Today I am very pleased to welcome fantasy author, Katrina Cope onto the FSFN throne for a chat. Katrina writes spy thrillers, combining a mix of action and adventure for middle grade readers.
Here is Katrina's bio:
I grew up in a small country town with plenty of time to express my creativity. This was fuelled with a large amount of time spent travelling to different areas of the world, coming into contact with many different personalities and cultures.
After finishing my first book, it came to light just how much I love writing and I now write a great deal more. My boys are growing up, approaching the teenage years quickly, allowing me more time to write and asking for the next book.
Katrina's books: The Sanctum series
- Book 1 title: Jayden & the Mysterious Mountain
- Genre: Preteen – Spy Thriller, Action & Adventure with heart
- When a rich grandfather figure strangely appears in the dark street, to rescue the young boy Jayden from homelessness, a life better than his dreams has come true. He is taken to a five star hotel - no, actually a school called The Sanctum, camouflaged in the mountains. The students build and operate high tech equipment, including surrogate robots all to fight against terrorism. Or are they?
By the way, you don’t want to annoy Scarlet who runs the general operations of the building. She is one cheeky AI and plays nasty if you cross her.
- Publish date: 2nd September, 2013
- Publisher: Createspace
- Book 2 in Series – Scarlet’s Escape
- Publish date: 23rd June, 2014
- Publisher: Createspace
- Scarlet’s Escape: Over a year has passed since Avando rescued Jayden from homelessness. Strange things are happening within The Sanctum, and their movements to fight terrorism are continually being jeopardised.
Secrets are discovered at Ernest State College. On the surface, they appear to be working for the good side, but what are they hiding?
What’s up with Scarlet? Has she blown her mainframe?
Author Interview with Katrina:
Welcome Katrina, thanks so much for dropping by the FSFN to chat about your writing.
Katrina; Hi everyone, it's great to be here.
When did you start writing and why?
I have always been very creative and have an active imagination. I started mainly with poems, songs and many long letters to pen pals. I also did short story writing during the school years.
What made you choose to write preteen spy thrillers?
I love the involvement with your family.
What’s the story behind your book titles, and the basic plot of your series?
‘Jayden & the Mysterious Mountain’ is very much a set up for the whole series. It starts out with taking children off the streets by Avando, a rich grandfather figure who takes them to a hidden school in the mountains. These are children who have not had a good start to life and are on the street for various reasons after being through a lot in their past family lives. Once they enter the Sanctum, which is what the school is called, life seems perfect if they can put in the required effort. However, it comes to Jayden’s attention that there is something else going on in the background and something is not right. The mysteries and plot twists accelerate from there including a suspect government school for geniuses.
As the series continues, these twists and discoveries ramp up to almost an addictive level for the thriller lovers.
It is not all serious though; there are also humorous moments that are not based on corny humour.
Which one of your characters would you like to be?
I would like to be Professor Anna. She is the guardian and hands on caretaker of the homeless children. I feel connected to her as the adult.
Have you used any real events or places as inspiration for your writing?
Scenes of terrorism are mentioned briefly within the book. Unfortunately some are very similar to real life but are not exact.
What song would you choose as the theme song of your book?
Not so much the theme of my book but I always think of it like a song in the credits of a movie, ‘Get Along’ by Guy Sebastian. I hate that there is so much terrorism and war in the world. So think of this song when you are reading the acknowledgements of my book ;).
That sounds like a great message for your young readers.
What are you working on now?
Book three is about to be released. I am hoping in the first week of September 2014. It is called ‘Taylor’s Plight’ and it is receiving very good reports from early readers. I am also working on book four in the series.
That's so exciting. We'll be sure to keep an eye out for Taylor's Plight.
What’s your writing routine?
Haha, I have three kids, pets, a husband and I work so it is not really a routine but more when I get some quite time. Whatever time of day or night that may be.
Besides going for a walk, my husband has been great in helping with plot twists etc. If I am really stuck, I will have an open discussion with him. This also helps for seeing if it flows, and yes, if he doesn’t like a scene he will tell me.
Describe your road to publishing your book?
Publishing the first book has been a lot of mistakes and learning curves. A couple of lessons would be: First, how hard it is to get the editing process right. Second, getting the right group of people who like your genre to read and review your book, not people who do not usually read the genre. One person’s honest review is not another persons. Everyone has different tastes. I would like to think that I am getting better at the process with still a lot to learn.
What type of books do you like to read?
I honestly love variety. I love books from late middle grade to adult. I especially love a book with twists in the plot, some horrors but I also like feel good books too.
Who are your favourite authors?
C.S. Lewis, David Eddings, Christopher Paolini, J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Stephenie Meyer, Stephen King—just to name a few.
Who inspires you?
A lot of people. Mainly people who have made it but are humble enough to admit it was not an easy road and that they had many knocks along the way.
I like that. It really is our reaction to our challenges and obstacles which make us who we are.
What’s your dream job and do you think you’ll do it one day?
My dream job is to become a full time author. I love writing and receiving comments from people who love my work and ask me when the next book is coming. Right now I am working hard on more books and will write in different genres eventually. I am also studying a diploma in creative writing to grow as a writer for the future.
Do you prefer ebook or hardcopy?
Haha, the age-old question, hey. I personally love a book in paperback but I do appreciate ebooks with the space saved and that you can take hundreds of books with you anywhere.
I am not into Romance (a little romance inside a story is good) and Erotica. Also too much politics and legal jargon in a book has me glazing over. I love good twists and turns but I like it without the above.
What’s your favourite pet?
It is definitely our dog. We have new Siberian Husky, he is only 6 months old. Unfortunately my garden no longer exists but he is so full of love, affection and playfulness that he is forgiven – especially with those puppy dog eyes.
Aww, Dusk is totally gorgeous. I'm not surprised he's ruling the roost at your place.
Please check out Katrina's links here to connect with her and her books.
Book trailer: http://youtu.be/tk7s4JSVRVE
Jayden & the Mysterious Mountain
- Fantasy Sci-Fi Network:
The Fantasy & Sci-Fi Network is a collection of authors, bloggers, and reviewers who are passionate about finding and creating quality fantasy/sci-fi books which are also teen safe (G, PG, or PG-13 rated). The FSF Network believes it is possible to create fantastic works of fantasy and science fiction without resorting to graphic violence, explicitly harsh language, or sex.
- FSFN website: http://fsfnet.com/
- Twitter hashtag: #FSFNAuthor