Interview with Katy Regnery, author of Fragments of Ash
02 Oct 2018
What can you tell us about your new release,Fragments of Ash?
I am really excited about this release! It’s my second-to-last fairytale retelling (the final one is Swan Song, which will be released on March 4, 2019!) and one of the more challenging for me to write. Why? Mostly because I’m not the biggest fan of Cinderella, but over the years I noticed my fairytale fans clamored for it. I had to figure out an angle that would be palatable to me as a storyteller. So, I stripped down the characters and story to the bare bones: Cinderella (orphan, mean stepfamily, lovely disposition, survivor, longing for love and safety) / Story (Girl has happy family. Girl loses happy family. Girl is chattel of evil stepfamily. Girl meets Prince. Prince chooses Girl. Prince and Girl live happily ever after.) I took a long look at these elements, and then I started re-building the story into an image that felt “right” for me. Instead of an evil stepmother, how about an evil stepfather? Instead of a fairy godmother, how about a fairygodfather? Once I started playing with the characters and story within the original structure, everything got easier, and voila! Fragments of Ash was born.
If Fragments of Ash is turned into a movie, who would you pick to play the lead characters?
Oooo! Casting question!! (The nip to every author’s cat!) Well, both Ashley and Julian are blondes in my story. And both are young – 18 and 24, respectively. I could see Alex Pettyfer, Shia LaBouef or Liam Hemsworth as Julian – they’re all in their mid-late 20s and can pull off a brooding-boy with aplomb! And let’s see…someone lovely and innocent for Ashley. There are two young actresses who come to mind: Lauren Taylor and Hunter King. Both are in their early-20s and have a look that would suit Ashley.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
OMG. That is a HARD question!! I’m going to chance my answer a little and tell you which five romance novels have been the most impactful for me as an author, okay?
- Dreaming of You (Lisa Kleypas): My first and most beloved romance, Lisa Kleypas set the bar high for emotional love scenes, and I’ve been trying to match her grace and intensity ever since.
- Fifty Shades of Grey (E.L. James): Love it or hate it, Fifty Shades started a romance revolution that reenergized the entire book writing industry.
- The Look of Love (Bella Andre): I fell in love with Bella’s Sullivans and never looked back. All I wanted was to write a series as engrossing and addictive as hers.
- The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (Jessica Sorensen): I had never read angst like Jessica Sorensen’s. It vibrated through me and made me long to write something similarly intense.
- Beautiful Creatures (Kami Garcia + Margaret Stohl): The only paranormal book I’ve ever read, Beautiful Creatures inspired me to write my own paranormal duo, It’s You.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
Stephen King. Always Stephen King. I mean, this man has written more bestsellers than anyone alive, he’s been married to the same woman for 47 years, and all three of his kids still talk to him. He has legions of fans, a wonderful presence on social media, and has seen dozens of his books turned into TV shows and movies. I think he’s living the most amazing author life, and I’d love to talk to him one-on-one. What would my first question be? Probably something about the balance between family and work. Or if he could introduce me to his Hollywood connections! Ha! That would be awesome!
What’s on your writing desk?
I’m all about business, so it’s pretty boring! I have my oversized computer screen, a Logitech K120 keyboard (I have three more of them in my closet because I go through one every 24 months!), a Logitech mouse, an iPhone stand with a cable to my hard drive for downloads and charging, sharpie pens for signing books, white out, a stapler, tape, the phone directory to my kids’ school, my everything journal (where I wrote down notes, reminders, ISBN numbers, small bits of inspiration, etc), birthday cards from my kids, a card I keep meaning to send to Emma Scott, and a half-drunk glass of wine.
What is a typical day like for you?
My kids wake me up at 6:30pm to say good-bye before my husband drives them to school. I go back to sleep until about 8:30am, then I wake up, make myself a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich or toast. By 9:00am I’m sitting at my desk and I open internet windows for Yahoo! Mail, Facebook, Twitter, KDP, D2D, Mailchimp and my website. I also open two Word windows for my WIP and my “Schedule for Writing,” an ongoing .doc I started in 2014 and update every day. I go through my emails and try to connect with all of my fans on social media. I check my sales numbers and subscription stats. If my website requires an edit, I do it then. By about 10:30am, I start writing. I try to write for four hours until I head to the gym for a 30 min work-out. I pick up my kids at 3:30pm and drive them to their after-school activities over the next three hours. We have family dinner at 6:30pm every evening, and after dinner I either go back to work for a while or watch TV. I take a shower around midnight and start it all over again in the morning!
What scene in Fragments of Ash was your favorite to write?
There is a truly vile and disgusting scene between Ashley and her stepfather in the beginning of the book, and man, it was fun! I don’t ever write dark heroes or heroines, but it is so satisfying to write a profoundly villainous supporting character. I also had a blast writing Tig’s diary entries…I don’t think I’ve ever typed the f-word so many consecutive times in my entire life!!
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