Talking with author Katherine McIntyre
I had the pleasure of sitting down with author Kathrine McIntrye today to chat about their latest book, Beyond Fairytales: Soul Solution.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I could dither about my massage therapist day job or my inexplicable hatred of Nicolas Cage, but I’d like to think I know myself pretty well on an emotional level. Obviously, I write. It’s been an obsession of mine since I was a kid, and something I sank my teeth into early on, one of the few things I’m absolutely stubborn about. I’m a control freak. I hate sudden change and when close friends move away, and really, I do a lot of subconscious things to control my environment. However, I’m open about my emotions and don’t keep many secrets for long. Most of what’s going on in my head spills out over the course of the day, because I like laying things out on front street. I’m an Aries-Taurus cusp, which means something to me because I adore astrology. And though I didn’t quite come to this realization until later in life, I’m very in tune with my empathy. Coincides with massage a lot, but feeling other people’s emotions comes naturally for me and has always helped with my writing.
What are you currently working on?
Better question, what am I not working on? I’m a project juggler, and I like having a cycle of one project I’m submitting, one I’m editing, one I’m writing, and during the busiest spells, one that’s percolating before I crack into edits. Right now I’m in a busy spell, since I just finished the sequel for An Airship Named Desire, titled A Tale of Two Airships. I’ve been going through rounds with my editor at Loose Id on Hunting for Spring, which hopefully will be out beginning of next year! It’s a sexy urban fantasy with fae hijinks and hunters of the supernatural, all set in my local city, Philly! If that’s not enough, a new idea just hit me for a dark paranormal romance that I just dove into. Snarky female lead who can tango with the biggest, baddest boys? I’m enjoying this story already.
If you could be any paranormal creature what would you be?
Probably a werewolf. Sure, the turning on a full moon would be a bitch (if we’re talking traditional werewolf and not some of the many variations), but there are a lot of perks. The strength and enhanced abilities are some, for sure. But what I like the most about wolf shapechangers is the sense of pack that tends to come with that territory. I love feeling like part of a big community and family, so the idea of all working together really appeals to me. I also enjoy the simplicity of the animalistic urges werewolves tend to have—I’m a pretty honest, straight shooter, so the idea of a lot of folks acting that way definitely has its perks.
For readers who haven't tried your books yet, how do you think your editor or loyal readers would describe your books?
If I have any trademarks in my books, it’s my penchant for take charge women, emotionally intelligent guys, and passionate speeches. What can I say? I write what I like. My husband has to laugh every time he reads one of my books, because if they’re heading off to face a big bad, there is always a big rallying speech beforehand.
I’m always looking for book recommendations. What books have you been reading? Would you recommend them?
I stepped into the Nalini Singh trap—help me! I can’t stop reading her Psy-Changeling Chronicles! Though the number one series I always recommend is Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews. I’m eternally a sucker for snarky dialogue. My tastes hop all across the board though, because over the summer I read Shiver, by Maggie Stievater, and utterly enjoyed that, same as I enjoyed her book the Scorpio Races.
How often does your muse distract you from day to day minutiae?
All the time. I’ll be the first to admit I’m a slob. I’d like to say I have no time, or I’m too busy, but that’d be a load of crap. The reality is, writing takes priority for me over more nitpicky housework and tidying. While I keep my appointments, I rely on those for social time—I’m not great for last minute stuff, especially if I’m in the throes of a new story. Even when I have downtime or slow points at my job, I keep my notebook on hand so I can jot down whatever crops into my mind.
Writer’s block—real or hype?
It’s a real thing for sure, but I do think you can fight through it. There are days where I sit in front of my laptop to write and I’m blinking at the page for a minute or so before I start opening tabs to social media to distract myself. I allow myself short bursts and then force myself back on task, even if it’s just a couple sentences at a time. Those days, writing’s tough. I think those are the writer’s block days, but I’m just so used to working through them that the habit overcomes so that I’m at least able to make a little headway. Other days, I sit and can write thousands upon thousands of words in a single sitting, and it all comes together and is glorious. I treasure those days, because they’re not often. That’s why I don’t necessarily buy into waiting for a muse to strike—because writing a novel in particular takes discipline. Like any craft, you have good and bad days, but time and consistent effort help you overcome the bad ones.
Do you prefer to extensively plot your stories, or do you write them as they come to you?
I write them as they hit. My slapdash method would make most plotters cry. I do keep notes, mostly as I go along, and I usually have some skeleton plot consisting of a couple bullet points here and there. But to be honest, I think my tendency has to do with my personality. I’m bad at hiding things, so if I know it’s coming, chances are it’ll be obvious to the readers. However, what I do LOVE about plotting as I go, is the constant problem solving involved. Every time I think I write myself into a corner, I can usually find a way out of it, and the challenge presses me to find innovative ways. I wrote a story recently where a character died—mind you, I had a vague plan that they were going to die, but no when and how. So I was writing through a chapter and I paused. That’s when it hit me—this, this is the moment. It was at the perfect time in the story and completely unexpected—to me, and the readers. Hence why I work best with that approach: my feelings as I’m writing my manuscript are genuine.
