I'm delighted to welcome Katy Haye on my blog today, to talk about her exciting YA fantasy romance The Last Gatekeeper, the first book in the Chronicles of Fane series.
Two worlds. A queen determined to rule both. And one teen girl who stands in her way.
Zanzibar MacKenzie knows she’s a freak. She has EHS – electrical hypersensitivity – which leaves her trying to live a Stone Age life in the twenty-first century: no internet, no phone, no point really.
On her seventeenth birthday she discovers the truth: she can’t stand electricity because she’s half-fae, and her mixed-blood makes her the only person on Earth able to control the gates that link the fae and human worlds.
With the help of Thanriel, an angel charged with keeping the worlds in balance, and Cal, an exiled fae, Zan – the girl who can’t flip a light switch – must now learn to control the elemental powers she never knew she had in order to defeat a queen bent on destruction.
It sounds enthralling, doesn't it? And at the moment The Last Gatekeeper is currently FREE. Grab a copy from Amazon: http://authl.it/B00P5DNUZY?d or in all other formats from Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/572349
Katy Haye spends as much time as possible in either her own or someone else's imaginary worlds. She has a fearsome green tea habit, a partiality for dark chocolate brazils and a fascination with the science of storytelling.
When not lost in a good book, Katy may be found on her allotment growing veg and keeping hens in order to maximise her chances of survival in the event of a zombie apocalypse or similar catastrophe.
I asked Katy to tell us a bit more about herself
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
When I was four, pre-literate and being read a bedtime story by my mum I decided I wanted to make a living writing stories when I grew up. Nothing has changed. Writing is the most fun in the world – and I’d love to make a living at it.
What do you like writing most?
I write young adult stories because they are what I love to read. YA fiction is the most exciting, imaginative writing around at the moment. And I’m very lucky in that I love the entire writing process – putting ideas together and doing “what if?” exercises while a plot forms; dashing out the first “dirty” draft, editing and polishing – although proofreading makes me a bit cross-eyed (lucky I’ve got other people who will check it for me!).
Do you have a special place for writing?
I have the messiest desk in the world (probably – I’m open to competition), in what is very grandly called the music room. In fact, it’s a closed-in porch containing a piano, a cello and (at last count) four flutes (my daughter and I both play – although only one at once) – along with my PC and a filing cabinet. If I’m not there, my best place to write (because my netbook is too slow for the internet or social media, unlike the PC) is at the kitchen table with local radio on in the background. Most of my words are written there, often with the pressure of a kitchen timer ticking away to force me to concentrate.
Are you a pantster or a plotter?
I started out as a pantster. After several manuscripts got consigned to a drawer at the 20k word mark I started plotting. I now love festooning a white board with different-coloured comments and four word summaries of chapters and scenes so I have a pretty good idea where I’m going. It makes getting past the 20 – 25k point so much easier – and once I’ve reached 30k it’s all downhill!
Is your writing ever inspired by your family or real life incidents?
Lord alive, no! I live the dullest life imaginable. I write fantasy because my rule is: “If you’re going to make it up, you might as well REALLY make it up”. Real life need not intrude. Having said that, I do get inspiration from real life events or people I see or read about, but by the time it’s been processed through my imagination it’s generally unrecognisable.
What are you writing at the moment?
I’ve just finished a short story set in the world of Fane, where my first two novels are set. Then it’s back to edits for the first in a new trilogy about a group of teenagers in a place that’s a cross between a hospital and a school. They are all recovering from brain damage - but there’s something much more sinister going on behind the scenes...
What inspired you to write your books?
My Fane books came about when my hero (Thanriel, an angel) and Zan (a girl who doesn’t know she’s half-fae) strolled into my head and started telling their stories. I wanted to write about these two, then I just needed a world for them. That came together when my inner feminist pointed out the discrepancy between the gender balance in reality and what’s shown in the media. Panel shows bother me. You take a look at any and you’ll find the host is 95% certain to be male. Then most have the format of two teams of two. Of those four, three will also be male – and no one but me raises an eyebrow if all of them are male – and that’s supposed to reflect 50/50 reality? So, in Fane I turned that on its head. 80% of the Fane race are female – and they’re pretty kickass with it! After that it was just throwing in some deadly peril, a despotic ruler and some magical abilities, and I had my story.
What time of the day do you write best?
Oh, do you know what, I’m quite undisciplined – any time. No, actually, that should read flexible. In my day job I work shifts, so sometimes I have time to write in the mornings, other times it’s in the evenings when everyone else has gone to bed. So long as the writing gets done I don’t mind when, and I am disciplined in that I know when I’m slacking off and I get twitchy if I don’t focus on writing for long. For example – I’m currently packing for a week’s holiday and I’ve decided I will take my netbook because it’s less stressful to be able to write if I want to, than forcing myself to take a break and wanting to write when I can’t.
What are your hobbies?
Aside from the flute playing mentioned earlier, my other hobby is growing veg and keeping hens on an allotment very close to my home. I like to pretend I’m testing my survival abilities in case of apocalypse, but, to be honest, I’m not a natural gardener and if we had to live off what I grow we’d all be pretty thin. This year, if the apocalypse had struck I’d have to hope slugs and snails are nutritious, since that’s what I seem to have grown most of!
What advice would you give to other writers?
1. Ignore the voices in your head and get a proper job.
2. If the characters and scenes in your head still won’t shut up and go away, then you’re probably a writer. Write, keep writing, and then write some more. And make friends with other writers – you’ll need the support.
Good advice, Katy!
You can find out more about Katy and her work, here:
Katy’s website: www.katyhaye.com
Make friends on Goodreads at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9848245.Katy_Haye
Or watch Katy’s video How to Become a Writer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o03uWBH7bBE
Thanks for dropping by Katy. Lots of luck with your book!