Fiction Blog

Ask Me Anything: March 2018

Welcome to my March 2018 Ask Me Anything video!

Earlier this month, I asked readers from my Reader List and social media whether they had any questions about my books, writing and publishing, or anything else. As a reader, I love it when authors share more about their books and themselves, so I want to do the same for you!

You can watch the video right here. Or if you prefer to read my answers, I’ve summarized them below.

What are you working on for Camp NaNoWriMo?

Camp NaNoWriMo is a twice-yearly challenge in which writers set a custom goal and meet in virtual cabins (chat rooms) to support each other. It’s a spin off of National Novel Writing Month, the November challenge in which writers attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days. For this Camp session, my goal is to spend 60 hours working on Desertera #4 (though I might cheat and play with some other ideas too). I’ve made my goal in hours instead of word count because I need to focus on putting in the time and establishing a better routine.

How did you come up with the steampunk desert setting for the Desertera novels?

When considering a setting for Desertera, I went through a few different ideas. As I said in a previous AMA video, my original inspiration for the story itself was The Arabian Nights, and I liked how the desert setting created a feeling of desire and isolation. I also considered a historical fantasy based on King Henry VIII, but I knew the research would overwhelm me. My husband suggested steampunk, which had that Victorian “royal” flair, but again, I didn’t want to set the story in England or a real place. Therefore, I combined desert and steampunk to create Desertera — a place of desperation and isolation with people clinging onto antiquity, religion, and a romantic vision of a past that may or may not have ever existed.

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Honestly, I’ve wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember. As a child, I loved reading stories with my mom, and I soon started to write my own. I completed my first story, that I can remember, when I was eight years old. My teacher encouraged me to keep writing, so I did. When I was around 11, another teacher informed me that I could major in Creative Writing in college and write for a career. That pretty much sealed the deal.

How did you find your editing company?

Great question! Finding editors, cover designers, literary agents, and other professionals can be intimidating when you’re starting out as a writer. My best advice, and how I found the editing company I use, Red Adept Editing, is to ask published authors you know for referrals. Most will be happy to share their contacts, especially as it might give them a referral discount. Another great tip is to check the copyright and acknowledgments pages of books that impress you — most writers will include their editors, designers, etc. and you can look them up from there. And of course, there are marketplace websites like Reedsy or lists on industry sites like the Alliance of Independent Authors that link to reputable professionals.

Your husband tags you in a lot of movies on Twitter (@KateMColby). What’s your favorite movie you’ve seen this month?

Haha, yes he does! We’re big movie buffs, Daniel especially. The best movie we saw this month was Thoroughbreds, which is about two teenage girls who plot to kill one girl’s stepdad. It had a dark sense of humor, complex characters, and great suspense. However, my favorite movie was probably Tomb Raider. Growing up, I would “backseat game” the PlayStation games with my dad, so I had a lot of fun watching the new Lara Croft on the big screen. Don’t get me wrong — the movie had its problems, but it also had good action, surprising emotional depth, and a strong lead actress.


That’s all for this video! Thanks to everyone who asked a question. I’ll be back in April with another round of Ask Me Anything, so feel free to submit your questions in the comments or through my contact page.

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Fiction Blog, Writing Updates

Month-End Update: October 2016

With a productive October behind me, I can feel the wintry winds of November nipping at my heels. Despite how much I accomplished in October, I don’t really have much to say about it. The month revolved around finishing up my nonfiction prompts series, which I did, with the writing and publication of 100 Horror Writing Prompts (Fiction Ideas Vol. 10). I also had a great reading month and blazed through quite a few titles on my to-be-read list.

As November begins, I feel like a race horse prancing at the starting gate. It’s NaNoWriMo season, and for some reason, I’ve decided I have time to take on the challenge. I’m out of excuses, and I will finally (with much anxiety and cautious excitement) be returning to the world of fiction with Desertera #3. Wish me luck – and feel free to add me as a writing buddy @KateMColby!

Writing & Editing

  • Blog Posts Written 7 and one guest post
  • Fiction Words Written  0
  • # of Days I Wrote Fiction  0
  • Nonfiction Prompts Written 100 prompts (plus work on the prompts anthology)
  • # of Days I Wrote Nonfiction 20
  • Drafts Revised Proofread of 100 Horror Writing Prompts
  • # of Days I Revised  1
  • Outlines Written – 1 (upcoming prompts anthology)
  • Days Without Creation/Production  11

Reading

  • Books Begun/In-Progress

*Remember, I review every book I read on my Goodreads page.

Author Business Activities

Goals for November

  • Participate in and “win” NaNoWriMo 2016
  • Finish and decide on publication date of the prompts anthology
  • (Beta-)read and review books on TBR list

What did you accomplish in October? What goals are you working towards in November? What is your NaNoWriMo project? Share below!