Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Someone else who isn't me: Interview with Katrinia Jack

Hello Splinkervillians!

Today I am happy to announce that I received a 30% discount flyer from Kohls!   Usually I get 15% , or sometimes 20%.  But 30%?  Wow!  So it’s a new pair of sneakers for me!!!
Let’s see.  There was something else I wanted to talk about… Kohls… sneakers… Presidential debates….zzzzz

Wha..?  Oh yeah.   Katrina Jack and her new book, Land of Midnight Days

                                                            I still can't find Waldo!

Splinker:  Kate, may I call you Kate?  Thank you so much for stopping by today.  Long time fan here.  First off, I just have to ask:  have you read "I"ve Been Deader," (currently #35 in Horror) and how much did you love it?  

Kate: I’ve only read the first chapter, I’m afraid, but it was a wonderfully crafted piece of writing, with great imagery that drew me right in. I did intend to read on, but then my own book began to get interest and with one thing and another, I didn’t get the chance to. However, that’s a mistake I intend to rectify.

                                           Just one Chapter???

Splinker: Hmm....   We'll see. 

How did you start your writing career?

Kate: I started writing when I was about fourteen and progressed from short stories, into rather dreadful attempts at writing novels. Much later on I had a bit of a windfall and invested some of it in doing a degree in creative writing. After that I began writing in earnest, with the intention of submitting my work to agents and publishers. After what seemed a long and rocky road, I finally managed to get published, albeit as an e book.

Splinker:  Only one chapter?  Really? 

Tell us about a favorite character from a book.

Kate. In my current novel,  Land of the Midnight Days, my favorite character is Jeremiah Tully, the main protagonist. I’ve tried to make him sympathetic, without being wimpy. I’ve also made him a little bit different in that he’s mute and has to use sign language to communicate.

 Splinker: I mean, it's not like it's a very long book.  About 1,000 words per chapter.  Sure, you're a busy author.  I get that...  Still.
Well, anyway.  So, when you're not reading "I've Been Deader," which, we've established, is pretty much all the time, where do you dream of traveling to and why?

Kate: Sicily. The reason? Because I’ve recently discovered an Italian, subtitled police series called: Inspector Montalbano, starring the rather gorgeous Italian Actor, Luca Zingaretti. One of the other things I like about the series is the stunning scenerKy and beautiful buildings used as backdrops to the series. I can imagine being truly inspired by such surroundings.

"You come to me, on my book's web page, and ask me for this interview.  But did you ever read chapter two of my book?  This hurts me deeply."

Splinker:  Tell us about your current release, and don't worry about the fonts.  I don't think anyone else will notice.

Kate: Land of Midnight Days is book one in the Silver Flute Trilogy. Its genre is YA Urban fantasy. It’s set in a city plagued by demons, who invaded the world many centuries ago. Jeremiah is a musician, his instrument being a flute left for him by his absentee mother. His ultimate goal is to lead the demons back to their own world. The whole story is very loosely based on the fairytale, The Pied Piper.
The next in the trilogy is called: Through the Gloaming. Gloaming is an old fashioned word for twilight. In this story we see Jeremiah leave behind the city, in search of an underground world that holds the key to his half-brother’s illness.

Splinker:  Yes, yes. You're writing a trilogy.  Very good.  But let's try to keep this interview focused on me -- I mean, your current book.
Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?

Kate: Yes. Many years ago, when I was still at school, a teacher called Mr Lewis encouraged me to try writing a novel. English used to be my favourite subject and he must have seen some potential in me. Unfortunately he died and so his attempts to help were cut off. Without his encouragement to egg me on, I gave up.

Splinker: Other than me, who is your favorite author?

Kate: Ah, there are so many, but in the urban fantasy genre it has to be Jim Butcher and his Harry Dresden series.

Splinker:  That was a trick question.  What was your first sale as an author?

Kate: Land of Midnight Days, on Amazon. In case anyone’s interested, these are the links to both the UK and US sites: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Midnight-Silver-Flute-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B008Z10Y3E/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1345235895&sr=1-2

Splinker:  Shamless self-promotion, that is. 

Where do you research for your books?

Kate: Well, for me it’s locations that play a major part in my books, so I’ll take photographs of anything I think might suit the story. In my current novel I had to do a tiny bit of research about how a flute is put together, but aside from that the rest is pure imagination.
Splinker:  What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?

Kate: Hah! I don’t have a significant other; I’m a hardened spinster and, for now at least, intend staying that way. As for my family, I think they’re proud of me, but it’s hard to tell as we’re an undemonstrative lot. “Well done” is the height of praise.

