Monday, May 5, 2014

Author Interview and New Release - Grave Danger by Katy Lee

Welcome, Katy! I am delighted that you could make it today. You are one busy woman. Real Virtue, released in April of 2012 with a small publisher. Your first novel with Love Inspired Suspense, Warning Signs, came out in October of 2013. Now you have a sequel, Grave Danger.

I know you outside the internet world, but my readers don’t. Please tell us all a little about yourself.

Hello Rachel, and hello to Rachel’s readers. I’m just as delighted to be with you all today.  As for a little about me, I am a homeschooling mom, a reader, knitter, traveler, and of course a writer. 

I know you are a wife and a homeschooling mom, active in your church and community. How has being published changed your day to day life?

I have to be really attentive to time and priorities.  If something is extra and can go away or be directed to someone else, it has to be.  And I can’t feel guilty about that, especially with my oldest entering high school this coming year.  Her education is important and can’t take a back seat.

I would love to hear about your journey from working with a small publisher to working with a large one:

First, let me say, I love both my publishers, and I will publish with both of them again.  Each offers its own perks.  I enjoy the closeness to my editor at the small press, and how I am involved with the whole process from beginning to end.  It gives me a sense of ownership of my work throughout.  I trust my editor when she tells me I need to make a change.  I like that she has a vested interest and will even step in when sales are down to see what she can do to help.  For example, Real Virtue started out with a different cover.  After a year, my editor/publisher said she believed in this story too much to allow it to sit out there with a cover that wasn’t catching buyer’s eyes.  She gave the story a facelift, and she was right.  I like having that intimate backing and support.

On the other hand, writing for a big publisher means advances and a wide distribution to buyers who might never hear about me.  It also means working alongside professionals who know this industry inside and out.  They know what they are talking about.  I love my editor at Harlequin.  She is quite skilled and has earned her place at the publishing house.  I can totally trust in her advice and suggestions, and I know when she is done with my manuscript it will be outstanding.  I’m not saying she changes my work, but rather, brings it up to a new level.  And in the process, I have learned so much more in my writing, and my writing has become more focused and perfected because of her visionary skills. 

Please share with us the differences you have experienced between publishing with a small publisher and working with a larger publisher.

As for differences, I would say the biggest difference are the guidelines a writer must follow to write for a big house.  Some might say this example is a pro, while others might say it’s a con.  As for me, I tend to sway toward the pro side, and let me explain why.

Every genre has expectations.  A reader wants to know the kind of book they are picking up and what is or isn’t inside the covers.  Harlequin Love Inspired demands strict guidelines for their authors to follow.  Many writers complain, and I’ll admit I have a few times as well.  However, most of the time I am grateful for these guidelines because I know my books will be regarded as true Christian fiction in the Inspirational market.  I am required to keep my books acceptable for age eleven and up.  And FYI, my own children read my Love Inspired stories.  Many times as I am writing I find myself at a loss because I want to go where I know LI will not let me.  I could get mad, and may even grumble a bit, but in the end I figure out a different approach, which in turn makes me a better writer.  I’ve learned these guidelines present themselves as obstacles that lead me down new paths I might not have pushed myself to take. 

Now, on the flip side, writing for a small press, a writer won’t encounter such guidelines.  Genres can be blended.  Markets can be blurred.  A writer who has a story that doesn’t fit the big house guidelines can find homes for their work as well.  Just be aware the industry may struggle with knowing where to put your work and even accepting it.  For example, I wanted to enter Real Virtue into some contests, but since my small press publisher wasn’t approved as an Inspirational publisher who follows the Inspirational market guidelines, I was not able to enter in many of them. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’m excited to see where five years will take me.  I definitely want to complete more books for Love Inspired Suspense.  God willing!

Just reading the blurb of your new release makes me want to pick it up and read it. Could you tell my readers something about the book that they can’t read on the back of the paperback?

I enjoy the show Bones and love Brennan, but I wanted to write a forensic anthropology story where faith enters into the equation. 

What pushed you to seek out a publisher?

I didn’t actually seek one out, but rather, I was given a great opportunity that led me to Harlequin’s door. I entered my name into an online pitch day on the ecommunity website, and I was selected to pitch my story in 100 words or less.  Out of 100 pitches, Love Inspired bought five.  I was one of them and that was my story Warning Signs. I have since sold two more, Grave Danger and Sunken Treasure, which releases in September.

Did you try to get a novel published before Real Virtue?

I am blessed to have all my stories out in print, or soon to be.  Real Virtue was my first completed manuscript, and to have your first story published is pretty remarkable.

What do you enjoy most about being a published author?

All I can say is joy.  When I am writing, I feel as though my whole world is in order.  Even on those struggling days when the words aren’t coming, I know it will pass, and I mark those times with joy as well.   Perhaps God is trying to get my attention to move in a different direction, and knowing He is part of the process brings me even more joy.

BONES OF CONTENTION: When skeletal remains are found on a small Maine island, forensic anthropologist Lydia Muir is sent to investigate. It's Lydia's job to determine whether the homicide happened long ago—or more recently. Island sheriff Wesley Grant seems sure the murder didn't happen on his watch. But when Lydia uncovers the victim's identity, someone goes to great lengths to get Lydia off the island. Wes vows to protect her, but is the handsome lawman holding something back?

4 1/2 Stars! Fantastic...A Keeper! "Multiple false leads will keep the reader guessing. The action is intense in this character-driven suspense. Fans of the TV show “Bones” will enjoy Lydia's character and her knowledge of the field of forensics."    ~Romantic Times Book Reviews Magazine

About Katy Lee:
As an inspirational romantic-suspense author, Katy Lee writes higher-purpose stories in high-speed worlds. Through her writing, ministry work, and teaching, Katy dedicates her life to sharing tales of love-- from the “greatest love story ever told’, to the sweet romantic tales of falling in love.  Katy and her husband are lifelong New Englanders, and have been known to travel far and wide on a whim with their three adventuresome children.   Connect with Katy anytime at  There you will see her Facebook and Twitter links to connect with her further.


Rachel Heffington said...

Ooooooh this was so fun to read! As an indie author (and soon to be traditional author at a small press), this was awesome to read! Thank you for writing, Katy Lee!

Jack said...

My mum loves Love Inspired books! I will have to tell her about this one!