Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My name is Katelin Wagner, I’m 19 years old, I’m a pre-medicine student based in Los Angeles, California, and I recently published my very first book.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Untold Mysteries of Phoenix Hearts, which is really a collection of poems about falling in love, the process of it falling apart, the breakup, and how I basically found myself after. It’s an incredibly personal collection of poems and is really a snapshot of my love life within these past 12 months. I spent a lot of time after being heartbroken feeling incredibly lost and writing this book not only helped me find myself again, but I think it’s a testament of my growth as an author and a person.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Lately, I can’t write without making homemade quesadillas and I have to eat them with hummus…I think I’m really embarrassing myself sharing that.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Oh man, I think initially the author who inspired me to start writing was JK Rowling because I wanted to be able to create a vivid imaginary world like she could. But I think I really started taking writing more seriously in high school when I read: JD Salinger, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway. I remember my “Ah-Ha” moment with writing came with reading the final chapter in The Great Gatsby and I realized that writing was something I wanted to do, I wanted to be able to convey emotion through my words on the same level as Fitzgerald.
Lately, it’s been Charles Bukowski, Buddy Wakefield, Miles Hodges and all the members of Strivers Row, Andrea Gibson, Chuck Palahniuk, Jonathan Safran Foer, Margaret Atwood…But I also am really inspired by songwriters who can convey a story through their music such as Matthew Mayfield, The Civil Wars, Marcus Mumford, Led Zeppelin, Ray LaMontagne, Jimi Hendrix, Gillian Welch, Noah Gundersen, John Mayer- I could seriously go on for ages about this…
What are you working on now?
As of now, just promoting my book and trying to establish myself more in the literary world. I want to grow more as a performance poet, compete in more slam competitions, and finish school.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
CreateSpace- super easy, efficient, user friendly.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
-Don’t write about what you don’t know. I see a lot of authors wanting to try and be unique by writing about things that they have no emotional connection to and when you do that, it will definitely show in your work.
-Coaxing out a poem or piece of writing is never the answer. I’ve had nights where I feel a poem brimming at the edges of my fingertips but it’s not “all there” for me to write it out on paper…just wait for it to come when it’s ready…it’s always better than when you force it.
-Write for yourself and no one else. Do it because it makes YOU happy.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
-“People are always going to be talking about you, it’s when they stop is when you’ve got to worry”- My mother quoting Steve Harvey (this got me through all of high school)
-“If something was meant to be destroyed by the truth, then it should be”- This was from a photo on Humans of New York
What are you reading now?
I’m currently revisiting Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia
What’s next for you as a writer?
I want to just keep writing and publishing of course. I’m looking for longevity in particular. I just really want to keep pushing my boundaries and limits, I’ve focused a lot of my time on love and lately I’ve been able to explore other topics which is exciting and challenging….But as of now, I’m finished writing about love, I got a book out of it, it’s time to move on and explore new things.
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?
1. A book telling me either how to survive on a desert island or how to get off of it
2. The Harry Potter Series: SO cliche, I am aware but those books hold such sentimental value.
3. Junkyard Ghost Revival: Buddy Wakefield and Andrea Gibson among other poets are featured in this
4. Post Office by Charles Bukowski
Author Websites and Profiles
Katelin Wagner Website
Katelin Wagner’s Social Media Links