Please give a warm welcome to author Kat Quinn
Tell us a bit about yourself…
Oh hayyyyy, I’m Kat. I like cats, bats, and tacos. The last one didn’t rhyme, but I definitely feel as though it deserves recognition.
What has happened work wise since our last interview?
Well, since the first time we did one of these fancy chata-a-majigs, I finished up Dizzy’s series! Which is super duper cool. As many may guess from the magnificent Disaster Zone Jones herself, I am in possession of my own fancy ADHD brain, which comes with a lot of squirrel-centricities. The great thing about that is that it helps me be really sporadic and creative, often finding links between totally unrelated things because my thoughts can zip around and ping off of a heckload of stuff all at once. One of the limitations a lot of ADHD folks, like myself, need to be aware of… is that once something is ‘boring’ to us, we are super likely to abandon it, even if that’s before the project we were once obsessed with is fully finished. The fact that I not only fully completed one book, but an entire series?! And a short story that’s in an upcoming anthology? And still have a TON of enthusiasm left in the tank for this?! It’s an ADHD miracle. Which I attribute to being fully aware of what I want to do (keep writing), and how to get there (never push against my interests, always follow them to where they lead me and never make this feel ‘boring.’). Ooops, ramble! But hey, let’s just say that’s true to form.
TL;DR: Completed the Disaster Zone Jones trilogy, and also have a short story coming up in the limited run “My Perfect Pleasure” anthology coming in May.
What was your inspiration for your current book/series?
Honestly, Dizzy came to life all on her own, and despite the fact that I am techhhhhnically already working on something else right now, I still sort of consider her my ‘current’ project. I’ve never had any control over what she does, or how she does it. Every time I made a suggestion about what the DZJ crew should do, they pretty much IMMEDIATELY overruled it and went off on their own adventures, the lovable, ragtag, group of freakin HOOLIGANS. So, my inspiration was… well, following the whims of what happens in my brain and just letting them proceed on their own, rather than trying to reign them in. Like I said, I’ve embraced not pushing against my interests because it seems to be what keeps everything so interesting. I do hope to eventually get back to writing that griffin shifters book that Dizzy trampled over during her stampede out of my fingers and onto the page, but I’ll wait until they get insistent enough about making me listen. I’ve learned my lesson about trying to force a story, and the answer is… don’t. It’s not nearly as fun.
What are you working on now?
The book I’m writing now—a story that was just meant to be a Halloween short I had in my drafts from like two years ago—was meant to be a fun little ‘break’ from writing the main storyline in Dizzy’s universe (There’s a TON of other characters and events, all with their own books planned, written in the same universe.), has suddenly decided it would like to be a full novel. Hahahah, because of course it did. This was NOT in the plan, even though it’s been listed in the pinned post in my reader group as being ‘in progress’ for a long time. Genuinely thought it would be a short little 10k word piece; barely a blip of a thing. Anyone familiar with just how thiccc my books are, shouldn’t be surprised that the story had other ideas—*I* shouldn’t be surprised that the story had other ideas—but like I said… I’ve learned to not try and force a story. I’ll go where it takes me, or where it tells me to take it. At this point, I’m pretty sure these books have lives all their own.
After that? The hope is I’ll be working on another story from the main universe I’m working in. There are some pretty strong characters vying for the position to be next up to bat, and I’m having a very hard time choosing between [redacted], [redacted], and [redacted], especially, because they’re all making their points very aggressively. I’d pretend like I know which one is next up for sure, and make some sort of official announcement but… well… I don’t trust the other two to take things lying down [insert joke about sexual positions here, bow chicka bow-wow!], and suspect they’ll put up a heck of a fight. Wouldn’t want to tempt them to kick down the door and overrule that decision, too, so I guess I’ll just see who starts talking when I start writing.
Do you have any quirks while working?
Probably? Hahaha. I discovered, while writing Dizzy’s third book, that I actually have some positive triggers that can help me enter that sweet-sweet hyper focus state that us ADHDers can magically achieve, which is how we’re able to get an intense amount of work done unexpectedly. If I listen to a specific lo-fi playlist I cultivated (with headphones on to block out the rest of the world), while sipping on a cup of Lin’s Future Brew (a tea from the books that I actually had custom-blended and are available here: https://linktr.ee/authorkatquinn ), I can submerge myself into the story and it just flows the right way. Thankfully, my cat is a very good manager and reminds me to do things like… give him cuddles, which is a great reminder to take a break and drink some water.
What are your hopes for the future?
I hope to be able to do things like fall in love with more of these robust characters the way I have Dizzy and her crew. Genuinely, realizing it was time to set them free and move on to another story had me crying just a little bit, which I’m pretty sure comes through in the afterword of their final book. Accidentally, I started saying goodbye to them and it just hit me all at once. What horrible but fulfilling heartbreak to endure, living life with these people who are completely real to you, and having to part ways, even if you don’t feel ready for it. Loving something and someone with that intensity is a gift, even if it’s sometimes a painful one. So, I hope that my heartache is eased by [redacted] and their group, by finding just as a big a love in them as I did Dizzy.
Also, I’d really like to get some tacos and shaved ice this week. That’s a pretty reasonable hope, right?
What have you learned about publishing since our first interview?
Honestly? I don’t actually know. Sure, it’s been a couple years and I’ve now pumped out that third book, so I’m sure I’ve learned plenty along the way… but I’ve taken it at a leisurely, manageable pace so all those lessons have been gradual. I suppose the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I can do this; that anyone can do this. If you take ten years to write one book, if you go forward with an idea you’re not sure people will connect with, if you haven’t ever written anything before and aren’t sure if it’ll be any good… as long as you’re brave enough to do it anyway, there’s a place for you. There are NO rules, regardless of what anyone tells you. Just guidelines available for consideration, but not a requirement for your own path if you don’t click with them. And I’ve known this one for a while, but no matter how hard you try… you’re going to fuck up along the way. Why stress about being perfect? That’s not actually realistic. Do the best you can, fuck up, and learn from it how to do better. I’m darn proud of my first series, but I also know that I could have gotten into the trap of never actually showing it to anyone because I could have nit picked at it forever and ever and ever. In the future? Sure, I’ll probably look back and find some bits and pieces that could be done differently… but those are lessons I could never learn without having been brave enough to try. I’m not afraid of whatever mistakes I’ve made, because they show I’m still working on how to get better and better. I hope there’s never a point where I have nothing new left to learn.
Do you have anything to say to your followers?
Stay hungry, but never let yourself starve.
Everything is possible.
Oh, and pop tarts are just ravioli.
I’d also love it if you check out my reader group Quinners Not Quitters to do things like keep an eye out for signed bookplates, or argue with me about whether or not pancakes could be used as currency in modern society during out Taco ‘Bout it Tuesday debates.