Last week I reviewed the wonderful novel Myth Blessed, and this week I had the honor of interviewing author Katie Dunn. In addition to being a talented author, Dunn is a high school history teacher. Living in Arizona, Dunn enjoys reading and playing games (whether it is video games, board games, or DnD). She also enjoys traveling and exploring. Dunn used to be a member of the organization called the Society for Creative Anachronism, which is a reenactment of the middle ages. She would participate in activities like knife throwing and Viking weaving — how cool is that?! Read our full interview below to better get to know Dunn and her writing!
Q) How long have you been writing?
A) I have been writing since I was very young. My school used to have creative writing time and I loved writing fun stories for the teacher to read. As I got older, I started writing in my own in journals, but I could never finish a story because I kept getting inspired and distracted with other story ideas. It was only a year ago, 2019, that I had someone push me to finish a book and then publish it. That was when I published Ancient Elements.
Q) Why do you write?
A) I write because I want to share the ideas that run wild in my mind. Sometimes I have an idea and I just want to read it in a story, but it has not been written yet, so instead of waiting for someone else to do it, I make it become a reality. Reading fantasy fiction is one of my favorite pastimes and writing in that genre lets me become a part of that community and contribute something for others who enjoy the same books I do.
Q) What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
A) I love reading fantasy fiction, especially anything with powers and/or snarky heroines. I have been reading that genre my whole life it seems, and that is why I write it as well. Within the fantasy fiction genre, I love writing about mythological creatures and/or powers. My favorite type of powers in fantasy fiction is anything with the elements: fire, earth, water, and air.
Q) What is your favorite book and why?
A) I recently finished reading a series that has become my new favorite. The series is called the Guild Codex/Spellbound and it is full of magic, adventure, humor, and has moments of romance. I was hooked and finished the whole series within a week or two. As soon as I finished the books, I wished I could go back and read it all with new eyes so I could enjoy every moment again.
Q) Who is your favorite author and why?
A) Rick Riordan is my favorite author. I loved all his books growing up and enjoyed the humor, mythology, and adventure in them immensely. The Percy Jackson series was actually the first set of books that led me to love reading. I will always have a soft spot for Rick Riordan’s books; he is an amazing author.
Q) What inspired Myth Blessed?
A) At the time I was binging on books with an Academy setting and thought it would be fun to write one of my own. I love myths and the elements, so I just combined them all to get Myth Blessed. As for Serena’s familiar, I knew I wanted it to be something related to chimeras which meant she could either have a snake, a goat, or a lion. I thought a goat would be cuter and more entertaining.
Q) Did you conduct a lot of research on mythical creatures before writing Myth Blessed? What was your favorite thing you discovered during your research?
A) I already knew much about the creatures in my novel, but I did have to research to find out more about a couple of them. I knew I wanted a Native American mythological being in the book, so I researched and found the Nalusa Chito of Choctaw mythology. I had to decide whether I wanted to do a Nalusa Chito or Nalusa Falaya. I went with the soul eater myth. I had never heard of a Nalusa Chito before and it was fun to learn about it. The other beings I had to do a bit of research on were the ones I described at the end of the book when Serena was in the facility of imprisoned Myths.
Q) What other works do you have available for readers at this time? Could you give us a blurb about each book?
A) This link takes you to my Amazon author page where you can find all my books.
Ancient Elements: Skye Dunbar and her best friend thought they were the only ones who had special abilities. However, new neighbors move in across the street and prove them wrong. Skye and her friend accompany them to their facility after an attack where they train their powers and skills. Skye finds out she is one of the missing elementals they have been looking for, but she isn’t sure she wants to join them, especially since a rogue group of gifted individuals is hunting them.
Pirates from Under and Prince of Shayd: These two books are part of the Skor Stone Trilogy in which the Lord of Skorval uses manipulative skor stones to control the royals and people of all the kingdoms. His niece Anameta, who is his heir, and the captain of the pirates work together to stop him and bring back peace to the lands. Prince of Shayd releases July 25, 2020!
Four Horsemen: Phi Bronson just wanted to go to University and become an engineer but when someone attacks her with a sword and three guys from her past stalk her every move, she is brought in to a world of apocalyptic powers and danger. Trying to avoid the Templars who are hunting her while also trying not to kill anyone and attend classes may end up being too much for her.
Q) Do you have a current WIP? If so, can you tell us about it?
A) I am super excited about the current book I am working on! I almost wanted to take a pause on Prince of Shayd to start working on this story idea, but I was encouraged to finish the book before I moved on. I am getting into the superhero ring. The story has superheroes, monsters, different Houses/sects within the supernatural world, and a lead character that has an unreliable power and a mystery to solve. I changed the title from Blue Lightning Girl to Sapphire Sparks.
Q) Can you tell us about your hope and vision for your writing?
A) I really hope to be able to continue writing and publishing more stories. I have a whole list of ideas for more books and I hope to one day to fulfill all of them. Being an author is not my full-time job, but it is a hobby that I hold dear and one I put a lot of time and heart into. I would love for more readers to immerse themselves in the worlds and stories I create. One day I hope to have at least ten reviews for each of my books.
Q) What advice do you have for other authors?
A) I know this is an obvious bit of advice, but it is something that cannot be said enough: write, write, write, and when you’re done writing, read, then write some more. What I have learned is that a skill cannot be improved unless it is done over and over again. Another piece of advice is to not worry as much about how other authors write because every author has their own unique way of doing things: what they write, how they format, and their processes that lead to writing their stories. Just do what makes you comfortable.
Order your copy of Myth Blessed here, and be sure to check out Dunn’s other books (see Amazon author link above)! Follow Dunn on social media to stay up to date with her and her writing.