Welcome! Thank you for stopping by Talk Supe's stop on the FLAWED Blog Tour! Today we have the author of Flawed, Kate Avelynn on the blog answering some of our questions about her writing process, characters and life after FLAWED. Also make sure to read to the end because there are two awesome giveaways going on!
You can click HERE to follow the blog tour.
Debbie: Hi Kate! Thank you so much for taking your time to do this interview. Before we get started could you give our readers an introduction about yourself?
Kate: Thanks for having me here today, Debbie! Hmm, let’s see. I’m married to a funny, sexy-as-hell man I refer to as Resident Hottie, who is extremely handy when it comes to working out plot holes, developing my male characters, and making sure I don’t forget to drink something every now and then. Music, photography, and figuring out what makes people tick are my “things.” I’ve been writing pretty much forever, mostly short stories, screenplays, and really bad poetry, but didn’t attempt to write a novel until the summer between 8th and 9th grade. It was a scandalous contemporary romance about a group of kids playing a kissing game on a playground late at night and it was horrible, but I was so proud of those 328 handwritten pages! In high school, I ghostwrote a play for one of my friends about a boy who floods the bathroom at a potential girlfriend’s house that went viral, then wrote a thesis about what I did over summer break that shocked the crap out of the entire school. I think I was destined to write dark, unexpected stuff from the beginning. It just took me until a couple of years ago to figure it out.
Debbie: FLAWED was such a beautiful and tragic tale and Sarah, James and Sam’s story stayed with me well after I finished reading it. How did you come up with the storyline or what was your inspiration for FLAWED?
Kate: FLAWED initially came to me as an image of James, hovering in the shadows watching Sarah get dressed. I wrote the bare bones of the story as a screenplay first, then decided I needed to go deeper than a screenplay allowed. The story was just so clear in my head once I realized their father’s back story, and the book kind of fell out of my head in a rush. Alcoholism, abuse, and sacrificed dreams are all issues close to my heart, so this was an exploration of those things for me.
Debbie: When I first read the synopsis for FLAWED the first thing I got out of it was incest. Were you worried at all that this might have deterred some readers from picking up the book?
Kate: Not really. I was more concerned about presenting a vague, watered down synopsis that didn’t hint at just how dark the story is and have it be picked up by younger readers than I intended. There are definitely threads of incest woven throughout the story, though not to the same degree as, say, FORBIDDEN or FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC. I think the synopsis conveys that this isn’t a story about consensual incest, but escaping a dangerous situation that involves incest. And that’s accurate.
Debbie: Your website indicates that you like to write dark romantic fiction. What made you want to write darker romantic stories rather than light, “fluffy” ones?
Kate: I don’t think it was ever a conscious decision. That first novel about the kids in the playground? Dark and manipulative. I think I’ve just always been drawn to the darker, psychological aspects of humanity and that comes through in my writing. I’m working on a follow up to FLAWED right now that I’m calling BETRAYED. It’s Alex’s story (though told from the heroine’s POV). He’s a funny guy and the heroine is a lot snarkier than Sarah, but the premise itself is dark. I don’t know if I could come up with a light, fluffy plot if I tried.
Debbie: So what is your writing process? Do you start out with an outline or do you just sit down and write what comes to your mind?
Kate: I’m a total plotter. We’re talking every scene is mapped out, listed on its own note card, and tacked to a corkboard, then I write the book—in order—from there. I tried pantsing a book once during NaNoWriMo a couple years back. It’s still one of my favorite stories, but OMG does it need a ton of work to be publishable. I’m more of a “get it right the first time” kind of author, so the thought of having to revise and revise a book that wasn’t well-thought out makes me cringe.
Debbie: In FLAWED, the heroine, Sarah, deals with some very heavy and serious issues. At times you had me feeling absolutely shattered over Sarah’s story. During your writing process, did you ever encounter a scene you found difficult to write or be overwhelmed with emotion?
