Kathleen Contine Writer Interview
This is the word by word, done the best I can by listening to the YouTube video that I have now on my channel. Enjoy!
This is not a perfect interpretation so please forgive me.
Kim: Okay, we ready?
Kathleen: We're ready.
Kim: Okay. Hi, everyone um... welcome back to the second video because I am a horrible person and I haven't posted anything in a long time.
Kathleen: Oh no (laughing)
Kim: Like since I created this channel, like when I created my New Years Resolutions, so today I drove. Well not today I drove a couple days ago.
Kim: I drove eight hours to come and see this one (points to Kathleen) and she has agreed to do an author interview with me. So Kathleen...
Kim: You want to tell us a little bit about yourself before we start this interview.
Kathleen: My name is Kathleen and Kim drove to come see me (Kim laughs) and I'm currently writing a book.
Kim: Okay, oh man, that was... that's kinda perfect.
Kathleen: (in-comprehensive words) It is. I mean it's all true.
Kim: It is true. Okay so we're gonna just get this... you know... I have a lot of questions.
Kathleen: I know she had like way more questions than I did and I felt bad.
Kim: Don't, oh my goodness, I just, I just like to ask questions and get answers. Um, tell us a little bit about your project.
Kathleen: Okay so my project is a space op- an adult space opera about two brothers. Um... Leo is trying to heal his brother Gaeth, taking him to a facility that will heal him and then um... my other main character his name is Tank who is taking part in a ceremony where the winner gets to leave the planet and go out and search for the person who like sparks joy (giggles) in their life. And that's the beginning of the book for my people.
Kim: Huh, I never realized sparks joy, I just thought it was they just
Kahtleen: I was just throwing in a Marie Kondo reference in there (laughs) so.
Kim: Huh, no I like the way you put that i just never picked up on it. See now there's something that I didn't pick up on. Kind of like what you did with me yesterday. That works, um... Plotter, Pantser, or Planster and why?
Kathleen: I'm definitely a plotter because I wrote a book before and I pantsed the whole thing, and like every time I went back through I was pantsing it and it just turned into kind of like a blob. So this time I was like I'm just gonna plot this whole thing and it turned out so much better and I've like stayed on track. So definitely a plotter, and I like even have a thing up there and like
Kim: (whispers) Save the Cat.
Kathleen: Yeah, i used Save the Cat and I even have it's like index cards and all this like stuff and I just feel like on such better track. I know that there are some pantsers who can like do it but i'm jealous. I like... they just keep it all here, I can't so.
Kim: My brain is just goes a million miles a minute.
Kathleen: It's like that sponge-bob thing where they all have the file cabinets and they cannot keep it in order, I can't.
Kim: Now that we've gone over that, I'm going to ask you another question about your uh... novel because technically this coincides with you.
Kim: What's the most difficult thing about writing a main characters from the opposite gender?
Kathleen: Oh, okay, actually I have trouble with this. I know everyone's like no you shouldn't have trouble writing the opposite gender but like but sometimes I do because I know that like when guys just hang out with guys they act different then if they hang out with girls so I feel like I don't write them right when they're just hanging out with guys so that's the problem I have.
Kim: I don't have that problem, I have the problem writing girls.
Kathleen: So, I, yeah, so I like so, I do have beta readers that I wanna hey is this how guys interact when they just hang out together. So, yeah, that's like my only problem.
Kim: I apparently hung out with too many guys as I kid because I don't know how to write woman, and I'm a woman.
Kim: What made you say that your going to write a novel?
Kathleen: Uh, I got home from college and I was doing nothing with my life and it wasn't really going anywhere. So i was like I'm gonna write a book.
Kim: What did you to college for again, writing?
Kim: That's the irony behind that. I knew as soon as you it I was like oh I got to say something.
Kathleen: I went for um... I was an English major with an um concentration in creative writing. Well professional writing and I wanted to be a journalist but I stopped wanting to be a journalist about halfway through college.
