Kitty Bucholtz is the author of the romantic comedy Little Miss Lovesick and the light urban fantasy Unexpected Superhero. Though she grew up in Northern Michigan, the setting for many of her stories, she followed her husband to Australia twice. While he made a penguin named Mumble dance, she earned her MA in Creative Writing in Sydney. When she’s not unpacking or repacking, she’s working on her next book or chatting with readers on Facebook.
Kitty was interview by long time OCC/RWA member Marianne H. Donley.
Marianne: First question, do you find yourself returning to certain themes in your stories? What? Why?
Kitty: Itâ€™s funny you should ask because I discovered one theme a couple years ago, but I discovered a secondary theme while writing my book, Unexpected Superhero. After several years of writing, I finally realized that I write about women who are finding out that they have more â€œpowerâ€ than they think they have. Mostly, it comes down to personal strength, inner resolve, and the character to think through how to change a situation theyâ€™re not happy with, though in Unexpected Superhero, she literally discovers a power she didnâ€™t know she had. That theme comes directly from me and my life experience. Iâ€™ve never wanted to just accept a bad situation; Iâ€™m always trying to make things better.
But writing this new book, I realized that several of my stories have a â€œprotecting children in dangerâ€ element. Itâ€™s a little weird to me because I donâ€™t have children. Where did this theme come from? I could guess, but I donâ€™t really know. The fun part about not knowing is that I get to find out more about it as I write!
Kitty: The best advice Iâ€™ve gotten is â€œtrust yourself.â€ It takes a lot of writing for that advice to be useful, but thereâ€™s a point at which trusting yourself is the best thing you can do.
The worst advice Iâ€™ve gotten is â€œreal writers write every day.â€ That doesnâ€™t work for me. I work best in bursts. That may mean writing 5-8 hours a day for weeks to finish a book, then 10-14 hours a day doing what I call the book build, creating the files that will become the ebook and print book. Then I may read all day every day for a week, and half a day every day for another couple weeks, researching and ingesting material that will eventually find its way into another book. The only way I overcame the worst advice for me was by taking the best advice for me – I trusted that I had figured out how I worked best.
Marianne: Do you ever run out of ideas? If so, how do you get past that?
Kitty: Iâ€™m laughing! Run out of ideas? No! I get tangled up in my ideas and get stuck when I donâ€™t realize Iâ€™ve got two or more ideas working against each other. Thatâ€™s been happening a bit with my next release, Love at the Fluff and Fold. But thatâ€™s been untangling more as I finish the current book and spend more time on the new book.
An example to show you why the question made me laugh – when I was hired at E! Entertainment, the cable TV network, I had to sign a standard contract. In it was a clause that any creative ideas I came up with, at work or away from work, while employed there would be the property of E! Entertainment. I made a polite but assertive fuss about it and wouldnâ€™t sign the contract. The network attorney finally said that I should provide a list of all the titles of projects Iâ€™d already thought of and those would be exempt. My agent suggested I write down everything Iâ€™d ever thought of, ever. I took her advice and the addendum was two pages long, single-spaced. I think there were fifty or more ideas listed!
Marianne: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Kitty: I get really excited about people discussing ideas with passion. Once at a party, I got all fired up talking to a friendâ€™s uncle about economics because he was passionate and I knew a bit about the subject and was really interested in what he had to say. I love talking about God and how everything works together, from personal situations to the fact that we are on the only planet in the known universe that provides the exact mix of elements for us to live freely. I cry over commercials and TV shows, even though I know itâ€™s pretend, because Iâ€™m thinking, â€œSomewhere, thereâ€™s a real person this is happening to, and I feel for them.â€ Thereâ€™s just something about passion and energy coming together in the form of ideas that makes me crazy excited!
Marianne: What are you dying to try next?
Kitty: Ooo, good one! Well, itâ€™s something Iâ€™ve been interested in for a long time, but itâ€™s going to require a ton of research and Iâ€™m inherently lazy, so… LOL! During a class in my masterâ€™s degree program, we had to write one scene in each of eight different categories from romance to detective to thriller, etc. One assignment was to write a scene with â€œmagicâ€ in it. That led to my masterâ€™s degree final project – a spiritual warfare, angels vs. demons story set in modern New York City with a teenage girl as the main player for both sides. Kind of a Joan of Arcadia meets Supernatural story laced with the kinds of humor that are in both of those TV shows.
This is kind of a â€œbook of my heartâ€ story, inasmuch as I have some really strong spiritual beliefs that I want to use without disrespecting them. I need to research what we think we know about angels and demons, what we think we know about what is happening outside of our five senses, and I need to research New York, its tunnel systems, the political climate, the financial district, and more. Yikes! So Iâ€™m slightly terrified! But Iâ€™m hoping to have at least a strong first draft done in the next 12-15 months.
Kitty: Iâ€™m really glad I made you, Kitty. You really crack me up!