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?
Thank you for taking the time to interview me, Debbie. I really appreciate it!
You are very welcome, Katie!