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Thursday, 14 November 2013

Interview With Katie Hayoz ~Tour Stop + Excerpt

I'm excited to be hosting a stop of Katie Hayoz's tour for her book Untethered today. Katie has kindly done an interview with me so everyone enjoy her answers!


  1. Hi Katie, thank you for agreeing to an interview! Firstly why don’t you tell us a little about yourself and what you like to do when you’re not writing?
Thanks for having me!  I’m an American living in Switzerland – my husband is Swiss and I’ve got two daughters who have dual nationality.  Most people here are super sporty and love skiing, hiking, biking…I’m the one sitting on the side lines or in the café with a book instead.  My favourite activity is reading.  Give me a good book, a bowl of popcorn and a can of Diet Coke and I’m happy. I’m also part of the Geneva Writers’ Group where I help organize writing conferences, master classes, workshops and panels.  

  1. When and what made you decide to become an author?
I don’t exactly know when I decided to be a writer.  To me, writers were much cooler than anyone else.  Powerful, even. My mom was always reading and I loved how enraptured she looked while doing so.  I wanted to have that kind of effect on people.

  1. I agree, writers are cooler :) What do you enjoy most about writing?
I’m a strange freak who loves rewriting.  I hate first drafts and I’m not crazy about polishing.  But I love to wrestle with a piece I’ve started and make it worthwhile.

  1. I’m always interested in how other authors name their characters. How and what do you use to name yours? 
     Ha!  Figuring out character names is almost as bad as figuring out titles for me.  I hate it!  But at least for names I can page through baby name books, go online and use random name generators or just pick something that’s stuck in my head.

  2. I know! Some name themselves and other, well I'm sure they do it deliberately. What gave you the idea for Untethered? Is anything inspired by real life or people?
    Untethered was inspired both by a book and an event.  First, when I was about six, I fell down the basement stairs. Thing is, I didn’t feel the fall – I watched it.  I’d had a split second out-of-body experience.  Then, when I was a teenager I read the book Stranger With My Face by Lois Duncan.  It involved out-of-body experience called astral projection.  That’s when I thought I’d like to write my own story about a girl who leaves her body and messes everything up.

  3. Wow, that's interesting - not something you hear everyday. I love writing and reading paranormal fiction. What made you decide to write YA, paranormal novels?
It’s what I enjoy reading, so it just feels natural to write it.  Younger protagonists allow for such a broad range of new experiences and opportunities. Being on the cusp of adulthood and yet still feeling like a kid at times means emotions are almost always at a high. I love that.  I like the paranormal because, well, it’s fun. I mean, come on, what’s not to love about all that strangeness?  

  1. Which characters were your favourite and least favourite to create and why?
In Untethered, Sylvie was both my favourite and least favourite to create. She is far from being a heroine in any sense.  She is so unsure of herself and so unaccepting of herself that she has a hard time seeing reality.  She represents everything bad I ever felt about myself as a teenage girl. That’s why I love her and hate her. She was difficult to write because she’s not supposed to be “likeable” most of the time, but I didn’t want her to turn readers off completely.  I think she comes around by the end.  

  1. If you could cast any actress and actor for your leading characters who would they be?
    LOL!  I really can’t stop laughing.  I have absolutely no idea.  I’d love for readers to give me their thoughts, though.
  2. Best answer! I love creating my own image of a character than seeing an actor. Why should people buy your book?  
    It’s cheaper than a movie ticket and keeps you entertained for much longer.
  3. Lol, that's brilliant and so true. Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do when it happens? 
    I get writer’s block a lot.  I get stuck on one stupid, little point and can’t seem to go any further. Only deadlines move me forward.  So I strike a deal with my writer friends to enforce one.

