KM: I was surprised by how much I enjoyed finding just the right cover for my stories. When I first started out, premades weren’t the big deal they are now and friends created my covers. Then I discovered The Book Cover Designer, which has thousands of covers, some very affordable.
And little by little I started acquiring a stash. I haunt the cover sites on Facebook and when the designers have sales, I’ll often stock up. I think I bought ten Christmas romance covers last year because I knew I’d use them. I’ve won a couple of covers from designers and have gone back to them for additional custom covers so I can create trilogies. I have also sometimes written stories because I’ve been inspired by covers. Images suggest stories to me.
BWWP: Do you have a particular writing habit?
KM: I do not. I don’t like coffee, so I don’t have that ritual of brewing a cup (I like the way it smells, though) and then sitting down to write. I have been a full-time freelancer almost my entire working life, so I am very very lucky not to get writer’s block. I’m usually working on something for myself while also working on projects for my clients, so if I get stuck, I’ll take a walk and come back to another project for a little while.
I’m childless and share my apartment with my best friend. He is also a USA Today bestselling author who keeps long writing hours, so I can be very selfish with my own writing time and don’t have to worry about feeding kids or him on a regular schedule (he cooks for himself) or having to go to bed at a regular time if the creative juices are flowing because I have to get up and be functional by a certain time every morning because I have a traditional job.
I am in awe of writers who can run a household, have a job, raise kids and pets and still produce work. I took care of both my parents during their final illnesses and if I wrote 500 words a day between the cooking and cleaning and laundry and the general grief and stress, I counted myself lucky. I learned to write in the margins of life, snagging ten minutes here, half an hour there.
BWWP: If you had to choose anyone, which writer would you consider a mentor?
KM: I used to say the biggest influences on my writing were Jim Henson and Rod Serling. I have written a number of short stories and a lot of them have that signature Twilight Zone twist ending. And Henson because of the gentle lessons and wild humor of The Muppet Show. I loved that. The Muppet Christmas Carol is my absolute favorite adaptation of the novella.
BWWP: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
KM: I’m a huge fan of R.C. Barnes, who has a wonderful fantasy series featuring a young woman with a remarkable talent—she can read tattoos. The first two books are out—Ink for the Beloved and Ink for the Damned, and I recommend them highly.
BWWP: What is the hardest part of your writing?
KM: The marketing. When I was part of a “list run” for USA Today, the boxed set organizers wanted us to send out our newsletters at least once a week, but preferably more. And I just hated that because I know if I get a newsletter that’s basically just a request to buy, buy, buy, I start to lose interest. Also, I am not good with TikTok and Instagram and it feels like if writers don’t have all the social media platforms covered, they aren’t doing their jobs.
But social media monitoring can really eat up the day. I have a shamefully neglected blog that I’ve maintained for years and some years I post a lot—book reviews and recommendations—but this year I think I’ve posted something like twice a month.
BWWP: Do you have any advice for other writers?
KM: The number one recommendation I’d make is to stop wasting time. Trying to carve time out of a busy life to write is hard. But if in your down time you’re keeping up with the Kardashians, or scrolling through TikTok for an hour every morning, that’s time you’re not writing. Of course, you have to take breaks, and wind down and relax. But it’s way too easy—and I know this from personal experience—to click on one YouTube video and then watch another and another. Baby goats in pajamas? I’m there. “Honest Trailers” for movies? Haven’t missed a one. “Doom-scrolling?” Guilty as charged. But as they say about drinking, “Know when to say when.”
Also. Just write. Even if it’s not perfect, write it down. I used to commute to my first job by bus and I would jot down ideas to pass the time. I would draft out short stories. Sometimes, and I know this sounds geeky, I would pick a theme for a collection of short stories and then I’d list ten or twenty possible short story titles that would tie in with the theme. Or I’d just be thinking about plots. I found I could amuse myself endlessly which was fortunate because my commute involved two buses, a walk, and around ninety minutes each way. every morning, that’s time you’re not writing. Of course, you have to take breaks, and wind down and relax. But it’s way too easy—and I know this from personal experience—to click on one YouTube video and then watch another and another. Baby goats in pajamas? I’m there. “Honest Trailers” for movies? Haven’t missed a one. “Doom-scrolling?” Guilty as charged. But as they say about drinking, “Know when to say when.”
Also. Just write. Even if it’s not perfect, write it down. I used to commute to my first job by bus and I would jot down ideas to pass the time. I would draft out short stories. Sometimes, and I know this sounds geeky, I would pick a theme for a collection of short stories and then I’d list ten or twenty possible short story titles that would tie in with the theme. Or I’d just be thinking about plots. I found I could amuse myself endlessly which was fortunate because my commute involved two buses, a walk, and around ninety minutes each way.
BWWP: Describe yourself in three words.
KM: Seeker. Traveler. Activist.
BWWP: I know the characters are like children but if you could choose, who’s your favorite from your books? Of all time?
KM: My absolute favorite character (and I love them all) is from a script, not a book. My maternal grandmother lived with my family when I was a child and she was a force of nature. Small—I’m 5’1” and I towered over her—but she cast a long shadow. And she could be cantankerous or charming or stoic or feisty. She was an autodidact who had married a man twice her age and was widowed for decades. She was named Katherine. (As was my father’s stepmother, so there was never any question what I’d be named.)
