Please introduce yourself and your books!
Hello! My name is Kathryn Rose Newey and I write ‘interactive’ novels in the Environmental Fiction / Eco-Fiction and Science-Fiction genres. My books are aimed at young teens and middle-grade age groups, but my environmental books have older readers too, including adults of all ages.
I have published three books so far. My first book is called ‘Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came’.
I know, it’s not the most original title! 🙂 But like my other eco-novel, it’s a story from the animals’ points of view. I figure they would be quite practical with the title, so I have too! This story is about wild forest animals who try to take action against some human building works near them. The main animal characters, such as Dakota the Deer and Whanganui the Weasel, are named to honour certain environmental activists, indigenous tribes and campaigns.
I’ve sub-titled this novel “a story to save the Earth” because it addresses the nature conservation issues of habitat loss and extinction through animals’ experiences, and it includes a non-fiction section at the back with lots of information and website links, including who the characters honour. Readers can read these to find out more about ecological issues, and hopefully be inspired to change their lifestyle choices to help save animals and the natural world.
My second book is in its second edition. It’s called ‘The Zoo Animals’ Faraway Dream (Special Edition)’ and is “a story to save caged animals”.
Again I have let the animals tell the story through what they say and do. This time, they are wild animals in zoo cages. One day, a travelling animal appears, claiming that not all animals live in cages. This sets off a chain of events with potentially disastrous consequences.
In this novel I offer readers two different endings, one happy, one sad. I hope they will read both endings and consider how this story would end in the real world, if it were true.
I have also included a non-fiction section with information and website links about zoos and caged animals in places other than zoos, as well as suggestions for what readers can do to help captive animals.
My third book, ‘Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves’ is a quirky science-fiction tale about an ordinary human boy who is half-Gapitonian, but nobody on Earth knows his ‘alien’ secret. It’s up to him to save Earth from some sinister extraterrestrials who visit with evil intentions.
I have woven language, science and maths into the story, and included a glossary of Gapitonian words, as well as an original poem which Ilnoblet uses against the aliens, for readers to work out how he did it!
What are the stories behind your books?
When I drove past yet another new houses building site a few years back, I was worried about where all the wild creatures, who had lived there before humans flattened everything, had gone. Where had they run away to, or had they died? That was my catalyst to start writing my first book – to help humans become more aware that this planet belongs to all life, not just us.
I hope my books will inspire readers to read and research more, and get involved in taking everyday actions to save animals and our planet.
How has your creation process improved over time?
I’m still learning to accept that writing (good) books takes time and requires patience. Not only am I trying to juggle real life with writing my books, but the creative process itself sometimes needs time to work properly. I might write something and three days later I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and think of something I must change or add to it.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your books?
The best thing is holding your published book in your hands and knowing you’ve made a little mark on the world. Hopefully a good mark!
The worst is knowing in that instant that actually very few people know about your book! Authors have to work really hard with marketing and publicity to get their books noticed amongst millions of other books.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I think that to be a professional author, you have to consider your readers. Of course the process of interweaving writing what you want to write, and writing what your readers want to read, can be difficult, but it’s important to do so, because we write for our readers.
What are your plans for future books?
I am almost finished writing a second book in my science fiction series. I am also planning to write another environmental novel – this time “a book to save trees”.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself.
Both J.K. Rowling and I had grandmothers called Kathleen.
I was born, and lived, in South Africa for half of my life. I now live in the UK (England). I like to think these experiences have broadened my outlook and given me insights into how different, but also how similar, we human beings are.
I don’t think we can be serious all the time. That’s why I also write fun science-fiction novels, which, like my other novels, are about saving the Earth, but in a different way.
I hope to be able to view wild elephants living freely in their natural habitat before I die, but I’m genuinely afraid there will be none left before I can do so.
My favourite companion, especially when I’m writing, is my dog, Jessie the Jack Russell. Naturally she has her own website. You can view it here: https://jessiethejackrussell.weebly.com/
To find out more about my books, and to read my Environmental Blog, go to: https://KathrynRoseNewey.com/