Author interview 142 – Katharine E. Wibell


Katharine E. Wibell

United States of America

Age 32


Katharine Wibell’s lifelong interest in mythology includes epic poetry like the Odyssey, Ramayana, Beowulf, and the Nibelungenlied. In addition, she is interested in all things animal whether training dogs, apprenticing at a children’s zoo, or caring for injured animals as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. After receiving degrees from Mercer University in both art and psychology with an emphasis in animal behavior, Wibell moved to New Orleans with her dog, Alli, to kick start her career as an artist and a writer. Her first literary works blend her knowledge of the animal world with the world of high fantasy.

Twelve worlds. Two opposing forces. One prophesied Hero.

The precarious balance between two opposing forces has begun to shift and threatens the very existence of life throughout the universe. Only the Djed—the prophesied savior—has a chance of thwarting a catastrophe that could destroy the cosmos. And the next Djed is predicted to be a child of Earth.

Katie awakens on a world far from her own, a world bound in magic, one of twelve that hosts entities of vast power and might. She is suspected to be that savior. However, to be acclaimed Djed, difficult and dangerous tasks, one on each of the magicked worlds, must be completed. Katie and a menagerie of misfit companions—a precocious witch, a half-blood elf, and a humanoid pup—work together to discover her fate. If proven true, a terrible burden will be placed upon her, one that will link her destiny with war, a war led by a thirteen-year-old girl.

***

The Djed Chronicles follows Katie over her teenage years as she confronts dark forces and discovers that the right choices are not always apparent and wrong choices can have deadly consequences.

Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR ARTISTIC PROCESS?

Katharine E. Wibell:   Currently, this might be reconciling the part of me who wants to keep my entities true to their mythological sources with the part of me that wants to keep my personal depictions unique. Depending on the book/series, I might lean one way or the other, but there is always a moment where I have to make that call: keep true or be new?

Romelia: DOES YOUR FAMILY SUPPORT YOUR CAREER AS A WRITER?

Katharine E. Wibell:   I am fortunate that my family is extremely supportive. Ever since I was a child, they would do whatever they could to help me achieve my goals and pursue my interests, and I will be forever grateful for their encouragement and assistance.

Romelia: IF YOU HAD TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY AS A CHILD OR TEENAGER TO BECOME A BETTER WRITER AS AN ADULT, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Katharine E. Wibell:   I think I would have tried to attend more writing conferences. I was able to attend one early on in my writing career. I went in with a standalone book and exited knowing that the book was the first of a four-part series. I think conferences and workshops are a fabulous way for anyone at any stage of their career to better themselves.

Romelia: HOW LONG ON AVERAGE DOES IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE A BOOK?

Katharine E. Wibell:   This is a tricky question because I work on a number of books at the same time although they are all in different stages of that process. When one book is with my editor, another is with my Betas while I am actively writing a third and editing a fourth. This enables me to release new works at a steady pace and not have the long gaps that I had during my first few years of my writing. With careful planning and utilizing of my time, I am able to release some content every other month. As for the length of time, I’d say there is probably a two-year span between typing the first words and publishing the final product.

Romelia: DO YOU BELIEVE IN WRITER’S BLOCK?

Katharine E. Wibell:   I think that depends on the person. So far, I have not experienced true writers block although there are days when I struggle to motivate myself to write. This could be because I started too late in the day; I work best in the mornings. But maybe I am tired or have more pressing matters to attend to. If that is the case, I focus on editing, marketing, or even switch over to painting since I am also a reverse glass painter.

Romelia: AT WHAT POINT DO YOU THINK SOMEONE SHOULD CALL THEMSELVES A WRITER?

Katharine E. Wibell:   A writer is anyone who can express a point on paper. If a person can discuss a topic or create a story by typing (or handwriting) it, then he/she/they are a writer.

Romelia: WHAT DIFFERENCE DO YOU SEE BETWEEN A WRITER AND AN AUTHOR?

Katharine E. Wibell:   For me, an author is a person who has successfully published a literary work whether using an indie or a traditional method. This includes print, eBooks and audio book formats. I finally considered myself an author when I held my first paperback proof. 

A writer does not have to have published work. Think of it like this: all authors are writers but not all writers are authors.

Romelia: HOW DO YOU PROCESS AND DEAL WITH NEGATIVE BOOK REVIEWS?

