Author Interview Katya Mills a social worker at night
Author of Urban Fantasy is an independent author from Northern California, USA
Katya Mills is working on Book 3 of her urban fantasy series Daughter of Darkness
Katya Mills is an independent author from Northern California, USA. A social worker at night, she does most of her writing in the morning. She has been blogging for a decade now and posts daily on her website. She performs spoken word and reads from her work on YouTube. She has self-published 1 novel and 2 novellas since 2013 on amazon.com, and is working on Book 3 of her urban fantasy series, Daughter of Darkness, for publication later this year. Katya has lived all over the US, from NH to MA to FL to Chicago, IL to California. Her books are typically set in cities in the US.
Hello, Katya Mills. Welcome on my blog. After two successful books in the urban fantasy series, Daughter of Darkness, everyone is eagerly waiting for book 3 that is to be released later this year. I think, like you, most of us get inspired by music.
Your real name and pen name?
Please share some of the best memories of your childhood
Growing up on a lake. The call of the loon. Sailing. Swimming in the Atlantic.
Going to see the Boston Symphony Orchestra with my family. Going to the library. Reading. Running. Skateboarding. Taking road trips with my family up and down the East and West Coasts.
About your education
I got my BA from Northwestern University in English Literature. I got my MA from John F. Kennedy University in Counseling Psychology.
What career did you plan during your education days?
I did not plan well for a career while an undergraduate! Therefore, my job history after college was all over the map. I was a stockbroker, a waitress, a landscaper, a courier, and a cashier at a liquor store, among other things. All I ever wanted to do was write books. And I did start my first novel, Girl Without Borders, just after graduating from college in 1995. Finally, in 2003, I decided to embark on a career as a social worker. Which is what I do today.
What languages you can speak and write?
English and some French. I studied a lot of Latin in high school.
What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?
Music inspires me. Particularly instrumental and electronica. Nature inspires me. I love a good storm. Some people also inspire me to be my best and keep working toward my dreams.
What hurts you most in this world?
Loss and broken hearts. Often the people closest to you hurt you the most.
Miscommunications and disagreements can be very painful sometimes. People change. Having to walk away from an unhealthy relationship can be the hardest thing.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?
I guess the biggest challenge I have faced was an addiction. It almost estroyed me. I got clean and sober many years ago, and it was a long journey out of that madness.
What is your favorite genre and why?
Dark and urban fantasy. I did not realize I was writing in this genre until someone and wikipedia suggested I was! For now it’s the most enjoyable and natural genre for me and my characters to inhabit. But I do believe what I write is closer to literary fiction, because the fantasy elements are not far-fetched and the setting is grounded in contemporary Oakland, California. Where i lived for a decade.
Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?
Girl Without Borders (2013) - a novel and literary fiction
Everlee & Lee (2013) - a horror story
Grand Theft Life (2015) Book 1- an urban fantasy novella
Maze (2015) Book 2 - an urban fantasy novella
Synopsis of Maze:
In a modern day American city, there are those who track and hunt down humans for their fear. They are indiscernible from you and me. This is the story of Ame, an unusual girl with a tendency to fall for all the wrong ones. Her abduction was foretold by the voices in her head. She has the same light in her eyes that marks them. She wants only to capture your fear... and maybe your heart.
In this sequel to Katya Mills' urban fantasy, Daughter of Darkness, Ame has fallen in love with a young man who shares the dark gift. He skateboards into her life and they roam the streets together. Conflicted by her own violent nature, she has become nevertheless intoxicated by the ways. She thirsts after 'the tangy energetic'. A death dealer of a different kind prowls around the boarding house where Ame and her boyfriend live. Meanwhile her best friend, Bless, vies for her attention.
Hendrix, a bloodhound for tracking fear, inadvertently leads Ame to Kell, a kindred spirit in the grips of a terrible addiction. She takes her little sister with green eyes under her wing. Just as Ame seems to have found her rhythm in the chaos surrounds her, someone very close to her disappears. In her search for her loved one she uncovers a secret, revealed on the tapes of a security camera, which threatens to uproot her, once again.
What are your forthcoming writings?
Ame and the Tangy Energetic (2016)
(Book 3 of my urban fantasy series).
