Hi Kat, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background? Hi thank you for having me. I was born in November 1979 into a military family and moved around a lot during my childhood. This shaped me into the person I am today. My family roots are from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. I now live with my husband and son on the south coast of England, Portsmouth. I don’t pretend to be the best, I am still growing as a writer and having lots of fun along the way. I love books and have a busy imagination. My love for music plays a big part in my first novel called Strings. I love to watch live bands and can usually be found at gigs around the UK. In 2010 I lost my mother to blood cancer and it was time to put my words on a page and stop worrying about what people might say ‘Life is too short and precious to waste’ is my motto. Writing is my passion and my escape. I’m sorry to hear about your mom.
Discuss your newest book. I have two books out at the moment.
Strings & Encore, part 1 & 2 of my trilogy. It’s a rock romance with a twist of mystery, thriller and suspense.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I’ve always wanted to do it, always been in my head. I wrote a story at 11 but never showed it to anyone. Handwritten to and 150 pages and it was very similar to Strings just without the rock band side of things.
What are your current projects? I am working on book 3, the final part of my trilogy
What inspired you to write your first book? My mum was a massive inspiration. If she could smile through the pain of cancer. I could write a book. Self-doubt stopped me for a long time but when I lost my mum to blood cancer everything changed and I realized life was short and I didn’t want to have regrets. I decided to live life to the full and be brave.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? Melissa Webb is a normal girl one minute, next she’s public property dealing with a lot of things that come with fame, but she never lets it change her. She stays strong and true to herself and her friends no matter what get thrown at her. She’s beautiful inside and out.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Yes, friendship, family and having loyalty can get you through any dark times. That no matter what happens you can survive.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? That is really hard because I have tried to put together a cast list so many times. I actually can’t decide as for me there isn’t anyone I feel is perfect for the roles. These are people who I’ve created and don’t exist.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? The loss of my mum. Once my grief had eased I decided to go for it.
Do you write full-time or part-time? Part-Time. I would love to be able to do it all day every day but with family life and a family business it isn’t possible right now. I write mostly in the evening.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? As it is the final part of a series, not letting my readers down and making sure they get the ending they’ve been waiting for.
What is the easiest thing about writing? I find coming up with a basic plot quite easy but it’s getting the whole thing to work and flow is the tricky bit.
What book are you reading now? I recently finished, Girl on the Train and I loved it.
What is one random thing about you? I’m scared of planes. It isn’t just about flying, it’s the actually planes that make me shudder. If we were meant to fly, we would be born with wings, is my thought.
What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer? Computer is my tool.
What does your writing process look like? I write the first draft without worry too much about it being perfect. Then I read it through over and over, editing along the way until I am 100% happy with the finished the final draft.
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? I don’t, boring I know.
How important are names to you in your books? Really important. My two main characters had several names at the start. I really think about the characters and the name has to fit.
Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? The only thing I remember at the very start was using twitter to gain followers, it worked really well but there were a few occasions where I did the ‘read my book’ mistake. People don’t like that and I quickly realized that the best way to get readers is to engage with them. Get to know people and once you’ve built up a relationship they will take a chance on your book. That has been the most important lesson. Your readers are important so make sure you treat them well.
What is your favorite book and why? I don’t really have any favorites. I like many different genres and styles of writing but I did go through a stage of reading Dean Koontz about 10 years ago. I loved Twilight and The Mortal Instruments. I also love horror and crime books.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Spending time with my family. Blogging for unsigned bands. Music is another passion of mine.
From where do you gain your inspiration? Music and life in general.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? It seemed the easier option. I wanted to get my work out there and getting a publisher is not easy. I like having control over my work and being my own boss, in a sense.
Any decisions can only be made by the individual and what they are looking for. Both options are great but if people decide on Self – published they will need to be ready to work hard to promote. It is time consuming and sometimes things don’t always go to plan. As long as you can shake it off and carry on you’ll be fine. When it does go well it’s the best feeling in the world.
How do you market your books? Social media and word of mouth.
Would you or do you use a PR agency? I do everything myself. I self- publish and for the time being I am happy with how things are going.
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Firstly, be brave and go for it. Join events online that are designed to promote and connect you with readers and other authors. Social media has been a major fact in getting my name out there. Book blog tours are really good for getting exposure and being active with readers.
What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? I try to market as much as possible with events etc. There are days where I am promoting which can mean less writing time but it has to be done.
What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? I have been very lucky with reviews so far, most have come from readers who happen to download my book. There have been some that have been from book blog tours where reviews have been part of the package.
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? I don’t have a strategy, I feel that reviews are something that is down to the reader and I feel very humbled for everyone I get.
Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? Everything has gone really smoothly for the most part, however there is an American author with the same name. We have on occasion been mixed up. I was booked in for a takeover at the start and hadn’t had any notifications, it turns out they’d been tagging the wrong Kat Green into things. It was quickly sorted out.
Which social network worked best for you? Facebook has been amazing as this is where most of the events I have talked about take place.
Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work? I use my social media pages to make people aware of my work, although now I’ve gained more knowledge, for book 3 I will switch things up a bit. I have a street team now so I have more back up.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? Marilyn Monroe. I would love to know who she truly was and what really happen.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? I really don’t know, so many but maybe Twilight, only so could have hung out with Robert Pattinson. Ha ha
What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Just be brave and write what is in your heart. Enjoy it and most importantly be at peace with the fact not everyone will like your work. Once that fear of criticism is faced you can do anything.
How can readers discover more about you and you work? They can follow me via the following links