Katella Stegmann was born and raised in the state of Georgia. Always and forever a dreamer, she picked up a blue crayon in kindergarten and hasn’t stopped writing since. Her first published series, The Barking Mad Tale of a Teenage Werewolf is a coming of age tale with sassy wit and deep character development. The first book in the series, “An American Werewolf in Idaho” follows young protagonist Cassie Hill as she stumbles through her new destiny to protect her town from evil doers. The second book, “A Tale of Two Shih Tzus” delves deeper into Cassie’s life as she wavers through difficult decisions about love and family. The third book, “The Labrador of the Rings” is a fast paced action adventure in which she seeks to overcome obstacles and learns the true meaning of what love, sacrifice, and loyalty mean.
Bio provided by author’s site
It was a real pleasure to get a chance to interview another werewolf writer! Katella has written a series of books all of which entail a young person trying to learn how to be a werewolf AND a teenager all at the same time. So sit back and grab a mug of your favorite warm beverage and please give a warm welcome to Katella!
1. What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from life, everything about it. The good, the bad, the hilarious, and the sad. I think a little element of mystery is always good. Keep the reader guessing. I like to take my fans on a journey of, “What crazy thing will she do next?”
2. Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters? Or do you free write and work it out as you go?
Oh, Lord, I am one of the most unorganized minds ever, especially when it comes to my stories. I’ve always been spontaneous and I enjoy letting the story flow from my brain straight to the paper. I have a big picture in mind, but the plots write themselves and the characters are easy to flesh out.
3. What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?
I think it’s obvious from the previous answer that I don’t really schedule much of anything. I like to let things unfold in time. Why limit yourself with a schedule? I don’t really have a writing ritual, per se. I always have an urge to write. I used to get in trouble at school for not staying on task. I’d write stories while my teacher’s were lecturing me about…important educational stuff (stay in school, kids!). Sometimes a quote or an idea will come to me while I’m in the middle of doing something and I’ll scribble it on a post-it or scrap piece of paper and then work it into the story.
4. Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?
I don’t know if he ever wrote a book, but Christopher Titus’s stand up was a huge influence on me in the nineties. I have always been a big believer in spinning really crappy situations into something you can laugh at. I think he did that beautifully.
I focused more on script-reading when I was growing up. I had a hard time sitting still to read a book, but I could blaze through scripts like nobody’s business.
Joss Whedon always had strong and funny characters in the scripts he and his team came up with. In every single one of his series he was able to create such fantastic characters. The complexity of his characters pushed me to develop characters who are well-rounded and relatable.
Bill Lawrence and his writers never cease to amaze me. He’ll have you laughing one minute and then boo-hooing like a baby the next. He knows how to play on emotions.
And of course, Stan Lee…the God of the superhero universe.
5. It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?
Editing. While it is fantastic for finding mistakes and plot-holes, it is also my arch-enemy. It makes me second guess myself. Editing and I have a love-hate relationship. It loves to torture me…and I hate it for it.
6. Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?
I don’t get to read very often. I get caught up in work and school. Recently I finished Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help” which I thought was fabulous. It is the first book in over a decade that kept my attention for more than ten seconds.
My vampire-obsessed friend talked me into reading some of J.R. Ward’s stuff. It’s pretty good. I really like her style and her characters. But I haven’t gotten very far in her series yet.
7. How did you get started in writing in the genre of supernatural romance? Is there personal life experience in the writing?
I absolutely think there is an element of your own personal life in writing. We are shaped by our environment. While we might not be aware of it, we store information in our brains every time something happens. Writing is about accessing the subconscious and channeling our experiences on to paper with our own twists. The characters are molded and shaped according to our perception of reality.
I chose the supernatural romance genre mainly because it’s fun. Who doesn’t love a good tortured soul trying to find love? I blame Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
8. Your books have been published with Amazon.com, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?
It seems to be the wave of the future. Everything is going digital nowadays. Sadly, most bookstores are closing their doors.
9. Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
I never would have gotten the ovaries to publish had it not been for the encouragement I got when I was writing fanfictions online. Again, I have to blame…I mean…thank…my vampire-obsessed friend for daring me to do a *cough, cough* Twilight fanfiction. It started out as a dare and then quickly progressed from there. I was not a huge fan of the books (don’t hate me, Twilight fans!), so I wrote the fictions from the point of view of a character who hated everything: Leah. It worked out perfectly. Turns out a lot of the people who read the fics enjoyed the spoof-type humor. If you enjoy really snarky foul-mouthed werewolves you can check out the stories on fanfiction.com and Twilighted.net under the penname Forever without Him.
10. Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?
I am always and forever writing something. I practically came out of my mother sporting an awesome bed-head hairdo, sweet rosy cheeks, and a pen and paper. I’ve got hundreds of manuscripts to choose from. But my arch-nemesis editing comes into play once I’ve decided which one to announce to the world next. Currently I have two stories in the works. One is an espionage thriller and the other is an inspirational dramedy.
11. Who would be your first choice to play Cassie Hill from your book “An American Werewolf in Idaho (The Barking Mad Tale of a Teenage Werewolf)”?
Oh, wow. Excellent question. My first choice would be an unknown actress. I like fresh faces. But if we’re plucking from faces that are already known I would go with Chloe Moretz or Paula Brancati. Both have really impressed me with their range.
12. If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?
I’ve got a lot of friends and family in uniform. I would settle for seeing any of them. And I wouldn’t have a question for them. It would be a statement. “Thanks.”
And to think, I almost answered Mahatma Gandhi. But I couldn’t decide on the question, “what is the secret to world peace?” or “would you like a cookie?”