Today we sit down for a chat with author Kath Boyd Marsh, who writes Middle Grade fantasy, always with a mystery to solve and always with a dragon. Learn more about Kath and her books at her website and blog, which has been taken over by Fox Hound Rufus, his brother Hank, Nikki Cat, and assorted other felines.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
Wanted? There’s a choice? Hmmm. I wrote all through childhood beginning at seven years old with a picture book about my little sister called The PB. “Published” by my grandfather when he stapled together the lined notebook paper. I guess the road to getting traditionally published started with paid essays that I wrote as therapy when my only child was getting ready to go to college. It was a good thing I wrote them while she was still making me crazier as a high schooler, because I laid on her bed at home and cried for the first two weeks she was at Vanderbilt. That was not comedy time.
And I do love comedy. Those essays were funny, as were the short stories for a children’s magazine after that. But it took a very unfunny long time to find a publisher who wanted any of my novels. And she did turn down the first one I submitted. The long trail from notebook paper picture book to books actually for sale on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and even on the shelves in my county library, was nearly 27 years.
I am stubborn. It is my strongest virtue. So I kept hounding traditional editors and publishers until I found a traditional publisher! A dream come true.
Where do you write?
Right now I’ve moved out to the side deck where all I hear are birds and the wind in the trees. Which brings me to the silence is golden thing. It is. I need all my brain cells firing to write, so other people’s noise is no good for me. And with one important exception, I cannot write to music with lyrics. Toby Keith. Sigh. I can bounce in my seat and type happily to Toby.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
Well since my books are about dragons and wizards and Barfaromi, you’d think my books are not drawn from real life. But they sort of are. I’m very big into injustice. When I was in school, social organizations came to sign up kids. Two organizations came one day to my fifth grade class, and one was the one I had been in the state we had just moved from. I got in that line to join the new higher level. But the girl in front of me was told she couldn’t join because she was the wrong religion. I got out of line.
Describe your process for naming your character?
While I am very much into being honorable, I do cheat on naming. My parents did an extensive genealogy on our family. So I go back and appropriate ancestors’ names.
Real settings or fictional towns?
Fictional with a taste of real places I’ve been. Did I mention I’ve lived in seven states and one foreign country?
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
Would it be a quirk that good-hearted Great and Mighty Wizard Moire Ain can’t seem to get the words right to her spells? She’s honestly earned the Bumblespells Wizard title.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
What makes you think I’m quirky? Who told?
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
Clowns of God. It’s touched me like no other book.
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
Just one? Yipes! Maybe we should move on.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Lying. I cannot bear a liar.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
Ice and two other authors so we could talk and create forever.
Ocean or mountains?
Both. But I love trees so much, I think mountains edge it out.
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
What’s on the horizon for you?
We are moving from the gorgeous Kentucky Blue Grass to Pennsylvania to stalk our only child, the Lehigh University professor. No. Not downsizing like normal folk. We’re buying 22 acres so First Husband, aka Prince Consort, and the dogs can run and play all day while I write. Did I mention I’m optimistic?
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
In addition to this sequel to The Lazy Dragon and the Bumblespells Wizard, the third of my short ebooks releases Dec. 1—Bubbles and Smush: Dragon Rescue. The ebook series is based on a minor comic character from The Lazy Dragon, and his eccentric cousin. These are so much fun to write. Very expensive, though. $.99 each. Yipes!
In this quirky adventure through various fantasy realms, dragon Hazel and her (former) best friend Gaelyn struggle to foil a villainous unicorn. Ever since her brother Cl'rnce and his wizard partner were crowned the Dr'gon Primus, Hazel has had her paws full dealing with all the work. Cl'rnce might wear the crown, but Hazel is the one cleaning up the messes her prankster brother leaves behind. To manage everything, Hazel relies on her own Wizard Partner, the unflappable Galeyn. When Cl’rnce is poisoned, it’s Gaelyn that Hazel turns to for help. However, Gaelyn has been keeping secrets of her own—secrets she never intended to share, not even with a friend like Hazel. Gaelyn struggles to hide her true self, but is unable to lie when her secret is revealed. Now caught between their former friendship and their new distrust for one another, the two must work together if they are going to save Cl’rnce’s life from a foe neither of them had expected.