Friday, July 10, 2015

Spotlight on Katie L. Carroll

Today we are spending a little extra time getting to know Lightning Quick Reads author, Katie L. Carroll.

Thanks for hanging out with us today, Katie. Can you tell our readers a little about you, please? 

Katie: I’m a mom first, author second, and then a million other things after that (including but not limited to reader, editor, soccer player, blogger, and tea lover). Most of my days are spent in sweatpants or pajamas, hanging out with my two boys (ages 1 and almost 4) and sneaking in some work when I can. Some things I’ve done that are more exciting than that are vacationed in Tahiti twice (once during a tsunami!), run a marathon in Alaska, and walked the streets of London perusing bookshops. I live not far from the beach in the same small Connecticut city I grew up in.

If you had to pick only one moment that spurred you to write professionally, what moment is the most defining or inciting?

Katie: That’s an easy but tough question. Easy because I know exactly what spurred me into writing professionally; tough because it’s an emotional story to tell. (How much time do you have?) In short, my little sister Kylene very unexpectedly passed away at the age of 16. I was 19 and in college studying to be a physical therapist. The loss forced me to reevaluate what I wanted to do with my life and the answer was write books. Later I realized I wanted to write books for young people. The dedication page of my first published book ELIXIR BOUND reads, “To Kylene. In life you were a sister, friend, and confidant. In death you are a sister, friend, confidant, and muse.”

Wow, Katie. That is very emotional. Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us. Does the majority of your work focus around or within a single theme? If so, what is it?

Katie: Not really. I like to think of myself as more of a renaissance writer than someone who focuses on one area. I work on the story that is burning to get out of me, the one I can’t stop thinking about, no matter what themes or topics or genres it fits into.

What are you currently working on?

Katie: I’m currently working on a very dark YA thriller tentatively called BLACK BUTTERFLY. I just finished a first draft and have a few more scenes to write and some stuff to fix before I send it out to beta readers for feedback. Thematically it deals with whether or not people can really change when given a second chance. I won’t say more than that for now…

What is one of your favorite authorial moments from your career so far?

Katie: My nephew and sister threw me a surprise party the day my first book released. It was small and at my parents’ house, but there was a cake and flowers and a framed book cover. It took a very long time from when I first started writing after my sister died to when I had a book published, so it was really nice to be recognized by the people I love for my accomplishment.

That’s so sweet! Share with us a five year and ten year goal for your writing career.

Katie: I’m constantly working on being a more efficient writer, so my goal is to write quicker, and always to get better at writing. I’d like to find an agent to help me place my work and hopefully be published by a larger house than the ones I’ve already published with. I guess that’s a five-year goal. So much has changed in publishing since I started pursuing publication a little over ten years ago, it’s hard to think that far ahead. I guess I just hope I’m still writing and publishing books (in whatever formats exist) in ten years.

Do you write what you read? Watch? What are your favorite television shows and movies?

Katie: I absolutely write what I read. Aside from writing the type of books I love to read, I think it’s important to know what’s already out there, not to compare your books necessarily, but to see what different directions you can go as a writer and also to push yourself to a new level by being inspired by other works. As for favorite television shows, right now I’m into Big Brother, Suits, Madam Secretary, and Pretty Little Liars (though I kind of have a love/hate relationship with that last one). Favorite movies are lots of Disney ones, The Shawshank Redemption, The Dark Knight, and Bring It On.

If you had one week away from any and all responsibility what would you want to spend your time doing?

Katie: I would totally sit on a tropical beach with a fun, fruity drink reading a book.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Katie: I can kiss my elbow, which I once read makes me a princess!

Lol! A princess, huh? It’s impressive either way. Where can readers find you online?

Thanks for joining us, Katie and we appreciate your contributions to Lightning Quick Reads!

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