Friday, June 26, 2015

Secret Worlds Author Spotlight: Kate Corcino

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Today I am thrilled to have Kate Corcino on my blog. Kate is a reformed shy girl who found her voice (and uses it...a lot). She believes in magic, coffee, Starburst candies, genre fiction, descriptive profanity, and cackling over wine with good friends. She also believes in the transformative power of screwing up and second chances. Cheers to works-in-progress of the literary and lifelong variety! She writes what she loves—which means a genre-bending combination of science, magic, romance, and plenty of action. She lives in her beloved desert in the southwestern United States with her husband, several children, three dogs, and two cats.

JET: Can you tell us about your most recent book?
Spark Rising is romantic dystopian futuristic fantasy--a genre-bending combination of light sci fi, urban fantasy/paranormal, dystopian, romance, and gender issues.

Spark Rising is the story of a young woman coming into her power and figuring out what it means for herself and the kind of person it makes her. And by “power” I don’t mean her supernatural power. She got a handle on that long before! For Lena, the issues are loss and vengeance versus love and healing. And because it’s dual POV, it’s also the story of a man who has spent his life devoted to a particular cause and has accepted that his lot is to be the morally compromised one—the man willing to do the bad things in order to bring good changes to the world—and what happens when Alex very unexpectedly finds that there is something (someone) who matters just as much to him. It’s a love story, and an action adventure, and a crazy ride that this renegade and this double agent go on together.

JET: What drew you to this genre?
You mean what drew me to shove so many different genres together in one package? *laugh* I think I took that whole “write what you love” writer’s advice pretty seriously. I just love such a wide variety of things in the book world! I started writing and the book became a fusion of all of those things…the sci fi with the UF feel, the romance working around heavier issues. Plus, I love the coming of age aspect of it. It’s intended for a New Adult and Adult audience. Spark Rising itself is more NA thematically, but the series will make the segue into other adult issues as it progresses. The book is a fusion of all of the things I love. I hope readers share that love.

JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?
Believing in myself. It affected every step along the way—starting, finishing, then having the courage to send it to betas, to send it for editing, to hit publish. And each milestone along the way was a switchback on a path going up a mountain. Having the courage to start climbing, believing that I should KEEP climbing? Those were rough times. Of course, the response to the book has been like getting to the top and feeling the sunlight on my face!

JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?
There was a moment halfway through the revision process with my editor when I stopped despairing that it was awful and could actually feel it getting stronger, tighter, BETTER. That was an amazing feeling.

JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?
I read widely—science fiction and fantasy mostly, but also horror and a lot of romance by the time I was in sixth grade. Which had the most influence as I grew up? That would be one author: Anne McCaffrey. I devoured everything she wrote.

JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?
Hmmm. I’ve been telling stories since I could talk, but when did I actually articulate a desire to write…? When I was in third or fourth grade, maybe? As long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and I’ve always written. It wasn’t until I had failed spectacularly at a variety of other things that I realized that maybe writing was what I was meant to do, and maybe I should believe what everyone else had been telling me all along.

JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?
I’ve driven all over the southwestern United States to get pictures of real locations that I’m writing about. I’ve also ordered mesquite flour and cooked with it, to get a sense of the kinds of foods that would be available in a post-apocalyptic scenario in the Southwest. It’s not…um…delicious. I worked hard to figure out how to make it palatable.

JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written - which one is your favorite? Why?
Spark Rising, because it’s the first! I will forever have a place in my heart for Lena and Alex.

JET: Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out there?
Sit down. Do the work. Every single day. Even when it’s awful. Even when you stop believing in yourself, in the story, in finishing. Just keep slogging.
And also—hire an editor! *laugh* I learned so much about writing and publication from my editor!

JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten... starting with Beach or Mountains?

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

JET: Angels or Demons?
Ooooh, hard one! Can I go with fallen angels? Are those demons? *laugh* I’m not a huge fan of perfection!

JET: Zombies or Demons?

JET: Coffee or Tea?
Coffee, always and forever.

JET: Boxer or Briefs?
Boxer briefs! They make every butt look awesome!

JET: Spring or Fall?

JET: Top 10 best seller or Unknown Back Shelf Find?
Unknown…and not just because I am one. ;)

JET: Kick-ass name-taker or Scream for help?
Kick-ass name-taker.

JET: Sword wielding ninja or Gun toting momma?
Gun-toting momma—it’s a Texas thing!

JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?
Right now I am working on Direct Current, the sequel to Spark Rising. I am moving from initial revising into edits soon, and that’s always exciting.

As far as writing, I’ve just started working on Morning Star, a shifter paranormal romance novella that will release with thirty other novellas on November 15th. All of them are set in the same town. I’m really excited about that, too!

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Kate Corcino and her work at the following places:

Until next time,

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