Kait was kind enough to do a Q&A with Paromantasy about her book, her life, and what it means to be an author.
Let's give a warm welcome to Kait Nolan!
Tell us about yourself.
I am a self-professed paranormal romance addict with a book collection that could, if laid end to end, circle my house about five times. I’ve got a Master’s degree in clinical psychology and spend my days juggling research and teaching at the local university. My lunches, nights, and spare five minutes here and there are devoted to spinning tales of paranormal worlds to take you out of Real Life—and creating creatures that could eat my boss. Hey, don’t judge; it’s therapy in its own way.
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
I was 12, and I’d just met my childhood best friend. God knows why, but after our first day of hanging out, we decided to write a book—featuring us as the main characters, of course. As time passed, the book got rewritten each year, the characters aging. And I was the one who always did the updating. I guess at that point I was hooked. Enough so that I submitted my first proper novel for publication when I was 15. That one, thank God, never saw the light of day.
Where did you get the idea for Forsaken by Shadow from?
I can’t remember now, which came first—the idea for the Shadow Walkers or the set up of somebody waking up with no memory. It all kind of runs together in my head. But I guess the root of it was that I’m a sucker for paranormal stories where one of the couple is human and one’s not. The world I’ve created for this story (and all to follow) is one in which humans simply can’t know that the paranormal world exists. That’s the prime directive handed down by the Council of Races (the paranormal government). Humans with that knowledge are supposed to be executed. But I kept wondering what if someone wasn’t executed. What if their memory was wiped. And what if somebody needed to come back and unwipe it down the line… That’s kind of the seed I was working from.
Are your characters based on people you know?
Less on people I know in person and more loosely off of other fictional characters I’ve seen on TV or in movies or in other books. Gage, for example, is kind of loosely based on Elliott from Leverage. They had this great episode where he infiltrates an MMA fight club, and that was where the inspiration for what Gage has been DOING since he lost his memory came from.
Did you do much research for your book?
I watched a LOT of MMA (mixed martial arts) and UFC (Ultimate Fighting Champion) fights on YouTube as research for the fighting style. I’ve got some background in martial arts, and my husband has an eighth degree black belt, so I definitely had some knowledge of fighting to begin with, but there’s no substitute for watching it in terms of being able to describe it fluidly. I’m also a big fan of Fight Science and Deadliest Warrior.
Would you rather be: A Shadow Walker like Gage or a Fire Caster born of an Elemental like Embry?
Firecaster, definitely. Embry totally grew out of my lifelong wish that I could throw fire. I have no idea where this desire comes from. Maybe because as a child I looked exactly like Drew Barrymore from Firestarter. Maybe because I can be a real hothead. I’ve just always thought that would be really cool.
Who are some of your favorite authors and why?
Love love love Nalini Singh. She writes exactly the kind of paranormal romance I like, and her prose is gorgeous to boot. I’m also addicted to J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, which is its own strange form of crack (I keep coming back even though she does things that I hate). And I can’t get enough of Cassandra Clare—The Mortal Instruments trilogy blew my mind earlier this year and left me dying for more.
What books are you reading now?
At the moment I’m reading I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, which is really kind of fascinating. I’m also in the middle of Jeri Smith-Ready’sShade in audio.
Are you working on any other projects we should watch out for?
Absolutely! Just now I am winding up Devil’s Eye, another short novella I hope to have released in December. It’s going to be a freebie (well everywhere but Amazon because I can’t list it free there), available in multiple formats. The story follows Mick Guidry, the wolf-shifter bartender from Forsaken By Shadow, and his lady, demi-goddess Sophie Hayden. It’s kind of a mix of Indiana Jones, a zombie flick, and Romancing the Stone. You know, with a demon thrown in for fun.
And once that’s off my plate, I’m diving headfirst into an unrelated paranormal YA that’s based on the Red Riding Hood mythos. Red takes a familiar story and turns it entirely on its ear in a way that’ll make sure you never think of Red Riding Hood in the same way again. I expect to have it ready to release in late Spring of 2011.
What made you go the Self Publishing route?
It started out as a plan to get my name out there and begin building a readership and a platform. These days nobody gets published without it (well hardly). As things moved along, publishing went to the Agency model for the Big 5, and publishers and agents were telling their authors, “Don’t quit your day job.” Since the whole point is to eventually be able to quit my day jobs, that kind of soured me on going the traditional route. Plus, with everything I juggle, it would be difficult for me to deal with New York deadlines just now. This way might be slower, but I think that eventually I will earn enough through the passive income stream of my books to say adios to my boss and write full time.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or publishing experience?
It’s all been so positive, I can’t think of anything I’d change. Lots of folks have said they thought FBS should have been a full length novel or was trying to be. It wasn’t. I never intended to expand it that far. It’s an introduction to my world, so it’s supposed to leave you with lots of questions. That’s the whole point—to suck you in to my series. :D
What do you do when you are not writing?
When I’m not reading or writing, I’m hanging out in my kitchen, concocting recipes for my food blog, Pots and Plots. And these days I’m mired in home improvement projects we get ready to sell our house next summer.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never underestimate the power of a good crit partner. I absolutely cannot do without mine, Susan Bischoff. We fully admit we’re kind of co-dependent. I was lucky enough to stumble into a relationship with mine. For those who aren’t so fortunate, I started Crit Partner Match.
Tell the readers what to expect from Forsaken by Shadow.
They should expect a fast, action-packed ride with a new paranormal mythology and sizzling romance that’ll leave them wanting more (I hope!).
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I suppose the biggest thing I’d like to say is thank you. For indie authors there’s no support from a publisher, no advance, no marketing campaign. We survive by the goodwill and kindness of readers for deciding to take a chance on us and telling their friends. I appreciate each and every one of you!
Kait is a great author and person who is fun, kind and down to earth. Her novel, Forsaken by Shadow, is a thrill ride of a read that will grip you from the very first page and take you on a roller coaster ride all the way through the end. I can't wait to read more books from this uber talented writer.
If you have read her book, love the interview or just want to know more, leave a comment and we will get back to you! Be sure to check out my review of Forsaken by Shadow tomorrow.