Kathleen: Uh, all my journalism classes just weren't fun.
Kim: Was it cause you had to condense information?
Kathleen: Yeah, it's just like being, I don't know I guess just like facts and stuff. Like I don't know like research and just creative writing was just more fun.
Kim: Okay, touche, touche, my mom told me to be a journalist and I said hell no. (bits of giggling) Okay, so um. what are you.... yeah what are you? What are some things you need to write?
Kathleen: I need my light, my light on like right next to me and i need my glasses and I need my music.
Kim: Any specific music?
Kathleen: Um... it's this uh... playlist on Spotify it's called like atmospheric sci-fi music or I listen to like Phil Lober. His mix. His song alive is what like inspired my like book.
Kim: I think I have that song on my Spotify playlist.
Kathleen: Yeah, it's good, it's really good. I think it's like one of his most popular songs.
Kim: While I wait (to find the song) I'm going to ask another question. How do you decide what idea you're going to work on?
Kim: Yeah, I do, ha! (about song) See I told you it wouldn't take all that long.
Kathleen: Oh sweet! Well the one I'm... Well the reason I stopped working on my old one is because I sent it to an editor and she said it sounded like a barbie movie and I was like so devastated that she said that, that I stopped working on it. Which I know you shouldn't say that but like I don't like any...
Kim: Do you still have it?
Kathleen: Yeah it's in that box over there.
Kim: Well then you're all set.
Kathleen: But I couldn't... I couldn't get past that and cause I like don't like anything barbie like at all like my whole life I haven't liked Barbie so...
Kim: Your room is like a Barbie doll though.
Kathleen: Shhhhhh... So I haven't I just couldn't so I just put it in that box and I haven't looked at it since. And I was more excited about this, this sci-fi idea and I just ran with it. And then since I've been working on it I've gotten other ideas, but I'm like trying... just putting them in a notebook, putting them away so I know I can go back to them when I'm ready for a new idea. So, that's basically it.
Kim: Who is your favorite characters or characters in your book? And if you are willing to share why, we'd love that.
Kathleen: My favorite character in my book right now is Tank (laughs). He is like this giant, he is like a giant uh t-rex/lizard with an arm cannon. And he's my favorite to write because I would... Like his personality is like grumpy old man...
Kim: No joke though.
Kathleen: ...and he like doesn't take anything from anybody. He's just like really fun. I don't know how to explain it. Like if you read it he's just really fun. Like a really fun character to read about. Uh, that's how I'd explain it.
Kim: Nah, I could see that.
Kathleen: I'm just trying to think what else he's... he's very um... skilled with weapons too, I'm not. I think he's just everything like, oh wouldn't it be cool if I could do all of this. so...
Kim: I told you, you are a very angry human being inside.
Kim: Alright. What inspired this story?
Kathleen: Oh the song Alive by Phil Lober.
Kim: What about the song? It sounds so happy and cheery.
Kathleen: I uh.... uh...
Both start laughing
Kathleen: It made me think of a certain death scene and then I was like (indistinct muttering on purpose).
Kim: Oh great, I know where I'm coming up to soon.
Kathleen: Yeah... well no that's actually in the sequel and then I went back.
Kim: Oh thank god.
Kim: Basically me right now with my fourth book, everything is happening. That I had happen. Um... Do you think someone could be a good writer if they don't strongly have emotions?
Kathleen: Yeah, i think so. Like if they aren't an emotional person?
Kim: Like if their kind of sociopath, almost. Like where they don't feel anything.
Kathleen: Yes, because sociopaths know how, like what, like what to... like what to do to make... to do in an emotional situation. So i think they would be able to write that even though they don't understand emotions.
Kim: That's some very interesting logic. I like that. Do you hide any secrets that only a few people will find in your novel?
Kathleen: Yep, names of certain character. If you watch a certain YouTube channel you'll get a certain name of a certain character. It's from a long time ago on their channel so it's like an... it's a very esoteric joke.
