# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
My name is Katherine Forrister, and I live in Kansas, U.S.A. I enjoy reading, playing video games, baking, traveling, and hanging out with my family. I have a loving partner, two great kids, and a little hound dog named Special Agent Cooper. I am a speculative fiction author in various subgenres. My debut novel, a dark fantasy called Lodestone, released in April 2021 from GenZ Publishing. My forthcoming books include a 1920s historical fantasy romance, The Hand-me-down Maiden, and a science fiction novel, Curio Citizen, both scheduled for release in 2022.
# What inspires/inspired your creativity?
It’s very difficult for me to stop my brain from spinning up daydreams, so I decided that those stories had to go somewhere. I’ve always loved reading and writing, especially fantasy and science fiction, so I started writing in earnest a few years ago. Creativity comes naturally to me, whether in the form of writing, drawing, or decorating cakes!
# How do you deal with creative block?
Sometimes the best way to deal with a block is to take a step back. While I trust that I will persevere through discipline and moving forward with the story with a small, one-step-at-a-time approach, I know when that doesn’t work, it’s time to move toward a different project, or to simply take a day (or a week) off from writing. I will focus on reading other authors’ books or watching movies to absorb inspiration rather than forcing it out of me. Usually, given a little time off, I’ll feel refreshed and ready to write again. Some new idea will strike me and I’ll be ready to roll!
# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
Negative feedback is always hard to hear, but I accept that not everyone is going to enjoy my books, and that’s okay. There are many books that I don’t enjoy that have countless good reviews, so that helps me to keep it in perspective that everyone’s opinion is going to be different. However, sometimes reading a negative review hits harder than others, so in that case, I allow myself to vent about it to a trusted friend, and then I put it behind me and move on. I also don’t read every review or check every day for new ones. I try to focus on writing my next book rather than focus on negativity.
# How has your creation process improved over time?
I’ve always used a blend of going with the flow and outlining when I plot my novels. However, as I’ve studied story structure from various sources, I’m able to notice when my natural flow hits on plot points that, for example, a three act structure or a five act structure would advise. Now that I can recognize them, it helps guide my outline toward better pacing, and it helps move my writing process along faster and more efficiently.
# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I start to write a first draft as pure personal satisfaction. However, once I start editing my drafts, I begin to keep my readers in mind. There is definitely a balance to strike between the two. I have to keep in mind that I am not going to please every reader, and that the readers who enjoy my books will likely think in the same ways I do. So, I trust my instincts in writing the story I want to tell, but I also try to make my writing accessible and marketable to a broader audience. If a scene or character simply doesn’t fit the overall story, I will sometimes cut them for the reader’s sake rather than my own. A novel needs good pacing, overarching themes, and a focus, and readers will notice if those elements are missing. If I meander through too many unnecessary trains of thought, no matter whether I enjoy them or not, they are most likely not going to appeal to many readers.
# What role do emotions play in creativity?
Delving into emotions is key while writing. The process helps me connect with my characters and what they are experiencing. Sometimes I even cry while writing! However, I also have to be careful not to let my emotions be too swept up in my story to the point where they bleed into my everyday life. Just because my characters may be depressed doesn’t mean I should be!
# What are your plans for future books?
In addition to my forthcoming novels The Hand-me-down Maiden and Curio Citizen, I am now writing a paranormal historical fiction novel, and I’m considering approaching a sequel to Lodestone. If you are interested in learning more about my books, both current and forthcoming, please visit katherineforrister.com.