Thursday, December 17, 2009

Authors Advising Authors #9 - Katie Allen

Katie Allen grew up in the Midwest with a horde of sisters (five) and one beleaguered brother. After an enjoyable four years working on her creative writing/art degree, and two not-so-pleasant years struggling toward her MBA, Katie somehow ended up as a mechanical engineer in Denver, Colorado. When her job disappeared during the recession, it was the kick in the rear she needed to head back to Minnesota and jump into writing full-time.

When she’s not writing (many books are necessary to pay for her unfortunate equine addiction), Katie rides horses, reads (of course), does gymnastics and looks for new (and occasionally insane) ways to research her books (cop school, anyone?).

Email: katie@ktallen.com

Website: http://www.ktallen.com/

Twitter: @KatieAllenBooks

How many books did you write, and how long were you writing, before your first acceptance?

I was writing seriously for about a year and wrote two books (including my first published book, Seeing Blind) before I was accepted.

What was the most surprising thing you learned after becoming published?

That my pre-published insecurity never went away. I’m working on my seventh book, and I still drive my editor nuts with my various writing-induced neuroses (sorry, about that, Kelli!). In all other facets of my life, I’m a fairly stable, easy-going person, but where my writing is concerned…sigh.

Got any advice or an enlightening story about dealing with revisions or working with editors?

I don’t know if it’s enlightening, but I have a story! After my first book was published and I was working on revisions to my second, I was assigned to a new editor. I was shocked at how traumatizing losing an editor was for me. I absolutely adore my current editor, and she did her best to make the transition easier on me, but I was a mess for a while. The moral of this story is that Kelli can never leave me. ;-)

What’s your favorite promo tip?

Tell everyone you meet about your books. The best promo is word-of-mouth, so do your best to get things started. I gave a signed paperback copy of Seeing Blind to the cop who responded when my house was burglarized the other day. She was thrilled.

Did you have an agent when you sold your first story? Do you have one now?

Nope (to both questions).

Do you feel there’s a stigma attached to writing erotica/Romantica™?

With some people, sure. I don’t care, though—I tell everyone I meet what I write. I’ve had a couple of shocked reactions, but overall, people think it’s great.

How do you handle writer’s block, or do you believe there’s no such thing?

I’ve never really experienced it, but I can’t say for sure that it doesn’t exist (I’m a writer’s block agnostic). For me, I need to be on a schedule. Some days I have to drag the words, one by one, out of my sullen brain and can barely hit a thousand words. On other days, my fingers can’t keep up with the flow of words and my total count is closer to four thousand. Either way, the important thing is that I block out time to write. If I waited to be fondled by my muse before starting, I’d never get anything written.

What lengths have you gone to in the name of research? What wouldn’t you do?

I’m going to cop school! Okay, you were probably referring to the sex research, but I’m excited about my upcoming law enforcement classes, so I had to mention them. I absolutely hate getting details wrong, so I’m a research fiend.

Hmm…what wouldn’t I do? I think I’d have to say “No, thank you” to most hands-on (whips-on?) BDSM research. (Actually, that probably should be “No, thank you, Sir.”) I just don’t really care for pain, and I’m a little claustrophobic, so the bondage thing isn’t for me. I can’t get facials because the esthetician has to get too close to my face. It freaks me out.

What’s the most importance piece of advice you have for aspiring (not yet published) authors?

Quit editing in place and finish the manuscript. It’s so much easier to edit a completed first draft than it is to rewrite the first part over and over (I still have to remind myself of this when I’m a few chapters into a new book).

Would you offer any word of warning for aspiring or new authors about the writing profession or the publishing industry?

Don’t quit your day job—at least not right away. It takes a while to earn enough money from the books, and heat and food are good things to have.

Anything you want to share with readers about yourself, or previous, current or upcoming EC releases?

Sure! Chasing Her Tail was recently released by EC. It’s a were-dog ménage with plenty of humor, action and wagging tails (oh yes, and lots of hot sex!). I’m currently working on a series featuring five men who’ve escaped from a lab, where they were subjects of an experiment intended to create the perfect soldier. You can check out all of my books on my Katie Allen author page on the EC website.

3 comments:

Laurann Dohner said...

Great post and great advice!

Flick said...

oh how I love going over and over and over those first few chapters. Anything rather than tackle writing more of the actual plot! ha ha

barbara elsborg

Katie Allen said...

Thanks, Laurann! I'm glad it's helpful. Giving author-ish advice always reminds me of how much I still have to learn.:-)

Hi Barbara--Exactly. :-) My powers of procrastination are mighty.