7 Questions With Author Kathryn Fuller | Esther Rabbit
Kathryn Fuller is the author of Competing for the Luna, book 1 in the Blood Moon Pack series with its sequel hot on its heels. Kathryn is a mum of two wild and crazy boys, full time worker, part time writer and casual dreamer who can be bought with kinder surprise chocolate and wine.
For the ones of you who are new to my blog, I’m Esther Rabbit, writer, content creator for authors and massive nerd. If you’re interested to know all the tips & tricks surrounding the process From Writing To Publishing Your Novel, you’re only a click away. For writing and marketing tips consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m definitely a fly by the seat of my pants style writer. I’ve tried to plot out my book but, found it to be restrictive as I was trying to fit my story into the plan however, sometimes the characters just evolve on their own. I found when I just let go and let out my inner sasspirella, the book became more fun and writing became addictive. Its those midnight wake ups with ‘Oooh that should definitely happen’ or emotions from a long day in the office that pours the emotion into your writing. And secretly… there’s always that one annoying person who you just happen to kill off in your book.
It’s always encouraging to try and plot out an idea as they arise, this can guide you through those tough writers’ block points and give you a base-line. Just remembering its only a guideline and not a requirement. It can be picked up and lifted to another part of the book as the scene unfolds. I’ve written and re-written chapters, where I started thinking one way, then thought, huh, I wonder what would happen if I put them in this other situation? And it changes the whole course of the book and the characters journey.
I like to imagine writing my books, like planning my day. Yeah, I make all these grand plans of cleaning my house… but how much do I actually end up doing? I mean, of course it sounded like a great idea at the time but playing as my own character if this were a book, I’d be that well-meaning, easily distracted by shiny fun stuff person.
What were some major setbacks of this profession?
Major setbacks and things I wish someone had told me before I started, where to even begin. So, I’d spent months writing this amazing book but then… it was done. The anticlimax of, oh… my book is actually done now… but I still feel like I want more. Then the uncertainties, do I follow my dream? Is my book good enough? Is it publish-able? Where do I start? And the all mighty replica of doctor google, but instead for self-publishing. So many conflicting opinions and guidelines of ‘how to’ for every little thing, that becomes too much. The fear of ‘is my work worth the amount of an editor’, which is one of the most essential things.
Every aspect of it regardless of the endless amounts of information, is actually challenging, especially when your new and your only focus is on the art and love of writing. Having an understanding of when to do what, and how many other authors are out there, its intimidating. But the reality of it all is, just be you. Your passion will shine in the book and its YOUR book. You aren’t writing for the haters, you’re writing something you would pick up and read. All set backs are a new challenge you will conquer if you truly want it. There’s nothing better than seeing your cover and your first review and realizing it was all worth it.
Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at the beginning of your journey?
It’s ok to take your time. This is just a process, we all go through it. Do an online course in social media management. Do a short marketing course. Slow down and get your ducks in a row. It’s a journey not a race. Research, research, research. Find an editor that’s the right fit for you and your voice. Don’t search just for the cheapest one and hope for the best, this can end up costing you more in the end. Don’t sweat about how many other authors are out there writing in the same genre, its not a competition and for addicted readers, cough cough, no you’re addicted; there’s never enough. Every style is different, some stories have a strong male lead, others have a strong female lead.
Make genuine connections and don’t be afraid to sell yourself. I’ve always written for my own enjoyment, and admittedly, I wrote “Competing for the Luna” for my husband because he LOVES conflict. More like, thrives off it. If there is a reality tv show, he’s in. He’s that Gossip Girl loving, “Pretty Little Liars” devouring, “Vampire Diaries” addict. So I knew my book had to have all the sass and fire of a female lead, conflict between friends, drama, teasing, violence and a little comedy to lighten the mood and keep you coming back for more of ‘what is she going to do next’.
There’s also a big difference between connecting for followers and making genuine connections. I wasn’t a big social media user prior to publishing. My days were busy enough without checking out what everyone else was eating for breakfast and ending up with food envy. It’s important to have genuine connections with people who are interested and want to be part of the journey. My very first reader, Anna, reached out to me because she enjoyed reading “Melody’s journey” so much, she started to write her own story.
