The Author Spotlight Questions and Answers is back with a new addition - this time we have a post from Kate McIntyre, who is talking about her new book detective novel THE HEARTREADER’S SECRET, and her recent move to Jacksonville, IL, to live with her wife.
Who are you and where do you call home right now?
My name is Kate McIntyre, and I recently moved from Moncton, NB, Canada to live in Jacksonville, IL, USA with my wife!
Tell us about your latest book: your inspiration for it, how you got through your most difficult challenge in writing it, and what you love about it?
The Heartreader’s Secret is the third in a series of four I’ve been working on for years now. The core concept for this novel was “rural fantasy,” wherein an urban fantasy series spends some time in the country. It’s also centered around the autumn season, which is my favourite season, so I really enjoyed writing that! My biggest challenge in the book was the shoddy outline I built for it. After breezing through my second novel, I’d gotten the idea in my head that I could just wing it, and wow — I definitely couldn’t! I had to go back to the drawing board and hammer out the ending.
What are a few of your hobbies?
I love reading, video games, fanfiction, and crochet, but my biggest hobby is board games. High end board games! I’m not talking about Monopoly OR Settlers of Catan, but deep strategy and experience based games like Gloomhaven, Pandemic Legacy, Terra Mystica, or Caverna. It’s everything I grew up loving about video games, but it fits into the new, adult life I have with friends and a family who I love spending time with. There’s no social activity better than a board game day!
If you had your own food truck, what would it serve?
Bunsteads!! Bunsteads are apparently originally a Kraft recipe that my family’s adapted and proliferated across the world. It’s tuna, boiled eggs, onions, green olives, gherkins, and Velveeta cheese baked in a hamburger bun, and they’re just the best things in the world.
What do you want to get better at doing, writing-wise?
The thing I struggle with most in my writing is confidence. I waste so much writing time feeling bad for myself because I can’t do everything perfectly, and it just ends up hurting me in the long run. I’m working hard to be more proud of myself and happy with what I’m putting down on paper so that I feel motivated and passionate instead of frustrated and uncertain.
What TV series are you into right now and why?
My wife and I never miss an episode of Brooklyn 99. It’s so incredibly funny, so diverse, and has so much empathy for its weird, eccentric cast. The writing is always on point and it has a surprising amount of insight into the human condition and relationships. It’s also the first time I’ve ever heard someone say the word “bisexual” on television in a positive way, and that’s been really affirmative for me. And did I mention how funny it is? It’s hilarious.
What movie do you quote the most?
I’m a little crazy about Deadpool. I saw it on a whim, and now it makes up 90% of my pop culture literacy. Can’t wait for the sequel!
What do you collect, even a little bit? Tell us about your favorite one.
I’ve collected mouse plushies and figurines since I was just a little girl. While I don’t collect quite as passionately now as I did then, sometimes I’ll get one as a gift and it just makes my day adding it to the shelf with all the other mousies.
What’s your preferred genre of book when you just want to escape?
Oh, no. You phrased that question in just the right way to catch me. See, when I want to be challenged, or inspired, or amazed, or touched, I read fantasy written by and featuring strong women. But when I want to *escape*? Then… it’s always a Historical Romance. Hanging my head right now. Seriously, if you can turn off your brain and turn a blind eye to all the potentially harmful gender stereotypes and just let yourself enjoy the nonsense, wow, there’s nothing better.
What do you like to do on vacation?
I’m a laid back vacationer. I want to spend all my time laying around, swimming in the pool, reading by the air conditioner. Luckily, my wife drags me out to enough exciting stuff that we form great memories, and I keep her chilled out so we don’t burn out on our time off.
Is there another genre you’ve been itching to write in?
I’m hoping to tackle Gothic Horror, next! I’m a longtime fan of the entire Gothic aesthetic, and I have a great idea for a fantasy novel with a Gothic Horror feel. I think everything I write will always be magically-inspired, but there are a lot of different flavours of that I want to try.
What unusual object do you like to bring with you if you leave the house?
This question just begs a lewd answer, dammit. Urgh! I guess the weirdest thing is that I never leave the house without some sort of portable gaming console — my Switch or my 3DS, usually, these days.
If you had a champion racing pigeon, what would you name it and what would its tagline be?
Dove: The Mourning Star!
Finally, give us one recommendation for something - movie, TV, game, food - that you enjoyed recently.
I’m going to recommend the same thing I always recommend when I get asked this question — read The Last Rune series by Mark Anthony. They’re impossible to pitch without sounding cliche and boring, and the first book has rough patches, but keep going, I swear. They’re unique and strange and unlike anything else you’ve ever read.
About The Heartreader’s Secret
The brilliant engineer Emilia Banks has gone missing.
Deathsniffer Olivia Faraday may be partial to solving murders, but this missing persons case is too personal to pass up — especially when all the clues lead her and her assistant, Chris, to the sprawling countryside manor where Olivia was born and raised. Their investigation reveals new insights into the political conflict raging in nearby Darrington City, but every step is fraught with mysterious deaths, suspicious stalkers, and players both new and old each harboring dangerous agendas of their own.
Are the powerful traditionalists or the anarchic reformists prowling the borders of the estate responsible for the sudden disappearance of Miss Banks? And could the elusive engineer’s private project truly change the world forever?
The next installment awaits...Author Spotlight Question and Answer: Bob Defendi