# Please introduce yourself and your books!
Hi there, I’m Anna Katmore, fantasy lover and romance sucker from Austria with a huge heart for Disney, dragons and chocolate. Writing books is my chance to escape from this world and find adventures that others can only dream of—or read about. 😉
I’ve written several bestselling young adult romances, the most outstanding probable: PLAY WITH ME, which started off like a rocket a few years ago and changed my life drastically. 🙂 I also love toying with classic fairy tales, like Red Riding Hood or Peter Pan, and making them my own with the right amount of romance and, of course, a happily ever after for everyone.
# What inspires your creativity?
I’m not sure if the word ‘inspire’ is the right one here. I’m actually a very sensitive and spiritual person, and I learned long ago that stories hit you in the most unexpected moments. With me, it always starts with some unknown beings, which I call just energies or characters, who start talking to me and telling me what they experience in their own dimension. I feel like I’m their pen, taking their adventures from one world into another.
# How do you deal with creative block?
In my early career, I used to panic when I couldn’t just write what there was in my head. But over the years, I’ve learned that writing happens in waves for me. There are creative weeks when my mind is wide open and I can really be a channel for all those characters and stories. And then there are weeks, when real life catches up with me and I cannot just escape as easily. The question shouldn’t be HOW to deal with it. It’s just as simples as DEALING with it. As an authors, I learned to accept it. To use the time I’m given to be present in my family, spend enough time outside in nature or with friends. Live my human life. Because there will certainly come the next wave of writing that will whisk me away to all those wonderful worlds again, which I love so much. The answer is to just enjoy both sides. The creative days and the not-soo-creative ones.
# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
It depends on who you’re writing for. If you write just for yourself because you love it and you don’t want to publish it after all, you can’t make any mistakes. You then write simple for the joy of it.
If you are writing with an eye on publishing however, there are thousand things you should learn. I cannot name even half of them here, but it certainly has a lot to do with the right techniques on how to create a story like a real movie in the head of your readers. Show, don’t tell! Make your characters 3-dimensional. Always stay in the right POV. Have your critique partners at hand to help you spot all the things you miss.
So in case of writing for an audience, the biggest mistake you can make would be to think that you’re perfect and you don’t need anyone else to help you through this. To think that your talent of telling a sweet story is enough to get to your readers’ hearts. Because it’s not. Professional writing is all about learning how to deliver an awesome story with excellent techniques. Never underestimate that.
# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Well, for the cover, it’s always most important to stand out with it. Look up what’s currently in fashion in the genre that you write. Use colors to your advantage. Have an eye-catcher at hand when you release your book. And if you feel that your cover doesn’t work after a while, it’s absolutely fine to change it, even after the publication.
As for titles, the only thing I can tell you is to check that your chosen title doesn’t already exist. That could give you some trouble. Apart from that, be as creative as you can and go with your gut feeling. Entice your readers already with those few words.
# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
I always tell the students in my workshops not to read the reviews they get. The simple reason for it is that taste (no matter where) is subjective. While one loooooves what you write, there are always those who don’t connect with it. And even in the very best reviews there will always be some critique based on personal taste and, well, that hurts. There’s no need to hurt yourself with reading reviews.
But as much as I know that my advice is one of the best I can give young authors, I also know that they will never listen. LOL. And that’s all right. Everyone will make the same experience—and they have to. It’s a process of learning to deal with self-consciousness and concentrating on the love for writing more than on bad reviews.
But don’t get me wrong, please. If the majority of the reviews you get are bad, then there’s presumably a problem with your skills. And that’s where I send you back to question #4. Writing is a profession you need to learn and take seriously.
# What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your books?
The most surprising thing was when I found out that it’s not me ‘inventing’ those stories, but that I actually have a strong connection to those energies called characters. For me, they are really alive—somewhere… It was the start of exploring my own spirituality. An incredible adventure.
The worst moments I had at the end of each book, when the adventure was over. You need to understand that as a writer I spend months and months in a world far away from here. It becomes home after some time and all those characters become family. When a book is finished, there’s always the moment when you have to say goodbye and let go. Sometimes it feels as if your loved ones are dying and you cannot be with them again. Not in the same way as you were for the past half year.
And the best thing certainly was that my books gave me a chance to connect with other people in a way that I could have never imagined. I made new friends, and some of them I even call soulmates today. I would have never met them if they wouldn’t have read and love my books.
# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I started out for personal satisfaction. At the beginning, I didn’t even plan to publish my stories one day. But over the years, it changed and I wanted to share those beautiful stories with the rest of the world. But it was also that time when I realized I had to go by certain rules and enhance my skills. Luckily, I loved learning what I did. I was like a sponge and soaked up every little bit of information that would help me become a better writer and entertain my readers even more.
But there were also times when I didn’t want to ‘please’ anymore and just write whatever there was in me. Once you hit a certain point in your career and reach half a million of people with your books, the pressure of satisfying your readers can quickly turn into something very uncomfortable. I got the same kind of emails a thousand times—people asking me to write another book in a series that was finished, just because they loved it so much and wanted more. But for me, this is impossible. When a story is finished, I’m not going back and giving those characters additional trouble just to draw out the ending. It really feels like I would ‘rape’ those characters, because they just want to be left alone and soak in their happily ever after.
Some readers understand that. Others don’t. But in that case I cannot serve my readers but have to stick with my heart feeling.
# What role do emotions play in creativity?
Emotions are what actually carries a story. If you fail to evoke deep feelings within your readers, you’ll never become a bestselling author. And you can only evoke them if you feel them yourself while you write a book.
# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I’m a bad cook. I’d rather eat at McDonald’s five times a week than cook in my own kitchen.
I love sorting and rearranging stuff on shelves because it soothes me.
There are only 39 people on my personal Facebook friends list.
I love drinking tea, even when it’s baking hot outside.
I love to sit down on the grass from time to time just to feel connected with the earth.
Oh, and for what’s it worth, I’m occasionally talking to angels and to people who passed away.
Bestsellers on Amazon:
PLAY WITH ME (book 1 of the GROVER BEACH PLAYERS series)
NEVERLAND (a romantic retake on the classic Peter Pan, with Captain Hook as the hero and love interest)