Katie Salidas is a USA Today bestselling author and RONE award winner known for her unique genre-blending style.
Since 2010 she’s penned five bestselling book series: the Immortalis, Olde Town Pack, Little Werewolf, Chronicles of the Uprising, and the all-new Agents of A.S.S.E.T. series. As her not-so-secret alter ego, Rozlyn Sparks, she is a USA Today bestselling author of romance with a naughty side.
Katie gives new meaning to the term sleep deprived. Along with her numerous novels, Katie also produces and hosts a YouTube talk show; Spilling Ink. She also has a regular column on First Comics News where she explores writing from a nerdy perspective.
And in her spare time she also penned Go Publish Yourself: the Quick and Dirty Guide to Self-Publishing Success. She believes in sharing her expertise of the publishing industry, learned through trial and error and regularly speaks at conventions and libraries, teaching the next generation of aspiring authors.
Katie, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Looking at your success in the publishing world—USA Today bestselling author, RONE award winner, five bestselling book series, etc.—many authors are likely wondering what your secret is. Give us some insights and tell us about the advice you offer in Go Publish Yourself: the Quick and Dirty Guide to Self-Publishing Success.
Writing is equal parts passion and determination. You have to want to tell a story as much as you are willing to sit down and put the work in to make that story compatible with reader expectations. I truly believe that everyone has a story inside of them, but not everyone has the desire to invest the man-hours into cultivating that into a book. And that is perfectly fine. If writing were easy, everyone would do it.
Writing sounds easy, which I think is why the medium is undervalued in our society. Creativity is the easy part. Carefully honing that creative idea, birthing characters, building a world, and plotting the arc of a story takes time and quite a bit of dedication.
For those who have slogged through the drafts to complete their story, comes the next level in bringing their book to the reading market. Authors can choose to take on the mantle of Indie Author, or go the Traditional route. Both of which come with their own requirements of dedication and no small amount of courage.
Go Publish Yourself is meant to be a handy-dandy guide to the Indie route of publishing based on all of the mistakes I have made over the years and the lessons learned through those mistakes. I’d much rather other authors have the chance to avoid the trial by fire I experienced in my ten years as an Indie Author, and that is where the idea for that book began.
Spilling Ink began as another one of my trials by fire in this industry with a two-fold purpose.
On the surface it serves as an outlet for authors of all types to share information about their publishing journeys, tips they have learned along the way, and discuss current events in the publishing world. My column at First Comics news is a small extension of this, with a bit more of a current events in pop culture feel.
Spilling Ink is my favorite hour of the week because of that ability to truly engage with the community. Community is vital. Not just for the networking opportunities it provides. Over the three years since starting Spilling Ink, I have met and befriended some amazing individuals. I cherish those connections. Writing can often feel lonely and isolating. We need those friends, who understand the hardships, to lean on during the rough patches.
Spilling Ink also serves another more personal purpose. I have struggled with public speaking for many years, but being an author these days is not the solitary endeavor it once was. Being in the public eye is as much a part of the job as writing the books, whether that is on social media or reaching readers at live events and conventions. We are expected to engage. Using Spilling Ink as a platform to reach out into the community has allowed me to work through a lot of my fears and strengthen my ability to speak publicly, which has also helped me to develop the courage to teach seminars and workshops.
You recently released the third book in your Agents of A.S.S.E.T. series. What inspired this supernatural thriller? What themes or messages are you hoping readers connect with as they step into the world of Sage Cynwrig?
The Agents of A.S.S.E.T. (Anonymous Supernatural Security and Elimination Taskforce) series is my most recent baby. I’m a series writer. I love exploring character growth over multiple books. In this series we meet Sage Cynwrig, a seemingly ordinary girl who, by a twist of fate, is thrown into a reality she had never been prepared for. The inspiration was sparked by role playing games (something Sage participates in regularly.) What if those creatures, classes, and magical races were real and we just didn’t know about it? How could they interact with modern society and not be seen? Who polices them? How and why?
Sage belongs to a race of magic neutral beings called, Terras. Terras are truly magic neutral! They cannot be helped, hurt, or tricked by magic. Nor can they conjure magic of their own. This magical neutrality is what allows them to serve as the magical police force (for lack of a better word.) to protect magic and keep it secret from the human world. That’s a key theme in this series. They do not protect humanity, they protect magic, often from itself.
Sage’s abilities are triggered by the death of her mother. All at once the veil between the magical and non-magical world drops. From there Sage’s journey begins and we see her struggle to cope with the magical world around her and learn how to use that neutrality to its maximum potential.
You have explored the realms of vampires, werewolves, and the paranormal. Have you discovered that you enjoy writing about one more than the other? What qualities do you instill in your supernatural creatures to separate them from similar types in other books?
Many of the creatures I write about are ones readers are very familiar with. There is that old adage of, “everything has already been written,” so when I write, I try and look at things from a different perspective.
What if vampires were not top of the food chain? What if they were the underdogs? That was the inspiration behind my Chronicles of the Uprising series. In a dystopian future vampires are slaves to humanity, battling it out in the arenas for the entertainment of the human masses. But what if they were not really as bloodthirsty as humanity had painted them to be? Mira is as deadly as they come, for good reason; she’s lasted 30 years in the arena, more than most females of her species. She doesn’t want this life, but freedom will not come without a fight.
What would happen if a werewolf had been abandoned as a baby and raised in the human foster care system? How would she cope with being a freak of nature? How would she try and hide her true self? What trust issues would she develop from never being loved? And what would happen if she were finally confronted with her own kind? That was the inspiration behind my Little Werewolf series. From the moment Giselle hit puberty she began to change in ways no normal teenage girl did and that led to a revolving door of foster parents rejecting her. She adopts the mentality of a lone wolf, and when a family of shifters shows interest in adopting her, Giselle has some serious choices to make.
You are best known for The Immortalis Series, Olde Town Pack series, Chronicles of the Uprising, and Little Werewolf Series. Please share with us your tagline or elevator pitch for each series. Which one was your favorite to write and why?
I should probably mention that the Immortalis, Olde Town, and Little Werewolf books all belong in the same shared world. I have spent more time in that world than the other two series combined, but I couldn’t pick a clear favorite. I love every book series in its own way. They are like my children in that respect.
Becoming a vampire is easy. Living with the condition; that’s the hard part.
Power, prestige, and wealth. The men of the Olde Town Pack have everything a wolf-shifter could ask for. Except Love.
All Giselle has ever wanted was a family… who can accept her for what she is, a werewolf.
In the new world order, being supernatural is a crime.
Vampires once thought to be mythical, have been discovered, assimilated, and enslaved. Used for blood sport in the gladiatorial arena, their immortal lives are allowed to continue only for the entertainment of the human masses.
Everything you know about magic is wrong! It’s real, deadly, and inescapable.
My current plans for 2019 include writing and publishing the second trilogy in the Agents of A.S.S.E.T. series. I am a very linear writer and don’t often stop to write other things until a particular series has come to a satisfying end. That is not to say I won’t revisit my other series again and add books, but for now, I’m really enjoying playing in Sage’s world and she still has so much to learn.
And as always, you can come chat with me and other awesome authors on Spilling Ink each week. Our shows run every Saturday night at 5pm PST.
It has been a pleasure, Katie! Please tell us where fans can find you online.
Thank you so much for this opportunity!
Please find and friend me online at the following.