Interview with Kathleen Shaputis: '...the message is about the satisfaction and independence of single women in general' @nwauthor




Kathleen Shaputis lives in the glorious Pacific Northwest with her husband, Bob, a clowder of cats and three pompously protective Pomeranians with little social aptitude: Brugh, Bouncer and Miss Jazzy. If not writing, she’s busy reading and watching romantic comedies, her ultimate paradise.

Her latest book is Their Witch Wears Plaid.

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I didn’t set out to write a contemporary magical realism trilogy when the extraordinary band of characters first showed up on paper. They are a delightfully diverse group in age and concept bringing storylines and fantastic scenes with them. But after the first two books in the Baillie Castle series, it was clear the supporting character Nell needed her story told and Their Witch Wears Plaid unfolded. She’s a strong, independent and talented woman and the book leads her heart through a strange adventure of angst and possibilities.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

This was my first book written after being diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease, a non-fatal but incurable disease where I feel seasick nearly every day. I can only be on a computer for short spurts of time as otherwise I’ll lose the day to dizziness and fatigue. But no matter how much you love your characters or the plotlines of a story, if you don’t show up, sit up and write, the book will never be finished. Tenacity is paramount to a successful author – you have to dedicate a block of time best for you to show up and write words. Mine are the early morning hours of dawn when the rest of my household is asleep. For this book, it was a nine-month labor of love.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish? 

The first two books of the Baillie Castle series were published by Crimson Romance, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Originally, I was encouraged to submit a manuscript to them by a dear fellow author, Eva Shaw. We have worked together at various writers conferences over the years and I had a cozy mystery idea I knew I could tweak into a romance genre. This was Her Ghost Wears Kilts. When I submitted Their Witch Wears Plaid to the editor, it was turned down for not enough romance and following the guidelines of a romance genre more closely. So I self-published the book.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

The entire adventure of my first book was an unexpected surprise. My writing passion lies in fiction, but what I heard at various conferences for writers was how non-fiction was an easier portal to publishing. I didn’t write non-fiction was my first thought. Then one day I woke up with the idea how I was a computer technician by day answering a myriad of questions and a first-time grandmother. Why couldn’t I write for grandmothers about computers? I created a proposal for the book Grandma Online and sold it to a Ten Speed Press publisher at a conference.

Q: What other books are you working on and when will they be published? 

I am currently working on a women’s commercial fiction tome set in the 1970’s and having a incredible romp through the disco-dancing, ERA protesting landscape.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people? 

Among the supporting cast in Their Witch Wears Plaid is one of my favorite characters, Gillian Nation. He’s gay, he’s gorgeous and brings an attitude into the story like none other. His two drag queen friends, T-Cup and Rafael, complete a triangle of delight and merriment to the book.

Q: Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

I believe the message is about the satisfaction and independence of single women in general. Career-minded women are and can be content in their world without the need of a man by their side. However, if the fates cross her path with a gentleman of honor and caring, it’s amazing how the heart opens up, expanding to new delicious levels.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?
 
I look forward to hearing from new readers and encouraging those creative selves who have a story to tell.

About the Book:

Title: THEIR WITCH WEARS PLAID
Author: Kathleen Shaputis
Publisher: Clutter Fairy Publishing
Pages: 316
Genre: Magical Realism / Paranormal Romance / Romantic Comedy

BOOK BLURB:
A giant-sized Druid, annoying trances and frightening nightmares mess up Nell's festive end of summer plans. Living in Scotland, a palm reader for Baillie Castle, Nell loses her heart to a professional jouster. But is her shining knight in cahoots with the sinister Druid?
                                            
Will the recipe of a magic coin, diva queens and witches be enough to save Nell from death? Or will evil triumph over love?

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