#ASI: Kat Green

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.

KatG

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

http://bit.ly/1gjY7u1

 

https://www.facebook.com/KatGrn00/?fref=ts

 

http://bit.ly/1K7evq9

 

https://www.amazon.com/Strings-Black-Eagles-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00KZ6DO8O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463347914&sr=8-1&keywords=kat+green

 

 

 

#Musical Monday Top 50 Musthaves in my #Writing Playlist Pt. 2

Hey it’s been awhile since I made the initial post, can find here, so I thought I would finish the list. Sorry it took awhile, but finding only 50 out of 3500+ songs is hard. Reminder, these are in no particular order.

26. Aqua “Doctor Jones”
27. Nsync “Dirty Pop”
28. Barlow Girls “She Walked Away”
29. Meatloaf “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights”

30. Stevie Wonder “Signed, Sealed, Delivered
31. Michael Jackson ” Liberian Girl”
32. Eminem “The Real Slim Shady”

33. Shakira “La Pared”
34. LeeAnn Times “Blue”
35. Alan Jackson “Pop a Top”

36. John Barrowman “I Know Him So Well”
37. Toby Keith “A Little Too Late”
38. Spice Girls “Mama”

39. Rod Stewart “Superstar”
40.  Wilson Fillips “Hold On”

41. George Michael “Father Figure”
42. Godsmack “Voodoo”

43. Tammy Wynette “D.I.V.O.R.C.E.”
44. Blue Oyster Cult “Don’t Fear the Reaper”
45. Kazaky “Crazy Law”

46. Psy “Gangnam Style”
47. Glee “Don’t Stand So Close to Me/Young Girl”
48. Tim Curry “I Do the Rock”

49. The Beatles “Strawberry Fields Forever”
50. Styx “Show Me the Way”

#Music Cache Needs an Update

As you can see from this list my music tastes are eclectic and in some cases outdated. I don’t listen to the radio that often, because reception here is crap and I just don’t like having to go through all those commercials. When I go to YouTube, I look at songs or artists I know because I love them.

Plus I am in the middle of nowhere and avoid news at any cost so don’t know new artists.

I’m asking you, my people, do you have any music suggestions? I’m looking to expand my music library and could use a bit of tips. Something to stay away from though, Beaver. I am not a Believer and never will be. Thank you.

#Musical Monday Review #23: Drumline 2 A New Beat

Overview: Danielle is a bright drummer girl heading off to college at A&T, six years after the first Drumline, against her families wishes. She makes new friends and struggles to prove she belongs on the line while they plan for the BET Southern Classic.

Opinion: First off, who knew there was a second Drumline? Anyone? I had no clue, and half of me wishes I didn’t. It was an OK movie but when compared to the greatness of the first one, it is a pale comparison. First off the music producers seemed more obsessed with showing off than producing good music. In the first movie, it was all about musicianship, perfecting the craft, and pushing boundaries and creating art. This movie has lack luster music and focuses more on showing off. None of the characters were half as creative as any one character in the first movie. The last drum battle, was more about theatrics than the drums itself.  If you put the music aside (which is what it is supposed to be about), the movie isn’t half bad. If your looking for a great music movie, stick with the first one.

Compare the first cadence with the second. The second one is OK but again more visually appealing than musically.

Drumline

Drumline 2

#Musical Monday Review #22 Fiddler on the Roof

Overview: A Jewish family living in a poor village, just trying to live their lives. Tavye, the patriarch has five girls to we’d and give a dowry to but he just sells milk and delivers it with a lame horse and trailer. The oldest daughter is able to marry the man she loves, while a Yente tries to fix the younger girls up with eligible bachelors. They rebel their suitors and break tradition, a very powerful thing Tavye holds very dear. All while fearing the Czar doesn’t invade their little Russian town.

Opinion: I first watched this in high school, and instantly fell in love with it. Tavye is such a great dad, wanting the best for his daughters as long as it follows tradition. He is also funny! I respect the traditional dances but to an uncultured high schooler, his shimmying (can’t believe that’s an actual word) during my favorite song, “Rich Man” is hilarious.

It’s not just the dancing that he does that is funny, but some things he says or the way he says it. I particularly enjoy his questioning of God, without actually questioning his existence. It’s something I’ve always been told not to do. If you believe in God, you can’t question his actions…or in-actions.

Another favorite song is “Matchmaker.” It is the Yente’s job to find husband’s for girls. However this Yente has a problem of making matches the girls don’t like. The girls go from wanting her to find them a match to not being in a big hurry.

Tzeital, the eldest daughter, reminds me so much of Barbara Streisand. However i find the middle daughter’s voice sounds clearer.

Comedy aside, I see the tragedy of losing special traditions and tearing a family apart as the result. My family has always been close but never as close or held many traditions as those of any faith let alone the Jewish faith.

