Today we have KT Hanna on the blog with us, author of CHAMELEON: The Domino Project releasing August 4, 2015! CHAMELEON is available for preorder on Amazon by clicking the awesome book cover and links below, and don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads shelf!
After Sai’s newly awoken psionic power accidentally destroys her apartment complex, she’s thrown into an intensive training program. The only grades are pass or die.
Surviving means proving her continued existence isn’t a mistake–a task her new mentor, Bastian, takes personally. Her abilities place her in the GNW Enforcer division, which partners her with Domino 12, who is eerily human for an alien-parasite and psionic hybrid. When her assassination duties are revealed, Sai understands the real reason for her training.
On a mission to dispatch a dangerous Exiled scientist, she uncovers truths she never thought possible. Sai is unsure who to trust as her next mission might be her last, and a double agent seems to be manipulating both sides.
Available for Preorder
Now, without further ado, let’s ask some slightly difficult writerly questions!
1. First, let’s talk about your debut novel, CHAMELEON: The Domino Project, that’s coming out in August! I’m always curious to know what triggered the idea for a story! How did CHAMELEON come about, and which came first—the premise or the main character?
Actually. Domino came first. A character and a story. Then came Jaded, which was the sort of basis for the main setting for the first 2/3 of the book. When neither of those worked together, I ended up having an idea that sparked marrying them – and voila – The Domino Project series came to life. Chameleon was originally called Exiled – but Chameleon is much more fitting.
2. Readers here may or may not know that you’re considered the Queen of Plot Bunnies. Can you share with us why that is and how you manage all the plot bunnies that hop your way?
For some weird reason all I need is a word. Something like decrepit, or parched, or subliminal – BAM I have a plot bunny. This means I have a LOT of plot bunnies. So many ideas running around and jumping into their stewing pots. They jump out at me when I least expect it, and frankly it’s sort of disconcerting.
3. What does a writing day look like for you? Do you have any habits or quirks you can share with us?
Actually, my writing process is different to what you hear from most people. I don’t write every day. If, however, I’m in writing mode – I’m either researching, outlining, plotting, or writing. When I actually draft what I’ve plotted I work in sort of shifts. I start at :00 and write for 20 minutes until 0:20 and then I take a 10 minute break and start again. 0:30-0:50
I manage about 1k words in each of those 20 minute periods and I can manage anywhere from 4-10 of them in a day, depending on if I have someone to watch my daughter. This usually results in my having a draft finished in a very short period, but it always takes 2-4 weeks to plot out and research everything.
Well, and then there’s editing 😉
4. You’re also an editor over at Chimera Editing. Can you tell us more about your work there? Is there a specific type of project you like to work with?
I’m a HUGE science fiction/fantasy/horror/paranormal person. I’m never that fond of contemporary, but sometimes it really speaks to me. I also prefer my romance mixed with other strong genres.
One of my favorite things to do is developmental editing. Taking a manuscript with a really solid basis, and helping the author develop it further. It’s so much fun to see a book while it improves.
5. What’s your favorite writing resource—or the one you simply can’t live without?
Resource? Scrivener. I’ve been using it since 2007, and I don’t think I could just write in word ever again. There’s so many tiny things I can do in Scrivener that I feel helps me keep more cohesive control over my work as a whole.
6. What do you do when you’re faced with “no-writing-feels”—those days all writers face where we’re certain we’re not meant for this writing-thing?
I have those a lot. Even while I am writing. Hell, even while I’m filling this in. But I sometimes think that if we don’t have doubts, we’ll never improve. And in the end, getting better and better at what we love to do (and often can’t help doing), is the long haul, right?
Now for my hard-hitting journalism questions—try to contain your laughter as I adjust my sleuth’s hat.
7. With CHAMELEON you made the decision to forgo traditional publication and to move forward with releasing the series yourself. What was that process like for you and what would you like to share with readers about your road to publication?
This manuscript got me my first agent. With it’s post apocalyptic background (it’s actually sort of post post apocalyptic), and it’s dystopian reaching for utopian overtones… it completely missed the boat with timing. I’m woeful at writing for the market, and to be honest, I just want to tell my stories. If the market and my stories ever coincide? Sure – I hope to one day be a hybrid author, but as it is? Right now this is what I needed to do. So, I’m doing it.
I’m lucky enough that my CP is a phenomenal content editor and knows me well enough to be ruthless. But then there was copy editing, proofreading, original cover art work, interior design and formatting. Then you have to decide to pay someone to put your book in a Cover reveal or book blog, or else do it yourself. Then there’s launch posts, and blogs, and interviews, and swag and giveaways, and and and
I suffer from anxiety and stress attacks. Things need to be done in just such a way, to such an extent or I tend to collpase. Having my fingers in everything, has actually helped me. Sure, there have been tears, and breakdowns, woeful paranoia, and huge anxiety and stress levels. But the more I learn in doing this, the better I feel about having done it.
What I would say to anyone who chooses to self publish? If you’ve always wanted to be traditionally published, but you feel that you want a certain book out there – you have to rise above that doubt, rise above the constant gnawing that the stigma may be lessened but is still there, you have to put out the best book you possibly can and do your story justice. And if you’re not willing to put in the work and ride out the derision that’s very quietly and sadly still a part of the background to self-publishing – then you probably should hold out for a traditional deal.
Because traditional is still a very viable way. It’s just not the only way anymore.
8. What were a couple of your biggest surprises about the publishing process?
So much work to do. I knew that deciding to put the book out there myself wasn’t going to be easy. But it is a lot of work. Sure, you could just write the book, slap a simple cover on it, and be happy with it. But if you want the editing to be as flawless as possible, and spread word about it – you’re in for a lot of work. And little of that work has to do with actual writing.
9. If you could whisper in the ear of the writer reading this, what one piece of wisdom would you share with them?
Regardless of how it gets out there, make sure you do your story justice.
10. What’s next for the THE DOMINO PROJECT series and its illustrious author?
Well? Book 2 HYBRID comes out in November (exact date to be determined), and Book 3 PARASITE comes out in February 2016. So I’ll be pretty much rushed off my feet, constantly stressed, and likely trying to control several panic attacks. I wish the latter were exaggerated, but it’s not.
Now, KT is so cool she couldn’t stop at just one giveaway! That’s right–you have two ways to get FREE stuff from KT Hanna! First up is her GOODREADS GIVEAWAY! Just click the Goodreads button below to go enter, but make sure you come back to check out her second giveaway!
KT’s Preorder GIVEAWAY!
Also – I currently have a preorder giveaway going on. Just send proof of your preorder to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address, and I’ll send you out a nice bookmark, and personalized signed postcard!
KT Hanna has a love for words so extreme, a single word can spark entire worlds.
Born in Australia, she met her husband in a computer game, moved to the U.S.A. and went into culture shock. Bonus? Not as many creatures specifically out to kill you.
When she’s not writing, she freelance edits for Chimera Editing, interns for a NYC Agency, and chases her daughter, husband, corgi, and cat. No, she doesn’t sleep. She is entirely powered by the number 2, caffeine, and beef jerky.
Note: Still searching for her Tardis