September 2014 First Friday Breakfast with an Author

Little Miss Lovesick_FINAL_OUTLINEDWelcome to our September First Friday Breakfast with author Kitty Bucholtz. (Commenters to this post will have the opportunity to win e-books of her two most popular novels.) Details appear at the end.

Kitty grew up forty miles east of Traverse City, Michigan, the setting of Little Miss Lovesick and the pretend setting of Unexpected Superhero. She went to college in Traverse City, met and married the love of her life, and waved goodbye to everything she knew when she and her husband John struck out for parts unknown.

Their adventures included going back to school, changing careers, and traveling Down Under. Kitty now writes wherever John is working on a film. They spent a few years in Sydney, Australia, where Kitty earned her Master of Arts in Creative Writing degree from University of Technology, Sydney, while John made a penguin named Mumble dance.

This morning I’m enjoying french toast (french bread soaked overnight in eggs whisked in coconut milk then grilled), topped with diced fresh peaches, blueberries and banana then drizzled with lemon infused olive oil and peach balsamic. It’s hot here so iced decaf coffee is my beverage of choice. What are you having for your virtual breakfast, Kitty?

Mmm, breakfast is yummy this morning! Last time I was in Michigan (where John’s and my families live), I had a Little Debbie’s Texas Cinnamon Roll one morning, and it was awesome! I brought a few back in my luggage [laughs] and now I’m spacing them out. Thought it would be fun to eat while we chat. (Though I did have a chocolate protein shake first. Otherwise, I’ll crave sugar all day!)

Well, shoot. Now I gotta hunt down that Little Debbie’s Texas Cinnamon Roll and try it myself. Tell us about your writing process from concept to draft to revision.

My process…well… [starts laughing] I had one! Honest, I did. My husband works in the film industry and we move around a lot for his work. So that makes creating structure in my career a bit of a challenge. But even what I had flew out the window when John got in a motorcycle accident in March! Since then, I’ve focused entirely on helping him heal. Plus, we moved again. Sigh.

But when I did have a structure, it was something like this. Get an idea. Get super excited. Write lots of notes until I couldn’t help myself and had to write the first scene. If the train doesn’t hit a wall, keep writing until the end of the first draft, occasionally pausing to make more notes.

I start by plotting out the major turning points, and some of the links that get me from one turning point to another. But then I use a “seat of the pants” approach to the actual writing. I find that’s the most fun, and I have to keep the fun going in order to keep up my momentum.

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For Unexpected Superhero, I had an idea, pitched it to my agent, she loved it, I wrote it, she didn’t love it as much. She gave me notes – that forced a page-one rewrite! – and I wrote a new draft, which she loved even less. After a year or two, I printed out both versions and literally cut the books into scenes with scissors. Then I moved around all the scenes on the living room floor until I created the book I wanted – because there were good pieces in both books.

The trickiest part of this method – which I don’t recommend! [laughs] – is to not think your Frankenstein’s monster is a super model! The good part for me was that when the book was finished, I was absolutely positive how the series storyline should go. Book two – about three-quarters done before John’s accident, and second-guessed many times since then in the dead of night – should come together easier. I use even more sticky notes and 3×5 cards now than ever!

Tell us about Unexpected Superhero. Why did you want to do a “Lois and Clark” series? (Such a fun idea–I know whywould want to write about them.)

I’m glad you like it! I love superhero movies, and I love the idea of superheroes. I came up with the idea of writing a superhero book because I was mad at my husband. [Laughs] We’ve been married 24 years now, and he still spends a lot of time doing the things he did when he was 19 – playing Xbox, playing on his computer, reading comics, watching TV and movies – and one day I was really tired of being ignored. I imagined how fun it would be to be able to snap my fingers and have a superhero appear who only catered to my needs and wishes. Obviously, that storyline didn’t really work.

