I am thrilled to be hosting Kat Howard for the Meet The Newbies Event! ROSES AND ROT sounds absolutely fantastic and I can't wait to read it! I have a Q&A to share with you today! And make sure to enter the awesome giveaway below!
Haven't heard of ROSES AND ROT? Check it out!
Imogen and her sister Marin have escaped their cruel mother to attend a prestigious artists’ retreat, but soon learn that living in a fairy tale requires sacrifices, be it art or love.
What would you sacrifice in the name of success? How much does an artist need to give up to create great art?
Imogen has grown up reading fairy tales about mothers who die and make way for cruel stepmothers. As a child, she used to lie in bed wishing that her life would become one of these tragic fairy tales because she couldn’t imagine how a stepmother could be worse than her mother now. As adults, Imogen and her sister Marin are accepted to an elite post-grad arts program—Imogen as a writer and Marin as a dancer. Soon enough, though, they realize that there’s more to the school than meets the eye. Imogen might be living in the fairy tale she’s dreamed about as a child, but it’s one that will pit her against Marin if she decides to escape her past to find her heart’s desire.
Now on to the interview!
Hi Kat! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books! I am so happy to be hosting you for A Perfection Called Books Meet The Newbies Event! I am dying to read ROSES AND ROT and I can’t wait for my readers to read it!
For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about ROSES AND ROT and the characters?
Roses and Rot is a riff on the medieval Scottish ballad, Tam Lin. It’s set at a modern day artists’ colony in New Hampshire. The two characters at the center are a pair of sisters, Imogen and Marin, who are trying to break away from their past, and make a new life for themselves through their art. Then Faerie gets involved, and things get… complicated.
Is it a standalone? If not do you have a title for book 2 yet and if so what are you working on now?
Roses and Rot Is a standalone. I loved spending time with those characters, but that story is finished. I did just turn in a draft of my next novel to my editor, and I hope to be able to share details about it, soon. I’m also working on stories for a collection of my short fiction – A Cathedral of Myth and Bone – which will be out in 2018.
Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?
I wouldn’t say anyone was directly inspired, but I did borrow bits here and there. Probably the one who comes the closest is Imogen’s mentor, Beth Edwards. I had a great relationship with my grad school advisor, Rebecca Krug (she’s in my acknowledgments) and the relationship between Imogen and Beth takes a lot from that.
Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?
Ah, this is a hard question! Since I have to pick, I would say that I loved writing Ariel the most. I really love her loyalty. And my least favorite to write was definitely Imogen and Marin’s mother.
What is your favorite passage/scene in ROSES AND ROT?
There are two scenes that involve a carousel. Describing the second scene would be HUGELY spoilery, but that is my favorite.
What kind of research did you have to do for the story?
Well, Marin is a very high level ballet dancer, and I am definitely not that. So I watched a lot of ballet, which I love, and I also spoke with one of my very good friends, Megan Kurashige, who is a professional dancer and choreographer (she and her sister run a dance company, Sharp & Fine) and those things helped me get in Marin’s head.
What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
Right now, I’m reading the final book in Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland series, The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home. I love these books.
Who is your ultimate Book Boyfriend?
Probably Gavriel in Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.
What inspired you to write YA?
Roses and Rot isn’t YA, but I do hope to write YA someday when I find the right story. I love how many possibilities there are.
Lightening Round Questions
If you were to be sorted by the Sorting Hat, which Hogwarts House would you be sorted into?
I’m an ambitious Kat, so into Slytherin I go.
Twitter or Facebook?
Favorite TV show?
All time? Alias. Currently? Elementary.
Sweet or Salty?
Song you can’t get enough of right now?
“Wait for It” from Hamilton.
Upcoming Movie you’re most looking forward to?
Thanks so much Kat for answering my questions!
Thanks so much for asking good ones!
Author Most to Actually Stab Someone With a Sword
Nickname: My nephew used to call me "Aunt Halloween" which is honestly the best thing. I was kind of sad when he grew out of it
First Day of School: May 17, 2016
Homeroom: Saga Press
Extracurricular Activities: fencing, cross country, hurdles. Which probably means I have a decent shot at surviving the zombie apocalypse. The first day, anyway.
Favorite Class: Shakespeare
Favorite Quote/Motto: "All manner of thing shall be well" - Julian of Norwich (I love it so much, it's tattooed on my left wrist.
Kat Howard lives in New Hampshire. Her short fiction has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, anthologized in year's best and best of collections, and performed on NPR. Roses and Rot is her debut novel. You can find her on twitter at @KatWithSword.
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