Monday, September 19, 2011

Interview with Katherine Owen and book giveaway

**Giveaway is now closed**

More or less, Katherine Owen is writing all the time; be it working on her next novel, blogging, posting on Facebook or tweeting. You can say she's a "write-aholic." Katherine graduated from University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Editorial Journalism and Communications. She minored in English Literature. Katherine is a member of both the "Romance Writers of America" National chapter and the "Pacific Northwest Writer's Association," the latter for which her debut novel, "Seeing Julia," won the Zola Award and first place in the association's national 2010 literary contest.

In her small amount of time when she is not writing, Katherine enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, wine and champagne, and the beautiful view from her home in Seattle. She also spends time researching photo sites for future book covers.

For some lucky readers anywhere in the world, she has one e-book of each of her novels, "Seeing Julia" and "Not to Us" to give away. (Print version is also available as an option to readers in the US.)

To learn more about Katherine you can find her on Facebook and Twitter, as well as by visiting her website.

MP: What led you from a career in high-tech sales and PR to writing?
KO: I have always had a desire to write full-time, however, real life and a trajectory rise of success in high tech sales kept me busy. A management change at my last company and a subsequent downsizing led me losing my sales job in the spring of 2009. It was as simple as this: the last one hired almost three years before was the first to be let go. Me. At that point, my customers were more upset than I was because I saw it as the chance to pursue what I always wanted to do: write full-time. I began taking classes with The Writer’s Studio and I started writing novels. The writing classes helped finesse my craft and up my game. In July 2010, I won the Zola Award and first place in the romance category (women’s fiction) with the Pacific Northwest Writers Association with my novel, "Seeing Julia."

MP: What was the biggest challenge you faced while writing "Not To Us"?
KO: The idea of "Not To Us" came to me after learning of a friend’s diagnosis of breast cancer. I was doing the dishes and staring out the window and thinking about all of this. Then, I started asking other questions, such as: What would you do if you were facing a life-threatening illness? Would you change your life’s path? What if something else happened? This kind of thinking channeled into the beginning premise for the story of "Not To Us." The biggest challenge with "Not To Us" was to avoid making the book about breast cancer. It would have been easy to get caught up in the diagnosis and the medical part of the disease and how Ellie fights it, but that isn’t the book I wanted to write. Those first questions led to the exploration of the inherent themes in the novel: love, loss, betrayal, forgiveness, and self-discovery. For Ellie, one of the main characters of "Not To Us," this involved her own personal journey—in finding out who she really is and what she really wants.

Here’s the tagline for the novel from the back cover of "Not To Us":
Her perfect world unravels, but she soon learns she can’t outrun betrayal, grief, or even cancer and revealing her secrets is the only way to keep her one and only wish.

MP: What is your usual writing routine?
KO: I try and write every day. The key word in that sentence is “try”. It takes a lot of effort to sit down every day and get meaningful words onto the page. There are a thousand interruptions. Each time that happens; it takes supreme effort to get back on track.

I am an avid reader as well, but I focus on reading as a writer to improve my craft. This is especially helpful when I am stuck upon something in my own work in progress. If the plot isn’t coming together, studying other people’s work releases me, somehow, to rediscover or embrace something new and refine my own style. For example, I love Dylan Landis’s work. She’s the author of "Normal People Don’t Live Like This." What is amazing about her writing is her ability to move the story forward with just a few sentences. It astounds me every time I go back and read her work in how fearless she is. Landis fully expects readers to put together what is happening in the story by just a few sentences or a paragraph with very little background information. It’s so inspiring. Reading other authors work as a writer often gets me back on track, helps me refine my own work, and expands my own writing style.

MA: If you could choose one of your books to be made into a movie, which would you pick and who would you cast in the lead roles?
KO: Some of my readers have already started talking about wanting to see "Seeing Julia" as a film, so I would choose that novel to be made into a movie. These are my personal choices for the actors to play in the roles if a film were to be made of "Seeing Julia":

Jaimie Alexander as Julia Hamilton
Henry Cavill as Jake Winston
Elsa Pataky as Kimberley Powers
Chris Hemsworth as Dr. Bradley Stevenson
Megan Fox as Savannah Bennett

MA: If we were to visit you in Seattle, where is one non-touristy place you would take us?
KO: I would take you on the Bremerton to Seattle Ferry ride because crossing Puget Sound by boat and approaching Seattle from the west side will take your breath away. And then, you’ll understand exactly why I live here.

MP: What would you say has been your favorite memory from the summer of 2011?
KO: Every year, we visit the Oregon Coast and rent a beach house in Pacific City. Time with my family in this brand of paradise is the ultimate. Our biggest worry is who is going to mix the first drink; once breakfast is finished. (We always try to wait until at least 11:30 a.m.) For me, there is no better place to be than on a beach watching the waves, the surfers, and the kids, and basking in the glorious sun to the mesmerizing sound of the Pacific.

