Every time we release a book, we’ll post an interview with its author during the month before the book is published. Our next novel, The Narrative, comes out on November 15th. The Narrative is the hilarious third volume of the Plot Bandits series, hailed as "fun read[s] for all . . . totally immersive and engaging from the first page" (Darcia Helle). Today we are sequel-interviewing Katherine Vick, the mastermind behind the exuberantly funny, anarchic adventures of Fodder and friends.
Thinklings: What was your favorite part of this book to write?
Katherine: Without question, the mysterious pool scene. That’s one of my favourite things I’ve ever written; I had tremendous fun running through all the ways in which I could mess with the clichés for a ghostly encounter and mystic rituals. To be fair, though, there are things I love about all the main strands of this book. I love writing the interactions between Dullard and Pleasance and also Shoulders and Flirt as they all banter with each other so naturally. And showing Fodder from The Narrative’s point of view was most enjoyable.
T: Do you have any habits or rituals as a writer?
K: I can only write in the mornings. I have to get up, be taken by the urge, and . . . well, leap would be inaccurate, more like creak into action. By the afternoon my brain is no use creatively to anyone, especially me, so I’m generally done by lunchtime.
T: Usually interviews ask for an interesting tidbit about you. We’ll flip that and ask: What’s a boring fact about you?
K: I read history books. Lots and lots of history books. But not recent history, ancient civilisations through to 1700s really. With British history, I lose interest around the Georgians. They were awful! I’ve developed an interest in European history lately too, especially around how nations fall in and out of existence, how that happened and what became of the people who formed them. There you go, how dull was that?
T: What, if anything, do you like to snack on while writing?
K: Chocolate digestive biscuits. Food of champions. I should have probably said fruit or something, shouldn’t I, so as not to unduly influence the youth to unhealthy food, but it would be a lie. Choccie biccies all the way!
T: Do you edit while you go along, or do you wait until after the first draft is done?
K: I like to get things down first time if at all possible, so if I feel a scene doesn’t work, I will keep going over it until I get it right or as close to right as I can before losing all sanity. Sometimes this leads to me coming to a grinding halt when I can’t get it to work properly. Sometimes it means developing an unrelenting hatred for certain scenes because I’ve gone over them so many times – anyone who has read my blog post called "Emotion and the Narrative" knows which scene from The Disposable I mean (GRIM!!!!) and the opening of The Merry Band has similar associations. So when I do go back and change things for later drafts, it’s usually amendments for plot or structural reasons – a new idea to insert or extra scenes which sometimes require the tweaking of existing ones – rather than a wholesale rewrite. I’m not someone who writes a new version of the same book three or four times. I get a version down I like first time and then pick through it.
Thanks, Katherine! The Narrative will be available on Amazon on November 15th in paperback and e-book formats. In the meantime, check out The Disposable (book 1) and The Merry Band (book 2) of this series.
The Plot Bandits books do need to be read in order, and are perfect for fans of Terry Pratchett and Christopher Moore.
Check out the character interview with Flirt and Shoulders here and our official book review here!
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