"I write, therefore, I am." Kathy Rowe
Kathy Rowe is my Woman In Horror today! While some might say that The Hall is her only true horror novel, I would have to disagree. As I explain in our Q&A below, I have to take many of her other books and add them to the horror genre, in particular her Military fiction. I've lived that horror, and, believe me, there is certainly horror involved when one is in the middle of a fire-fight. Kathy and her husband agree with me about real life horror!
Kathy Rowe writes superbly in so many genres. She has the touch and soul for horror and the swashbuckling skills for sci-fi. Add in romance and erotica, and we have the complete author! I should know: it makes me very happy that I have been a beta reader for so many of her tales.
Above: Kathy tends to the fields on her farm.
Book DescriptionThe book trailer is superb! I hope you folks take time to watch it!
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hall by K. Rowe October 4, 2012
I am not usually a reader of the horror/supernatural genre, so I was skeptical about THE HALL. Just to be upfront, I read the book in draft stage, being the copy editor...and was more familiar with K. Rowe's military fiction which I truly enjoyed... so I went at this with an open mind. I grew to love the characters, and the cool thing is that this is fiction based on some facts...and real people and places...but then I guess great fiction often is that way. Do I believe in ghosts after reading this book? Don't want to!! Is this a happily ever after? No...scary things happen in this book...it isn't for the weak of heart...read at the risk of having shivers and goose bumps...warning...
I agree with Joyce about the scary feel to this wonderful tale. No spoilers from me, but the ending is over the top!
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read! October 9, 2012
I just read Space Junk. A fun book that keeps the reader engaged. While it is not hard science fiction in the vein of Greg Bear or Arthur C. Clarke, I think it was well written, moved along at a good pace, and was overall a very relaxing, enjoyable adventure through the cosmos. I highly recommend it!
I love all of Dar's stories. Kathy Rowe makes him come alive on the pages!
Here is our Q&A:
1. Kathy Rowe, you are one of my Women In Horror, but you came to the genre in a rather circuitous way. Your first books were military fiction tales for which you won some awards. Could you explain how you came to write these tales first?
I blame my best friend for getting me into writing. In high school, she brought in an old script from the TV show Airwolf. I looked at it and thought: “Hey, I can do this,” and started writing scripts (all wrong of course!). I loved Top Gun, and actually lived fairly close to Miramar NAS where it was filmed. I grew up in a military family, so writing about it felt natural. I started writing Dragonslayers in high school, but it got shelved when I got married and eventually ended up in the Air Force. It was a good move on my part, I learned just how much about the military I didn’t know! So I dusted it off in 2009 while recovering from ankle surgery, and went back to work on it. I got published through a vanity press (yeah, mistake) and I met someone on an Amazon forum that suggested I check out the MWSA (Military Writers Society of America). I did, submitted my book, and that same year, won an award for fiction/thriller.
2. Now that you have explained that, I would like to interject that I believe military stories, fiction or non-fiction, can be some of the most horrific stories of all. Do you agree?
Absolutely! War and the military in general can be a brutal place to be. Thankfully, I had a “safe” job in medical, but that didn’t shield me from seeing what the horrors of war could do to people. And it wasn’t only physical scars; I know many of the troops I cared for suffered from PTSD. My own husband has severe PTSD, so I see it firsthand. And I’m not afraid to let my characters show it, I have one, Captain Cabbott Westmoreland, who is so demonized by his past that it’s sometimes hard for him to even function as a human being.
3. I wish to thank you for your service, young lady. Staying in the medical profession for twenty years could not have been easy.
LOL, it had its days! I don’t miss the B.S. of the military, but I do miss all the friends I’ve made. Thank heavens for Facebook.
4. I come next to what I consider to be some of your most profound work: the absolutely fantastic sci-fi adventures of that rascal of interplanetary space. Yes, my hero Dar! Where did you come up with this great idea for not one, but a series of novels?
