Today I talk with KT Davies, a full-time author of epic fantasy novels who can be found playing with bows, throwing axes and throwing knives when she’s not tapping out words.
Thank you for joining me today KT. That’s an interesting introduction…
I’m not a violent person, honest. I used to own a horse and practice mounted combat skills which was fun if a little bone breaky.
Is there anything else people reading this should know?
I’m not the nerdiest nerd in the world, but I’m possibly in the top half of the league table. I have a sweet old comic collection, which includes some signed sketches by one of my favourite artists, Bill Sienkiewicz. I got stabbed in the leg (by accident) in a medieval knife fight. Deep water freaks me out. I have a 1st BA hons in Literature. I love things that are bigger than they should be, or smaller than they should be which probably has something to do with reading Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels at an early age. I think that’s about it.
Where are you based?
Middle Earth. Seriously. We live in Staffordshire, England, near to where J. R. R. Tolkien lived. It’s nice, except when them thar Nazgul are runnin’ around. Those guys can really put a cramp in your plans.
Can you tell me about your writing process?
I use boring, ole Word. After extensive tests with me as the subject, I can honestly say it is almost entirely moron proof. I have been a pantser, which worked great for a first novel, but not so much for subsequent books in the same series. 50k of discarded words later, I am a born-again planner…ish. As we all know, no plan survives contact with the enemy.
I use a couple of really good professional editors, (there are many out there so choose wisely young Jedi). I also run the MS through Grammarly just to pick up any rilly obvious errors. It’s okay, but I rely on the human pros to make me look good. Sure, it’s an investment, but if you’re serious, and you want to put out polished work, it has to be done, (IMO).
Do you have any writing rituals?
Does procrastination count as a ritual? Aside of that, the ritual is simple: Go into the office with a cup of coffee, write during the day, stop for a quick lunch, and then write until dinner. By ‘write’ I of course mean read Twitter and Facebook too often.
Which is your favourite bit, writing, editing, all the other stuff?
The whole pig. A blank page is like pristine snow and I just can’t wait to dive in and mess it up. When that ugly-ass first draft is done, I love going at it; refining, polishing, and quite often excising BIG chunks until the manuscript is eventually dragged from my sweaty mitts.
Are you a member of any writing group?
Yes. When I can get there I attend the Renegade Writers group which runs weekly. It’s a group for all type of writers. It is run by Peter and Jan Coleborn who also run the award winning, genre publishing house, The Alchemy Press. I also started a writing group in my local town aimed at genre writers. It’s called Inkflingers. We talk about movies and other nerdy stuff as well as critique each other’s work. It’s social and useful and in a pub with open fires and good ale, what more could you want?
Do you have any advice for new writers?
Learn your craft. I can use a drill, a hammer, and a saw (just about), but I wouldn’t dream of going into business as a carpenter without learning actual carpentry skills. Same with writing. Just ‘cus you can write it don’t mean you’re a writer. Also read a lot, particularly funny, dark fantasy books featuring half-human, half-lizard thief assassins. #justsayin.
Can you tell me about The Chronicles of Breed?
The series has been described as ‘comic grimdark’ which is fair, although it’s not as grim as some grimdark. I’d say this series was epic, sword and sorcery with humour. The chronicles are, Dangerous to Know, Tooth and Claw, and Something Wicked. All three books are out now. The first book came out in April of this year 2018 and so far the response has been awesome.
What made you choose to write in the genre?
Much like the thug life, I didn’t choose comic grimdark, comic grimdark chose me. I just wanted to write something from the disposable monster / hench person’s point of view; a street tough rather than the square-jawed hero, or doom-haunted heroine. As it turned out, the thug also had a sense of humour and a knack for trouble.
What was the biggest challenge in producing the novels?
Turning the story that I’d written in only three weeks into something more than that which a mother could love. In all seriousness, I love editing and have no problem getting rid of what doesn’t work and trying again, and again, and again if necessary to get it right. I relish the challenge. After the first book the biggest challenge is remembering who did what to whom, where and when. As soon as you have history, you have to start keeping track.
Do you have a marketing plan?
Gosh, no! We’ve run some ads here and there, but I’ve been really lucky. Dangerous to Know seems to have struck a chord with fantasy readers who it turns out are THE best source of marketing money can’t buy. You just can’t beat word of mouth and building a relationship with readers, which I guess brings me back to chatting online with readers, meeting them at conventions, and communicating via my website contact form, and on places like Goodreads and Twitter and Facebook.
I’m not great at ‘selling myself.’ I’m just your average perp. I haven’t got a cool USP that some writers have you know? Some people are like ‘When I’m not being a brain surgeon I juggle fire and write twenty-two books a month.’ I hang-out online, talk rubbish, but mostly look at funny vids of animals.
Do you consider yourself successful?
I currently earn my living as a writer, which is something I deem to be a win; a surprise win, to be sure, but I’ll take it. Having said that, just like any career, it could all end tomorrow, I get that, nobody owes me anything. What really tickles me is that thousands of people have read my stories. That’s the buzz for me and a great honour; a success as I deem success. I know that might sound cheesy, but it’s true. I’m blown away that thousands of people have bought and read my stuff, that they’ve got onboard, with Breed, Tosspot, and Tobias and all the other characters on one heck of a wild ride. That’s success. That is the riddle of steel.
It just leaves me to thank KT Davies for spending time with me today and for your great answers. Each of the novels in The Chronicles of Breed is available through Amazon now and I wish you luck with your future endeavours.
If you enjoyed this interview then why not follow my blog where I’ll be posting more interviews and conversations soon. I regularly provide an insight into my own experiences as I publish and promote my debut novel, In The End, an apocalyptic thriller that will leave you breathless and is available to buy now.
A final note – If you’re ready this in December 2018 and have a moment to spare, please can you take a second to vote for my novel’s cover by clicking here and pressing the vote button! Thank you.