A WIPterview With…Moi!

Drum roll, please! *drum tumbles across floor* *hangs head* *sighs* You see? This is what happens when your minions are monkeys. Anyhow, today is THE day. No, that that day, the other day. The day in which I am WIPterviewed. I’m hoping I didn’t miss anyone’s questions. I went through the comments several times just to make sure. If I did lose one, I apologize.

Please, everyone, take a seat at the round table. Isn’t it great? I borrowed it from Winchester Castle. I’m sure they won’t miss it.

First, a picture of me. Let me explain, I am far happier behind a camera than in front of it. There are very few pictures of me I consider worthy of public display. This photo happens to be one of my ultimate favorites mainly because of the story it tells.

Me & Quinn taking a break during a training session.

Me & Quinn taking a break during a training session.

There. Happy now? So, here we go, onto the questions. First up, is:

Eden Mabee: What inspired you to get flying monkeys? Do you have a contract with a zoo someplace for maintenance?

kls: Ah, the monkeys. That all started back with the release of Witch Hunt: Of the Blood when a question was posed to the authors, if they could be any witch–fictional or otherwise–who would they choose? I went with the Wicked Witch of the West because I always loved the flying monkeys. Her, not so much. But the monkeys were cool. A lot of kids were scared by them. Me? Nope. Loved the things. Well, somehow word got back to them, and seeing as the WWotW was smashed under a house, they really had no place to go. The rest, as they say, is a misery history. I don’t need to contract with anyone for maintenance because they’re surprisingly quite tidy. Which is a good thing because I’ve got enough critters to clean up after.

EM: More seriously: when did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

kls: I have always created in one form or another. As a child it was drawing and painting. But imagining wild tales was always high on my list. I think I started writing as soon as I learned how to string words together. I always ‘thought’ I wanted to be a writer, but I pursued other things instead. Even then, I was writing. I have so many bits of half-finished stories, scenes, character sketches–it’s crazy. Then I tried to give it up because I didn’t feel I had the time to devote to it, and I wasn’t taking it seriously. That went badly. I was miserable. About six years or so ago I drew the line in the sand. Either I would put the time and effort into finishing something, or I would stop forever. I finished. But I’m not done yet.

Xina Marie Uhl steps up to the mic: *tap, tap, tap* Is this thing on? Um, okay, tell us what is the piece of writing/novel/story/etc you are most fond of, and why? Yours and others.

kls: Oi. Ah…that’s an amazingly hard question. There are bits of things I’ve written that I just love, those little gems every author collects. I’m obviously fond of everything I’ve put out there publicly. I wouldn’t have let it out of the house if I didn’t like it. I’d have to say, the bits that I do like the most usually involve dialog–when I can capture the relationship between people by the way they talk to one another, or about one another.

As far as others…the list is long. I know this is probably the lamest answer on the face of the planet.

Alana Terry gets to her feet: My WIPpet interview question for you is what embarrassing quirk do you have that none of us would expect?

kls: Say what? Embarrassing quirk? *scratches right butt cheek in thought* Oh! Hey, does that count?

AT: *frowns* I expected more.

kls: *shrugs* Sorry ’bout that. If I think of anything, I’ll let you know.

Kate Sparkes pushes chair back and stands: What do you feed the flying monkeys?

kls: *glad to be out from under Alana Terry’s piercing stare* Whatever they want.

KS: What is their air-speed velocity, laden and unladen?

kls: Wow. Really? I..um…well, they can keep up with your standard Witch’s Broom, if that helps you any. Actually, they’re a bit faster than that. Very maneuverable, too. They usually don’t carry too much but I suppose any load would slow them down a bit. I’m guessing they can make it from WI to Newfoundland in about ten minutes. You do the math. But, ah, keep your head down.

KS: What’s crawling up my leg?

kls: How the heck do I know? You’re way over there, and I’m way over here, and my arms may be freakishly long but they’re not that long.

KS: Do you plan an entire book series before you start, or do you make it up as you go along and listen to reader feedback? I know you’ve based characters on your dogs– have you ever based them on real people?

kls: I’m a pantser in my writing and a pantser in my series. They’re organic things. Like my individual stories, they kind of grow as they go. Some inconsequential thing I write in chapter five suddenly clicks over in my brain and spurs something else. My subconscious is wonderful at dropping little seeds that I don’t know about until much later when I stumble upon something growing. Those are Ah-hah! Moments for me. They’re fun. I get to rub my hands together and laugh in maniacal glee at the havoc I get to cause.

