Monday, March 8, 2010


Today, I have the pleasure of hosting an upcoming star author, Katie Hines. She has a wonderful writing style and stories that kids will get excited over. Her urban fantasy novel, Guardian, has hit the shelves! It's a MUST READ!

I asked Katie to write a BIO POEM for us. Take a look at her honest reponses to the serious life questions below.


Who is organized, creative and fun
Who is sister of three siblings
Who loves my husband, and two daughters
Who feels overwhelmed, blessed and joyful
Who needs more self-discipline, lots of money, a job for my husband
Who gives of self to others, thought to my purpose in life, and to my family first
Who fears not making it as a writer, the golden years, and eating too much
Who would like to see my kids married and happy
Who shares life with the man of my dreams
Who is fat with contentment
Who is a resident of South Carolina

When Katie sent me an advanced copy of her book to read for this interview, I couldn't put it down. Here's part of the email I sent her when I finished the book. "Oh my God, Katie, I love your book! Your descriptions, intricate plot, and fresh verb usage remind me of my favorite author, Cornelia Funke. You intertwine fantasy and history seamlessly to create an intriguing mystery full of exciting twists and turns. Way to go! I know you will have incredible success with this book."

Kathy: Do you create a complete profile for each of your characters? How did you come up with Grandma’s character? She was so much fun!

Katie: I did create a profile for Drew, Mattie and Javon. Then, as I got further in the book, I didn’t continue to do that, and still think I did good with them. Grandma was fun to create, and a hoot to see in action. She got dreamed up along the way.

Kathy: Your descriptions are ingenious and full of energy, Katie. Example: An early cold snap arrived with a vengeance, stealing into homes and rattling old bones. Senior citizens cornered anyone who would listen, telling that a cold Maine winter would soon follow. Snaking its long fingers through the truck window Mr. Newman kept cracked, the cold touched and chilled the three young people who rode to the ferry, Bar Harbor’s “The Pirate’s Run.” How much of this kind of writing flows out of you naturally and how much is a result of hard work and rewrites?

Katie: That kind of thing is easy to write. But keeping the story real, and the characters honest, that I work on and rewrite a lot.

Kathy: I was laughing out loud when reading the chicken escapade in chapter 5. How important is humor in a young adult novel?

Katie: I’m glad you loved that! It is one of my favorite chapters. I think if we can’t laugh, then we take ourselves much too seriously, and life is too short not to have laughter along the way, for anyone.

Kathy: I loved the many twists and turns in your plot. Usually I can guess the ending of a book or movie before it’s over. You had me guessing until the end. Did you use an outline to plan the twists, did your characters dictate the story, or did the story take on a life of its own?

Katie: I kept a story board to keep track of all the revelations and antics. Basically, I have a physical board that holds about 70 5x7 cards. I do one for each chapter, keeping track of the page numbers, the POV character, the other characters and revelations or key points for that chapter.

As far as the ending is concerned, I had something else planned, but I wanted to make it exciting and unpredictable, so I brainstormed with my husband about some ideas, and came up with the ending as it is now.

Kathy:I see that your story is birthed from the actual history of the Holy Grail and the knight’s templar. How much time went into research? How many real facts are weaved into the story?

Katie: I spent about three months researching for the book. The Templars are real, as is King Philip of France, references to pirates, the story of Perceval and the Fisher King and of course, the Grail. And, I have to point to where it all began: the Oak Island treasure mystery.

Kathy: What’s your favorite chapter of the book and why do you like it?

Katie: My favorite chapter (next to the chickens) is the story of Perceval and the Fisher King. I like it because it is in storytelling mode, the subject is interesting, and it was something that enriched the story that I wouldn’t have put in there if I hadn’t done all the research that I did do. I think it added a lot to the story.

Kathy: What was your experience in looking for a publisher? Was there much editing required when the ms went to the publisher?

Katie: While I was writing “Guardian” I kept an eye out for publishers who might be interested in the type of story that “Guardian” is. When I finally quit editing “Guardian,” I chose the top three companies, and sent them query letters. It was rejected by the first one. The second said they didn’t feel comfortable editing kid’s stuff, but passed it along to another editor, 4RV Publishing, who did pick the book up.

You can edit forever. I finally had to make a decision to stop, and submit! Then was the real work of editing for the publisher.

Kathy: What are your favorite young adult novels and authors? What have you learned from these authors that you see appearing in your own books?

Katie: Because I am a lover of fantasy, my very favorite author is Terry Brooks. He has a fantastic imagination, and creates wonderful stories. He wrote an autobiography entitled, “Sometimes the Magic Works.” I love that phrase, and have tried to make sure that that is true of my book.

Kathy: Thank you for stopping by today on your book tour and sharing with us some insights to the writing of your YA Urban Fantasy, Guardian. Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of her book

Katie Hines Links:
Publisher -
Website -
Blog -

Kathy Stemke's websites:
Moving Through all Seven Days link:
Follow me on twitter:
Follow me on Facebook:!/kathymarescomatthews.stemke?ref=profile
Add to Technorati Favorites


Karen Cioffi said...

Great interview, Kathy.

Katie, the excerpt of your book is amazing; you certainly do have a way with words.

Your book sounds fantastic.