Katharine E. Wibell:   I’m inherently an optimist. Still, whenever you see a negative review, it can get under your skin. I try to approach those times by evaluating the critique. What might I learn from that sort of commentary? Did they not like the dialogue? Was it the ending? Did they expect more twists or sub-plots? Then again, maybe the reader was simply having a bad day and lashed out.

If only one person takes issue, I rarely let that alter my style or stories. However, I will keep an eye out for similar negative reviews. Maybe there is something that I can improve on in the future. Ultimately, I do not let it affect my belief in my own skill.

Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR WRITING PROCESS?

Katharine E. Wibell:   For me, the post-writing process is the most difficult. What I mean by this is that navigating marketing and advertising is extremely difficult. Platforms emerge all the time, interests and fads change on the dime, there is always something more to learn and consider.

I am continually trying to learn everything I can on how to improve my marketing and advertising strategies so that my books can find the readers who would most enjoy them.

Romelia: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING OR WHEN DID YOU START?

Katharine E. Wibell:   I think I was always someone who conceived of characters then created their backstories and relationships as well as developed unique worlds for them to exist in. As a result, I always knew that I would be a writer. I just was not sure to what extent.

As for actually writing, I began drafting my first book the summer prior to starting college. That was close to fifteen years ago. I will admit that my first book was a ten-year process, but that was because I paused for four years of college before completing the manuscript.

Romelia: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A WRITER WORKING ON THEIR FIRST BOOK?

Katharine E. Wibell:   Start building your followers now! I mean it!!! Get on as many socials as you are comfortable with and begin establishing a presence. You can introduce yourself, talk about your own interests, the books you have and are reading, and where you are in your writing process. Build relationships with other writers. There are so many groups on Facebook that are there just for that purpose. Then whenever your book is released, you will already have a number of readers waiting to read and review it.

Romelia: WHAT, TO YOU, ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF GOOD WRITING?

Katharine E. Wibell:   Developing dimensional characters that incorporate flaws is certainly high on that list. Since nobody is perfect, your protagonist shouldn’t be either. Also, make sure you can write convincing dialogue and vibrant descriptions. Take time to formulate your plot and sub-plots. Do your research. Facts matter. And of course, edit, edit, edit! You don’t want a reader thrown out of your story because of a dumb spelling or grammatical error.

Romelia: WHAT COMES FIRST FOR YOU – THE PLOT OR THE CHARACTERS – AND WHY?

Katharine E. Wibell:   Do I have to pick? I think they influence each other. But if I had to choose, I would say character, for once I get to delve into his/her/it/their background and persona, I can better understand the world and how to expand upon that.

Romelia: HOW DO YOU DEVELOP YOUR PLOT AND CHARACTERS?

Katharine E. Wibell:   I am fortunate that my stories come to me rather organically and relatively quickly. Before I begin writing, I already know a number of the main characters and the core plot of the book/series. Yet, once I start writing, the story takes on a life of its own. This is when a number of the sub-plots take shape and details solidify. However, I still take time to block out the main points and aspects of the new universe that I am building. Charts and diagrams are amazing, especially when I am dealing with numerous realms or planets.

Romelia: WHEN DID YOU FIRST CALL YOURSELF A WRITER?

Katharine E. Wibell:   Going back to your earlier question, I think I was always a writer. Even as a child, I would write short stories or poems. The  enjoyment I experienced for telling a story just grew and matured as I did.

Romelia: HOW DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA AS AN AUTHOR?

Katharine E. Wibell:   Social media is a great way to let potential readers know who you are and what you are about. I post about things that I am interested in or share fun facts or games that are somehow related to writing or fantasy. If I can retain current followers and gain new ones who share my interests and passions, they could turn into readers and fans when I announce new releases. I also host literary events and share giveaways to thank my followers for being loyal and true.

Nevertheless, I am always trying to find new and better ways to utilize social media for my marketing purposes.

Romelia: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE PART OF PUBLISHING?

Katharine E. Wibell:   My favorite part is seeing and—with printed books—feeling my published works. I love knowing that all that time and effort has finally come to fruition.

My least favorite part is when I have to re-read my book for the umpteenth time as I am polishing up the final version of the work. At that point, I am tired of editing the same manuscript over and over again and yearn to work on new material. Clearly, I get bored.

Romelia: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO AN AUTHOR WHO WANTED TO DESIGN THEIR OWN COVER?

Katharine E. Wibell:   Good luck. Ha!

