Sep 29, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW (Part 1): Katherine Owen, author of Truth In Lies series


~ Add This Much Is True (Truth In Lies, #1) on Goodreads!

~ Add The Truth About Air & Water (Truth In lies, #2) on Goodreads!
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***About The Author***

International best selling author of the New Adult Novel, This Much Is True and the most recently released second novel in the Truth In Lies series of The Truth About Air & Water.

Katherine Owen writes contemporary edgy fiction, which translates to: she writes love stories that are contemporary in setting and both edgy and dark. Some readers term her books emotional roller coasters. She is not sorry. Owen writes about trust, love, and fate and how relationships are often tested by all of these things in one way or another. Love, loss, starting over. Yes, that about covers it. 

Owen is partial to commas, dashes, and plot twists & turns and the ampersand sign. Apparently. With a degree in editorial journalism and English, she is aware of the grammatical rules. She chooses to break them. Sometimes. For her complete take on this, click here.

Connect with her on:


Everyone who knows me is more than aware of the fact that I'm a sucker for dark, edgy and emotional love stories. Truth In Lies series are one of my favorite ones when it comes to this genre, so we are delighted that we got a chance to interview the great mind behind the books- Katherine Owen

~ Thank you for being here with us today Katherine :). You told me that I shouldn't hold back when asking questions- I hope you won't regret it after this interview, lol. 

First question(s) will be an easy one and probably one of those you get asked daily: When did you know that you want to become a writer and what inspired you to choose that profession?

KO: I knew early on I wanted to be a writer. It was a dream of mine (out of reach; it seemed) for a long time. I won a poetry contest at fourteen and majored in editorial journalism in college with a minor in English and took enough psychology classes to major in that too. As it turns out, I went into high tech sales with money and stock options as a draw and did a fair share of public relations and marketing work as well. I had a very successful corporate career in high tech sales and public relations and then seized the dream for writing full-time five years ago.

I spent the first three years taking classes with The Writers Studio, (those assignments all wended their way into novels I’ve released) and wrote a few long manuscripts that will never see the light of day. I started out querying traditional publishing for an agent and came close with several after winning the Zola Award for the romance category with Pacific Northwest Writers Association in July of 2010. By then, I decided to self-publish and released my first two books, Seeing Julia and Not To Us in May of 2011.

~ How did your family and friends react when you told them that you want to write; were they supportive or did they try to talk you out of it?

KO: Overall, my family has been very supportive of my career as a writer. I walked away from a lucrative career in high tech sales, so we all miss the money, and I recognize the sacrifice they make for me to enjoy my career as a writer. I put all those skills I honed over the years in global account management and sales as well as public relations and marketing to work every day with this career as a writer.

~ What’s the best thing about being an author?

KO: For me, the best thing about being an author is that I’m doing something I love and am passionate about. I actually believe—as cliché and simple as that sounds—it’s the secret sauce to a happier life. It’s not easy, don’t misunderstand. Being a writer at eight is a lot easier than being a writer as an adult. As soon as you let the doubts and the naysayers past the front gate of your mind, they all take turns, and it gets complex and incredibly hard most of the time to write. 

You are your own worst critic, but those one-star reviews stay right there with you. It doesn’t matter how many five stars you get, if you let comparison have its way with you, there is always somebody who writes better, sells better, and reaps more rewards than you do. Still? Writing is truly living to me. And I feel lucky every day that I can do it.

~ Tell us something about your writing process; how long does it take you to write one book and where do you get your daily inspiration?

KO: It takes me about a year to write a book. The only exception to that process is Not To Us which I wrote start to finish in about six weeks. (That book is unique for several reasons but there are fans of my work who love that one the best. It is the outlier. The exception. From it, I take the encouragement for myself that I can get her done when the deadline fast approaches.) So I know I can go shorter, but the plotting and character development is what takes the most time. There is a ton of thinking that goes into writing a story. I don’t follow a pattern or normal trope for the storyline. All of that takes time to put together in my head. 