MP: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
KO: I would love to take a trip to Australia. I’ve always had a penchant for a vast land, a varied culture, and a sense of adventure. Australia seems to be a unique combination of all three of these things. And, if I ever visited there, I’m pretty sure I could come up with a storyline or two for a novel.

MA: What piece of clothing have you owned the longest?
I have a long black wool coat trimmed in black velvet. It’s a classic, still fashionable; and I break it out every winter.

MA: What do you enjoy doing during the autumn months?
Fall always represents a time of change—renewal—for me. It’s my favorite time of year. I hope to finish my third novel, "When I See You," and begin my fourth one, "Finding Amy," before winter sets in.

MA: What do you do to stay motivated?
KO: To stay motivated, I keep writing. And, if the writing doesn’t come easily, I read someone else’s work. My contemporary fiction is a little edgy, sad, and sometimes funny. In other words, I tend to write dark; yet, readers respond to it saying they love my work. I keep going because of my fantastic readers. I’m in awe of the reviews that I’ve received for both "Seeing Julia" and "Not To Us," and so moved by the praise for my work. It spurs me on to write more stories.

Thanks to Katherine for allowing us to get to know her better and for sharing her books with our readers!

How to win "Seeing Julia" or "Not to Us":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: If you could change your career path, what field would you change it to and why? If you have not yet started a career, what path are you going to pursue?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.

Giveaway ends September 25th at midnight EST.


StereoQueenBee said...

I would take any ebook (for Kindle)

queenofcrunk at gmail dot com

1. Please tell us: If you could change your career path, what field would you change it to and why? If you have not yet started a career, what path are you going to pursue?

I want to start writing more, though doubt it would become a full time career choice for me.

2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).

Already follow this blog.

3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.

Facebook - Sabrina-Kate Eryou
Twitter - stereoqueenbee

4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

Am already a member.

Kat said...

1) It's always great to hear how supportive authors are of each other. Not To Us sounds like a fantastic novel!

2) Technically I haven't started my career since I'm not finished my degree in social work and am not working in that field. However, if I were to change course from human services, I think I would want a career that involves writing or creating "behind the scenes."

3) I am a follower of the blog through GFC

4) I am a member of CLC

5) Posted on facebook.

Nina said...

As a Cancer survivor, I love how she says she made "Not To Us" not entirely about the diagnosis. Those are the only kinds of books dealing with Cancer that I can read! :) As far as my career path goes, I would love to be a paid, full-time blogger! Woohoo! :)

Sherry said...

1.Epidemiologist--fascinated with diseases and why. I was a microbiologist and life led me to where I am today--Which is a great place just saying one day I wish to find a way to combined the two. My job is too great to give it up but who knows what the future holds.....

2. I am a follower

3. Joined Chicklit

Jeryl M. said...

I would like to win.

Jeryl M. said...

I would have liked to work in publishing and maybe eventually have had a book of my own published.

I am subscriber.

I am a Facebook fan.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't change my career path.


not a fan of facebook or twitter


I'd love to win Seeing Julia for iPad

Literary Chanteuse said...

Well at the moment I am a stay home Mom so that career if for life however books seem to be my passion so I would love to do something with them and actually be paid.

I would like Seeing Julia if selected and I am a follower.


Linda Kish said...

They both sound like terrific stories.

I loved the career I chose... nursing. If I could have changed it, the only thing I would have wanted to change it to would be a doctor maybe but I didn't have the grades for that. I never regretted the choice I made.

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this wonderful novel.

i'm a follower, too

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

faithspage said...

I'm currently going to college (at 40) medical office.
I would love to own a little book shop or clothing store.
Not To Us!
I follow on facebook and gfc

kyfaithw at aol dot com

Kim W. said...

1. I used to be a Project Manager for marketing campaigns. I have been at home the last 6 years raising my children and I love that I've had this opportunity! But if I could change things, I would love to be in publishing or editing -- maybe even write a book of my own!

2. I already follow the CLC blog

3. I have posted this contest to Facebook

4. I'm a member of CLC on Facebook already

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

I think 'Not to Us' sounds like a fabulous book. It will be going on my TBR list.

Bonus entries:
1. I have worked in libraries for almost 20 year now and I love working in them. If I could change anything it would be to get the degrees needed to be recognized as a 'librarian'.
2. I am a GFC follower of this blog.
3. I joined Chick Lit Central on Facebook.

Amy said...

I am actually trying, very hard in fact, to change my career path. I am trying to get into the book publicity/PR world or/and in the beauty industry world. You ask why...b/c they are my passions.

email: amyrbromberg(at)gmail(dot)com

I follow CLC blog via GFC

I am a facebook member of CLC

I shared contest on my facebook wall:


Nancye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancye said...

I was a teacher for 14 years and I loved it! I taught until I had an accident in 2007 that left me disabled. I would give anything to still be healthy and still be teaching.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...


nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I posted this giveaway on my facebook wall.!/nancyecdavis/posts/265664383466916

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I like you on Facebook
FB ID: Nancye Epperson Davis

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net