  1. Are you working on anything new right now? If so, are you able to give us any details as to what it’s about, when we can expect it etc?
    I just finished the first in a two-part series. As of right now, I’m still not sure of the title.  But it is a dark fantasy/paranormal YA novel that involves a secret village, some ugly masks and just possibly a connection with the devil.  By the time it’s edited and has a cover, I’m expecting it to be February. But I will keep you posted!
  2. Is there a book you haven't written yet that you're dying to? What genre?
    I’ve always wanted to write a ghost story.  But ghosts freak me out.  So far, I’ve been too scared to tackle that.
  3. Eek! i know the feeling. What is your process for writing? Do you plan the whole novel or just let the words flow? 
    Outlines are my enemy.  I wish I could use them effectively, but I can’t.  My process involves extreme rewrites, over and over.  I don’t usually know what I’m going to write until I am in front of the computer.  It’s a long, draining process. I don’t suggest trying it.
  4. What’s one of the first things you remember writing? Do you still have it?
    Ugh.  It was called “The Little Angel.”  I still have it.  A couple years ago all of my brother and sisters passed it around the dinner table for a good laugh.  It was bad.  Really bad. It was about a mean little girl that suddenly gets the idea from an angel to become a nun.
  5. What do you find is the best way for authors to promote their work? Any tips?  
    Word of mouth is always best, but for debut novelists like myself it isn’t always easy.  The right people must read your book for word to spread.  Which is why I’m grateful to book bloggers.  You all can make a difference in getting a book discovered.  
  6. At what point did you actually start to feel like you were a writer?  
    I sometimes still don’t feel like I am.  But then I remind myself that a writer is someone who writes. Period.  And that’s what I do.  
  7. What is the best piece of advice you received from someone?  
    Keep writing.
  8. What advice would you give to an aspiring author?  
    Get into a critiquing group.  You need to find a few people to look at your work with fresh eyes and tell you if what you are trying to say is coming across.  I would be lost without my critiquing group.  They inspire me, push me, support me and believe in me.
  9. Who are your favourite authors/books?  
    Right now, I adore Laini Taylor. Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Night of Blood and Starlight are two of my faves.
  10. What genres do you like to read and do the books you read influence your writing decisions in anyway, for example genre? 
    I love YA paranormal. There is just such a range of possibility in the paranormal.  But sometimes I feel those books don’t represent adults as fully rounded people.  It’s influenced me to try to make my adult characters three dimensional. Easier said than done.
  11. What is one interesting/silly thing people would be surprised to know about you?
    I can belly dance.

Quick Fire Questions:

  1. Night or day? Night
  2. Summer or winter? Summer
  3. Cats or dogs? Cats
  4. Tea, coffee or hot chocolate? Coffee – but I have to make it myself.
  5. Favourite colour? Purple
  6. Who’s your book boyfriend? I sure wouldn’t mind Finnick Odair stopping by my place once in a while.
  7. What superpower would you have? Telekinesis.  I’d clean the house with my mind.
  8. What superhero would you be?  Hit-Girl from Kick-Ass (I know, I’m warped)
  9. Favourite writing snack? Popcorn!
  10. Pirates or ninjas? Pirates
  11. A book that’s made you laugh the most? Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  12. A book that’s made you cry? Looking for Alaska by John Green
  13. Favourite chocolate? Lindt. The best.

About the Book

Katie Hayoz

Genre: YA Paranormal

ISBN-10: 0988997479
ISBN-13: 978-0988997479

Number of pages: 350
Word Count: 85,000
Amazon Paperback on Amazon


Sixteen-year-old Sylvie isn’t comfortable in her own skin. In fact, there are times she can’t even manage to stay inside it. But if there is one thing she’s sure of, it’s her love for Kevin Phillips. She’s willing to stake everything on it –her family, her friends, and possibly her soul.

Sylvie has been best friends with Cassie forever. But everything is turned around when the boy Sylvie’s loved since fifth grade falls for Cassie. Devastated, Sylvie intends to get Kevin by any means possible, even if it involves treachery, deceit, and the dark side of astral projection. She is positive her plans will give her what she wants, but she doesn’t count on it all spiraling out of control.

Finalist in the Mslexia novel competition, Untethered by Katie Hayoz explores the intoxicating and dangerous world of jealousy and obsession when coupled with paranormal ability. It is a touching, sometimes funny, sometimes heart-breaking novel that speaks to the self-doubt lurking in us all.


October 28th

I’m stuck in this body. And I can’t get out.
I stare at my arms. These arms. They’re not mine, but I’m wearing them. They’re thick and muscular and covered in hair. The veins run like rope down the insides.
I squeeze my eyes shut for the hundredth time, hoping that when I open them, I’ll look down and see my own thin arms. My own delicate veins.
I don’t.
Oh, God, do I need help. I need help. Now.
I stand and my head spins. Grabbing onto the desk, I wait for the dizziness to pass. Wait for my head to clear. It doesn’t happen.
I look from the desk to the bed to the floor to the walls and see where I am. Clarity won’t come. Can’t come. Because I’m not where I’m supposed to be.
My eyes travel to the mirror and the face staring back in terror. “Please,” I say. The face says it back, but sloppily. Like a drunk. “Please,” I beg again. “Where are you?” This time the words feel formed. This time my lips, his lips, work the way I expect them to. Or close to it.
But there’s no response.
I lift a hand. Take a step. My movements are staccato. Jerky. Clumsy. Like electrodes are flexing these muscles. Not me. Everything about this body is heavy and long. I take another step forward and it’s smoother, but I’m not used to the bulk of this body.
And I don’t want to get used to it.
I want out. Of him. Of here.
Chapter One
August: Life As Usual (yeah, right)

