In the midst of wrapping up summer conversations (and then vanishing for awhile), I got to hang out with and talk to Katarina Boudreaux, the writer behind Platform Dwellers, a young adult near future survival novel out now from OHP. And finding out who the writer behind the pen is, was a fun and intriguing conversation. So, Katarina, tell us a little about who you are.
That’s a great question. I feel like who I am is constantly in flux as I move through the day. Large scheme — born in Louisiana, came back to Louisiana after circuitous journeying and solid life experiences. I have a penchant for cheese, pretty things with intricate designs, and the sea. Bonus points for cool, historical places by the sea. Soft spot for cats, all animals really, and really enjoy brass bands and parades. I’m a dancer, musician, teacher, writer, and I can juggle quite well. I write poetry, short stories, musicals, and novels across a variety of genres. I particularly like YA and science fiction, but explore every avenue of fiction my ideas push me toward. Platform Dwellers is a futuristic exploration of life on abandoned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico after a virus wipes out Land dwellers. Joe, a feisty teenager, leads a group of her friends to discover the dark secrets of the Planning Commission (the Platform’s governing body) and uncover the truth about Land.
That's an awesome concept. What was the inspiration for the project? Did you have a scene you just couldn’t let go, or did it take months and months of outlining?I was taking a lovely day at the beach on Dauphin Island, and noticed how prevalent the Platforms are in the Gulf, and the wheels started rolling in my mind. The characters and story wrote itself. The editing process took months and months of fine tuning to create a seamless narrative and well developed setting and characters.
Was it difficult building the world? Could you touch on how you did that and maintained consistency? I have to give my props to Olivia Swenson and the team at Owl Hollow Press. After massive research and rewriting, they diligently pushed me to grow even more and sharpen my focus with well pointed questions and excellent catches. Consistency came by reading and rereading and reading again.
Revision is definitely a process, and speaking of, can you tell us a little about your writing process? Ah. That’s a good, but tough one. I’m a firm believer that writing has saved me oodles of dollars in therapy. I write what bothers me, what excites me, what makes me happy, what catches my attention — it is my processing. When I can create alternate characters and worlds where those things come together…even better. I write every day - on paper, in my head, in the car or in the middle of teaching. It is how I filter the world. I hand write poetry, and type short stories and novels. If I were cool enough, I’d probably own a typewriter. But since I don’t, I use my trusty Mac and let the words fly. I never edit until I’ve completed a section.
What is something that you’ve learned about writing or publishing that you wish you knew when you first started writing? Rejection is rejection, and you need to let it roll off of you like water in a down spout. Let it go, and move on. Try again. And again.
Do you have a tradition for when you finish a project or have a piece accepted for publication? If so, how do you celebrate? Not really. I mean I do a happy dance wherever I am, but that’s not really tradition. I do feel like each piece is a little part of me and it is lusciously beautiful when they find homes. And projects are never really finished in a way, as then you need to promote them, have them be springboards for the next project…
So I take it you have projects in the works? Always. I have the sequel to Platform Dwellers laid out, but I’m working on building a creative arts series in the community I live in at the moment. Poetry is always in the works, and I have the skeleton of another book beckoning for my attention.
Okay, so rapid fire time. Try to answer these without thinking. First thing that comes to mind.
Fair point. So, wrapping up, let us know where can people get in touch or find out more about your work.
Facebook: Katarina Boudreaux facebook.com/katarina.boudreaux