So...here are the questions and answers. I've always believed in pimping authors and books I believe in and this time is no exception. :) Enjoy!
My Interview w/ Katie Allen...
Question 1: How did you come up with the idea for Breaking the Silence. I know, authors hate that question, but I'd really like to know. :)
Answer: I don’t mind this question at all! In fact, I love talking about the ideas that spark my book plots. This was a combination of two things, really. After I moved to Colorado, I found a great path for long dog walks. I’ve always made up stories in my head when I exercise (unless the exercise is something like Krav Maga or gymnastics, where I have to concentrate so I don’t get punched in the head (former) or fall on my head (latter)), so I started creating a whole tale about the owner of this gorgeous house that backed up to the path. In my imagination, he was beautiful but isolated and shy, and the idea for Will was born.
I then promptly forgot this story idea until a few years later, when I read one of those “What kind of relationship do you have?” articles (I don’t remember where—probably in a three-year-old Elle while waiting in the dentist’s waiting room). The article proposed that how a couple sleeps together (literally sleeps—get your minds out of the gutter, folks! ) says a lot about the relationship. Spooning means one thing, back-to-back means another, etc. The article went on to say that couples that sleep facing each other, wrapped in each other’s arms, are probably too attached. Their relationship is intense to the point of being unhealthy.
This article made me wonder—can two people love each other too much? Is it wrong that I find the idea of these two sleeping people, intertwined with their faces just inches apart, kind of romantic? There’s an intensity about love that borders on obsession that I find sexy (I know—I’m a freak). The idea of this overwhelming love merged with that image of the reclusive house owner on the dog-walk path, and the idea for Breaking the Silence was born.
Oops, I kind of rambled on there—sorry. Do you regret asking that question yet?
Question 2: Did you model Will after anyone in particular or did he just pop up in your head fully formed? LOVED him, by the way.
Answer: Thank you! I have to admit that, of all my heroes, I love Will the best (although Ky from One-Two Punch is a close second). I started Breaking the Silence with an idea of a gorgeous, hermit-like house owner, but Will pretty much just introduced himself to me in my head all put together. I am still startled by the way my characters direct my writing—I don’t feel like I have very much control, which is very annoying since it is coming from my brain, so I should be able to order all my imaginary characters around. When I write, the story just kind of dumps itself out of me onto the laptop screen, and I’m just the typist.
Question 3: *SPOILER FOR BREAKING THE SILENCE!!!!!!* And this is a spoiler so I'll warn the readers. What made you decide to have Evan attempt to rape Jenny and then kill him off (nice twist to the usual)? This is a hot button for a lot of readers and I'd love to know how you approached it.
Answer: I don’t plot, but I usually have a vague idea of how everything will play out. This scene wasn’t part of my initial idea for the story. I was more focused on Will’s journey, finding love and building connections with people for the first time in his life. The story got a little stuck, though. I didn’t want it to be one-sided, with Jenny giving and giving selflessly, because that imbalance tends to stunt a relationship. Jenny’s recovery lets Will be the nurturer for once. After I came up with the idea for the attempted-rape scene, the rest of the book flowed from there. When I wrote that scene, I cried really hard (like bawled), and I felt so guilty, as if I had done something horrible to Jenny.
Question 4: When did you start writing? When did you start writing to get published?
Answer: I was a Creative Writing major in college, and I’d always assumed I would be a published author some day. Then a decade passed by, during which I never really wrote anything. About three years ago, I had this wild revelation that, if I wanted to be published, I actually had to write something. Yes, this does seem rather obvious, but it took me a while to grasp this simple fact. I’d been reading books published by Ellora’s Cave for six months or so before this, and submitting via e-mail seemed a lot less intimidating than print (again, I know that makes no sense, but there it is), so I wrote my first book specifically for EC. That was Seeing Blind, which just came out in paperback, by the way (I’m on Amazon. For some reason, that just blows my mind).
Question 5: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Answer: Ooh, lots of stuff! I do gymnastics (yes, I’m the oldest student Coach Dave has) and Krav Maga (a form of self-defense training). I own a sweetheart of an Appaloosa named Mr. Toby Polkadots, and I mainly do dressage (although I’m planning to teach Tobes to jump). I also like to (big breath) dance, travel, scuba dive, surf, read, shoot (just at paper), watch immature movies and walk the dog past the neighborhood fire station when they’re washing the truck. For my day job, I’m a mechanical engineer (I design heating/cooling and plumbing systems for buildings), although I’m soon going to give writing full-time a shot, which is both exciting and completely terrifying.
Question 6: I loved Christian. I thought he was a well-written gay character. Do you have a story in mind for him (say yes!)?
Answer: Thank you! Actually, not only do I have a story in mind, but I have it partially written. It was intended to be a short story, but I super-suck at anything less than 50,000 words, so I gave up on the whole “short” part of that “short story” idea. If you hadn’t guessed, I’m a babbler. As soon as I finish Hammer’s (from One-Two Punch) book, I’ll pick Christian’s up again. I’m excited about it—he gets his very own hot, sexy cop.
Question 7: What's your favorite color?
Question 8: Food?
Answer: In the summer, it’s ice cream, and in the winter, it’s cookies. Warm, melty, chocolate-chip cookies…mmm…
Question 9: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Answer: I want to go everywhere! A year and a half ago, I decided that I needed to quit talking about traveling and just do it. I plan to go somewhere new every year. Um, I totally didn’t answer your question, did I? I think I would go to New Zealand, since that is next on my travel list.
Question 10: If you had a million dollars and only had 24 hours to spend it, what would you do?
Answer: Right now, I would invest it (that’s totally a boring, MBA-ish answer, isn’t it?). Can I give it a chunk of it away to family members (some of the sisters are having a tough time—like so many people are right now) or does it need to be on something for me? If it has to be the latter, I’d buy a big, beautiful piece of land. Someday, I’d like to build an off-the-grid home. And own a cow.
Question 11: Who are you favorite authors?
Answer: I love Jordan Castillo Price, Kelley Armstrong, Ellen Emerson White, James Buchanan, Jacob (of http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/ fame).
Question 12: Who is your favorite actor?
Answer: The entire cast of Friday Night Lights.
And since I'm a member of the DIK island, I can't not ask you these two questions. Please list your 6 favorite books of all time (that you couldn't be stuck on a desert island without) and your 6 all-time favorite heroes. :)
The Lady by Anne McCaffrey
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It by John Seymour
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
The Road Home by Ellen Emerson White
Out of Bounds by Mandy Dickenson Fave
Howl from Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle
Clay from Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series
The Duke of Jerveaux from Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm
The hit man in the movie The Professional (or do they need to be book heroes?)
Roly from Patricia Veryan’s The Dedicated Villian
Jayne Cobb from the TV series Firefly (What? He wasn’t a hero, you say? Sorry, I was blinded by Adam Baldwin’s arms. Um…and his chest.)
Again I want to thank Katie for joining us! She will stop by to answer any questions you may have. She has also been generous enough to offer an e-book copy of Breaking the Silence and her latest release Raw Footage. If you'd like to be considered, just leave a comment! I will draw a winner on Weds.