Author Interviews

Interview with Kate Lowell on 23-December-2013

Author's Interview

Let's start with you telling us a little bit about yourself, Kate.
Well, as the bio says, I live on the east coast of Canada, as far from water as you can get, which isn't far enough, since water seems to be the bane of my existence and has proven capable of travelling many miles, by ways seen and unseen, to mess with my life. I live in the middle of nowhere, which is great, because it means I can go out to feed the ponies in my pyjamas and no one will see it, since I hate getting dressed. I like hard rock music, and I'm currently addicted to Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead and David Tennant's version of Much Ado About Nothing (omg, SO funny!). I hate cooking. And housework. But I like banging things together with a hammer and this year for Christmas I’ve asked for a circular saw. For reasons.

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
I once set my nose on fire with a marshmallow. I still have the scar—see? *points* Oh, right. Internet. Well, it’s there. Trust me. I’m a writer. I’d never make anything up.

When did you start writing? Is it something you've always been interested in, or did it develop later in life?
I've been writing since I was a child, but only took it seriously enough to start looking for feedback and researching how to do it properly when I got older. But telling stories has been my thing for as long as I can remember. (Not that my mother always appreciated my—uh, imaginative tendencies.)

Has it been everything you thought it would be or not?
It has, actually. I've really enjoyed it. I love the challenge of trying to get better with each book, and the opportunity to share my 'What ifs' with other people and seeing if they think I hit the mark. Everyone I’ve worked with has been fantastic and I’ve met people that have broadened my horizons amazingly.

How did it feel when you realized that your very first book was going to be published?
Oh, I spazzed. Totally. It was embarrassing. I think they heard my squee in Britain.

What's your favorite part of writing a book?
The very beginning, when all the possibilities are still open and the ideas are coming fast and furious. The very end, where I'm tying up the last loose threads and everything is zooming out my fingertips and onto the screen. It's an amazing feeling.

Middles are AWFUL!

Do you get time to read for pleasure? If so, which books do you enjoy?
I don't have much time right now for sit-down reading, but my commute to the day job is pretty long, so I've gotten back into audiobooks and they're so much better than they were the last time I tried them. I listen to a lot of mainstream science fiction and fantasy, with a few non-fiction books thrown in for variety. Right now, I'm working my way through Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself series, and then I have a non-fiction book on sociopaths lined up after that.

Are there any other genres you'd be interested in writing?
I want to write them all!! I know, that's very greedy of me. But my reading tastes are broad-ranging, so I expect it's only natural for me to want to try out a number of different genres. I expect I'll eventually settle down into one or two, with occasional escapes into others. But when I look at my Work In Progress list, which is where I keep track of ideas that have fleshed themselves out enough to be able to stand as stories, I find fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, contemporary, suspense/thriller, and a couple of flavors of paranormal.

Please tell us a little about your most recent release.
I had a Christmas release from Loose Id on December 3. It's a sweet romance about two guys who work at the same video game company. Rob's desperate for a traditional Christmas with his loved ones, but circumstances conspire against it. Shawn goes above and beyond the call of duty for any boyfriend to give Rob what he's dreaming of. It's a little geeky, and my penchant for characters coming up with weird pet names for each other is well in evidence.

What can we look forward to in the future from you?
I’m hoping for a spring release of either the steampunk or the prequel to my paranormal romance Bite Me Tender. The steampunk involves an airship captain who falls in love with a burlesque dancer in late 1860s San Francisco. The paranormal is in response to requests to find out the story of how Glyn and Levi met and fell in love—and if you’ve read Bite Me Tender, let me tell you that Glyn is in fine form in this one. Lol!

Anything you want to say to your readers?
Um, hi? *waves nervously* I'm a little shy, despite what it might seem like on paper (or screen).

Actually, I want to say thanks to all the people that took a chance on a newbie writer. I hope I’m learning and improving enough to make the risk worth it. It’s hard to put yourself out there, and I have an issue with scuttling myself by wanting things to be perfect, so it’s good to hear that people are enjoying the stories. I do check on reviews, to see if there’s a common theme—things I’ve done well or poorly—so I know what I need to think about more intensely in the next manuscript.

Thank you so much for the interview, Kate!

Kate Lowll's most recent releases:
Christmas Goes Analog

When Rob’s dad was injured by an uninsured driver, it spelled the end of Rob’s carefree childhood and, more important to Rob, the idyllic Christmases they used to have. Hard work and sacrifice nets him a degree in computer programming and then a contract at a rapidly-growing video game company. Things are looking up, especially when he meets his new System Administrator. But the closer it gets to Christmas, the more bugs there are in the system.

