Picking Their Brains – KT Hanna

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On this edition of Picking Their Brains, we have KT Hanna! 

I met KT… gosh, I actually can’t remember. Probably through the now-defunct Writer’s Platform Building Campaign? Whether it was because we both participated in it, or because I came across someone there who knew her. Something. And then we figured out we were in the same part of the country, and met up at a writer’s conference just a few months later.

OWFI 2012 - (left to right) Michelle Pierce, KT Hanna, Steven James, Jessica Jones, Heather Cashman, Rebekah Loper
OWFI 2012 – (left to right) Michelle Pierce, KT Hanna, Steven James, Jessica Jones, Heather Cashman, Rebekah Loper

Ironically, KT also walked me through the very first author interview I ever did on my blog when I was spazzing because I had no idea what to do, or what to ask. I’m pleased to say that I did not spazz over this interview!

KT also found the #writemotivation (usually) monthly motivation event (for writers, obviously), and while I personally have found that not advertising my goals actually makes me more likely to accomplish them, the camaraderie of #writemotivation is something you need to experience at least once. You can follow her blog to keep up with that. 🙂

But really, the reason we’re here today (besides ‘picking KT’s brain’) is that she just (well, like, a month ago) released her first book! Sadly, I haven’t had time to read it yet. But it’s rapidly approaching the top of my TBR pile, so I will be reading it soon, yay!

Chameleon (The Domino Project) (Volume 1) (affiliate link)
Chameleon (The Domino Project) (Volume 1) (affiliate link)

When Sai’s newly awoken psionic powers accidentally destroy her apartment complex, she’s thrown into an intensive training program. Her only options are pass or die. Surviving means proving her continued existence isn’t a mistake–a task her new mentor, Bastian, takes personally. Her abilities place her in the GNW Enforcer division, and partners her with Domino 12, who is eerily human for an alien-parasite psionic hybrid. After eliminating an Exiled scientist, she discovers someone is manipulating everything. With each mission more perilous, Sai must figure out who to trust before her next assignment becomes her last.

And now… the interview!

KT Hanna, author of Chameleon
KT Hanna, author of Chameleon

Rebekah: Hi, KT! Thanks for being here today! When did you starting writing? How did you fall in love with it?

KT Hanna: I actually don’t start writing something until I’m in love with it. This usually involves me having the initial idea, managing a wee intro scene and then letting it stew until something sparks and it’s all I can think about. Then I dive into research, outlining, and point by point plotting – and then I draft. Kind of in a binge.

R: Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? What was it about?

KT: I don’t know if it was the first story as such – but it’s the first long and multilayered story I wrote was when I was about 8. It was about twin girls living in a house with a haunted attic that they were forbidden to enter. They were 12, and one day when their parents left them home briefly, a thunder storm happened and the attic door opened. One of them falls down the stairs and dies in exact replica of the original accident that led to the haunting in the first place. Setting the cycle on repeat. TADAAAAAA One day I might actually redo that one lol.

R: Sounds like a classic horror! I’m sure there’s a market for that. 😉

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write, on an emotional level?

KT: Actually it’s a book that I wanted to write for a specific reason. Don’t want to name it, but basically I set out to achieve an exact purpose with it, which is macabre and sad and slightly terrifying. Knowing all along where that book headed, I knew it would be difficult to write, and it was. But I feel it’s the best thing I’ve ever written.

R: It’s usually the things that make us feel the most are the most worthwhile to write, I’ve found.
How did you find the writing methods that work best for you?

KT: Trial and error to be honest. I used to be a part of a writer’s group – YEARS AGO. There were some really vocal people in it, and I used to listen to what they said like it was gospel. But this write every day thing is something that just didn’t work for me. It frustrated me no end for about 5 years. Because I felt I HAD to do it this way, because everyone, including all the books they’d referred me to told me to do certain things to be a writer. At that point I also pantsed my ideas, and it played havoc with my head.

In 2011 I finally sat down and searched for something to help me organize my thoughts better. Using scrivener and some adjusted questions, I figured out my way to outline, reasearch, and plot. And voila. I found my way to binge write haha.

R: What is a writing method you tried that ended up not working for you at all?

I can’t force myself to write every day. It doesn’t work for me. It stresses me far too much because I feel compelled to write even if there’s nothing that’s tugging at me. Instead I opt to do something writing related every day. Reading, writing, editing, worldbuilding, research etc.

R: I can’t write everyday, either. Partly for ‘creativity’ issues like you mention, and partly because of life. I’m working on getting in the habit of writing-related things everyday myself!

What is a writing dream of yours that hasn’t come true yet, and what is one that has surpassed anything you thought possible?

KT: Hasn’t come true yet? Hmmm all of them? I want others to experience my world, and I’m still working on gaining a widespread audience. Surpassed? None I guess? Although maybe the cover and appearance of my first book. They’re perfect in every way, and I adore them.

R: I’ve heard book cover horror stories, so loving how yours turned out is definitely awesome! It’s gorgeous.

Thanks so much for being here today, KT!

So guys, go check out her book, okay? Okay. And if you have any questions for KT, just comment below!

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About Rebekah

Rebekah Loper writes character-driven epic fantasy featuring resilient women in trying and impossible circumstances who just want to save themselves but usually end up saving the world, often while falling in love.
She lives in Tulsa, OK with her husband, dog, two formerly feral cats, a small flock of feathered dragons (...chickens. They're chickens), and an extensive tea collection. When she's not writing, she battles the Oklahoma elements in an effort to create a productive, permaculture urban homestead.