Writing—when it all comes together, and I finally figure out where it needs to go—comes rather easily when the story is complete in my mind but that’s usually about ten months into the book. For example, The Truth About Air & Water was half done in June of this year. It came together by the first part of August. I wrote the ending two days before it went to a few Beta readers; it was that fresh, but I knew I’d finally nailed as I saw the characters arcs so clearly by then. Yay for KO!

~ How do you deal with writer's block?

KO: For me, writer’s block has more to do with being stuck with the plotting of the story. This last round I really focused on writing tighter, avoiding too many tangents, staying away from drama and making things more subtle in the subtext. Focusing in on improving my structure with the story did tighten up the writing. I was only blocked when I was unsure as to where to take it. I was stuck for months on the initial plot line that would separate them. MONTHS. But once I put a structure into place; the story came together, for the most part, and I was able to write. Best thing I did for myself was view Dan Well’s seven-point story structure over and over. THIS is what helped me tighten the storyline and stay on a path.

~ What was your first book about?

KO: My debut novel is Seeing Julia, which is about a young widow who is saved from self-destruction by a charming stranger only to discover that her life is not what it appears to be at all. This is my first book where we get an early glimpse of Kimberley Powers. Aha…the place in Malibu in The Truth About Air & Water belongs to Julia Hamilton. See how that works?

~ Which book of yours are you most proud of?

KO: Two books are near and dear to my heart: This Much Is True and When I See You. This Much Is True is my breakout novel where I truly gained an audience (which, of course, invited the snarkiest of readers as well). When I See You is the just-about-guaranteed-to-make-you-cry kind of book in which I took a lot of risks and created two of my deepest characters in Jordan Holloway and Brock Wainwright. Tally is probably a younger version of Jordan on many levels; she just hasn’t quite achieved the experience that 27-year-old Jordan possesses nor reached that level of maturity yet.

Having said all of this, I stand by The Truth About Air & Water and feel like I actually reached the summit of the proverbial mountain called achievement with this book. I can look around and see the view and enjoy the vista from up here. I paid my dues with all the other books I’ve written, and I improved in the writing of this one. There are so many subtleties to this storyline. I encourage readers to read it again to pick up on all of them.

~ Who is the most favorite character you’ve written about and why?

KO: Tally Landon has to be the most complex character I’ve written. After two books, I’m not sure that me as the writer or readers completely get where she is coming from and why she is the way she is. It’s not just Holly’s death that affected her; there is more back history that probably needs to be explored. So, yes, Tally is the most complex. Runner-up would have to be Jordan Holloway from When I See You. In some ways, Jordan’s just a more mature version of Tally Landon. Huh. Interesting.

~ Do you have more fun writing villains or more “morally acceptable” characters?

KO: I have way too much fun writing villains. I wish I had more of a villain in The Truth About Air & Water but bringing back Nika Vostrikova for round two seemed too easy, so I went in a different direction. By far, my most memorable and fun-to-write villain was Savannah Bennett in Seeing Julia. Boom. SHE was fun to write. My sister read a draft and said she was too mean even for fiction, but I held to the notion that any woman can get like that when threatened so I kept her as mean as originally written.  Another great choice for fun was writing Carrie in Not To UsThe taker best friend. Carrie impossible to love but man she ran a good game on our heroine, Ellie.

~ Favorite book villain you love to hate?

KO: I don’t hate any of the villains I write about. They prove necessary to the plot, but also I don’t think anyone is intrinsically bad on purpose. I think circumstances and/or people make them that way. 

~ In your opinion, what are the pros & cons of your profession? Was there a time when you wanted to give up and do something else?

KO:  Pros: If you’re truly a writer, you cannot not write. It’s a calling. It’s not logical. It just is.

Cons: It’s also one of the hardest things I’ve ever done from the standpoint that you spend a lot of time with yourself and play host to self-doubt to say nothing of the critics of your work when you put it out into the world. You have to overcome all of that that plagues you all of the time it seems.

