Our Interview with Katella Stegmann


An American Werewolf in Idaho (The Barking Mad Tale of a Teenage Werewolf)        

                                                                          Bio

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.

https://www.facebook.com/AnAmericanWerewolfinIdaho

                                                   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?”

Kai’s Journey


                                                    Kai’s Journey
                                                  A short excerpt

It was as far as I could go down the deserted road when I came to the town. I was dirty, exhausted and tired from my days travel. It was just like the rest of the towns and cities I had come across in my travels since this all started 10 years ago when the zombies were created. There were zombies walking around here and there in the town up ahead. But here where I now stood outside the town there had been a battle. Only this time it seemed different. It looked like some one or a group had fought back. There were some full of bullet holes and some all torn up. These were dead and they curiously weren’t getting back up. It looked like there had been two different battles. The bullet holed zombies were off in one area. I know that sometimes the military people liked to use them for target practice. They would shoot them in the head to kill them and then prop them up and use them for targets. Or they would make it more sporting by “tempting” them with food and winging them until they grew tired of their sport and shot them in the head. Curiously though there were others that had been cut up and torn who were a little way off to the left. The torn up ones looked to be a fresher battle.
Off in the distance I could hear this odd yet beautiful sound. Quickly I moved toward the sound to see where the danger might lie. I stayed in the shadows to keep from being seen by the other Zombies that might be lurking around in the darkened buildings of the town. The closer I got to the sound the more dead Zombies I found. The sound was now around the corner of the building that looked as if it might have once been a grocery store.
I paused to draw my sword and to peer around the corner into the alley. Slowly I peered around the corner of the building to find the most beautiful white dog I had ever seen, surrounded by Zombies. The animal was so beautiful I rushed to it’s aide not even thinking of the consequences. When it first spotted me it seemed to become more wary until I said
“Hold on, I came to help.”
I charged at the back of the group of Zombies hacking the first ones head off and stabbing the second one in the back of the head. By the time the third one fell that’s when they noticed me and turned toward me. The rest were still facing the dog. It was a desperate fight, I knew that any second the dog or I could be bitten by one of these things. I fought as hard and as fast as I could in hopes that the dog would be able to escape. That way this beautiful creature could live.
Finally I saw the last two fall. I turned to run but saw ten more come stumbling around the corner. That’s when something hard hit me in the head and I lost consciousness.
A throbbing headache woke me from my forced slumber. I reached up to rub my head when I noticed that my wrist’s were tied behind my back. I slowly opened my eyes to find myself in a cave like room.
Barren of any furniture or anything useful to cut the ropes that were currently binding my wrist’s. I looked up on a shelf that was above my head and saw my sword. I got to my knees and slouched till my knuckles touched the ground. I then slipped the rope under my feet so I could have my hands in front of me. Quickly I got to my feet and claimed my sword and released my hands. A sound at the doorway made me turn to face any danger that might be coming in. That is when I saw it. A pure white wolf slowly walking into the room and sat just in front of the doorway. She watched me as I lowered my sword to show no threat. As if satisfied to see that I was free she turned to leave.
“Wait, don’t go.” I called to the wolf.
She looked back as if she understood what I had just said. She then turned and walked out of the room. I belted my sword and I followed her.
We walked down a hall that curved and into another short hall. I saw her slip into a doggie door. I grabbed the door to open it but found that it was locked. I knocked to see if someone would answer the door. When no answer came I leaned in closer to the door to listen for any sound at all. I was thinking that maybe I could crawl through the doggie door too when I heard a loud crash coming from inside the room. I yelled, “I am coming in!” and slipped into the room through the same way the wolf had gone.
The room was sparsely furnished with a bed, table and a couple of chairs. As I was standing up I caught the sight of someone or something moving out of sight. Fearing someone was being attacked I moved forward to where I saw the person disappear. The door shut as I came closer. I had noticed that all the doors were very heavy wooden doors. Even this door seemed to be very heavy.
“Curious”. I said softly to myself. Softly I knocked on the door and asked if anyone inside was hurt. This time I got a reply.
“who are you and why did you come into my room?” It sounded like a woman.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know. It’s just that I woke up in this place with my hands bound and my sword taken from me. I saw a beautiful white wolf in the doorway. After I had freed my hands the wolf left and I followed her here. Is the wolf in there with you?”
