Got another Canuck author today and I was so excited to see just how excited Kate was to be a 3Q’s guest! Delivering some truly dark and decayed reads, Kate has some great responses!
Please, do welcome Kate!
Steve: What does your writing time look like? Do you try and write at the same time each day? Do you have a word count you attempt to hit?
Kate: This is the toughest question for me to answer, and I’m going to tell you why with the hopes that it helps another author out there who struggles like I do. I’ve lived with Chronic Insomnia, Anxiety, Major Depressive Disorder and CPTSD all of my life. I’ve been on medications to manage those things since I was 27, which turned me into a low-functioning zombie. I’m not always able to work outside of the home because the physical pain and brain fog are just too much to handle, but I’ve always been filled with stories to tell.
I decided to try writing something to self-publish in 2018, and it took 2 years to finish it. I tried to establish a regular writing routine, but my brain just wouldn’t cooperate. Imagine appearing totally healthy, but on the inside you are scrambling to remember why you opened a new tab on your browser and screaming in pain. I went through a lot of self-hatred, not understanding why I couldn’t just buckle down and do it, and I heard the whispered comments that I was just lazy.
4 years later, I’ve managed to produce 2 novels, a short story collection, a novella and a few other short pieces, but it feels like they were cobbled together here and there when I was lucid enough to focus. My self-esteem hit an all time low this summer (2022), and then a ray of hope came. I was diagnosed with ADHD in August, taken off all of those zombie meds, and am currently working up to the full dosage of Vyvanse, the capsule that most likely saved my life. I can already feel myself waking up, and am hopeful that I’ll be able to develop a good writing routine so I can finish some of the dozens of partial books in my pending file!
So, what’s my point in sharing all of this as an answer to what my writing routine looks like? I used to hate myself every time I read about an author who had it all together, who stuck to a regular schedule, because I couldn’t. I want writers to know that having a great schedule is NOT something that comes naturally to all of us, and that even if you’re a walking zombie like me, there’s hope. Try not to pressure yourself to be like anyone else, just do what you can. And also, ADHD is seriously underdiagnosed, especially in adult females. I’m almost 50, and finally have answers to lifelong questions about my functional abilities. My plan now is to read all of Steve’s 3Q’s interviews for tips from other authors about how they keep themselves on pace. If I can learn self-discipline this late in the game, anyone can!
Steve: You decide to host a writer’s retreat. One weekend in a luxury house on an island. What three other authors do you invite to come along?
Kate: Oh man, only 3?? I’d have to start with Kelley Armstrong. She’s a prodigious Canadian horror author from my area, and she seems really nice (on Twitter, at least!). I’d love to learn about the steps she took to get her work out there, and pick up some killer tips for writing a bestseller. Edgar Allen Poe’s ghost would be invited because he seems like he’d be fun to party with, and would probably inspire a whole heap of new material. My third choice is Hank Wesselman. If you’ve never read his Spiritwalker trilogy, he’s an anthropologist who visited his future self through meditation and wrote about the journey. It’s absolutely fascinating! I have a feeling he could talk forever about quantum reality, which is one of the things I really enjoy nerding out about. So yeah, a Canadian lady of horror, a dead morose poet, and a psychedelic anthropologist. Sounds like the beginning of a good joke…
Steve: Tell me about your newest release (novel/story/poem/novella) and why someone should read it!
Kate: My latest release was Soup back in July. It’s a dark horror novella about a morgue assistant who survived an abusive father. She has serious issues as a result, and takes out her anger on the corpses of pedophiles and child murders. She even plays with treasures she takes from their bodies on a webcam for her followers. When someone from her underground web group contacts her with a business proposition involving her morgue’s new Alkaline Hydrolysis system, she can’t say no.
It’s gory in a few parts, but not extreme. I’m thrilled with the response it’s getting, and I’ve listened to the feedback that I end my stories too abruptly so there will be a sequel! I’ve started it, I swear! I’m hoping to have it ready to go for December 2022!
Steve: Bonus Question! You receive an invitation in the mail from one of these two people. The invitation invites you to have dinner and spend the night in their home. Do you accept the invitation from Victor Frankenstein or Dracula and why?
Kate: I’ve read both books, so Dracula is a definite NO. That guy has mad brainwashing skillz and I’m already a little much after a few glasses of wine. Victor Frankenstein would be an interesting host; I’d love to play in his mad scientist lab and peek in his closets. Tales of grave robbing by the fire, listening to his crazy theories, hangin’ with Igor, I’d be down for that!
Great choice! And hope you dig all of the 3Q’s as you read through them!
I want to thank Kate for coming on today! To find more of her work, check the links!