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Advice from IR Approved Author Kim Catanzarite: “Don’t expect anything to happen. Just do your thing, write your books, keep going.”

Staked: A Vampire’s Tale received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Kim Catanzarite.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Staked: A Vampire’s Tale, published in October 2023

What’s the book’s first line?

The lookout lowered the telescope and rubbed his weary eyes.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch.”

Gregorie Babin is an innately gentle person struggling against the monster he’s becoming against his will.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

The seed for this book came from my reading of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Specifically, the scene in which Dracula travels via ship, killing crew and passengers along the way. I thought, What if the people had managed to lock him in a trunk and toss him overboard? Years would pass and he wouldn’t die. He’d just be in that trunk in the middle of the ocean, possibly for centuries—until someone accidentally fished it out or something broke it open. In Staked, it’s not Dracula who becomes stuck in trunk … but it is where the idea for the start of the book came from.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

Though this is a “vampire” book, at its heart it’s about longing for distant loved ones and wanting desperately to get back home. My intention as a writer is to place my characters in positions of great conflict and move readers emotionally.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?

The main character is Gregorie Babin, a young adult Frenchman, kind, sweet, a bit naïve because he’s been raised in a very small village. He reminds me of Edward Scissorhands. I’ve always loved Edward’s innocence, and I empathize with his aloneness.

When did you first decide to become an author?

I decided I wanted to write after my first creative writing workshop in college, but I decided to become an author when I published They Will Be Coming for Us, my first book, in 2021.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

Staked: A Vampire’s Tale is the fourth book I have published. I’ve written probably a dozen or more novels total. The early ones simply taught me how to write a novel!

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I’m a freelance editor (developmental editor and copyeditor) and a freelance writer (often in Writer’s Digest magazine) and blogger (

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

If I’m not editing, writing a blog post or article, or buzzing through marketing tasks, then I’m writing a novel. So, whenever the time presents itself, I take it.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

The best part is the privilege of having readers read my books.

The hardest part is getting attention in a crowded market.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

Don’t expect anything to happen. Just do your thing, write your books, keep going.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?

If it were the right deal, yes, I would go traditional. The right deal would consist of a decent advance and a healthy marketing budget.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

I want people to love my books. I want to write the books that people can’t stop thinking about for days after they’ve read them. I want to write the books that make them cry and make them see the world in a different light, and make them wish they could crawl into the book and become part of the world I’ve created. Those are the books that I love.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

There are soooo many, but it’s actually books more than writers that I fall in love with. The one that made me want to be a writer is A Room With a View by E. M. Forster. Also Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, The Lord of the Rings, and Mrs. Dalloway. Beyond the old classics, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir, and Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. Also, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. My latest favorites are Remarkably Bright Creatures, The Midnight Library, The Gargoyle, and Tom Lake.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

I want to write a book with the passion of Wuthering Heights, the adventure of Project Hail Mary, the heart of Tom Lake, the desperation of The Road, and the lasting impact of Never Let Me Go. Wish me luck!

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