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  • Beth Linton

Paranormal Romance Author Interview

Updated: Oct 26

Recently, I've been connecting with other authors on Instagram and it was both a pleasure and a surprise to meet a fellow British paranormal romance novelist - Katie Carys (previously Epstein). In a writing genre often dominated by American writers, we Brits need to stick together!

Katie Carys previously wrote under the name of Katie Epstein and is slowly transitioning to a new phase to encompass all stories under the umbrella of fantasy romance. She loves anything magical, and the spiritual and supernatural fascinates her. On a journey to becoming a bohemian gypsy with a soul that sings to the stars through her writing, she’s embracing a fresh start, turning a new page, and is more than ready to begin a new chapter in her life—no pun intended.


If you don’t like romance or the heat dial turned up—sometimes low, sometimes medium, and sometimes piping hot—then turn away from her books now. However, if you love the supernatural or fantasy dosed or peppered with the stuff, then please, do come join the fun!


Interview with Katie Carys (Epstein):


1. What made you want to become a writer?


I never thought of becoming a writer in regards to the profession. The English language

confused me at ‘adverb’, so from a technical standpoint, I ran from it with a passion.

However, because my imagination needed an outlet in a way I loved best—books—I ran

back toward it with crazed amounts of passion. Seeing my imagination come to life is what

drives me. My ideas, my characters, the worlds I create, to me they exist, even if only in

mind, so to have the chance to weave words in such a way for others see it too, feels magical

to me.


2. What’s your favourite genre and why?


I naturally gravitate towards paranormal romance, but that’s only been over the past few

years or so. For me, if it’s got magic and love, I’m a goner. Magic removes the limitations

while keeping us grounding in a reality we can relate to, so paranormal romance and fantasy

romance genres tend to come out on top for me. Although I do love a cozy mystery. Add a

werewolf in there to make it supernatural, and I become one happy reader. 


3. Who inspires you most?


Nora Roberts and Jayne Ann Krentz when she wrote as Amanda Quick. These women

introduced me to strong males not intimidated by a strong woman, and powerful women who

embraced their femininity as a strength, not put off by society seeing them as “wrong” and

still doing them anyway. For me, they wrote balance, something I always seek in my own

life, and their flow of writing draws me into their worlds so effortlessly I never realise I’m

turning a page. A super win in my book. Book. Ha! Get it?


4. What obstacles have you come across being a writer?


Grammar. Ugh. As mentioned above, I don’t get the technical aspects of writing. My brain

won’t retain it. So I have to learn through doing, hands-on, and earn the bumps the hard way.

Once I understand the concept via my different way of learning it’s like an a-ha moment, and

then I feel like an expert. Until the next challenge comes along … damn you, grammar …

 

5. You’ve got three things to take with you on a desert island. Family, electricity, basic

needs are a given, so what are your three luxury items?


Laptop, iPad, and oracle cards. That covers work, pleasure, and hobbies! I can’t do without

books. I need books. I can read those on my iPad. Laptop, I’ll need that to type out my

stories. I’ve tried other methods and failed, and without writing part of my soul will wither

away with every stroke of the tide … Dramatic I know. Just like a writer ;) … I’m also a

chakra, third-eye, stroke my crystals kind of girl, so I’d like my oracle cards to keep my

intuition healthy so I can be on guard for any nasty pirates or virile merman who like to steal

kisses in the moonlight. Dramatic again… yes … just like a writer. Or a writer like me,

anyway!


6. Who is your favourite character you’ve created?


I love them all. But I’ve got to say Terra Vane. She, for me, embodies both her feminine and

masculine energy, wanting to kick ass in being the protector, but also able to trust in her

intuition and heart. I love her balance! And her choice of friends. They’re awesome.


7. Why is it important to be a writer?


For me, stories give us the gift of magic in a time and place that frowns upon it. From words.

we’re able to conjure lands, new people, new journeys, learning, and growth. If that isn’t

power then I don’t know what is. I want to be able to give people a place to escape, to realise

they don’t have any limitations aside from those we, and others, cast upon us. I want people

to have a place they can go to connect with their soul, and remember the joy inside of them

with every new world, every new character, and every new adventure.


8. What’s the favourite story you’ve ever written?


Oh… this is a tough one … But I’ve got to say Terra Vane. I love the work I did in the

background for this to ensure the world I created truly came to life. I did job role profiles for

agency shifters, a procedure on how to become a Courtier vampire, organisation charts, jobs,

food sources, portal immigration control, the lot. It was so much fun and resulted in the

creation of the Portiside Diaries that are currently available to download for free on my

website. They support the Terra Vane series in the sense of journals written from the point of

view of supporting characters or antagonists, giving us an insight into their backstory. 


9. What’s the favourite book(s) you’ve ever read?


Another tough one … I’ve got to reel off Reckless by Amanda Quick, and the Three Sisters

Island trilogy by Nora Roberts. Both of these books were the start of the journey into the

worlds of these authors and they changed both my writing and love life forever. Also, Lisa

Kleypas, Dreaming of You. I must thank this woman for creating Derek Craven. Best.

Character. Ever.


10. Where can readers find out more about you?


You can find out more about me at my website: www.katiecarys.com or check out my naughty but nice posts on Instagram @authorkatie, Facebook, or Twitter @katie_carys. I’m also available on Goodreads, and my books are available to purchase at Amazon and via Kindle Unlimited.


