Author Interview: Kate de Jesus

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I have a special interview this week–I’ll still be doing my regular feature tomorrow, but I thought I’d add in an extra. Meet Kate de Jesus, who is promoting her series The Gateway Discoveries. You can find more information about her on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7092119.Kate_de_Jesus

1)      What first made you want to write?

I always seem to be stuck in my own head, thinking about books or movies and sort of extrapolating what would come next for the characters.  In high school and college I would actually volunteer to write papers for my friends because I just liked to do it.  I put off writing for a lot of years but when I started reading some of the books my twelve year old son read and talking to him about what he likes in a book, I decided to put pen to paper myself.  It’s sort of a productive way of getting stuck in my own head, because I get to spend hours thinking about awesome characters in fabulous circumstances, and all for a good reason!

2)      Why the Bermuda Triangle?

Most people are interested in the unknown and the unexplained.  To this day there is no concrete explanation for some of the disappearances and events that happened in the Bermuda Triangle and a lot of kids in my target age group have heard of some of these mysterious stories.  It seemed the perfect setting for a group of scientists and their kids to disappear off the face of the earth, and to offer a sort of ‘explanation’ of it being the location of a gateway that the characters found themselves pulled into.  It added a touch of real life to the story.

3)       My latest book.

I just released The Brutal Ones, The Gateway Discoveries Volume 2 on Amazon.  This is a continuation of the first book and characters, except the second book delves deeper into the other world the gateway has led them too.  The characters now face forces and age old clash between the people of this newly discovered world while trying to find a way home.  They are drawn into events because they cannot, in good conscious, leave without helping, and because if they don’t do something they will be crushed by the conflict.  There is definitely a message of ‘do the right thing’ in this book.

4)       Who do I see as my audience?

I collaborated heavily with my twelve year old son on the first book.  We discussed the types of action he likes to see in the books he reads, and I used pictures of monsters he had drawn to describe the creatures in my book.  My goal was to write a book that had the stamp of approval for action, theme and cool characters for the 9-12 year range.  It was also important for me to make both a strong boy and girl character so that the book would cross over and all kids can relate to the characters.

5)      Who is my favorite author?

I would have to say JRR Tolkien is my favorite author, not only because he wrote one of the best all time epic fantasy stories with The Lord of The Rings trilogy, but because I can pick the books up every few years, read them cover to cover again and love every minute of it.

6)      What was the process for my book cover?

This was my first book cover, so it actually was a hit and miss type of thing.  My son liked the picture and we made a stab at creating a cover ourselves with Powerpoint.  It wasn’t a bad effort for our first try but it just looked a little too home made for my tastes.  I actually found a website, Author Marketing Club, that lets book cover designers list their services on their site, so I picked a designer whose examples I liked.  I was so thrilled with the cover that I asked her to do a cover for my second book, which I was about half way done with.  Having a cover already finished for my second book was a huge boost for me, and I actually incorporated a few small details from the book cover picture into the story since I was still writing it.  I just started book three but I already have a cover pictures and have the same designer working on it.

7)      What are some important tips for authors?

I would say write every day, or at least every day you can.  I treat it like a job, I write Monday through Friday for several hours.  If you already have a nine to fiver, set aside time in the morning or at night, even if it’s just a little bit of time.  It’s too easy to get out of the habit of writing and then those great stories never get told.

8)      What am I working on next?

I am currently working on book three in the series, Arden’s War, The Gateway Discoveries Volume 3, with a goal of having it available by January, 2014.  This book will wrap up the characters current adventure and launch them into the next one.  One of the things I liked about the ‘Gateway Discoveries’ concept is that I could develop some likeable characters, tell a complete story of their adventures in several books and then completely change course for another set of books.  The gateway possibilities are endless; outer space, Wild West, zombie apocalypse, all the characters need to do is step through a new gateway.  As to which gateway they will find themselves in for book four, we will all have to wait and see!

Author Bio:

Kate de Jesus is a wife and mother of two active boys who love to read. BUT, it wasn’t always that way; getting kids to love reading is usually an ongoing battle.  Trying to find a story with all the things kids love: lots of action, likable characters, weird science, bizarre creatures, mystery and positive messages at a cost that parents can afford, well; that’s asking for a lot!.    Enter Kate’s love of writing, and a new series that covers all these things!  Kate lives in Las Vegas Nevada and is a graduate of Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.  She is hard at work on the third book in The Gateway Discoveries series, Arden’s War, The Gateway Discoveries Volume 3.  The Brutal Ones, The Gateway Discoveries Volume 2 was just released and is now available on Amazon.com.

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