I love the choreography of the Russian dancers during “L’chaim To Life.”

#Musical Monday Review #21 Aladdin

Overview: Aladdin is an orphaned teen running around Agrabah with his best friend and pet monkey Abu. He dreams of a better life inside the palace walls. Princess Jasmine, longing for a normal life outside of the palace walls, runs away from home and meets Aladdin. The two have a romantic moment, before being caught by the palace guards and he was arrested under the orders of Jafar. Jafar is the royal advisor and sorcerer, who is on a quest to find a magic lamp. Inside the lamp is a genie that will grant three wishes (within certain guidelines). Problem is the lamp lies in the Cave of Wonders and only a “diamond in the rough” can enter. Jafar tricks Aladdin into going inside to retrieve it, but Abu gets greedy and the Cave collapses. Aladdin rubs the lamp and becomes Genie’s master. They get out of the cave, and Aladdin starts to make his wishes, but finds that he just needs to be himself to get what he wants. Jafar learns Aladdin has the lamp and attempts to steal it, takes control over everything. Then makes a fatal mistake, that aids in his downfall and giving a happy ending.

Opinion: I love classic Disney. This was one of my favorites growing up. Jasmine has been my favorite Princess because she tried to stand up for herself. She still needed help being rescued, but she had tried to fight. Plus I always thought she was the most beautiful.

This is probably my first introduction to two of my favorite actors: Robin Williams and Gilbert Gottfried. I loved Iago’s crotchety anger and frustration, he was such a great comedic relief. Genie was amazing at moral fiber, and friendship. I don’t know why but Robin also brought a bit of a Jewish feel to his role. Maybe it has something to do with his freedom speech and wanting hummus, but I could be wrong.

My favorite song would have to be “Prince Ali.” Who doesn’t love a parade?

Then of course “Whole New World.” One of the most romantic songs ever.

#Musical Monday Top 50 Musthaves in My #Writing playlist Pt. 1

Ok I know it’s #Musical Monday, but I am running on no sleep (can’t sleep for some reason) and it’s hot and humid out, which is making me cranky and sweaty :(. So I’ve decided to do a rundown of my top 50 songs I can’t live without or write without. I’m not going to have a video link for all 50 (that’s insane) but I will send a link to the older, more obscure or just really killer ones. These of course are in no particular order.

1. Alanis Morresette “You Oughta Know”

2. Bon Jovi “Living on a Prayer”

3. Linkin Park “Papercut”

4. Nickelback “How You Remind Me” (yes I listen to Nickelback and love them!)

5. Madonna “This Used to be my Playground”

6. (Movie Cast) Chicago “Cell Block Tango”

7. Bob Marley “Buffalo Soldier”

8.  Barry Manilow “Weekend in New England”

9. Elvis Presley “Wooden Heart”

10. Old Crow Medicine Show “Wagon Wheel”

11. Pink Floyd “Another Brick in the Wall”

12. REO Speedwagon “Heard it From a Friend”

13. Pearl Jam “Last Kiss”

14. Matchbox 20 “Bed of Lies”

15. 5 for Fighting “Drops of Jupiter”

16. Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody”

17. Rick Astley “Never Going to Give You Up”

18. Korn “Twisted Transistor”

19. Melissa Etheridge “I’m the Only One” (ultimate breakup song!)

20. Poison “Fallen Angel”

21. Sylvia “Nobody”

22. ICP (AKA Insane Clown Posse) Piggie Pie

23. Serj Tankian “Lie Lie Lie”

24. The Eagles “Hotel California

25. Pentatonix “Wizard of Ahhs”

To be Continued…

#Musical Monday Review #18: I Kissed a Vampire

Overview: Dylan is bitten by a Vampire and started transforming into one. He struggles with his new fangs, weird dreams and not biting the girl he loves. Then Tray shows up to teach him how to be a Vampire and get the girl. His girl Sarah is bitten and starts changing too. She wants to embrace new life, but than also wants to find a cure, while Dylan is in denial and trying to stop it. They go to see Dr. Dan Helsing and find that the Vampire who bit Dylan wasn’t too powerful so he may not change completely. Sarah on the other hand was bitten by a very powerful very Vampire and will change as well as belong to Tray. In order to make the cure, they just need a drop of Tray’s blood. The two are pulled apart in their quest for blood and giving into their true selves. In his love for Sarah, Dylan’s powers start to emerge and we learn Tray is obsessed with Sarah because he has mommy issues. Sarah breaks the the spell and they are able to create a cure. Sarah almost died but is brought back with a kiss. The cure failed, but the couple found happiness together.

Opinion: Though the lyrics leave a bit to be desired, the music is cool. For a girl who wanted to break away from the goody-two shoes personality, she really wanted to find a cure and change back to normal. Its like here is her chance and she chickens out. I thought that was a little unrealistic or uncharacteristic of her. Rocky Horror Picture Show comes to mind with the duality if Sarah’s fighting good vs evil inside of her, compared to Janet’s similar struggle.