Kate: Oh, man. I cried while writing several of the scenes in that book. I absolutely hate crying in front of people, so I tried to sneak in writing time for the scenes I knew would gut me when Resident Hottie was at work and I knew I’d be alone. I wrote the whole book while in a chat room with my critique group, though, so they at least got to hear about how devastated I was after finishing a scene. The last chapter (in its original form) was the hardest scene to write. I could barely see with all the tears. That being said, I recover quickly. Pouring that kind of emotion into writing is cathartic for me. Once it’s out, I’m okay.
Debbie: Now I won’t spoil the ending for those who haven’t read FLAWED but did you already know in your head how it was going to end? I just have to say I was absolutely devastated even though I figured it would end the way it did.
Kate: I had a very vague idea of how it was going to end (badly), but it wasn’t until I sat down with Resident Hottie and went over my options that I knew exactly what was going to happen, though the details changed a bit in edits. The final chapter was rewritten at least four times during the submissions and editing process, so there are three alternate endings—the original, a happy ending, and what we ended up going with. I’m planning to release the other two eventually.
Debbie: Is there a message in your novel that you want your readers to grasp after reading FLAWED?
Kate: Beyond the obvious message that drugs and alcohol can really mess up a person’s life, I think the moral of the story is that there is such thing as unhealthy love, and that loyalty can be a dangerous thing when it’s misplaced.
Debbie: What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
Kate: I love dark, emotional contemporary books best, but there’s also a special place in my heart for authors like Stephanie Perkins and Jennifer Echols, whose books crack me up and make me fall in love a hundred times over. As for what influences me, I’d say I’m more affected by snippets of lyrics I hear that specific books or authors. There’s a line in SUCH A PRETTY GIRL (Laura Wiess) that inspires me to be a better writer, though. The heroine is seeing her father—who sexually abused her and went to jail for it—for the first time in several years. When she avoids looking at the baseball charm he wears around his neck, she thinks, “My front teeth throb as the memory of the charm bangs against them.” It’s one of the most devastating things I’ve ever read and I love how Laura was able to do that to me with just one line.
Debbie: So what’s next for Kate? Any other books or maybe a series in the works?
Kate: I’ve mentioned that I’m working on a book about Alex and Leslie’s little sister, Ashley, but there’s another story that’s been fighting for headspace for about a year now that keeps getting in the way. The heroine of that book splits her days between working at the local diner, school, and spending time with her best friend—a boy who was abandoned by his parents a few years ago and has been hiding out ever since, waiting for one of them to come back. She’s saving up money to get out of their tiny town where no one ever amounts to anything, and he wants nothing more than to drop out of high school, marry the heroine, and settle down right where they’re at. Bullying, mental disorders, and school violence are all part of the plot. I’m eager to get started!
Thank you Kate for for stopping by Talk Supe!
Read my review of FLAWED HERE
Kate Avelynn lives in Central Oregon with her husband, whom she fell in love with at eighteen after realizing he shared her obsession with music, sports, and psychoanalysis. When not devouring Stephanie Perkins and Jennifer Echols novels, holding down her editing gig, or attempting to coax life out of the weed patch she calls a “garden,” Kate writes dark, young adult romance that blends first love, betrayal, and danger. FLAWED is her debut novel.
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Release Date: December 11, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Mature YA, Contemporary
Sarah O’Brien is alive because of the pact she and her brother made twelve years ago — James will protect her from their violent father if she promises to never leave him. For years, she’s watched James destroy his life to save hers. If all he asks for in return is her affection, she’ll give it freely.
Until, with a tiny kiss and a broken mind, he asks for more than she can give.
Sam Donavon has been James’ best friend — and the boy Sarah’s had a crush on — for as long as she can remember. As their forbidden relationship deepens, Sarah knows she’s in trouble. Quiet, serious Sam has decided he’s going to save her. Neither of them realizes James is far more unstable than her father ever was, or that he’s not about to let Sarah forget her half of the pact .
But that's not all!!!
Kate is also running an Ultimate FLAWED Fan Pack contest via the Rafflecopter listing below. Enter daily for a chance to win some really cool stuff!