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Today, I'm excited to welcome author Katie Mettner. Her first novel, Sugar's Dance is available now. You can get it here. Her second novel, Sugar's Song was released on 11/9/12 and Katie graciously agreed to answer some of my questions. Katie is a real sweetheart and she is super supportive of her fellow writers. I'm very happy to have her here on my blog!
First, let me give you the low down on her new novel:
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. Psalm 56
Love is a many-splendored thing and no one who knows this better than Tula “Sugar” DuBois. As the New Year breaks over her lodge on the frozen shores of Lake Superior, Sugar is wrapped in the arms of the man she loves, dancing in the New Year with her brother and his new wife. Enter the mysterious Lillie who comes to the lodge for Christmas break seeking safe haven. No one knows her secrets and she’s determined to keep it that way. Having had secrets to keep Sugar is compelled to love and protect Lillie, determined to give her the strength to reveal what she’s hiding before it’s too late. When Lillie comes face-to-face with her past will she let revenge steal her future? Sugar calls upon all who love Lillie to dance a dangerous samba to save the young girl before she is delivered to the Father by evil... As the tulips sprout through the snow covered ground there is new love, new hope and new life, and together they will share Sugar’s Night...
Get it here.
And here is the interview:
1. What was your inspiration for writing the first book in your series, Sugar’s Dance?
I was laying awake in my hospital bed on February 17, 2011 and said to myself “First day of the rest of your life what are you going to do with it?” Sugar had been in my mind's eye for many years, but she had no definition and no story yet and suddenly she did. As I laid there I saw her story. My inspiration was laced with my love for ballroom dancing, my feeling of loss when I couldn’t dance anymore and then that journey of learning to walk again and that glimmer of hope on the horizon that I could dance again after so many years. Add to that my love and dedication to organ donation and I knew that had to be a big part of Sugar. When I got done writing it felt like I had put everything I loved in a jar, shook it up and when it spilled out Sugar’s Dance was there.
2. Had you always conceived of it as a series or did the idea for Sugar’s Song come after you had written the first book?
I love reading series and I really didn’t even plan to publish Sugar’s Dance to be honest, so there was no thought of a second one. I got to the end of Sugar’s Dance and did think, “Is this the end of her story?” I didn’t have an answer because I was already nervous about publishing the first one, but the fans of Sugar did and the answer was a resounding “NO!” So with demands for the rest of her story I knew the second one would be Sugar’s Song, she had her dance and now she would find her voice. When I announced on Twitter that I was writing Sugar’s Song a friend of mine decided to tweet my website, but he ran out of room, so he used “author of The Sugar Series” and with that one tweet the series was born! I was having trouble titling the final in the series (Due out in November 2013) and my youngest son looked at me and said “This is easy mom, Sugar’s Night, because Van is her knight in shining armor just like dad is yours.” And so Sugar’s Night it will be and we will learn the rest of the story about Julie and waltz with Sugar as she does the one thing she never thought she’d ever be able to do again, step out onto the floor as a competitor in ballroom dance.
3. Did you always want to be a writer? When did you start writing and why?
I always loved reading and with that writing. I loved how words went together to form sentences and the more of them you wrote the duller your pencil got. But what I loved the most was when I finished I had something that could make people happy or sad or all those other emotions we have as humans. I like to have them laughing one minute and crying the next, but finishing with the thought “yeah, that was worth reading.” I enjoyed writing speeches and short plays in high school for my forensics team and then forayed into writing flash fiction and children’s stories. After I got married and had three children my writing time was nil and I put it on the back burner for many years. It was in February 2011 that I finally felt like I had the time to sit down and really put my thoughts down and define Sugar’s world.
4. Can you tell us a little about your writing process?
My writing process is pretty ADD! I’m all over the place and I would probably drive a lot of writers crazy. I don’t use a layout or any kind of chapter diagram. I write what is going to be the climatic scene first and build the rest of the book around that scene. In Sugar’s Dance I wrote the scene where she went over the bridge for the first time first in 10 years and then the rest of the story took shape around that. I always have the last line of the book before I have the first! In Sugar’s Song I wrote the scene in the woods with Sugar first (many of you who read it will wonder really?) because there is such a big event that happens in this book, but to me the woods scene was the defining moment that cemented their relationship and changed how they approached life as a new family. I’m sure that my unusual writing style causes me extra work with going back and changing things as I decide to rewrite scenes, but it’s just how it works for me.
5. Who are your favorite writers or what are your favorite books?
I love any kind of romantic suspense/drama! I love the early works of Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark. Janet Evanovich has been a favorite because I am a series writer and I’m hoping her next book due out shortly finally takes Stephanie in a new direction. Brian Freeman is another favorite of mine, he also writes a series that takes place in Duluth
(Awww . . . thanks! I'm so flattered!)
6. What advice would you give to other writers?
Just keep writing and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Find a group of other local authors or a writers group that you can join and work with them to improve your writing. Bounce ideas of each other and get opinions from other people of all walks of life. Also, never ever proof your own work it’s a recipe for disaster!
(Hah hah hah . . . yes, sometimes we are too close to our own work to see the errors!)
Fast Five Facts Unrelated to Writing:
Favorite Song: Crazy Love Michael Buble (You’re asking ME this question? LOL)
Favorite Snack: Coffee (yes it can be a snack if you add milk)
Name of your childhood pet: Angel
Guilty Pleasure: Going back to bed after my kids and husband leave for school!
Movie theater—sit in the front or the back? I hate movie theaters, but when I HAVE to go, back (so I can read a book and no one notices).
Thank you Katie!
(P.S. Check back on 11/16/12 for the Finding Claire Fletcher book trailer!)
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