Welcome to the final installment of April’s Featured Blog, something I’ve posted here on Lit and Scribbles most of the month to introduce all of you to perhaps some new future friends and get to know a little more about your blogging community.
You’re in for a treat on this last day of April. Today we get to hear from Kati and Heidi, co-writers of the blog Mystic Cooking and a WIP of the same name. Often they co-write blog posts, which are among my favorites, and fortunately today will be no exception. Tell us about yourselves girls!
KATI & HEIDI: We are a writing team of sisters currently working on a YA fantasy, “Mystic Cooking,” which is set in a world where steampunk scientists feud with elven gangsters, and a chef who specializes in cuisine made from mystical creatures is just trying to pay back her loan shark, beat her old school rival, and keep herself out of trouble. If you want to know more about it, check out our Next Big Thing post here.
J: When did you first start blogging and what is your blog about?
HEIDI: Technically we started it in May, just before the Backspace writing conference.
KATI: It was a total panic last-minute thing, though. I think we might have posted maybe three times until a certain friend of ours <cough Jae cough> gave us a kick in the pants in September.
HEIDI: Kati really took it to heart—she decided we’d do 31 posts in October. Didn’t tell me about it, of course…I had to read we were doing this on the blog at the same time as everyone else.
KATI: Just keeping you on your toes. 😛
HEIDI: Hate to admit it, but it ended up being a good idea—
KATI: Is this being recorded somewhere?
HEIDI: Anyways…after that we’ve mostly kept up a fairly regularish schedule. Oh, and our blog’s about writing, reading (mostly YA), and then the occasional random post about whatever.
J: Hey, just helping you get going on your blogging. So which of your posts was the most fun to write and why?
KATI: Definitely the Next Big Thing post. We had a blast coming up with different actors to play our characters.
HEIDI: A close second would be our “Co-Writing a Book” series, just because it was fun to think back over our process and share it with everyone.
KATI: Mostly YA fantasy, but I’m starting to break into MG fantasy, and I would like to write a YA historical fiction someday. 🙂
HEIDI: I write the same things as Kati, plus I write the occasional short story. Most of those are horror.
J: Protagonist excluded, which of your characters is your favorite?
KATI: I really like Hannah, our main character’s best friend. She seems like this super flaky person, but really she’s a lot smarter and a lot more sharp than she lets on. It’s fun to write a character who acts one way, and then underneath it there are just these little glimpses into a completely different person. Plus she tries to be a good friend, even if she ends up causing more trouble.
HEIDI: My favorite is definitely Vahn, the man our main character thinks is her one true love. He always gets her name wrong, constantly hits on her best friend, and clearly believes the sun shines out of his, well, you get the idea. He’s a total jerk, but an amusing one, and I’ve really enjoyed writing him.
J: Who are your favorite authors?
KATI: Even though I don’t like her more recent books as much, Tamora Pierce had written some of my all time favorite books. Also Madeleine L’Engle. I always go back to her “A Wrinkle in Time.”
HEIDI: Kati stole my choices. 😦
KATI: There’s a reason I wanted to go first. 😉
HEIDI: Well, in the interest of variety, I’ll add George R.R. Martin, because I think his “Song of Fire and Ice” series is amazing, and for a while I went through a Tanith Lee kick, but mostly it’s just for one book that I absolutely love, “Biting the Sun.” Oh, and J.K. Rowling, but only for Harry Potter. I personally did not enjoy her adult book. It’s well-written, but super depressing, like the whole time you’re reading a dementor is looking over your shoulder.
J: What are the last three books you read, and would you recommend them?
KATI: I’m halfway through 13 Treasures, and so far it’s been an enjoyable read that I would recommend. I also read Museum of Thieves which is adorable, and Paranormalcy which is a really fun read.
HEIDI: Kati lent me the first two books in the Matched series by Allie Condie, and I’d recommend both of them, although Crossed is a bit on the slow side. I’m really looking forward to reading Reached later this week. These books are fast paced with solid world-building and poetic language. Before that I read The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, and it was surprisingly delightful—definitely recommend. Very quick, fun read.
J: Do you listen to music while you write?
KATI: No music. I find it too distracting.
HEIDI: I usually like a little music. My favorites are anything by Lindsey Stirling and the soundtrack to The Fountain. Oh, and Thievery Corporation.
J: Aside from writing, what are your favorite things to do?
KATI: Drawing, reading, hiking, and sleeping. I also really love going camping at Paulina Lake, and going on long bike rides.
HEIDI: That pretty much sums up my activities, too.
KATI: It’s like we’re the same person!
HEIDI: <shudder> Terrifying thought. I don’t really draw, though.
KATI: Well, no one’s perfect. 😉
J: If you could be granted one superpower, which would it be?
KATI: I don’t know. Probably something that would give me more time to do the things I love.
HEIDI: Like the ability to not need sleep?
KATI: I was thinking more along the lines of the ability to be independently wealthy.
HEIDI: That’s not really a superpower though…
KATI: No? Tell that to Batman.
HEIDI: Good point. For me, I’d like the ability to travel back in time, but just a little bit, like a couple of minutes. Just enough to erase an immediate mistake, and not enough to accidentally rewrite history or end my existence or anything like that.
J: Where’s the farthest away from home you’ve traveled?
KATI: While I was living in CT, we went to Hawaii. I’m hoping to eventually travel farther from home than that.
HEIDI: Same, same. <sigh>
KATI: Heh, heh.;)
J: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known about writing earlier?
KATI: I don’t know…I guess I wish I knew earlier how much fun writing is. My earlier experiences were less fun.
HEIDI: I used to think it was possible to write a great first draft…not sure if I want to ruin young Heidi’s idealism, though. If my past self knew you needed to edit each draft 108 times, well, it might have made it harder to get started on all this.
J: What advice would you give to new writers getting started on their first story?
KATI: Write to entertain yourself. You should be having fun writing your story. If you are, then your readers will have more fun reading it.
HEIDI: Definitely true. Also writing is a lot of work. See above about the 108 edits. So, if you’re not having fun doing it, what’s the point? But if you can let yourself relax and get into the story you’re creating, it’s an amazing feeling. Also don’t spend too much time playing spider solitaire – it really messes with your word count.
KATI: Or minesweeper.
HEIDI: Yes, or minesweeper. It’s a deadly game.
KATI: Probably because of the mines.
I seriously had so much fun reading your responses. Aaaah, great way to finish out April. You two have talked about Musuem of Thieves so much, I think I need to get it on my Kindle. Now. One sec… Sample’s on the way.
All right people! Questions for Kati and Heidi? Read any of the books they recommend? Do you agree with their advice? Are you thinking we need more co-written posts on their blog in the future? Let them know below.