Sunday, March 20, 2011

Interview--KAT DUNCAN

BIO: 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'. The wise priest asked her if her stories were told to hurt other people. "Oh, no!" she replied, "I only tell them to make people happy." The priest asked her if she had any other sins to confess and when she didn't, he advised her to continue telling her stories and then he assigned her a few prayers to say for those who could not hear them. 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. With one teenager in high school (home school) and another in college, every moment of her meager spare time is spent creating romances.

Thanks for being here, Kat. It’s a pleasure.
Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here!

#1- Tell us a little about yourself outside of your writing career…
I tutor all ages in all subjects at a tutoring center. I love the tutoring center where I work because its mission is to provide individualized instruction and support, not just cookie-cutter skills worksheets and drill. Many of my students are high school students, so I often feel more like a life coach than a tutor. I'm amazed at how many students with learning disabilities show tremendous creativity. Of course I love to encourage that!

#2- How does one go from a software engineer to tutoring special needs adolescents? And then write romances?
The answer is homeschooling. Neither of my two daughters fit very well into the local school system, despite that it is a good school system in a small, friendly town. My older daughter is a genius who was 3+ years ahead academically and my younger one struggled with dyslexia. I'm a do-it-yourselfer at heart, so I decided to homeschool. This led me to a new career in tutoring as I found teaching much more fun than writing complex algorithms to search library databases. My two daughters are thriving. One is in college and the other is in highschool (homeschool). And writing, well, writing is something I've done since I was a child, but it wasn't until I realized that each student needed to follow his own, perhaps non-traditional path, that I went back to that place where as Robert Frost wrote, "two roads diverged in a yellow wood" and I, I raced headlong down "the path less traveled by".

#3- How do you handle the negative reviews and critiques you receive?
I'm of Scottish/Irish descent and if it's one thing we Celts love it's a good argument! I enjoy reading any reviews and opinions of my work because I like to see all sides of an argument. As a tutor I think of myself as a kind of systems analyst for the mind. My job is to figure out why a student is not succeeding and then find alternate methods for them to learn and study so they can succeed. I know that not every method works for every student in the same way that every story isn't enjoyed by every reader.

#4- Can you tell us a bit about the book in this giveaway and what your inspiration was?
The book in this giveaway is Fifty-eight Faces. It's a romantic suspense novella about a rich businessman and a pediatric surgeon whose families have been fighting over a blue diamond for decades. They have a common enemy in a Neo-Nazi who wants to kill both of them so he can be the 58th and last possessor of the diamond. The story was inspired by a submission call from The Wild Rose Press for romantic suspense stories that involved a blue diamond and danger for the hero and heroine. I had written two other romantic suspense stories and decided that submitting to an epublisher would be fun.

#5- Assuming you get any time to read, what authors do you like to read, and were there any books that stand out from your childhood as favorites?
I make time to read and I also listen to books on tape during my commute. I love to read mysteries from Mary Higgins Clark because she has such a great way of building tension with what seem like ordinary situations. I read a variety of romance authors and have just started reading urban fantasy because my fantastic critique partner writes it. As a child I read my way alphabetically through the fiction section at the library. My favorites were horse stories and westerns until I discovered JRR Tolkien, Arthur C Clark and Isaac Asimov.

#6- Are there any upcoming releases we would like to know about, and could you give us your web site so readers can check it out?
I released a romantic suspense about a global economic crisis, Six Days to Midnight. You can find it on Amazon and on Smashwords. I am also releasing a series of medieval historical romances. You can find the first one, Without a Lord on Amazon and Smashwords.
Please visit me on the web:
Twitter: @write_about

#7- This about concludes it. Thank you again for joining us. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Yes. I would like to mention that I am giving online workshops on grammar and writing techniques throughout the year for beginning and established writers alike. My next workshop is a great series on painless grammar and style. Check this link for more information:

I'm also giving a year-long course for beginning writers at Savvy Authors. I'll be sharing all the wonderful things I've learned about how to write fiction.

I also have a free writing book, Telling Details, on how to use details in writing. It's available on Smashwords:

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