Meet Kathryn Hickle

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Coming February 10 – Catching You

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Blurb –   Catching Up

 Lauren Bailey should be on top of the world. This August she’ll be starting her freshmen year at CSU, but graduation night changes everything. She starts getting mysterious text messages right before her boyfriend, Ryan Carmichael is killed in a car accident that looks increasingly suspicious. Despite warnings that he’s bad news, she finds herself leaning on Nick Majors-Ryan’s best friend for support.  Before long, Lauren unwittingly uncovers a few clues to Ryan’s death that point to Nick as Ryan’s killer. Soon she finds herself unsure of whom she can trust. She’s surrounded by liars and determined to get to the truth. She finds out that she’s trusted the wrong person all along. She’s determined to get justice for Ryan, even if it costs her, her best friends.

* You are going to be new to many of my readers. Tell us about yourself.

            My name is Kathryn Hickle, but I write under the pen name Katie Gallagher. I’m a mother first, and everything else second. I’m in my mid-twenties and have been married to the love of my life for the last eight years and we have a rambunctious two-year-old who keeps me on my toes. I love coffee, flip flops and hate cold weather.

* Tell us about the book that’s just come out.

            Catching You is an young adult mystery novel that centers around a group of six friends after their high school graduation. The main character; Lauren Bailey was looking forward to spending the summer with her long time boyfriend, Ryan Carmichael, but, plans changed after Ryan died in a car accident the night of graduation. At first, it looked like a normal car accident, until the police report showed that Ryan’s brakes had been bled and that was the reason he crashed the car. After hearing that news, Lauren was determined to find out who murdered Ryan. But, can she do it without losing all of her friends?

* What started you on your love of writing?

            I always loved scribbling stories on paper or I’d tell my mom what I wanted to write and she would write it down for me, but when I lost her at a young age, the want or need to write came more prominent in my life. I found writing as a form of therapy for me, even at such a young age and that hasn’t stopped.

* Do you write in more than one genre – tell us a little about each one and the books you’re working on in each?

            Yes I do. I started out by writing YA romance novels, but found that I wanted to expand my writing ability and began toying with other genres. I have two YA romance novels our right now and the newest novel that’s due out next month is a YA mystery novel, but the two projects that I’m working on right now are a paranormal and sci fi novel.

* Have you attended any writing conference or classes? Tell us about some that and some that have been especially helpful.

            Unfortunately, I haven’t had the money to attend any writing conferences, but I would love to sometime in the future. I think that it would help me to improve my own writing to learn from other professional writers.

* Are you a member of any writing groups?

            No, but I do have a few friends that we support each others writing and can bounce ideas off of each other when we’re struggling with writers block.

* How attached do you get to your characters? Do you know what happens after the book ends?

            I often read about authors whose characters ‘talk’ to them and they control the story that they are writing, but mine usually just sit there and stare at me, like ‘ well, what do we do now? So, I have to coax them along and see what they are going to do next. So, I guess I do get attached to my characters, because I keep thinking about more adventures that my characters could get into. As, for knowing what happens when I type THE END, no I don’t know what happens next.

* Describe your ‘perfect’ writing day.

            I don’t have a ‘perfect’ day per say, but I do have a ‘dream’ writing day. I would love to go to Starbucks with my laptop and sit down with a mocha next to me and just write for hours.

* Could you tell us the one question you wish people would ask about your writing… and don’t forget the answer.

            I can’t think of a question I wish people would ask, but I do know one that people always ask me when I tell them I’m a writer. Why are you working retail if you write books? I think the one misconception that people have about other writers is that they can just stay at home in their pjs and write all day, but we do have to pay the bills and unless you’re famous like J.K. Rowling or Laurell K. Hamilton, that’s just a dream for another day.

Kathryn NilesHi! I’m Katie Gallagher! I’m in my mid thirties, which is absolutely terrifying. I mean, I feel like I’m still in high school. I’m a wife,  a mom,  full time cashier, a neat freak and finally a writer.

