Thursday, October 2, 2014

Thursday Thought's: Meet Katorah with Hot New Release and Trio in Hers to Have

Today the Grove welcomes Katorah Kenway to have a seat by the fire pit and share with us about herself, her writing process, and her new release, Book 1 of the Ackerman Security series, Hers to Have.

Storyteller’s Grove: Thank you for coming Katorah.
Katorah Kenway: It’s my pleasure.

SG: Tell us about yourself and what brought you to writing?
KK: Writing under the pseudonym of Katorah Kenway, or Katorah K, I grew up with a love of books beginning around the age of ten when a teacher introduced me to the works of Beverly Cleary. From that point forward I read everything I could get my hands on for both enjoyment and knowledge. I'm notorious for staying up all night to finish a book because I want to know how it ends.

Inspired by the books, I turned my passion towards writing. It’s a hobby, mostly, but something I enjoy immensely. About five years ago, thanks to the encouragement of some amazing friends, I decided to devote my spare time to creating something for others to enjoy; hence the birth of Hers to Have. It was an idea that had been bouncing around in my head for years. The characters were constantly battling to be heard, so I finally sat down and put their words on paper, so to speak. I used to think authors were a bit off kilter when they'd talk about the characters in their books talking in their minds, telling them what way the book needed to go. Now, I understand the concept completely because it happened to me and is still happening as I write the second book in the series. Each character wants to be heard and have their story told.

Writing is an outlet to help relax my mind from the day to day stresses in life. If I'm having a bad day, I can sit down, write a few paragraphs, get lost in the words and forget about any other worries I might have.

SG: Share with our readers a little about your book.
KK: I’m proud to introduce the Ackerman Security series with the first book, Hers to Have. The book has a mix of mystery, playfulness, and of course, passion.

Here’s a brief description:

Life sometimes doesn't happen the way you envision it. One tragic event can change your life, how you decide to handle it is your choice. Hannah's life was turned upside down at a young age but she made the bold decision to take control of her destiny not expecting she would uncover a family secret and find the loves of her life.

Brothers of the heart, Spade and Nick have been best friends since childhood. Having hidden talents between them, they became the most sought after two-man team for special ops until they grew tired of the dark side of their jobs. "Retiring" from their positions, they jumped at the opportunity to help the development of a new private security firm. In their personal lives they’d resigned themselves to the fact that never would they find a woman that was right for them; having known all their lives that they could only love one woman between them; then in walked Hannah Ackerman and Fate intervened.

As an author, I love the chemistry between the trio, but the supporting characters are just as important in my eyes. Book two is nearly complete and the third book is slowly unraveling in my mind.

SG: What made you choose to self-publish your book?
KK: Being someone that has O.C.D. tendencies, it drove me crazy the way each publisher wanted your book submitted in a different format. What's the deal with that? Can't we all get on the same page? I have one book saved in about fifteen different ways because each place you submit it wants something different. Tired of dealing with that and the politics of things, I decided to give self-publishing a try. While you still have different formats, so far I have one for print, one for Amazon Kindle, and then another for Smashwords, it's still a much smoother process than dealing with publishing companies. I will say however, that having a publisher behind you helps with marketing aspects, though.

SG: What’s your sign? How do you think it affects your writing?
KK: I’m a Libra, but should have been born under the sign of Virgo and it’s often obvious that I fall between the two. I’m all about the balance of things but love to have my creative side shine. When I saw this question, I went back and read the descriptions of Virgo and Libra according to and sat there with my jaw dropped at the comparison to my real life. It was astonishing.
I suppose the way it affects my writing is that I want a balance between the characters; how they work together as a unit and get along as a family. At least in the current series I’m working on. While some of the characters have resigned themselves to the fact that in their minds they don’t deserve love or will never receive it, I like to prove them wrong and remind them of their desire to love and be loved.

SG: What do you love to drink while you write?
KK: Water. Pure and simple. My indulgent drink though is a turtle latte, hot, no whip, yes both
drizzles (caramel and chocolate). I frequent the local coffee shop so much that they know my voice as soon as I start to place the order through the drive-thru, they interrupt with a greeting and tell me my drink is already being prepared. My favorite time to drink any coffee drink is at night after eating supper, even in the summer time. The warmth of the drink relaxes my mind and helps me to focus on the task at hand, which is usually writing.

SG: If you were on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would you bring?
KK: Shemar Moore, Chris Hemsworth, and Randy Orton. (Lost in thought, fanning myself then shaking my brain back into focus.) Oh! Did you mean necessities? Then I’d have to say water, my laptop, and a solar powered generator so I could continue to write even if it might be from a delusional state because the sun and I are not a good combination. I definitely have an inner Vamp running around in my bloodstream.

SG: If you were 80 years old, what would you tell your children?
KK: Live life to the fullest and don’t let the world knock you down. No matter how many times others, or life in general pushes you backward, take two steps forward to counteract the effects. You can overcome anything if you set your mind to it. But most of all, don’t lose the ability to love.

SG: What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
KK: I went on a scouting trip to seek out a vehicle for a Repo Man which turned into a tour of the town. I decided right then and there that at some point and time I’d have to get some stories from this guy to use in future books. The fictional ideas that were sprouting out in my mind as the day went on had my laughing internally. While I get that only I understand the humor of this, I had to share it. Then again, it’s possible the friend that was with me that day probably knows more about my thoughts than I’d care to admit.

SG: If you were to have a romantic dinner with a fictional character, who would it be and describe the ENTIRE evening.
KK: Call me crazy, but I’d have to choose LeRoy Jethro Gibbs from NCIS. Yep, that’s what I said. While I admit, I’ve always had a thing for Mark Harmon in my real life, it’s Gibbs that I’d want to spend the evening with.

We’d go to his place, of course, because hey, what girl can resist working with her hands on a boat, alongside a distinguished man, while drinking whiskey from a mason jar that used to hold nuts and bolts.
I’d spend the evening picking his brain about his life as a Marine Sniper and an NCIS agent so I could use that knowledge in my writing. Now if the conversation and multiple drinks were to lead to a sensual kiss and possible other things, who am I to complain? The man might be older, but he is still a hottie in my mind.

 Writing under the pseudonym of Katorah Kenway, or Katorah K, she grew up with a love of books from the time she was ten years old when a teacher introduced her to the works of Beverly Cleary. From that point forward she read everything she could get her hands on for both enjoyment and knowledge. 

Currently pursuing her second chance at life with the help of friends from around the world, she chose to turn her love of books into a new hobby. With her laptop practically glued to her legs, she's spent the past couple of years pounding on the keys to create numerous story lines. Finally picking one whose characters spoke to her on a personal level, the Ackerman Security Series was born. The characters in the book are constantly in her mind telling her what they want to do and what direction the series should go.

While she likes to keep her family life private, hence the pseudonym, she wants to acknowledge that her child has given her the strength and courage to pursue her writing career along with the close knit group of friends she has from around the world. 

Why did she choose a smiling latte for her profile pic? Because she is addicted to soul-warming drinks and her philosophy in life is no matter what bumps you run into, no matter what hurdles you have to cross, keep smiling. It'll make you feel better and maybe bring a smile to someone else's face in the world which is just one step closer to happiness all around.

Links to follow Katorah:

Where to buy the books:
Amazon (eBook and Tradeback)
Smashwords (eBook formats)