The weather isn’t the only thing that is hot this August. Did you know that Texas was in the middle of an e-publishing heat wave? Authors by the score are publishing their work digitally to be read on Kindles, Nooks, computers and smart phones. E-publishing companies like Houston-based Kbuuk (www.kbuuk.com) are popping up as well. Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with author, Katy Huth Jones who burst onto the e-publishing scene with her young adult novel Leandra’s Enchanted Flute in January. We chatted about writing, favorite books and her next novel, Return to Finian Jahndra due out in February 2013.
Where did you grow-up and where do you live now?
I grew up as an Army “brat” with my Dad the Colonel and my artist Mom. I was born in Georgia and lived in 8 different states before finally settling in Texas the summer I turned 13. I graduated from McAllen High School and went to college at Southwest Texas State (now Texas State) in San Marcos, majoring in music. I’ve lived in Kerrville for 19 years. This town is very supportive of all the arts.
What is a normal “writing” workday like for you?
When I’m immersed in a novel, I can write for hours and totally lose track of time, even forgetting to eat meals. Since my first novel was published as an ebook in January, part of each day involves “marketing” with time spent making contacts on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Generally I try to write every day, even if it’s just a partial scene or a poem. Writing is like a “muscle”—it must be exercised regularly or one gets flabby.
You’ve written for all types of audiences. How does your writing process differ as your audience changes?
With magazines, I read several issues to get a “feel” for the style and subject matter, because each one requires a different approach. For fiction, especially for children and young adults, I draw on the girl that I was and the child that still lives inside me. Often she leaks out, and adults I know who have forgotten their inner child are not particularly comfortable around me. My office makes neat freaks crazy but the colorful clutter inspires me.
Who are your favorite writers and why?
San Antonio author Rick Riordan is my favorite because I love his fantastic imagination and energy, and because he a genuinely nice person. And the older I get the more I appreciate Jane Austen and her marvelous ability to observe people and create memorable characters.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
The mechanics of writing can be taught, but the intangibles of writing must be absorbed by voracious reading. So many young people expect to “make big money” as an author. Most of us only supplement our day jobs (I play flute and piccolo in a symphony and teach private lessons) and will never be a “best-selling author.” A writer must be persistent above and beyond common sense. And learn to accept an editor’s constructive criticism on every manuscript. All of that being said, I wouldn’t give up writing even if I never published another piece. It’s as important as breathing to me. And more important than eating.
What are you working on now?
I just finished the sequel to Leandra’s Enchanted Flute, which was published in ebook format by Cool Well Press, Inc. Hopefully it will be out in both digital and print formats in the fall. Now I’m going back to finish part two of an epic fantasy I began last year. I’m writing it as one long story, just as Tolkien wrote Lord of the Rings, but it will eventually turn into four separate books. The first one is over 400 pages, and part two will be at least that long.
What’s next for Katy Huth Jones?