In all truth, an author can develop beautiful genre covers if they are skilled in digital design or are willing to take the time to learn.

I admit that digital design is not my strong suit. As a result, I utilize several cover designers for my various projects. I have had wonderful covers designed inexpensively, but I’ve also spent good money on the creation of eye-catching images for others.

If authors want to design their own covers, I would advise them to research what the most popular books in their genre look like so that they can best represent their work. If you are writing dark, epic fantasy for young adults but your cover looks like a romance fantasy, you will not attract the readers you are after.

Romelia: HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN AND WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE?

Katharine E. Wibell:   I have published six books as of May and am releasing new ones every few months. I have written fifteen complete works and am working on more currently. I don’t pick favorites, but I do like to think that my writing and storytelling continue to improve with each new book.

Romelia: WHAT PART OF THE BOOK DID YOU HAVE THE HARDEST TIME WRITING?

Katharine E. Wibell:   I will choose The Twelve Tasks which is the first book in The Djed Chronicles to answer this question. This is my most complex series in the sense of managing the multiverse. There are twelve very different planets that host magic. Each planet is geographically distinct with their own entities, histories, cultures and more. Traveling between them is not only affected by their location in the universe but also prohibited.

When starting this series, I developed a number of diagrams to help me keep the names, characteristics, and important descriptions organized. But having memorized the details, I am able to continue writing the series rather smoothly—though I still want to make a mobile of the planets.

Romelia: WHAT PART OF THE BOOK WAS THE MOST FUN TO WRITE?

Katharine E. Wibell:   There are so many! This series is based on characters, creatures, worlds and plots that my sister and I developed as children during our imaginary play. These stories inspired me to be an author since I wanted to share them with others. Now that I am actually doing that, I am having such fun reconnecting, as it were, with some of these characters and plots from my childhood. I will admit that names and details have been updated, but the core concepts and the very essence of this multiverse is still there. I have enjoyed seeing these stories come to life through writing.

Romelia: WHICH OF THE CHARACTERS DO YOU RELATE TO THE MOST AND WHY?

Katharine E. Wibell:   As I mentioned earlier, The Twelve Tasks, and the series as a whole, was inspired by my childhood play. The main character was my alter ego growing up, so I am very attached to her. She is one of the few characters who kept her name, Katie of Earth. There are many minor details that connect her to my actual childhood. For example, she grew up in the rural Georgia as did I. It has been such fun fleshing her out for my series.

Romelia: IF YOU’RE PLANNING A SEQUEL. CAN YOU SHARE A TINY BIT ABOUT YOUR PLANS FOR IT?

Katharine E. Wibell:   The sequel for The Twelve Tasks is entitled The Vargarian Sire and will hopefully be published later this year. Katie’s adventures continue with twists and turns that not only introduce the final character to join her group of misfit friends but also reveal several of the major villains that she must fend off throughout the series.

Romelia: TELL US SOMETHING FUNNY ABOUT YOUR ADULT LIFE.

Katharine E. Wibell:   I love all things that pertain to the Viking era. I have a growing collection of reproductions of artifacts from swords and daggers to dice games and drinking horns. Last year, to help keep myself busy, I built a round shield. I also love brewing meads. Skol!

Romelia: describe yourself in a few sentences. Tell us something we do not know about you and something you hate about the world.

Katharine E. Wibell:   I am an extreme extrovert with a wide range of interest and hobbies including wildlife rehabilitation, archery, kayaking, and axe throwing. I love anything to do with animals, the outdoors, mythology and dragons!!! I even have a replica of Pharoah Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus in my study.

Hate is such a strong word, but I hate how people find ways to separate and then exclude themselves from their fellow man. Be it by race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, I am appalled when I see how some people can be so cruel to those that are not exactly the same as them. We are all humans. We should care for one another.

The Twelve Tasks
https://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Tasks-Katharine-Wibell/dp/0998377988/
https://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Tasks-Katharine-Wibell-ebook/dp/B08N1G46VZ/

Contact and other links:

Katharine E. Wibell

katharinewibell@gmail.com

Website: https://www.katharinewibellbooks.com/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Katharine-E-Wibell/e/B01MQQIPGN/
Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/KatharineEWibell
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KatharineWibell
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katharineewibell/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/katharinewibell/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/katharine-e-wibell
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16150539.Katharine_E_Wibell
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZTWT2CxFYDivQt25HDkQvw/videos

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