I thought that I would introduce you all to a fellow writer friend by the name of Katie Foley. Katie is a writer (obviously), an actress, and a fellow military spouse. Read on, and understand why she’s worth knowing.
1) How are you feeling this morning/afternoon/evening?
I’m feeling loved this evening. I just wrapped up coloring Easter Eggs with the kids, and spent the last few days celebrating my and my sister-in-law’s life. Today has been a good day.
2) Did your day go as you expected it to?
Nope, my day did not go as planned, and that’s okay. I’m still alive at the end of it, and I can accept that. 🙂
3) When will you next have chocolate?
Oh goodness, I don’t know. I don’t eat a lot of chocolate as it has caffeine in it, and I am- for the most part- caffeine free.
4) When you look back at your books, do you ever cringe (like I do when I see how I could have done something better)?
Hmm. Sometimes I cringe because I see something I wrote that prevents me from writing a certain plot line into future books, but I spent a great deal of time praying over what I wrote, and I believed then- as I do now- that the stories I told were told just the way they were meant to be. They are reflective of my belief that life isn’t rainbows and bubble gum all the time, and I think that is often missing in faith based fiction.
5) What do you want your readers to walk away with?
When I first began writing “Dog Tags”, my single goal was to write something that would bring glory to God. My prayer was very specific. “If I cannot bring You glory, prevent me from writing it.” I did not want the pleasure and joy that came with writing if it wasn’t going to serve God. I hope that my readers walk away with whatever brings Him glory.
6) In what other ways do you perform artistic works?
I act. I have done a few commercials, a Telling Project production (Telling Aggieland), been an extra in a few episodes of House of Cards, and most recently played “Toby” in Neil Simon’s “The Gingerbread Lady”. I am scheduled to work on a film in California later this year, but that’s all hush hush. I also enjoy working with wood. I’m not a woodmaster, by any means, but I enjoy making things. I also paint and draw, but between writing and acting and my full time job and parenting, I don’t get much time for painting anymore.
7) What is your definition of writing success?
Ooh. That one is a loaded question. When I first published Dog Tags, and a stranger purchased it and wrote a review, I felt like the most successful person in the world. Someone I didn’t know had actually spent money to read my stuff, and they liked it! That feeling was the best feeling in the world, as a writer. Today, it’s a little different. Today, I look at what I’ve done, and I count success not in how many units I’ve sold or what my royalty payments look like, but in the people that come to my fan page and send me messages of renewed hope, of wandering and feeling like they’ve found something in one of my characters that they recognized in themselves.
8) What advice would you give to an 18 year old Katie?
Advice to 18 year old Katie.. oh gosh. 18 year old Katie was more like 35 year old Katie than 23 year old Katie was! At 18, I was focused on what I wanted out of life, and I was on a really good path to get there. I think if I had to say something to 18 year old Katie, it would be “Don’t get sidetracked.” The thing is, if 18 year old Katie hadn’t ultimately gotten sidetracked between then and 35, a lot of the heart and pain that went into Megan (Dog Tags) wouldn’t have been possible. So maybe I would say “You’re going to get sidetracked, just remember that you come out on the other side a stronger person. And lay off the carbs.”
9) What mediums do you use for writing?
My laptop and I jot notes and ideas in a little brown water proof notebook I carry around with me.
10) In what surprising places do you find inspiration?
FACEBOOK! 97% of the ideas that pop into my brain come directly from my timeline! Dog Tags was born from a comment someone made when we announced that we were going to be on embassy duty. Someone said “What would you do if your Embassy got bombed?” I laid down for a nap shortly after reading the comment, and I dreamt that we were in Israel and there was a terrorist attack on the embassy. I woke up and wrote Dog Tags in two weeks. As it would happen, we did not end up going on embassy duty, but the story was written. It wasn’t until after Benghazi happened that I felt compelled to publish it, but it was written well before that day.
11) Time for plugging. What’s your favorite piece that you’ve written?
Hands down, Dog Tags. I took an approach to Dog Tags that I felt was unique. Where most of my writer friends sit down and plot and plan a book (most of them begin by writing the last page first and then working the story towards that), I let my characters wander around and things happened as I came up with them. When I began, I had no idea the things Megan was going to go through, I had no idea the faith that Jeremiah would possess, and I didn’t even know half of the characters that wound up being integral to the story itself. By the time I was finished writing it, I was exhausted and completely emptied of every emotion I could possibly feel. I made myself feel everything Megan felt- from the anger to the fear to the righteous justification. I spent my nights sitting on my couch, wrapped in a blanket, sometimes just sobbing over the computer as I wrote. The raw feelings that destroyed me as I wrote were directly transferred into Dog Tags and Megan Stanley, and I couldn’t possibly be more proud of that.
12) What are you writing right now?
I am currently working on a non-fiction book aimed at military spouses. I don’t want to say too much about it because, much like Dog Tags, I’m letting the subjects of the book wander around as they come to me. What I CAN say about it is that I hope it will be something that new spouses to the military can read and feel like they’ve learned something they wouldn’t normally learn in a lot of the military spouse oriented books that are currently out there. It’s going to diverge from what I normally write in that it isn’t neccessarily a faith based book, per se. That said, my readers (and future readers) can expect just as much prayer over these words as any other words I’ve ever written. I’ve already been consulting with some of the people I would identify as advisors in both the faith and media worlds (if you will), which is always part of what I do with every book I write. I highly value input from these people, as they keep me both honest, and in line with my ultimate goal, which is to bring glory to God. This book will be a raw and open view into what it is to be a military spouse, and it won’t be butterflies and rainbows, so it’s already causing me heartburn! But I think it’s going to be good.
You can further connect with Katie through Twitter: @Kate_Foley_ and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/foleykathleen