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Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Welcome to author Kate Thomson aka Katy Haye!

I'm very pleased to welcome Kate Thomson to my bog today. Kate writes under the pen name of Katy Haye for her YA books. So far she has three books out: The Last Gatekeeper and The Last Dreamseer are the Chronicles of Fane – urban fantasy with fae and angels; and Rising Tides is a dystopian novel, set in a drowned post-apocalyptic world.

I asked Kate what the appeal was in writing YA fantasy. She said, “I write young adult novels because that’s what I love to read. And I write fantasy because those are always the ideas that climb into my head. My opinion is – if you’re going to make it up, you might as well REALLY make it up!”

Kate says that she fell in love with books when she was tiny. “When my mum was reading me a bedtime story at the age of four, I asked if you had to pay to get your story turned into a book. Mum replied that no, the publisher pays you and that was it – I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up.”

Inspiration strikes when we least expect it, and I wondered where Kate tends to get her best ideas.
I’m a woeful insomniac,” says Kate. “I usually seem to be awake between about 3 and 5 in the mornings – but not awake enough to get up and do stuff (which would be crazy, after all). After years of fighting it, I now look at that interlude as my plotting time and I quite enjoy figuring out the fixes I can get my characters into – and how they’re going to get themselves back out. When I haven't solved character dilemmas through the sleepless method, my other way to work out plot kinks on the allotment where I wage a constant war against weeds and slugs (this year, the slugs are winning!)”

So, what about free time. What does Kate do when she's not working on her books?
When I’m not writing, I’m probably reading. I review on a blog called the Paisley Piranha (www.paisleypiranha.wordpress.com) which is all about YA books and writers. I also play the flute for fun and in a local amateur orchestra.”

I asked Kate what was the inspiration behind her latest book?
Newly-out Rising Tides was inspired initially by a story I read about Scott’s Hut in the Antarctic (you can read it here: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2004/dec/02/1)
The story is about Alan Gibbs, who visited the hut and spotted a dried parsnip which had fallen out of a rusted tin, reconstituted itself in a puddle of chilly water and transpired to be perfectly edible – nearly 100 years after it had first been grown. There was another piece (I’ve lost the reference, unfortunately) about a different explorer who brought back a tin of rhubarb left in Scott’s Hut and baked a perfectly edible pie from it.

The idea that food grown and prepared now could still be edible a century or more into the future set my imaginative cogs whirring – how would humans manage after a total collapse of the eco-system when this food was the only thing left: how might they agree to share (or not?).”

Here’s an extract. Cosimo has dived down to long-drowned houses to scavenge whatever food he can for himself and Libby (who’s narrating):

The lurch of the boat was my only warning before Cosimo clambered back on board. There was a clatter as he tipped his finds onto the deck. Half a dozen tins covered in grey slime. “Breakfast, your Highness.” My hunger vanished. He leaned back over the side of the boat, washing the tins in the sea.

My stomach rumbled and I ventured to the cabin to see what delicacies he’d found.
Cosimo had chosen sweetcorn. The other open tins held pineapple, mashed peas and minced meat. I wished, as I did most times I set to cook a meal, that it was possible to know what was within the tins before we opened them. I guessed the Old Ones hadn’t imagined their labels might need to be waterproof.
The pineapple would taste of nothing more than the tin it had been encased in, so I took the minced meat from the ledge inside the cabin, found a fork and returned to the deck. I sat at the back of the boat, close enough to him to watch what he did with the boat’s controls without being so close he might get presumptuous ideas.

You can get a copy of Rising Tides as a paperback, on your Kindle or download with Kindle Unlimited by using this (universal) link: http://authl.it/B01FHXD8HG?d

Currently, Kate has just finished a tie-in short story set in the world of Fane, for readers of The Last Gatekeeper and The Last Dreamseer. She says: “It was great fun going back to Fane and spending a bit more time with Cal, who is probably my favourite character from there (shh, don’t tell the others!).”

And here's an extract from The Last Gatekeeper (First of the Chronicles of Fane)

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.

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

Read on to meet our hero, Thanriel:
His dark hair fell in spiky disarray into eyes so dark they looked black. His skin was pale, almost luminous. He looked like he should be in a poster on my friend Em’s wall, not standing in my doorway.
His hair glinted in the rising moonlight, the colour of lacquered mahogany, dark against his pale skin. I breathed in. He smelled like he’d been outside all day. He smelled like the air during a rainstorm. My pulse picked up.


Katy’s website: www.katyhaye.com

Twitter: @katyhaye

Or watch Katy’s video How to Become a Writer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o03uWBH7bBE

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