T. Forehand said...

I really want to read this book after your wonderful interview. It sounds like a must read just from that excerpt. Thanks for sharing this interview, and I will post a tibit to my blog as well with links to Katie's sites.
Good work Kathy, nice blog.

Jean said...

Sounds like a fun book. Nice description too.

Congrats on getting it out there.

Vivian Zabel said...

Well, you did continue editing with the help of 4RV editors. That's one thing 4RV believes, that authors and their editors become a team to make a book the best it can be.

Your ideas, writing, and research paid off big time. I can hardly wait to see how far Guardian goes.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

What a clever way to do a bio. I enjoyed the interview, book review and learning more about Katie and her work.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

How exciting! A new book! Can't you just smell the fresh ink in the air! Thank you for bringing us this excerpt, Kathy.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Another super interview with Katie. I keep learning more about her every day. Thanks, Kathy.

Best of luck to you with your book, Katie. It gets more intriguing every time I read about it.


Alice said...

I must say, I must read this book, sounds wonderful!

The Old Silly said...

Wonderful interview and a fine feature post. Methinks "Guardian" is gonna be a big hit - keep up the good promo, Katie!

Marvin D Wilson

Nicole weaver said...

Wow Kathy,
A great detailed interview. I enjoyed reading how Katie creates her characters. From a scale of 1-10, I give this interview a 10. Thanks for inspiring me.
Nicole Weaver

Vivian Zabel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jessi said...

I've said it before, but I'll say it again--I can't wait to get my hands on this book!
With each new excerpt I read, the more enthralled I become.
Kathy, great idea about the bio poem, Katie did an excellent job!

Unknown said...

Thanks for visiting and encouraging Katie and 4RV for the fabulous job they did on Guardian. Congrats to all involved!

Katie Hines said...

I have to take my hat off to Kathy for doing a great blog interview. I'm pretty excited about "Guardian," and like Vivian, I'm excited to see how far this will go.

Thanks for all the great comments! I feel humbled.

Martha said...

Love the excerpt from your book. Good luck with it
Martha Swirzinski

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz said...

Kathy, I enjoyed your interview. You asked Katie some interesting questions and her responses gave me a peek into who she is as a writer.

Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful! I wish you lots of success, Katie!

Anonymous said...

Great interview.
Good luck with your book-sounds great!

Jaleta Clegg said...

Sounds like a great book. Congrats!

Pat Carleson said...

Great interview katie! Awesome cover!! Will look forward to a good read, even though I am not that least not in body hahaha

Susan Borowy said...

Loved the interview Kathy! Katie, your book sounds wonderful, I wish you much success.

Anonymous said...

Hi Katie,
I'm a fantasy fiction nut. Have you read
Lea Schizas Rock of Realm
Robin Hobb Live Ship Trader's series
David Eddings The Belgariad Series
Piers Anthony The Magic of Xanth series for kids.

I love all of these books.
J. Aday Kennedy
The Differently-Abled Children's Author

Alina's Pencil said...

I am intrigued after reading your interview, and the explanations behind the book were interesting. Katie, it's fun to watch as your book starts to create ripples in the big pond of Life!

Donna McDine said...

Another terrific interview of Katie Hines! You go girl! You are an inspiration to us all!

Children’s Author
Write What Inspires You Blog
The Golden Pathway Story book Blog

Kristi's Book Nook said...

This is a great book. I loved fantasy when i was a teen.

Katie Hines said...

Thanks guys for all the comments! This blog stop has been very encouraging to me to see how folks are responding to the book. Hopefully, that will also translate into sales.

Anonymous said...

Great interview. Sounds like an enjoyable book.

Bill said...

This was a great interview, and this is a wonderful book that I think will thrill readers of any age. Over the last three years, Drew and his companions have been guests in our house, and I've enjoyed getting to know them. We've trips around Nova Scotia, feeling the wind blow across the lake, hearing the rustle of the leaves, and expercing the wonders of nature. It makes me feel like I'm at a favorite camp site, suggled in a warm coat... I hope everyone enjoys this journey as much as I have.
Katie's husband Bill

Bill said...

This book was great & I've enjoyed being a part of the process.

Katie's husband, Bill

Bill said...

I really enjoyed the post. Drew and company has been a guest in our house over much of the last three years. Ihave enjoyed getting to know him and his friends, and romping through the backwoods of Nova Scotia. Hearing the wind blow through the trees and just enjoying the wild life makes me feel like I'm on an actual camping trip. This is a great book for people of all ages.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Sounds like a great book. I hope to read it someday.

Accountant, Author & Freelance Writer said...

The Guardian looks like a wonderful book that is certain to be read by many! Thanks for telling us more about your writing :)

Dallas said...

Wonderful interview! Kathy, I have no doubt GUARDIAN is going to be a hit with readers everywhere!

:) Dallas

Connie Arnold said...

Thanks for sharing the great interview, Kathy! Katie, Guardian sounds like it will be a big hit! It was such fun learning more about you and the book here.

Heidiwriter said...

Congratulations, Katie! I wish you much success. BTW, I like your bio poem--a unique way to present yourself.


Katie Hines said...

Thanks guys for the nice comments. Didn't Kathy do a slam dunk job of an interview?

I hope my book sells well, too! It's just a matter of getting the name out there on the internet, then word of mouth sales.