Wednesday, February 20, 2013

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Katje Van Loon

HEIDI'S PICK SIX

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?

2. Tell me about your travels.
When I was very very young, my mom and my Oma took me to various places in South East Asia. I remember staying at a hotel called the Ferengi hotel (I'm not sure how it was spelled, but it was definitely pronounced that way) so we called home using silly Ferengi-voices with a fake ransom demand for "two of Starfleet's brightest". I recall jumping up and down on the bed in Hong Kong shouting "WONDERFUL HONG KONG, I LOVE HONG KONG." At some point, we went to see the elephants and got to ride on one's back. When my sandal fell off my foot, the elephant picked it up with his trunk and handed it back to me. There was also a photo op with a snake across our shoulders -- one of those massive boa-types. I remember I wasn't scared at all; all I could focus on was how damn heavy the snake was and how I wanted them to finish taking the picture already so I could have an unbroken collar bone.

In Malaysia, we saw the viper temple, and I tried to pet a cobra as he was being charmed. Mom got her first gray hair on that trip.

She got her second gray hair in northern Thailand when I almost got my hand taken off by an alligator (or crocodile; I don't remember exactly which one it was; I was busy moving my hand out of the water) whilst we traveled by river boat. I was not the most cautious of children.

I got to go to Yukon for my twelfth birthday, with my dad. We camped for a week, went panning for gold, and I got to try out my knowledge of the lupine language with a local wolf pack. We also bought a large cinnamon bun on the way from Whitehorse to Dawson City, and went hiking off the highway, where I almost got carried off by a swarm of mosquitoes. The Beringia Museum was a special treat. Giant sloth skeleton = nightmares for weeks.

When I was eighteen, mom and I went to Guatemala together. I learned what alcoholic drinks I liked and mom quickly got marked as an easy target by vendors of weaving goods, who followed her back to the boat we were taking around Lago Atitlan. I shook my head and said "I can't take you anywhere," as she got buried under a pile of huipils.

I've also been to various places in the States and when I was six we went to Ottawa for my god-mom's election as only female Prime Minister of Canada. Well, we went for her campaigning as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party (not the same party as the nowadays Conservatives). I still have my pink "Kim" cap and I remember helping my mom hold up a massive sign that said "KIM" three times on it, shouting "KIM KIM KIM KIM" with the rest of the crowd.

Future travel plans include: everywhere.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
I love both coffee and tea, but in order to function I need a cup of joe in the morning. Or afternoon; whenever I wake up. 
 
4. What else can you do besides write?
I have over two decades experience in the performing arts -- from modelling to stage work to film, as a techie and an actor (I prefer acting, but I'm awesome at both). I also play three instruments, all terribly (piano, alto sax, and guitar); I sing (passably); I crochet, knit, and sew; I bake delicious things; I cook (my fiancé doesn't believe me, because I'm lazy and usually make him do it); I paint; I once ran a restaurant and I used to work as a barista (which I loved and would do again in a heartbeat, as soon as they make positronic spines); I can drink several shots of 80 proof booze within half an hour and still be standing (in related news, my liver is plotting my death).
 
5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?

7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
I once wrote an execution scene from the point of view of the condemned. It was incredibly draining and very difficult.

Aside from that, the toughest scene I ever had to do was a certain character's death. I called my mom after I was done, sobbing hysterically, screaming "He's dead! I had to kill him! Oh gods, mom, he's dead!" This prompted her to say "We are talking about your book, right?"

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
 
13. Celebrity crush.Ryan Reynolds. He inspired me to buy Green Lantern underwear. (That, and the fact my fiancé's a massive GL fan....)
 
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?

15. Do you still watch cartoons?
Yes, though looked at comparatively to how much I watch live-action shows, not that much. Regardless -- Brony Pride! Also, Netflix has an ever-expanding selection of favourites from my childhood, so I foresee much more cartoon-watching in my future. 
 
Katje van Loon is quite possibly the real-life incarnation of Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace. Not afraid of a fight, a frak, or some firewater, Katje tackles life head-on no matter the danger. Called crass by some, Katje maintains that zie just calls ‘em as she sees ‘em — through scotch-goggles.
While not writing, Katje spends zir time dancing burlesque, acting, drinking, subverting the heteronormative, gender-binarist paradigm, and killing filthy Cylons.

DESCRIPTION of Bellica:

Amor vincit omnia. As a new leader, pledged to dark forces, takes the Sceptre, can the embattled, valiant women of Athering prove that the power of love is greater than the love of power?

All Bellica Yarrow wants from life is to stay the course. Her military career fulfills her childhood dreams and affords her a freedom royalty never did. Yarrow doesn’t need anything more than the steadfast friendship of her Major, Caelum, and her Chief Medical Officer Jules.

The Goddesses have other plans, however. They set in motion events that threaten the Bellica with madness and despair. Constancy has been Yarrow’s standby, but betrayals on every side push her further into chaos. She watches the puppet-Empress, her aunt, destroy the country, and dreads the day Zardria, her power-hungry twin sister, takes the Sceptre and rules openly.

Should Bellica Yarrow keep her military oath, or topple her sister’s cruel regime? Can she?
The choice is nearly impossible. The longer she equivocates, the more she risks the lives of everyone she holds dear. Meanwhile, Zardria has her own idea of how events should unfold – and what Yarrow doesn’t know could cost the Bellica her life.

Buy Bellica at The Pack Press - http://thepackpress.com/fiction/bellica/

2 comments:

  1. Your godmother was the Prime Minister of Canada?! That is a sterling first for HEIDI"S PICK SIX.

    Thanks for participating, Katje.

    :) Heidi

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    Replies
    1. Haha, yep! Kim and my parents went to law school together.

      Thanks for having me, Heidi! This was a lot of fun. :)

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