Kim: Okay, what is your biggest struggle with writing?
Kathleen: Revising, like revising big stuff is huge for me because it's so hard because it's like if anyone's ever had to like super clean their house. It's like your looking at this giant mess and your just looking at it like I don't even know where to start. That's hard too.
Kim: Putting sand in a sand box to later build a castle.
Kim: Shannon Hale man.
Both laugh for a second.
Kim: Is writing exhausting or energizing?
Kathleen: Both, I think it depends on the scene too because sometimes like right now the new chapter I'm writing is just hard to slog through. You know? Like hard to get through but then I have also written chapters where I'm just like going and it's like.
Kim: Going, going, going, gone.
Kathleen: Yeah, like I can't get through it in like two seconds.
Kim: Alright, anything you need to know before beginning a project?
Kathleen: I think you wanted, I think if you like where you're going to end up. If you know the ending I think that's really good because you've had like a beacon you're heading towards. There's your analogy for the day. Like a light at the end of the tunnel.
Kim: What's the weakness of the genre you're writing, like your weakness?
Kathleen: In sci-fi, i feel like a lot of... well the thing is I haven't read a ton of sci-fi, I actually haven't which maybe is a bad thing but...
Kim: No, no not (I can't understand what I actually said here).
Kathleen: I guess... I like looked up sci-fi tropes and one of them is like a lot of it can diverge into like Star Wars. I actually know what, I might actually might not be able to answer this question because I haven't actually read enough sci-fi.
Kim: I haven't either. The only sci-fi I've read is the Martian by Andy Weir.
BATTERY DIED AND WE HAD TO CONTINUE FROM WHO KNOWS WHERE.
Kim: We got cut off. I have too many questions. Her camera kind of said um... you.
Kathleen: The cameras battery kind of ran out.
Kim: Even though the battery said it had over an hour left. She has it plugged in very strategically.
Kathleen: Yeah, I have a very interesting set up.
Kim: We are in the middle of the weakness in the genre your writing and I think she could use movies as an example. What's a weakness you have maybe picked up on?
Kathleen: Well I guess like every alien is like an alien creature. Like couldn't you say that unions could be other human people. I don't know, I don't really know because I honestly haven't thought about it because I haven't read... I feel like I haven't read enough sci-fi to be like wow they're doing this again, you know?
Kim: Next question is what is your favorite part about writing?
Kathleen: My favorite part about writing is uh... probably coming up with the ideas and like just going and like writing it down the first time. Cause that is when you can just get it out um... because it's the revising and editing that I don't like. But the actual just being like oh this happens and then this happens and then this happens you know that's more fun.
Kim: What is you favorite writing quote?
Kathleen: My favorite writing quote?
Kim: Yeah, I'm putting you on the spot. I just thought of this one off the top of my head. I didn't even write it down.
Kathleen: Ah man. Um...
Kim: We all why, I'm bad.
Kathleen: It's funny because I always post writing quotes on my page.
Kim: I know that's why I'm like where is thy quote.
Kathleen: Um. It's probably the one that's like um... oh you know what I think it's the first draft is just you telling the yourself the story because people are so hard on themselves on the first draft but it's really... The first draft isn't... that's not your actual book. So... I like that one.
Kim: Stand alone or series? Reading and writing from our friend Dave.
Kathleen: Right now I actually like stand alone. Like I've been reading a lot of series, but I'm like you know what I just want to read one book.
Kim: That's like me with reading.
Kathleen: Yeah I just want to read one book and like be done, you know. I mean like it's fun to like follow characters through like this whole thing. Like I like yours (Points to Kim), but sometimes I just like to read one and just like have it wrap up is nice.
Kim: Which is why when you guys were all like oh no get this book and I'm like those are all series. I wanna single book. What book do you recommend the most? Not, not maybe writing wise but in general. What book do you for example if I went up to you and was like I need a book to read right here, right now. What book would you give me?
