Friday, November 12, 2010

Ganzfield Week: Author Interview & Giveaway!

Finally, at the end of the road for Ganzfield ... we have an interview with the wonderful Kate Kaynak - the brains behind the books!

For more info on Kate, click here.

Welcome, Kate! What inspired you to become a writer?

I've always loved reading, and I wrote a lot of short pieces when I was in high school and college. Five years ago I became a stay-at-home mom of boy-girl twins...and their "surprise" little brother (13 months younger). Interacting at the preschool level all day was turning my brain to Spaghettios, so I started writing a novel while they were sleeping.


Could you take us through your typical day of writing?

I daydream about the upcoming scenes during the day and put my thoughts on post-its. After the kids go to bed, I herd the little squares back to my computer and write for about two hours every night. I try to write at least 1000 words each day when I'm working on a first draft.


What was the road to publication like for you?

I queried for my first novel, Bagastana, unsuccessfully for months (it's still unpublished). I doubted my writing abilities and stopped writing for more than a year. But two years ago, the ideas for the Ganzfield books began to bubble up through my subconscious, and I felt this...push from within to get their story out. I finished Maddie Dunn (the manuscript that eventually became Minder) in less than two months. After a couple of rounds of revisions, I got a partial request on my first query letter. After another half-dozen rounds of revisions, my editor Debbie got a copy of it. Less than a year later, it was published.


For those out there that have not read the first two Ganzfield books, Minder and Adversary, could you please give a little insight on what it’s all about?

Imagine being 16 and having people try to attack you--and suddenly end up dead. Maddie doesn't know what she did, but within a day she's whisked off to a secret training facility for people like her with special abilities--and it's got rather poor supervision. The "charms" use their mind-control abilities to bully and humiliate the other students--even the fire-starting "sparks" and clairvoyant "RVs." Maddie's skills are pretty rare, and she doesn't know where she fits in the pecking order--or what the telekinetic guy with the kind brown eyes sees in her.


How did the idea of your Ganzfield series come about?

Minder started as a though experiment after I'd read the Twilight saga and the Sookie Stackhouse books. Both have telepathic characters who only can fall in love with the one person whose thoughts they can't read. But what if that wasn't an option? What kind of person would a telepath fall in love with--hidden thoughts and all? And what kind of person would be comfortable in an intimate relationship with someone who knew his every thought? How would their love story develop if they didn't go through the I-wonder-how-much-he-likes-me stage? I have a background in social psychology, and so I drew on that to answer these questions--and also to deal with the daily-living reality being a teenager with special abilities. Would pyrokinetics start fires in their sleep? How would the brain control a skill like telekinesis? Would telepaths accidentally project their dreams?


What was one of your favorite scenes to write in Minder? Your least favorite?

I think my favorite scene is the night of Maddie and Trevor's first conversation. My least favorite is the opening scene--I had to write a terrifying experience from INSIDE the mind of the intended victim. I still get shaky hands when I read it.


Drew cracks me up and has become one of my favorite characters. Who are your favorite characters?

Drew is one of my favorites, too! I love writing from Maddie's point of view, and I have a major book-crush on Trevor, which my husband only tolerates because Trevor's partially based on him.


In Adversary, I could barely breathe during the scene where Maddie told Zack to use his talent on the tree. My favorite quote(s) from the book actually came from that scene. Do you have any favorite quotes from Adversary?

I have several I won't list because I hate to give spoilers, but here are a few spoiler-free ones:

"Drew's new awareness...sent him into a soul-searching mood. Since he was a person with more width than depth of
character, this didn’t take long."
(On Maddie's understanding of the differences in abilities:) "How unique and special. We’re all G-positive snowflakes."

"Trevor carried me in his arms as if looking for a threshold to cross."


Zach is an intriguing character and we’re left with many questions about his abilities. Will we learn more and see more of him in the upcoming Ganzfield novels?

Absolutely. He'll be back in Legacy (book 3), which comes out in January.


Do you know how many books will be in the Ganzfield series?

I'm working on the first draft of book 5 now, and I have notes for book 6. That may be the end of Maddie's story, at least as the main character. I'm considering writing a seventh book from Seth's point-of-view, since his story and Maddie's diverge in the later books. I may also do at least one from another character's viewpoint--but you haven't met her yet; she doesn't come along until book 4.


Any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?

Revise, revise, revise. Get feedback from other writers and/or people in your target demographic, and then revise some more. You know what the scene looks like in your head, but that may bear little resemblance to what's coming through on the page. Seek out blunt critics, since people who tell you "it's great" haven't given you any information that will help you improve.


Lastly, any last words for your readers?

Thank you for reading! I'm delighted that other people are hanging out with my imaginary friends.

And thanks for a fun interview, Missy! I really enjoyed it.

Giveaway!

Kate has graciously offered up a copy of Adversary to one lucky reader! Adversary is the second installment of the Ganzfield series. I strongly urge everyone to put these books on the TBR list ... they're definitely worth it.

Haven't read Minder, yet? No worries! If you win this giveaway, I will have no problem buying a copy of Minder for you to go with your copy of Adversary!!

This contest is International, but if you win and you live in the US then your copy of Adversary will be signed by Kate!

For your chance to win these books, simply click here!

This contest will end Saturday, November 20 at 11:59 pm EST.

*As stated before, if you comment on any of the posts for Ganzfield this week, these WILL count as extra entries. Simply comment under "Links" on the form that you've left comments and include your comment name if it's different from the name you put on the form!

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