“Rise and shine, Sylvie,” Dr. Hong says, his voice full of forced cheer. “PSG’s done. You have a couple hours of free time before the MSLT. Go crazy.” I open my eyes and the first thing I see is the bramble of silver hairs sticking out of his nose. Note to self: Buy Dr. Hong nose hair clippers for Christmas.
He helps me sit up and I look down at myself, feeling like something out of a horror movie. Sticky pads with wires dot my legs and chest. I can’t see the ones above shoulder height, but their glue makes my chin, forehead and the areas around my ears and eyes itch. A heavy ponytail of wires cascades down my back and leads to a machine on my left. Probes tickle my nostrils.
Doc rearranges things and unhooks me so I’m able to walk around. I almost thank him, but catch myself before I do. I’m here because he doesn’t believe me. He’s brought me here to prove himself right. As with all the other tests I’ve taken.
But so far, he hasn’t proven anything. It drives him nuts.
It drives me nuts, too.
I go to the window and open the blinds. Outside, the sun is bright. Another stifling summer day in Wisconsin. Outside, I know the air sticks to your skin like Saran-Wrap and feels thick as cotton wool. I can almost smell the fresh-cut grass, the acrid scent of blacktop burning.
But here, in the lab, it stinks like antiseptic. And it’s dry and cool. The perfect sleeping temperature. That’s what I’m here to do: sleep. It’s the last weekend before school starts, and while everyone else is tanning on the sand, I’m snoozing in a sleep lab.
Talk about social suicide.
Dr. Hong writes something on my chart. “I’m turning you over to the team,” he says. “I think these tests will help us figure it out, Sylvie.” When I don’t respond, he goes on. “You know, the cataplexy – that’s where you have the sudden loss of muscle tone.  Then the sleep paralysis… ” Here he looks up from the chart and directly into my eyes. “And, of course, the hallucinations.”
Of course. The hallucinations. I stare back at him without blinking. He breaks the gaze first and I feel a ridiculous sense of victory.
They’re not hallucinations.  That’s what bothers me the most, what scares me and pisses me off:  Dr. Hong insists it’s all make-believe.
“Your mother’s worried about you.” Dr. Hong’s voice is accusing. Like I’ve been giving my mom problems on purpose. If there’s one thing I don’t want, it’s to make my mom worry more.
“There haven’t been any more incidents,” I say.
Dr. Hong narrows his dark eyes at me. I know he doesn’t believe me. He never believes me. I might actually be offended – if I were telling the truth.
“Well, that’s wonderful, then. But with all that’s going on–”
“I’m doing fine. Really.” No need for him to play shrink any longer.
He’s silent a moment. Then he says, “Okay, Sylvie.”
“Everything’s set for school?” It’s a yearly ritual. Tests, tests, and more tests. Then the paper that declares me fit to fester in the classrooms of my high school.
“Sure. We don’t need these results to know that. I’ll contact St. Anthony’s and let them know everything’s in order for your –” he picks up my chart and looks at it again “—junior year.” He sticks out his hand and I shake it unenthusiastically.
“I’m sure school will be a lot of fun. You must have the boys lined up.” His eyes crinkle as he tries a smile.
“The only boys lining up are those who are trying to get away,” I say.
It wasn’t a joke, but Dr. Hong looks at me and laughs loudly. He throws his head back and I get a direct view up his nostrils.
Note to self: Forget the nose hair clippers. Buy the guy a weed whacker.

About the Author:

Katie Hayoz was born in Racine, WI, the youngest of six kids. Originally, she wanted to become pope (for the awesome hat and fancy robes), but quickly realized reading was her true religion. Writing was always a hobby, but she decided to go at it seriously when she ended up in Geneva, Switzerland. Now she's constantly at her laptop in the small apartment she shares with her husband, two daughters, and two fuzzy cats. She devours YA novels like she does popcorn and black licorice: quickly and in large quantities.

Connect with Katie on her website:


  1. Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today! The interview was a blast! :)

  2. No problem :) All the best with your writing!


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