I write YA novels. I think it’s because I wouldn’t go back to high school myself, that I do so in my novels. I try to relive the experience through my characters.
I love Mexican food,  watching the Steelers,  and paranormal romance novels.
I don’t like spiders, heights or rollercoasters.
I’m also  not very tech savy, but that’s what I’ve got my husband for :)

 

 

A Fireside Read

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I don’t think about it very much. Maybe if we had a real fireplace it would come up more often, but I do fireplacelove to read on a cool day under the afghan. Fall is my favorite time of year, it begins to cool down from the oppressive heat and humidity of summer and the world gets more colorful with hues of brown, orange, yellow and red. I was always okay with Spring but since Hubby is allergic to everything about it, and it leads to all that heat, it was an easy shift to Autumn as my true favorite. But I’m enjoying winter as well this year since I don’t have to get out and drive in the snow and can let nature melt what needs to be out of the way.

For me, since I’m already “protected” by the covering of a warm afghan, I’m going to want something scary. Of course Dean Koontz or Stephen King come immediately to mind. Science Fiction and paranormal stories, even before paranormal had a true name, have always drawn me. It doesn’t have to be scary out of your mind terror (like Salem’s Lot) as much as twisted (like Dumas Key). Even the slightest of twists will do.

Knight's AcreI remember reading Norah Lofts when I was younger and not even understanding the twists the first time I read them, but being drawn back to the stories to read them again. A Wayside Tavern, Knight’s Acre and Lovers All Untrue were favorites of mine and made her the master of that slight twist. She is still a good one to curl up with and read or re-read. Sherri Tepper – Gibbon’s Decline and Fall and The Gate to Women’s Country, can invoke those same feelings with me and also come with the highest recommendations.

I’m reading a lot of… I guess you’d call them thrillers now. Cherry Adair, Suzanne Brockman, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Heather Graham, Dianna Duvall and someone new to me, Robin D. Owens—each of these women bring a different perspective to their stories and drag you inside, locking the door behind you. As with Norah you become invested in the characters and have no intentions of leaving and then the dang book ends and throws you back out into the ‘real’ world. (It doesn’t hurt that I’ve met all of these women at conferences and they are as supportive and incredible in real life as their characters are in their books.)

So that’s what I’ll be reading—when I take a break from writing myself—under the covers, protected from the bogey man and enjoying the heck out of it.

As for my stuff, if you’re looking for that twist, I’d recommend Wraith’s Heart – a ghost story/romance, or The Melting Trilogy – now available as a boxed set, a twist on the end of the world and the next step in evolution (a short story in this universe in currently under construction).

Here’s a short excerpt from The Melting, Book Three, Cohesion – Melting 3

Sid wanted to take Rachel’s hand. He purposely wasn’t reading her, but he could feel her nerves. He knew where they were headed. David had given him a basic layout of the place. Repairs were needed. He wasn’t sure there was a lot he could do about the structure and no way to install thermal heat in these floors, but there were things that could make life better.

They turned into the cafeteria and found Briana there alone. She backed away from them immediately. “Who are you?”

After only a minimal hesitation Rachel spoke. “My name is Rachel. This is Sid.”

“Where’s the other man? The one that’s been coming.”

“He’s very busy, and he thought you might be more comfortable talking to a woman.”

That seemed to stop Briana in her tracks.

“Briana? He wants us to help you. Are you okay with that?”

Briana shook her head. “This is only a dream. I don’t understand what’s going on.”

“Yes, it’s a dream, but you have good ideas, things that could help this community to survive better. We’re the thoughts that will help you.”

“Thoughts?”

“Yes. We’ll exchange ideas and see if any of them will make life easier for you.”

“I don’t understand.”

“I know. But let’s talk for a few minutes. We want to know how you’re handling some things.”

Briana didn’t respond to that, and Rachel glanced over at Sid. <bathhouse> appeared in her head.

“Have you ever thought about building a bathhouse to help out with bathing? I would think there aren’t enough private baths for everyone here.”

“Not nearly enough. A lot don’t want to bother anymore.”

“People can get sick that way. Building one large bathing facility shouldn’t be that difficult. Women could use the baths certain days and men the other. Everyone might feel better about themselves that way.”

“How?”

Rachel breathed a sigh of relief. At least Briana was listening. Rachel and Sid described a simple structure and the woman nodded a few times.

“Do you think we could really build something like that?”

“It wouldn’t be that hard. Are the military still helping out?”

