Thursday, April 14, 2011

Interview with Katy Hanna

Hi Folks. I'm back with my very first author interview. In my case, with lovely writer Katherine Amt Hanna. Her new book, Breakdown is up for grabs on Amazon here (Breakdown)

So, with those said, let's meet our lovely writer and find out more about this awesome book.

Stef: So, welcome Katy, to my little corner of virtual space. Glad you could find your way.

Katy: It's great to be here. I love what you've done with the gravity.

Stef: Shucks, that's awfully nice of you. But it doesn't mean this interrogatory will be less painful. (I need a little devil smiley here). So, tell me and your readers a little something about yourself.

Katy: Well, until I started doing more writing I ran my own business full-time, making medieval and biblical costumes. I've let that slide a bit while I finished my book. I work out of my converted garage. I've got two great boys in school and a very understanding and supportive husband who's really hoping this is a best-seller. Oh, and I have three pet toads.

Stef: That is so awesome. And pet...toads. Wow. Kudos to you for the originality. Speaking of which, when and why did you start writing?

Katy: Freshman year of college. English 101. First time in my life I was told to write a story rather than an essay. Really. It was an epiphany moment. I discovered I actually liked writing stories. And they said I was good at it.

Stef: :) Nothing like appreciation to get you motivated. So, tell us about your new book, Breakdown.

Katy: Well, it can't be slotted into a hard and firm genre, I think. It's a post-apocalyptic tale, but that's just the setting. The book is about lost love and friendship, mending relationships, and not giving up. I guess.

Stef: Awesome. What made you decide to self-publish?

Katy: I simply have no patience. The thought of the incredibly drawn-out process to find an agent or publisher (if you can manage it) and then the years-long publishing process made me stop writing the thing altogether for more than a year. When Kindle publishing took off, I saw my solution. I set my goal, finished the book, and here we are. It's very exciting.

Stef: I agree. It is exciting :) How did you come about writing your book?

Katy: Two things. One was an incredibly vivid dream I had many years ago. Just a man walking with his son through a city I recognized (Bath, England). But it was clear that things had changed. The people around them were disheveled and ragged, the buildings were boarded up. That gave me the post-apocalyptic setting. The second was a complicated friendship I'd had, then lost, then mended. I knew how such a thing could eat away at someone inside, so I decided to use that.

Stef: Lol. I love dream inspired books. What is your favorite thing about your book? 

Katy: I think it's that these people have become so real to me. I have binders full of scenes and stories that didn't make it into the book. So, sequel, anyone?

Stef: Don't tempt me. I could write a sequel to a rock. *cough* Let's get on with it. What is your favorite scene from your book.

Katy: It's hard to pick. But I can't say, really, without giving away the ending. LOL.

Stef: Okay, I respect that (I use magic to point out spoilers ;)) So, which was your favorite character to write?

Katy: Oh, definitely my main man, Chris Price. There is a lot of me in him. But I had to ask my husband a lot of questions about being a man, LOL, so there's a fair bit of him in Chris, too. 

Stef: Nice. Now, what inspires you when writing?

Katy: Sometimes I listen to music without lyrics that has the right tone of the scene I'm writing. Sometimes when I'm stuck, a vivid dream gives me another idea. Several key plot points came from vivid dreams.

Stef: I'm starting to get jealous of all your vivid dreams. So, I will pester you instead with more questions about yourself. What genres do you like to read?

Katy: Mainstream, generally. For many years I had subscriptions to Asimov's and Analog Sci Fi magazines, and devoured short Sci Fi every month. But usually I like stories about people and relationships. If it's Sci Fi, great. Light fantasy, fine. And yeah, post-apocalyptic, as long as there aren't zombies, LOL.

Stef: I'm sure the zombies are very upset right now. Do you write out of your usual genre?

Katy: Currently on the back burner I have a speculative, a YA Sci-Fi, a ghost story, and those binders with my Breakdown characters... but you couldn't call me prolific. I have to work at writing. I can't churn it out.

Stef:  Male or female POV? Which do you like to read/write most?

Katy: So far it seems like most of my main characters are male. But I like writing women, too. Same with reading.

Stef: Lol, me too. Don't know why. Anything that makes you love a story instantly?

Katy:  I'm not sure I can answer that. I'm a picky reader. But I'm not sure what draws me.

Stef:  Anything that puts you off a story?

Katy: Brainless characters or a contrived plot where the main thing driving it is people misunderstanding each other over and over. Ugh.

Stef: Well, Katy, it was awesome to have you here and torture find out more about you and your book. Last I ask of you is a short excerpt of your work, so people know what it's like.

Katy:  Of course. Thanks for having me. 

Breakdown - excerpt:

The used book shop was located in a small side street near the abbey, still run by an old man with a fuzz of white hair whom Brian had always known only as Flynn. He had somehow managed to carry on through the worst of times, hardly leaving his flat above the store, or spending his days in the narrow aisles between shelves, sorting and cataloguing, or wrapped in a blanket in an armchair by the door, reading to escape the harshness of the changed world. The place was more of a library now, with no tourists to spend their holiday money on quaint old volumes. Brian visited nearly every week. He had brought two books back to trade in. 

Ian picked out an adventure about a young American cowboy, and Brian got a mystery novel. He gave Flynn a tin of meat, a squash from the garden, and a selection of leftover ration coupons.

“Oh, I say, Brian,” Flynn said as they were about to leave, “your old mate Chris was looking for you earlier this week.” 

Brian stopped dead in the doorway. The name jolted him. He stared at Flynn, who sat reading the fine print on the tin’s label, apparently unaware that he had said anything unusual.

Brian gulped, thinking Flynn had to be mistaken. “Um, are you sure?”

Flynn looked up. “What? Of course I’m sure. Hardly knew him at first, it’s been so long. But yeah, he asked after you, said he’d been round to your house, but you’d gone and did I know where to. I told him you live out in Hurleigh, now.”

“Chris Price, was it? You’re sure, Flynn?”

“I’m not dotty yet, Brian. He looked different, you know, but it were him, I tell you. He stayed a good few hours, asking about folks what used to live here. He’d brought some lovely muffins and jam, and we had a bit o’ tea. I told him you were out Hurleigh way.”

Good memories battled with bad ones in Brian’s head. The long childhood friendship had ended with hard feelings and harder words. He remembered the last horrible thing he’d uttered with such contempt, nearly ten years ago, and felt his face grow warm with shame.

Ian was watching him, clutching his bundle of clothing.

So,'d I do? (Katy left, she can't hear us :p). Anyone else want to fill the space with an interview?


  1. Great interview, Stef! You asked good questions.

  2. Thanks, Tiph!
    As soon as your book comes out, I'd love to have you too. :) I'll have my peeps call your peeps.

  3. Lol, sounds awesome! I was just wondering why you didn't ask me. Put me on the calendar!


Show me the love :)