But then I asked John a few questions about comic books, and information poured out of him like he was Old Faithful. It just gushed. We went out the next day and he bought me Kingdom Come, the best graphic novel ever! Within a few weeks, I was hooked on comics. Two years later, John raised his eyebrows and cleared his throat at me when I spent more money at the comic book store that visit than he did!

I love being married, and I’ve always thought of marriage as a grand adventure, exploring all kinds of new things together. That led me to the reference, Lewis and Clark, the explorers, who I loved from grade school history lessons. I wanted to write about the grand adventure of marriage along with an exploration of what it means to be powerful, especially to have more power than you realize, which is the theme of my books. (I even had shirts made with the theme!)

I also liked the idea of where super powers come from. There are all kinds of great stories out there, but I had an idea that I couldn’t stop thinking about. What if, when Cain killed his brother Abel, God’s punishment to Cain was to give him and all his descendents extra-human powers and task them with protecting life forevermore? And if God gives you super powers, but you have free will, what happens? So I’m exploring that in the series as well.

It’s a lovely bonus for marketing purposes that my series name, the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke, mirrors the TV show so many are familiar with, Lois & Clark. 🙂

Ah hah! The comic book connection. This is why we also go to all those Marvel comic book hero movies. Love the tie-in to the Cain and Abel story! Let me top off your cranberry juice, Kitty. What did you find fun/intriguing about writing this story and what was difficult?

I’ll tell you, the most difficult part of writing book one, Unexpected Superhero, was trying to come up with a believable way a 27-year-old woman would discover for the first time that she had super powers. I thought my brain was going to bleed! But I created a super-protective mother, a doctor in collusion with the mom, and an insecure young woman trying to hide from the world – and I think it worked.

The most fun parts were the scenes between Tori and Joe, the newlywed main characters. They both want the honeymoon phase to last, so neither wants to rock the boat with uncomfortable questions. But they’ve only known each other for about ten weeks at the start of the book. So there’s a lot of getting-to-know-you that has to go on, too. Just like in a marriage-of-convenience story, it’s fun to watch suddenly married people try to figure out the steps to this new dance.

Tell us about your next project and when it may be published.

(Laughing again) Ah, yes. My next project. Well, book two in the series, Superhero in the Making, was supposed to already be out, but I’m apparently not the kind of person who can focus on writing while learning to be a caregiver. But John is walking on his own again and almost doesn’t need me anymore, so – I’m super excited to start working on that book again soon!

SID_RGB_1600_150Of course, now my deadlines are bumping up against each other. The audiobook for Little Miss Lovesick is set to begin recording next month, and I’m just wrapping up a new cover for that book. I’m releasing a print version of “Superhero in Disguise,” the short story prequel to Unexpected Superhero, in time for Halloween and Comikaze (a comic book convention in Los Angeles). The short story takes place on Halloween night, when Tori and Joe meet in disguise, so this is the perfect time to bring it to print for the convention. (The ebook version is free.)

Plus, I’m teaching a 4-week online class starting September 15 called “Your How-to Guide to Self-Publishing.” That’s going to be pretty time-intensive since the idea is for class members to actually publish, or get ready to publish, their books. (Everyone is welcome!)

Nonetheless, I’m itching to get back to actual writing. Grin! So I expect Superhero in the Making to be out by Christmas. I already have the cover, so I’m nearly ready!

Thank you for sharing your breakfast and writing life, Kitty. Loved hearing about your writing process. I have all your books including Superhero in Disguise. You all heard that, right?  Kitty is offering the e-book at Amazon for FREE.  All my comic book friends are getting Unexpected Superhero for their birthdays this year. Keep us posted about Superhero in the Making. I’m hooked.

Here are a few links if you want to read more about Kitty Bucholtz and her terrific books.