“Yes, most of the time. But they’re not going to listen to me.”

“Would your husband put the idea forward? The women will know who is really behind the idea, and the men that wouldn’t accept instructions or assistance from you don’t really matter, do they?”

That seemed to startle Briana, but then she smiled. “It’s worth a try.” Melting trilogy box set close up

Rth Claimed – Release Day

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The second book in the Rth Rising series is here! Rth Claimed Rth Claimed by RS 011416

Kat and Davd have escaped from the arcology, but the story isn’t over. There are still thousands of people trapped “inside” and under the control of Puter and the sabotaged programming on track to destroy the colony.

Can Kat’s Aunt Castra and her young protégé, Setha find and destroy the programming that has already murdered Kat’s Grandfather and Father?

Rth Claimed is now available at Amazon

The first chapter of this series – Rth Rising is also available – Amazon

And enjoy the video here

Rth Rising final by RS 103115 copy

Getting Back on Track

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Have to admit that the holidays really shredded my routine. That’s not to say they weren’t incredible, but they did knock me off track. Having just come off of NanoWriMo I noticed it even more. For me, I rocked Nano this year – averaging over 1000 words a day and three times that a couple of days. Then the holidays…   overcome-frustration

If you want, go back and read the adventures of our travels. That was enough to throw me off for a while but I’m back and still can’t seem to get settled. Maybe it’s the clutter in the house. Haven’t taken down the Christmas stuff yet and I’m ready for all of the decorations to be safely back in their bins. There’s also the looming possibility of selling the house and downsizing to a condo now that hubby is retiring. And the fact that he’ll be home all of the time soon.

Whatever, I’m not focusing like I should. Right now I’m trying to write in the waiting room of the car dealership as I take his car in for service, a couple of days ago I had to get my phone fixed. I retired to write and I’ve got to get stern about my boundaries again.

My best writing day is sitting in my office, no music, no tv and just letting the story flow. Staying away from social media and the phone shouldn’t be hard but I’m letting it creep in. Maybe the story I just finished could use some work, but I have to set it aside so that I can see it objectively again. The next idea hasn’t taken off yet, still working on my version of plotting. We pantsers have issues with that.

frustrated writer

How do you get back in the rhythm? Do you have any tricks that shock you back into writing mode? Do you need a looming deadline to force you back?

P.S. One thing I did this weekend was see a screening of the documentary – Love Between the Covers – in Durham. Talk about inspiration! My highest recs if you can get to a showing.

Travel Over the Holidays…

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Christmas is over and we’re back home, but I thought I’d share the adventures (you may see some of this in an upcoming novel…)  Ryder Christmas Morning 122515

Left for Grandson’s house early – it takes eight hours driving and nearly that flying since nothing is direct – in the rain and fog. Normally fog burns off fairly early. That didn’t happen. In fact there was still fog when we arrived eight hours later, but no snow or ice like last year – we were sweltering so the Christmas sweaters had to come off.  rain

In the meantime La Daughter had risen at 4 a.m. to get to La Guardia to join us at Grandson’s home flying out at 9:40 a.m. to arrive around 1 p.m. Rainy and foggy there as well and she had no control. She was supposed to change planes in Detroit but the first delay killed that one. She was offered a direct flight to a city nearby her original destination so I said to take that one and she could rent a car for the drive from there and still arrive around the same time. But that was only the first delay… Fortunately she’s my daughter so she had a book with her as well as her phone. Still a lousy way to watch the airport fill up and observe people nap on the floor.  sleeping-airports1

She finally got out of New York after 3 (remember supposed to arrive at 1) and arrived in the rain and fog for another hour of driving in truly miserable weather. But she finally arrived, exhausted and coughing her head off. The rental car was only $50 more than we were told when she reserved it.

Next morning included a trip to the doc in a box for her coughing – kudos to them, very efficient, in and out in less than 30 minutes (at home it’s never less than 2 hours but when the doctor’s office is closed…)

in pool 122415Super day with Grandson on Christmas Eve. Swam in the hotel pool, which he loves and just hung out. Son cooked our dinner and he’s a very good cook, then we opened presents. (I’ve never done that in my whole life. Daddy insisted that Christmas morning was when packages should be opened.) Grandson didn’t have a clue but enjoyed the attention, the paper and the music some of the toys made. Think the parents appreciated the clothes he got more.

