Interview: Katie Hamstead

This month, we have two new members of our blog (squee! So exciting!). To celebrate, we’ve decided to interview all Aussie Owned & Read-ers, so you can learn a bit more about us.
Today, I had the pleasure of hitting up the lovely Katie Hamstead, author of many successful books including the 
Kiya trilogy. Welcome, Katie.

AO&R: When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
Katie: I feel like this is something that gradually happened for me, something that I naturally fell into. Through my teen years I enjoyed storytelling, so I would write things down as my preferred outlet … after sports that is! It wasn’t until I migrated to the U.S. and couldn’t work while I waited for my green card, then fell pregnant, that I found time to write.
I started by finishing stuff I’d began as a teen and typing it all out because the handwritten paper was deteriorating, then the Kiya trilogy happened. I felt so good about the trilogy that I decided I wanted to publish it. The rest is history.

AO&R: When it comes to your characters, who is your favourite and why?

Katie: It’s a toss between Naomi/Kiya and Cadence from the Cadence Duology. Both feel like they live in my heart and soul and opened my eyes to their stories rather than me telling their stories.

AO&R: What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?
Katie: Stay true to you and write from the heart.

AO&R: Which path do you enjoy more – indie or trad and why?
Katie: I’ve tried self-publishing but I prefer working with my publishers. My books sell better when they have that extra support and outreach.

AO&R: Being an Aussie, what about our culture/country do you bring to your writing?
Katie: I have several books set in Australia: Cadence Duology, Branded, Dancing in the Athenian Rain, and Brownlow Baby. People have commented that the alternate setting to the U.S. is fun, while still having a parallel culture they can empathise with. Even my space opera/fairy tale series has a strong Aussie influence in the characters and settings.

AO&R: What’s coming up for you this year? Katie Teller
Katie: So far, I have released one book, Brownlow Baby, but I also have the second book in my fairytale galaxy series releasing 28th March, Myths of Mish. Then later this year I have an Aussie historical romance releasing. All this while I’m trying to work at an elementary school, but luckily, I get summer off. I also have editing projects and rewrites for my FTG series. So, busy as always!

FAST FIVE with KATIE HAMSTEAD

Pantser or plotter? Pantser
Coffee or tea? Hot chocolate
Contemporary or historical? Historical
Novella or full-length? Full-length
Series or standalone? Series

Keep up-to-date with Katie’s releases via her Facebook page, her publisher’s page, or find her on Goodreads.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lauren K. McKellar is the author of romance reads that make you feel. You can get in touch with her sleep-deprived, newborn-raising self via her Facebook page or website. P.S. Send wine!

For the Love of Historicals

I love, love, love, love love, love, love historical fiction. Yes, I am weird and a closet nerd. I’m coming out, just for you. For as long as I can remember I’ve devoured books with historical settings, and with the last book in my NA Historical Romance, the Kiya trilogy, now available (released Feb 25) I want to talk about History!

I read the Horrible Histories books as a middle grade reader.

In high school, I read a book about a Native American girl who wanted to prove herself a mighty warrior and great leader for her tribe. I also read a novel about a convict girl in Australia and how she managed to make a better life for herself…. I just wish I’d paid more attention to what they were called!

Religious historical novels I’ve read are the entire Work and the Glory series, and Orson Scott Card’s Women of Genesis.

I’ve read books on WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War. I’ve read about the Tutors, the Gregorian era, Victorian era, King Arthur.

I have a myriad on non-fiction books covering ancient civilizations from the western and eastern hemispheres. My parents took me to see the Terracotta Soldiers, and Mummies on exhibit in Sydney as a treat.

Now I’m rambling.

The point is; I love history.

Now I’m fully aware how dry historical fiction can be. It can also be daunting if you have no prior understanding of the setting. That is where carefully selecting what you read is important. One of my favorite historical reads is The Sword of Attila. Okay, yes, it’s not exactly a light read, but I found it fascinating watching the Roman Empire clash with that of the Huns. I lean toward ancient history, so it worked for me.

A historical I read recently that I enjoyed is Echoes of Dark and Light. It’s a story set during the American civil war, with a great heroine and a fantastic love interest.

I believe history can teach us so much about ourselves and how to be better. Historical fiction can make these lessons entertaining, and bury into our hearts the lessons they have to teach without forcing it down our throats. History is where we have come from, and learning about our past can make our future better. Historical Fiction is amazing if you take the time to “get it”.

 

Katie Teller

Katie Teller is a writer of NA fiction. Her debut, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, is now available. You can find out more about Katie and the Kiya trilogy, on twitterfacebook or at her own blog.

Non Contemporary New Adult

New Adult is a rapidly growing category. At this point, it is saturated with Contemporary Romance, but it is expanding. NA Alley recently posted about all the non-contemporary NA coming out this winter, and included genre lists with titles.

sleeper333 (2)Amonour own Aussie Owned crew we have non-contemporary New Adult writers. Sharon’s recently released, Sleeper, is a New Adult Sci-fi Fantasy.

Kiya-Ebook-Cover (1)Kiya-2-m4 (3) My own books are New Adult, too. They are some of the few Historical  Romances around in New Adult. Another great Historical New Adult book is    Speak Easy by Melanie Harlow. This moves a long way from Contemporary  college romances with it’s bootlegging and roaring 20’s theme. It has rave  reviews.

A good friend of mine has a NA Fantasy out, Heirs of War, and Aussie author,  Lisa Swallow, has her paranormal series, Soul Ties.

New Adult is rapidly expanding and exploring new genres. Being an age group category, its potential is infinite. Click on the NA Alley link above for new releases, and find their catalog here.

Not all New Adult is college students exploring their sluttier side. There are great NA reads out there that are adventurous, suspenseful, insightful and unexpected. Look around, and chances are you’ll find something you will love.

Katie Teller

Katie Teller is a writer of NA fiction. Her debut, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, is now available. You can find out more about Katie and the Kiya trilogy, on twitterfacebook or at her own blog.

Cover Reveal – Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh by Katie

I am so excited to share this with you today. This is the cover for my soon to be released novel, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh and I just love it! Here’s a short blurb for you:

To save her younger sisters from being taken to the cruel life of the palace, Naomi intervenes and gives herself to be a wife of the erratic Pharaoh Akhenaten.

In the palace, Naomi finds herself thrust into the intrigues of the royal family, and has her name changed to Kiya. She becomes beloved by the Pharaoh, who declares that she will bear him his heir. But the Great Queen Nefertiti, furious with jealousy, schemes to destroy Naomi and even brings her fidelity into question, which could cost Naomi her very life.

Naomi must play the deadly game carefully. She is in a silent battle of wills, and a struggle for who will one day inherit the crown. And if she does bear an heir, she will have to fight to protect him as well as herself from Nefertiti who is out for blood.

So, here it is!

Kiya Ebook Cover

Watch out for a giveaway here in May, also head over to my blog for a blog hop to win great prizes. You can now add it on Goodreads.

Some links for more on Kiya:

My Blog

Playlist for Kiya

The Typelings