Welcome to the next stop on our Scavenger Hunt! Today, I have the lovely Ms. Katy Huth Jones joining me to discuss an overlying theme that crept into all her books. Enjoy learning a few things about her as you search for the next clue on your hunt. I am stop Number 6, so be sure to go back to Kandi J Wyatt to start at the beginning, if you haven’t already. You can also find the full list of participating bloggers right here!
Now, let’s hear from Katy!
My Writing Theme
by Katy Huth Jones
I didn’t realize until AFTER I’d published eight novels that they all had a similar theme of “finding hope and light in dark places.”
Only one of those eight (Treachery and Truth, my historical fiction about Saint Wenceslas) was written before my own journey through darkness: fighting cancer twice, grief over losing my father and several dear friends to the same monster, then grief over losing my mother unexpectedly the day before we were taking her to Hawaii, and still more grief when my husband lost his job after 24 years and we had to leave our home in a comfortable small town to move to an unfamiliar big city.
My mother, who’d been a bookstore manager when I was in high school, had told me when I first started writing for publication at age 28 that I needed to “live more” in order to write powerful fiction. At the time, I didn’t understand what she meant. I wrote nearly 100 short stories but only published a few of them, and I didn’t realize why until I experienced darkness later in life; I was focusing more on plot than character. After that, all my stories began with characters, with the story growing from their hopes and dreams and fears, not forced upon them.
Even after beginning with character, my stories didn’t become “powerful” until my father was diagnosed with lung cancer in January 2011. I knew I would have to be strong for him and my mother while I helped them both on his final journey. It was an agonizing eleven months watching helplessly while my larger-than-life Army Colonel Dad, my hero, fought desperately, even past any hope of winning, to defeat the cancer. In order to keep from losing my sanity, I took my second (unpublishable) novel out of a drawer, threw away all but the opening scene, and asked the characters to tell me their story.
I never planned to publish this story. It was purely a writing exercise to help me through my grief. But the words literally poured out of me; all the anguish I was feeling transformed into the suffering of characters I came to know and love. Finally, I learned how to turn my heart inside-out and put those emotions, from elation to despair, onto the page as written words.
I love how my content editor put it. He said, “You’re a writing alchemist; you transmute pain into gold.”
At the urging of my critique group, I did eventually publish the story, which became a five volume series, He Who Finds Mercy.
Wow. Such an inspirational story. If you haven’t read any of Katy’s books yet, you really should pick one up. I read Mercy’s Prince last year and really, really enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by, Katy!
Scavenger Hunt Giveaway Package:
- Ace Carroway 2-Book Set 3 random ebooks from Indie e-Con authors
- Cover Design by Alea Harper
- Bookshelf Necklace donated by Rachel Rossano
- (Please note that the Ace Carroway Paperbacks and the Bookshelf necklace are US only.)
Alrighty! I hope you found the Clue. Your next stop is going to take you to Rachel Rossano who will be sharing a few interesting facts about me and will have the next clue on your list. Have fun, adventurers!