Now if that doesn’t fill your cup and remind you that people are actually out there reading, listening and enjoying, I don’t know what will, but the main point is that what you do matters. It can leave an impression on people and fill them with their own dreams. So, don’t lose faith, because there’s someone out there just dying to read your words. Empty followers don’t make a difference to the purchases of your novel, just appears you have a following and scroll through a mountain of content before you find your engaging followers posts.
Lastly, you wrote a book, its worth celebrating not shying away from. Build your support network with friends and family. Post that baby, what you did was amazing and how many people can say they have achieved this and financially backed themselves to get there? This process isn’t cheap. If in doubt, just remember these three (3) things:
- If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no.
- If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it.
- If you don’t step forward, you’ll always be in the same place. You are the master of your own destiny, so take hold and charge on!
What’s your definition of the first draft?
First draft is the version dreamt up in my head as I sit in meetings, pretending to listen, while secretly picturing and plotting out my charter’s next move. All those notes I’m taking aren’t really to do with my job, sorry boss!
How do you deal with negative feedback or negative reviews?
It hurts. But you know what, its just one man’s opinion. There will always be someone who can write better than you, but its your book, own it! Faults and all, you were the one who had the guts to get out there and publish it. Did they? Don’t question and doubt yourself over negative feedback and reviews, instead learn and grow from it. When I was in high school, my friend and I, had this one saying and even though we grew apart, it’s as relevant now as it was back then. Take the good with the bad, smile with the sad, love what you’ve got and remember what you had, always forgive but never forget, learn from your mistakes but never regret. People change, things go wrong. Just remember life goes on.
What’s your favorite genre as a reader?
Gosh, I went through a massive crime and mystery phase, then I found chicklit which inspired me to write my first novel – Designed for You. Back then, I didn’t realize there was a whole world of indie authors out there, and I was never a fan of eBooks. I love physically holding a book in my hand and getting lost in the pages.
When I’ve ran out of books at the shops, to read the genres that I like, I’ve googled bookstores, to see what else was out there and the super spy, Facebook algorithms, delivered me an ad for Dreame. I figured why the hell not, and from the first book I’ve read, I knew there was a whole world of binge reading out there. This is where I found the fantasy/ paranormal / supernatural genre. This one book really hooked me into this genre and really set the bar high for a lot of others following after.
Untamed Slave on Dreame by XMiekieMieksX. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor. I don’t know this woman, nor am I affiliated in any way, but I recommend it to everyone. Fantasy, fast became my favorite genre and I guess, this story just highlights as a reminder to always keep an open mind, because your mind can be changed in the space of a single chapter.
Does the genre you normally read have a direct influence on your writing?
I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. Reading other perspectives on the genre and finding a niche that hasn’t been flogged; finding the genre’s I love reading and the ones I don’t. It all impacts on your penmanship. It can also shape your beliefs in how your world should be viewed and conceived by the readers. And a great reminder of less is more. Sometimes, you can get a picture without telling a full story about just that one picture.
But the thing is, you must have a passion for what you’re writing. You could ask me to write a Crime novel and, while I may have ideas start flooding in, and I could attempt to slap something together, it’s not my niche and attempting to write it without passion wouldn’t benefit myself or my readers. Although in saying that, who doesn’t love a spine-tingling thriller to keep you checking over your shoulders at night haha.
When I wrote my very first book, “Designed for you”, I was in the middle of my transition between crime and countryside chicklit,talk about chalk and cheese, so it has elements of mystery with the undercurrents of romance developing. “Competing for the Luna” was heavily influenced by the female power play and sass you find in typical lead Female Alphas. This Mumma doesn’t bow down to anyone.
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And check out Lost in Amber: An Out Of This World Paranormal Romance if enjoy girl power, adventure & a toe-curling love story.
She just wanted to mope over her breakup but the universe had other plans for Zoey Mills.
Read the full blurb here.