Thursday, May 5, 2011

Author Interview: Katherine Hanna

Every author brings their own style to the act of creation. In an effort to explore those differences, I intend to interview different willing authors, both traditional and self-published.

I'm starting the series off with an interview with a friend, Katherine Hanna, author of the self-published post-apocalyptic drama, Breakdown. 

Me: Tell us a little bit about your novel.

KH: Six years after a pandemic devastates the human population and unstoppable computer viruses have destroyed much of the world's technology, Chris Price finally makes it from New York to Britain to reunite with his brother. But the horrors he's witnessed and unresolved grief over his dead wife and baby have changed him. Can he let go of his past, unlock his heart, and learn to find love again?

Me: What inspired your current novel?

KH: Many years ago I had a vivid dream. A man and his son were walking through Bath, England (I recognized it, having visited four times). I could tell that the world had changed: many buildings were boarded up, and cars sat rusting in the streets. The people were ragged, and trading in an open marketplace. The dream stuck with me, and I elaborated from that, and it eventually turned into the opening of Breakdown.

Me:  Love and a post-apocalyptic world aren't things that immediately go together in many people's minds. What made you set this kind of story in such a setting?

KH: Good question. The story didn't actually start out as a love story. It started out as Chris's quest to mend a broken friendship. Too easy in a modern world, so I eliminated conveniences like telephones and email. And to get rid of those I had to drastically change the world. The plot kept evolving. I realized that Chris had to have experiences before he gets home to Bath, and these would shape him. Experiences involve new characters. And when characters interact for awhile, things change again. Characters fall in love. What can you do?

Me: Tell us a little bit about your writing process.

KH: I write in fits and starts. I'll have a few weeks of fabulous productivity. Then I hit the doldrums, and produce nothing. I turn to sewing, and try to percolate ideas and plot lines while I sew. Sometimes I'll have a dream that will kick me in the butt and I'll write for a few weeks again. But I'm really bad at keeping a regular writing schedule. Just too much going on in my life. But I'd like to try to do that now, so I can get the next book ready.

Me: What made you decide to self-publish?

KH: I'd actually stopped writing in despair because I knew the process of getting an agent or publisher would take months to years with little chance of success. And if I got lucky and got the manuscript accepted somewhere, it could still be years before the book came out. I'm not a gal with a lot of patience. When I saw what people were doing on Kindle, I made my New Year's resolution to finish the book and have it out by my birthday of April 30. (I actually beat that by a couple of weeks.) So far, I'm pleased with how it's going.

Me: If you had one piece of advice for an aspiring author, what would it be?

KH: Don't try to find the magic formula, because it doesn't exist, and ignore any advice that includes the word "never." 

Breakdown is available for purchase at


Pippa Jay said...

I especially loved the advice. :)

J.A. Beard said...

Definitely good advice.

Laurie Starkey said...

Katherine - great cover art on your book - something you did, or had done? Liked the interview as well - I'm a fits and starts type of gal as well.

As always, Bravo Jer -

Lindsay said...

I was in the same boat as you Katherine. Rejection after rejection. Then I also decided to self publish my book. And actually the only piece of advise with the word 'never' in it is 'never give up'. That's what you did and I will soon