#Interview with Kathy DiSanto, #Author of Amanda’s Eyes

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sure.  Let’s see ….  I was born and raised in California and lived in a small town most of my life.  Joined the Air Force to get away from said small town, traveled to Texas for basic training and hit Biloxi, MS, just in time for hurricane Camille.  (Yes, I am that old!)  When I was discharged four years later, I used the GI Bill to get a couple degrees in German, which turned out to be somewhat less than marketable but left me with a love of language and grammar that have since proved useful.  I was a stay-at-home Mom to my two sons (Leo and Nick) well into their teenage years, earning pocket money by editing and proofreading at home.  My sons grew up (go figure), and I got too cold one winter, so I decided to move to Texas.  For the last ten years I’ve worked as a communications specialist for Texas A&M University, writing more than 100 features for print and web publication.  Getting ready to retire next April and move back east to be near my sons, both artists and musicians who never saw the light and moved down south.  I’m really looking forward to pestering them on a regular basis and being able to write novels full-time!

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Besides marry Paul McCartney?  Lots of things.  I especially remember wanting to be a nurse and/or a lady truck driver.

When did you first start writing?

I’ve always loved to write and did a good bit in high school.  I can’t remember what all I wrote, but it seems the word frenzied played a recurring role.  I know this because my English teacher, Mr. Sanchez, grew frustrated with my inability to spell the word correctly and threatened to ink it on my forehead.  Backwards, so I could read it in the mirror.

I did a few articles for the base newspaper when I was in the Air Force, but serious writing didn’t start until I was in my 40s.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was about to say when I sold my first book to Bantam’s Loveswept line, but that wouldn’t be entirely accurate.  I would say when I finished my first book, For Love or Money.  Aside from childbirth, I can’t think of anything that has ever given me that feeling of excitement, accomplishment and undiluted joy.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Not much longer than it takes a turtle to cross the US.  Seriously, I’m not a fast writer, for a couple of reasons.  First, I do what everybody says you shouldn’t do—I edit as I go.  I’ve tried not to, but it’s an addiction.  Second, I’ve always had to write at night (and I’m a morning person) or on weekends.  That adds up to about 18 months for a full-length novel.  It’ll be interesting to see what being able to write full-time, during my best hours, will do to my productivity!

Where do you get your information and/or ideas for your books?

Oh, gosh.  Just about everywhere.  The idea for Amanda’s Eyes came from the Madoff scandal.  Why Live? was born from the proverb that says there’s nothing new under the sun.  One book idea came when I saw a plane flying over, trailing one of those ad banners.  Haven’t written that one yet.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Well, read, of course.  You know how we writers are—can’t get enough books.  I devour about 3 or 4 books a week, and I’m constantly looking for new authors.  I also have two dogs, Molly and Lucy, both rescues.  Taking them for walks (or getting taken for walks by them) is always fun.  I like to target shoot, too.

What does your family think of your writing?

They’re my biggest supporters!

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating books?

That less is often more.  The best writing (IMHO) is lean.  In the beginning, I was partial to strings of adjectives, dialog tags, and cute adverbs.  But like Stephen King once said, “The road to Hell is paved with adverbs.”  Now I try to take a lesson from the poets and pack as much power into as few words as I can.

How did you choose which genre to write in?

Not actually sure I’ve chosen one yet!  I started in romance, wrote one dystopian sci-fi novel (Why Live?) and one near-future paranormal thriller.  Many of my reviewers say I tend to combine genres.  I guess you could say I choose the story (or it chooses me), and the story determines the genre.

If you could have a signed copy of any novel, what would it be and why?

My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok.  That novel speaks to me about what it means to be called to an art, what that art demands, and the sacrifices you make to stay true to your art.  It also talks about art and spirituality.  I wrote a review about it once, in case anyone’s interested.  You can find it at http://leanmeanwritingmachine.wordpress.com/book-reviews/#1.

 

Author Bio:

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Kathy’s publishing career dates back to 1997, when she published two romances with Bantam’s Loveswept line.  One of them, For Love or Money, won a 1997 Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award.
In 2012, Kathy self-published two futuristic thrillers.  Amanda’s Eyes is a near-future paranormal thriller and the first novel in a series featuring crime reporter A.J. Gregson.  Why Live? is stand-alone dystopian science-fiction.
Thanks to her day job as a communications specialist with a major university, Kathy has written more than two hundred features for print and the web.
She is a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the Alliance of Independent Authors, the Independent Author Network, the Independent Author Index, the Indie Writers’ Network, World Literary Cafe, and the International Association of Business Communicators.
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Buy Links:

Book Description:

Waking up is the pits when you come to in a hospital with a broken arm, a colorful assortment of abrasions and contusions, and a face swathed in bandages. It’s even worse if you can’t remember what hit you.

The bad and the ugly are crime reporter Amanda “A.J.” Gregson’s business. But learning she had a ringside seat for an explosion that killed two agents of the Continental Intelligence and Investigative Service (CIIS), incinerated an entire block of warehouses, and did so much damage to her eyes they had to be surgically removed? Well, that gives the darker side of life a whole new meaning.

Haunted by elusive nightmares, A.J. waits for her transplant and struggles to remember the events leading up to the fateful night of September 4, 2075. Weeks crawl by without a glimmer, before memory floods back the night before surgery, every brutal detail crystal clear.

The explosion had been the work of the Ferrymen.

“The Ferrymen. My not-so-magnificent obsession for more than a year. Only a cataclysm could have made me forget. I guess you could call them hitmen. You could also call Einstein a math whiz. Think ruthless. Think unstoppable. Think killers so proficient ‘caught the ferry’ was fast replacing ‘bought the farm’ in common usage, and you have the Ferrymen in a nutshell.”

The transplant surgery goes off without a hitch—welcome news, because A.J. is raring for a rematch with Hell’s Boatmen. But contrary to popular belief, what you see isn’t always what you get. Take her new eyes, for example. Those baby blues may look perfectly normal, but they possess a power that turns her world upside down—the power to see into the hidden dimensions of the human heart.

When the Sight unmasks the mastermind behind the Ferrymen, the unveiling is as stunning as it is unbelievable. The revelation sets her on course for a second head-collision with evil. Will she survive the final encounter?

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