Ha! My turn to blame YOU! It was you who dared me to write sci-fi after you read my supernatural thriller/horror The Hall. You said I had it in me, and I said you were nuts! But you were right, after some thinking, I came up with Dar and a few fragments of a storyline. Within a few weeks, it was taking shape. And when I presented you with the completed manuscript, you read it, liked it, and dared me to make it into a trilogy. You said sci-fi goes well in trilogies. Umm, well, I’m working on the 4th book. Just wasn’t ready to put Dar to bed.
5. Since I was a beta reader for Space Crazy and the other Dar novels, let me say right now that I consider these stories to be the absolute best in science fiction adventure that is available at the present time. And even with all the swash-buckling action heroics of Dar and friends, there are many moments where horror slips into the picture. I love how you make your characters so believable and are not afraid to display the Dark side when it needs to be. I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but I cringed when Dar was undergoing torture, both mental and physical.
I don’t like characters that don’t have to suffer through a story. Pain and suffering makes for a much more interesting character, and it gives the reader something to root for as the protagonist has to survive yet one more physical or mental trial in order to achieve his goal. Pain is part of our everyday life. Most just don’t realize it. I often joke that I love messing up my characters because it makes them better in the end.
6. Another part of your unbelievable eclectic talent is your mainstream romance stories, and yes, some spicy erotica tales. Once more, I was called upon to be a beta reader for you and was astounded at how you excelled at this genre as rapidly as you did. Every tale got better and better. What lead you to branch out onto this spicy path?
Money! I was chatting with other authors who write erotica and they were making hundreds to thousands of dollars a month writing smut. So I decided to give it a try. I must admit, it’s not as easy as it looks, and I tend to handle much of my stories from a more romantic side. No, I don’t make even hundreds of dollars a month, but it does help cover the cost of my editor for my novels.
7. I commend you for having the courage to write in this genre when so many people feel it is still taboo. I know I don’t. Erotica when written right is as pure an art as any other form of writing.
I look at it as a possible relationship aid. When I read a really hot sex scene, it gets me in the mood. Of course my hubby loves it when I write erotica because he’s usually the benefactor of my steamy mood! So I write with the premise of folks reading erotica to enrich their own sex lives. For the most part, I like writing couples erotica, but I have branched out into some more risqué stuff.
8. Now I get to your superb horror novel, The Hall. I was a bit reluctant about your ability to craft a great horror tale. Not because you are not an excellent author, but because deep horror usually comes from tormented souls. Even though your life has had its up and downs, as with most of the human race, almost all of the great horror authors I know feel great angst on an almost constant basis. Truth be known? I do. That’s why I write what I write. But I never got that feeling from you. The Hall is so great that it made me feel you were suffering deep pain as you were writing this. Are you simply a fantastic writer, able to pull the words out from seemingly nowhere, or have you experienced pain such as this in your life? Or, is it a combination of both?
I would say a little of both, and a really over-imaginative mind. My parents divorced when I was 16, and it was a pretty messy divorce. I was caught in the middle and wasn’t happy being forced to take sides. When I was 18 I got married—way too early, and to the wrong guy. I spent 12 years pretty unhappy. Then when I was in the Air Force, I had some really rotten bosses. None of that is particularly dark in my life, but I was able to channel it and concentrate it into a much darker persona for my writing. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure I could make a horror novel that would even be scary. I’m glad you enjoyed it and thought it contained the right elements of horror and human nature. And with Prince Mongo’s character, there was definite room for comedy as well. I must admit, I love bending genres.
9. I told you I was going to ask you some loaded questions, Kathy. Sorry to put you on the spot, but this gem of a story of yours is that good. I want everyone to read it and see if I’m blowing smoke up their butts or if maybe, just maybe, I know a great novel when I read one.
So far, reviews for The Hall have been very good. Sales on Barnes and Noble are better than I expected. Amazon and Smashwords are lagging, but hopefully they will soon pick up.
10. Getting away from horror for a bit, I get to Kathy Rowe and real life. You moved from New Jersey when you retired from the service and set up camp on a farm in Kentucky. Wow! What’s with that?