There was a pause as if she were looking around to see if the wolf was indeed in the room with her.
“No, its not in here with me.” She finally replied.
“Can you come out here please, Its been so long since I have talked to another.” I asked her hoping I hadn’t frightened her.
“Would you give me my robe please, its in there on the bed.” I walked over to the bed and picked up what looked to be the robe and took it to her.
I placed it next to the door and said.
“I’m putting it in front of the door and stepped across the room so she could retrieve it. Noticing a fire place and some wood stacked next to it I asked, “would you mind if I started a fire?”
“No, That would be fine. Thank you.” she said.
I heard her step into the room as I stood up from the fireplace. I turned to see the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and she looked about my age. She had beautiful white hair flowing down her back. She was about 5’6″ and graceful. Her eyes were the most incredible blue I had ever seen. They almost seemed to glow.
I had thought to ask her a question when I was making the fire. But when I saw her all thought left me. I knelt down to stoke the fire to get it going better. She came over to sit down next to me. She said,
“Well, I am here what do you want to talk about?” I thought a bit and then asked her,
“Why is your hair the same color as the wolf’s that I saw?” She gave a coy smile. She replied calmly, “Its merely a coincidence.” She said and walked towards her door,
“Now I think its time for you to go back to your room. Please don’t go anywhere and do not leave your room again. You were not supposed to leave it in the first place. We have left you with your sword because these are dangerous times and you never know when you will need it. But for your sake please leave it on the ledge. At least until we know we can trust you . ” Again she smiled that coy smile.
She told me to turn around. As she walked over to her dresser where she pulled open a squeaky cabinet door to get out her clothes. I heard the rustle of clothes hit the floor. I thought she might be done and started to turn when I saw her. I saw the back profile of a beautiful woman. Her hair fell down to the middle of her back. My eyes followed the flow of her hair down her back to her bare butt. That is when I saw it. I saw something different that I had never seen before. She had a miniature tail about 2 fingers wide and as long as 2 fingers. There were pure white hairs coming out of the end. I quickly turned back around so as to give her privacy. After a few more minutes she walked past me to unlock the door.
She led the way back down the hallway to my room.
“I will leave you here but I wanted to let you know what will happen tomorrow. Our leader will come to speak with you and ask you some questions. He will have some other tests for you too. The reason for the questions and test is to see if you can be trusted and are loyal. That is, if you would like to stay with us and travel with us.” she said while she stood by the door way of my new room. I looked around my sparse room and noticed that there was no bed or even a chair to sit in.
“What will I sleep on tonight?” I asked her, hundreds of other questions swarming in my mind but knowing that they would have to wait.
“I will look into getting a bed brought to you but for tonight you will have to make do with the floor.”
I laughed a dry laugh and told her, ” One more night on the ground won’t kill me. I have spent many a night on the ground.”
When she left I placed my sheathed sword back on the ledge. I looked around and saw a shallow patch of dust that looked soft. As I lay down to sleep I thought about what she had asked.
“Do I want to stay with these people and travel with them?” I thought to myself.
I had traveled alone for so long.
“Well, I have been led here, I might as well see what becomes of it.” I mumbled to myself before drifting off to sleep. I fell into a terrible nightmare.
I was running through a forest when this loud boom and a fierce gale wind hit my back. I went flying through the air to land on the moist grass wet with the morning dew. I landed heavily on my back. Then this loud powerful roar sounded all around me. The roar was that of the king of beasts would make the cowards and weak run. Then it rose into the air, a blood red dragon! I got to my feet as fast as I could. I looked at the dragon as it looked at me. At once it started after me. I ran as fast as I could through the underbrush and past the trees. The underbrush was tearing at my clothes as I scrambled frantically to get away. I could hear a thump, thump, thump.
At first I thought it was my heart trying to burst from my chest. Then I felt it in my ears and then my bones. It was then I realized that the air was pulsating with the beat of the dragons wings trying to keep its massive body aloft in the air. There was a loud boom and a crunching and snapping of trees in front of me as I ran through a bush. I slid to a stop in time to behold a massive sapphire dragon with deep emerald eyes and black horns landing in front of me, unleashing a mighty roar.
Suddenly I sat up wringing with sweat frantically looking around the darkened cave searching for the dragons.
The head counselor was standing there in front of me. It took a moment to see that there were others in the room too, standing back against the wall. The counselor with salt and pepper hair spoke to me . “Are you ready?” Still dazed and confused I looked around again to get my bearings. Again the counselor spoke,
“Are you ready for the test’s that Clover spoke of to you last night?”
I stood up fully awake now, the dream receding quickly to the back of my mind

A new start,