Monday, May 25, 2015

Author Interview- Kathy Otten

Happy Memorial Day readers!

Today I have author Kathy Otten and her book, After the Dark.

Welcome Kathy, tell me three words that describe yourself starting with A, B, and C. 

Allergic-I do tend to sneeze a lot this time of year.  
Boring-Yup, that’s me.  I never go anywhere except to work, and I’m not very adventurous. 
Critical-I’m a big self-critique.  I expect my work to be perfect, especially in my writing life.

What are your three favorite things? 

My new grandson, my Nook, and ice cream

What for you is the best part of writing? What is the worst?

The best part of writing for me is when I’m in the zone and I can see the whole scene in my head and hear the characters talking and I can’t write fast enough to get it all down.  The worst thing is when I’m blocked and typing 100 words is torture. On those days I rearrange my paper clips, file my nails, and play solitaire. It’s like going off my diet. I hate myself afterward for not forcing myself to write.
Is there a process you stick to, or do you just write as it hits you? 

I’m only home 4 days a week so I try to write for two hours a day.

 Was there any particular inspiration for your characters or story? 

I saw a documentary on the Molasses Flood on TV.  It interested me so a bought a book about the event. It was the only time I didn’t see the characters first. It wasn’t hard next to come with some characters, stick (ha ha) them  in the middle of the disaster, and see if they could manage to fall in love.

Music is a big influence on my writing. I have certain songs that inspire each chapter, or the whole book. What helps to inspire you?

I tend to like quiet. I like to get into the zone with no distractions. I enjoy music, but I tend to listen to it rather than write.

What is the ultimate goal you have for your career? 

I’d like to be published with a NY publisher and be successful enough to be able to quit my day job and write full time. Maybe afford a vacation every year.

 Describe your perfect day? 

A perfect day is one where the words come and I feel good about what I’ve written and I feel like a writer.

Favorite item of clothing in your closet? 

My blue jeans.


 Months in the trenches of France have left Liam Gallagher wondering why he has survived when better men did not. His guilt intensifies when he returns home only to come down with the deadly Spanish Influenza sweeping the country. Once again Liam lives when thousands do not.

Now the only bright spot in his monotonous life is the time he spends each day walking with Rosalie Moretti. Their talks give him hope for the future, a future possibly to include this vibrant, loving woman. Until one dark, catastrophic afternoon, when Liam realizes the reason his life was spared has come down to minutes and his ability to perform one selfless act.


Kathy is the mother of three grown children and lives in the open farm country of western NY with her husband of thirty-two years. She enjoys taking long walks with her German Shepherd Max, through the fields and woods near her home. In the winter she likes to curl up with a good book and one or two of her five cats, while the snow blows outside. In between family, work and animals she can be found at her computer weaving stories of laughter, heartache, and love for the crazy cast of characters swirling around in her head.


  1. Hi Kathy, welcome to the blog. After the Dark looks to be a perfect Memorial/Veterans day read. I took a minute to google the Molasses Flood and wow, I had no idea that had happened. Very interesting. And amazing how you were able to make a brilliant story out of it. Best wishes.

  2. Happy Memorial Day All!

    Thanks so much for having me today Angela.
    Sorry for the typo. Should have said critic instead of critique. Though it's a poor excuse, I must have been tired when I sent it.

  3. A,B,C: how about, Allergic, Budding, and Creative.
    Best of luck.

  4. Hi Madeline,

    Thanks for being so upbeat. :) Hope you're enjoying your holiday.

  5. I first heard about the Molasses Flood while reading the military record of one of my ancestors on I also googled it later.
    Good luck with After the Dark.

  6. Hi Sandra,
    That's so cool that one of your ancestors had a connection to the event. I've played around on Ancestory and also found some cool stuff, like the passenger manifest for the ship my dad came over from Germany on when he was a little kid. I need to get back to that site and play around some more.

  7. Good luck with the book. I enjoyed your interview.

  8. Hi Liz,
    Thanks for stopping by and for the good wishes. :)