Today the lovely Katie Masters, author of The Bone Dancer and the soon to be released Brenna Morgan and the Iron Key, has agreed to join us.
Well, lets get started I guess!
Your novel is called, The Bone Dancer, what can you tell us about it?
The Bone Dancer is a fantasy novella taking place in the magical but harsh desert county of Cassir. It focuses on Ansi, second oldest daughter to the chief of her caravan tribe, who wants to be free to dance. Unfortunately for Ansi, her strict mother isn’t too keen on the idea, and Ansi’s hope of being one dwindles until the legendary Bone Dancers arrive, offering her an escape, but at what cost? (I hooked you in, right?)
What inspired you to write this book?
I wish I could say that it came of a dream or hard work, or copious amounts of studying. It didn’t. A muse came to me, asked how I was, and then dropped this world into my head before tra-la-la-ing off to some other writer. Happens all. The. TIME.
Were there any parts of this story that were particularly difficult to write?
Honestly the hardest part of writing this story was finding out when to stop. I’m terrible at that sometimes. I just want to keep writing and writing, and Ansi was so fun to write it was hard to tell her ‘no more’. She was very unhappy.
Do you have a favourite character? Tell us about them.
Oh man that’s so hard! Of all four of the main characters in this world I’ve created I think my favorite has to be Ansi. Kiiva (the main character from my second novella) is really close though. But Ansi is my favorite because she’s all the things I wish I could be. She’s confident in herself and can stand up to people even when afraid of them. She also happens to speak her mind a lot—which is something I wish I were better at.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book? Anything weird you needed to research?
Honestly this is fantasy world, so while I draw on real life cultures, most of it is made up by me. Or you know, dropped in fully formed by my wandering muse. I think the weirdest thing I found were camel spiders. Google them. I dare you.
What would the main character in your book have to say about you?
Ansi would probably have to warn you all that I’m a horrible human-turned-god and you shouldn’t believe anything I say, especially if I say “everyone’s going to be fine, don’t worry!”
What do you love most about the writing process?
The thing I love most about the writing process is letting my imagination run wild. If I put my hands to keyboard and tell my characters “okay, have fun!” they come up with the most amazing things. I love being able to come out of a trance like state (that’s normal right?) and read back little golden nuggets of lines that I don’t remember writing, but that strangely also help me out a week later when I’m going through a hard time.
What was your hardest scene to write?
The hardest scene(s) to write were the dancing ones. The irony isn’t lost on me. Trying to find the right words without sounding repetitive (I might have done that anyway, for which I apologize. Also, if you happen to be a dancer…hook me up with some words!) was incredibly hard.
What is the first book that made you cry?
Oh god. A book I no longer remember the name of! I was a 2nd grader and it was a book for first graders. But it was about a baby winged horse who got left behind on accident by her magical herd and had to grow up with a herd of ‘normal’ horses who made fun of her for looking different. It wasn’t until months later (or a year?) that she runs away from the herd and sees another winged horse who tells her she shouldn’t be ashamed of the wings or being different.
As a kid, I was the weird kid (you know the type. Freckles, shrimpy, glasses, and always reading books above their age.). So, when I read this book I cried because I related to her so much. I recognized in her, my sadness at being ‘weird’ but learning through her that weird wasn’t bad—and that there were others out there like you. I still get teary eyed when I remember the story!
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Wow, it’s almost like you jumped into my brain! The Bone Dancer is one of four novellas that can stand on its own or now, but after these four novellas there will be four more to further expand the story, and weave all four together as they meet. It culminates into a final book, where the four must join together to fight a darkness.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
I feel like so many novels I love do get a lot of attention. But for now, I’d say Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Often times it’s people’s least favorite of her books because they don’t understand what she was doing. It’s actually a tongue-in-cheek, poke-fun-at the Gothic (or ‘horrid’) novels becoming popular at the time.
You see, because she was tired of seeing heroines of ‘peerless beauties’ with tragic pasts who grew up in cemeteries/drafty haunted churches, and being cursed by angry servants, she wrote Northanger Abby.
You guys, Its literally Jane Austen making fun of bad writing and calling out the mary-sues and tropes of her time! YOU GUYS. It’s so funny! And Mr. Tinley is…well…he’s basically on par with, if not better than, Mr. Darcy. I said it and I don’t regret it!
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Hahaha. I did a count of how many books I need to write that are fully mapped out. 53. FIFTY. THREE. And that’s not including short stories. At the moment The Sand Splitter is half way done. And I have a whole page done of The God Carver. Excuse me, I need to go cry in a corner and eat chocolate while I try to figure out how I’m going to write this all in my short lifetime.
What did you edit out of this book?
Nothing much (don’t hate me!). Just words here, a sentence there. This book was scarily easy to write. But it was my muse’s cruel joke on me. She got me hooked into the world and now I’m currently re-working the beginning of The Sand Splitter for the third time, and the middle for the second. I’m not amused at all. But I’m stuck in it now and I can’t give up.
Million dollar question, are you working on another book?
Well, I feel like I just answered your question in the last one because I’m efficient like that! And an over sharer! I’m working on another novella—three more to be exact! I’m using them as a distraction from not writing the second novel of my trilogy in the Brenna Morgan series. (publishing house, if you see this post, which I hope you haven’t, please don’t drop me. I swear I’ll work on it soon!)
What character in your book are you least likely to get along with
I’d get along horribly with Ansi for the sole reason that we’re both stubborn and we both think we know what’s best. Clearly I know what’s best, but she won’t listen to reason! Her inability to sometimes be flexible (she has a lot of growing to do!) would also not bode well for our friendship. Plus, I mean, she’s kind of intimidating.