Business of Art Interview: KT Hanna

For this installment of The Business of Art, I have the honor of speaking with KT Hanna, an incredible indie-author. Her sci-fi series, THE DOMINO PROJECT, is thrilling. KTs hard work and passion for the story is seriously impressive.
Recently, Kirkus reviewed the first book in the series, CHAMELON and had this to say:

“Hanna takes familiar sci-fi genre elements, such as an outsider network of rebels and emotionless, superhuman companions, and spins dystopian gold… This is a fabulous series opener. A bracing debut that might just knock the wind out of readers.”
Kirkus Reviews

CHAMELEON Domino Project Front with Text 2 (1)

Want to read? You can buy the first book at this link (CLICK!) Or, simply comment on this blog post for a chance to win.

Without further ado, here’s the interview!

C: Hi! Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your career as a writer?

KT:  I’m an Aussie expat and met my husband in an online MMORPG (Everquest 2). I ended up over here in the worst place for my asthma, and have a cat, 2 corgis, and a gorgeous little three-year-old now thanks to him I’ve been writing for a very long time, but have been working at it more seriously for about ten years, and very seriously for the last five. I’ve had two agents, and horrific market timing, so after parting ways with my second agent, I decided to market time myself and release a trilogy that is near and dear to my heart.

C: What skills have you developed as an indie author?

KT: The ability to refresh my amazon page for review numbers over, and over, and… Seriously though – multitasking. I not only have to write and edit, but I have to oversee the cover, and organize promotion, and make sure the books make it to both copy edits and formatting on time… It’s a lot of work, but it’s oddly rewarding.
 (Carrie side-note: KT does an INCREDIBLE job with marketing. Other Indie-Authors should follow her lead!)
C:  I’d love to hear more about how you chose your cover. Could you go into a little more detail?
KT: Actually, I participated in a charity auction and bid on an ebook cover. My awesome cover artist S.P. McConnell, listened to me chat about my book and offered to read it. Then he came to me with a concept sketch and I was sold. His vision of Sai and my world was perfect. He had all the details, right down to the holo equipment in the office, the sheen on the armor, and the way the advertisements reflect off the city domes. I loved the work I’d seen him do, but my cover was even more perfect than I thought.
 

C: It’s so incredible that your artist read your book! No wonder the covers rock. Can you talk a little about your series in particular? It’s a YA Sci-Fi, right?
KT: Yes! It is. Originally it was lighter on the sci-fi side, but as it progressed there were just so many elements that needed more details in order for it to work, and for the world to be what I needed it to be. I often tell people that if they like Bladerunner, and the Genosha Island era X-men, with a little bit of River Tam from Firefly thrown in, then they’ll enjoy Chameleon. As for about The Domino Project in particular? It’s about psionics, mind control, corporate control, rebels, and adapted alien parasites – all with a side of assassination.
C: What’s your favorite part of the creative process?
KT: Brainstorming and drafting. When I brainstorm, I extend it into outlining and detailing the plot. As I do this,I can see my ideas start to come alive, and then when I draft it all starts clicking into place (sure, it still needs work). And while I do love editing and seeing everything refined and shiny, creating the vision of my story while drafting? There is no better feeling in the world.
C:Aside from writing, how do you spend your free time? 
KT: Um, reading? Ferrying my three year old back and forth to little gymnastics classes and dance… and reading to her, playing with her. If I manage to get some actual free time, I love to swim, play my guitar, and rewatch Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Supernatural.

C: What advice would you have to others considering indie publishing a series?

KT: I would say look at what it is you want from writing. If you want the validation of an agent and a traditional publishing, as long as you do not query or submit a book that you have already self-published, you can still pursue this avenue with other work.

If you want to have complete control over the completed product that becomes available to the public, then self publishing is a great option. However, you have to realize that not all editors are created equal. Make sure you get referrals from people who have been happy with the service they’ve received. Check and double check everything.
And lastly, you have to realize that self publishing isn’t a good option to choose if you just wrote a book and want it published. Self publishing is a LOT of work. Let me repeat that.
Self publishing is a HUGE AMOUNT of work. You have to write, edit, arrange a cover artist. Depending on your own strengths you might want a content editor or if you’re lucky enough to have an amazing CP, then you want a copy editor. Plus, you’ll need either a comprehensive tutorial about how to format or else you find someone who does a phenomenal job (like I did).
Thank you , KT, for that awesome interview! The last book in the series releases Feb 22nd, and can be preordered here:Preorder!
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