Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Author Interview: Kat Kruger

Kat Kruger has written The Magdeburg series.

1. What is your name and where do you call home?
My name is Kat Kruger and I live primarily in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Sometimes I still call Toronto home.

2. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
My most recent book is the second book in The Magdeburg Trilogy. It's a series about werewolves, mad science and teen angst set against the backdrop of Paris.

3. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes, I'm currently working on the final book in the series. After that I plan on moving on to other genres but may revisit this world in the form of graphic novel prequels. My hope is to write a standalone book next. I haven't decided which of two ideas I'll be pursuing yet.

4. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
So many writers have inspired me along the way. As a young adult I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction from authors like Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury and David Eddings. More recently I've been inspired by the writings of Maggie Stiefvater and Kenneth Oppel. I've been writing since a very young age. My sister and I used to produce "newspapers" (print run: 1) in elementary school. At around grade three I started writing 1-act plays that I got to perform for younger grades. Then I went through a phase of writing really bad poetry in junior high. Eventually I pursued a career as a freelance writer. All the while I tried writing books but was only published recently.

5. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
My publishers handle publicity for my books so review copies are requested through them.

6. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
In Canada, the cover designer who was hired is Angela Goddard. She's worked for a number of the bigger publishing houses but is now a freelancer. I didn't have any particular idea for the covers myself but she reads the books and then delivers a few ideas from which I can choose and provide feedback on until we come to a final cover that we're satisfied with.

7. Which is your favourite cover of all the books you have written?
I've only written two books so far but I think the latest cover for The Night Has Claws is my fave. It really captures the essence of the book, right down to the metal railing on the lower half of the cover which doesn't come into play until the last chapter.

8. Is there anything you would change about your book covers?
Not at all. The designer is brilliant. I've received such positive feedback on both covers that I really have no complaints. I think both stand out as different and eye-catching but they capture the essence of the story. I even like the details on the spine of the books!

9. Do you have a playlist in mind for any of your books?  
I always write with a playlist that changes as I go through revisions.

Here's my playlist for The Night Has Teeth: http://grooveshark.com/#!/playlist/The+Night+Has+Teeth/51588693
And here's my playlist for The Night Has Claws: http://grooveshark.com/#!/playlist/The+Night+Has+Claws/77866509

10. Did you listen to any particular songs whilst writing your books?
Music definitely has a big influence on my writing. Thus, the playlists. For the most part, I'll listen to the same songs while writing a book but as I go through different drafts the songs may change. This series generally speaking had a lot of Muse, Green Day, Linkin Park, The Black Keys.

11. Would you have different book covers for different countries?
Translation rights to The Magdeburg Trilogy were sold to Cbj Verlag/Random House Germany and U.S. rights to The Night Has Teeth were acquired by Month9Books. As far as I know both will be using different covers which is cool. I'm looking forward to seeing the different interpretations.

12. How did you come up with the title for your book?
In doing my research on werewolves I stumbled across a story called the Wolf of Magdeburg. In it there's a line which I used as the epigraph to the first book in the series. "The night has teeth. The night has claws, and I have found them." The phrase really struck me right away as an excellent title.

13. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
Not at all. My first book went through nine drafts before I sent it off to my editor! Two rounds of revisions later I was very happy with the way things worked out.

14. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
There's a book trailer for The Night Has Teeth here: http://youtu.be/kYeVS1aWQnQ
I think when they're well-done, book trailers are a fantastic tool for an author. I've definitely bought books because of their trailers. That said, there are others that make me kind of cringe, honestly.

15. Do you have a “Dreamcast” in mind for any of your books?
Sort of. Aidan Turner as Arden LaTène because I thought he was absolutely brilliant as John Mitchell in BBC's Being Human and feel he could bring the right balance of broody yet lovable to this character. Gerard Butler as Rodolfus de Aquila partly for my sister but because he has both the right look and ability to be both charming and commanding. I think for the teens in my book, I'd want to see relative unknowns in the roles.

16. What is your opinion of ARCs?
ARCs are fantastic! I love getting early reader feedback. It feels almost like cheating when you get a positive review before the book is released.

17. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
It depends on what I'm reading. Audiobooks are awesome when the voice actors bring the characters to life. For books that I know I'm going to read and re-read, I prefer hardcovers for the durability. Paperbacks and ebooks are interchangeable to me.

18. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
Yes, I'm published through Fierce Ink Press. They're a micropress based on the East Coast of Canada.

19. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
There are a handful of books that I keep going back to such as: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood, the Shiver Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater.

20. Have you ever bought a specific edition of a book because of it’s cover? (For example a UK, US or Canadian version)
Occasionally if a literary classic comes out with a new cover, I'm lured in to buy a different edition. Otherwise, I don't really seek out different versions online.

21. What is your opinion of novellas?
Novellas are a length that I don't think I could write myself but I do like reading them. It's not quite a short story, not quite a full-length novel but you still get the satisfaction of having read a complete story.

22. Have you ever read a book just based on it’s cover?
Not that I recall. Most of the books I pick up are based on recommendations from friends.

23. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
Yes. Covers mean a lot. If something looks unprofessional, I won't bother reading the blurb let alone the book.

24. What is your favourite film based on a book?
Blade Runner which is based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick. I've watched every, single re-issue of that movie and just really admire how the world was brought to life by Ridley Scott.

25. What is your favourite book genre at the moment?
Dystopian but I think it's been a long-time fave (that explains the answer to the last question!).

26. What books have made it onto your wishlist recently? And why?
The Raven Boys because it's Maggie Stiefvater's latest. I've also added a bunch of werewolf bunch to my wishlist. I wasn't reading any of the genre while I was writing it for fear of overlapping ideas but I'm really looking forward to checking out what others have done in the genre such as Kathleen Peacock, Anne Rice, Jackson Pearce and Nancy Holder. And Emily Pohl-Weary's Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl. I'm also toying around with the idea of my next book being steampunk so I've added The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade and The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress.

27. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I'm reading The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley in paperback.

28. If you could invite any four celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
In case I haven't fan-girled enough, I'd invite Maggie Stiefvater. She seems like a cool, quirky writer and I have hella-respect for her writing. Zooey Deschanel for the extra quirk factor but also to talk about her site Hello Giggles which is SUCH a positive site for girls and women. Joseph Gordon Levitt because I'm so fascinated by his collaborative production company hitRECord. And, let's face it, that smile. Last but not least, Aidan Turner who is my grown-up crush.

29. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
My advice is to embrace change. You won't grow as a writer if you can't accept constructive criticism. Your first, second, even third draft of your first book isn't going to be the book that makes it to print. And it shouldn't. Embrace the process, the feedback you get from beta readers, the revisions your editor hands you. That's not to say you can't disagree. I just think it's important to have your baseline set to being receptive instead of defensive. As for the best advice I've ever received: get it done. I used to sort of languish in editing while writing during the first draft. Besides the fact that these are two very different skills, achieving perfection is not what that draft is for so just get it done and fix it later.

30. Do you have any hobbies that aren’t related to reading & writing?
I used to paint. Writing has kind of consumed my life lately. Hiking is something that I've been doing more of lately. Living primarily in Halifax gives me lots of access to some great trails.

31. Where can your readers follow you?

Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!

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