Interview – Katherine Dell, Author of Harmless, a YA Paranormal novel
Katherine Dell is a young adult fiction author fascinated by the supernatural and the stories that surround them, and has recently released her debut novel, Harmless. She began her writing endeavours in 2011 when she wanted to reinvent herself from her previous career as an event planner.
I’ve had the great pleasure to publish a guest post “Starting, Stalling, and Finding Another Gear” from her in November 2016 while she was writing this book, and she returns today to discuss its release and her journey as an Indie Author.
When she’s not writing, she can be found in cold hockey arenas sipping coffee, working on her tan at little league games, or trying to keep her dog out of her many gardens. She lives with her husband, two boys, and fur babies, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
MEET THE AUTHOR – KATHERINE DELL
Congrats on your debut novel! I read it and loved it. If anyone’s looking for YA paranormal novel, I would definitely recommend it. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Thanks, Lauriane. Well, my debut novel is a YA, Paranormal, Thriller. I think my back cover synopsis really lays out the story without giving too much away…
After moving from Vancouver to isolated Hazelton, BC, high school senior Rachel Barnes hopes she’ll finally find closure and a sense of direction after tragedy has torn her family apart. When she and her friends discover the old spirit box her grandmother gave her, they see it as a chance to wish their troubles away. But the Great Spirits—deer, crow, bear, and the mythical wendigo—give away nothing for free.
So instead of worrying about fitting in and finding a boyfriend, Rachel finds herself in a race to control the malevolent spirit who’s taken up residence in Mason Allen, who she fears and craves in equal measure. What began as a harmless game forces Rachel to confront her past—and offers her a future she never imagined.
I know you researched your topic in various ways. You visited the town where the story takes place, but how did you get the idea for this book and why this town?
The idea for this story came to me when I decided I wanted to write a book. It was a very simple idea; write a story about a box that grants wishes. As you know, having read the book, I’ve built that idea up quite a lot.
My favorite thing, as a reader is finding the little moments and details in a story that make that piece of fiction into something almost real. I tried very hard to tell the little stories within the story in this book; to make Harmless something––believable.
The spirit box, in Harmless contains four spirit animals; a bear, deer, crow, and wendigo. Each white except for the last. I thought to myself, where could a fabled box like this exist? Was there a legend? Are there any place in this world that have populations of these animals? YES! Hazelton BC!
In the area surrounding Hazelton, there are populations of Kermode bears (spirit bears). There, they number more than any other place in the world. Kermode bears are black bears born white and in some indigenous cultures are fabled to bring omens. I felt this town was the perfect setting to make my bit of fiction a little more real.
Can you tell us what’s the most difficult part for you in self-publishing and what you enjoy most?
The steep learning curve! To be successful as an author, no matter how you go about publishing, you have to want it and pursue it every day. I toiled for years, trying to find the ‘perfect’ way to get my book to market. Is it best to self-publish or go traditional… or somewhere in-between? What did I learn from all this? There is no correct way, only the correct way for you. Which is different for everyone.
Fortunately for me, when I decided to self-publish, I had help from a friend who’d been doing it for years. That help has made a huge difference in where I am in my writing and publishing career today.
What do I enjoy the most? When a total stranger writes a glowing review. That is just the best. It makes me feel like, yeah, I wrote that, and they totally got. 🙂 It makes me think, that even in a small way, I had an impact of someone. And that’s pretty cool.
What would be the best advice you could give to someone who wants to self-publish his/her book?
Network, learn, keep an open mind, surround yourself with people who support your goals, and support others without expecting anything in return.
Going Indie is a ton of work, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.
If you could do something all over again regarding your book, what would that be (if any)?
It was difficult at times to get my work to published, but at the same time, all that got me to where I am now. Which is a good place. So, I don’t think I’d change anything. I take my experiences and learn from them. 🙂
How to reach the Author?
PARTICIPATE IN A GIVEAWAY
Katherine Dell is running a giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of her book. The giveaway will end at the end of the month.
Please see below.
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