Do you have a favorite genre? Is it the same genre you prefer to write?
I adore urban fantasy and paranormal romance. I think it appeals to the kid in me that always saw magic in our world, but I love taking a familiar landscape and making it wildly different. Those stories tend to have a darker, slick-talking city vibe to them as well that I love reading and writing. Snarky banter is my absolute favorite. I’ll be honest too, while I enjoy high fantasy, sometimes I want a little more romance in it, but regular romance doesn’t tend to draw me in as much, because I miss the action. Hence urban fantasy and paranormal romance tend to be that perfect balance.
When and where do you like to write? Are there any favourite places you like to go?
I tend to write on my couch where my adorable cat Chrono loves to keep me company by curling up on my feet. If I’ve got a day off where I can spend a good chunk of time writing, I’ll head to our guest room/my office and set up my station there. Unfortunately, that means no kitty foot warmer. Though those are my two main places, I’ll also go out on the screen-in porch and write out there when it’s gorgeous out, or sometimes I’ll even take my laptop or a notebook to the picnic table outside. Meanwhile, I always carry a notebook to jot down scenes, or cram in writing whenever I can.
How much of your own personality bleeds into your characters?
Always aspects. There are certain characters that beat with the same heart as me, though they’re bolder and braver than I imagine I’d be. There are others that channel certain elements that aren’t only mine, but I think shared by many, like my fear of loneliness, and the constant pressure I put on myself to succeed. My husband laughs reading some of my main characters because they’re as honest and frank as I can be, as well as short tempered and resilient. I like to write fiery characters, though as of late, I’ve enjoyed exploring some different types, like survivalists, or more pragmatic leads. Even still, one thread exists throughout—they’re passionate at their core.
A Beyond Fairytales story
An Adaptation of String of Pearls by Hans Christian Andersen
For Erik Anderson, the Copenhagen line is his curse. He takes the train every night en route to collect souls. Like any lovelorn fool, he bargained his own long ago, and now pays the price—a lifetime of loneliness as a grim reaper. Stay distant—that’s been his mantra and what keeps him sane.
Until Mina Castner drops into his life like a whirlwind, one spilled drink leading to staying up until dawn with the woman. He believed one night couldn’t hurt, but he sorely underestimated her determination. Every encounter between them is a reprieve from the guilt of reaping souls every night, but it can’t last. Even if she sparks long buried feelings, and even if her sheer presence intoxicates him, he can’t let this continue. For humans, his touch is poison, and if he slips up, it could cost her life.
The whole date thing had been a bad idea.
She rounded a corner, stepping onto the street where the club was located. The Hive stood out even from a couple of blocks away. Its glass-and-steel exterior was slick, and lights flashed on different floors, granting glimpses of the chaos inside. Like other top-notch places, this one didn’t advertise—no sign out front since the building was imposing enough. A strain of music filtered from it, but the noise was muted—she’d bet the inside was the opposite.
She wrinkled her nose as she got closer. Great. A line. My perfect Saturday night—waiting in a line to get into a loud room with blinding lights, blaring music, and sweaty guys. No thanks.
One glance at the people waiting to get inside and she wanted to turn around. Caked on makeup, glittery dresses, and overly gelled hair dominated the crowd, all part of a scene in which she didn’t fit. A slight breeze carried the cloud of perfume teeming around the line her way. She fought not to gag.
Strands of her auburn-dyed hair kept slipping from her bun and trailing along her shoulders. Why did I even bother doing my hair? Once I get inside, the sheer heat from the place will frizz it out. Mina sighed, trying to calm her frazzled nerves. This is why I don’t date.
Up ahead, the bouncers were either admitting people or turning them away at the door. She joined the end of the line, checking her phone while she waited. He was already inside. Joy. Too late to suggest a detour to a coffee shop instead.
A man tall enough to stand out approached the entrance. With hoops in his eyebrows, ears, and, chances were, elsewhere, too, he didn’t mesh with the rest of the crowd. Nor was he wearing a polo or suit, the type of club attire the rest of these guys wore. Instead, his sleeveless, fitted hoodie made an impression of its own as did his tailored black pants, which were accented by his leather stompers. Even in a sack, the man would’ve looked good. When the guy opened the club door, the bouncers didn’t even give him a second glance. Seems they know their regulars.
She hoped her date stacked up. The line moved forward a couple of paces, and she crossed her arms over her chest. This was going to be a long night.
A modern day Renaissance-woman, Katherine McIntyre has learned soapmaking, beer brewing, tea blending, and most recently roasting coffee. Most of which make sure she’s hydrated and bathed while she spends the rest of her time writing. With a desire to travel and more imagination than she knows what to do with, all the stories jumping around in her head led to the logical route of jotting them down on paper. Not only can her poetry and prose be found in different magazines, but she’s had an array of novels and novellas published through Decadent Publishing, Boroughs Publishing, Hazardous Press, and Jupiter Gardens Press. For more casual content, she’s a regular contributor on CaffeineCrew.com, a geek news website.