A few years ago someone in a national newspaper said that no famous authors came from Middlesbrough. Wrong!
What about E W Horning, the creator of Raffles, or Paul Doherty author of over 100 historical crime novels and in the horror field, writer and editor, Glynn Owen Barrass. (If you are familiar with Middlesbrough then check out his King of Deadtown chapbook… but be careful when you go into Iceland or Waterstones and make sure you look behind you!).
Where is all this leading you are wondering… is this just a ploy to put Middlesbrough on the writing map… No it set us thinking about the other end of the spectrum – new authors and how do they become established and make a name for themselves?
So we’ve been talking to up and coming author, Kate Trinity/K T McQueen… who also happens to come from Middlesbrough…. we are not biased, honest! Kate kindly gave us an insight into her route into writing.
Hi Kate, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Kate writes under two pseudonyms – Kate Trinity for her fantasy novels and K T McQueen for her horror.
What made you start writing?
I started writing to publish after I finished University, in between filling out ridiculously long job applications, looking after my children, the various animals we had, and working part time. As Stephen King says “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones” and when I began to suffer from depression this is exactly what writing did for me.
The first book I wrote for self-publishing was It is the Demon in Me and that was after I finished my master’s degree (in a completely unrelated subject). It has recently been given a bit of a makeover and re-released by Indie publisher Wallace Publishing, along with its sequel Sheriff of the Eternal Law. The third will be re-published later this year.
Why horror and fantasy?
Fantasy lets you take risks, invent creatures and places, and write about whatever you want. You have no one to answer to and you can put all the magic in you like. Brilliant.
Horror, on the other hand, picked me. A couple of short stories and I meandered unknowingly into the genre and readers then defined me as a horror writer. I do love it though… there are a lot of uses for my forensics degree in a horror story.
A lot of publishers of horror put it in the thriller section – horror has had a bit of a bad rep over the years and female writers are often overlooked. There’s a thought that women can’t be as detached and gruesome as their male counterparts so a lot of female authors use pen names – I am K.T. McQueen.
Skin Skin SideOut is my most recently released horror novel and the one I really enjoyed writing. It’s also the first one I wrote after taking James Patterson’s MasterClass.
Which authors have inspired you to write?
I always loved James Herbert’s Rats, and Stephen King of course. But my favourite authors have to be Terry Pratchett and Andy McNab – now there’s a mix of fantasy and gritty real life extremes. I’m currently enjoying The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss and highly recommend it to the fantasy lovers.
A lot of different things inspire me to write, everything from books to movies to the fog rolling in through the darkness. The key is to write down those killer first lines when they occur to you.
How difficult was it to get your first novel published?
My first novel was self-published through Smashwords (It is the Demon in Me) and I went on to publish a further nine stories this way. It’s a fairly easy to follow method but you’re entirely responsible for your own editing, cover, proofreading, and blurb.
Kensington Gore’s Hammered Horror approached me with an offer of representation, followed by Wallace Publishing for my fantasy novels. I’m currently signed with both Indie publishers.
I had considered going the traditional route but it’s so hit and miss, and at the time I was considering publishing I didn’t have a platform or following. Traditional publishing is not a route I’ve pursued so far but I’d seriously consider it if the opportunity came up.
Is an eBook the best way for a new author to start out?
An eBook is a great way to get your first novel out there. You can begin building your platform before you publish and build interest. There are agents, on places like Twitter, who hold a monthly ‘pitch me’ type hashtag. If they’re interested you could be invited to send your manuscript for consideration. The hard part is getting your pitch into the allowed character limit with the hashtag.
Social media and the internet have changed the game for authors, a traditional route isn’t the only way anymore. You have to acknowledge your strong points and your weak points – this will help you determine what you need to spend money on, and the best route for you… but the down side is that now anyone who wants to can self-publish…
Thank you for talking to us Kate, and we wish you success with your writing.
If you would like to know more about Kate, then check out her website or follow her on Twitter:
or follower her on Twitter @AuthorKTMcQueen