Updated: Mar 6
Tell me a bit about yourself….
I am Kat Satava, a latecomer to the indie author ranks, but I have dreamed of being an author. I was born and raised in Southern California. I am a graduate of the University of Redlands with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. I moved to Arizona with my three sons to be closer to family and make a better life for my kids a little over a decade ago. I finally got to put my degree to use and started my nine-year career in mental health. But the storytelling itch could not be satisfied. So I started writing, then learned I needed to get better skills. So I learned more and wrote more. I had to make several pauses, as many single parents have to. To keep writing present in my life on a regular basis, I started a Therapeutic Writing Group that helped my clients learn how to share/cope with their emotions in a healthy, safe way through creative writing. I maintain the latest version weekly, helping others to tell their own stories.
What genre/s do you write in?
I write a mixture of epic fantasy and supernatural/paranormal fiction. It is what I like to read and allows me to incorporate so many elements from other genres. I love the creative process of world-building and still finding the human connection that has readers falling in love with the characters and their stories.
How long have you been writing?
Since I could hold a crayon! No, but really, making our own books was often part of our play when I was little. My mother would staple notebook paper together. My sister and I wrote stories about our favorite things: magic-wielding witches, mad scientists, and things that go bump in the night!
Do you have any published books or articles? Tell me a bit about these and what publishing route you took.
Nightmares & Stars is my debut novel and introduces you to the world of The Witch War Series. In this first book, we meet Alora Luminae, Princess and heir to the throne of Noctourne, a realm ruled by powerful witches who call on the Goddesses of the night to fuel their magic. She is coming to the age of maturity with a few setbacks. Her lands are embroiled in a bitter war with the ruling Sun Witches of Soldaynia, which began a decade earlier with the Convergence Massacre that took her father from her. Her mother, the Queen, has kept her so protected that she has failed to bond or even cross paths with her Familiar. Without which her mind will dissolve in the magic that will flood it upon her Inheritance Commitment, scheduled to take place the following full moon upon her 25th birthday. To make matters worse, her best friend, sworn protector, and Tinker, Bist Tinshale has been looking at her in ways forbidden between Witches and Tinkers. But a terrifying event leads to an unexpected opportunity for Alora to venture out of her family lands and protection. Will she become the hero to her people and earn the crown? You will have to read to find out!
In addition to working on Book Two, currently scheduled for release in 2023, I am working on a quick-release serial, Canton Ghost Town. Canton is a small secluded town in the middle of nowhere, Arizona in the late 1970’s. Like many other places at the time, Canton has a serial killer problem. Good thing Detective Jo Callahan isn’t letting a little thing like getting murdered slow her down on solving the case and restoring safety to her hometown. Canton is coming out late Summer 2022 in five quick-release episodes on ebook and the complete season will be available in print with bonus extras the month after the final episode goes live!
My books are in all formats are available on Amazon and popular book vendors.
Did you use an editor? If so who?
Yes, I did! I worked with Jupiter Alley for both final edits and cover design. It was an amazing experience and a link to their services can be found on my website. I also utilize self-editing software, ProWritingAid, prior to sending to my editor with every draft.
Did you use a book formatter and cover designer?
I did my own formatting after watching several YouTube videos and taking a formatting boot camp. I am getting better every time. I wanted my first cover to be beautiful, like the fantasy novels I like to read. So I had to pick my battles on what I had time to learn to do myself and what I was able to pay for, cover art I was willing to pay for. I found my amazing cover artist where I found my editor at Jupiter Alley.
Did you self-publish or get traditionally published? How did this go for you?
I chose to be a self-published author for several reasons. Of course, there is the matter of having control over every aspect of my book babies, but it was truly more than just that. I had put off becoming a published author for so long, I didn’t want to wait for the trend to be popular again, or for more popular proven authors to get to go before me. I hit midlife and decided that it was time I started truly pursuing my dreams. I didn’t want to wait. I wanted to hold a book in my hand that I was proud of; my dream is now a real-life accomplishment. Nothing compares.
How do you market your work and promote your brand?(Include links)
I promote through my Website: www.KatSatavaAuthor.com and monthly newsletter for those who have signed up. As well as Socials: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest which I use to really connect with my readers and network with other authors.
What social media and writing platforms would you recommend?
This is a hard question because it truly depends on the author’s strengths, knowledge base, and comfortability with social media and the writing platforms available. I am very comfortable on Facebook as I have used it for years for a personal connection with family and friends. Same with Pinterest, however, I had no experience with Twitter or Instagram, so those socials I am building that comfort with and finding the ways that work for me with these. My hope is to add more as my comfort level and skills grow.
Do you use an agent?
