I am more than delighted to have independent author, Katie Cross, join me here on the site and answer some questions about her life as an independent author and about her Network Series. 

1. When, and how, did you come up with the plot to Miss Mabel’s School for Girls and the Network Series as a whole?

It took me 6 weeks to write the first draft, and I worked at it non stop! The plot for the Network Series is really ongoing, and it really comes about with a lot of hair-pulling, blood, sweat, chocolate, and tears. 
 2. What was the biggest challenge you faced when writing MMSfG?
 Figuring out how to publish it! I was new to indie publishing, and didn’t have any contacts. That came with time and lots of networking.
 3. What challenges did you face when writing Antebellum Awakening, the sequel to the first book?
 Deciding how Bianca was going to cope with all that happened to her in the first book. That, and making sure there was consistency between both books.
 4. What challenges do you face with the remaining three books in the series?
 Goodness! Writing them is the biggest challenge. Then rewriting them is the next challenge. Then editing. Then re-editing. Then marketing . . .
 5. What is your favorite part about the setting of your novels?
 Oh, the medieval setting is definitely my favorite! Being able to make whatever I want out of the world is very intoxicating.
 6. What is your favorite attribute of Bianca?
 She doesn’t really care what other people think. It’s taken me a long time to not be afraid to be whoever I am. Bianca has that at a young age, and I love her for it.
 7. Witches and magic are a huge part of your stories, and yet you are a Christian. What was the general reception this in the Christian community? In the secular?
Oh, the reception really wasn’t good at times. I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (AKA Mormons.) I had a radio interview cancelled because the fans found out I was a Mormon writing about witches. They couldn’t handle the idea, so they bombarded the interviewer with emails, even text messages, until she felt the interview would become hostile and had to close it. I’ve had people post articles against me and my religion, against witchcraft, etc.
8. How do you write about witches and magic without compromising your values?
It’s really not as difficult as you’d think. I purposefully kept any sort of Deity out of the world, which negates any issues there. My witches are really just people like you and I, so they run into the same flaws and moral dilemmas as anyone else.
9. When did you decide to go the way of independent publishing?
I’m one of those jump-right-in kind of people, so Indie publishing had a huge appeal for me. Plus, it seemed like a big challenge, and I can never say no to a challenge.
10. What was the biggest challenge you faced as an indie author?
My first instinct says time management. Life has to move on outside of work, and finding that balance between living life and writing it is something I still struggle with today.
11. What is your favorite part of being an indie author?
Setting my own schedule and working in my pajamas.
12. What advice do you have for writers who are looking into independent publishing?
Look into it first. I’m a firm believer that indie publishing is not for everyone. I talk about my experiences with indie publishing on my blog a lot, so that would be a great place to go surf through and see all that goes into it. Some people don’t want all the stress and creative control, and that is something I respect.
13. Your website, kcrosswriting.com, gets a lot of traction. How do you keep readers coming back?
 I have the coolest people that participate in my blog. A lot of it just comes with being a friend and reciprocating. I support those that support me. Indie publishing and writing in general is not a solitary job. It cannot be if you want to be successful. Even popular traditional authors review and give quotes about each others work.
 14. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Separate your emotions from your business and take feedback that way. When I get comments back from beta readers (or reviewers for that matter) I completely turn off my emotional angle and look at it in a purely professional manner. I think that has taken me really far.
15. What can readers look forward to this year?
Ooh! This year I’m hoping to finish publishing the Network Series. The prequel to the series, titled Mildred’s Resistance, should be out early summer. The third book in the Network Series, The Ambassador’s Assistant, should be in the late summer. I’m also branching out and doing a lot more book tours in different states this year to get more face time and meet the fans.

You can find Katie on the following platforms:

Official website: www.missmabels.com
Twitter: @kcrosswriting
You can find my review of the first book in the Network Series, Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, here.
Katie Cross Interview Pic

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