RKB Author Interview with Katrina Thornley
Katrina Thornley resides in rural Rhode Island on a family farm that has been in her family for generations. It is situated in the Arcadia Management Area, a location that has greatly influenced her writing. She has had short stories and poems published in numerous anthologies over the years and is currently publishing the Arcadians Collection of Poetry. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2016 with a BA in English. In her free time she enjoys hiking, swimming, and reading thriller novels.
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Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?
I can’t pinpoint what exactly it was that inspired me to write. I think it was a combination of quite a few things. Growing up, my parents and grandfather got me hooked on reading. I loved literature and using the writing of others to create images within my mind. And then I started creating my own stories to use as distractions from life. I suppose that has continued into adulthood.
Describe your desk / writing space.
I tend to enjoy writing outside more than sitting at a desk because I’m stuck inside for my day job all day. I miss the sunshine! I have a small table beside a fire pit under a massive Pine Tree that is growing out of a large rock in our front yard and my chair has a little cup holder and shelf attached to it. It’s the perfect spot to sit in silence. I also go to a local park and sit on a rock that just out into the water to create poetry.
Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?
I’ve been working on cementing a writing routine, I feel like I have steal hours here and there. I definitely get more writing done between the hours of 5 and 7pm and throughout the day on Saturday. I prefer working in silence.
How do you come up with the title to your books?
My poetry collections are all inspired by nature and one of my favorite places to go is the Arcadia Management Area. It’s a beautiful place to hike and there’s so much history hidden within the management area. It’s such a wonderful area that truly gets the creative juices flowing. As “Arcadia” means “harmony with nature” I thought “Arcadians” would be a wonderful term for those of us that find peace within the woods, perhaps with a book of poetry.
My novel “Kings of Millburrow” gained its title from the family that seems to run the small town. Their last name just happens to be “King” and the plot circles around the patriarchs seedy past even though he is not the main character. He put things in motion that could not be stopped.
What was the hardest scene for you to write? What types of scenes are your favorite to write?
At the end of Kings of Millburrow I had to kill off one of my favorite characters. I debated whether or not it was the right move or not, but after receiving feedback from readers I think I made the right choice.
I honestly love writing the scenery for scenes, any scene. I love putting myself into the store and picking out details from the world my mind is creating. Its therapeutic.
What inspired your book/series?
Kings of Millburrow was inspired by a creative writing class at the University of Rhode Island. We had to draw a map of a fictitious world or town and create a story that went along with it. I created Milville which eventually turned into Millburrow. The map led to the creation of a back story of the feud between the Kings and Crofts family and then I heard a Carrie Underwood song that fit perfectly into the plot between Albert King and Randall Croft.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on a murder mystery set in a small town. I can’t give away too much, but I can promise there is a bit of a plot twist at the end and relationships are torn apart.
What authors or books have influenced you to start writing?
I would have to say J.K. Rowling and her work played a part in influencing me to start writing. Her ability to create worlds and relatable characters is amazing. I have since been inspired by books like Bittersweet (Miranda Beverly-Whittemore) and A Good Idea (Cristina Moracho).
If you had to compare your writing to another author which one would that be?
I would say my writing is similar to Cristina Moracho and Lee Smith.
Is there genre you’d like to write but never have?
I have dabbled in a little bit of everything, I have a collection of short stories available that has stories that span through different genres (26 Brentwood Avenue & Other Tales) including gothic thriller and romance. However, I would love to be able to devote more time to a fantasy series I’ve been thinking about for about five years.
Do you enjoy writing short stories or long form i.e., manuscripts? And why?
I enjoy writing both, if I am crunched for time and feel that I need to get a story out I will write a short story. I do enjoy writing novels more though as I can give the characters their full breadth and show readers different sides of them. Kings of Millburrow started out as a 5-page short story about James and Lilly (who was originally named Tristan) and then became this full-length novel to include Lilly’s sister and James’s best friend.
What advice would you give to unpublished writers?
Keep writing and keep reaching out to publishers. The worst anyone will say is “no thank you” and you’re going to hear that quite often. If you choose to self publish, spend time editing yourself before sending it off to an editor. (And reach out to your local mom and pop shops to see if they will carry your book or if you can host an event within their facility!).
Do you have a new book coming out? If so, what’s the title and when?
I am currently working on 2 projects actually! One of the projects is the 3rd installment in the Arcadians poetry series and this should be available in November of 2023. This collection will again include poetry inspired by rural Rhode Island and the beautiful nature we have to offer, but it will also hold an array of photographs taken during my escapades through the wilderness. I am also working on a murder mystery set in a small town. There isn’t yet a release date for this particular novel, but I am looking for BETA readers if anyone is interested!