Interview with Miranda Kate, Author of Dead Lake | NewInBooks
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Dead Lake?
I host a weekly writing event called Mid-Week Flash Challenge, where I provide a picture prompt to inspire writers to write a piece of flash fiction (anything under 1000 words – or in the case of my challenge, under 750 words). I started this back in 2017 as a way to keep me writing regularly. It helps me come up with fresh ideas and characters, and Tricky, the main character in Dead Lake, arrived in one of them.
After that, she started to pop up fairly regularly and once I had about twelve pieces, I realised she had a much larger story to tell, and started working on what that would be. And then I realised there was a series in her tales, so I’m busy polishing up the second book and about to draft up the third book. I know where this trilogy ends, but I have a suspicion that Tricky has more to tell me in the future. She’s quite a persistent character when she has something to say, and one I really enjoy writing.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
Horror is my favourite genre to read. I like dark tales: sinister, paranormal, or psychological. I can do gory, but I prefer it when it isn’t the main feature. I do write horror too. I have two collections of horror shorts as well as a psychological thriller under another penname (M K Boers).
But I do also enjoy reading epic fantasy, high fantasy, and science fiction. So, in my writing I tend to mix all of them together, creating dark sci-fi fantasy and dark paranormal fantasy, as well as horror. I find that no matter what I write, it usually has a dark edge.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
Gosh so many! I have at least 100 paperbacks and I don’t dare count up how many ebooks. I have the latest Stephen King books starting to pile up – Later, Institute, and Billy Summer, because he produces faster than I can read. As it is I have only just got round to reading Clive Barker’s Books of Blood Volumes 1-6 which have been sitting on my shelves for at least twenty years (even though I’ve read all his other books). I have the Long Earth series by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter waiting, which I bought as someone told me that one of the stories in my sci-fi collection, Slipping Through, reminded them of it.
I am also one of the lucky few to still have unread Terry Pratchett discworld books waiting on my shelf. I’m not sure how many but Raising Steam, The Shepherd’s Crown, and Snuff are among them. I have a lot of Agatha Christie books which I have been collecting. (I’ve got 57 out of 70). And I’m still working through The Conclave of Shadows Saga by Raymond E Feist; I’ve got the last one, Flight of the Nighthawks, waiting and the first three books of The Firemane Saga. On my ereader I see Six by Mark Cassell and Below by Kev Harrison waiting for me. Both horror, and both indie authors whose books I love.
As you can see, I’m not short of reading material.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
That’s quite tricky (pun intended), because Tricky is so funny and doesn’t let people mess with her. I love how she interacts and talks in general. But I like the scene where Randolf Carter attempts to get information out of her, and also the dream scene when Annie comes to speak to her when she’s in the cell in the dungeon. And of course when she comes to John Thatcher’s rescue and sorts out Carter once and for all.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
I have to write in silence, which apparently seems to be quite quirky. Although I used to write in a busy office when I was a secretary and had no issues with that, but music, television, or my children making too much noise, will pull me straight out of the zone and stop me from writing further.
I print off a first draft and always do the first round of edits on paper with a red pen, before doing a second edit when I input the first edits on the computer.
I have a cat that insists on coming for cuddles. He comes and stands on my desk in front of me and puts a front and back paw on my chest until I pick him up so he can snuggled into my neck. That’s become a daily habit. I can’t have mugs or glasses on my desk because I have another cat who likes to come and drink out of them, and will knock them over if she can’t reach the water with her face,
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
One of my favourite quotes is: ‘The killer of life is not death, but disenchantment’ from Shagbark, a short story in Book of Dark Wisdom, The Magazine of Dark Fiction by A.A. Attanasio. We spend so much time comparing ourselves and limiting ourselves by others, we miss the real joy and beauty in life. I try and think, look at what you bring to the world, not at what you lack.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
If you enjoyed it, there is still more to come, and to look out for the next book.
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