Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Interveiw With An Author: Katie M John (Beautiful Freaks)


Purchase from amazon UK or

The Blurb:

"Fans of Tim Burton will love this book! It's totally, darkly delicious."       (The Murder House)

From the Amazon bestselling writer of 'The Knight Trilogy' comes the stand alone novel fans have been waiting for. 'Beautiful Freaks' is a decadent tapestry of all things fairytale, dark and murderous.

Between these pages you will find yourself transported back in time to the high Gothic, Victorian London. 

The year is 1899 and both the century and the Queen are dying.

As the London populace is gripped by a terrifying series of  paranormal murders, eighteen year old Kaspian Blackthorne finds himself on a decadent journey of self discovery.

Victorian London is a place where appearance is everything, but sometimes appearances can be deceiving.

Behind the grand houses, carriages and silks, London is a dark labyrinth of sorrow and violence. Amongst the gambling dens, dancehalls, and brothels you'll find Number 7, known to its members as Eve's; the most exclusive club in London, 
made infamous for its 'Palace of Beautiful Freaks'.

Each exhibit has a history, each their own unique  story. 

There's only one rule at Eve's ... strictly no touching. 

This book reads like a collection of short stories, interwoven with the main thread of a murder mystery.  We meet Kaspian Blackthorne, as he enters adulthood, and finds his life completely changed from the sheltered life he's known thus far.  Part of the reason for that change is Evangeline, the woman who haunts his every thought.  Along the way, we meet and get to know the acts who perform at The Palace of Beautiful Freaks.  And each of them has their own horrific story to tell....

I love the imagery and ambiance of Beautiful Freaks.  It's even got a bit of steampunkiness thrown in!  By the end of the book, you're not sure who, exactly, is the 'bad guy'.   You can decide for yourself. 

Meet Katie M John:
My PhotoVia her Amazon page: Writer of the Amazon Best Selling YA series, The Knight Trilogy, Katie is married to a handsome giant and mummy to a mud-puddle fairy. She likes to write whilst drinking tea and eating jaffa cakes. Most of the time she lives in a fairytale world but other than that she is completely and utterly normal.
Katie's debut YA fairtytale series, 'The Knight Trilogy' has become an international best-seller in several chart categories, Contemporary Fantasy, Myths and Legends, Paranormal Romance. It has also been an Amazon No 1. Best-selling Fairytale.
Her work is a blend of rich imagery and fast paced action. Before writing full length novels, Katie wrote poetry, her works being published in several anthology publications.

Katie loves hanging out on Twitter and you can follow her @KnightTrilogy. She loves connecting with readers and fellow writers so stop by and give her a wave.
You can find out more about Katie and her Knight Trilogy series at the official website and

I had a chance to ask Katie a few questions, so grab a cup of tea and join us:

 What inspired you to write your first book?

I have always been a romantic. My teenage walls were plastered with pre-raphaelite paintings and I spent many hours of my youth just sort of floating about (yep, I was an odd, geeky child) When I was given the window of opportunity for some time out (I was on maternity leave with my first daughter) I seized the time to FINALLY get down to writing the story I'd been carrying around with me for the previous ten years. I was very fortunate that both babies have been very good and slept a lot, meaning lots of time for writing.

What obstacles did you encounter going the self-published route VS the traditional route?
With the trad route I got totally stonewalled by the catch 22 situation that previously unpublished writers are often either not invited to submit work to agents / publishers. I sent out over 50 packs to traditional agents and by the time six months of 'we love the idea but there's no market' rejection letters, I decided to go off and build a profile for myself. I sort of fell into indie publishing on a spontaneous whim - it was the best whim I've had. Clearly there is a market for my work and as an indie publisher I get a much greater slice of the profits from the sales. Going indie has allowed me complete autonomy over my work and allowed me the freedom to experiment and submit to all kinds of different projects. I love the close bond between indie writer and fanbase - it's personal and dedicated fans and supporters become really good friends. The frustration is the marketing budget - it's very much 'slowly, slowly catchy monkey' in the indie route - despite a few high profile cases.

When you write, which comes first: The character development or the idea for the novel?
For me, my work is always character driven. I'm a people watcher. I find humans completely fascinating. Vices, loves, passions, decisions etc. I have a love of Shakespeare for this very reason - he really understood the human condition. I think this is what I'm on a quest to explore in my own writing. I also 'live' with my characters whilst I'm writing their story. The best way to describe it is like being haunted.

Beautiful Freaks is almost like an anthology of short stories,  which character's story was the first to present itself to you? 
Kaspian's tale / character came to me first. He literally presented himself and then refused to leave. The story within a story that I love the most is Seraphina. It's a little bit whacky - but her character is so powerful.

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why? Hmm, really difficult. I get asked this question a lot and I always end up answering it differently depending on what mood I'm in and where I'm at. At the moment with NaNoWriMo looming and that I am going to be playing / reworking Shakespeare's Hamlet - it would have to be Shakespeare. It links back to the previous idea about character. However if I could have two, I'd quite like to have dinner with Amanda Hocking and discover how she really made a $1 million being an indie writer lol.

 What book are you reading now? 
I'm not. I'm too busy planning for NaNoWriMo but my next TBR pile book is Book 4 of The Game of Thrones series - which is totally brilliant.

What's your next project? 
Next project is 'When Sorrows Come' - my NaNoWriMo piece based very loosely on Shakespeare's Hamlet and my own experiences of having a parent with severe mental health issues. It's not a fantasy novel - it's very real. I'm totally excited about it. I warn you now, it's going to be a complete heartbreaker. I don't write happy lol!

Thank you, Katie, for dropping by today, to talk about Beautiful Freaks.  I look forward to reading When Sorrows Come - it sounds like a very personal project for you. 

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