Kathleen has used the magic of her imagination and has stepped onto the path of author and I can’t wait to see where the path takes her. I met Kathleen Stone on Twitter when asking for authors to interview with me because I want to do my best to help get their work and themselves out there into the world. And in this interview, I cannot wait to show you the world of Kathleen Stone.
1. What sparked your interest in writing?
My mom always tells the story of how I slept with my books instead of stuffed animals as a small child, and my love of books only got stronger. I can remember sitting on a high stool in my family’s apartment when I read my first book aloud to my parents, and once I learned how to write, I was making up my own stories. It was my love of books, reading, and the written word that truly sparked my desire to create my own stories.
2. Has anyone in your life inspired you to write?
Writing is a very lonely business, but my family, friends, and readers inspire me to write with their encouraging words and motivational speeches that I sometimes need when I’m having a bit of self-doubt about my abilities.
3. When did you decide to publish?
I wrote for myself for many years before ever deciding to publish anything. I kept everything to myself in notebooks but never thought anything was good enough for the public eye. What I didn’t know back then was that my sister would sneak into my room when I wasn’t home and read my notebooks! I first decided to write for publication in 1991, and after years of querying agents and traditional publishers, I finally published my first novel in 2002.
4. Are you an Indie Author or Traditional Author? Why did you choose the path you did?
I am a very happy indie author. I queried agents and traditional publishers for years, and after hundreds of rejections and two unscrupulous agents, I decided to publish on my own so I could get my work into the public eye. I am forever grateful that I took that leap because it has opened many doors for me and introduced me to some amazing people.
5. What is your first published book?
My first book was Head Case – A Rock-and-roll Novel, which was originally published in 2002. A divorce caused me to pull the novels published under my married name, so I re-released it as Head Case in 2018 under my current name. I never had any intention of writing a sequel, but I ended up committing an act of trilogy (LOL), and Head Case became a three-book series (Head Case, Whiplash and Haven).
6. Are you happy with how your books are coming out? Would you change anything?
I love how my books have turned out! I have complete control of every aspect of book production, and I can work with my own timeline. I can publish when I’m certain a manuscript is ready, and I don’t have to wait one or two years for a traditional publisher’s production schedule. I love the freedom of being able to create content and artwork (book covers) I love and being able to present it to my readers to enjoy. If I could change anything, I would go back in time and start writing for publication at a much earlier age in order to have a longer writing career.
7. Will you continue to publish books for many years to come?
I will publish my books as long as I have the ability to do so. There isn’t anything else I want to be doing with my life, and I am blessed now to be able to do it full time.
8. What genres inspire you to write?
I’m open to reading anything if it piques my interest; genre isn’t really a deciding factor. I can’t really say that any genre inspires me to write, as my stories come to me in a number of different ways.
9. What is your favorite genre to write? What is your least favorite genre to write?
I have trouble with genre labels, and don’t pay much attention to them, especially when I’m writing. I write what is in my heart and the genre label gets attached later. My first three novels (Head Case, Whiplash and Haven) were general fiction, which I suppose is terribly generic, but many reviewers labeled them as rock-and-roll fiction, which is fairly accurate. My last two novels (Whispers On A String and Tell Me You Love Me) have both been labeled women’s fiction, even though I prefer to think of them as literary fiction. I would hate for any reader to be discouraged from reading one of my books based on the labeled genre. Having said that, I do have a manuscript in progress that would be considered a fantasy novel, which is something I’ve never delved into before and I’m really excited about. For the same reasons above, I honestly don’t have a least favorite to write, since I don’t write based on genre.
10. What challenges have you faced publishing?
Even with the major strides indie publishing has accomplished in recent years, some people still seem to think that “indie” means crap. People have it in their heads that if you aren’t signed by a traditional publisher, your work must not be worth reading. There couldn’t be anything further from the truth. Some of us enjoy the freedom indie publishing affords us and wouldn’t change it for the world. Marketing and publicity are part of this struggle, as there still seems to be a stigma for indie authors, but as I’ve experienced in the last couple of years, we are a very large force to be reckoned with and readers see our worth. If you have an exceptional product, the readers will come and word will spread. While writing may be my full-time job, I also have to squeeze in an overabundance of time to market and publicize my work, which isn’t very fun, but necessary if you want to make it in this business. I’ve also found that it’s elitist thinking that gives indies a bad name — readers don’t get into the politics of it much because they just want to read a good book.
11. What challenges have you faced in writing?
Crippling self-doubt can be a killer to a writer, and it has affected me on more than one occasion. We have to accept that while we can have amazing writing days, we also suffer days where we struggle to write a single paragraph. The key is to never give up; to keep writing, even if the words won’t come. Eventually they will reveal themselves and your work will see completion. Marriage problems, health issues, and a drawn-out divorce kept me from writing for years, leading to a fourteen year delay in the final novel of my Head Case series. I missed out on time I’ll never get back and I regret it terribly, but I can’t dwell on it either. I value the lessons I learned during that time, and I’ve become a better person for it.
12. Where do your ideas for your books come from? Where do you keep those ideas?
My ideas come from everywhere! An overheard conversation, a photograph, a song… and most recently my dreams. My new novel, Tell Me You Love Me, came to me in a series of dreams that occurred last year when I was sick with a high fever. It was so vivid that I pushed the manuscript I was writing to the side to write that one instead. It was a wild trip and resulted in a story I would have never written on my own. This story definitely chose me to be its author, even though I fought it so many times while writing it. I have notepads all over the house to write down ideas, but I also use the notepad feature on my phone if I’m away from home.
13. Are you also a bookworm and does reading other works help inspire your own writing?
I am a huge bookworm! I’m constantly reading! I have more books in my possession than I possibly have time to read, but I love them all and will not part with them. I’m a self-professed book junkie! I love the feel of books, the smell of them, and the feelings that rush through me as I start and finish them. Books are easily my favorite things in the world.
14. Do you have a website where we can follow you?
Yes — my website is www.kathleenstone.org
15. What is the link for your books so others may look and possibly purchase them from?
I am looking forward to reading her books myself and I hope you take the time to grab yourself a book or two or all of them written by the lovely Kathleen Stone. I really enjoyed learning more about her while doing this interview and appreciate that she did the interview with me. I love doing these interviews and glad I could snag Kathleen’s interest for it on Twitter. Again thank you Kathleen, and I look forward to watching more books pop up on your website and on Amazon.