Unexpected Superhero: http://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Superhero-Adventures-Lewis-Clarke-ebook/dp/B00D4FOLHQ/

Superhero in Disguise: http://www.amazon.com/Superhero-Disguise-Adventures-Lewis-Clarke-ebook/dp/B00FVDMQOE/

Little Miss Lovesick: http://www.amazon.com/Little-Miss-Lovesick-Traverse-City-ebook/dp/B005NVFJ70/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Kitty-Bucholtz/e/B006GWTTV2/

Kitty’s web site: http://kittybucholtz.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kittybucholtzauthor

OCC Online Class: http://www.occrwa.org/onlineclassSept14.html

Before you rush to Amazon to buy Unexpected Superhero or click http://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Superhero-Adventures-Lewis-Clarke-ebook/dp/B00D4FOLHQ/, who would like to join us for another glass of cranberry juice?

If you comment to this post, Kitty will hang around to respond. On Tuesday (September 09, 2014), we will draw names from the list of commenters and you Lucky Few will receive your choice of e-books UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO or LITTLE MISS LOVESICK.  Good luck!

 

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About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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17 Responses to September 2014 First Friday Breakfast with an Author

  1. I loved Unexpected Superhero and am looking forward to book two! I hope life settles down for you enough to finish it, Kitty!

    • Kitty Bucholtz says:

      Thanks, Debra! Now that John is walking on his own again, I’m beginning to carve out more and more time for work. Yay! It feels SO GOOD! 😀

  2. Thanks for tweeting this!!! Hi Kitty!!! Listen GF, I have got to get the audio to “Little Miss Lovesick”. Love it but no time to sit down and read….lol….was so great to see you in Traverse City….let me know when you will be back….lunch is on me!! Also I want to join your class on writing….will follow links above and hope one take me there!!! ❤

  3. Rebecca Ifland says:

    I am curious to see how the Cain and Abel idea plays out. Very interesting.

    • Kitty Bucholtz says:

      Thanks, Rebecca. It’s been fun to think through how it COULD go, but I’m also trying to keep my head in enough research to make it interesting and believable…for fiction. LOL! 🙂

  4. Kitty Bucholtz says:

    Michelle, it was so fun having breakfast with you! But my cinnamon roll was gone way to fast. LOL! I’d have to go run for over an hour to burn enough calories to eat another one. Um, no. LOL! 😀

    • mlknowlden says:

      I loved sharing breakfast (and words) with you. I bought the audiobook (whisper sync) for UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO (couldn’t pass up the deal) and will listening/reading it whilst on my vacation. How fun is that!

  5. Rebecca Lang says:

    I love the energy and enthusiasm here. Despite the hurdles of Her husband’s accident, Kitty keeps right on going. The Cain and Abel aspect of the book seems interesting, as is the idea of a late-blooming superhero. Why should only teens get cool powers?

  6. Kitty Bucholtz says:

    Awesome! 😀 I think you’re going to like it a lot. My narrator, Catherine Gaffney, is AMAZING!! Thanks for hanging out with me. Have a fabulous vacation!

  7. Love superheroes and very interested to see how Kittys book plays out. Thanks Michelle for sharing authors!

  8. Kitty Bucholtz says:

    Thanks for checking it out, Christine! Hope it entertains you. 🙂

  9. Kitty Bucholtz says:

    Hello friends! Today is the day for the drawing to win a free copy of one of my books. 🙂 And the winner is – all of you! Yes, I am all wound up about Net Neutrality and the big “show your support” day tomorrow, so I’ve decided to give each of you – Debra, Melody, Rebecca, Rebecca, and Christine – a free copy of the book of your choice (in the format of your choice). Already have both? You may give the coupon code to one friend. I believe in the power of a free Internet, and this is one of the things I can do with it. 🙂 The offer will be good through September 16, so be sure to use it (or have your friend use it) in the next week.

    If you would like to have Little Miss Lovesick, go to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/90883 and use the coupon code FF93Y.

    If you would like to have Unexpected Superhero, it’s a Kindle Select ebook right now, so email me – Kitty at KittyBucholtz dot com – and I will send you a mobi file (for Kindle) or an EPUB file (for Nook, Sony Reader, etc.).

    Happy Reading, everyone! And thanks for joining Michelle and me for our virtual breakfast! 😀

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