‘Imagines’ Author Interview: Katarina Tonks

Writing isn’t easy. Writing Fan Fiction – well that’s a whole different ball game. We totally admit that we love fan fiction and part of that is because it gives us the opportunity to stay in a world that we never want to leave. We all fall in love with fandoms for a reason, right?

Two of our favorite things have come together in the form of a book. Wattpad and Gallery Books have teamed with International Bestselling Author Anna Todd for Imagines. Imagines is some of the greatest Fan Fic authors from Wattpad writing a unique anthology of “imagines.” Imagine your favorite day with celebrity. What you imagine isn’t half of what these authors imagine – well at least it isn’t half of what I imagined.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing interviews with you from some of the authors from the book. Today, we bring you an interview with Katarina Tonks aka Katrocks247.

What was it about Wattpad that made you want to start writing on it?

At first glance, the format of the website looked fun and simple. I was fourteen when I first joined the site, so fun and simple was a necessity. Wattpad was, and still is, very easy to navigate and super fun to use!

What’s the biggest lesson that you have learned from writing on Wattpad?

The two biggest lessons I’ve learned is write for myself and not put so much pressure on myself to write ALL the time. When I have hundreds of people writing me messages, demanding I update for this book or that book, I want please everyone. When my readers are happy, I’m happy, but when anyone gives himself or herself an impossible workload, (and they’re not very organized like I am) it starts to take a toll on their stress. If I had the capability to, of course I would update all the time for my readers, but it’s simply not possible. My advice for any writer at any stage of their writing on Wattpad is to find a balance between what your target audience wants and what you want!

Now, why do I put so much pressure on myself to update if I already have a decent following? I like to get my projects up on Wattpad and see the progression of the story, but it’s also in my nature to be a bit of a perfectionist and a people pleaser. Now that I’m getting older, I’ve learned how important it is to write for myself, pace my writing, and take the updating demands with a grain of salt. I can now manage my workload between college and Wattpad a lot better. When I get overwhelmed, I remind myself that my readers prefer quality to quantity, that the project I’m working on will get done no matter what pace I go at, and that there is no rush. This mind set is the only feasible way for anyone to put his or her best work out on Wattpad!

How do you write – do you outline the book or do you just write off the cuff?

I typically write off the cuff and get everything out there for the first draft. If I get ideas for the story, I’ll put them in my notes on my phone or I’ll put them straight into my Word Document. I usually have a general idea of what I want to happen in in a story my head, and I work from there. I think it’s so important not to overthink your writing, especially for the first draft. Once I have the foundation for the story down, I find that it’s easier to structure the story and edit it in the future. Perhaps this is easier said than done though, considering I sometimes– like many other writers– overthink the structure and grammar of my story as I’m writing off the cuff. Still, off the cuff seems to work best for me at the moment.

What published authors are your biggest influences?

Iilona Andrews, Karen Moning, T.L. Shreffler, Mimi Jean Pamfiloff and Chloe Neill are some of my all-time favorite authors. Andrews, Moning, Shreffler, and Neill are all YA or adult fantasy authors who have developed an intricate world for their characters and incorporated romance, as I’ve done with my Death series. Whenever I hit writer’s block with my Death series, I tend to crack open a book from one of those authors for inspiration.

IMG_5095What is the biggest misconception about authors on Wattpad? What do you want people to know?

The biggest misconception about authors on Wattpad is that they can’t write a “normal” book. The stories on Wattpad are serialized, meaning they are and broken up chapter by chapter. If the author wants to keep their readers on their toes like me, there’s usually a cliffhanger at the end of each chapter. That format is a lot a new scheduled “episode” for a television show, so a book on Wattpad might seem to drone on if the writer doesn’t have any background in the publishing world. However, I don’t think the serialized aspect of Wattpad makes a Wattpad author any less of a writer than a published writer.

