Friday, July 27, 2012
Author Interview: Wild Point Island by Kate Lutter
Little Blurb about yourself:
I wrote my first novel in eighth grade, but then almost burned down my house when I incinerated my story in the garbage can because I couldn’t get the plot to turn out right. Now I live in NJ with my husband and five cats (no matches in sight) and spend my days writing paranormal romances, traveling, and hanging out with my four wild sisters. My novel Wild Point Island has just been published by Crescent Moon Press. I’m writing the sequel. I also write a travel blog entitled Hot Blogging with Chuck, featuring my rascally almost famous cat.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
Wow. That’s a great question. My earliest memory is eighth grade when I used to wake up at the crack of dawn and write. Back then I was writing a hot and steamy romance between a nun and a priest because I went to Catholic school, and I guess I was curious about a nun’s life. I was a voracious reader—the usual classics—Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice—so I guess it was a combination of being surrounded by great literature and being born with the gene to write, if there is such a thing.
How long did it take you to write Wild Point Island?
It took me a good six months to write the first 100 pages because it was tough for me to do the world building of Wild Point Island. I had, for the first time, created a new kind of being—a revenant—a different life form. Plus I needed to create a new world with rules and a different kind of society. So that took awhile to pull together. Then I went to a conference and pitched my 100 pages as if it were a completed novel (a real no, no) to a top New York editor to see if the idea I had was marketable. When she requested the full manuscript, I went home and wrote the rest of the novel in a month. She ended up rejecting the book, but I later sold it a few months later to another publishing house after I had done more editing.
While writing how many times do you go back and rewrite a plot?
Wild Point Island is the fifth novel I’ve written so this plot came fairly easy. But before then, I did a combination of plotting and writing a bit by the seat of my pants, so I’ve been known to go back and re-adjust my plot. I like to write page-turners, so if I find that the middle is dragging, I’ll cut it there. I truly believe that revision is the key to success so let’s say that most books go through at least four plot edits.
You run into a bookstore, where do you go first?
Typically, to the romance section to see my competition. I like to see what’s out there, how it’s being marketed—the cover, the blurb, etc. But, I’m also an eclectic reader so I always keep my eye on the NY Times Bestseller List, and I do read across genre.
How many books in a month do you tend to read?
Before I made the transition from writer to author—and by that I mean started writing seriously—sending out manuscripts, working with critique partners, joining writing groups—I read voraciously, at least two books a week. As a writer, I spend so much time writing and promoting and blogging, my reading has suffered. That is probably the ugly little truth about writing—it takes so much time.
In all the books you've read. Who is your most favorite character and why?
I’ve read Pride and Prejudice so often and just love the character of Ellzabeth Bennett. She’s strong yet flawed. She also has a slew of sisters in the story (I have four sisters myself), and I’ve always identified with her plight.
State 5 random facts about yourself.
*I am a world traveler.
*I’ve been studying Italian for at least the last five years—obsessed with learning the language and speaking it.
*I have five cats and volunteer at a cat shelter. Just love cats!
*I love the fact that I’m an author.
*I love animals, love seeing them in the wild or in their natural habitat. My best time was on safari in Africa when I saw lions first hand and heard them roar. Second best time was in Yellowstone National Park with the wolves and heard them howl. And then, of course, I was at the Beijing Zoo in China and saw the Panda Bear eat bamboo.
Your favorite Genre?
I would have to say romance. But I also love mysteries.
What are you currently reading?
I’m finishing up The Hunger Games.
What is the best book you've read?
This question is so hard because I don’t have one favorite book.
I can honestly say that when I was younger and used to do so much reading and when reading meant the world to me—I used to fall in love with authors and I would read everything they had written. So, for example, Jane Austen was a particular favorite. The Bronte sisters. Louisa May Alcott was another author who delighted me with her Little Women and Little Men and Jo’s Boys. On my website I compiled a list of the top ten Romances all girls should read. Those titles all come from the heart—and number one was Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte so maybe that is my favorite after all.
Any new projects coming up?
I’m in the process of writing the sequel to Wild Point Island. It will be Lily’s story. She’s the heroine’s sister, and she provides an enormous amount of conflict in the story. I felt she deserved her own book.
Here’s your chance to market your book. Describe it. And why readers should pick it up?
The easiest way to describe Wild Point Island is to share the blurb from the back of the book:
Banished from Wild Point Island as a child, Ella Pattenson, a half human-half revenant, has managed to hide her true identity as a descendent of the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Thought to have perished, the settlers survived but were transformed into revenants--immortal beings who live forever as long as they remain on the island.
Now, Ella must return to the place of her birth to rescue her father from imprisonment and a soon to be unspeakable death. Her only hope is to trust a seductive revenant who seems to have ties to the corrupt High Council. Simon Viccars is sexy and like no man she’s ever met. But he’s been trapped on the island for 400 years and is willing to do almost anything for his freedom.
With the forces of the island conspiring against her, Ella must risk her father, her heart, and her life on love.
What made the book easy to sell was its tie to a real historical event. I needed a backstory to explain why these revenants were on Wild Point Island. I decided to use what happened back in 1590. English colonists landed on Roanoke Island, off the coast of North Carolina, and then vanished. For years the colony was believed to have perished. I decided to go with the little believed theory that the colonists may have relocated somewhere else, and in my fictional world—to Wild Point Island. Once there, they ate a local plant and were transformed into another life form.
Ironically, approximately a month ago, the NY Times and Huffington Post reported that clues were discovered on a map that has been in the British Museum for over 100 years verifying that the colonists did, indeed, relocate somewhere else. Too bad Wild Point Island is only a figment of my imagination!
About the Author
Kate Lutter believes she was born to write. She wrote her first novel when she was in eighth grade, but then almost burned her house down when she tried to incinerate her story in the garbage can because she couldn’t get the plot to turn out right. Now, many years later, she lives in NJ with her husband and five cats (no matches in sight) and spends her days writing contemporary paranormal romances, traveling the world, and hanging out with her four wild sisters. She is happy to report that her debut novel, Wild Point Island, the first in a series, has just been published by Crescent Moon Press. She is busy writing the sequel and her weekly travel blog entitled Hot Blogging with Chuck, which features her very snarky and rascally almost famous cat.