Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Katherine Sorin - City of Whispers

We have Katherine Sorin with us today, promoting her book City of Whispers.
Where do you currently live?
New York City

Tell us a little bit about your life.
I'm originally from the South, but moved to New York for work after I graduated from law school. I can't say I'm crazy about the city the way some people are, but it's been a learning experience and I've met a lot of interesting people. I recently left my law firm job because lawyers scare me more than vampires. My days are now divided between writing cover letters and writing books!

When did you first start writing?
I wrote a lot of short stories when I was younger. I especially enjoyed writing plays and performing them with my sister, cousins, friends, or whoever else I could finagle into participating. My stories and plays usually involved ghosts of some sort. My mom used to get angry because she thought my plays were too scary for kids. When I started high school I stopped writing because I was busy with school work. I didn't pick it up again until about a year ago.

What was your very first story about?
I honestly can't remember, but I've always been into ghosts and vampires so it was probably some kind of ghost story.

Have you written anything that you were too afraid to let anyone read?
"City of Whispers." I started writing it thinking that I would never let my friends or family see it. I finally realized that at the very least I needed a proofreader. A friend was kind enough to read the draft and then tear it apart. At first some of his comments upset me, but then I realized that he had a lot of good insight. Now, some of my reviewers specifically compliment my editor!

Did you experience anything you’ve written yourself?
A vampire tried to climb in my window once, but I took care of her. Word must have gotten around because it never happened again.

Who are several of your greatest literary inspirations?
I love Jane Austen and James Michener. While neither wrote about vampires, I appreciate the way they set up scenes and draw you into their characters. When you read their books you can picture the setting and the characters as if you were there.

As far as my vampire inspirations, I've been inspired by folktales, many which have no known authors. Most folktales are just short stories, but they make me check under my bed at night. In "City of Whispers," I wanted to make vampires scary again.

Another indie author, Guy James, was a friend of mine before I started writing. He gave me a lot of advice about writing and self-publishing. I probably never would have had the guts to self-publish "City of Whispers" if not for Guy.

What kind of education have you received, and how has that affected your writing?
I have my B.A. and my J.D. I think law school and my brief legal career have helped me clarify ideas when writing. A lot of lawyers like to throw around fancy terms and use lots of adjectives that just aren't helpful. The most persuasive arguments are made by lawyers who don't send you running to the dictionary and who let you reach the conclusion on your own. I try to remember this every time I write. If I describe the situation in a clear manner, the reader can reach the correct conclusion on his/her own. If I have to tell the reader that something is "obvious" then I'm probably skipping a step, and that's cheating.

How much research time customarily goes into your projects?
"City of Whispers" takes place in New York where I live so I didn't have to do very much research. I brushed up on vampire lore and also spent a few hours here and there reading about some of the technology in the book. The sequel, however, takes place in a different city and involves more technology that I'm not familiar with so I've recently found myself spending days at a time researching these issues. What did people do before the internet?

Who is your favorite literary character?
Catherine in "Catherine Called Birdy" by Karen Cushman. It might sound silly because it's a book for ages 12 and up, but I've been reading that book since middle school and I love it. It's a light read about a girl whose father keeps trying to marry her off to rich, terrible men. Catherine is just a regular girl, but she always finds a clever way to escape, often humiliating her suitors in the process. Whenever I need a mood lift I read about Catherine and she inspires me to rebel against whomever or whatever it is that's got me down.

Who is your favorite character of your own creation?
Ailis Laurent of course! She doesn't go looking for trouble, but when she finds herself in a bad situation she faces it head on. She makes mistakes just like everyone else, but at the end of the day she has certain goals and she will find a way to achieve them.

If you were ever to write an autobiography, what would its title be?
"Vampires vs. Lawyers: Why Lawyers are Scarier."

Tell us about your featured book.
"City of Whispers" takes place in Manhattan after the outbreak of a virus of unknown origins that turns New Yorkers into vampires. Fortunately, the virus is quarantined before it can infect the rest of the world, but the survivors are not allowed to leave Manhattan. As their numbers dwindle, the survivors become increasingly desperate to escape and Ailis Laurent turns into a hardened vampire killer.

Why did you write that?
I had a nightmare one night about vampires in New York. Some of them looked very human and the only way I could tell whether or not they were vampires was to listen to them speak. The vampires could only speak in hoarse whispers. When I woke up I was so scared I hid under the covers. A friend suggested I write it down and that's how I began "City of Whispers."

Is there anything special you would like your potential readers to know?
"City of Whispers" is not a vampire romance so if you're looking for vampire hook ups this one might not be for you. But, if you like your vampires scary and you like ordinary people caught in extraordinary situations, then I truly think you will enjoy "City of Whispers."

Our thanks to Katherine for being with us. Look below for her work in paperback and eBook format.

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