Interview with Katie Carter

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love writing for the kid in me, the kind of adventures I used to love to read (and still do). In a book, there's no bad acting, no canned laughter, and no commercials. You can really sink into the adventure and be a part of it.
What do your fans mean to you?
I love my fans, they're like partners in every adventure I go on. And I love hearing from them about what they like or don't like about a character or story. It's like being in a virtual reality adventure--I really listen to their advice and I react to it in the next story.
What are you working on next?
The next project is a series of stories about two sisters who have a penchant for stumbling into mysteries. The first book in the series is called The Crystal Cormorant. After that, there's an adventure in the San Juan Islands, and one that takes place on a wolf preserve. Anyone who wants to be on my mailing list to be notified when they're ready for download can email me at
What is your writing process?
I map out the plot first. I like a tight, fast-paced plot with lots of action and I don't want my readers to waste their time with dead ends and red herrings. I also don't like characters who endlessly whine and wring their hands. My characters jump into action, sometimes a little too impulsively. But even though I try to keep the plot in line, the characters really come to life when I'm writing. They can be funny, naughty, snarky. They often take me by surprise.
Describe your desk
I have a LOT of stuff on my desk, but it's all lined up in tidy rows and piles. I'm a visual thinker and if I see disorder, it's very distracting to me. I get a little carried away sometimes, lining everything up at 90 degree angles, but then my cat jumps on the desk and moves everything around. She reminds me that the best parts of life--and stories--are the surprising, unpredictable parts.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I really love being outdoors, and I live on a farm, so I try to get out with my dog and family. My sister owns a sailboat so we go sailing whenever we can. I also like fishing, and wildlife photography. A friend of mine started a gleaning organization, so often I'm helping her pick fresh produce and deliver food to soup kitchens and shelters.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I started reading very early, so no I don't remember the first story. But the first book I fell in love with was The Once and Future King, by T.H.White. I love the fact that Arthur's story was one learning curve after another. I felt like I was growing and learning with him--the story was so real I felt like a squire right at his side. It's still my favorite book. I hope to write one like it one day.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I really like my Kindle Fire because it's so small and I can take it anywhere. It's also light enough that I can hold it and read for long periods of time. Also, it syncs with my computer so I can download files that aren't available through Kindle. It's pretty versatile.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up here, in the Pacific Northwest. But then I moved away and lived in Oklahoma, California and Arizona for many years. Now I realize what an amazing place this is. So much to do, and kids here are often very resilient, outdoorsy and self-sufficient. The first time a big New York publisher looked at one of my books, he was surprised that my teenage characters (in the Norton mysteries) had summer jobs. I was like, "What? Doesn't everybody?"
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My first young adult mystery was being considered by a really big, well known New York publisher. But the editor said the book was "too short". "It has to be as long as Harry Potter," he said. But I wanted to write shorter books that I knew kids could read and enjoy in a few hours, on a lazy summer day or on a long trip with their parents. He also didn't believe that "real" teenagers were responsible enough to have summer jobs although he thought it was a "cool idea". And he was totally unaware that Washington State has a boating culture, although we have over 3,000 miles of tidal coastline compared to New York's 1,800--AND we have an entire archipelago of islands.

I took some of his suggestions under advisement, but all in all I felt that brick-and-mortar publishers were just really out of touch with what teens really want to read. I didn't want to be a carbon copy of previously successful writers. I decided to publish independently so that I could write stories that are distinctly my own and that reflect the essence of a real place.
Published 2016-12-04.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Christmas Annie
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 22,990. Language: English. Published: December 3, 2016 by Mary Baker. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Adventure » Action
A Seattle high school student encounters a strange little bag lady who embroils her in a battle against a drug smuggling operation. Racing to save their families from ruin, Marcie and her friends embark on a dangerous voyage—with only homemade weapons, some fragile elfen gifts, and an indomitable Christmas spirit.