Cons: Some of the best writers of our time you will never read because it isn’t about writing the best work; it’s about who gets the visibility. In the traditional publishing arena, this is who curries favor and who they believe will be a best seller—commercial grade—if you will.

In the self-publishing arena, it is still all about visibility and who curries favor and who is commercial enough to make those top bloggers and top online retailer sites some cash. I’ll leave it at that.

THAT has been an eye-opener for me. To the point that I do want to give it all up some days because I can land a six-figure job tomorrow and deal with the machinations that exist in high tech sales a whole lot easier.

But alas, I love the writing too much and I intend to navigate the waters of publishing even if it is rough and unsavory and downright disappointing at times.

~ Favorite genre, book(s) and author(s)?

KO: I read a variety of genres. I am a huge fan of Gillian Flynn, Tarryn Fisher, Katja Millay, Tess Callahan, DC Bourone, and Jennifer Egan. The writing techniques of all of these writers influences what I do with my own work and the things I picked up in the classes at The Writers Studio adds to my repertoire.

~ Name one book you wish you had written and why.

KO: I loved The Time Traveler’s Wife. Audrey Niffenegger broke a lot of rules in that book. Jumping time. Handling multiple POVs so well. TTTW was fantasy mixed with romance mixed with literary. It’s a masterpiece; and I love it. I can only wish to write that well someday. I would also liked to have written Gone Girl for the same reasons listed above.

~ What the 2nd best thing you like to do aside writing?

KO: I like to cook about twice a year, and my family is forever grateful for those two days which are mostly likely the 4th of July and Thanksgiving and perhaps Christmas Eve dinner. Boom. I’m good on those two or three days, and I really do make a fantastic meal or two.

~ Favorite movie, actor and actress?

KO: I am a big fan of George Clooney because to me he is the entire package of wow. He is handsome and charming and seems like he’d be fun just to spend time with. I love George in anything, but especially loved him in Michael Clayton and Three Kings and all the Ocean movies and still miss him after he left ER.
I’m an intrigued fan of Angelina Jolie. I loved her character in Salt and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, of course. She is beautiful and seems like a very deep thinker.

I also love Jennifer Lawrence after seeing her in Silver Linings Playbook which I think was one of her finest roles. I’m a huge Meryl Streep fan in anything and the same applies to Diane Keaton. And last but not least, Anne Hathaway after seeing her amazing role as Maggie in Love and Other Drugs and One Day although I HATED that ending.

Favorite movies:  Love and Other Drugs, The Vow, Silver Linings Playbook, Something’s Gotta Give and The Family Stone.

~ Favorite music/ song you won’t ever get tired of hearing?

KO: Anything John Mayer sings is fine with me. Free Fallin’ and Your Body Is A Wonderland are all-time favorites.

~ Name three hot hunks you would take on a deserted island.

KO: Henry Cavill, George Clooney, Brad Pitt

~ The most annoying celebrity of nowadays?

KO: Kim Kardashian

~ Guilty pleasure/s ?

KO: Coffee, wine, vodka.

~ What’s the best advice you would give to young, inexperienced authors?

KO: If you truly love writing, in other words, you have the need to write, read a lot and write even more. Study books you love. Study books you didn’t. Embrace what works for your own style. I write in a first-person, present tense not as a gimmick, but because I am actually good at it. I find the third-person, past tense a lot harder to write. Study all of those. Master them. Go with what works for you and listen to your inner critic about what is working and what is not and just keep writing and reading.

TO BE CONTINUED...Stay tuned folks for the 2nd part of this interview where we talk about her Truth n Lies series, plus the awesome give-away!



  1. Oh that's awesome about the fam being supportive. Always wonderful to see that :)

  2. Awesome! Thanks for hosting me here. I appreciate it so much as I am a big fan of Way Too Hot Books blog.

    Katherine Owen


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