– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘From The Deep’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Kateri Stanley is a pseudonym for the multi-genre fiction writer. Since being a child, Kateri has been inspired by the wondrous mediums of books, music, TV and film. After working in the healthcare industry for eight years and studying for an Arts and Humanities degree, she made the decision to move cities in the West Midlands and live with her ever-suffering partner and their felines. Her debut novel Forgive Me was published by indie press house, DarkStroke Books in 2021 and it reached #1 in the US Horror Fiction charts on Amazon. She is currently working on her third novel, Bittersweet Injuries and would love to pursue a full-time career in writing.
Julian Finch, widower and fisherman, awakes to learn that the bodies of two colleagues have washed up on the beach of Drake Cove. The close-knit community is under fierce public scrutiny due to a long-standing tradition called “The Culling”, the annual slaughter of pilot whales for consumption. An act which divides the nation.
The suspects are the extreme animal rights group, the Fighters Against Animal Cruelty (FAAC) who go wherever the politics is trending. They’ve been harassing the small fishing town for many years, smashing up their boats and sending vicious hate mail.
Tensions mount after a viral video, uploaded by the FAAC of Julian killing a pregnant whale, causes uproar online and in real life. In the aftermath, Julian becomes the victim of hate crime. In order to avoid further life-threatening attacks, Julian and his daughter take refuge in the home of Frank Blothio: ex-fisherman turned writer and political activist who does not have the best history with the animal rights movement, or Drake Cove as a whole.
As Julian integrates into the Blothio way of life, he discovers heinous secrets and disturbing truths lurking beneath the skin of his hometown that will change his life forever.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Thanks for having me!
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’m Kateri. A dark fiction writer from the Midlands in the UK. I write under a pen name, not my real name. It still feels weird to type Kateri when it isn’t my actual name. I’ve been writing since I was young and I loved the idea of becoming a storyteller. My Mom says that if I don’t write, I’ll end up in a mental hospital (dark joke) and she’s right. It’s linked to my state of mind and I think it is for many of us creatives. Musicians, acting, singers, artists, film making and so much more.
I became an author last year (2021) when my first novel Forgive Me, a sci-fi horror was published by indie house, DarkStroke Books. I’d been working on the story for years and during the pandemic, I managed to grab some time to polish it off. Originally, I was querying the story with literary agents. I received rejections or no responses and then I turned to independent publishers. I found DS, thought the books they published were suitable for this story and I submitted it to them. A week later or so, I signed a contract! Since then, my debut novel has become a no.1 bestseller on Amazon!
My second novel, From the Deep – a dark mystical thriller was published by Burton Mayers Books (another indie press house) on 3rd May 2022. About a local fisherman who is dealing with the shock of the deaths of his colleagues. His hometown is under public scrutiny due to a fishing practice which splits the nation. The Culling is loosely based on the real-life practice of the Grindarap (from the Faroe Islands) where pilot whales are slaughtered for food consumption. There’s a killer among the town, but who is it?
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Hannibal by Thomas Harris, Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman –I consumed all of these books as a teenager and I’ve reread several times as an adult.
I also love reading non-fiction, On Writing by Stephen King, it’s part memoir, part writing advice and I can read over and over again. If you’re a dark fiction writer like myself or a King fan in general, I highly recommend you check it out. He’s very funny, and very honest.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
If it was out of my second novel, From the Deep – it would have to be Frank Blothio, the former fisherman and animal rights activist. He has his head screwed on properly, I adore the way he debates. He’d have a lot to say and to tell me. He uses his brain in order to educate others, not his fists compared to the Fighters Against Animal Cruelty who use violence and intimidation to get their point across. Not many people from Drake Cove like him because he publicly criticizes their culture and the use of The Culling. A practice where the locals (Drake Covians) slaughter whales for food.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Music. I have something playing in my ears whether it’s a Spotify playlist or a YouTube video playing. It helps me to concentrate. I don’t like silence.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Write, see what happens. Dive in. You won’t know unless you explore. As the late and great Anne Rice said. ‘Go where the pain is. Go where the pleasure is.’ And I agree with her.
