do you ever hide behind shades of your characters ?
I give my protagonists vulnerability and strength. They are never perfect; it’s their imperfections and the way they overcome both internal and external obstacles that make readers sympathize with them. Instead of hiding behind my characters, I reveal bits and pieces of myself through them, usually unintentionally.
what is difficult to write Goodness Of Character / Evil Intentions. What do you enjoy most out of developing them ?
Evil intentions are more interesting than goodness of character. That makes them more fun to portray. They’re also easier to develop. The trick is not to make them so outrageously bad that they become caricatures. It’s also important for goodness to be strong enough to overcome evil. I use the slow reveal to allow my “good guys” time to grow into their roles as vanquishers of evil.
Do you structure the flow of story in beginning itself or you improvise ? In your idea what is good to have before you hit a road block ?
I know where I’m going with the story and make sure the pacing will get me there on time. For me, it’s all about the characters. If I understand them, I can avoid or get past roadblocks.
How many books have you written and how different is new book ? Difference is in which specific area ?
This is my first published novel. The Sometime Sister emphasizes family more than my upcoming one, and it features a love story. My second novel is more a tribute to love.
Which Character do you like most and why . Any real life inspiration ? Do you ever wish to meet this character in real life ?
I love my main character Grace Burnette. She’s funny, self-deprecating, and doesn’t realize how tough she is until the situation demands it. I like her so much, I couldn’t say goodbye to her. So, I’m working on a sequel now.
Why will you recommend this book to readers ?
I would love this book even if I hadn’t written it. One of my readers described the book as a “mystery with heart.” My characters reach out to their audience. Whether it’s a grieving family finding comfort in an unexpected way, a couple falling in love despite the tragedy that brought them together, or justice dispensed to deserving villains, these people are real. We care about them.
How do you deal with Negative Feedbacks ? How do you stay balanced with Positive Feed back ?
So far, the negative feedback hasn’t reared its ugly head, but I’m sure it will. I plan to read it to see if it offers constructive criticism. It will definitely help me stay balanced with the positive feedback. Most authors are protective about their work. Fledgling authors can be insecure and need all the positivity we can get.
Have you already started working on next book ? What is on your mind for it ?
I have a second book coming out on February 22, 2022. The protagonist Kara Dolan is an author of a risqué novel series with a seductive but deadly heroine. Kara’s husband is murdered, leaving her debilitated by grief and guilt. When she discovers the killing wasn’t random and she could be next, her sexy heroine Garnet steps off the pages and into her life. Kara doesn’t know whether to be grateful or terrified. I’m currently working on the sequel to The Sometime Sister. The working title is The Substitute Sister. I’m trying something new for me by telling the story from both Grace’s point of view and that of a half-sister no one knew about.
Any good tips you would like to share for new aspiring authors apart from saying just start the book ?
Start with a plan but don’t restrict yourself to traditional approaches. If an outline seems too structured for you, make lists or a plot chart or a projected synopsis—whatever works. If you run into a problem, ask yourself why then go from there.
How did you hear about CarryOnHarry ? Any message for Studio ? Any Suggestion that we can make it better ?
I heard about CarryOnHarry through one of the authors’ sites I subscribe to. I’m excited about learning more about the group.
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