Today I have Katrina (Katie) Hart, author of Finding Destiny with me talking about her new book The Lost Town of Man’s Crossing. Thank you for joining me today! (will send cover and links as soon as I have them for this post, Thank you for having me)
Let’s start with telling us a little about yourself.
Thank you, Natalie, for having me.
My name is Katrina, but most people call me Katie. I have two lovely cats called Holly and Smokey who love to be read to almost as much as I love reading out loud to them. I love writing and when I get going it’s just like being in my own world. I also love blogging and have met so many wonderful authors since publishing my first novel Finding Destiny and starting my blog. It’s always nice to connect with creative people.
Since publishing my novel, I found the love of my life—in fact, his book found me one day on Goodreads and we’ve been together now for four years. It always surprises me how books can take your life anywhere, be it in your mind or the world you are living in. I’ve also been trying to learn Hindi because I enjoy trying to learn new things and I’m excited to be releasing my new book for my 30th birthday and I hope others enjoy reading the magical story, just as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Katie, you’re a fantasy author like myself. What inspired you to write fantasy rather than a different genre?
Good question! I’ve always had a very good imagination and believe in the unseen or magic, so after doing a creative writing course, I found that I rather enjoyed creating new worlds and uncovering the magic, fear, and love behind every door in that world. I think fantasy is what I write best because nothing is limited, and you never really know where it will end, even as a writer. I also love creating names of people and places in my book.
In my fantasy world, I can spend days in my mind just with the places and creatures thinking and following them until I’m ready to write about their journey. And sometimes I come across a few characters that stick with me and take me to new unexplored worlds beyond my story.
Are there any authors that inspire you in your writing, or helped to push you towards writing?
Honestly, there are many people and authors that inspired me throughout writing. I remember reading The Keeper of Moon Haven by Ciara Gold before I started writing my own book, Finding Destiny. I love The Keeper of Moon Haven and it got me thinking how much I wanted to try writing the stories in my mind but always put it off. Later one summer, I joined a writing course where my tutor inspired me to get writing and I meet some amazing creative people like Kendra, the author of The Forest King’s Daughter, who inspired me to keep going with just being myself and enjoy the writing process. I also like author Patricia, who has written many wonderful books such as ‘I stand corrected’. Besides my creative friends Hayley, Vittoria and Donna has always reminded me I can do everything I put my heart into.
My boyfriend whose book 3Sister was the first book I read of his and it brought us together. My mum also is very supportive of my writing and loves to know what is going on in my world.
What inspired your newest novel? How did you create the world of the Lost Man’s Crossing?
In some ways, the characters of my first book Finding Destiny inspired me to embark on the journey of my latest novel. I’ve always wondered about moments in time. What would happen if you faced one life ending moment, but somewhere far from your mind’s eye you were given a chance to live again while facing your past fears? Through Suzy’s character, I got to explore this moment and much more. I also love creating creatures and characters who you would not see in the world we are in now.
Is this going to be a stand-alone novel or do you have plans for more?
Finding Destiny and The Lost Town of Man’s Crossing are stand-alone reads but are related by a few characters who make appearances in both my books. It is quite likely that if you enjoy one book, you’ll like the other one too I have also written another fantasy book that still needs a lot of work.
Your main character, Suzy, seems to have some secrets. What inspired your writing of Suzy?
Suzy has a lot of family history and secrets. After Suzy’s character popped up in Finding Destiny, I knew it wasn’t the last time I would see her. This made me want to explore her background and the life I didn’t get to really touch on when I first met her in my writing and she surprised me enough to keep me writing and discovering to complete her story.
What is the most exhausting part of writing?
I think the most exhausting thing about writing is reading it back and still not being happy with how some scenes are captured. Some scenes need rewrites to add dimensions to them. I also find that the death of a character sometimes is exhausting to write because I get attracted to all I write about, even the dark souls can have an endearing quality.
Are there any unfinished stories or ones you’ve abandoned? Why?
I have a few unfinished novels and one or two I’ve put aside. The unfinished writing comes from starting one story, but then hopping to a new idea. But this year’s resolution is to go back to the novels I’ve started and finished one before the next.
What was one of your biggest mistakes in writing and what did it teach you?
I sometimes run away from my writing because writing could be hard, and sentences and stories could just elude you. I learn that staying consistent is key. Write just about anything and not give up on your writing.
Lastly, is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
I’d like to thank my readers who have read and reviewed Finding Destiny because every review or thought on my books stay with me forever. I hope anyone who has read my stories or planning to read would enjoy The Lost Town of Man’s Crossing.
So, help me celebrate my 30th birthday by traveling through the adventures of The Lost Town of Man’s Crossing, and if you have time leave your thoughts, in a review or even pop over to my blog and leave them in the comment box. That would be the best birthday present any reader could give me.
Would you cross a land of magic, dark creatures and hidden secrets to face your own deepest fear?
After being shot, Suzy and her friend, Bill, are offered a second chance at life in The Lost Town Of Man's Crossing, a land to which the chosen few are transported by their personal Crossing Creatures. There, Suzy encounters the evil Cole, who is all-out to gain the highest power of the land.
But Suzy comes from a magical family: her grandmother, Miss Hollow, founded a coven called Hollow-Wings, and her grandfather left her a secret, life-changing pouch. Soon, Cole craves that secret pouch more than anything.
It’s Suzy versus Cole – and one of them has met their match.
I pressed the black button and waited to be let into Myths Retirement Home. I felt excited and nervous to see my grandad on his seventy eighth birthday. One of the frazzled looking carers pushed open the door and led me into a white waiting area.
