It’s June! June, for our new friends (and a reminder to the old) is a birthday month! So it’s super loaded! Which means I’m going to be pancaked with posts. Or something. And YAY BIRTHDAY. First up, we have author Katy Madison. Can you believe it’s her first time visiting ALBTALBS? She chose to do an author interview, so we’re off!
1. What five dead authors would you invite to a dinner party if you could?
William Shakespere, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Isaac Asimov, and Daphne du Maurier. Weird mix I know but how could I not invite the bard? Then of course the writers whose works I read and reread and have influenced my writing in some way.
2. What is one question you always wish as an author people would ask but nobody ever does?
Will you help rewrite the tax code so it makes sense? No, seriously I can’t really think of a question that nobody asks. I can think of a question that I wish no one would ask, but everyone does, which is: Where do you get your ideas? Ideas are the easy part. They’re so easy I don’t really know other than I hear something, see something, read something, and then start wondering what would happen if this happened to a character and then I’m off and running. By the time it becomes a story I couldn’t tell you what originally sparked the question in my mind, and the connection may be pretty tenuous by that time. Getting the idea down on paper is the work.
3. If you could switch places with someone for 72 hours, whose life would you want to live?
Hmmm, that’s a tough one. There are a lot of things I’d like to experience like flying a jet or driving a racecar at 200 mph, but would I want to live a jet pilot or racecar driver’s life? Probably not. So maybe I’d like to be a trust-fund baby on a private tropical island somewhere and I could not have any worries and just read and swim and relax.
4. Who are you choosing for your zombie apocalypse team? [real, then fictional?]
Real team: My friend Laura because she raises chickens and ducks and goats and knows how to milk, butcher animals, card yarn and make soap. She knows how to forage for food, cook from scratch (and I mean scratch not a box like me.) She’d keep us fed and clothed when the supply chains are cut off. My cousin Mark because he’s Special Forces and speaks about a bajillion different languages, I think around twenty at the last count. So he’d knows his weapons, knows how to train people, and knows how to communicate with a lot of people. My friend George because she’s a doctor and I think it would be good to have one on board. And Bear Grylls because that guy can get through anything—or at least is willing to be out front. And that would make us five which is about as big a team as I’d want to keep moving. Okay if I can’t get Bear, because I don’t actually know him, I’d opt for someone with good engineering or mechanic skills.
Fictional team: Of course I’d want Superman, Batman (but not Robin), Zeus, Thor and Wolverine. Might as well have superheroes and Gods on my side. The hard part would be keeping their egos in check when they’re not fighting zombies.
5. How many times do you hit snooze in the morning? Or are you happy to roll right out of bed? Or are you someone who doesn’t even need an alarm clock?
One of the joys of being a writer is that I rarely use an alarm clock. I get up when I get up. Even so I’m usually not in a good mood first thing in the morning, better to give me an hour or so to actually wake up and get my mind working. However on the rare times I do use an alarm clock because I need to be somewhere I usually hit the snooze until I’m worried it won’t work. So at least twice sometimes three or four times.
6. What’s the best admonishment your mom ever gave you, or that you’ve ever given a kid? e.g. if you make that face it’ll freeze like that. or… if you walk from the kitchen to the table w/ a fork in your mouth you’ll stab yourself through the throat and die.
Mostly what I remember mom saying is, You’ll poke your eye out. I think my favorite line is one my dad used and I use on kids, “You can do anything you want, but you have to suffer the consequences.”
7. What’s the first thing you learned how to cook?
Probably cookies. I remember helping my older sister bake chocolate chip cookies. Then deciding to do a batch myself when I was about eight. I was a middle child, so I was often left to my own devices. Probably next was scrambled eggs. Then I was pretty proud of myself when I learned to make a perfect pot of rice when I was around seventeen. And of course after I moved out the house I remember calling my mom often on how to cook things, what temperature, how long kind of questions.
8. What was your first job? Your most interesting one?
My first job, other than babysitting, which I did a lot of between the ages of 12 to 16, was working at Hardees. My most interesting job by far is writing. Of course there was that stint of working for FedEx loading delivery trucks, which I maintain was the best diet I was never on. I worked my butt off—literally—and got paid for it.
9. If you have to listen to a song 24/7 for four days, which one would you choose?
I feel like I should say something erudite and highbrow like Look Down from Les Miz, but no I’d want Sugar, Sugar, by the Archies. I know I might hate it when the four days are up, but it never fails to put a smile on my face when I hear it.
10. If you had to eat from one fast food restaurant [chain] for the rest of your life, which one would you choose?
Wow, that’s a tough one. Wendy’s I guess because they have more variety, not everything is fried, and they serve pretty decent salads.
11. Did you ever imagine your stuffed animals might come to life as a child?
I was sure if I were sneaky enough I’d catch them before they managed to get back in place. But they foiled me every time I tried to creep in on them.
12. What items have to be close by when writing & not just the sensible stuff like research notes, but the other perhaps slightly goofy stuff (bowl of m&ms, stuffed animal, stress ball, pot of coffee).
My glass of iced tea is imperative. I almost can’t write if it isn’t there. Then my chocolate Rita statues and two stuffed pink flamingos sit on the shelf behind my computer screen. And usually at some point there will be a small bowl of munchy food with either raspberries, blue berries, strawberries, goldfish or Cheez-its.
13. What author promo has been the most effective for you? What do you think you’ll try next?
The most effective promotion was being part of the NookFirst program. Other than that it is really hard to measure. I honestly think the best promo is to write the next book and the next.
Annnd because it’s my birthday bash month. 😀
Aww. Happy Birthday!
14. What is something awesome that has to do with the number 2, or 20s. Either something that happened to you in your 20s, a 20th book milestone, etc.
Hmm, all but one of my five kids was born when I was in my twenties. They are all huge blessings and very special. And I really like using the word score in my historical fiction instead of twenty. Oh and one of my favorite baseball players wore number 20. 2nd baseman Frank White of the Royals. He was smooth as glass and made double plays look easy.
15. What’s the best birthday present you’ve ever received? What about the best birthday present you’ve ever given? How would your ideal birthday go?
I received a beautiful diamond necklace a couple of years ago from kids that was a really nice surprise. The best present I’ve ever given may have been ten days in Florida for my two youngest kids. (They both have October birthdays.) We did Disney World, Universal Studios, and drove to the ocean for a day. Of course one of my best birthday parties was when I was a kid and got to take five friends to a local amusement park, which may be why I repeat it with my kids when I can.
My ideal birthday would either be a trip somewhere like Disney World or the beach, involve a nice dinner out somewhere—no singing by waiters. Just fun time with my family. Because I’m not much of a cake person, my mother used to make me a cherry pie for my birthday and for many years my husband would bake me brownies, but now I’m kind of let’s skip straight to the ice cream, who needs all those candles anyway.
I’ll give away a copy of my 2012 Daphne du Maurier winning book Tainted by Temptation (Print copy NA addresses only) or an e-book of Awakening His Duchess, my January release. Winner’s preference. In the “crazy author fan letter contest” I’ll give away an e-copy of my upcoming midsummer release Lord Coleraine’s Scandalous Offer.
Oooo an ARC! (That’s Lord Coleraine’s Scandalous Offer. I’m jealous! You guys should enter the contest! So! You all know the drill! Ask Ms. Madison the most crazy question possible! (Or you know, one about her books. Definitely you can think of something!) And?! As of this posting, her book The Wedding Duel is free! Whee!