Frankly, people don’t like to be confined by standards anymore. The serialized aspect on Wattpad is more fun for writers and encourages a new kind of writing style. With the proper guidance, Wattpad writers, who write off the cuff like me, can certainly transform their Wattpad books to a more standard structured story that publisher’s desire.

What was it like – finding out that you were getting published?

The opportunity is so amazing that it still doesn’t feel real. If you’d told me a year ago I’d be published with more than 33 other authors from Wattpad’s platform, and that my feature would be a story about NICK BATEMAN (the love of my life!!!), I would have thought you were crazy! The fact that I got to work with a cool editor from one of my favorite publishers, through my favorite website, is a total dream come true. I’m incredibly grateful for all the opportunities Wattpad has given me!

Tell us about Imagines. What can we expect?

Imagines are fan fictions told in the second person, where the reader is part of the story. They often feature a public figure like a celebrity or athlete. On Wattpad alone, there are over 20,000 imagines you can read for free. You can expect 34 stories written by 33 Wattpad writers–including me!

What made you want to be part of the Imagines book?

I loved the idea of being a part of a first-of-its-kind publishing project with dozens of other Wattpad authors who are or were (Hey, Anna!) aspiring writers like me. I think it’s incredible that all of us have had the opportunity to work with a division of one of the biggest publishers in the world. This will certainly open new doors for our careers and many other Wattpad authors in the future! I’m very excited to see what happens with this project!

What’s the hardest thing about writing fan fiction? Do you feel a pressure to live up to the expectations of the fandom?

The hardest part for me was writing the fight scenes! For those who don’t know, Nick Bateman is basically a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle with a bo staff as his weapon of choice. When my pitch with Nick Bateman was picked for “Imagines”, I knew straightaway that I had to incorporate a few few scenes of him and my protagonist sparring with bo staffs, and it was extremely difficult.

For my feature, I had to portray my perception of the captivating bo staffing videos I’ve seen Nick Bateman perform on Instagram. Each video included complex footwork, spinning techniques, and basic sparring rules that I barely knew anything about. I say barely, because I did karate for quite a few years myself and did use some of my own knowledge in hand-to-hand combat! (HI-YA!!!) Structuring the fight scenes was also difficult because I needed them to be quick and coherent. Less truly is more when writing a fight scene!

Tell us what you can about your story in Imagines. What is the one piece of advice that you would give your fellow Wattpad writers?

My story is called “Knockout” and includes the celebrity Nick Bateman. SCREAMS. Nick leaves his career as a model and actor, in order to save a fitness center and return to his passion for martial arts. You are an employee at the fitness center. There is an undeniable heat between you and Nick, but you are infuriated by his methods as the new boss. Nevertheless, is it possible you’ve finally met your match in and out of the boxing ring? Order the Imagines book to find out! J

The advice I give my fellow Wattpad writers is to consistently update. I can’t stress this enough. When I started off on Wattpad, I barely had any readers (and frankly, what I was updating wasn’t too good), but I consistently updated in hopes to reach some kind of audience. Wattpad is a lot like Youtube, in the sense that if you stop updating a relatively set amount, you tend to loose a chunk of whatever readers you have.

If you’re trying to build your fan base, definitely update consistently, or complete your book and then break up the updates, so that you can update weekly or bi-weekly or even once every two weeks. When I was just starting off on Wattpad (Like five years ago!), I too used the clubs on the site and heavily advertised my work. Some will say that authors like me get lucky, and to a certain extent that’s true, but the amount of time and effort that I’ve always put into updating has profoundly contributed to my following count

Give us one author on Wattpad that everyone should be reading.

I honestly don’t read much on Wattpad, but I can drop a MANY awesome names from the site. FallzSwimmer and the Heartbreak Chronicles, @donotmicrowave and “Cell Phone Swap”, @MollyNight and “Dark and Dangerous Love”, @xxSkater2Girl16xX and “A Proscriptive Relationship”, @Coldlady19 and “My Wattpad Love”, and finally, @imaginator1dx and her After series!

All lovely ladies! Go follow them, they won’t disappoint! 😉


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