Here’s our author for today’s Six Question Saturday!
Katy Huth Jones grew up in a family where creative juices overflowed and made puddles to splash in. Since 1992 she has published over 100 short stories, magazine articles, and books, including 2 MG fantasies, 4 YA fantasies with a 5th to be released later this year, 1 YA historical fiction, 2 early readers, 1 YA nonfiction, and 1 poetry collection. She looks for every excuse to dress up and wishes she could have a real dragon.
Now… on to the six questions! If you have any questions of your own, please leave them in the comments, and hopefully Katy will drop by and answer them.
Question 1: Is there another life experience you’ve had that you believe compares well to writing your first novel in terms of both the difficulty and sense of accomplishment? If not, what do you think might compare well?
Question 2: Tell us about that moment you decided to actually complete a novel. Had writing been on your mind for years, or was it a sudden impulse? What did you do next?
I’ve been writing stories since the second grade, but didn’t write my first novel until 1987. I had a vivid dream, discovered there was an actual legend based on my dream (from the Dogon tribe in Mali, Africa), and I spent a LOT of time doing old-fashioned research. Even though the idea was good as well as original, I didn’t fully understand novel structure, so the finished book wasn’t publishable. I eventually tossed it. It was not wasted effort, though. Nothing we write is wasted, but not all is publishable quality. In the beginning we are practicing and learning, and hopefully we continue to grow as writers.
Question 3: What’s your writing setup? How do you take notes? What’s your process to develop a first draft? Are any tools critical to your success?
I write my first drafts by hand, something I started thirty years ago, and it still works for me. I make a storyboard with photos and artwork that “speak” to me and have gotten plot ideas that way, but now I always begin with the characters, whether in novels or short stories. I learned the hard way that plot has to grow from characters’ motivations; one can’t force a plot or it doesn’t ring true.
Question 4: What book or series would you most love to see made into a movie or Netflix series? What would you fear the director or screenwriter would get wrong?
I think the medieval fantasy series He Who Finds Mercy would make a great Netflix series, but I would fear the director and screenwriter would try to make it like Game of Thrones, when I specifically made it clean.
Question 5: Can you write some verse (any form) that describes your hopes as an author? Or the theme of one of your books?
Even in the darkest times
Even when life crumbles all around
Love is the bond
That holds the worlds together
(This is not only the theme of most of my books but describes my life, writing and otherwise!)
Question 6: You step onto an elevator with three other people, all representatives of your core audience. The doors close. You have their attention until they get off 18 floors later. Buddy the elf is not on the elevator with you, so it’s going to be a quick trip. What do you say to convince them to read your novels?
Do you like to immerse yourself in new epic fantasy worlds? Do you have an interest in early medieval times? Do you like to follow the struggles and adventures of heroic young people? Do you like birds and dragons? If so, check out my MG and YA fantasy and historical fiction. My main characters, as young as age fourteen, can change the world, and so can you!