Monday, July 23, 2012

Interview: "Wild Point Island" by Kate Lutter

I happy to have Kate Lutter here today on her book tour of "Wild Point Island". She is nice enough to do a interview with us so lets get started.

I know you get asked this question over and over but can you tell us a little about yourself? Maybe something juicy. ;)   What amazes me about myself is that the core of my life is one big contradiction.  I’m incredibly shy.  I love to sit in a room all by myself and write and yet when I examine my career after I graduated college, I constantly put myself out in front of people—on stage and forced myself to perform.  First I was high school teacher, which means I had to stand in front of kids.  Then I ran a training program for teachers and supervisors for a school district so again I was in front of adults—teachers—teaching them how to become better teachers.  Then I taught undergraduates and graduate students on the college level.  And finally, I was an elementary principal, which meant I had to constantly meet with parents and teachers and other principals. Oh, I almost forgot, I also did workshops in other school districts--another “be on stage” type of job.  Crazy. 

But you wanted something juicy???  Well, with Wild Point Island, I wrote about 100 pages, then went to a conference, met with a high profile New York editor and pretended that I’d completed the entire manuscript.  Which is a very dumb thing to do, but I figured that at most  she’d request a partial. I convinced myself that the reason I was pitching the novel was to see if it was marketable.  Well, as it turned out, the editor had vacationed as a child in North Carolina and knew all about the Lost Colony of Roanoke, the backstory for Wild Point Island.  She loved the premise of my story and asked for the entire manuscript.  Which, of course, wasn’t written.  When I went home and told my husband what I’d done, he said—why don’t you just write it then. Yeah, right.  I figured I had a month at most to do just that.  Could I?  The next day I enrolled myself online in the nation wide Book In A Month program and for the next twenty days wrote ten pages a day.  Exactly one month later I’d finished editing and sent the manuscript off.  Of course, it was rejected.  But three months later—after I’d had a chance to do some extensive revising and editing—I pitched it again at a conference and sold it.   

When did you first start writing? Are you a full time author or do you do it on the side? 
I wrote my first novel in eighth grade so I guess you can say I’ve been writing all my life.  I left a high paying, high profile job to write full time.  At the time I called it “jumping off the cliff.”  It felt that way.  I had no idea if I would ever be published.  But it was my life, and it was something I felt I had to do. 

Do you have an author that has really inspired you?  I’ve never quite gotten over the experience of reading Wuthering Heights.  I’m a world traveler, and I even went to England to see the moors that Emily Bronte describes in her book.  I loved the relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine.  The intensity.   And I guess I loved reading about all the Bronte sisters.  In terms of role models, though, I belong to the New Jersey Romance Writers, and I particularly admire so many of the women writers who are successful, yet give back to the organization—do workshops, etc. and share what they know about writing.  Two that come to mind are Virginia Kantra and Madeline Hunter. 

How long does it normally take you to write an average book or your last book?  On average, a book takes me a year to write-from the initial idea to the final editing so that it’s good enough to start sending out to editors and agents.   

What do you think makes a story great?
That’s a really great question.  For me the story needs to have three things: It needs to evoke emotion.  It needs to be a page-turner.  And it needs to contain something unexpected, which is what gives the story that high profile appeal, I guess.  I just finished the Hunger Games, and honestly, that book had all three, which is why it’s so successful!

Can you describe your book "Wild Point Island" in one sentence?
I was inspired by the first season of HBO’s hot drama True Blood when Bill and Sookie fall for each other and their seemingly doomed relationship . . . hopefully, Wild Point Island has the same amount of angst and drama with less blood.

Have you done lots of research for your books or do the stories just come to you?
I usually hate doing research.  Would much rather make things up.  Use my imagination.  But generally find that as I get into a story, I do need to look things up and verify information.  For Wild Point Island, I did research the Roanoke Colony off the coast of North Carolina because that was the backstory of my novel.  I took my characters’ names from the original manifest of the English ship that landed on Roanoke Island. 

I had also gone on safari in Kenya, Africa and learned that the black rhinoceros there eats the Euphorbia Candelabra, a poisonous plant, because they need the liquid from the plant.  Over the years they’ve developed an immunity to this plant.  I became fascinated by that story and that became the basis—after I did the dreaded research—for what happens in my novel and how the colonists are changed into revenants—another life form.    

What are you currently working on?
Ella, my heroine, has a sister (Lily) who creates an enormous amount of conflict in Wild Point Island.  People who’ve read the story feel very strongly about Lily.  Right now I’m writing Lily’s story, which will be the sequel. 

Can you tell us about some of your prior achievements? 
Believe it or not, I’ve been writing on and off for ten years.  I wrote four novels before I sold Wild Point Island.  I’m proud of the fact that I persevered and didn’t give up.  And, yeah, I broke a rule or two along the way, but always for a good cause. 

Is there anything that I didn't cover that you would like to talk about or say to your potential readers?  
I was totally thrilled to hold a book that I had written in my hands.  Even now I catch myself staring at it and reading random pages.  I hope you like the story and have fun reading it. 

Just for fun:
Hardback or Paperback?  paperback
Dog ears or Bookmarks?  Bookmarks—I respect books too much.
YA novels or Adult novels?  Adult novels
Library or Bookstore?  Bookstore/Kindle
Reading glasses or No glasses?  Reading glasses
Snack while reading or No snacks?  Snack
Beach or Mountain?  Beach (Jersey girl)
Vampire or Werewolf?  Vampire
Hot or Flirty? Flirty
Movie 1st or Book 1st?  Movie
Contemporary or Historical?  Contemporary
Page-Turner or Tear Jerker?  Page-turner

Wild Point Island  
By Kate Lutter

Banished from Wild Point Island as a child, Ella Pattenson, a half human-half revenant, has managed to hide her true identity as a descendent of the Lost Colony of Roanoke.  Thought to have perished, the settlers survived but were transformed into revenants--immortal beings who live forever as long as they remain on the island.

Now, Ella must return to the place of her birth to rescue her father from imprisonment and a soon to be unspeakable death.  Her only hope is to trust a seductive revenant who seems to have ties to the corrupt High Council.  Simon Viccars is sexy and like no man she’s ever met. But he’s been trapped on the island for 400 years and is willing to do almost anything for his freedom.

With the forces of the island conspiring against her, Ella  must risk her father, her heart, and her life on love.  

Kate Lutter believes she was born to write. She wrote her first novel when she was in eighth grade, but then almost burned her house down when she tried to incinerate her story in the garbage can because she couldn’t get the plot to turn out right. Now, many years later, she lives in NJ with her husband and five cats (no matches in sight) and spends her days writing contemporary paranormal romances, traveling the world, and hanging out with her four wild sisters. She is happy to report that her debut novel, Wild Point Island, the first in a series, has just been published by Crescent Moon Press. She is busy writing the sequel and her weekly travel blog entitled Hot Blogging with Chuck, which features her very snarky and rascally almost famous cat.


Kate Lutter said...

Danielle, Thanks so much for hosting me on your site. It was so much fun to write Wild Point Island, and I hope your readers will enjoy reading it.

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