Good thing we did open packages on Christmas Eve, because when we got up to go back over to see Santa with Grandson, the car wouldn’t start. Still raining like a waterfall, but not a click when you turned the key. Now this is a Toyota hybrid but it wasn’t the “main” battery. There’s a starter battery for ignition and clock, etc. so we called AAA. Again kudos, there in less than twenty minutes and despite the horrible weather (though it was in the 70’s) he was professional and meticulous about his care for the car. It just took some time and we had to get a new battery, another hit to the old credit card.  Full moon 122515

Finally got over to the Grandson and saw what he had gotten, though we missed the actual event – it was after ten already. Visited a little while then set out for Sis’s house to see nephews and niece, though it proceeded to rain for the next seven hours as well. Saw some sky after we were east of the Appalachian Mountains. We did get to see the full moon on Christmas night.  Ryder in the wagon 122515 copy

Long trip and worth it to see so much family but sheesh, you know? Toll on Hubby with the slick roads but less traffic than if we’d traveled different days. Probably still not our worst traveling experience – I remember an 11-hour stay in the Ft. Lauderdale airport after a cruise…

What about you? Share with me some of your horror stories and know that some form of the story may appear in a novel somewhere, sometime.

2016!!

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Wow, already? I still remember sitting in math class figuring out how old we’d be in 2000.

Will have been retired a year on April 1st. I think I’ve done okay. I still get up at 6 each morning when Hubby gets up and swim for thirty minutes before going to my office and writing. And since retiring I’ve self-published my first book—Alien Embrace, wrote two for Rebel Ink—Mac’s Family and Christmas With Family, released the Melting Trilogy as a boxed set, and re-edited and self-published Rth Rising. I’ve finished Rth Claimed and it’s now in the editing process. I don’t think I slacked off too much with the retirin’ thing.

Alien Embrace Cover 5 copy  Macs Family-Flat  Christmas with Family flat-3  Rth Rising final by RS 103115 copy

According to Goodreads I read over 250 books last year – that caught me off guard but when I thought about it, I’ve always got three books going – reading one, listening to one and writing one, so I guess that’s true.

Already a year of firsts ahead of me. Grandson’s first birthday is coming soon. That blows me away that he’s already almost a year old and still the most darling, friendly, smiling kid I’ve ever seen. Crediting his parents for that one – he’s so secure and loved. Donna, Darhon & Ryder

The changes this coming year include Hubby retiring on April 1. Yep, a year after me, so he’ll be home full-time. I don’t know how that will affect my productivity. It’s going to be interesting and no doubt challenging, but I do like him so we’ll see how it goes. Other things – maybe a wedding in late summer, maybe downsizing to a condo rather than a big house with a lot of yard, maybe some traveling (I keep looking at those Amtrak trips…) Who knows, except a few deadlines looming and several books under construction that have to have some priority.

I have a time travel book ready for editing, a paranormal small town book nearly finished (I’m finally combining my two genres!) and new ideas getting their own little folder on the computer. A third book in the Rth Rising series, a short story in the Melting universe, a second book in the Alien Embrace series. How in the heck did I write when I worked full time??

Resolutions? I’ve never really kept any. I want to/have to lose some more weight though I did pretty good on that in 2015. Keep up the swimming and try to do a little more walking. Recycle and give away a lot of stuff so if/when we move it won’t take several moving vans. I feel a book giveaway coming up in the near future…

Mostly I want to thank all of you for helping make my dream come true – a published writer, with a 16th book coming out shortly and those in the pipeline still to come. Without readers… well I’d still be writing because I can’t stop, but it’s so nice to share them with you. Thank you and I’ll let you know when I get my act together for that giveaway!

Have a Happy and Safe 2016!

Merry Christmas!

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Thought I’d share this one again – it’s still true…

Whatever you celebrate – Yule, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah  – I hope this one surpasses all of your expectations.  I hope your travels are safe and stress free (and don’t think it’s selfish to take a few minutes off alone to look after yourself a little too).  And I hope to hear from all of you in the new year!

hannuka    stockings  kwanzaa21blessed yule