At Museitup Publishing, I’ve been privileged to meet some wonderful and interesting people. One of these, Kat Hawthorne, has agreed to come to my blog today to answer my questions and tell me a little about her book, “The Oddity”, which is released this Friday.
So…. here goes:
Me: Is The Oddity your first novel?
Kat: The Oddity is my first book publication, yes, but it is not my first publication. Over the past few years, I’ve worked my way through the ranks of literary magazines and the like. To date I have had four poems published, and my short fiction can be found in Underneath the Juniper Tree Magazine, Fiction and Verse Magazine, Dark Edifice Magazine, Thrills, Kills n’ Chaos Magazine, Infernal Ink Magazine, and Shadows Express Magazine. In 2012, I was commissioned by Enter Skies Entertainment to pen the narrative portion of Fearless Fantasy, an online roleplaying game. (Here’s the link to Fearless http://store.steampowered.com/app/282100/)
Me: What inspired the story of The Oddity?
Kat: Strangely, the concept for The Oddity came during a brainstorming session with my “writing boss” (Andrew from Enter Skies).
My first official meeting with Andrew was to discuss his idea for Fearless Fantasy, and to begin plotting it. He wanted to include monsters and bounty hunters; a twisted king and toxic chemicals; two big fights before the final epic one, and all kinds of other fun and sinister things that needed developing.
Prone to excitement such as I am, I began spouting off an endless stream of ideas about the loony king and invented a mad scientist who would create a serum that would be injected into the king’s foot soldiers to give them superhuman DNA, therefore endowing them with strange and wonderful abilities that would allow them to defeat the monsters … But that was not at all the kind of story Andrew had in mind.
So we worked away on his idea, cooking up a plot that might be entertaining while still conforming to his original concept, but … One just doesn’t think up a story featuring mad scientists and evil rulers and superhuman abilities without expanding it.
Me: Oh, believe me, I know all about ideas that expand hahaha. I was intrigued to see The Oddity described as Literary Paranormal Fantasy. How does that differ from other kinds of fantasy?
Kat: Yes, this is sort of a mishmash of genres. In honesty, I’m not sure how the classification was decided on, but when looked at individually, all these labels suit the story. Yes, it’s definitely written in a literary style. Yes, some of the characters have skills that are not natural in humans (as far as we know, wink wink). And yes, it is fantasy. It’s not action packed or laced with kissing. It’s more of a thinking book. Actually, The Oddity is something of an oddity itself, in that it does not sit comfortably in any one genre. Nor is age classification for it a simple matter, as it deals with characters that start young and grow old and make mistakes and learn along the way and hope that, next time, they will not repeat their mistakes again.
This book is strongly influenced by the concepts of the Tarot, as is immediately apparent when looking at its cover and the title of the first chapter: “The Hanged Man.” The most dominating card is the one called The Wheel of Fortune.
Me: Is it suitable for all ages?
Kat: The Oddity is best suited to mature audiences (note that “mature” does not equate “old”). I don’t say this because it’s graphic or full of cuss words (it’s full of neither of those things), but because it is a thinking book, not an adventure. It’s a brain workout. If it’s simple entertainment or light summer reading you want, this is probably not the book for you. The Oddity challenges some concepts of morality, and considers what choices a person has when they realize they are in the wrong.
Me: Tell us a little about the story, and about your main characters. Where did they come from?
Kat: The Oddity has two main characters; a male character whose identity is not particularly apparent for much of the story (unless the reader is particularly astute early on), and a teenaged girl named Katasuma, who has been forced to live her life in complete secrecy. There is a mad scientist who is forever trying experimental procedures on his human subjects, some with great success and some with frightening results. Katasuma is an Oddity—the result of one of those experiments, and the only remaining member of her kind. The Oddity deals with the fate of a “monster,” and what can be done to right the wrongs of the past.
Me: It sounds a compelling read. Where can we buy it?
Kat: The Oddity is available now for pre order in the MuseItUp Bookstore (https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/coming-soon/the-oddity-detail) and will be available on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and many other places after its release on July 11th, 2014. As they are made available, the details will be put on my website, where you will also find some additional tidbits (such as a few pages from the scientist’s journal including hand drawn images and the profiles of some of the other Oddities): http://www.katmhawthorne.com.
Me: I wish you well with it.
Kat: Thank you so much for having me, Hilary.