No, not yet, is the short answer. Not that I don’t want one, but I want to truly build on my craft and focus on my author business. I like to know the ends and out of how everything works, but I also know when I am outside my wheelhouse. It comes down to assessing the need for the benefits having an agent would bring to my business. What am I not already doing myself? What do I not have the time or energy to learn to do myself? What will take too much joy away from the writing and publishing process to do myself? But I don’t think I am there yet. I am still basking in the newness and discovery of my career as an author. Things I thought I would love doing have proved frustrating and have taken away from this experience. But I never would have known that had I not at least attempted to do it myself. I would never know the true value of the job I am asking someone else to take on.
Do you use paid advertising? If so what?
I have yet to use paid advertising but have done some research on the efficacy versus the cost.
Do you have a blog or website?
Yes, I do! I am just getting started with blogging and you can read it on my website www.KatSatavaAuthor.com
What inspires you most to write?
Everyday life. Showing that these fantastical characters just want the same things they do: love, excitement, to feel successful.
What do you do to help with writers block?
Go back and find out where I stopped being able to answer the following questions. Is this part moving the plot forward? How about the Main Character’s arc? When the answer stops being yes, I cut back until it makes sense again.
How do you plan your writing and start?
Well, I always start with good intentions and lofty expectations. I make a schedule and make a plan, then I find I always just write every chance I get then just before I am about to reach my hard deadline, when I have no time left to ponder and overthink things, I reach out to a writing friend and do back to back writing sprints until I finish.
Is writing your full time job? If not what else do you do?
Unfortunately, at this time, writing and being an author is not my full-time job. However, I am working toward that as a goal. I currently work in the mental health field full-time. I have worn many caps over the last decade, providing outpatient services for both general mental health and serious mental illness populations.
What are you working on at the moment?
In addition to working on Book Two of The Witch War series, currently scheduled for release in 2023, I am working on a quick-release serial, Canton Ghost Town. Canton is a small secluded town in the middle of nowhere, Arizona in the late 1970s. Like many other places at the time, Canton has a serial killer problem. Good thing Detective Jo Callahan isn’t letting a little thing like getting murdered slow her down on solving the case and restoring safety to her hometown. Canton will begin release in late Summer 2022 in five episodes on ebook and the complete season will be available in print with bonus extras the month after the final episode goes live! I am also currently involved in an anthology project in which I have completed one short story and have begun working on the second for the project.
What is your target audience?
YA/NA fantasy and paranormal fiction readers.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends on the length and whether it is a stand-alone or part of a series. Nightmares and Stars took five years. However, it is the first in the series meant it went through many rewrites in order to complete the foundation for the next two books. I learned so much about the process and how to tailor it to meet my needs and situation that I have been able to streamline the process.
When did you first discover you enjoyed writing?
As soon as I could spell the words that made up the stories I liked to tell. Remember, my household valued reading and storytelling, both oral and written. I would say third grade was when I learned the power of writing stories to connect, entertain, teach, and shape the thoughts of others. Basically, when I learned that writing was magic.
What is your writing schedule look like?
Well, the Pandemic forced me to really adjust my writing schedule, as I have difficulty writing when I am home. There are too many distractions from kids, my house, the Netflix playlist, and anything else that refuses to just wait for me to write a few thousand words at a time. Also, everyday life is what inspires me the most, so when my everyday life was reduced to never leaving my house, my imagination became anemic. So my writing schedule became whenever I could get some words out. Now that things have been opening back up a little at a time, I am working on repairing some of my old schedules. I try to set aside time on Sundays in between family activities and then really focus on writing and workshops on Mondays and Tuesdays for at least four to eight hours (10 AM to 6 PM). The rest of the week is working on administrative/writing business activities
What does your family think about you writing?
My family is incredibly supportive! They have pushed me when I have thoughts of giving up. Cheered me on when I was making headway. Give me honest feedback, both when it is good and when it is something I need to take a second look at. Celebrated, shared, and bragged about my accomplishments. Without my family, the only books I would have ever finished would still be stapled together with notebook paper.
What do you do when you are not writing?
When not writing or working on an author business, I like to spend time with family and friends dining, playing games, and binge-watching my favorite shows. I also read or listen to audiobooks. And sleep, oh blessed rare sleep!
Where do you get information and ideas for your writing?
Reflecting on real-life through the lens of the paranormal and fantastical is where I get my ideas. For example, the Nightmares and Stars were inspired by a YouTube video with war correspondents being interviewed about their experience in the Middle East. One of them made an analogy with Star Wars and how Americans identify with the Rebel Heros when most of the world would cast them as the Empire, determined to bring peace throughout the universe through shows of force and conformity. It made me think about how the roles of good guys and bad guys are a matter of perspective. And that there are villains and heroes on both sides. From that sparked the idea to show through fiction a war where both sides think they are fighting for what’s best and why they think it is for the best. Another example is where the idea for Canton Ghost Town grew out of my reading and documentary watching of true crime to find blog topics. It influenced everything from the time period I chose to the format I chose to write it in.
What do you think makes a good story?
A good story delivers on its promises both implied and clearly stated. It has well-rounded characters that I am able to connect with some part of and care about what happens to them. The best stories make me think of things outside the confines of the pages.