Katie McVay hails from Pottstown, PA and writes Commercial Fiction.
When did you begin writing with the intent to be published? Right out of college. I had a brand new English degree and I spit out my first novel in three months. I just knew I was going to tear up the publishing world with this work of pure genius. Little did I know the book sucked, and that I was way too young, inexperienced, and ill-equipped to be published. It’s taken a long time, but fourteen years later, I finally feel comfortable calling myself a writer. And I’m ready to be published.
Why, what sparked the author inside you to finally write? I took a few years off from writing after that first novel to study the craft of writing, and to see if I thought I had what it takes to be a writer. The time away was painful, but necessary in order for me to mature, learn and grow. Then about a year ago I finished my second novel, thought it was publishable, and let some people read it. They really liked it and thought it could sell. That’s the moment when I told myself that I could make a go as a writer, that in fact, I couldn’t be anything BUT a writer. What’s that Isaac Asimov quote? “I write for the same reason I breathe: because if I didn’t I would die.” Or something like that. That’s me.
What completed/published works do you have or what are you currently working on? Describe them. I’m about to self-publish my first novel, THE CITY OF LOST SECRETS. It’s about a novelist and a biblical scholar that team up to solve the mystery of the Talpiot tomb, a burial cave inJerusalemthat is rumored to be the lost tomb of Jesus. It’s a women’s fiction / thriller hybrid, or The DaVinci Code for chicks, if you will.
Are you involved in any critique groups, classes, or other writing communities? Any personal experiences from them you’d like to share? Places/events you’d like other members from Area 6 to know about. N/A
What inspires your writing? What breathes life into your work? Everyday things—and usually mundane things—inspire my writing. For instance, sitting around the Philly airport waiting for a flight inspired my recent short story, THE DEPARTMENT OF LOST AND FOUND, about a bored young woman who works for a regional airport and the decision she must make when a stranger offers her the promise of a new, happier life. And I love putting ordinary people into extraordinary situations. That really gets my juices flowing.
What is a genre that you would more than likely never tackle, why? Romance. I’m not overly sentimental, and Romance novels never really did it for me. But I certainly respect Romance readers, and of course Romance writers as well; I imagine it’s not easy making a popular genre feel fresh and new.
What is a normal day like for you, tell us how you get all that writing in? I work a 9-5 job, so usually during the day I keep a notebook handy just in case ideas strike me. I do most of my writing at night and on weekends.
Where do you do most of your writing. A special place in your home, at a park, etc.? If I’m editing, I usually plop my laptop on my lap in the living room, plug in my earphones, crank some Beethoven CDs and I’m off and running. If I’m writing, I need a less trafficked area, so I sit at the desk in one of our spare bedrooms, plug in my earphones, and crank the Beethoven. Both places are near a window, and I raise the shade for inspiration. For some reason, staring at a wall doesn’t help me get to that writerly place.
What stage of publication are you in; first draft, editing, querying, etc.? How has that experience been? Right now, I’m about to self-publish the second novel I wrote. It’s been grueling doing all the work myself—editing, cover design, manuscript formatting, etc. But it certainly was an education, and being my own boss throughout the process was nice.
What is next for you? Starting the sequel to THE CITY OF LOST SECRETS.
You are a sandwich, describe yourself on a menu. Chunky peanut butter and creamy grape jelly sandwiched between two pieces of soft, white bread. Straightforward and simple—that’s the kind of gal I am.
If you could be a superhero, what would your name and power be? Super Best-Seller Girl. I would wave my wand at everyone I came in contact with and they’d instantly run out to buy my books!
Please let us know where we can find you online. I keep a blog at http://katiemcvay.blogspot.com. Follow me on Twitter @ktmcvay. I’m on Facebook too, somewhere. Search for my name and you’ll find my fan page.