This author is published through Clean Reads and has an amazing new book! Catskin is a contemporary YA set in Alaska. It follows Ansel, an albino Athabascan boy, who happens to find a runaway girl hiding on his property. The ensuing story will hopefully make readers reevaluate what it means to be family, and realize that normal is what you make it.
Artemis, can you tell me what inspired you to write your book? Um, I don’t think I was ever “inspired” to write. It’s simply always been an ingrained drive inside me, a need to get ink onto paper.
How long on average does it take you to write a book? This varies widely. When I was working on the farm (a six hundred acre estate) I had the ability to write on lunch break, and even add a sentence here and there throughout the day. Mentally and emotionally I was completely content, and even when I was working, I had the ability to think constantly about whatever story I was working on. Now that I’m at a job where I can’t daydream while there, can’t stop to jot notes or plot points and don’t get a lunch break (I work at a Tavern open for midday fare, so no lunch break) it’s a lot more difficult to get words down. Even when I finally get home, there’s a decompression process, so my writing time is severely curbed. At the farm, I could get a first draft for a 80k-100k story in a month or two. Now, it’s more like 5-6 months.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block? I’ve never actually gotten writer’s block. I have a huge backlog of story ideas, and partial starts, and since I’m someone who can work on multiple WIPs at a time, if I get stalled on one project, I just move to another one.
Sounds great! What are some of your hobbies aside from writing the next best seller? Riding horses, herding cats, doing yard work. I also paint, and usually the results are either given as gifts, or donating to the Wildlife Center Of Virginia for their yearly fundraising auction.
Very cool! What is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been? ICELAND
Tea or coffee? Mostly coffee, black. But I do love tea as well. And my favorite today is hot water with lime, honey, a piece of ginger root, and a dram of moonshine.
If I randomly gave you an island, what would you name it? And who would live there with you? First of, my island is going to be off the coast of Alaska, Nova Scotia, or Iceland. I would name it Niflheim and the spirits of the dead would live there with me, because I think they would tell amazing stories. (I know you thought I would list living people, but I like to Crazy Ivan unexpectedly)
LOL, dead people can be fun too! Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I’m game to try most anything, but in this modern world of “foodies” I’d have to say that the weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten is probably Kiss The Devil wine, which is a specialty wine from Peaks of Otter vineyard in Virginia. It’s made from 30 different types of peppers, including the ghost pepper. No, I didn’t drink an entire glass, but I did take a full shot glass.
That sounds like something to try since I’m also right here in central Virginia. So tell me, are you a morning or night person? Both. I love mornings, and the night. If I was not required to “keep a schedule” I’d probably be up early, nap during the day, up all evening into the small hours and then nap in the night until morning. Much like the old way of cycles, where people would go to bed early, then wake in the middle of the night and do things in their homes (like letter writing and correspondence) and then go back to sleep until morning.
Three more questions: Do you have any pets? Uuuuummm… We have a herd of cats (literally) along with two horses, and one very teensy miniature donkey. And once in a while, an abandoned baby bird, which is raised until they’re fledged out, and then released.
If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be? Just ONE? Dang, that’s hard… I think I’ll go with Herian Hunter, who is a character no one else has met yet, from one of my WIPs, BLOODED.
Do you have any advice for other writers? Write. Just write. And read. Read whatever genre and age group you write. Also, it’s good to at least have an idea of WHY you write. For me, it’s a compulsion. I describe myself as a “scripturient” because I’m literally not happy mentally or emotionally if I’m not writing on a regular basis. So while I desperately wanted to get published, even if I’d known from the very beginning that I would never be published, I would still be writing exactly as I am now.
Thank you so much for reading all about Artemis Grey! Here is the blurb to Catskin which is now available.
Sometimes the only way to find yourself is to go missing…
Shy, eighteen-year-old albino, Ansel, thought that letting the runaway girl with the injured ankle sleep in his parents’ shed was a good idea. That was before she passed out in his shower, woke up in a panic and accidentally attacked him. Any average guy would have called the cops but average isn’t Ansel’s style.
When she refuses to tell him her real name, Ansel nicknames the girl Catskin, after one of his favorite fairytale characters, and begins the dubious task of earning her trust. It’s not an easy thing to do, but a few awkward conversations later, one thing is clear: Catskin doesn’t want to be the way she is, she just doesn’t think she can change. Ansel knows from his own experiences that seeing the world around you differently doesn’t mean that you’re wrong, something he intends to teach Catskin.
While the details of her past remain elusive, Catskin creates a new place for herself with Ansel and his family, and develops her own brand of normalcy. Then a terrible accident leaves her hovering near death, and Ansel is forced to contact her estranged parents. But there are secrets hidden in the life Catskin left behind. Dark secrets that chased her all the way to Healy, Alaska and Ansel’s actions unknowingly provoke a shocking confrontation between the wealthy world Catskin was born into, and the starkly average one she now shares with Ansel.
Refusing to give up the imperfect girl who fits perfectly inside his heart, Ansel prepares to go to war with Catskin’s father. But in the end, Catskin might be the only one who can save herself.
Thanks again for stopping by. If you have any questions for the author or myself, leave a comment. If you have someone you would like me to interview, just leave me a comment!