Interview With Author Kat Hausler
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I grew up in Northern Virginia, studied in New York and have now lived in Berlin for most of my adult life. I’ve written two novels, What I Know About July (coming out this Halloween) and Retrograde. While Retrograde is a tense relationship drama, What I Know About July is voice and character-driven literary suspense.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
What I Know About July is about an angsty indie musician trying to get it together and lead a good life, but plagued by a stalkery fan. He tries everything to get rid of her… until she disappears on his tour.
The initial idea came from my interest in the relationship between fans and celebrities, especially those who perform live and actually interact with their fans. On the one hand, you have the fan’s sense of personal connection to something like song lyrics, maybe also combined with a crush or following the celebrity’s personal life. On the other, you have the celebrity who knows almost nothing about the other person.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I like to listen to a recorded thunderstorm while working. It’s always the same thunderstorm, and I notice right away if YouTube tries to switch it up with a different one.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
In terms of mysteries, I grew up on Nancy Drew books and Agathie Christie, and then later got more into literary thrillers like Gillian Flynn’s. One of my favorite books is Laughter in the Dark. I think Nabokov was great at making you so invested in the things the characters are pursuing, even if you know they’re terrible ideas. I’m also a sucker for anything with quiet poignancy, like works by Colette, Max Frisch, Raymond Carver, Judith Hermann, Flannery O’Connor… I also love books with a consistent, unique voice, like Special Topics in Calamity Physics. But this is a topic I could go on forever about.
What are you working on now?
A new novel, but who knows when it will ever be done.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
As far as I can tell, the best method is lots of methods combined: book sites like this one, partnering with a local bookstore, events, word-of-mouth, physical advertising like flyers and posters, social media. Since my last book launch a few years ago, Twitter has become less relevant as a place where people are interested in discussing books, while Instagram has more book fans.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Keep trying and perfecting your writing, and don’t despair if your early work isn’t great yet or doesn’t get an offer of publication. Never submit the second you finish something. Always go back and read it again. And again.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
This is a tough one because I’ve heard so much helpful advice (and also a lot of bad advice) over the years! Sadly, I can’t remember where I read this, but a super helpful tip is to end each writing session by setting up the next one so it’s easier to get started again. Either by being somewhere in the story where you know what comes next, or by outlining what you need for the next time.
What are you reading now?
I just finished Concerning My Daughter and am now reading some old Stefan Zweig novellas.
What’s next for you as a writer?
What I Know About July will be released this Halloween. I’ll be holding a launch party with ivallan’s Second-Hand & Exceptional Books in Berlin, as well as some other online and in-person events, and doing all the promotion that goes along with that. And always working on new writing in the background, of course.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Probably some long ones with lots of stories to make the most of it… Arabian Nights, my Riverside Shakespeare. And then maybe a hefty novel by George Eliot or Dostoevsky. You know, for the first couple weeks of being stranded.
Author Websites and Profiles
Kat Hausler’s Social Media Links