What genres you write in and why?
Urban Fantasy, Literary Fiction, Dark Fantasy.
There’s nothing like a delicious scary story.
What keeps you motivated towards writing?
Writing is my spiritual practice. I don’t need much more motivation than knowing I feel calmer and happier after writing. I publish a post daily on my website, and often the feedback and the comments motivate me. Knowing I have reached someone is a wonderful feeling.
How do you plan, schedule and monitor your writing commitments?
These days I spend most of my free time writing or doing something writing-related. I treat it like a full-time job. I try and mix it up with poetry, flash fiction, working on my series, editing vs freewrites, doing readings I post on my youtube channel. I will work on whatever appeals to me on any given day. It’s good to have a wide variety of ways to express oneself. I even write and record songs on my guitar, but I’m a green singer-songwriter!
What are your future plans?
I hope to become a successful author with representation. Otherwise, I will hope to be able to continue this lifestyle, which I find incredibly satisfying and appealing. I enjoy doing social work and working as a team. I enjoy blogging. I enjoy writing books. The next immediate step is publishing my books as audiobooks. I am working on one right now.
What is generally your preference in reading – a paper book or ebook? And why?
I must admit I switch back and forth, because I like the feeling of holding a paperback in my hands and breaking its spine slowly, the natural wear and tear.
But the kindle is nice because you can read in the dark. And it holds so many books. And you can look up words and highlight passages as you go. I like both
but I won’t ever stop reading paperbacks!
What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
Setting. Characters. Tension. Plot.
How much real life goes into a fiction writing?
A lot. My settings are all real, contemporary settings. Plot is often invented as I go along. Characters are invented, but often one character has attributes of different people I have known. The experiences my characters have, their interior lives, feelingstates and moods, are often translated from some experience that touched me deeply. It is hard to write from anything but experience.
Is a high level of imagination important to have for an Author?
I think so.
Your dream destination on Earth?
Perhaps Monte Carlo. Or Paris. But I am pretty happy where I live now.
Favorite time of the day?
Early hours of the morning, before and after sunrise.
Your zodiac/ sun sign? Aquarius.
Your favorite color and why? Royal Blue. Came to me when I was playing soccer as a kid and I wanted to be on the team with the Royal Blue shirts. I was thrilled when they chose me.
What is the last book you finished reading?
Crime and Punishment (again)
What is the current book you are reading?
Mr Mercedes (Stephen King)
Your favorite book and why?
At this very moment it is Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. I love his style of writing and his attention to detail.
Your favorite movie and why?
I like Last Tango in Paris, because of Marlon Brando’s powerful performance.
And it doesn’t cram anything down your throat, it allows you to make your own meaning of it all.
What is the force that drives you?
Knowing that I am alive another day, with a fresh opportunity to share something with the world. This makes me happy. A strong desire to be helpful and to create. Here is the answer in video.
What comes to your mind when you think of India?
I think of Calcutta.
I think of the wonderful tea.
I think of Buddhism and Bollywood.
I think of the little brother I have there, who has adopted me as his big sister. We chat occasionally online. He just sent me a photo of his girlfriend. I am very happy for him.
Some quickies: Sun or Moon, Laughter or Smile, Morning or Evening, Coffee or Tea, Mountain or Sea, Long Drive or Short Drive, Silence or Conversation, Water or Fire, Air or Earth, Mars or Jupiter, Tulip or Rose, Red or Blue, Left or Right, Glance or Stare, Fame or Money, Boy or Girl, Day or Night, Tree or Plant, Love or Passion
First thing you do in the morning after waking up?
Coffee and medication.
The last thing to do before sleep?
Prayer and or thinking of a solution to anything unresolved in my books. Or reading before sleep.
If one fine morning you wake up and find your sex changed to the opposite, what will be your first reaction? Wow! Stranger things have not happened!
Links & other relevant details:
INFO for my most recent book MAZE
Twitter handle: Katya444ever
Facebook page: click here
Goodreads author page: click here
Amazon link: click here
Website: click here
Google Plus: click here
Youtube: click here
Thanks Katya Mills. It was quite an interesting interaction with you. Music inspires you and your books inspire so many of us. The urban fantasy series, Daughter of Darkness, has been a big hit.