By now, most of you are familiar with my set of questions! There’s not a lot of variation at the moment because I find it fascinating to see how different people answer the same questions. Today I’m pleased to introduce Chris T. Kat, who talks about the underlying theme of prejudice in her stories, and tells us a little about her upcoming release, Too Good to Be True?, the sequel to Seizing It.
Hello, Chris! Welcome to my blog and thank you for answering my
nosy discerning, questions! First, please tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of stories you like to write. Would you say there is an underlying theme behind your stories?
Hi Sarah, and thank you for having me here!
My name is Chris T. Kat and I write M/M fiction. I’m in my late thirties, married with two children and work as a special ed teacher.
I like to write contemporary and paranormal (especially shape-shifters) romance. I recently discovered that there’s indeed an underlying theme behind my stories: they all deal with prejudices. Sometimes my characters have to deal with prejudices because one of them has a disability (Seizing It / Too Good to be True?), or because they’re an interracial couple (A Purrfect Match) or because one of them isn’t pureblooded (Secret Chemistry). Mostly the main characters have to deal with other people’s prejudices but sometimes it’s the main character’s own perception about himself and his disability (Kit in Seizing It / Too Good to be True?) that’s the challenge.
How long have you been writing? Did you write as a child or is it something you developed a passion for later in life?
I wrote as a child and as a teenager but dropped it as a hobby. I was way more interested in doing sports of all kinds, hanging out with my friends and so on. I only found my passion for writing back when I was sick for several months in 2007/2008.
What gave you the courage to submit your first story to a publisher?
I wrote fanfiction before I ventured into writing original fiction. My stories became longer and longer and several people suggested I should write a book with my own characters. It took me a while to pluck up the courage to do so but after I started I was hooked. I posted part of the first chapter to my blog, received lots of encouragement and thought “What the heck? They can’t do more than reject it.” I had already had plans to post Seizing It for free on my blog when Dreamspinner sent me an e-mail, stating they’d like to publish it. 🙂
What draws you to the M/M genre? Have you written in other genres?
I never know how to answer this question! I’ve always been drawn to it. Het stories never held my interest. I tried to write a het fanfiction story once but quickly gave up. It just isn’t for me though I wouldn’t say I’ll never write in a different genre. What I like in the M/M genre is that I can explore various subgenres in it.
City Girl or Country Mouse—and why?
Country Mouse. I lived in the city when I was younger but when I moved out we found an apartment in a very rural area. Since November 2012 we’ve lived on the outskirts of a small city with lots of fields and nature around it. I love it!
“Writers should write what they know.” What does this statement mean to you as an author?
If everyone would only write about what they know lots of fantastic books wouldn’t exist. And what about science fiction and fantasy books?
I do try to bring my experiences to the story if possible. Several of my main characters or supporting characters have disabilities because I know a lot about these. I try to get things as realistic as possible but that’s about it.
Are you a panster or a plotter? Do you outline extensively or write your story as you go along?
It’s a mix of both. When I have an idea for a story I jot it down (especially crucial points), then develop the plot further in my head.
What’s your idea of a perfect vacation?
Sleeping in! I usually get up between 5 and 5.30 so sleeping till 7 or 8 is bliss! Also, lots of time to read, do cross stitch, walk along the beach and simply spend time with my family.
Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created? Why does this character resonate with you?
I love all my characters. I spend a lot of time with them and each of them is special to me. If I have to name my favorite characters, they would be Riley from Silver Lining, Kit from Seizing It and Too Good to be True?, Andrew from A Purrfect Match and Jay from Secret Chemistry.
Riley because he shows love can overcome almost anything. Kit because as much as he’s a brat he’s much stronger than he thinks he is. Andrew because he opens up to Jim and takes the plunge to explore his sexual desires and Jay because I had so much fun writing him in his pup form.
Of the stories you’ve written, which one do you like the most? Which one would you recommend a new reader begin with?
My favorite is Silver Lining though I wouldn’t recommend it for a new reader. Silver Lining is a bittersweet title and I totally sympathize with the people who don’t want to read such stories.
I’d probably recommend A Purrfect Match even though this book has elements not everyone would like (kinky sex).
What are the three most important things in your life—the things you can’t do without?
My kids, my husband and the rest of my family. Does that sound very mushy?
If you could have one super power or magical element from popular science fiction movies or literature, what would it be and why?
Shape-shifting! No doubt about it! I’d love to see the world from an animal’s perspective, preferably from a cat, dog, or fox. 🙂
Do you see your writing as a hobby or is it your goal to be a full time writer at some point in the future?
That’s a difficult question. I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t dream of writing full time. But I’m realistic: I love writing and see it as one of my jobs now. I’m also not sure if I’d really want to give up my “real” job. I love my job, no matter how stressful it is.
What advice would you give to someone who aspires to be a published author?
Read a lot, write a lot. I really don’t feel comfortable giving aspiring authors advice. I still feel like a total noob.
Most authors admit to feeling uncomfortable with the degree of self-promotion necessary to be successful. Are there some aspects of social media and self-promotion that make you more comfortable than others? Are there some you avoid like the plague?
I’m getting used to the concept of self-promotion. So far I like to do giveaways, guest blogs and interviews. I held my first chat on Dreamspinner’s Facebook page recently and even though I was worried about it, I really liked that. I’d do the chat on FB again.
I really don’t like to ask for reviews and so far I’ve never appeared on a convention or anything. Like I said, I’m slowly getting used to the whole concept of self-promotion.
How often does your real life experience figure into your story telling? Do you base characters or stories on your actual experiences?
Some of my real life experience figures into my stories. Since I’m a special ed teacher I have knowledge about various disabilities and how different people cope with them. Therefore, I often have characters with disabilities in my stories.
Sometimes I weave actual experiences or preferences into my stories. My characters like to cuddle—a lot—so make of it what you like. 😉
What are your writing goals for 2013? Your personal goals?
My writing goal is to write three novels/novellas this year. My personal goals include: visiting a very good friend in the USA in a few weeks, settle in our new home (we moved in November 2012) and spend as much time with my family as possible.
Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there’s any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks, or crafts.
You can find her online at:
Too Good to Be True? is available from Dreamspinner Press on Feb 27, 2013.
Three months after Kit falls in love with Dale, his epilepsy takes a turn for the worse and his nightmares and flashbacks about his abusive ex intensify. His work at the veterinary clinic and as a freelance translator only add to the stress. As Kit’s life flies out of his control, his last tether of sanity frays as Dale grows frustrated with Kit’s stubborn independence.
Dale wants to be Kit’s rock—to step in to help—but the walls Kit builds may be too hard to break through.
Thanks, Chris, for stopping by to answer my questions! Congratulations on your new release–it looks like a winner to me!