Well, with having 3 horses, we always wanted to have enough room to have them on our property. So back in 2005, we took a vacation to KY and fell in love with it. Property was inexpensive, and we could buy 10X more here for what we would pay in NJ. Besides, NJ is crowded and we wanted some peace and quiet. So after vacation, I went on the internet and found some properties. We made another trip out and fell in love with our current farm. Our next-door neighbor decided to sell his farm, and now we own about 100 acres. We live far enough out in the middle of nowhere it’s peaceful. With my retirement check I don’t have to work outside the home, so I concentrate on writing and farming. I even have my own tractor!
11. Personally, I feel you made the right move. Even though a farmer’s life is tough, you are a tough lady, and I know that this is the life for you. Your husband is a lucky man to have a woman as good as you by his side.
It’s not easy being farmers. In fact, we have yet to make a single dime off our crops. The horses keep eating it all! But I love the fresh air, trees, birds, and the ability to just go for a long walk on my land if I need to clear my head. We even have a waterfall on the property. I feel that being surrounded by beauty just helps my writing because I don’t have to worry about the hustle and bustle of city life. I can concentrate on my work and enjoy what I do.
12. You are one of the regular contributors to Indies Unlimited, which I visit often. Some of the information on the site is so fantastic. How did you feel when they asked you to jump on board?
Totally freakin’ ecstatic! To be asked to be a staff writer for IU gave me conformation that I wasn’t just some hack out there trying to peddle books (yes, someone on Facebook did say that to me at one time). I’m glad IU picked me up because not only am I learning valuable things from them, but I can share my experiences and help other writers in their careers. No, I don’t get paid for being a writer there, but what I have learned has paid me back in education and experience. IU is about support and collaboration, not competition.
13. I will tell all my readers now that Indies Unlimited has a huge base and anyone posting there gets a huge response. This is a great place to be.
Yes it is! At least once a week I post relevant articles on my FB page from them. They are a fun, somewhat demented group of Indies led by the Evil Mastermind, Stephen Hise.
14. You, my friend are a one woman machine with your writing. Not only are you a great author, but you do your own cover art and formatting. The one area in which you seek professional advice is in editing. You hire a professional editor. Tell us a little about her.
I met my editor because of my first book: Project: Dragonslayers. It was vanity published, and when I submitted to MWSA for review, the lead reviewer was kind enough to tell me he loved the book, but it was in drastic need of editing. He gave me his editor’s name- Joyce, and got me in contact with her. She’s now a retired school teacher who can still wield a red pen with the best of them. She’s done 6 of my 7 novels and each time, I learn more and more from her. She’s got a great sense of humor, and loves each of “her authors” as she calls us.
15. Every author, no matter how well versed they are in the craft, needs a professional editor. We get too close to our work. You are wise enough to realize this.
After giving her the second Dragonslayer’s book- Mind Games, and seeing how much blood was spilled on the pages (and not all of it was character’s blood!). I knew I needed her. I wanted to be able to produce a quality novel that would be barely distinguishable from something the Big 6 were putting out. And I’ve seen my share of blatant errors in Big 6 books, so I knew I wanted to be better. Her extra set of eyes are worth the cost of her services. I recommend anyone who is serious about writing to find a good editor.
16. Here it comes, the question to end all questions; the one that will have everyone all agog. Heh, heh. How on earth are you able to train your pet pig Sherman to do all the tricks he does?
Easy, he works for food! Pigs are very intelligent and easily bored. But they will do anything for a few bits of food. So I watched some YouTube videos, read a couple books, and decided I needed to train my pig to keep his mind busy. Otherwise I was faced with him carrying out his frustrations on my bathroom vanity. I taught him first how to do a simple circle and took it from there. Now he can do about a dozen tricks- he’s FAR smarter than the dogs.
17. Obviously, your fans would love to see a video of his amazing skills. Please indulge us.
Here’s my YouTube channel with Sherman videos and one for The Hall trailer. I post new ones as I teach him more tricks. My hopes are to entertain folks, and help those who have pigs train theirs too.
