AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT Posted on March 3, 2022 | by C.D. Gorri Join me as I interview Katie Zaber! Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write? I’ve always been creative, but never took up writing until I was recovering from surgery, was on a lot of meds, and let my imagination loose. Once off the meds and healed, I edited the story, building and rearranging, working through drafts until I was happy. Describe your desk / writing space. I sit in front of a walnut stained secretary desk with a hutch holding an array of keepsakes. Albums, picture frames, my Snoopy collection, souvenirs, and nostalgic knickknacks line the shelves of the hutch. My work space is a wonderland of post-it notes in three different colors: pink, neon-yellow, and green. On the right corner of my desk, shoved between the monitor and notary stamp, is a yellow, mini-spiral notebook that contains book outlines, plots, and ideas. Little sticker tabs separate the notebook into different sections. The tabs not in use are floating on the surface of pamphlets and lists of login information to accounts I hardly visit. A leather bounded diary with nautical embellishments, complete with anchor bookmark, holds random thoughts and sketches. A mechanical pencil can be spotted, hiding between the yellow notebook and leather diary. Its extra parts—erasers & extra graphite are strewn about the entire desk. Between the post-it notes there are three hacky sacks. There’s also a rectangular leather box with a brass kaleidoscope made to look like it was used on a whimsical pirate ship. It’s a happy mess. Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired? I try to stick to a schedule, but that normally doesn’t happen and I end up writing when inspired. How do you come up with the title to your books? When I write a book, I usually have a broad idea of what I want to call it, but I usually decide when I’ve finished the first draft. Almost like a parent meeting their new born. They might have an idea of what they want to name the child while pregnant, but that can change when they see the baby face to face and realize he isn’t a Jim, he’s a Stephen. Kind of like that. What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write? Intimate scenes. They are my weak spot. I feel like I can never get them exactly right. My favorite ones are when I’m describing something for the first time. When I introduce the reader to a new environment, object, or food, my goal is for the reader to feel the mist and sun on their skin. I want them to see in minute details what the character is looking at and taste the juice running down their cheeks as character bites into fruit. What inspired your book/series? My fantasy series, Dalya was inspired by the song, Lord of the Dance. Somehow, it was stuck in my head and my imagination took over. I pictured a king singing the song—a much more sinister version—while destroying a village of people who disobeyed him. At first, the story was going to be about him and how his reign ends, but I didn’t want to tell it from his perspective. That’s where Megan comes in. My other series, DNA Demons N Angels was inspired by a recurring nightmare. It’s weird, I know. But I kept having a dream that out of the blue I was pregnant and that it was a demon. One day, I played around with the idea of what it would be like to be the mother of something different. The story grew from there. What are you working on next? I’m working on the third book in my fantasy Dalya series, Stranger Shores. It’s roughly 20,000 words, and I hope to have it out winter/spring 2022. It’s one heck of a ride and I encourage you to try out the series. Here is a link for a free copy of the first book, Ashes and Blood. Ashes and Blood After that, I plan on writing the second book in my paranormal romance series, DNA Demons N Angels. Here is a link to the first few chapters. DNA Demons N Angels What authors or books have influenced your writing? There’s a few. I’d say Margaret Atwood, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Conroe, Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Karen Marie Morning, Jennifer Estep, Laini Taylor, and Chuck Palahniuk are some of the biggest influencers. However, I’d like to think I’ve absorbed a little bit from every book I’ve read. If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live? I’d love to live on a winery in southern Italy. The architecture is breath-taking and I love the small villages with cobblestone streets, knowing your local artisans by name and buying locally from them. There’s something really romantic and peaceful about that small village lifestyle that I hope to one day experience. If I got to live in a fantasy world, it would be made of chocolate and it wouldn’t be frowned upon if I ate everything. What is your favorite meal? I’m a steak and potatoes kind of lady, but the steak needs a decadent brandy cream sauce and buttery garlic whipped potatoes. Coffee or tea? Wine or beer? A good cup of black tea with a little bit of sugar and milk is my go to in the morning. If I drink coffee, its half milk, and I don’t count the how much sugar. I love moscoto and fruit wines. Describe yourself in three words. Curious, Spaz, Sensible Synopsis of DNA Demons N Angels It’s weird how every woman reacts differently. How each pregnancy differs. Mine is definitely unique. My sense of smell became stronger, picking up the faintest odors, and my stomach was in constant turmoil. Those were the first signs. And then I started eating. And eating. If I don’t, I get a migraine and people’s faces become blurry. Electronics seem to malfunction in my presence. And the nightmares—they don’t stop. Something is changing my body. Something that should have never happened. Something that my husband and I had prevented from happening. Something people say is miraculous. The bigger I get, the more frequently I encounter people who become possessed. And the more often I wind up questioning if I am carrying a miracle baby. The closer I get to the due date, the more I love this child and the more confident I am that I will protect my baby from anything. Even its fate.