Since I have a working relationship with Gayla (as her editor, and, I hope, in the future an author under her Katarr Kanticles Press imprint) I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to offer something a little different to my blog readers: An author interview with someone who’s both personally sympathetic and professionally interesting. Since we met via Twitter (she’s @scath), I’ve gotten to know her entirely electronically – but that’s more than I can say for any other author I read on a regular basis. And Gayla’s work is all worth reading! So I’m looking forward to hearing how she responds to some of the burning questions I have about her “fictional” life, and giving you, my blog readers, a small introduction to her latest work, Code Walker (which I had the honor of editing).
1. What made you decide to become a professional author (i.e. develop your own imprint, and work to make your writing generate a sustainable income)?
I’d dabbled with writing a short story (Sienna’s Journal) and some articles back when Themestream.com was still active (2000-2001), and people liked the stuff I wrote. Themestream died and I wasn’t paid (along with a slew of others), which kind of ticked me off. I gradually lost touch with most of the people I’d met there, so my writing urge sort of disappeared for a while.
In 2007, after seeing the Xmen movies, a mad urge to write fan fiction struck because I remembered how awesome Wolverine was. I adore Wolverine. He was my favorite Xman when I was a kid.
Marvel doesn’t mind fan fiction, so that worked out nicely, and a few people liked what I wrote in that area.
About June 2007, I joined a web site (RedBubble.com) and posted a short fan fic bit that was from a dream I’d had (Reality Flux). Damian read it, and invited me to join the Short Stories group there, and boom! I met Kate, JC, Ronnie, and David, along with a slew of others and began writing like a maniac.
Having just discovered that people were selling fiction as ebooks, I jumped into self-publishing with Feral Intensity and haven’t looked back since. Set up my imprint, Katarr Kanticles Press, in Nov 2008, and just kept going.
I love the fact that there is an alternative to traditional publishing.
2. You’re very active on social media sites. How has that changed your approach to your profession?
Being social has been a part of it all along; without meeting the folks above, constantly chatting with them, commenting, and reviewing each other’s work on RedBubble, I wouldn’t be writing and self-publishing. It’s entirely their fault! LOL
I love the fact that I’ve become an author during the time social media has become such a big part of people’s lives. I’ve met many great folks because of social media, Twitter in particular.
3. Who are the biggest influences in your writing style?
I think it really depends on the particular story. The snark and rapid-fire dialogue is probably from watching shows like Buffy, Angel, Xena, and Hercules.
There are times when I read something I’ve written, and it makes me think of Terry Pratchett, or David Eddings, or even occasionally, Anne McCaffrey. Not that I’m on their level, but people do tend to pick up things from those they admire, so those are influences of mine.
4. Who do you read for fun (who are you a fan of)?
Those three mentioned above, Laurell K. Hamilton, Mercedes Lackey, Terry Goodkind, Kate Elliot…this list could go on forever, woman. Also a widening pool of my fellow indie authors.
5. I noticed you have a Chihuahua make a brief appearance in “Code Walker”; how often do your animals or their characteristics show up in your stories?
All the time. Any horses that appear are based on real horses I’ve known or had. I had a pet ball python for five years, and he was the model for a couple of witch characters’ familiars. Okay, he was better tempered than they are, but anyway…
The barn cats have loaned their attitudes to Thor (Cara’s familiar from Enter the Weird), as well as to some of the Katarr warriors. Their coat colors and patterns too, for that matter. Keth from The Silent One got his Siamese coloration from an abandoned kitten we found under our storage shed.
Blaze, or the Chihuahulhu as he’s better known, has popped up in two stories. He’s just so darn cute, and always under my feet or in my lap. He’s my little furry muse. I’m sure more little dogs with grandiose ideas will appear in future stories.
Our five dogs give me a bit of working info on how packs behave. There’s the occasional brief battle to prove which is top dog, deference to the oldest female, how they play together, and all the time they spend loving on each other.
Maybe they’re not wolves, but they’re the closest thing I have to work with!
6. How much do the people you meet in real life play into your characters’ development?
Probably as much as any other writers use bits and pieces of real life people in theirs. Which is saying, I don’t really know. It all goes into the subconscious, along with the reading, past TV and movie watching, and then out pops new Voices with stories to tell.
I don’t consciously do it all the time, in other words, but I’m certain everyone I’ve met/interacted with somehow becomes a piece of the puzzles that become new Voices. There are a couple of stories where I’ve purposefully added friends as characters (with their support) for fun.
Kate made me an imp in one of hers, so turnabout’s fair play. =)
7. A lot of your other work is more typically fantasy (alt world & aliens); what prompted the foray into a more strictly sci-fi setting (hi-tech) you present in “Code Walker”?
Code Walker began back in 2008, and I was literally on idea overload then. It’s when most of the writing projects I have now came into being. The exact trigger for it isn’t easily identifiable, but I’m certain the fact that The Matrix was something I enjoyed played a part, along with a couple of other movies and books with virtual reality as part of their plots.
Star Trek’s holo rooms certainly had a place in it.
Overall, I think I just don’t like buttonholing myself into one particular genre. If I can write a story, I will. Hopefully, whatever genres I play in, the stories won’t end up sucking.
I try to toss the sucky ones. =)
8. Do you have a preference for writing in a specific genre? If so, which one is your favorite?
Urban fantasy is my favorite. I’m still trying to figure out how I went from witches and werewolves to writing more scifi stories than anything else the past couple of years. I guess the Katarr out yelled the other Voices, LOL.
Werewolves are my favorite characters. I like putting them into different situations, like the pack of werewolf cowboys in Deadlands Hunt. Team Furry forever!
Thanks for having me here, Tonya. It was fun! =)
I’m glad to have had the opportunity to do something a little different here with this. As a follow-up to this “documented” interview, Gayla will be on TweetChat under the hashtag #GLDCode at 8pm CST for an hour tonight to chat a little further–and maybe answer some other readers’ questions. And now, because Gayla is generous as well as awesome: She’s made available a coupon code for a free give-away of her book. I’ll pass that on to the first reader who comments on this post; just tell me your email address to be able to send you the code. 🙂