10 Questions with Author Kat Ellis
Today at All the Write Notes, we have 10 questions with YA author Kat Ellis. Kat’s incredible debut novel, BLACKFIN SKY, hits shelves in May in the UK and in September in the US. (I’m contemplating making a trip to the UK in May just so I don’t have to wait those 4 extra months! Who wants to join?)
Read on to find out more about Kat and Blackfin!
Fill in the blank: If readers like creepy circuses , they’ll love BLACKFIN SKY!
Recently you shared the exciting news that Blackfin will have an official book trailer. (!!!) If you could pick one song to be included in the trailer, what would it be, and why?
Definitely DIRGE by Death in Vegas. It’s such a strange, atmospheric song, and goes perfectly with the tone of the novel. Also, there are no pesky lyrics to get in the way of the awesome trailer!
Tell us a little something about the main character from Blackfin, Skylar Rousseau. What’s her favorite song?
Sky is kind of quirky and fun; a little unsure of where she fits into the big picture, but she’ll keep kicking down barriers until she finds out. Her favourite song is DAYLIGHT by Matt & Kim.
Does music play into your writing process at all? If so, how?
It plays a HUGE part. I always listen to music while I write, and I use different kinds to put me in the mood to write specific scenes. Maybe I’ll listen to The Prodigy while I’m writing a fight scene, Evanescence for an emo scene, or James Arthur if I want to be slinky. (I quite often want to be slinky.) I also play the piano and guitar when I need a break from writing, and I find it really helps get the words moving again.
You were awesome enough to score not one, but TWO book deals for Blackfin – one in the U.K. and one in the U.S. What has it been like getting ready for publication on two different continents?
Working with two different editors has been amazing, and I’ve learned a lot from working with them on Blackfin Sky that I probably wouldn’t have if it had been on two different books. I think there’s a slight difference in tone in YA novels in the US and the UK, so that’s something that’s been interesting to discover while I worked on the two editions.
In getting ready for my UK launch, I’m getting involved in writing festivals and author events, and that’s so exciting (and terrifying!) When my US launch happens in September, I obviously won’t be able to show up at events quite as easily, so I’ll be tackling that differently, with more online stuff – maybe even a vlog or two, if I work up the nerve. That said, I’m not exactly against the idea of flying over to the US… 😉
What has been the most exciting part about being a debut author so far?
I recently got my first copy of Blackfin Sky to hold in my hands. Like, my actual hands. Seeing my name on the cover, seeing my words printed in an actual BOOK, it was just the most amazing feeling. And no other book smells as good as your own.
So, 2014 is obviously going to be a big year for you. What can we expect from you after that? Any other projects in the works?
I have a couple of sekrit projects on the go at the moment. One thing I can tell you is that my writing seems to be getting darker and twistier, and I have some fantastic stories up my sleeves (not that they’re scrawled on my forearms, but you know what I mean).
Right now, I’m editing a manuscript right now that might have something to do with monsters and psychopaths… but they’re all the beans I’m spilling!
What are you reading right now?
I’m about halfway through The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, and it’s pretty amazing. I kind of knew it would be from all the raving people do about it, but I also sense I’m going to have my heart ripped out of my chest by the end.
April is UKYA month, so I’m only reading YA books written in the UK/by UK authors for the whole of April. It’s given me an excuse to read some books from my TBR pile that I’ve been looking forward to for ages. I think the next one I read will be Dead Romantic by C J Skuse, who is a brilliant contemporary YA author from the UK.
In addition to being a fabulous writer, you are also an incredible photographer. Can you share a favorite picture you’ve taken recently?
Again, thank you! My photographs are always tied to what I’m writing in one way or another. I take a lot of pictures in cemeteries and ancient ruins and forests, and you’ll see those things showing up in my stories. This photograph was taken when I was out walking with my husband, and we spotted the message carved into the tree. Ignored the message, obviously, but I love the way it has come out in the photo.
What words of wisdom would you give to fellow writers?
Being a massive nerd, I’m going to answer this one with a quote from one of my favourite films – Galaxy Quest. “Never give up! Never surrender!”
Kat Ellis is a young adult writer from North Wales. You’ll usually find Kat up to no good on Twitter, taking photographs in cemeteries, or watching scary films with her husband and feral cat. BLACKFIN SKY is her first novel, about a girl who falls from Blackfin Pier on the night of her birthday and drowns…only to show up at school three months later as though nothing happened. It will be out 14th May in the UK from Firefly Press, and 2nd September in the US from Running Press Teens.