In 1996 I graduated from Beal Arts, but I didn’t know which way to go from there. Told I’d never make it past Junior High School and deemed disabled before hitting the age of 17. Other then art I had nothing. So I spent a few months trying to figure out what to do next (more like staring at a ceiling) After much encouragement from fans of my sc ribbles (or at least that is what I called them) I final got up the nerve to try for a business loan so I could get a computer. When my friend hooked up the machine he suddenly asked “What is your company name?” I thought about it for a while and then my cat rubbed up against me. Shiva has been with me since the day my mother walked out on me so she has become very special. I suddenly laughed “I know: How about Kat & Neko, Everyone calls me Kat anyways and Shiva here is a Neko so it just works.” And so began the roller coaster ride of my life in self publishing.
Over the next few years I met more and more artists that were struggling to get published. I had gained some extra cash so decided to hire a few artists to work on their own projects and teach them the ins and outs of self publishing with the intent that when they were ready they could branch off and do it for themselves. Mind you after awhile K&N could not keep up with all the artists that wanted help so had to either drop them or be dragged under. I still help out other artists in the publishing field but not financially anymore. Now I travel around to conventions as a guest and teach people all over North America about the wonderful world of self publishing.
Over the last year I’d been finding myself getting tired. Not wanting to wake up. Not wanting to face the world. Just like I use to be when I was a teen. I felt like I had nothing and that the only thing there was my shadowlands. Once again I felt myself slipping into a deep depression. I needed something, some kind of motivation and the usual fandom was not working. I felt that all anyone cared about was me finishing the next book then several things happened that reawakened my fighting spirit.
First I stumbled upon a group of great women who were trying to get the North America to take them serious about their love for Shoujo ai and Yuri. At that time they called themselves Anilesbocon or ALC (now known as Yuricon). Seeing as I am a Shoujo ai artist and understood the problems they were coming up against. So I asked the founder, now my friend, how serious they were about making ALC happen. I got an email back the next day telling me how much they were willing to work at making this Con happen. I smiled with glee and told them that I’d help out in any way I could and so began ALC’s take over of the world. (have you been stickered yet?)
While in LA I met a woman who asked me to sign one of my books for her daughter who is a rape survivor, like myself, the girl was struggling and the mother wanted me to write something to her in the book. A month later I heard back from the Daughter, She thanked me for writing my tales and can’t wait until the next volume. I suddenly was reminded of all the faces over the past years. All the people who thanked me for writing my stories. I then realized there were allot more people like myself in the world that need a “Shadowlands”.
At the end of last year I ran into an anime like no other. Alien 9 was like nothing I’d ever seen before. Actually it reminded me of my shadowlands. Here was a story that was focusing on just the things I’m trying to face. Here is someone who is brave enough to write what they feel like and not what everyone wanted. At that moment I decided to do two things. I would continue writing the Shadowlands the way I feel, to not be afraid of it anymore and to support spreading awareness of rape and abuse through art and literature. After a 6 year search I finally found something to live for. Currently K&N proudly supports Alien 9 (which has now been licensed by CPM) no matter how many people shout and scream at the film. I will not turn my back on children or let their problems be brushed under the carpet anymore. This is the vow I make and I will do my best to keep to it.
Being in a small town I could not do anything, so pick up my things and began making the long journey to the big city of Toronto.
So if things are going so well then why have I switched to Online Manga? There are several reasons. As I said before I’m disabled and the stress of the last year wasn’t very good on my heath (both mentally and physically) I scared my doctors and friends, some who tried to convince me that I might want to just quite and rest for a while. I’m not one to quit and I have a devotion to my fans to get the next book done. Also other reasons if the fans, I am very gratefully and happy to have such devoted fans that are willing to wait an entire year for me to show up at a con in their area so they can get the next book. I talked to a bunch of my fans who have said that no matter what I do they will support me and read my works. So now all my fans can read the shadowlands as quickly as I can upload them and not await for the next convention. I’ll still be going to Cons as a guest and to sell prints but the books will be online until I am able to do other wise without having to take everyone’s money by gun point. >^_^< Now that I don’t have to stress out about printing I can ge back on a regular work schedule. So expect to see something uploaded art wise every week from here on in. How does that sound to everyone?
Well there is work to be done. Jaa ne Minna and Enjoy.
Writer/Artist Kathryn K Williams