Meet Katie Lea Yates

KatieLeeYates

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a wife, mother of two, and a story-teller. I was born and raised in Texas, but I’m currently living in Colorado. I love to read, write (of course), travel, listen to music, and spend time with animals of all shapes and sizes. I’m also fairly incapable of giving a short answer to questions.

 

When did you first start writing?

That’s a tough one. I think the first time I actually wrote something that wasn’t an assignment was when I was in middle school. Twelve, maybe? But, I’ve told stories all my life. When I was very little, I’d tell stories to my dolls. As I got a little older, I would go to slumber parties and make up stories for my friends before we went to sleep.

 

Who are your favorite authors?

That’s an even tougher question! It really depends on what I’m in the mood to read. As an overall answer, I think I’d have to say Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb. Yes, I know they’re the same woman. I love the way that she can make her characters so real. When I read her books, I feel like I’m getting to spend time with people that I genuinely care about.

 

What inspires you to write?

My daughters. There are more things, but my girls top the list. I have a twelve-year-old who is a voracious reader. Mentally, she’s very advanced. Books that are written for her age aren’t challenging enough for her; however, books that are at the right mental level for her have things in them that my husband and I don’t think she needs to be subjected to at her age. I decided that I would write a Young Adult Fantasy that didn’t have the sex, drugs, and/or profanity that so many other books in that category usually contain. I wanted to challenge myself to prove that it was possible to write an entertaining and engaging story without having to use any of those things. My one book has actually turned into a trilogy, but they’re all clean.

 

Tell us a little bit about The Provider.

The Provider is the first book in my trilogy. In it, you get to meet my heroine, Kenzie. She’s fourteen when she discovers that she has the ability to jump into paintings or drawings that she’s made. After one of the jumps, she comes back with an injury that she sustained inside the picture world. It doesn’t take too long for her to find out that she’s just one of many people who have this type of ability. She goes to live in a colony full of these people, and that’s when her life gets really entertaining!

That’s about the shortest I can make that particular answer. If you’d like to see the longer answer, feel free to visit http://katieleayates.com/2014/01/07/whats-the-book-about/.

 

What attracts you to write fantasy?

Well, life’s pretty fantastic, don’t you think? I believe in fantasy. If you want to go for the religious theory “with God, all things are possible,” fantasy books are just predictions of what might happen. If you want to go for the more scientific theory, everything’s possible until it isn’t. How long ago was it that we, collectively, thought it would be impossible to put people on the moon? Been there, done that. I like to explore what might happen, someday, to somebody. Hope is a fantastic thing, too.

 

If you had a super power, what would it be?

Providing. Hands down, no questions asked. When Kenzie jumps into her first picture, she becomes Alana, the Provider. In Alana’s world, the Provider can bring anything to her, from anywhere, just using sand and her mind. As many times as I’ve moved in my life, I would LOVE to be able to just stand in my new home with a bag of sand and bring all of my belongings to me. It would be so much easier! Not to mention being able to bring my long-distance friends and family up for visits.

 

Kenzie’s ability is traveling into pictures? Do you have a favorite artist?

I have to split this one into two answers.

Yes, Kenzie has the ability to travel into paintings and drawings, but that isn’t her only ability. Every time that she becomes someone inside of one of the picture worlds, she retains that person’s abilities. When she comes back to being herself, she has the ability to Provide.

I do have a favorite artist. When she was alive, my grandmother painted beautiful landscapes. They were real enough that you almost felt like you could step into them. There are many other artists that I enjoy, but Grandma was definitely my favorite.

 

Is there a particular picture that you would like to visit if you had Kenzie’s power?

Too many to count! I would love to jump into the picture of Alana, so that I could bring back the ability to Provide, or some of the fantastical pictures like it. On a more realistic side, I’d love to jump into some of the historical paintings. How awesome would it be to be able to learn history by talking to people like George Washington, Christopher Columbus, Sacajawea, etc?

 

What are you currently working on?

The Protector, the final book of my trilogy. The Provider, book one, is coming out on July 15th of this year, and The Prior, the second book, is going to be released next January. I’m hoping to get the third one done and submitted so that it can be released soon afterwards.

 

What do you like to do to relax?

That depends on the day. I love to read, of course. The best books are the ones that transport you to another place and time. I also enjoy traveling, but that isn’t always an option. Cooking can be relaxing, and I’ve been known to play with paints and colored pencils. I’m not an artist by any stretch, but I do enjoy playing with them. Spending time with my family and friends is usually the top of my list, though.

 

How can readers connect with you?

I’m on Facebook, and my blog is www.KatieLeaYates.com. I also welcome emails from my readers (KatieLea_Yates@yahoo.com), and follow me on Twitter @KatieLeaYates.

 

Thank you for taking the time to interview me, Debbie. I really appreciate it!

You are very welcome, Katie!

The Provider is now available for preorder directly from Rocking Horse Publishing.

Provider

 

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Say Hello to Saoirse O’Mara

Author Photo Saoirse O'Mara

Today on Paws4Thought we welcome fantasy author Saoirse O’Mara. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Saoirse.

Well, where should I begin? I’m a dreamer, wordsmith, weaving magic with my words (it makes people smile), chocolate and coffee lover, cat lover, language lover, and I live in Germany with my husband and our two cats.

We love cats here at Paws4Thought. Can you introduce us to yours?

Of course, Here are our fur babies. This is Kamelya. She’s a girl.

SaoiriseCat1

 

And this is Tüte, he’s a boy.

SaoiriseCat2

 

(Aw! They’re beautiful: DMK)

When did you first start writing?

I started writing after I had learnt how to put letters together to create words. I think I was fascinated with written language right from the beginning, and pestered my parents until they taught me to read before school started.

Who are your favorite authors?

