Interview with Author Kat Yares

Kat Yares has been writing fiction her entire adult life. She is an author, screenwriter, indie movie maker and amateur photographer. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous print publications and online, and she is a member of the Horror Writers Association.

Visit her blog ( to find out more about her and the various Internet retail outlets where her books can be found.

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Who or what originally inspired you to write?  Who or what continues to inspire you today?

I was an early reader and got very bored with Fun with Dick and Jane in first grade.  I began writing my own stories to entertain myself.  Unfortunately, my grandmother was the only person to appreciate my efforts.

Today I write because I have too.  Stories, plot lines and other such afflictions bombard my brain constantly.  I have to get them out of my head and onto paper.

You are obviously a very busy woman with many creative outlets. How do you balance all those activities with daily life?

Writing is the core of my days, at least on weekdays.  I try to spend at least four to five hours a day working on story.  Weekends are for spending time with my better half and delving into other outlets like filmmaking (when time and finances allow) and photography.

What is it about horror and thriller writing that you enjoy most?

Horror has always been my favourite genre.  It allows me to explore my own inner demons and exorcise (or at least attempt) them from my psyche.  Thrillers allow me to explore and sometimes make right societal injustices that I see around me.

Describe your ideal day as a writer.  Do you crave silence while you work or are you a coffee shop writer?

A perfect ideal day would be one where the words flow and the story continues to make sense.  That doesn’t happen often.  More likely, I’ll spew words onto the page and try to find the story I want to tell in rewrites and revisions.

I do need quite to write.  I need to listen to the voices in my head.  Coffee shops and other public places are wonderful though for eavesdropping on conversations and building characterizations from the people around me.

Tell us about your writing process. Are you a planner or do you fly by the seat of your pants?

That entirely depends on the story.  Short stories I rarely plan, instead simply come up with an idea and let the process of writing it take it where it needs to go.  Longer works, I will do a plot point outline of what I feel has to be in the story and go from there.  I don’t spend a lot of time creating characters in either form; I just allow them to develop as the story goes along.

Where do your ideas come from? Do you spend a lot of time researching for your next piece?

Ideas come from the news, from things that make me feel uncomfortable and even from just looking around the room and noticing an object.  (I think that last one came from an interview I read years ago with Ray Bradbury who said something to the effect of pick an object and tell its story.)  Short stories, I rarely research at all – longer works I’ll research to death.

Of all your short stories, novellas and novels, which is your favourite work, and why?

It’s a tie between Beneath the Tor and Vengeance is Mine.  I fell in love with both main characters as I wrote the stories.  Although they are two very different works, each had their own story to tell and I feel honoured that they used me to tell them.

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Is there any story you have written that seems the odd one out amongst your works? What inspired that particular story and why is it so different?

Beneath the Tor is more fantasy than anything else.  It was simply a what-if story written after I had read Mists of Avalon and the non-fiction book Holy Blood – Holy Grail.  I really had no idea when I started the story that it would be a re-telling of the New Testament Christ story.

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Beneath the Tor and The XIII are based on extremely emotive topics around Christianity. You must have had some interesting feedback. Care to share any?

I’ve been lucky and haven’t received any public negative feedback on either story.  The emails I’ve received haven’t been so kind.  Based on those, I’ve committed sacrilege and blasphemy and will spend eternity in hell.


How do you deal with negative feedback?

Again, I’ve been fortunate enough not to have received negative feedback publically (unless you count a few 1 stars on Goodreads that have now been removed).  I tend to blow off negative feedback as I know my stories are directed to a very niche market and aren’t going to be liked by everyone.

Would you say your novels being likened to The Da Vinci Code is a blessing, or a curse?

I actually wrote Beneath the Tor before I read The Da Vinci Code (both Dan Brown and I used the same reference books for research).  Once he released his, I decided to hold on to mine until much of the clamour over his had died down a bit.  Hindsight says that may not have been a good decision, but today the story stands on its own and is not following Brown’s coattails.  That, I think is a good thing.

As far as blessing or curse – being compared at least gives the reader an idea of what to expect.  With luck that keeps the hate mail down – the positive would be if someone gave either the Tor or The XIII the notoriety that the Catholic Church (or any other religious organization) gave the Da Vinci Code.

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What can we expect from the pen of Kat Yares in 2014?

A dystopian novel/novella set in the near future.  Very political with very strong female characters.  In many ways it will be a return to the High Gap locale of Vengeance Is Mine, but is not necessarily a sequel to the book.  Hell Hath No Fury will include one character from the first novella, but will remain a standalone novel.  I hope to have it out by summer.

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