Anyway, I wrote a small-town sf comedy in which an ensemble of mismatched people fight off a group of pterodactyls while holing up in a doc in a doc in a box clinic. And on of the characters is an old lady named Lula Binswanger. I channeled my grandmother into her and to this day, she is the character I’m proudest of.
BWWP: Any song or songs that could basically sum up the overall mood of your current book?
KM: Leonard Cohen wrote so many versions of “Hallelujah” that there’s probably one that fits my mood at any one time.
I hate to admit it, but I’m not really music-oriented. I preferred the Rolling Stones to the Beatles. But if I listen to music when I write, it tends to be soundtracks. Music with lyrics distracts me.
BWWP: Do you plot out your books or just freely write them and let the characters tell you what to do next?
I’m kind of a hybrid. I used to write a serial novel for AOL/Huffington Post and for each chapter, I basically knew the beats I needed to hit. I’m pretty much of a pantser when it comes to my romances, but the mystery stories need more structure. MY SF stuff belongs to a big world I’ve created, so I have to outline those to make sure I keep the timeline straight. But I love it when things happen that I didn’t expect. I just wrote a story for a boxed set that took a turn I did not expect.
BWWP: If you had to choose, who would you consider the biggest influence in your writing?
KM: So many writers influenced me…. My parents read to me and my siblings from the time we could sit on their laps. (The first book I remember was The Poky Little Puppy.) I was a huge huge fan of Beverly Cleary. She was the first author I knew by name.) We always got books as presents for birthdays and Christmas. My parents were both readers—my mother favored mysteries; my father read nonfiction. The only thing my parents refused to let any of us read was comic books, so I didn’t grow up inside the MCU or DC universes. I read a couple of Superman and Batman comics at friends’ houses but I was reading “adult books” from the time I was about twelve. (YA and NA weren’t really a thing yet.) I read everything. There was a period when paperback horror was huge—those shiny, cut-out covers. I read Gothic romances. I read Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys and Cherry Ames and Trixie Belden. I read fantasy and science fiction. I read mysteries. My parents were fine with us reading genre, they knew we were getting the “classics” at school like Scarlet Letter and Moby Dick and “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.” The writers who really spoke to me were the late, great Tanith Lee, Stephen King, and William Shakespeare. Really, I am a total Shakespeare geek and have even retold some of his tales.
BWWP: What are your current projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us?
KM: One of the busiest times in my year is late summer when I’m prepping my clients to attend the American Film Market. My longest-running “day job” is working as a freelance story analyst, which means that I write book reports for a living—analyzing scripts and books for production companies who want to know if they should buy them. The idea of what’s commercial varies wildly because I have a lot of overseas clients, and they have different criteria. For example, the French love dark, strange, moody, angsty movies. The Israeli market loves raucous sex comedies. Action movies and horror do well across the world.) The prep usually lasts about three weeks and it is INTENSE, reading and writing reports on (sometimes) hundreds of scripts.
About three years ago, I started writing scripts myself and I’ve been lucky enough to have had some success in the low-budget world. I just had a Christmas movie made, and I’ve been contracted to write another one as well as a Valentine’s Day script. I love that because I’m leaning heavily into my “Katherine Moore” brand, which is cozy, holiday rom com stories.
It's those cozies I’m writing now. I have stories planned for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, all coming out in the next three months. For my pen name Kat Parrish, I’m really excited about a AF/space opera series I call “Hospital Planet.” There are three books so far, which will all publish monthly beginning in October. (Kildare, Salk, and Paracelsus—all my hospital planets are named after famous Earth doctors.) I wish I could give out a pre-order link but I’ve lost my pre-order privileges on until April.
I also have stories in a number of multi-author boxed sets and anthologies coming out. I’m a sucker for charity anthologies and I have trouble saying no. Here are a few collections that people may enjoy:
Paris Romance—Katherine Moore has a story about two rival translators falling in love. It’s on preorder here: https://geni.us/ParisRomance
I used to live in France and have a school kid’s fluency in French. It is a tricky language for non-native speakers, so the mistake that my heroine makes is one I have actually made…
Nightfall—Under my pen name Kat Parrish, I submitted a story called “As My City Burns,” which is a stand-alone tale in my L.A. Nocturne universe, which is a paranormal Los Angeles, a place I lived for decades. The prequel to the story is a novel contained in the permafree collection After Midnight. Here’s the preorder link for Nightfall: https://books2read.com/nightfallanthology
Twilight For the Dead—Under my pen name Katia Kozar, I just finished a creepy evil twin/ghost story called “Mercy Me” for this collection. It’ll be available in October.
Bases Loaded—Katherine Moore is doing an “enemies to lovers” story about a woman photographing a star baseball player. Sportsjinks ensue. My cousin is an absolute baseball fanatic. I will be consulting with him.
Here’s the preorder link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B9QWV156
BWWP: Thank you so much, Katherine, for taking time to sit down and talk with me!! I have really enjoyed our time together and I have learned so much about you!! Thank you again!! Below are the links to where you can follow Katherine Moore!!
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