For my last Author Spotlight of 2022 I’m joined by the fabulous Katherine McIntyre. We chatted about bringing tabletop gaming to romance, starting with concepts, stories as safe places, and her love of all things geeky!
Over to you Katherine…
First things first, please introduce yourself!
Hey! I’m Katherine McIntyre, and I’m a geek from the Philly area and lover of coffee, kink, and cats. I’ve worn many hats throughout the years, whether it’s tea blender, massage therapist, barista, and avid tabletop gamer.
Tell us a little bit about your writing style.
I write queer, geeky romance featuring found families. My style’s got a lot of banter, a lot of big feelings, and a lot of heat. I also found myself gravitating toward mixed queer series, mostly because I wanted to see what I’m familiar with in real life represented in fiction.
Describe your books in only three words.
Geeky. Swoony. Snarky.
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on a new trilogy that’s slated to start next year called Hot Under the Collar! The concept came to me in a really weird way (a plumber complimented my husband on our bi flag and oh my lord, plot bunny), and it turned into this wonderfully hilarious low angst romcom series featuring bears, blue collar workers, and geeks.
Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of?
Oh god, this question is brutal. Can I pick series? The series I’m most proud of is my Dungeons and Dating one. Each of the books has a totally different vibe, but I loved the deep topics I was able to explore all while showcasing a found family that was written as a tribute to my own found friend family of geeks. I took the risk with that series to write mixed queer couples, and I’m so thrilled at how people have connected with each of the books.
What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer?
I’m influenced by whatever I’m currently falling in love with, whether it’s a new book or show or game. Usually, whatever makes me feel magic tends to get the inspiration flowing, but I’ve definitely been influenced by certain themes I love seeing or prose that makes my heart ache. I’m a big Bioware junkie, so games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect have inspired, as well as shows I’ve been addicted to in the past, like Firefly. With romance writing, tropes have been a big influence–there are certain ones that are evergreen for me.
What inspired you to start writing?
I feel like stories have always been a soft memory for me and a safe place. I was a shy kid in school, so books were a constant refuge, and my dad used to tell us these wild and crazy bedtime stories growing up. When I’m searching for comfort, reading is usually the top of my list, and so, writing started at an early age.
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”?
Most of my writing is done in the scraps of time while my toddler is asleep (luckily, she’s an early sleeper), so it’s a bit slapdash, but I’ve been writing regularly for such a long time that it’s pretty easy to sink into things. I usually have a playlist for each series so it’s easy to find songs to set a scene for me, and then I dive in. On stubborn writing days when focus isn’t easy, that’s when I usually turn to sprinting.
What comes first for you – the plot or the characters?
The concept? I’m not a plotter, so I usually don’t have much of that figured out when I start, and I might have vague ideas of characters, but the concept or hook is usually clearest. For example, for the longest time, I had the concept of the final Dungeons and Dating book in mind–I knew it was going to be Jasper’s book, and I knew it was going to be a bi and kink awakening where both guys entered a class as one role (dom or sub) only to find out they worked better in the opposite role. By the time I started that book, I still barely had a grasp on what the actual plot was, but those initial scenes had started cementing in my head and I just rolled with it.
What’s a book that you wish you’d written?
Oooh, probably the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. That series gives me such insane word envy, but the sense of nostalgia threaded throughout it, the mysticism woven with adventure all hits my buttons in the best way.
If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
This is a painful question! I ADORE so many different tropes, but the one I always gravitate back toward is enemies to lovers. I think because I love bickering so much and tend to write loveable little shits, that trope always ends up making it into my series. I adore seeing how people’s perceptions can differ, and I love the passion involved in enemies to lovers books.
What would be your three desert island books?
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Curious by R.G. Alexander
Want Me by Neve Wilder
If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast?
So, while I adore my other books to pieces, I think the one that would be the most visually interesting as a movie would be Midnight Heist. My Outlaws series is a heist romance set in Chicago, and the crazy hijinks, intense action, and snarky found family would make for a really fun series. It’s got major Leverage vibes, if you made it queer. As for cast, I use visual inspiration already, so that’s easy. For the romantic leads, Grif would be Charlie Hunnam, and Dan would be Christian Bautista.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about?
I do a lot of tabletop gaming in my free time (If you haven’t tried Monsterhearts or Masks, I HIGHLY recommend), and I love board gaming with friends! I do love diving into random crafts as well, but that’s a constantly revolving wheel–I used to do tea blending, coffee roasting, perfume blending, baking, etc. I also love costuming–piecing together fantasy or geek costumes and such.
Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur?
Okay, I wasn’t admittedly into dinosaurs much growing up (more of a fantasy creature kid), but my two year old is OBSESSED with dinos right now and I’ve become partial to parasaurolophus, mostly for aesthetic reasons? It’s a lil weird-looking and pretty cute.
Katherine McIntyre is a feisty chick with a big attitude despite her short stature. She writes stories featuring snarky women, ragtag crews, and men with bad attitudes—high chance for a passionate speech thrown into the mix. As an eternal geek and tomboy who’s always stepped to her own beat, she’s made it her mission to write stories that represent the broad spectrum of people out there. Easily distracted by cats and sugar.
For more information on Katherine and her work you can visit her website, sign up for her newsletter, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. You can also join her Facebook Group, McIntyre’s Mayhem, for more news and updates.