At the age of fourteen, Katarina Tonks started writing stories. She would soon discover Wattpad and posted a story that would change her life forever and that story is Death is my BFF. With her hard work on the story and loads of viewership, the Wattpad team has taken notice and now this story will soon become a television series. All I can say about that is WOW and congrats on her success. So, I hope you get to know a bit about how all of this happened and read why you should keep an eye on this latest author.
1. Could you give a brief summary about Death is my BFF?
The legendary Angel of Death has spared Faith Williams’ prophesized soul. However, this merciful act comes at a price. When she turns eighteen, her soul and everything that she is, will belong to him. The problem? Faith’s not going to hell without a fight. Death isn't the only creature that has taken notice in her uniqueness. Demons, monsters, one vengeful demi-god, a notorious playboy, and AP Calculus, are all wrecking havoc on her life. Torn between two worlds, Faith must decide once and for all whom she can trust, and whom she can allow herself to love, before all of hell breaks loose. Even if it means striking another deal with Death.
2. What is the genesis of Death is my BFF?
I started writing Death is My BFF when I was fourteen, after reading a novel with a boring grim reaper character. It was the first time I had ever seen a “Death” character in a story, and it frustrated me to no end that he was so dry and uninteresting. I also wanted to bring light to a word and a subject that has a negative connotation for all of us. So, I sought out to create my own grim reaper, one who was dynamic, sexy, and wicked funny!
3. What were the challenges (literary, research, etc.) in writing Death is my BFF?
Although most of the concepts in my book stem from my own interpretations of things, this book is rich in classic mythology and legends, so I had to do heavy research into angels, demons, demi-gods, and all of the fun monsters and magic in-between. On top of that, Death is My BFF has an intricate plot with a lot of characters. I have a theme of façades in the story, which means a lot of characters are deceptive, and a lot of what Faith recognizes as her reality ends up being false. So on top of all of the plotting out all of insane happenings going on in the protagonist’s life, I had to pay attention to detail while rewriting the book, such as dropping hints about certain characters while making sure the reader understands the differences between our world and Death’s.
4. What was your favorite scene to write?
I’m torn between two scenes in the manuscript (the version that isn’t published and isn’t on Wattpad, which best reflects my current writing). There’s the corn maze scene, which is a fan favorite from the originals. It has been totally revamped/rewritten in a way that I was totally worried about initially, but it came out beautifully. You feel like you’ve been strapped into a trippy, horrifying rollercoaster from hell with Faith and there’s no going back now! The carnival scene is another favorite because it starts off as the best night of Faith’s life with a boy she likes, and then turns out to be the worst night of her life. But to me, the author, it’s still the best night because Death and her are just a riot when they’re together.
5. Which fictional character (besides yours) would you like to sit down and chat with?
JERICHO BARRONS from the Fever Series by Karen Moning. All caps because he’s the love of my life! He’s brooding, mysterious, monstrous, and yet, loveable. I haven’t seen many characters that amount to his unique complexity and powerful presence on the page.
6. Which author would you love to invite over and chat with? And Why?
Karen Moning because I have to have a long talk with her about how amazing her writing is! I’ve read all of her books. Same with Iiona Andrews, which is a husband and wife author duo. Their Magic Bites series is just incredible.
7. What was your favorite book when you were a kid? Do you have a favorite book now?
Favorite book when I was a “kid” (teen) was easily Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey. Beth is Fantastic… See what I did there? That story is a one that I always find myself going back to read again. Even as I’m writing this, I’m thinking about reading it again tonight. Currently, my favorite book is Burn for Me by Iiona Andrews!
8. How were you introduced to Wattpad?
I turned to Wattpad when I was very young and dealing with a super overactive imagination. I had all of these stories in my head, but I’d yet to really sit down and write them down. My mother recommended finding a website I could write online, like a blog, and then I found Wattpad, which is an online e-book platform. I’ve been writing my first drafts on this site ever since!
9. Did you do any marketing when you published Death is my BFF on Wattpad?
I’m constantly marketing my books on my social media. I used to spam the community forums on Wattpad, begging people to read my book. Finally, I got enough of a following that I was able to do my own thing on my social media and just post “shout outs” on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Wattpad whenever I want to get my reader’s attention.
10. How many books are there in Death is my BFF series? Are you going to do a spin-off or prequel?
This might be a little confusing because on Wattpad I’ve posted all of my first drafts, but there are two Death series. There’s the Death is My BFF (originals) series that I wrote when I was fourteen to seventeen. That series has five books and is incomplete on Wattpad. When I got older, my vision of the story obviously changed, so I wrote the rewritten Death is My BFF Chronicles, which I’m currently still posting on Wattpad. I’m two books into that. Off of Wattpad, I have the manuscript version, which is another complete rewrite of the story and is the skeleton of the Death is My BFF (rewritten) on Wattpad. The manuscript I’ve written from scratch off of Wattpad is the version that’s been professionally edited for publishing.
11. Congratulation on All in Media producing your story Death is my BFF, how did the producer, Mr. Paul Shapiro, discover your story?
The team at Wattpad got it in front of Paul. He was really passionate about my characters and wanted to see these books brought to life!
12. Congratulation on your Death is my BFF series being made into a television series, would you like to make a cameo?
Hell yes!!! I’m ready for my close up!
13. What’s the best advice you have ever received about writing?
Write because you love it. The hardest thing a writer has to battle with is the idea of writing for themselves and for the love of writing. To write for others, to write for success, or to write because you have to, is when the art becomes mechanical. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had many moments where I’ve forced myself to write and held my eyes open with toothpicks at three in the morning because I had to get something done. (Slight exaggeration with the toothpicks.) But still, even in those cases, I was writing for something that I love to do!
14. What do you want readers to remember about the Death is my BFF series?
Remember my concept of light and dark, how it engages and comes together as one harmonious force. That’s how life works. Even in the darkest of times, I’ve found light through love or humor. I want my readers to know that you don’t have to be afraid of the dark and it never stays dark forever.
15. Do you have any hidden or uncommon talents?
This is pretty weird… Since I was a toddler, I’ve been able to wiggle my eyebrows in circles. I have full control of my eyebrows and can even make them arch and look like Spock’s from Star Trek. I’ve yet to meet anyone else who can do the circle trick! Lol!
16. What does your family think of your writing?
They love it! My sister has been reading my books since she was little, my mom recently got into my Death Chronicles, and my dad has helped me a lot with the manuscript! I’m so grateful to have such a great support system!
17. Last question, what type of snack (or food) do you plan to get while watching Death is my BFF on your television screen?
Cupcakes! “Cupcake” is the nickname that Death has for Faith. Needless to say, cupcakes MUST be on the menu at the premiere!
Thanks to Ms. Katarina Tonks for giving me the time of day to answer my questions. I know her fans and soon-to-be fans can't wait to read more of her stories at Wattpad. We all are also going to keep an eye out for more news about the television series. As for my readers, thanks again for visiting here and support us authors in any way possible. Take care everyone and I hope you are having a great day so far.
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