Kathryn Zurmehly is a U.S. Army veteran and calls Phoenix, Arizona her hometown. She grew up with a love for stories, heroes, and new worlds. She enjoys Krav Maga, good whiskey, at least reasonably alright wine, petting dogs, and time with family. It is her goal as a writer to bring the kinds of stories that she loves to readers.
What inspires you to write?
I have always loved to tell stories, even just to myself. It's a part of who I am. I have lucid dreams that do it from time to time. One of the most wonderful things about writing is that it gives me a chance to bring those stories to others. I don't know if they'll be inspiring or influential or just a few hours' entertainment, but I think there is value in that connection. We all have gifts; this one, for some reason, is mine, and talents are meant to be used.
Tell us about your writing process.
I avoid outlines because they become the project. However, after I get the initial work started on a book, I promptly cover a closet door with sticky notes labeled with vitally important info in my very best chicken scratch. I may hit this point right away, or as I near the end; when I'm focused on writing, I forget everything, even eating. My initial drafts need revision, especially for consistency such as place names, but once I start I will focus unless something important- like being able to pay the mortgage, alas- gets in the way.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I know who they are very well. I don't mean I can name their favorite colors or there preferred D&D class, though I suppose I could. I mean that I understand them well enough that I know how they'll react to a given situation- or how they might create a situation and why. To me, knowing my characters in this way is the most difficult and important part of getting a story together. Cool world concepts don't really grab a reader; interesting characters who are a part of that world do.
Who are your favorite authors?
Flannery O'Connor is one of my favorite authors and a major inspiration in her understanding of the world and creativity, alongside the great J.R.R. Tolkien. My favorite book is an old Star Wars novel, X-Wing: Starfighters of Adumar by Aaron Allston. I also adore Robin McKinley. If you're looking for some good, intriguing, and complex sci-fi, Vernor Vinge's Zones of Thought series is worth several re-reads. Recently, the Sun Eater series by Chris Ruocchio has been an absolute delight of a space opera.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I opted for self-publishing after feeling like I was not the demographic many publishers were looking for in authors- and also being confused by their guidelines for manuscripts. Amazon made it easy, with very clear guidelines, previews, and templates. After hearing a well-known fantasy writer talk about how her publisher didn't think her latest work could sell, I decided to go through with self-publishing for sure.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think it's due for a serious change. I can't tell you what that change will look like. You hear about Waterstones saving itself from sinking and good new writers are still published by the major publishing houses (Ruocchio, for instance), though sometimes I wonder if that's a who-you-know situation. The major houses will have to change; I'm not paying $15, the original price of Star Wars: Ahsoka, for a single ebook unless I really, really, really want it and that's not common- though I find out about such books at least six months or more after their release, because advertising is awful. Publishing needs to confront these issues.
What genres do you write?
fantasy, sci-fi, adventure
What formats are your books in?
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All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.