Interview with Katy Jones

Katy Jones

Interview Date: 8/28/2012


Katy Huth Jones grew up in a family where creative juices overflowed and made puddles to splash in. She has published two children's books (as Catherine Jones) and over 100 short stories, poems, and magazine articles in a variety of venues, including Highlights for Children, Cricket, Cobblestone, Boy's Quest, and anthologies such as Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword & Sorceress X, Chamberton Publishing's Limelight, and Mistletoe Madness. When not writing, Katy plays piccolo and flute in The Symphony of the Hills and teaches children the joys of writing, Shakespeare, and music. She lives with her husband Keith in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. Their two sons, whom she homeschooled, have flown the nest and live creative lives of their own. Best of all, she is a cancer survivor.

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I started writing in third grade because my wonderful teacher was passionate about the U.S. space program and "fired up" my imagination. My first story was a 20 page science fiction epic journey of intelligent ants visiting every planet in our solar system.

Kev's response: Ants!! We have enough of them already!

If you could have one superpower, what would it? (Assuming said power would be reasonably powerful.)

I'd like to fly, preferably without a cape. I'm so clumsy I'd get tangled up in it.

Kev's response: Plus, unless your flight had a field that reduced wind shear, a cape would flap and pull horribly on your neck... Then, there's the whole getting out of a car thing...

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

Spiderman. I'm a lifelong arachnophile and have had several pet spiders. Sadly none of them bit me and passed along the ability to shoot webs from my hands….

Kev's response: Uh, I'm trying to figure out the "fun" part of having a pet spider. (Especially if it ever got loose!)

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

My head is brimming full of characters whispering (or yelling) at me to tell their stories. Yep, it's crowded in there!

Kev's response: Avoid psychiatrists. Just saying. >:)

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

I always begin with character and have learned to let them tell me their stories. This seat-of-the-pants approach is messy but one fantastic roller coaster ride. Once the story is written down, however, my internal editor takes over and crafts the story into shape.

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

I don't have a rigid schedule but write every day and always carry a notebook wherever I go. I can instantly transport myself into the world of my characters and so can squeeze in extra writing time in doctors' offices or while waiting in airports and other places. I don't, however, write while driving!

Kev's response: Ooh, dimensional travel powers!

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

I love reading fantasy and science fiction, and although I've tried writing science fiction, I always come back to fantasy. My body has to live in the "real" world, but my head sure doesn't.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

The escape—getting to live inside characters' heads who become living and breathing to me. I cry if they have to die in the story.

Kev's response: Hmm, I just killed off some of the heroes of my 11 book series (none were primary, though), and I felt more like an evil mastermind than crying...

Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?

Killing favorite characters. Once it took me a whole year to write the last chapter of a novel because I tried to avoid the inevitable.

Kev's response: It can make a story far more serious when you do it, though.

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

It would be easier to tell you something NOT odd about me. Okay, I can tell you I have one blue eye and one green eye because of something weird that happened during my last cornea transplant. I wish that counted for a superpower!

Kev's response: Funky! Here I was going to bring up something about genetics, but you're going for some kind of modified biological mutant approach. Hmm. :)

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

I have to focus on one at a time, but I usually get ideas and entire scenes for other stories, which I stop to jot down so I don't forget them.

Have you ever wondered why evil people want to take over the world. Why not take under it?

Because it's easier. And because moles and shrews and gophers, while strong for their size, are too small to take over the entire world.

Kev's response: Yeah, and who wants to rule the shrews?!

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

Practical readers will buy more e-books. Impractical ones like me will continue to overstuff sagging bookcases.

Kev's response: Don't forget those who just like filling bookcases with books because it looks cool.

What are your current projects?

Waiting for edits on my fantasy sequel to Leandra's Enchanted Flute (Return to Finian Jahndra, coming Feb. 2013) while finishing part two of another epic fantasy which will need two and maybe three more parts to tell the entire story.

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

Just remember it's almost impossible to properly edit your baby, um, I mean novel all by yourself. Please make sure you have a GOOD editor. You don't want to be embarrassed years from now when you've grown as a writer.

Kev's response: Editing or no, I figure I'll be embarrassed regardless. Just from a change in writing style over time.

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)? or just search for Katy Huth Jones—I'm the one and only in the whole world, which is pretty cool!

Kev's response: Until my evil plan to clone you works! Then, there will be two! Katy, thank you for joining me. You definitely got "quirky me" to come out of the pantry (bad Kev, no cookies for you!). Good fortune on the set of sequels coming out soon!

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