Really over all it looks like something Disney would put out during their 13 Days of Halloween. For me that’s good, I love those movies.

Lucas Grabeel shows a darker side than when he was in High School Musical. He embraces the emo look, foregoing his scary pink attire.

“Just a Little Bit of Nibble” is my favorite favorite choreography. We see Tray teasing Phillip about getting his first kiss and Phillip struggling between kissing, biting and keeping Tray away from Sarah.

“Just a Drop” is reminiscent of “Your the One That I Want” from Grease. I’m not sure why, it just popped in my head as I watched Sarah, the good girl next door type, sing about how she wants to break out of her shell and take a bite out of life (pun intended).

Note: Some people may have seen the mini episodes on YouTube or another website, but a lot of people have had issues finding the whole musical. I found it on Hulu if you are wanting to check it out.

#Musical Monday Review #16: Yentl

Overview: A young Jewish girl disguises herself as a boy in order to study the Torah. Problems arise when she falls in love with a fellow student and can’t confess her love. Yentl is then forced to marry a young woman because of Jewish law and find reasons to keep from consummating their marriage.

Opinion: I understand that it is traditional for Jewish women not to study religion, but I find it a tad sexist. Women should be able to learn what they want the same as men, that doesn’t mean that women will give up their “womanly duties” they will just be able to have a better conversation with their male counterparts. Is that a bad thing? Not unless you enjoy a dull and boring life.

That said, this musical is wonderful in challenging the archaic laws put down for women of the times, pre-world war I, and shows that woman came be just as good as men. Even if it portals Yentl’s thirst for knowledge stems from the fact she was raised by a single father. The storyline reminds me much of Disney’s Mulan, where a daughter runs off to fight in place of her father. In both cases it was illegal for women to speak their minds or fight wars or study religion. These women taught girls that they can do whatever they put their minds to and I think that is great. I remember when when I was younger, this was my favorite musical by Barbara because of the strong message behind it.

I do find it sad that because of the life Yentl chooses, she has to give up finding a husband and having children with the man she loves. Had she been able to be a scholar as a woman, things would have turned out differently. Obviously it would not have made as good of a story but still makes you feel for her.

Barbara is spectacular as always. Not only is she a beautiful woman, but makes a handsome man. Pulling off both parts well. One thing I’m not quite sure about is the music. Don’t get me wrong, I love her voice, but it seems as if the songs are actually one long song. There is not much difference in tempo or melody. At least to me it all seems the same just different words.

Papa vs The Way He Makes Me Feel

Because of that I find it difficult to pick a favorite song. And as there is no dancing there is no favorite choreography. Which I feel was a bit of an justice because I love Jewish dances. Actually for a long time I’ve loved different cultures and one prominent in my mind is the Jewish culture so not having a lot of dancing I find was a disservice and would have enriched the musical.

#Musical Monday Review #15 Mamma Mia (The Movie)

Overview: Sophia is getting married and wants to invite her dad. Problem is her mom never told her who he was, because she secretly doesn’t know. So she sends an invitation to the three possible candidates, not explaining the reason behind it. Thinking she will automatically sense the right one when they show up. When the men arrive, without mom’s knowledge, Sophia doesn’t feel a fatherly connection with just one but all three. Hidden from her mother, the men set out to find her and are surprised to find she didn’t know they were coming or why they were there. Laughter ensues as the wedding draws closer and minds are changing. In the end there is a wedding, and a few unexpected connections are made leaving the “Little Island” a bit upturned.

Opinion: Love it! But who doesn’t love ABBA? Throw in a girl who wants her dad for the biggest day of her life? It just makes your heart melt. Then who knew Colin Firth, Meryl Streep and Pierce Bronson could sing? Meryl Streep’s rendition of “Winner Takes It All” was heartbreaking.

“S.O.S.” was also frustrating and resonates too truly. So close to each other, and yet so far apart they can’t see each other right in front of them.

Of course ABBA’s most iconic song (at least for me and I wasn’t acquainted much with them before the movie), “Dancing Queen,” is in it. Performed by every extra woman they could find.

However, my favorite would happen to be “Honey, Honey.” Sophia reading her mother’s diary is so sweet and devilishly childish.

A close second would be “Does Your Mother Know?” A little secret about myself, I’ve always had a thing for older guys. So this song featuring a young man being spurned by an older woman is hilarious.

The scenery is beautiful, a Grecian island. Turquoise water everywhere and fantastic multi-colored buildings. Always wanted to go and the movie just entices that urge to travel again. While the songs don’t seem to depend on a specific local, I’m glad they chose Greece when it could have been filmed anywhere.