Friday, June 18, 2010

Please Help me Welcome Author Kate Kaynak

I KNOW what you're thinking.

I’m thrilled to introduce author, Kate Kaynak. Her young adult romance novel, Minder, is out today with Spencer Hill Books. Please give her a big Para-fantatic’s welcome.

Kate, please tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in New Jersey, but I managed to escape. My degree from Yale says I was a psych major, but I had WAY too much fun to have paid much attention in class.

After serving a five-year sentence in graduate school, I started teaching psychology around the world for the University of Maryland.

While in Izmir, Turkey, I started up a conversation with a handsome stranger in an airport. I ended up marrying him. We now live in New Hampshire with our three preschool-aged kids, where I enjoy reading, writing, and fighting crime with my amazing superpowers.

Why do you write?

I wanted to create a story that I would love to read. Minder started with a few simple ideas about how inconvenient extrasensory abilities actually would be. The story then grew into an incredible love story and adventure that I simply had to get out of my head--and put into other people's.

What were your early influences in writing?

I've always been a voracious reader. Orson Scott Card's work strongly influenced me. His writes vivid characters and straddles the lines of fantasy, sci-fi, and historical fiction.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I've wanted to write novels since high school, and I've started several over the years. I completed my first fiction novel in 2007, and my first GOOD fiction novel in 2009.

What kinds of research do you do for your work?

I've had to do a lot of research on the history of paranormal abilities and neurology. Since I wanted my characters' paranormal abilities to seem believable--and even possible--I worked out a lot of details that never made it into the book itself.

What are your favorite scenes to write?

I love writing dialogue. I stopped "writing" these scenes early on, though--the characters took on lives of their own, and I just took dictation.

Do you have a favorite character?

I love experiencing things from Maddie Dunn's perspective. She's my main character, and she's strong, yet vulnerable. She has a wonderful take on the world. And I have a huge crush on Trevor.

Do you have any favorite lines in your novels?

I have a bunch of them, but my true favorite has to be: "I had a sudden rush of warmth as I realized that he knew my name, but it died as soon as I realized now he also knew my nightmare."

What are the hardest scenes to write?

The hardest scene in Minder was the opening scene. My main character is attacked and it looks likes she's going to be sexually assaulted. Her attackers are stopped, but it was traumatic to write and rewrite it, because her feelings of fear and powerlessness clung to me.

Please, tell us about your books.

In Minder, sixteen-year-old Maddie Dunn is special, but she needs to figure out how to use her new abilities before somebody else gets hurt. Ganzfield is a secret training facility full of people like her, but it's not exactly a nurturing place.

Every social interaction carries the threat of mind-control.

A stray thought can burn a building to the ground.

And people's nightmares don't always stay in their own heads.

But it's still better than New Jersey--especially once she meets the man of her dreams...


You can watch a book trailer here:

And here's where you can get your copy with Barnes and Novel:

A downloadable, several-chapter-long PDF excerpt:

Do you have a writing tip to share?

Revise, revise, revise, then get feedback from other writers and/or people in your target demographic groups. Then revise some more. Repeat this several times. Writers are terrible judges of the quality of our own writing. We're too close to the story, so it plays vividly in our minds even if it doesn't come through on the page.

Any new novels in the works?

I'm currently finishing revisions on Legacy, the third book of the Ganzfield series. It's scheduled for release in January 2011. I've planned a fourth installment in the series, as well.

Any up and coming releases? What are they and when will they be available for purchase. 
Adversary, the sequel to Minder, comes out in August.

Amazon's taking pre-orders now:

Thank you, Kate, for visiting Para-fanatics and taking time out of your busy schedule to tell us about Minder.

Thank you so much for this, Dawn!


  1. Thanks so much, Kate, for taking the time to do this interview. Revision is a big part of writing, maybe bigger than finishing the rough draft and what you say is true. Before the manuscript ever hits an editor's desk, it needs to be as close to perfect as you can get it. A professional presentation says a lot about you, as an author and if you put the time in to make it right, a publisher is going to notice--your primary objective.

    I'd like to add one other thing, make sure when you run your novels by your critters, you don't critique your voice out of your novel. Too many critters, too easy to do this. Limit to a chosen few-I have three I trust. They know my work. They know my voice and quirks and they know when they should ignore something and when they should smack me upside the head. (Which they've done a number of times. LOL)

    So often new writers will make a mistake of changing everything to suit others who read it and they lose what makes their novel-their story. Know when to say no--I think I'll keep it the way it is. Critique groups and beta-readers are a must, they serve a very valuable purpose and you can learn a lot from them. I certainly have and they, my peers, are priceless to me. They are the best and I couldn't make this publishing journey without them-wouldn't dream of it. Just make sure you trust your instincts and limit how many sets of eyes you have on it.

  2. Very interesting interview!! I love how you met the love of you life!! There's a story in that and funnily enough I have a half-written one that has my two protags meet in this way.
    I actually like revising my work rather than the first creative bit. I find it easier to pick apart what I've written than create!
    Good luck and congrats with the book!

  3. Hi Dawn, I agree about making sure that the critters don't drown your narrative voice. I've got to admit, though, that I've completely ignored the comments that would have changed Maddie's voice in Minder. I tend to rely on beta readers to pick up on overwriting (I didn't need to know THAT much about the weather!), underwriting (Where are they again?), and plot-related logic issues (e.g., A telepath never says, "Penny for your thoughts."). I just got feedback on the latest installment that really helps me clarify a twist in the climactic scene.

    Thanks, Barbara! Best of luck with yours--I'd love to see a book with that romantic meeting! On a side note, I wasn't supposed to be in the airport that day--my teaching schedule was changed at the last minute, and my original flight was--I kid you not--hijacked. Seriously. (no one was hurt, thank heavens).