"Q&A With Katharine McGee"

"Q&A With Katharine McGee"

Book: The Thousandth Floor


Photo by Chris Bailey Photography

Header Photo Source

Author: Katharine McGee

Author Bio:

"Katharine McGee is the author of the New York Times bestselling Thousandth Floor series. She studied English and French literature at Princeton University and has an MBA from Stanford. It was during her years in New York, working as an editor by day and writing by night, that she began a manuscript about life in a futuristic skyscraper. Katharine lives with her husband in her hometown of Houston, Texas."


1.  Did your writing process change at all when writing each book in the trilogy?

Surprisingly little! I am what writers tend to call a “plotter”: I make a detailed outline before I start drafting. With five main characters and all their intersecting and tangled stories, I need that outline!


2.  Do you see trends, whether positive or negative in our society that this trilogy focuses on?

The Thousandth Floor series focuses a lot on technology, and how it changes the way that people interact with one another. As we’ve all become attached to our iPhones (I keep seeing people walk along the streets without looking up from their screens, furiously texting!) our face-to-face interactions have suffered.

I tried to depict a future world of incredible convenience, with computerized contact lenses and incredible high-speed travel—a world where, as Watt puts it, everything is “easier and faster and safer”. But even in that future world, the characters still want the same things that people want today.

I was hoping to convey that technology in itself cannot make us happy, because, at its core, happiness isn’t about life becoming “easy.” Instead, happiness comes from ourselves, and our relationships with each other.


3.  How much of your personal experiences if at all influenced the storyline and characters?

I think all writers inevitably put some of themselves into their stories! Of course, since I’m writing a world with elements of science fiction and fantasy, I can’t directly write from experience; but even though the setting might be imagined, the emotions aren’t.

To write about a character falling in love for the first time, I think about how it felt to me when I fell in love for the first time.

Those types of feelings can translate from historical fiction to contemporary to novels set a hundred years from now.


4.  Fan question #1: I’d love to know what projects, if any, she has planned for after the Thousandth Floor trilogy ends!? What genre and if she could talk about it!

My next series is called American Royals, and I cannot wait for you to be able to read it! It takes place in present-day America, with a twist—we have a monarchy.

Instead of being the first president, George Washington became the first king. It’s all the drama and romance of The Thousandth Floor, with a dose of political intrigue and history.


5.  Fan question #2: I’d also love to know what has been her biggest struggle with the "Thousandth Floor" series and what she is most proud of in that series?

The greatest struggle has definitely been hitting my deadlines! No matter how hard I try to get ahead of schedule, I inevitably need a few extra days (or weeks…) to finish my drafts.

I am proud of the whole series, but I have to say, the final ten chapters at the end of book 1—when everyone is rushing up to the roof, and you know someone is going to die—is the most carefully-plotted sequence in the entire series. After all, no one ever sees that ending coming!


6.  What is your best advice for getting over writer's block?

There are two types of writer’s block—the kind that is self-generated, meaning that something in your life is bothering you enough to inhibit your creative abilities and the kind that is story-generated. It’s important to know which kind you are dealing with! The first type usually has its own fix: taking a break, taking a nap, talking with a friend.

The second type means that you need to re-examine your story and see what is bothering you about the scene you’re trying to write. Chances are you took a wrong turn earlier, and now your instincts are telling you to go back and fix it. It’s scary to undo things you’ve already written, but it’s better to rewrite than to keep going further down the wrong path.


7.  Do you have any marketing hacks you use to get your book out there that might help a self-published author?

Bloggers and bookstagrammers are the best! The online book community is so warm and inviting—I love working with them to help get the word out about upcoming new releases.


8.  What is the best book you have read this year?

If you haven’t read Katherine Arden’s "The Bear and the Nightingale", you absolutely should! It’s a beautiful fairy tale novel that will sweep you back to early modern Russia, full of winter spirits and magic.


9.  What is the best advice you have received on happiness?

It is so easy to get caught up in the breathless pace of modern life, to be constantly looking at screens and racing from one place to another. Sometimes we need a moment to appreciate the small things—a long walk, a hardcover book, the smell of fresh-baked cookies.

Bonus Question:  Have you ever thought about adapting your trilogy into a featured-film? If so, who would you cast as Leda, Avery, Atlas etc?

I would love to see The Thousandth Floor as a movie or TV series! My agent is hard at work trying to make it happen, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’m not sure who I would cast, except maybe Madelaine Petsch (Cheryl from Riverdale!) as Eris.

Places To Find More From This Author:

Twitter: @katharinemcgee

Instagram: @katharinemcgee

Website: katharinemcgee.com


 Click here to Purchase -  The Thousandth Floor

 Click Here to Preorder - The Towering Sky (Thousandth Floor)


Related Posts

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.