Kathleen: Probably the Princess Bride, because I always thought that was fun.
Kathleen: Um... I just really like it and then and then you know obviously I'm going to recommend Harry Potter because I'm twenty-eight and I was actually like in the group that... like I was six when it came out. I was like the bulls-eye for that book.
Kim: What is the first book that ever made you cry?
Kathleen: Um... the fifth Harry Potter book. My favorite character died.
Kim: I was sitting here like what happened in the fifth book? I had to think for a second. I'm like I just read these books how did I forget. How many unpublished and half finished books do you have. What how do you mean half publish, how can you half publish?
Kathleen: I think you mean like is going to be published.
Kim: Well no, because I have how many unpublished books do you have, meaning like the one that you have done and how many like half finished books do you have. Like so the...
Kathleen: I have the one in the box that's never going to see the light of day, but it's done and then I have the one that I'm working on now. That is going to be published too.
Kim: I feel like a monster.
Kathleen: I only work on one at a time. I can't work on more than one at a time. Well actually no!!! I'm kidding I have the sequel done but it... okay so three.
Kim: No so like I have the first two pages in five years which is my contemporary kind of romancy, not romance thing kind of going on, but like I said not really. Do you believe in writers block?
Kathleen: Okay so this is tricky because I don't know about writers block, but I feel like burn out is a thing. So like if you're going and you just like there's a time where you're like I'm just having trouble. I feel like you can push through, but then there's a time when you are trying to push through and you can't get stuff done. That's when you have to take a step back. I feel like if you're pushing and you're still not getting stuff done that's when you're like okay maybe take like a twenty minute break or like because sometimes I... I've honestly like I've felt it I've been like uh I feel I'm like burnt out or like I can't do this and then I'm like okay let me just keep trying and then what I do is just not working then I'm like okay I'm just going to stop for the day and then I come back the next day. But like writers block where you're like I'm just going to stop for a month. I feel like that's not helping anybody.
Kim: I just mean writers block where you can't figure something out.
Kathleen: Mhm. Yeah, like where you can't figure out the rest of the plot.
Kim: That's what people actually consider writer's block, I feel like the most.
Kathleen: I thought you meant like couldn't... can't keep writing.
Kim: Yeah, well then there's two but there are so many versions of writers block it's like... Well do you suffer from any form... ANY FORM of writers block?
Kathleen: Yeah, um I have. Like what I was just saying I suffer from burn out so I just take a twenty minute break and if I come back and I'm still struggling then I'm like okay I need to take a step away for the rest of the day. That's why I always take Sunday off. I don't write on Sunday.
Kim: I try not to but I do anyway.
Kathleen: Yeah, well because I know if I keep writing and I don't take a day off I'm going to eventually burn out and at some point writing isn't going to be fun if I do that so I take a day off.
Kim: Does your family support your writing?
Kim: Well aren't you just a lucky duckling. What are some of your other hobbies?
Kathleen: Painting, video games, reading I guess that goes along with writing.
Kim: Not all the time. I know some writers that are like I can't even pick up a book and I'm like how are you writing a book?
Kathleen: I was like obsessed with painting for a while. Like I have a ton of paintings.
Kim: Does any of that inspire you for the writing?
Kathleen: Um... no not really... Oh, uh video games definitely because there is a scene in Red Dead Redemption sort of made it's way into the book. The second one specifically.
Kim: Well I don't have anymore questions. Do you have anything else that you want to tell us about yourself.
Kathleen: No not that I can think of.
Goodbyes and all the social media outlooks are being done at the moment in the video.
That is the end of the interview and I must say that it was truly an honor to be able to spend the time with Kathleen and get to know her and her writing style. I hope this article was helpful to you or just entertaining especially if you didn't want to watch the video, but just in case you do I will be linking it twice. One in the beginning and one in the end.
Until next time...