Hi Kat, great to have you here and to be part of your blog tour - wishing you loads of sales and lots of visitors over the coming two days. SO looking forward to finding out more about your new release!
On with the probing questions... ;)
1) Did you set any goals for 2011?
Yes, my goal for 2011 was to learn the ins and outs of self-publishing. It took about 3 months to crest the learning curve of how to format books and produce a great cover, as well as learn where to make books available and how to price and promote the books. As one of my most recent releases, Synapse is one book I can point to as an achievement of this goal.
2) What is the best part of the writing process for you?
The best part of the writing process for me happens when I have the basic idea drafted and I get to really work on and hone the story and the characters. I love finding and developing connections between characters and themes as I hone the story, which to me, is the essence of good prose. In Synapse Bill's father always questioned whether Bill was really his. The conflicts and issues that arose around the issue are resolved in the story, yet Bill is unhappy with how that comes about. I think this tells us that while we may wish for an end to our troubles, we may not always be pleased with the way they resolve themselves.
3) The worst part?
The worst part is definitely the blank page. I can usually dream up lots of good ideas, but for some reason, getting those ideas from my head onto paper is a bit more difficult. That's the part where I feel as if writing is work. I have various carrot and stick techniques I use to force myself to draft. Once the basic idea is down on digital paper I know I can have lots of fun playing with it.
4) What is the book you wish you’d written?
Right now I'd have to say The Host by Stephenie Meyer. In this long, fascinating book she explores the basis of what it means to be human. I really enjoyed the topic because it's one I think about all the time. She took her time uncovering the ways that being human and non-human overlap and the process of how people can change, even if it takes terrible losses and hard-won revelations to achieve.
5) Favourite author/s & book/s?
My all-time top favorite is J.R.R. Tolkien. The worlds and characters he created feel very real to me and his stories and novels are the ones that I have re-read the most.
6) Tell us about your latest release?
Stalked by a killer bent on stealing her laboratory notebook, scientist Molly Augur is desperate to figure out who she can and cannot trust. With the help of co-researcher Bill Banely, she uses DNA technology she invented to prove she can release hidden ancestral memories. In the brain synapses of her mind she finds one person who may know the truth - her long dead ancestor, Mailsi, whose life memories have been recorded in the depths of Molly’s genes.
Ancient passions and betrayals come alive and collide with the present when Molly discovers philanthropist Dr. Philman, with a secret billion dollar need for the technology only she possesses could be the one after her notebook. And Bill, whose wandering heart she has finally won, is working for Philman. In the face of limitless money, what is the value of Bill’s love? Or the value of her life? The answers lie deep within the synapses of her mind.
7) Tease us with a blurb/short except
"Did you dream?"
"Yes." She nodded along with the word, then took a big gulp of milk.
"What did you dream?" He moved closer. Close enough that she felt the warmth of his body. He stared down into her face as she swiped away the mustache of milk with her tongue.
"Uh…It was interesting. And pretty vivid, too."
Bill nodded, keeping his attention on her face. "Was your mother in it?"
"No, it wasn't about my mother at all." she said. "I was Mahlsi, a young Irish girl from Waterford."
"Mel shee. Is that an Irish name?"
"I guess so."
"How young a girl?"
"Ah, seven years old."
"Do you know exactly or is that an estimate?"
"I know exactly. My age was mentioned in the memory sequence."
"You mean her age. Mahlsi's."
"Uh, yeah." Molly broke from his strong gaze to take a careful sip of milk. He must have interviewed hundreds of dreamers in his career.
"Waterford. Are you certain about that, too?"
"And have you any certainty about connections between yourself and Mahlsi?"
Yeah. I am her. "What do you mean?" she asked. That sounded defensive, but he was being clinical.
"I mean do you know of any actual family connections to a person with the name of Mahlsi, or anyone from Waterford in your genealogy?"
"My family came to the United States from County Kerry in southwest Ireland. I don't know of a Mahlsi. But I guess she could be an ancestor."
8) What is your favourite attribute of the hero and heroine?
My favourite attribute for a hero and heroine is honesty. There are times, of course, when complete honesty works against you and can even do harm to the relationship. But I have to really admire and root for a character who tries his or her best to be honest and take whatever consequences may come.
9) What’s next?
Next up is a medieval historical I've been working on. I've gone back and forth with romantic suspense and medieval historicals and it's been fun to try to recreate believable story worlds from centuries ago. This one involves a family feud that ends up involving and endangering hundreds of people until it can finally be resolved.
10) Tell me where you write?
I write anywhere and everywhere, and every chance I get. But I do my best work on a rainy day sitting in my sunroom. I'm not sure what the irony in that implies, but it works for me. If it's a sunny, pleasant day I guess I feel I should be out doing yard work or housework. On a rainy day you can forgive yourself for curling up with a good book whether your reading one or writing one.
11) Where would you like your career to be in 5 years?
I am working toward being a prolific writer, so I hope to have more than 2 dozen books available as ebooks and in print in 5 years. I don't think I can ever stop writing, so I can only hope that there are more and more readers out there!
12) Where can we find you?
Kat Duncan is a creation extremist who is doing her best to identify human creativity and free it from captivity, one student at a time. As a young child, Kat once tried to confess the telling of her stories to her parish priest because she thought they fit the definition the nuns gave for telling a lie. With her lies fully sanctioned and blessed by church authorities, Kat has been telling her lies ever since and writing stories to entertain and enlighten. After a successful career as a software engineer, Kat decided she needed something different to do. She's now a tutor of adolescents with special needs.
Kat will be awarding gift basket worth over $15 of Irish items to one randomly drawn commenter (US/Canada only please) and a $10 Amazon GC to the blog host with the most comments so comment away good people!
Thanks for stopping by with us, Kat :)