As for basing characters on real people…not intentionally. But I do use bits of real people.

KS: SERIOUSLY, WHAT IS THAT? It’s pinching my thigh…

kls: All right, monkey! Get out from under the table and leave Kate alone.

Kate Frost snatches microphone from Kate Sparkes as she’s fending off the affections of an overly zealous flying monkey: Since Kate seems to be done…out of all the characters you’ve created who would you like to meet in real life and why? Also where would you meet (real place or again somewhere you’ve created)?

kls: Actually, once I thought about this, the answer was a piece of cake, and probably not what anyone would guess. I’m going to have to go with Sandeen. Yes, he’s a horse and not technically a character per se, but he’s my dream horse, and I’d love to take him for a ride. So the ‘where’ part of that question would be any big, wide open space with a variety of terrains. A beach to ride along, of course. Some mountain trails. Some obstacles to jump. I love jumping.

And if he wanted to bring Gerard Butler Bolin along with him, I wouldn’t complain. *gets far away look on face and sighs wistfully*

Ahem. *Elaine Jeremiah cocks head expectantly.*

kls:  Oh, I’m sorry. Could you repeat the question?

EJ: Of course. When you’re not writing, what’s your favourite pastime?

kls: My dogs. I raise, train, and trial Australian Shepherds (you can see them on my Shadowdance Farm blog). When the weather is favorable–which just means not below 20 degrees, firm footing, no torrential downpours, enough ground clearance to swing gates, and not blazingly hot and humid–you’ll find me outside training my dogs. Weekends from roughly April through November I’m often out of town, travelling to training clinics or stockdog trials. I also give lessons to other working dog enthusiasts.

Lightning Round!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Coffee or tea? Yes.
 Rock or country? Rock.
 City, country, or seaside? Country.
 Favorite color? Burgundy.
 Favorite pastime besides penning fantastic tales? Dogs.

KERPOW! See how that’s done?


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  1. Aw, you missed my questions. 🙁 But I’ve forgotten them too, so I guess it’s no big deal. *g*

    Great interview again, Kathi!

  2. Oh the last WIPterview… *sad face* but it was a goodun! The swiftest of lightning rounds, all the inside info on the flying monkeys and getting distracted by Gerard Butler *ahem* I mean Bolin. 🙂 Lovely to be in the same room as my WIPeteer buddies too! 😉 Fabulous!

    • *bows* Thank you, ma’am. It was certainly great fun all around. And really, what’s a day without Ger– Bolin? Fine, the other characters might think that’s a wonderful thing at times but what do they know?

  3. Burgundy? Seriously? Because it reminds you of dry wine, or dried blood? Curious minds, y’know….

  4. Wow that was great! So nice to find out more about you Kathi. I love that you train dogs. How d’you fancy a trip to the UK to train a certain golden retriever named Dug? He’d love to meet you. As would I! 😉

    • I’ve always wanted to visit the UK. 🙂 Maybe someday I’ll make it over there and then Dug and I can have a ‘discussion’. Hee, hee.

      • Yeah maybe someday you’ll be able to. I certainly know some people who would love to meet you, not least Kate Frost who lives in the same city as me. 🙂 Oh and Dug. He’d give you a very warm greeting!

  5. So glad you were interviewed by your fellow WIPpeteers. !!! Ah, a pantser. I can relate!!!

  6. Another great interview… sorry to see it’s the last. Maybe we’ll need to come up with a new project… (and yes, I’m sure that also means we all might need to step up to the plate a bit more… can’t expect you to do it all).

    Burgundy is a lovely color. It’s one of my favorites too (see, why the lightning round was so hard for some of us?)

  7. I really enjoyed the interviews—they were a great idea!

  8. Very interesting stuff K.L. I’m an ocean girl myself though I despite sunlight. Nighttime at the ocean is my favorite. 🙂

  9. Fun interview. Very…er…interactive! 😉 Those monkeys sure know how to cause trouble.

  10. Okay. Here I am. (Finally!) Nice picture. 😀

    What a cool hobby you have! We’re considering getting a couple of specialized companion dogs, but you know how expensive they are! There’s a program in town that helps you train your own dog. The results are sketchy, but our kids are fairly high functioning, so it could work. We were thinking something medium-sized, like border collies, because they’re supposed to be really smart. What do you think? (I realize companion animals aren’t your specialty, but you obviously know dogs well. 🙂 )

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