18. Could you divulge to our readers what is happening with your script writing endeavors?
I have 2 completed scripts: one for Space Junk, and the other for The Hall. SJ has a director currently attached to it (she fell in love with Dar), and TH has a verbal option from a small production company in Memphis who love the story. Both are in the development/pre-production stage where we are trying to get producers, talent, and crew. So if anyone has some production funds they’d like to invest, I’m all ears!
19. Please; please; please! Tell us about your new stories of real life horror. I especially want to hear more about the Civil War atrocities. Real life horror at its worst!
Well, the story (script) doesn’t exactly have a name, but the working title is Champ’s War. It’ about a farmer from southern Kentucky, who during the Civil War, used his position as a guerrilla captain for the Confederacy to carry out approximately 100 murders. He is one of only two Confederates to be tried on war crimes. I’m awaiting some books from the local library to continue my research and writing of the script. Just from talking to the local folk, they are all quite interested.
20. No more questions. You have been most gracious. Someday, I will have to wind up on your doorstep, and you, your husband, and I can all partake of that lovely Jersey Devil wine you love, some great cheddar cheese, and we can all spin our tales of life in the military and what a great life it is to live on a farm. Even if I have to shovel the horse shit to earn my keep, it will be worth it. Good friends are hard to find and must be cherished. Thank you for being my friend, Kathy, and thank you for this interview.
You’re most welcome, my friend. And if you show up on my doorstep, I promise I won’t make you shovel shit. But spinning tales by the woodstove sounds wonderful, and I still got plenty of bottles of Jersey Devil to go around. Friends like you don’t fall into one’s lap easily, and I’m glad I met you on Facebook. And who says social media isn’t good for anything?!
Here’s my pages:
Amazon author page:
After serving over 20 years in the Air Force, I made the ultimate job switch: to farmer and author. It was a drastic change, not to mention a drastic pay cut! I've been writing 25+ years and have been published in a variety of media: book, newspaper, photography, and magazine. I love to write, it seems to be a passion I can't ever seem to satisfy.
It started out back in the day with the first book of the Dragonslayers Saga. "Project: Dragonslayers" is an MWSA award winning novel about an unlikely Special Forces team who are thrown headlong into the world of counterterrorism. The second book, "Dragonslayers: Mind Games" continues the saga where the team enters the twisted world of al-Qaeda. They must find the source of a mystery explosive, or risk losing more innocent civilians to attacks. This book was selected for the MWSA summer 2011 reading list. The third book in the series is "Dragonslayers: Battle Rhythm." This time it's Yemen, and the team finds out they're not invincible. Two more books in this series are slated for release: "Kill Box" (2013) and "Critical Mass" (2014 or 2015).
Also I've expanded my work in other genres. Out now is the best-selling contemporary romance, "Cowboys and Olympians." You'll meet and fall in love with Leo Richards, a champion reining horse trainer, as he tries to convince himself that he can love again after his wife and unborn child were killed in a fiery car crash. He falls for Katie Shulman, a rich, stubborn woman who just doesn't like cowboys. I'm currently writing another romance titled "Silks and Sand" about a Kentucky horse-racing family that falls on hard times. The owner, Evan Stoddard, hopes to regain their glory by putting a big bet on an unlikely horse and rider combination--a bet that threatens to ruin his life.
Books by Kathy Rowe on Amazon:
Cowboys and Olympians by K. Rowe (Apr 1, 2011)
Order in the next 21 hours to get it by Thursday, Feb 21.
Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.
|Kindle Edition Auto-delivered wirelessly||$2.99|
Project: Dragonslayers by K. Rowe (Feb 4, 2010)
Order in the next 2 hours to get it by Wednesday, Feb 20.
Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.
|Kindle Edition Auto-delivered wirelessly||$4.99|
Other Formats: Paperback
Farm Girls are Dirty by K. Rowe (Oct 30, 2011)
Bangin' in the Bungalow (Peter and Arrow's Sexcapades) by K. Rowe (Jul 26, 2012)
My YouTube Channel:
So, my friends, with all she does, and with the great horror tales she writes, Kathy Rowe is a Woman In Horror!
The Hall trailer
My Indies Unlimited page: