Katie Marie interview
A little introduction:
My name is Katie and I am a horror enthusiast and writer from Norfolk, England.
I have had the privilege of being published in several anthologies and magazines, and my Novella A Man in Winter was released by Brigids Gate Press in June 2023. My epistolary novel Firefly also came out in October 2023.
I started writing while studying at Aberystwyth University in the early 2000’s and several years later I received my Masters Degree and have published many short stories, a couple of novels and novella.
When did your love of books begin?
My love of books began when my mum read to me. I was very young and she used to read to me before bed. The one I most remember was when she read Thief of Always by Clive Barker. I was captivated and it inspired in me a life long love of books, writing and the horror genre.
When did you start to have the wish to become an author?
Like many I have written from a young age, but I didn’t actively try to become an author until quite late. Probably my mid to late twenties when I’d already been writing for years and finally had the epiphany that I could send my writing out to magazines, and publishers.
It feels foolish saying it now that it never really occurred to me to become an author until I’d been writing for years.
How have you found the process for becoming an author?
In a word, multifaceted.
There’s more to the process than sit down, write book. The amount of ‘other’ work involved was surprising to me initially. Then intimidating, I didn’t know the first thing about author platforms or marketing, I just wanted to tell stories.
Once I stopped panicking, I got to researching and slowly over the years, I’ve expanded my knowledge, (mostly through a lot of trial and error) and now I can honestly say that connecting with ‘my audience’ is one of my favourite parts of being an author.
I find it best to not think of it in terms of an audience, but more like people with common interests. Calling people an audience implies that I’ve done something worth their time and attention, I’m far more comfortable in thinking of us all like people who like the same hobbies, genres etc.
It’s a lot easier to talk with people if I’m just genuinely talking, rather than talking in order to push my book. Once I realised that being an author was a lot more fun.
What would you say to those wanting to become an author?
Invest in yourself.
I cannot stress this enough. Always be learning, every time I finish a book on writing I pick up another one and every single one has something new and interesting to say. It doesn’t matter how much I think I know there’s always more and with every little bit of knowledge we pick up we get a little bit better.
Invest usually has connotations of money but it doesn’t have to be, Libraries are free and easy ways to access a wealth of books, YouTube is full of budding writers, agents and readers all of which are sharing advice, experiences and community. Give Google a go, a Google search can often reveal lots of websites and writers’ forums which offer free information. There are free courses which can be completed online in your own time as well, the Open University has several free to access writing courses.
Invest in yourself, invest in your craft. You and your writing will be better for it.
Tell us about your book/books:
I’ve been fortunate enough to have several short stories accepted into anthologies over the years. Two of those anthologies have won awards, Those being The Horrorzines Book of Ghost Stories which came out in July 2020 and won Best Anthology in the 23rd Annual Critters Readers’ Poll and Water: Selkies, Sirens and Sea Monsters anthology, which won the Douglas Barbour Award in September 2022, which is very gratifying. This year my novella A Man in Winter was published by Brigids Gate Press and tells the story of Arthur, whose life was devastated by the brutal murder of his wife, must come to terms with his diagnosis of dementia. He moves into a new home at a retirement community, and shortly after, has his life turned upside down again when his wife’s ghost visits him and sends him on a quest to find her killer so her spirit can move on. With his family and his doctor concerned that his dementia is advancing, will he be able to solve the murder before his independence is permanently restricted? I also self-published my epistolary novel Firefly, which is told via Rachel, who works for the Gentleman creating files of supernatural occurrences. The Firefly file examines and explores a small-town disappearance.
What do you love about the writing/reading community?
The reading/writing community is amazing, the sense of community in this group is incredible. I've never felt so supported and so seen before. But I must confess that imposter syndrome rages loud at times. When I see the amazing work being put out other by other indie authors, I often feel like the person who snuck in the back door to the big event and probably shouldn't be here (in the best possible way). I feel like soon someone will notice me and I'll be quietly ushered out of the door so as to not make a scene.
But on a less depreciating note, it inspires me to build my voice to bring a light to the amazing work being done by creators all over the community. It also makes me feel so privileged to be considered a part of the group. I've never met such a fantastic
bunch of funny, insightful, talented and wholesome people as those who turn up in the indie writer and indie horror groups.
So it makes me feel very small in one sense and so very big in others.
If you could say anything to your readers what would it be?
Hello, I’m not sure what brought you to come across me, but I’m very glad you’re here.
Come and tell me about yourself, what do you like? What do you wish was different? Are there trope you love/hate? Do you like scary movies?
Where can people connect with you?
You can connect with me on Facebook at facebook.com/katiemariewriter or on Twitter @KatieMarieWrite. You can also visit my website, katiemariewriter.com to sign up for emails about new releases, short stories and blogs gushing about the horror genre.