Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to welcome to our author spotlight blog, K.A. Laity! Laity is the award-winning author of White Rabbit, A Cut-Throat Business, Lush Situation, Owl Stretching, Unquiet Dreams, À la Mort Subite, The Claddagh Icon, Chastity Flame, Pelzmantel and Other Medieval Tales of Magic and Unikirja, as well as editor of Weird Noir, Noir Carnival and the forthcoming Drag Noir. And lots of other things because she writes under a few different names!
Thank you very much for joining us, K.A. Laity! 🙂 It’s a pleasure to have you. One of my favorite works by you is Owl Stretching, which includes a road trip through Worcester. How important has the New England setting been to your writing?
My novel Owl Stretching is a road trip (in a SF-slightly alternative history world) from Albany to Boston. Along the way I stop at a place that bears a strong resemblance to Kripalu in the Berkshires and I even make Worcester a place of glamour and flash. New England felt home to me as soon as I arrived there, and I always keep coming back.
What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?
Write every day — not in a dogged, calisthenic way, but in a joyful it’s-like-breathing way. Even if it’s just a few lines in your journal when you wake up. Even if it’s a line of nonsense written in the margin of meeting agenda. Make it your hunger, how you devour the world.
I’ve just finished selecting the stories for the Drag Noir anthology for Fox Spirit Books. As the name suggests, it’s a bunch of stories that take the concept of drag and put it into the world of noir. There’s a wide range of stories — I had no idea what I would get and I was really blown away by the stories. I have a zombie western novella, High Plains Lazarus, coming out this summer, my Chastity Flame novels — previously ebooks — will be out in print this August. I have a medieval adventure novel that’s out with some agents, and I am working on a fairy tale novel for Fox Spirit. And there’s some non-fiction work coming but I’ve blathered on too long.
What does your writing space look like? What do you need to have around you while writing or editing?
All I need is my computer — or my iPad or an actual pad of paper and somewhere to sit. When I’m in Dundee (like now), I usually sit in bed and write. There’s a little table next to me with my folders of ongoing projects, a bunch of notebooks and pads of paper. When I’m in New York, I have my office in the house I share with my brother that’s all blue and a desk that’s really just a folding table so I can move it around and spread folders and paper and whatnot on the surface while I’m working.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned, thus far, in your writing career?
I keep learning the same lesson over and over: patience. It never happens fast enough for me. The ideal is to finish something and thrust it into the world’s hands and have people read it immediately. That doesn’t happen. Admittedly, it is possible to speed things up a lot more with the glory that is ebooks. But the process of building a career is slow. It’s frustrating to see women continually overlooked systematically. Genre writing still gets pigeon-holed by many in the mainstream media. With the backlash against women in geek culture, too, it’s a wonder more women don’t just give up altogether — but we’re not going away. We have too many stories to be told.
Are there any groups, clubs, or organizations that you would recommend to other writers that have helped you in your career?
I have really found great camaraderie with the folks from Broad Universe: I love doing readings but if you’re not a big name, it’s hard to get a crowd at most cons. The BU Rapid Fire Readings are always packed with people and a whole lot of fun. Not being on your own (which is the normal state for writers while writing) is helpful — to share experiences, to promote other people (because it’s less exhausting than promoting yourself) and to make friends who understand the crazy process that is writing.
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
http://www.kalaity.com as well as on Facebook (k.a.laity) and Twitter (katelaity).
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
History Witch at Witches & Pagans
Thank you so much for joining us, K.A. Laity!