"Your grandad has been talking about you nonstop, he can't wait to see you!" she said, flashing me a reassuring smile. I followed the carer towards his closed door.
A bubble of excitement made its way to my heart at the thought of hearing grandad's stories of the battles he had fought, and the adventures I should take. I slipped off my coat, and his carer pushed open the door to his room and announced that "I had arrived."
I hurried inside grandad's plainly furnished room. His high backed chair was facing a large window and for a moment I wondered if he could see the leafy man of spring, who he always told me appeared through the trees, like the face of a worldly man ready to see life start up again after the harsh deaths of winter. Grandad always told me he felt like the leafy man as he watched the world move around him from his chair.
"One hour, then you must go," said his carer and she pulled the door shut, leaving us alone. I pulled out grandad's present from my bag and walked round to stand in front of him.
"Grandad-happy birthday," I said.
"Suzy, child, come sit. I have something to tell you," said grandad. His wrinkled eyes met mine as I leaned down and gave him a hug, before taking the chair beside him.
"Child, you have to listen to me, and listen well. Today I have seen your life is about to change. Something dark has shadowed you since you were small. Now I can see it's coming for you," said Grandad. He coughed weakly and rested his travelled face in his hands.
"I know, grandad, but the black shadow been gone for a long time now," I said, as he closed his eyes like he didn't want to listen to me anymore.
I waited thinking of my life and how no-matter what I had touched unpleasant things were made to follow. I remembered the first night I had spent at grandad's, he had sat me down and explained that I was born in a coven. On the night of the visiting dead. Shortly after that night, my mother had fled her coven family. I never knew if that was true or not as I had no memory of those times. But grandad always swore his life to it whenever he told me the story.
"Child, could you get me that case from my desk over there?" said grandad, breaking me out of my thoughts.
I got up and laid his present on his lap and then went over to his desk. I picked up grandad's worn brown case; as I did so I felt something sway from inside.
"Child, don't be scared, you know I have always looked out for you." Grandad stumbled to his feet and took his case from my hands, then he faced it towards me.
My heart skipped beats and my body and mind screamed "run." But from what? Was there any point in running anymore? I tried to find my voice as the latch of the case clicked apart, and grandad's fingers shook as he swung it open.
"I call Miss Cridwyn to join me in this room. I beg of her to gift Suzy with the last creature of new beginnings," bellowed grandad.
My mouth opened and black and orange mist flew about the room like a tornado circling grandad. The room felt as hot as an open oven and sweat pooled down my back and face. The mist started to clear, and I could have sworn I heard growling, like a rampaged dog had been let in. Grandad's face came back into view and the growling got louder and louder. I looked into the orange flashing eyes of the critter. Her pointed ears twitched and her blue and pink skin seemed to pulsate as she flapped her black wings.
"Child, Cridwyn is an outcast creature of death. We have loved each other for a long time. Now she is going to help you," said grandad as he blew her a kiss.
I staggered backwards. She didn't look like the helping kind to me. How could grandad have not told me about her after all these years? After all I had confided in him, I thought. Cridwyn flew closer to me. Her hands caught the sides of my face and a pink chain untangled itself from her waist and slithered down and around my shoulders. I wanted to scream, but not a sound came out of my mouth.
The chain wrapped itself around my neck, getting tighter and tighter until I was panting for breath. Cridwyn placed her hands on the needle-like clips and pulled the chain together, making a blue hive-like pouch grow, loosening the chain from its choking hold. Then Cridwyn fluttered backwards, and I fell to my knees trying to breathe. My skin flashed pink and orange and my red hair fell over my shoulders.
"Girl, in this pouch lives Mr. Aidyn the creature of new beginnings. He will look after you well. Now go live your life," said Cridwyn as she stood beside grandad.
"What just happened? What did you do to me?" I screamed.
"Child, you will find all your answers by yourself, there's little time to explain," said grandad and he turned his face away from me.
"My love, it's time for us to go," said Cridwyn.
I got to my feet while tugging at the hive-like pouch around my neck.
"Child, I wouldn't do that. Now go, it's been nice seeing you," grandad said.
I wanted to cry or beg for him to tell me what else I was facing now. But something in his grey glare as I stood in front of him, told me this was all I was getting out of him today. I pulled him in for a hug for what felt like the last time. Then I made my way out of the room – just in time to miss whatever Cridwyn had done to make my grandad's voice rise to an alarming roar. I stood outside of his door, confused, with tears tickling the backs of my eyes.
The necklace pouch glowed then it disappeared, like it had fallen under my skin. I marched past a carer who held the door open til I was safely outside. I breathed in the cool air.
Most of my life I avoided others for their own good as well as mine. Sighing with the confusion and a deep sadness, I couldn't explain the last hour. I turned down the street. My mind went to the little Trade Your Crafts shop I had seen while walking here. I decided to distract myself by looking inside.
About the Author
My name is Katrina Hart but my friends call me Katie. I live in the East of England with my family, my two cats--Holly and Smokey--and our dog, Jessie. They are a nutty bunch but I love them all the same.
I have always had a passion for reading. I could easily spend a whole lifetime engrossed in a good book. In my twenties I joined an online writing class where I fell in love with writing my own stories.
Since I started writing I have discovered a new love for quotes. A quote that really inspired me was from Toni Morrison. Toni said: “If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
I came across this quote whilst I was studying. It was one of the many things that inspired me to begin writing Finding Destiny, my first novel.
In addition to Finding Destiny, I’ve written a number of other stories.
Follow Katie’s blog here.
To purchase The Lost Town of Man’s Crossing, click here.