Monday, November 28, 2016

An Interview with YA Fantasy Author Katy Huth Jones

I have known Katy for a little over a year now. She is a talented author and a really nice person. I'm hoping someday we can actually get together in person. Her fan base has been growing lately, and really it's no surprise. If you're not familiar with Katy's work. You definitely need to check it out. I hope you enjoy getting to know Katy as much as I have.


An Interview with Katy Huth Jones

If you could, would you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I was blessed to grow up in a creative family. My mother especially encouraged us to explore every possible way to be creative (writing, music, drawing, painting, sewing, needlepoint, woodwork, etc.) and as a result my sisters and I have brains that never turn off! I started writing stories in second grade, but by high school I was especially good at playing the flute, so I thought I had to major in music in college. I dropped out to get married and have children, and for over 20 years my focus was homeschooling, although I did teach private flute at the local schools as well as direct a homeschool band for 16 years. I decided in 1987 to write for publication, but I received over 600 rejection letters before my first sale. Eventually I made a steady income writing for magazines until chemo derailed me in 2005. Now I not only write novels but play piccolo and flute in a regional symphony. I’ve learned the secret of “carpe diem” (“seize the day”). Prayer and Tai Chi help, too!

So, what have you written? 
B.C. (before cancer) I wrote mostly nonfiction for magazines and a MG book about the Navajo Code Talkers, except for a few short stories (mostly fantasy or children’s) and two early readers published with reading companies. In the last 12 years, poetry and novels have poured out of me. I’ve published several poems in magazines and anthologies as well as one collection entitled Carpe Diem. I’ve published five YA fantasy novels; one series has talking birds, and the other dragons of all sizes. And in January of 2016 Pauline Books & Media published Treachery and Truth, my YA historical fiction about “Good King Wenceslas.”

Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?
I made trailers for the two fantasies with talking birds, but I hired a talented woman to make trailers for Mercy’s Prince...

and Treachery and Truth.

Where can we find your books?
All of my books except Treachery and Truth are exclusive to Amazon right now. T&T is also at Barnes & Noble and available through the publisher’s website:

I just noticed it’s on sale right now, but I don’t know for how long.

What genre are your books? 
YA fantasy and YA historical fiction

Is there something about this genre that draws you to it?

I’ve always loved fantasy, since living in my own fantasy world helped me cope with painful childhood illnesses and frequent moves as an introverted Army brat. Historical fiction appeals to me for the same reason: the distant worlds of the past are more interesting to me than the present.

Do you have a favorite book that you've written?
My personal favorite is Mercy’s Prince, but Treachery and Truth is a close second.

If you could cast anyone to play the characters in your most recent book, who would they be? This is a difficult question because I’m not terribly familiar with young actors. Ben Barnes in Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the closest I can think of for Prince Valerian, and Alexis Bledel in Tuck Everlasting is the closest to Mercy because of her youth in that movie, and her innocence.

Why do you write? 
Because the characters in my head tell me their stories, and if I don’t write them down, the pressure of all those words, words, words gives me a headache. Literally! It’s also a fantastic journey to follow along with the characters and find out what happens, just like when I read a book.

Where do you see your writing taking you in the future? 
I don’t really plan for the future now because I have incurable lymphoma, but I will keep writing as long as the Lord gives me breath.

Where do the your ideas come from?
It depends. Leandra’s Enchanted Flute came out of my first chemo experience when a Carolina wren sang outside my window every day. The wren became a character named Songcatcher. The first incarnation of Mercy’s Prince came about as a reaction to watching the movie Willow long ago; I wanted to write a strong female character who didn’t need to resort to violence. And I wanted to write Wenceslas’ story after reading a short picture book about his life; he inspired me!

Some authors use outlines, some just fly by the seat of their pants. How do you write?
I heavily outlined my nonfiction, but I can only write novel first drafts scene by scene as my characters tell me their stories. My WIP feels like hanging up scenes on a clothesline and rearranging as needed.

How long on average does it take you to write a book? 
Anywhere from two months to a year, depending on the length and how much research I need to do. The Mercy books are based on early 12th century Great Britain, even though it’s a made-up world with dragons, so I researched to make the details feel authentic.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? 
My best time to write is first thing in the morning, but I’ve learned to take a notebook and pen with me wherever I go, and I can write while waiting at doctors’ offices, airports, etc.

Do you design your own book covers? 
No, I know my limitations! I have found a wonderful cover designer named Perry Elisabeth.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Absolutely! The cover is the first thing a potential reader sees.

How do you market your books? Not very well! 
I’ve tried giveaways, Facebook parties, co-op marketing with different groups, Twitter, and Pinterest. With my nonfiction book in the 1990’s I developed a multimedia presentation to give at schools and civic groups and sold a ton of books afterward. I’m still trying to figure out marketing in the digital age!

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? 
Do what you can to find your niche and focus there. But don’t let it steal all your writing time!

Do you have any advice on how to get book reviews?
I’ve gotten several good reviews by searching for similar books and finding out who reviewed those books (for Mercy’s Prince I looked for reviews of Jill Williamson’s Blood of Kings series, since MP might appeal to those readers). Just be sure to follow the bloggers’ instructions!

What are your thoughts on good vs. bad reviews?
Some bad reviews are from people with a chip on their shoulder, but others will give insight into flaws that may need to be corrected. We all want the 5 star reviews, but there is no book that will appeal to every single reader.

Who are your favorite authors? 
Jane Austen, Katherine Kurtz, Rick Riordan, H. L. Burke, and Annie Douglass Lima

If you could have been an author for any book, who would it be and what book?
I would love to have been E. B. White while writing Charlotte’s Web. I’ve loved that book since third grade, and to me it’s pretty much the perfect story. Great characters, the gamut of emotions, and wonderfully imaginative.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Just write the stories in your heart and keep perfecting your craft. If you’re writing to “get rich” you will probably be disappointed. Write because you love to write. The joy of writing is the most important thing.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? 
Nothing we write is wasted, even if it’s never published. The process of writing helps us grow as individuals; having others read and enjoy our words is just icing on the cake.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Blog: Same
Amazon Author Page:
Youtube channel:

I hope you've enjoyed learning about Katy! Keep an eye open for her books.

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