Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Kat Beyer Author Interview

Photo Content from Kat Beyer

Kat Beyer has an M.A. in medieval history and has loved all things Italian for as long as she can remember. Her first novel was The Demon Catchers of Milan. She lives with her daughter in Madison, Wisconsin. Visit her online at

Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 - 9
Series: The Demon Catchers of Milan (Book 2)
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: EgmontUSA (November 11, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1606843168
ISBN-13: 978-1606843161


"Mia has a strong gift for the family trade, which, like the novel's other elements...are portrayed in exquisite, affectionate detail. This one goes to the head of the class." ―Kirkus, starred review

"Sets the stage for a thrilling sequel. By the book's close, Mia is armed and ready--she whispers to the demon lurking beyond, 'You'll have to wait. But I'm coming. Believe me, I'm coming.' Readers will be ready, too." Booklist

"A supernatural novel with a fresh promise, worthy of note." School Library Journal

Greatest thing you learned at school.
How to read and write. I didn’t want to learn. Couldn’t see the point.

Defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer.
There wasn’t one that I can remember. Shortly after I learned to read and write I began to write and illustrate my own stories, and my teachers copied one of these and passed it out to my second grade class. I remember people liking it. The thrill of reaching other people through my art has never left me.

What fiction most influenced your childhood, and what effect did those stories have on The Halcyon Bird?
Watership Down (Adams), The Jungle Books (Kipling, mostly the Mowgli stories), Julie of the Wolves (Craighead George, even with the ending that she didn’t like either), Pride and Prejudice (Austen), and The Harper Hall Trilogy (McCaffrey). A lot of what I write is actually written in reaction to the fact that I couldn’t find enough interesting, strong fiction about feisty girls having adventures, or feisty female rabbits for that matter. I wanted Mowgli to be female, and Julie to live with Amoraq’s pack for the rest of her life. Menolly and Elizabeth rock, so that was easy, but Pern and early nineteenth century Britain were both fairly sexist spots, I noticed. I wanted room to breathe, as a free girl, and I worked out fairly early that I would have to write breathing room into existence. The Demon Catchers of Milan takes place in our present world, so it’s got the same problems I struggled with as a young kid, but hopefully some of my characters offer that sense of spaciousness, freedom, and clarity. I continue to pursue it.

What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
Don’t worry about your voice and style. You’re not going to be able to help having one. Work on communicating. If you work on voice, you may lose the chance to reach your readers: work on learning how to make the words translucent so that your readers can see your scenes, your characters, without the language getting in the way. Le Guin is the master of this. Her writing is both translucent and perfectly gorgeous, and there is no way to mistake her words for anyone else’s…Just write. It’s the only way to learn your craft. This is an art that you learn by doing.

Definitely read as much as you can of everything you love, paying attention to how others communicate; read how-tos from time to time, but not during your writing time. Never during your writing time. And if you’re going to spend any time or money on how-to books, read How To Get Happily Published by Judith Applebaum. But above all, write. Talent is not what makes a novelist: developed talent, realized potential, is what makes a novelist. And you do that over time, little by little. Voice, style—these things will emerge, naturally, over time. If they don’t, who cares? Are you telling a good story? Do people complain to you about starting your book at bedtime and reading until dawn? Do they tell you they cried not because of the ending, but because the book was finished? Or for both reasons?

Is there such a thing as a formula for storytelling?
I think different cultures have different formulae. Our culture has a three-act outline that we use in so many formats, in novels, in plays, in film and TV and even, I think, video games. But to tell a good story, I agree with Jo Walton, you need to tell it about someone worth caring about. Over and over I’ve been told you need to put your character in grave danger, but as Walton says, it doesn’t matter about how grave the danger is if you (and your readers) don’t give a hoot about the person in danger. Instead, you can write an utterly compelling story about a nineteen-year-old woman and a twenty-eight-year-old man who mainly hang out saying witty things in drawing rooms and shrubberies, in three volumes, without a single gun, dragon, zombie, or even demon, and people read the darned thing over and over, and make movies and miniseries of it again and again. True story, ask Jane Austen.

For fans of Lauren Kate and Cassandra Clare, a romance with a paranormal streak.

Mia has settled into her life with the Della Torres -- Milan's premier demon-catching family, accompanying them to exorcisms and even learning some way to be useful in the family trade. Then Bernardo comes into her life, handsome, well-mannered, someone who makes her forget her impossible crush on Emilio, her cousin. But always lurking in the background is the demon who possessed Mia once before, and who has not given up on possessing her again--this time for good.
You can purchase The Halcyon Bird at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you KAT BEYER for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Halcyon Bird by Kat Beyer.