Please help me to welcome back the amazing Katie Hayoz to our interview chair. We have spoken to Katie about her picture books series, A Monster's Guide... as well as the joint project, 50 Amazing Swiss Women. Today we are excited to speak with Katie about her new mature YA book, Of Tainted Heart which is the second part of The Quatrefoil Chronicles.
Tell us about your new book.
Of Tainted Heart is the second and final book in a co-written duology, The Quatrefoil Chronicles. The duology is an urban fantasy romance, and centers around Slate Ardoin and Cadence de Morel. Here’s a short summary: Slate Ardoin knows little about his past and even less about his future. A self-made conman and thief, he’s self-centered and angry and doesn’t believe in love. But when he loots a crypt in a small, French village rumored to be the birthplace of magic, he releases a series of deadly curses that threaten not only his life, but others’ as well—notably that of Cadence de Morel. Slate must face dark magic…and the possibility that he cares for someone other than himself.
What inspired you when working on this project?
As I said, this duology is co-written—Olivia Wildenstein is my co-author. Olivia has published many books and is well-loved in the genre of paranormal romance/fantasy. She’s been a writing friend of mine for a few years now, and we used to get together for coffee to talk books. One day, she said, “Hey, we should write a book together.” After a few months, we decided to actually go for it. We brainstormed the characters and storyline over many coffees and then set about writing.
Tell us about the creative process for this book.
So, both Olivia and I are “pantsers”, which means we write by the seat of our pants, rather than a full outline. So, despite intending to follow an outline, any official plans we had fell by the wayside as we actually wrote. This was both frustrating and exciting. Frustrating, because we often had long text or phone conversations trying to figure out how to get out of the corners we wrote ourselves into, and exciting because we were just as surprised at where it ended up as a reader. The novel is written in two points of view. Olivia wrote Cadence’s point of view and I wrote Slate’s. We each wrote a chapter, then passed it to the other person, allowing a certain amount of freedom in the direction of the story. When Olivia would send me a new chapter, it was like an adventure! I was curious as to what she was going to do with our characters this time around. I imagine it was the same for her.
I have to say that while we both tweaked each other’s chapters, Olivia did the heavy lifting on the editing. She was a total star.
Did you encounter anything unexpected while working on this project?
One reason I hesitated at first to write a novel with Olivia was that I didn’t want any tension between the two of us. We both have different working speeds (Olivia is a fast writer and I am slow), so I was worried that would be a challenge. But she was extremely patient with me. And by trying to keep up a certain pace, I really improved my writing production. Also, neither of us got upset if the other edited/cut/changed something in our chapters. We both were able to let go and not be too precious about our work. Somehow, we managed to write two books of around 120k each without a major blowout or hurt egos. I’m really proud of the both of us.
Now for something completely different! Would you rather fly to the moon or go to the bottom of the ocean? Why?
OMG. Neither. Both would be an absolute nightmare for me. I would be TERRIFIED. And the thought of being in space…? No. Just NO: So, if I had to choose, it would be the ocean. But you’d have to threaten me with death first to get me to do it. LOL!
Thank you Katie for giving us such wonderful insights into the creative process of co-writing. I think it's fabulous how you and Olivia have worked together to create such enticing stories. We wish you and Olivia every success with this series and future books.
Bio: Katie Hayoz
Katie Hayoz was born in the US but has made Switzerland her home for the past twenty-four years. She writes for kids, teens, and adults. Most nights you can find her stretched out on the couch, reading a book and eating popcorn.
Willkommen! Bienvenue! Benvenuto! Bainvegnì! Welcome!