This Author Spotlight
Dark Fantasy Author
Kate Jonez writes dark fantasy fiction. Her debut novel Candy House published by Evil Jester Press is available at Amazon in print and ebook.
She is also chief editor at Omnium Gatherum, a small press dedicated to providing unique dark fantasy fiction in print, ebook and audio formats. Three Omnium Gatherum books have been nominated for Shirley Jackson Awards.
Kate is a student of all things scary and when she isn’t writing she loves to collect objects for her cabinet of curiosities, research obscure and strange historical figures and photograph weirdness in Southern California where she lives with a very nice man and a little dog who is also very nice but could behave a little bit better.
I originally wanted to be a painter, but for one reason or another that didn’t work out very well. A critique I received fairly often about my painting was that it seemed like I was illustrating stories. After hearing that so often, I realized that I did, in fact, want to tell stories. It took me a several years of hard work to get from that realization to actually producing a novel. I’ve always believed it’s better to be good than fast.
2. What do you like best (or least) about writing?
I especially enjoy planning a novel. Nothing is more exciting than opening up a blank page and roughing in an outline. Anything can happen! The part I like least is the three quarter mark. This phase of writing is especially hard if what’s already on the page shows promise. This is the part where all the doubts creep in. What if I screw it up now? What if the ending sucks? What if I’ve dropped a thread? What if this and what if that? It’s torture.
3. What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?
I always start with an outline. I like to move the story elements around as though they were note cards until I have a story structure that makes sense. Once the outline is in place I get to know the main characters as well as I can. I have a list of 60 questions or so that I ask about each one. Things like: What kind of relationship does the character have with her mother? What kind of car does he drive? What’s her favorite song? etc. I’ll often take a Myers Briggs personality test for the characters so I learn even more about how their particular personality types react to various situations. Myers Briggs tests are fun to give to your friends http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp
4. Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”
My favorite writers lately combine the darker tropes of weird fiction, dark fantasy or horror with a literary sensibility. I especially enjoy the recent releases of Caitlyn Kiernan, Paul Tremblay, Benjamin Kane Etheridge, Laird Barron, Cat Valente and far too many more to name. It’s an exciting time in fiction.
5. Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?
Outside for Brits; inside for Yanks.
6.What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?
I would like to know what Oxford has to do with this issue. I suppose I could look it up. In general I prefer as few commas as possible.
Candy House about and how did it come to fruition?
Candy House is the story of a brilliant young scientist who moves back home with his parents because his explosive temper has ruined his career. His neighbors, a family of witches, imps and demons, are charged with keeping science under control. They must, by using their debauched and twisted magic, stop Roland before he fulfills his destiny and makes a deadly discovery that will change the nature of humanity forever.
The folks at Evil Jester Press have helped to make my debut novel as good as it can be.
8. What’s your current writing project?
I’m putting on the finishing touches to my novella X. If all goes well, it should be coming out early next year. X is the story of two petty criminals who decide to do the right thing for once in their lives. Their decision unleashes some seriously messed up demon activity and turns out to be a really bad idea.
9. What book(s) are you currently reading?
I’m working on reading this year’s Shirley Jackson Award nominees. I’m incredibly lucky that two books I edited (Delphine Dodd by S.P. Miskowski and Twenty-Eight Teeth of Rage by Ennis Drake) have been nominated in the novella category. I’m working on reading the competing novellas I’m Not Sam by Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee, The Indifference Engine by Project Itoh and Sky by Kaaron Warren
Hopefully I’ll also be able to read the novels I haven’t read yet too, The Devil in Silver, by Victor LaValle, Edge by Koji Suzuki, and Immobility by Brian Evenson.
10. Who or what inspires your writing?
Writing isn’t really optional for me. A life lived without writing would be a life wasted. If I analyzed my motivation, I suppose it would be that I’m fulfilling the desire to turn my thoughts into tangible artifacts. I’m immortalizing myself the best way I can. Now that doesn’t sound like I’m full of myself at all.
Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.
You can find me at:
Thanks, Kate, for visiting with us. I like the idea of giving characters a personality test. Thanks for that. And for citing writers you're enjoying, particularly Benjamin Kane Ethridge, as he's been featured HERE and HERE.
Check out Kate's new book and visit her website today!