Kate had me at "What if..." --- which isn't even technically part of RED, but from those two words, I fell in love with everything about her Transplanted Tales, and I'm jealous that Nicole, super agent, gets to read Kate's books first! *I joke. Maybe*
Now, at the end of the interview, be sure to enter the giveaway, because Kate's prizes include any ONE of her Transplanted Tales (e-book) and The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression.
Question 1: Please share with us how your relationship developed.
It almost didn't! When Nic requested the full of RED I immediately sent it to her, but she never received the message!! Luckily, she contacted me again a month or so later to see if I was still planning to send it. You'd better believe that I made sure she received the manuscript the second time around. A few months after that she *kind of* passed on the manuscript. I'll let her explain that part. ;)
I contacted her again when my editor made the offer on RED a week before Christmas, and Nic said she actually had been planning to call me after the holidays. I signed with her a day or two later when we had a chance to talk on the phone. It was an unbelievable week, let me tell ya! And Nic has been amazing agent from the word "go"! I honestly can't imagine having a more dedicated, talented, and caring advocate in my corner, and I'm so proud to call her my friend and mentor.
When we reconnected, I literally did a happy dance. I was SOO psyched to be able to work with her.
Kate is incredibly prolific and talented. I LOVE HER! I think she's brilliant. The writing is always tight and witty. The imagination she breathes into each manuscript, it's unsurpassed. Tess, Nate, Lav, Nicky Blue, Gideon... I find her characters to be the perfect combination of strength and vulnerability. They're REAL. She's an author to watch!
Question 2: Please give us a look into the typical day for you.
I wake up at 5:30 (or so...) and somehow manage to get everyone ready and out the door by around 7:00. I have a crazy-long commute to my day-job, so I spend a lot of time brainstorming on story ideas, plot points, characters, etc., while I'm in the car. After putting in the hours at my office, I head home to the general chaos of running my kids to their various activities, helping with homework, and trying to hang with my hubby now and then! The "magic" of writing happens after everyone goes to bed and on the weekends. I usually collapse around 11:00 or 11:30 each night (except on weekends when I'm up until the wee hours of the morning).
My days begin early and end, um, embarrassingly late. The 'office hours' are when I process/negotiate contracts, queries, and respond to emails. I make my phone calls to editors in the afternoons. We discuss marketing, promo, upcoming release dates. There is correspondence to our film and foreign rights agents. Then there are the submissions and following up on them. A lot of my job is centered on ensuring that my authors are receiving the attention they deserve.
The afternoon and evening is reading/editing time. I work closely with my authors and we might edit a manuscript several times before sending it out on submission. It's the 'quiet' time at night when I can bang out a lot of work.
Question 3: What is it about The Transplanted Tales that caught your attention to write it (Kate) and to represent it (Nicole)?
The idea for the Transplanted Tales came to me while having a what-if conversation with my son who was around 8 years old at the time. He asked the question, "What if fairytale characters were living next door to us?" And the idea just sparked. I immediately heard Tess "Red" Little's voice in my head--and if you know Tess, you know she can be a persistent pain in the butt.
I finished the manuscript right around the time fairytale retellings/reimaginings were really starting to explode in popularity, so the timing just happened to work out great. Shows like ONCE UPON A TIME and GRIMM came out when my manuscript for RED was already under consideration with my editor. I've honestly never seen these shows, but I'm certainly grateful for their popularity and will have to check them out at some point! :)
For me, it was taking something we're all familiar with, the fairytales of our childhoods, and making it fresh. Forget about what you think you know about Little Red Riding Hood, Tess "Little Red" is a kick-ass heroine. She's smart, capable, a woman who knows what she wants. I LOVE that these characters are unique.
Kate blends humor, action and suspense. Her writing is polished and very very witty. And there are layers, to the characters, to the plots. You don't know how the story will end, but then when you reach the last pages, you want to savor every word. You don't want the story to end. What's more, the stories stick with you. I love characters that are memorable.
I don't know that I can adequately convey just how talented Kate is as an author. I am incredibly blessed to be able to work with her!!!
Question 4: If you could cast the characters in The Transplanted Tales, who would you cast and why?
I've never been able to nail down an actress for Red, but Amy Lee of the band Evanescence is much how I picture her in my head. Her eyes are electric in every sense of the word. I had better luck with some of the others:
Nate Grimm - Clive Owen (dark and brooding but a gentle side that's dead-sexy--LOL, no pun intended)
Seth Wolf - Bradley Cooper (lean and muscular but with an everyman quality and quiet strength that I love)
Nicky Blue - Jensen Ackles (sexy, bad-boy look but can pull off Nicky's gentleness and fierce loyalty toward the people he loves)
Lavender Seelie - Natalie Portman or maybe Jewel Staite (both women have a very sweet, adorable beauty but an inner strength that comes through)
Trish Muffet - Sophia Myles (looks delicate and fragile but can be a total badass)
You can check out some of my other casting picks at: http://pinterest.com/kateserine/character-inspiration/
Oooh, this is fun! For my picks, I'd cast the following:
Red Little--Angelina Jolie. Hands-down.
Nate Grimm--Eric Bana or Christian Bale
Seth Wolf--Gerard Butler
Nicky Blue--Ryan Gosling
Lavender Seelie--I agree, Natalie Portman
Trish Muffet--Emma Stone
Question 5: What’s the best piece of advice you can give our readers about getting published?
Keep writing, be persistent, and always, ALWAYS be professional. The industry is smaller than you think and people talk. Make sure they're talking about you for the right reasons.
Ditto to the above. And most importantly, NEVER GIVE UP. Keep writing. And then keep writing some more. Read.
Just for fun…
Morning or night?
Author Kate: Morning, believe it or not. But I require copious amounts of coffee.
Agent Nicole: Night. Late night.
Television or radio?
Author Kate: Hmm... Tough one. Depends on my mood. I love cheesy horror films, martial arts movies, and anything about the paranormal (go figure). But I need music to feed my muse.
Agent Nicole: Neither, lol. Radio, only while I'm driving. I rarely watch TV. The hour or two spent glued to the tube is time I could spend doing other things. Although I find the cooking channel soothing, and I like action flicks.
Laptop or desktop?
Author Kate: Desktop at work; laptop at home; iPad and iPhone when on the go.
Agent Nicole: Laptop. Droid phone. I've 'killed' four phones in the last 18 months. Note to self: stop reading books on phone...
Strawberries or blueberries?
Author Kate: Strawberries (preferrably covered in chocolate)
Agent Nicole: Blueberries. Love them! I'm a snacker, eating pretty continuously throughout the day. Blueberries, blackberries, almonds... they are my fave go-to foods.
Pool or ocean?
Author Kate: Pool. In my opinion, the ocean is best admired from the shore.
Agent Nicole: Haa! Damn, Kate, I didn't know we were so different! I love the ocean.
Email or voicemail?
Author Kate: Email; it's tough to catch me on the phone.
Agent Nicole: Not voicemail. Texts are great for me. Emails too. Gotta love today's technology, my phone let's me do everything. :-)
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