- publishers collabs; tours; - · - q/a; interviews; -

katy of clay || interview with indie author u.l. harper!

*thank you to the publisher and the author for providing me with a copy of this book. thank you to storytellers on tour for this opportunity. check out the rest of the schedule here.*

Title: Katy of Clay

Author: U. L. Harper

Publisher: The Body Politic Press

Release Date: August 20, 2021

Genre: Horror, Magical-Realism

Get the book: Amazon || Kobo

In this reality bending tale of magical realism and horror, Katy will learn answers to questions she has never been brave enough to ponder, all while traveling through a bizarre world with only a sketchbook and pen to defend herself.

Katy’s father claims he created her out of special clay, literally with his hands. Adding that she will soon slip into another world because of it does not make his assertion any less farfetched, not even to a highly creative art student such as her. Nevertheless, she suddenly finds herself in that other world with nothing more than skills as an artist and her father’s insistence she travel across this incredible landscape to an old family refuge.

Not long into the journey, she discovers the inhabitants are fleshy ghosts forced to perpetually relive murder and suicide. It is in this violent environment where she comes to terms with an unusual benefit of her artistic talent—with it, she can free ghosts from their deaths.

Hello U.L.! Welcome to The Fictional Journal. Congratulations on publishing “Katy of Clay.” A huge thank you to Storytellers Book Tours for scheduling this interview! Before we start, could you give a one-line pitch for your book, just so everyone knows what we are talking about. 

“Sometimes, to truly live, you need to die a little.” 

1. What do you think people underestimate the most about writing Fantasy?

Let’s be clear that this is fantasy/lit-horror. But even so, I think people figure they’re safe because these events haven’t happened or they won’t happen. My bias is that fantasy readers, read from a distance. They like worldbuilding because it’s a different place in which they’re not a part. But they underestimate how true to life emotions can be in fantasy. 

2. What is the hardest part of navigating through this industry, especially as an Indie Author? And would you care to share a few insights on the process of publishing for all our budding authors here?

I think the hardest part is realizing that there is a wrong way to do things. There are no right ways but there are wrong ways. Your book can be too long, it can have the wrong angle, the wrong cover, the wrong approach to language. It’s like that because it sits in an industry. It’s part of it. That said, I always hear a lot of “whatever works for you”, and that’s not saying anything. Like, well, what is working for you, and why do you think that? Here is the story you have, but is it the story you want or meant to achieve. Why did you want to achieve it? How do you know if your process is working for you? Is completing your novel the goal of your process? If so, well, how do you know you’re done? The point is you should actually answer the questions rather than say “whatever works”. Don’t limp in to your future. Do that damned thing all the way.

3. Your heroes who dabbled into this genre? And in what way have they influenced your writing?

Clive Barker. His language was and is amazing. His violence was always so eloquent. He started off in horror, from my perspective, but really branched off into dark fantasy. With him I could see some truly dark fantasy writing, and it was dark beyond the violence. When people see violence as negative and dark and can lean on Barker and be like, nah, violence, no matter how blunt, can be beautiful. The emotional content is what’s dark. 

4. “Katy of Clay,” I must admit is a phenomenal book. I loved following her through this journey. But one of the most enticing aspects of your story was that it very finely toed the line between fantasy, horror, and magical realism, and this made the reading experience so much more immersive! But why do you think that people should read this book and is there anything specific that you are trying to get across through Katy’s journey?

I don’t think everyone should read it. It’s not for everybody. It presents trauma that doesn’t always have resolution. It leaves you on skates, and probably falling. I don’t hold your hand through it. It basically just is what it is. You should read it if you want a story that you simply won’t read otherwise. If you want to read about death and how to die then this book is for you. There are big questions that you need to answer for yourself. If that’s you, I have about 256 pages waiting for you. If you’re looking for a fantasy yarn full of safe worldbuilding there are plenty of books that better suit you. 

5. Is there any character in your book that you relate to? If so, did you purposefully write them in such a manner, or was it something just as unexpected to you?

Every character is honestly some description of me, all the way down to the father who has two heads. One head is dedicated to emotions. The other to thinking, or something like that. Even he represents me. Her ex-boyfriend who repeatedly commits suicide is someone I knew in real life. I relate to everyone and everything in this.

6. I am an aspiring author myself, and one thing that intimidates me the most is coming up with character names and deciding on a title. How do you think one should go about it? And how do you come up with character names for your own stories?

Honestly, the first names that come to mind are what I go with. I don’t even use last names. Her father doesn’t have a name. Katy has no last name. Hell, I don’t think anybody has a last name. I named her mother after a baseball player. Arcilla. I looked it up to see if it had a meaning. It did. I was like, winner. I think readers see that characters as their actions no matter what. I could be wrong. I do the same with titles. Clay is in the title of this one. What other name goes with clay better than Katy? 

7. This was such an amazing opportunity. I can’t wait to get my hands on your next book. *rubs hands evilly* Any updates on upcoming projects that you would care to share?

Not really. Tre-erde will have a dragon. It’ll be out in early 2022 or late 2021

8. And lastly, do you have any favorite book blogs?

I don’t think I have any favorite book blogs, but I like this one a lot.

Thank you so much! It was a blast interviewing you. I am definitely keeping an eye out for more content from you. Congratulations once more and good luck!

Fiction Author Takes Unique Approach to Individualism and Community | The  Magazineplus

U. L. Harper writes literary fiction that teeters on the edge of fantasy, magical realism, and horror. Originally from Long Beach, California, he now makes his home in Tacoma, Washington, with his wife and daughter. Keep in touch by joining The World of U. L.

find the author: Website || Twitter || Goodreads

hey guys! happy belated independence day! hope you enjoyed this interview.

what are some of your favorite books from the genre ‘horror’?

17 thoughts on “katy of clay || interview with indie author u.l. harper!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s