So I may be a few days late, but I’m sure Kate will forgive me! Today I have the distinct pleasure of featuring an interview with Kate Monroe, an author of many different genres. But on the off chance you’ve not been acquainted with Kate, let’s take a moment to get to know her better…
Kate Monroe is an author and editor who lives in a quiet and inspirational corner of southern England. She has penchants for chocolate, horror and loud guitars, and a fatal weakness for red wine. Her interests in writing range from horror to erotica, taking in historical romance and tales of the paranormal on the way; whatever she has dreamed about the night before is liable to find its way onto the page in some form or another.
Her debut full-length novel, The Falcon’s Chase, was released by Pink Pepper Press (an imprint of Sirens Call Publications) in 2012, and she has had short stories published in anthologies by Smart Rhino Publications, Angelic Knight Press, Sirens Call Publications, Rainstorm Press and Cruentus Libri Press. Her first horror novel, Carpe Nectem, was published in October 2013.
Welcome Kate! Now let’s get into the questions. Using ten words or less, tell me about your book.
Vampires reigning over Regency London and facing rebellion.
Sounds very interesting! What song would you want to play during the opening credits of your book were it made into a movie? Why?
Great question! I actually make up a Spotify playlist for each novel I work on, and the song I kept coming back to while writing Carpe Nectem was Abattoir Blues by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, so that would be my first choice.
That’s a great choice! Who would you want to direct the story of your life? Is there anyone specific you’d like to play you?
It would have to be Tim Burton, if only for the unbound joy of seeing myself drawn as a Burton character. To play me is a far harder choice, but I think I’d go for Amy Adams – she has the quirky, offbeat nature down to a tee, as well as a sense of grit.
I think Amy Adams could definitely play you! Loved her in American Hustle! What is your writing process? Are you a planner or a pantser? Do you prefer to hand write your works or type them directly into your word processor?
Undoubtedly a planner. One of my favourite parts of the writing process is that sense of heady elation you get when you conceive the idea for a new story, then sit down to plan it in your head from beginning to end. Before I write it I usually have a sketch of every scene ready to go and a strong idea of all the characters who’ll crop up along the way.
I used to be a massive advocate of writing by hand, but following a wrist injury a few years back I now type far faster than I write by hand, so by virtue of necessity 99% of my writing is done on the computer. However, I always keep pen and paper by the bed so I can write down anything that comes to me in the middle of the night rather than firing the laptop up.
What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself: something you wish you knew then that you know now?
Don’t let a lack of confidence hold you back. I began writing when I was a teenager but I never had the confidence in my ability to weave a story to ever show anyone what I wrote, or even tell those around me that I wanted to become an author. It wasn’t until after I had my daughter that I realised life is far too short to let fear hold you back; especially fear of rejection. Rejection is something that all writers have to face, and you need to learn from it without taking it personally. I wish I’d understood that earlier.
That’s great advice Kate. What are the three books that really inspired you to become a writer?
Bram Stoker’s Dracula captivated me from the very start. The fact that one story could have such a lasting impact on the entire genre and mythos of vampirism was fascinating – Count Dracula is the definitive vampire even now, over a hundred years after it was written. In one book Stoker defined the vampire and set the tone for the gothic horror genre over the coming century, and I found that a real inspiration.
However, the eponymous Harry Potter series by JK Rowling was what first inspired me to pick up a pen and begin to create my own works of fiction. The first thing I wrote that wasn’t just for schoolwork was a short piece of fanfiction about my favourite character she created, Severus Snape – the sheer depth and scale of his character is something that still blows me away even now. The series might have been written for children, but I believe every author can learn from the intricate world she created. The masses of back story that never even made it into the books is a huge part of what made it such a success, in my opinion, and each time I sit down to write something new I make sure I know and understand my characters just as thoroughly as Rowling does.
Lastly, there was a specific book that inspired me to start the Songbird trilogy, of which Carpe Nectem is the first part. Four years ago when the idea first came to me, Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight was everywhere, and I borrowed a copy from a friend to find out what all the fuss was about. As someone whose interest in the vampire genre is very much rooted in the gothic horror that Stoker pioneered, it blew my mind that an entire generation was potentially going to be influenced by the types of vampire Meyer wrote about. The entire potency of the fear that classic vampires can inspire seems to have become badly diluted of late, and in writing the Songbird trilogy I wanted, in some small way, to take back the vampire and strip it back to the humanised monster it was when it first entered the consciousness of the reading community.
Now it’s time for the Rapid. Fire. Questions.
- Coffee or tea? Tea – I’m English!
- Cats or dogs? Dogs
- Snow or sun? Snow
- Print books or eReader? Print books
- Nachos or potato chips? Nachos
- Baked or fried? Baked
- Candy or chocolate? Chocolate
- Comedy, Romance, or Horror? Horror
- Action, Science Fiction, or Animated? Science Fiction
- Classics or Modern? Classics
- Old World or New World? Old World
- Sweet or spicy? Spicy
- Comfort or Speed? Speed
Thank you Kate for taking the time to answer my questions!
Now let’s take a look at Carpe Nectem… Don’t forget that clicking on the cover will take you straight to Amazon!
Henry Devane is a vampire, born of the night and resplendent in its poisoned embrace. Under the command of his sire, Gabriel Canzano, his kind rule the streets of 19th Century London, reigning supreme through the marionette of the hapless Prince Regent, but its citizens are no longer content to sit back and allow the cancer of vampirism to tighten its grip. The Resistance are growing in strength, and their master plan is about to come to fruition.
The first book of the Songbird Trilogy sees a dangerous dance through the tinderbox streets of London unfold to a terrible and breathtaking conclusion. Death lurks around every corner, and each wary step Henry takes draws him deeper into the mire…