Beth Linton answers the same questions (Find the interview here):


1. What made you want to become a writer?


I have a memory of sitting in my bedroom and typing stories on my mother’s old typewriter. I was about eight, maybe ten, and I tapped away for hours on that old thing, regardless of the finger cramps the effort of pressing those rigid keys would inflict. I even remember the first ‘novel’ I finished. It was no doubt hideous in both style and spelling, but the content spoke to my young heart: it was a romance, young love and hand holding. While that story has been lost in a dusty attic somewhere, the desire to write never left me.

2. What’s your favourite genre and why?


I actually have really eclectic taste. I studied Literature at university and have both a degree and Masters in the subject so I’ve read novels and plays from most genres – and continue to do so.

For fun, relaxation and escape I read (and write) romance. I enjoy all forms: historical, contemporary and paranormal.


I stumbled upon the paranormal genre quite by chance. I was twenty-two, new to the city of Chester after gaining my first job post-university and I was working my way through the exciting shelves of the city’s library.


Between Nora Roberts and LaVyrle Spencer, I came across a thin, unassuming book that unexpectedly blew my mind. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the title or the author of this book but what has stuck with me is the unexpected journey the paranormal romance took me on. In the story a woman, brought low by life and circumstance, travelled to a remote English estate to marry a handsome, wealthy recluse – initially, the novel was not so different from a hundred romances I’d read before but then I learnt why the hero had withdrawn from society. I still remember my surprise when I realised he was both blessed and cursed by his ability to transform into a wolf at each full moon. I was excited by the supernatural elements of the story, intrigued by the hero as he prowled the cliffs around his home and I fell in love with the added heat and passion the genre twist added to what would have otherwise been an enjoyable but normal romance.


I still love Roberts and Spencer but the chance discovery of paranormal books changed my experience of reading… forever.

3. Who inspires you most?


This is a difficult one to answer as there are many authors, romance authors in particular, that I admire. In terms of my present writing I’d say that Donna Grant had a significant impact on me. I began to read one of her series as I started to become pretty dedicated to my writing. The series began as a historical paranormal romance but then evolved into a contemporary setting in a spin off series. Seeing those connections, the way she made romance stories revolve around a strong plot/conflict, opened my eyes to possibilities…

4. What obstacles have you come across being a writer?


Writing is a hugely time consuming profession and it takes dedication to carve out time to edit a completed manuscript for the tenth time before submission. As a mum my time is often not my own so it can be a challenge!


I think perseverance is also necessary. Writing is the fun part, editing is harder and working out how to get you stories published is a killer. I’ve heard quite a few writers say that the difference between authors who get published and those who don’t is perseverance.

Finally, many new writers struggle with point of view in their writing. It was only as I went through the professional editing process for the first time that I realised I could trip up in this area. Thanks to my editor, I no longer make this mistake – but I needed her help to recognise and fix the issue. Not every publisher would take the risk that a new writer would learn and apply the lesson. I’ve put what I learnt about point of view in a blog to support other writers. 5. You’ve got three things to take with you on a desert island. Family, electricity, basic needs are a given, so what are your three luxury items?


Well, if there’s electricity I can take my laptop – I need to write! After that, I’m honestly struggling. I’m only sentimental when it comes to my son and I’m generally a practical kind of person – if I’m on a desert island I wouldn’t bother with makeup and so on. If my son had everything he holds precious then I’m going for my kindle because books, audiobooks, music, film are all on there and some small photo frames I have with pictures my son drew for me when he was really small.

6. Who is your favourite character you’ve created?


Easy! Seren Daire!


Seren’s character arcs through The Guardians’ Trust series, connecting the books as a whole. She is a religious oracle, spiritually connected to Mother Nature, and despite looking thirty-something she is several centuries old. Seren is tough, intelligent and one hell of a shot with her bow. She has fiery red hair, a face streaked with green war paint and green eyes as hard as jade. While she features in every novel, her story is actually book eight in the series.


Seren is the guiding star of both the Resistance and the series – the name Seren, in Welsh, means star.

7. Why is it important to be a writer?


Deep question! For me writing is a compulsion. It brings me a lot of joy and I’ll never stop, even if no one wants to read what I’ve written!


In general, I think writing is both wonderful and magical. I think the pandemic has reinforced just how important the imagination is for both comfort and escape and people can find that escape either through reading the stories others have written or by writing their own. During lockdown, writing certainly kept me sane!

8. What’s the favourite story you’ve ever written?


Before I wrote The Guardians’ Trust series, I wrote six novels called The Gateway. These stories are historical paranormal romance and are a prequel to my present series. There is a saying in writing circles that you only get any good by your tenth book. Once I’ve taken The Guardians’ Trust series as far as I can, I plan to go back through The Gateway and edit it for submission. I’m a much better writer now and because these characters were my first they are truly real to me – I want to share them.

9. What’s the favourite book(s) you’ve ever read?


So many to choose from! If I have to pick, I’m going to go for Harry Potter. I could say Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights, and I love both, but I think J. K. Rowling did something utterly once in a lifetime with her series. One hundred years from now her books will be classics and studied at university for the impact they had on literature and popular culture. Simply put: they are an utter joy.

10. Where can readers find out more about you?


You can follow me, bethlintonauthor, on Instagram , Facebook and Twitter.

I am also on Goodreads and you can buy my books from Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo, Barns & Noble and Evernight Publishing.



If you'd like to learn more about my series' connections to Chester and North Wales click here.

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