Splinker:  Really?  So there's no point in my inviting you up to view my favorite adjective collection?  
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

Kate: Yes, I belong to a reading group called “The Chesty Girls.” Don’t ask me to explain the name.

                                           "Guess where I put the bookmark?"

Splinker: What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

Kate: That I wasn’t as good as I thought I was.

Splinker: Who are your books published with?

Kate: Ecanus Publishing, a small and fairly new company, but they’re on the up and up. www.ecanuspublishing.co.uk

Splinker:  Other than zombies, what do you think makes a good story?

Kate: Three dimensional characters that engage the reader and make them love, hate, worry and empathize. A pristine book, with as few grammar and spelling mistakes as possible. A story that flows, pulls the reader in and makes them want to live it.

Splinker: Tell us about your family

Kate: Well, my mother died when I was very young, so I was brought up by my dad and my older brother. My father remarried some years ago and left home when I was 18 to set up house with my stepmother, who I get on with very well. I owe my love of reading and writing to my family, as we’re all crazy about books.

Splinker:  How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

Kate: I’m a very bad sleeper, because my mind is always going over possibilities for both current and future books. My thoughts, as I said before, centre first on possible locations and then focus on characterisation. For instance, the art deco tower of the Littlewoods Building in Liverpool gave me the inspiration for Midnight Days – God knows why. Then a mansion house called, Allerton Hall, became another possible location for the same book. Finally St Luke’s bombed out church and Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral, were also included. As for the main Character, Jeremiah, he came from the 70’s rock group, Jethro Tull, whose leader singer plays the flute. I follow this “formula”, if you can call it that, for all my books.

Splinker:  Again, other than finishing my book, what are you passionate about these days?
Kate: The state of the UK economy. Getting the current government to bugger off, and, of course, reading and writing.

Splinker: Do you have a milestone birthday coming up? If so, how are you approaching it?

Kate: Not a milestone as such. I turn 56 on the 20th of October. I intend to ignore it and stay in bed all day, with the duvet over my head.

Splinker: What is it that you like to do when you’re not reading/writing?

Kate: Chill out. Throw things out, ‘cos my room’s like a junk shop, or go clothes shopping; I’m a bit of a peacock.
Splinker:  As a writer, I know how hard it is to track down someone who is critical of your work and at the same time avoid the law.  How do you react to a bad review of your book?

Kate: I used to react by ranting, raving and trying to justify myself. Now I don’t bother. I just shrug my shoulders and move on.

Splinker: I'm really,l really hoping you have an answer to this question: What are the most important attributes for remaining sane as a writer?

Kate: I don’t even try to stay sane. I think a touch of insanity enhances one’s creativity.

                                             READ ME!!!

Splinker:  Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?
Kate: Me. No, seriously, Jim Butcher, Robin Hobb and Terry Pratchett.

Splinker:  The ego on some of these writers!  What is the next big thing?

Kate: The 2nd book in the trilogy: Through the Gloaming.

Splinker: Do your friends think you are an introvert or an extravert? Why?

Kate: My friend’s think I’m a teenager stuck in an old woman’s body, because I like kids’ TV and I have teddy bears.

Splinker: Unless you're going to talk about me, wse no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?
Kate: It’s so different from other YA dystopian fantasy, with twists and turns that’ll leave you breathless. If you want 3 dimensional, then this is the book for you.

Splinker:  We were all shocked to learn that you only read the first chapter of "I've Been Deader."  Is there anything else people would be surprised to know about you?
Kate: I used to work in a poodle salon (Hairdressers for dogs).

Splinker: My God!  Does the horror never end??

Is there one passage in your book that you feel gets to the heart of your
book and would encourage people to read it?   

Kate: It’s right at the beginning of the book:

Don’t look back; it’ll slow you down - just run.
The city had become the worst of urban jungles. Hunters ruled unchecked as Jeremiah Tully, running for his life, could testify.
He fled down yet another street and saw a small crowd ahead gathered around a figure standing on an upturned crate. He came to a halt, unsure which way to turn.

Splinker:  That's it!   Readers should know that Kate answered a lot more questions, but I have to pay for this blog by the yard.  

Kate:  What about my website? 

Splinker:  Oy.  You're killing me here.  Fine,do you have a Website or Blog?

Thanks Kate!   To everyone who's already read me, go give Kate's book a whirl!   Feel free to leave comments, reviews, opinions, and second hand winter coats here. 

Good luck with Midnight Days Kate and keep writing!


  1. This was a terrific interview. You make an excellent moderator, allowing your ego to take a backseat to the subject at hand.

  2. Thanks for the interview, Adam and I promise I will read your book.

  3. Hilarious. The interview does you both the honours :)


You have an opinion about everything else. Might as well have one here. Remember, spelling counts.