Meet fantasy author Katie Zaber
1. Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?
I’ve always been creative, but never took up writing until I was recovering from surgery, was on a lot of meds, and let my imagination loose. Once off the meds and healed, I edited the story, building and rearranging, working through drafts until I was happy.
2. Describe your desk / writing space.
I sit in front of a walnut stained secretary desk with a hutch holding an array of keepsakes. Albums, picture frames, my Snoopy collection, souvenirs, and nostalgic knickknacks line the shelves of the hutch.
My work space is a wonderland of post-it notes in three different colors: pink, neon-yellow, and green. On the right corner of my desk, shoved between the monitor and notary stamp, is a yellow, mini-spiral notebook that contains book outlines, plots, and ideas. Little sticker tabs separate the notebook into different sections. The tabs not in use are floating on the surface of pamphlets and lists of login information to accounts I hardly visit.
A leather bounded diary with nautical embellishments, complete with anchor bookmark, holds random thoughts and sketches. A mechanical pencil can be spotted, hiding between the yellow notebook and leather diary. Its extra parts—erasers & extra graphite are strewn about the entire desk.
Between the post-it notes there are three hacky sacks. There’s also a rectangular leather box with a brass kaleidoscope made to look like it was used on a whimsical pirate ship.
It’s a happy mess.
3. Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?
I try to stick to a schedule, but that normally doesn’t happen and I end up writing when inspired.
4. How do you come up with the title to your books?
When I write a book, I usually have a broad idea of what I want to call it, but I usually decide when I’ve finished the first draft. Almost like a parent meeting their new born. They might have an idea of what they want to name the child while pregnant, but that can change when they see the baby face to face and realize he isn’t a Jim, he’s a Stephen. Kind of like that.
5. What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?
Intimate scenes. They are my weak spot. I feel like I can never get them exactly right.
My favorite ones are when I’m describing something for the first time. When I introduce the reader to a new environment, object, or food, my goal is for the reader to feel the mist and sun on their skin. I want them to see in minute details what the character is looking at and taste the juice running down their cheeks as character bites into fruit.
6. What inspired your book/series?
My fantasy series, Dalya was inspired by the song, Lord of the Dance. Somehow, it was stuck in my head and my imagination took over. I pictured a king singing the song—a much more sinister version—while destroying a village of people who disobeyed him. At first, the story was going to be about him and how his reign ends, but I didn’t want to tell it from his perspective. That’s where Megan comes in.
My other series, DNA Demons N Angels was inspired by a recurring nightmare. It’s weird, I know. But I kept having a dream that out of the blue I was pregnant and that it was a demon. One day, I played around with the idea of what it would be like to be the mother of something different. The story grew from there.
7. What are you working on next?
After that, I plan on writing the second book in my paranormal romance series, DNA Demons N Angels. I’m playing with the title, Raising Hell, How to Survive the Terrible Twos. Here is a link to the first few chapters of the first book. DNA Demons N Angels
8. What authors or books have influenced your writing?
There’s a few. I’d say Margaret Atwood, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Conroe, Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Karen Marie Morning, Jennifer Estep, Laini Taylor, and Chuck Palahniuk are some of the biggest influencers. However, I’d like to think I’ve absorbed a little bit from every book I’ve read.
9. If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?
I’d love to live on a winery in southern Italy. The architecture is breath-taking and I love the small villages with cobblestone streets, knowing your local artisans by name and buying locally from them. There’s something really romantic and peaceful about that small village lifestyle that I hope to one day experience.
If I got to live in a fantasy world, it would be made of chocolate and it wouldn’t be frowned upon if I ate everything.
I’m a steak and potatoes kind of lady, but the steak needs a decadent brandy cream sauce and buttery garlic whipped potatoes.
11. Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?
A good cup of black tea with a little bit of sugar and milk is my go to in the morning. If I drink coffee, its half milk, and I don’t count the how much sugar.
I love sweet, fruity wines.
12. Describe yourself in three words.
Curious, Spaz, Sensible
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Katie Zaber, author of the series Dalya and DNA, is a fantasy author whose imagination knows no bounds. As a child, her parents read stories about Atlantis and other fictional places that she dreamed of exploring, fueling her love of history, adventure, and fantasy. She loves to spend what little free time she has winemaking, baking, and reading. When she has a full day to herself, you can find her at the beach or at a winery. Her favorite meals are the ones her boyfriend cooks, and she loves spending quiet nights at home with him, binge watching new fantasy shows or play video games.
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