Welcome, Katherine! Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started writing?
I started getting interested in writing a few years back; around the time my first was born. At that time my husband and I had moved to a city where we didn’t know a soul, and our families lived far away as well. Being a new mom in a new place – it was a chance to re-invent myself. I started learning all I could about the craft of writing, and reading anything I could get my hands on. (That’s an understatement! I have a reading addiction.) I guess the rest is history.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
Yes, Harmless is my first book. I’m currently working on its sequel while I wait to find the right agent/publisher. I also have ideas brewing for a YA / Military / Genetic Mutations type story –– but we’ll see where that one goes.
Harmless is a YA supernatural suspense. The story centers around Rachel Barnes, who has suffered a legion of losses: the death of her brother, her parents’ divorce, and now the move from a big city and her trusted therapist to a small town and a new high school. And just when the roller coaster that has become her life should finally be slowing, she’s done the unthinkable. In an effort to impress her new friends, she unwittingly releases a malevolent, leviathan-like spirit, fabled to grant wishes, that’s been locked away in small box for centuries.
When this mythical Wendigo spirit possesses her friend, Mason, giving him powers to manipulate the world around him, Rachel must decide how far she’ll go in order to cure him.
As wishes asked upon the spirits contained within the box start coming true, Rachel learns the true, dark source of Mason’s newfound gifts; and her perception about life, death, and reality is tested. Now she must accept the very thing she’s been fighting against – the realization of her own wish, which could turn her into the very monster she tries to stop.
What inspired you to write this book?
I’m fascinated with Aboriginal culture in Canada and the folklore that originates from this group of people. I also think, that if I hadn’t become a writer, I would have made a great psychologist. I know what you’re thinking ––– those two things don’t have anything to do with each other. You might be right, but those two things: stories surrounding the Canadian Aboriginal people, and the psychology of the human condition, inspired me to write this story.
Are you a plotter or a pantster (writing by the seat of your pants)?
I’m a little bit of both. I know where my story has to go, just not entirely how I’m going to get it there. I usually write a point form list of what needs to happen in a scene. After that – I let my characters take it where they may.
Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my cover art! I had it, and a book trailer made when I was planning on self-publishing. Now that I’m querying agents I’m not sure that I’ll get to keep this cover when it makes it to publishing. So my affection for it is a bit bitter sweet.
I had an old colleague and friend of mine, Brianna Schretlen @Curly_Bri, design the cover for me. I think she captured the very soul of the story in this image.
What is your best marketing tip?
Talk to people, be passionate about what you write, and learn how to ‘pitch’ it so other people know how great it is too.
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
What is your favorite fiction – or non-fiction – book?
That’s a hard one to answer. I read new and wonderful books all the time, but two really good ones come to mind The Messanger, by Mark Zusak, and Misquitoland, by David Arnold. I think what I like most about these books is their ‘unreliable narrators’ and the psychological twists in the stories.
Katherine Dell is a voracious reader with an unending passion for the written word. When she’s not typing away at her computer, or chatting it up with her writing buddies, you can probably find her in a cold hockey arena, cheering on her kids. Her past work experience ranges widely from Equestrian Instructor to Event Planner, but she thinks her years as an Executive Assistant benefit her most when it comes to promoting herself as a writer. She finished writing her first novel about six months ago and has since started writing the sequel.