Shawn’s found him. The Guy. But Rob’s had it rough and it’s been years since he’s been anything but responsible. It all comes boiling to the surface when a family financial crisis is followed by a work emergency that ruins Rob’s plans to bring Shawn home to meet the family over Christmas holidays.
With Rob’s mood growing darker the closer it gets to Christmas, Shawn needs to find some way to give Rob the Christmas he’s so desperate for. And he just might have the plan…

Bite Me Tender

Levi is a werewolf. His boyfriend, and the love of his life, is a witch. After living together for three years, they decided to commit to each other and change Glyn into a werewolf. Levi hoped the pack would accept Glyn more readily as a wolf. Glyn hoped it would eliminate his erratic magic and erase the OCD it caused. One year later, they’re still trying…

Levi can’t understand why his bite won’t change Glyn and he’s running out of time to figure it out. His pack is being threatened by a larger one, he’s facing dissension in the ranks of his own ruling council and Glyn’s grandmother is poking her witchy nose into their relationship.

Under threat of a violent takeover, the council pushes another potential wolf at Levi, infuriating Glyn and adding weight to Levi’s own doubts. Council machinations divide the two lovers, leaving both men questioning their lives, their love, and what they’re willing to endure for each other.

Full moon is a time of power and change. It could be a disaster, or it could be the key to happily ever after. If they’re strong enough to wrestle their happiness from its bloody claws.

Forgotten Menagerie Anthology

Blurb for Nuts About You:
Nathan’s been crushing on one of his regular Bulk Mart customers for a while now. In squirrel form, he sits on Vince’s bird feeders, munching on seeds and enjoying the eye candy. Until the day Vince notices him raiding the feeder…

Excerpt for Christmas Goes Analog:
At five o’clock on Christmas Eve, Shawn closed the door on his workspace, grabbed his and Rob’s coats from the staffroom, and went to pry his boyfriend away from the computer. Rob had been working crazy hours, he and the rest of the staff who’d drawn the figurative short straw. The mood in the building was grim and even all of Shawn's clowning hadn't been able to coax a smile from Rob since the beginning of the week. It was like the whole company was infected with the mood of the game's crazy protagonist.

Tonight, however, Rob was spending the evening with Shawn, not with a revenge-bent digital killer, and he was going to enjoy himself. Or Shawn might be going all Rage of the Assassin himself, but not a tv screen.

Shawn stopped in the doorway to Rob’s room and watched his boyfriend work for a moment, before clearing his throat and saying, “It’s five. Let’s go.”

Rob wore his genius wrapped up in a problem expression, his fingers flying over the keyboard. “I’m not quite finished.”

“Yes, you are. That can wait until tomorrow. Do I have to cut the power on you?” He reached for the cords plugged into the wall beside the computer tower.

Rob spun in his chair. “You wouldn’t!”

“Watch me. It’s Christmas Eve. I want to spend it with you.”

Rob stared doubtfully at him for a few moments, then said, “Five minutes. I need to patch this.”

Shawn checked his watch. “I’m counting.”

Rob turned back to the keyboard, and the computer screen spit out a pile of code so fast Shawn couldn’t even follow it. Then, with a couple of clicks of his mouse, Rob saved his work, backed it up—twice—and shut down the computer.

Shawn’s lips curled in a small smile. “Four minutes, thirty-three seconds, Software. Not bad.”

“Lots of incentive.” Rob sidled up to him, his eyes dancing with laughter now that he wasn’t bogged down in the game code, and ran his tongue over Shawn’s earlobe.

Shawn gasped and leaned into Rob’s body. “How hungry are you, anyway?”

“Not ve—” Rob started to answer, but was interrupted by a loud growling from his stomach. He glanced at his belly, wearing a comically betrayed expression. “Traitor.” It growled again, and he sighed. “Maybe we better feed it before I take you home and make sure you end up on the naughty list.”

“So long as your name’s there too.”

“I know how much you like company, so I guess I can make that sacrifice.”

“Hmmph.” Shawn hit the light switch and herded Rob toward the front door. The building was silent except for the hum of the heating system and the odd click or crack from the walls themselves. Everyone else had already left, but like Rob, they’d be back tomorrow afternoon, or working by VPN, for the final steps before the game went live the day after.

They shrugged into their coats as they walked, turned off the last of the lights, and locked the door behind them. Their breath misted out in front of them as they walked to the car. It wasn’t icy cold, but enough below freezing that Rob’s teeth started chattering right away, just from the change in temperature. Rob was always cold—he blamed it on having been raised in apartments and never playing outside. Not for the first time this winter, Shawn wished he’d bought a remote starter for his car, instead of the Arkham Asylum Lego kit he’d picked up in September. Tonight, especially, he didn’t want Rob getting chilled.

Not until they got to the start of his Christmas surprise.

When they were in the car and waiting for the engine to warm up enough to defrost the window, Shawn pulled a strip of black fabric out of his pocket and turned to face Rob. “Okay, I’m taking you for a surprise, but if it’s going to stay a surprise, you have to put this on.”

Rob looked at him like he had two heads. “You’re making me put on a blindfold to go home for supper?”

Shawn shook his head and pushed the cloth at Rob. “No, I’m taking you out. But I want to surprise you. So put it on. Please?”

With a short laugh, Rob took the blindfold and tied it over his eyes. “There.”

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