Agatha Christie for one; she’s one of my influences when I write mysteries, I think. In my childhood, my number one favourite author was Enid Blyton (I especially loved her “Famous Five” series, and even wrote an adventure book very similar to that series as a teenager). I also love Trudi Canavan’s and Licia Troisi’s fantasy books, and I’ve read most of the “People of” series written by Kathleen O’Neal Gear and Michael Gear.

Tell us a bit about your books.

I have two series for children and teenagers. “Miro the Dragon” is a series I originally wrote in German. It’s about a tiny dragon who is afraid of everything. With new friends, he slowly learns how to overcome his fears and become a “real dragon”. The first book is already translated into English, and will soon also be available in Chinese. The second book is not yet available in English, but I’m working on the translation.

Miro-Cover-web (2)

My other series, “A Rogue’s Tale”, is written for YA readers although I’ve heard and read several times by now that it also appeals to younger readers. It’s written in English. In “The Lost Diadem”, young city guard Govin meets the pickpocket and street urchin Tayla, a brave young girl who strives to survive in the streets of Davon. Their fateful meeting throws them together to solve the mystery of a stolen diadem in order to clear Tayla’s name. It’s a genre mix between fantasy and mystery, with each book in the series being about a different mystery that Govin and Tayla have to solve.

LostDiademTroublePiratesEnchantedGarden

 

(I’ve read The Lost Diadem and found it a highly entertaining  adventure that middle grade kids would particularly enjoy. DMK)

What attracts you to writing for children and teens?

It’s fun, and I love the smiles and shining eyes of children when I read Miro to them. I guess I just really like to write stories children and teens want to read, to teach them values in a fun and interesting way.

So what’s next? What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on the third Miro book, on the English translation of the second Miro book, and on part four of A Rogue’s Tale. My translator and her proofreader are also just finishing up the Chinese translation of the first Miro book, so that will be released in the near future too. I’m really excited about this one since it will be my first non-English or -German book.

What do you like to do to relax?

I love to read, to escape to other times and places. I also play pen & paper and tabletop RPGs with friends, and I sing and play the guitar.

How can readers connect with you?

I’m on Facebook (there are two fan pages, one for each series: http://facebook.com/MiroDrakonia and http://facebook.com/ARoguesTale), on Twitter (@saoirseomara), and they can also look up my homepage (http://saoirseomara.wordpress.com).

Thanks for the interview, Debbie!

You’re very welcome Saoirse.

Guest blog, Debbie Manber Kupfer

Today I guest post on Charlotte Howard’s blog and talk about Shades of Fear.

Charlotte Howard - Romance Author

Shades of Fear by Debbie Manber Kupfer

ShadesofFear

There are many different shades of fear, and fear is something that affects each of us in different ways. When a Facebook group of which I’m part, Write On Nanos, decided to put together a charity anthology based around the theme of fear I toyed with writing a horror or fantasy tale. I’d written plenty of this kind recently, but then I started thinking about fear and what really scares me and realized that the time in my life when I was most terrified was when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer.

At the time when I was going through treatment I told very few people about my cancer. Only my closest family and friends knew. I certainly didn’t “come out” on Facebook. The Cancer Center had suggested we wrote down our experience, but I was too close to it and…

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Julie’s Caught Between Two Curses!

Caught

Julie Nigelson, from Caught Between Two Curses, is a 17-year-old high school senior with some serious problems. Her family is cursed and she seems to be the key to break the curse. And to make matters worse her boyfriend of 2 ½ years is breaking up with her; all because she’s not ready to have sex. The summer before her senior year is supposed to be filled with fun and carefree days, but instead it’s turning out to be the worst summer of her life.

 

So Julie, what is going on with you and Gus? Do you think you’ll work out your issues?

I hate to talk about this because every time I think about what Gus did, I either get REALLY mad or really sad. Basically, he says that we’ve been going out for so long and he loves me so much that he wants to have sex. I’m NOT READY. I’ve told him a million times, and then one night, we just had a big blow up over the whole thing. Now he’s not really talking to me, and I don’t know what to do. I guess we broke up, but I still love him.

 

What about this curse on your family I’ve heard about? What’s that all about?

You know what? Is there even such a thing as a curse? I mean, I know Uncle Henri is in a coma after eating a bratwurst at a Cubs game, and I know he’s talked about a curse for as long as I can remember, but still . . . And supposedly, there’s this curse on the Chicago Cubs and that’s why they don’t win. But Aunt Lizzie always says it’s just because they suck at baseball, which I don’t care about in any case. It’s so boring.

 

But your uncle is in a coma after eating a bratwurst? Don’t you think that’s a little strange?

Yes, it’s crazy. And my aunt says it’s because some woman put a curse on our family a long time ago because of my grandma. So, that’s why Uncle Henri is under the curse. But the worst thing is that my grandma is alive and living right here in Chicago, and my aunt never even told me—all because of this stupid curse.

 

WOW! Did you go see your grandma?

Yeah—my best friend Matt and I went, and that just made things worse. She said we are under a curse too, and that’s why my parents died when I was three. And then she said that Uncle Henri would die before he was 35 if I didn’t figure out how to break the curse. ME? Break a curse? My whole family is losing their minds.

 

What are you going to do?

I wish what I was going to do is invite Matt over and watch a Katharine Hepburn. She’s my mom’s favorite actress and mine, too. We’d have a movie marathon and stuff our faces with chips and pizza. But I guess instead I have to figure out how to help my family and if Gus and I broke up or not. They all drive me nuts, but I love them all, especially Gus.

 

If you want to read more about me, you can check out Caught Between Two Curses here on Margo’s blog or here on Amazon (where it’s part of the Kindle Lending Library) or here on Indiebound.

 

Thanks for stopping by Julie. Good luck!

 

Margo Dill short hair