After Mariam (Flying Through Fiction) and I finished buddy reading Court of Fives by Kate Elliott, we decided to be brave and ask Elliott if she would be willing to do a two-part interview. Lucky for us, she agreed. Thank you, Kate for joining us on our blogs today! This really means a lot to us and we greatly appreciate it<3
On this post, you will see half of the interview and to see the other half you will have to visit Mariam's blog =)
Everyone, meet Kate Elliott!
Kate Elliott has been writing stories since she was nine years old, which has led her to believe that writing, like breathing, keeps her alive. She is the author of over twenty science fiction and fantasy novels, including the Spiritwalker Trilogy (Cold Magic), the Crossroads Trilogy (Spirit Gate), the seven volume epic fantasy Crown of Stars (King’s Dragon), the Novels of the Jaran, and her short fiction collection, The Very Best of Kate Elliott. Her YA debut Court of Fives will be published in August, and a new epic fantasy novel, Black Wolves, arrives in October. She lives in Hawaii with her archaeologist spouse, paddles outrigger canoes for fun, and nurses along an aging schnauzer.
Find Kate: Goodreads | Twitter | Website | Facebook | Tumblr |
Q) I often ask authors this question but I think it’s an important one to ask. How do you deal with outside factors affecting your writing time? For example, a friend/family member wants you to go out or to do something and says, “Well, you can write later.”
A) Writing is literally my job, and it can be hard for people to understand that because it seems as if we writers have a totally flexible schedule and just write when inspiration strikes. I have trained myself to be ruthless about not allowing outside factors to cut into my work time. Well, mostly ruthless. Well, sometimes ruthless.
When my children were young I wrote while they were in school, and when they were home if we weren’t having family time or other house/family related doings, I told them, “Do not interrupt me unless there is fire or blood.” Honestly, they accepted this better than some adults do, and on the whole preferred to have their own uninterrupted playtime anyway. I admit I am a big proponent of letting children learn to entertain themselves. It’s what I did as a child (my parents never entertained me) and one of the things I did for entertainment was to draw maps and write stories, so being left alone to play is one of the avenues by which I eventually became a writer.
With adults I treat my work day as if I was in an office and I let people know that I’m not available during “office hours.” Sometimes that results in conversations like this:
Me (to my mother): Mom, I’m glad you called but I am working. Would you call (my older sister, a professor) while she was teaching and expect her to leave class to talk to you?
Mom (after a pause): Well, I would if I could!
We both laughed, and after that she was more careful about when she called.
I think women get hit more with the expectation that we should drop everything to accommodate others. There are a lot of reasons to write, all of them important. Even if you aren’t writing to contracts and deadlines (as I am) creative work is also an important part of emotional health, and it isn’t a luxury but rather a necessity for many. It’s okay to set boundaries.
Q) What are the the most enjoyable and least enjoyable types of scenes for you to write?
A) I loved writing all the scenes where Jes is practicing or running the Fives. In general, I enjoy writing action if the action also has an emotional component and something that’s really at stake. I also really enjoy writing scenes where two people argue, bicker, flirt, or engage in any kind of intense discussion that reveals any kind of new insight into their characters.
The least enjoyable scenes for me to write are transition scenes where a character has to get from Point A to Point B and I don’t feel I can just skip all aspects of the journey. In every case in Court of Fives where Jes walks or travels from Point A to Point B (whether a long or short trip), the original version of the scene was way way way too long and had to be ruthlessly cut back. For some reason, one I can’t explain, writing transitions effectively has always been difficult for me, going all the way back to the beginning of my career.
Q) What, if anything, can you tell us about the sequel of Court of Fives?
A) That isn’t a spoiler? How about this: You will see the big metal spiders in action.
Once again, thank you Kate for joining us on our blogs today!