Katherine Warwick Interview
Posted by Michelle on February 14, 2008
Katherine Warwick is a author of ballroom dance based romance, and Young Adult fiction, and she’s also a valued member of the forum.
Having now read a variety of her books, I’ve found her to be a talented writer, with varied ‘voices’ for her stories. She comes highly recommended!
Q. When did you start writing, is it something you’ve always been interested in, or did it develop later in life?
A. I started writing in elementary school and continued to write in college, focusing on theatre and screenwriting because my father was in the entertainment business.
Q. Where did you get your inspiration to write about ballroom dancing? Is it something you’re involved in yourself, or something you enjoy watching?
A. My daughter and her friends danced on the high school ballroom team and I watched the kids dance and wondered, “Do they get along? Are any of them romantically involved?” It seemed like a natural place for a romance setting. And I’d never read a romance with a ballroom twist so I knew that would be my niche.
Personally, my mother taught our church youth group basic ballroom so I learned early, but I never competed and I didn’t take it any further than that. But dancing comes naturally for me, so I could easily envision steps, movement and write them down.
Q. How about your characters, are they modelled on people you know, either completely, or by combining attributes?
A. Some are modelled after people I know, but with enough changes to protect their identity. ( wink ) Not that they’d care. Most dancers are performers, and like any performer, love to be noticed. In my YA books, I’ve definitely borrowed from reality. In An Open Vein, much of John’s personality is mine, i.e. his relationship with his mother, being an only child…is very much taken from my life with my mother and step father. My two oldest girls are the heroines in their own stories: Magic Hands and Falling For Romeo. That’s one of the perks of having a mother who is an author.
Q. You also write fiction for young adults.. do you discuss your ideas, characters etc with your own teenagers as you write? Are they fans?
A. I definitely discuss passages and plots with them. They’re my “realism ruler” and tell me when something is too cheesy or right on the mark in a YA story. Plus, they’re a great resource for ideas. One novel is based almost entirely on a real-life experience my daughter had while she was in the play Romeo and Juliet.
They are the reason I started writing YA – they wanted romance without the explicit sex and vulgar language or harsh violence. I would read books and edit them with a white-out marker for them and they finally suggested I write some myself. So I did.
Q. Within the three books that I’ve read, there are very distinct and different styles. Do you achieve this by concentrating on one book at a time, or can you easily slip from one to the other?
A. I see writing much like an actor who plays different roles. In four years I’ve written 14 novels, two are still WIP. Writing at that rate, it didn’t take me long to see that I’d have to mix things up a bit or I’d get bored and my writing would get stale. So I challenge myself with writing in different tones and themes. An Open Vein was a departure because it was so much darker than my romances that all end HEA. But I loved writing it because I totally got into it – music, mood, the lives of the characters — I carried that with me during the duration of the project.
Q. Which do you enjoy writing best, romance, or YA?
A. I love them equally. A mother cannot have preference for her children.
Q. Out of your books so far, do you have a personal favourite?
A. I just said that I love them equally, so this is a condemning question, lol. I really DO like each book. This much I know: I have one that is my least favourite: Dancing With His Heart. That’s because it’s more sensual than I like to write. I loved that I was able to purge some of my parental frustrations of living with a child who has autism by writing that book, but originally I wrote it for a line. ( i.e. Harlequin, etc.) So I amped up the sensuality. Then I had to edit it back down because I strongly believe I shouldn’t write anything I wouldn’t want my children to read. That story kind of pushes the limit in my opinion, though it’s been a favourite for readers trying me out.
Noon would have to rate as one of my favorites because it’s my first dance story and I love Breck Noon. He goes through so much, changes so much and makes himself a real survivor in the end. I love writing stories where each character makes a significant arc with great adversaries and challenges along the way.
Q. Are there any other genres you’d be interested in writing?
A. I’d never write fantasy. I could definitely write horror, but then again I have to write what I’m comfortable with my standards which would not include anything graphic. I love to elude to something anyway.
Q. Do you get to read for relaxation.. what are your favourite authors and books? Do you read different genres to those that you write?
A. I love Penelope Williamson – Wages of Sin and Mortal Sins. I have loved Nora Roberts, some of her older works are craft masterpieces. I found Markus Zusak this year and devoured most of his books. I try to read a bit of everything but I’m getting harder and harder to please. If it doesn’t grab me on page one, I toss it, time being what it is.
Q. What else do you do for relaxation.. if you have time for it!?
A. I go to the computer. If I’m not writing, I’m on forums and boards and loops. I’ll need a larger chair soon.
Q. What can we look forward to next from you?
A. The third book in my four-book dance series is out now, WILDE. I’m putting together a romance suspense called Overprotected that I hope to have out this year. It was my very first book and it’s gone through countless changes, but I’m happy with it now and want to offer something that doesn’t have dance in it to see how readers like it.
I just signed with an agent who is submitting one of my YA pieces, so I have my fingers crossed for that. Hopefully, I’ll cross over into the mainstream market as well as increase my presence in the small press market. That’s my hope for 2007.
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