Don’t be pulled in by those ‘how to write’ videos on YouTube. It’s one person’s opinion and there are so many on there, and they all say different things that clash with each other. Find your own voice.
What are your future plans as an author?
I’m currently working on the first draft of my (hopefully) third novel. It is a supernatural drama with religious, historical and romantic elements. There are cameos from famous (and infamous) people from world history. There’s been a lot of research for this one. Psychology, counselling, incel culture (not very nice), and The Divine Comedy…
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
This is the opening of From the Deep which sets the tone of the novel and gives you a taste of what it is like to live in Drake Cove.
Ian Copton decides to head out on his boat, Serenity. After the fallout from today’s demonstration, his job had been cut short due to a potential danger. The authorities never said anything about the amount of rubbish protestors left behind. It was a sure way to drive anyone holidaying in Drake Cove to demand their money back. But this is the world nowadays. Emotions are more important than rationality and steel hard facts.
“A load of bullshit,” he whispers, dangling the rod over the edge.
Ian waits for several minutes until he senses a pull before reeling in the line. Pierced by the sharp hook, the fish flaps helplessly. He clasps his hand around its head, rips the hook free and drops it into the bucket by his foot. Ian repeats this several times until Serenity shakes, violently.
Ian reluctantly resumes his fishing, hurling the line back into the water, muttering swear words under his breath. If it wasn’t for his choice of career, people wouldn’t be able to eat fish at all unless they fetched it from the sea themselves. The consumers didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn, heave a heavy net and come home stinking of fish guts.
There’s a sudden pull on the fishing line. Ian frowns, trying to yank the rod, twisting the coil, but he can’t shift it. He must’ve hooked a pretty big one. He uses his full weight to pull the line in but it doesn’t budge. Then Serenity shakes again. The line goes slack.
Fuming, Ian peers over the side with his flashlight and sees something. His blood runs cold as his brain explodes with hectic possibilities. Before he can process some sort of strategy, it springs out from the water, seizing his fishing rod, dragging him overboard.
The ice-cold water munches at his limbs and he kicks out at the figure, his palm tightening around the handle of the rod. He hears an angry squeal when the rod splits in two. Then a pain erupts in his chest.
Ian breathes out, water races into his lungs like a tidal wave, suffocating him. He remembers seaweed circling his head and a pair of large, piercing eyes glaring back before the darkness finally engulfs him.
Herb Clarke kicks several coffee cups across the sand, mumbling about the mess. Alone time with his thoughts and the fresh sea air always got his creative juices flowing. His current worry is marketing his book shop whilst coordinating everything else. He hadn’t grown up in the social media age until his niece showed him the mechanics. Now, he’s all over it, taking pretty decorative pictures, hoping the attractive graphics would inspire any literature loving customers to empty their pockets. His niece mentioned something, a popular social media platform the younger generation lapped up like milkshakes. But he’d read enough scathing stories to know it wasn’t for him. How would it generate sufficient interest to sell books? What could he do to stand out?
Herb continues with his walk until he sees a murky frame lying on the sand. He squints, trying to get a closer look, thinking it’s a heap of black bin liners. Then he notices…the outline of an arm, and leg.
“Oh my God,” he utters, jogging over when he realises it’s the body of a man. It’s someone he knows too.
“Ian?” Herb asks.
The man’s clothes have darkened from the water. His golden hair has whitened and it clings to his grey skin. Herb touches his shoulder, turning the man to find a metallic spike lodged in his chest. Ian’s eyes bulge out of his head. The fishing line is lashed around his neck, penetrating his skin. The hook is embedded in his face, right down to the bone. The repulsive smell of dead flesh hits Herb’s stomach.
The police station’s only a half an hour walk away, ten if he drives but he can’t leave the body. Herb’s shaky fingers jab at his phone screen, missing the correct numbers now and then as he makes the call. When someone answers on the other end, Herb has to carefully piece his words together like a puzzle.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Kateri Stanley.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!