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Saturday, August 19, 2006:
Chatting with new author Kate Davies
Today I am sharing a conversation with newly published author Kate Davies, who has written a wonderful e-story called "Taking the Cake" for Samhain Publishing. It is the story of two people who knew each other in high school, each having a crush on the other, and then end up meeting up again as adults. It's sweet and sexy, and one I highly recommend reading. I can't wait for more stories :) Anyway, here is Kate, in her own words.....
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SA: How long would you say you've been seriously writing towards becoming published? Who have been some of your influences during that time? Was there a book/author that inspired you to take up the pen yourself?

Kate: I've been writing with an eye on publication for years -- in fact, my first sale, a short fantasy story, was published in 1992 -- but I didn't buckle down and get serious until my second child was born in 2001. At that time I decided to become a stay-at-home mom, and realized the time was right to really focus on my writing. (You know, in all my copious spare time, with a toddler and infant at home...)

Anyway, I'd started reading romance at around the same time, and absolutely fell in love with the genre. I decided to join RWA and began looking around for a local chapter to connect with. I contacted a chapter about half an hour away, and got a friendly, bubbly e-mail right away inviting me to their next meeting. I showed up and was greeted by the president, who just happened to be Lucy Monroe! (SA: I love her!) We've been fast friends ever since, and I consider her not only a mega-talented writer, but the best mentor and ally a writer could have. She's a definite inspiration!

SA: What are your thoughts on the idea that romance novels are trashy fluff? How do you respond to those responses to your career?

Kate: I believe that most people who dismiss romance as trash or fluff have never read the genre. I know, because back in the dark ages, I used to believe the stereotype. Of course, once I actually read a romance, I fell in love with the genre and never looked back!

When I get a negative response -- which, by the way, is usually more along the lines of "so you write porn?" -- I usually come back with statistics about the industry, clarification of what romance actually is, and juicy tidbits like the fact that romance readers have more satisfying love lives than women who don't read romance. If I know the person likes to read, I might ask what types of books they enjoy, and make suggestions based on their likes and dislikes. There's such a wide variety of books within romance, there really is something for everyone.

SA: Other than writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What type of music do you listen to? How do you unwind?

Kate: Uh, the Wiggles? Oh, wait a minute, you're talking about music I, personally, choose to listen to...

I like to listen to lots of different music, from pop to classic rock to show tunes. My favorite current song is Breathe (2 AM) by Anna Nalick, because the internal rhyming structure is just amazing, plus the music is cool too. (SA: I love this song!)

To relax, I love to read (of course!), blog-hop, go to the park with my kids, and watch movies.

SA: What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? The most surprising? Do you find certain tricks or methods get you past any hurdles?

Kate: The most challenging part of writing for me is the sagging middle. I get to a certain point in every book -- whether it's a 20,000 word novella or a 90,000 word single title -- where I'm sure I don't have enough story to sustain the book. Lucy can usually tell where I am in a manuscript by the panicky phone call. Then she reminds me I think this every time, and it always works out in the end. So I get back to work.

I'm always surprised when my characters do something I had no idea they were going to do. I love those moments when the book and characters take on lives of their own. Of course, that can also give me conniptions, too. Especially when they refuse to do something essential to the plot. (And when push comes to shove, it's the plot that has to be changed. Every time.)

Sometimes, when I'm feeling blocked, it helps to change location. I'll take my Dana outside so the kids can play, or sit in the living room and type. Changing to pen and paper can help, too.

SA: Now that you've become published, have you set up any goals for yourself? Any challenges to keep yourself motivated?

Kate: My big goal is to increase my productivity. I'm writing the third strip novella now, and have some ideas for what I'll be doing next. It's just a matter of writing faster!

SA: Do you see yourself writing historicals or paranormal stories? Do you ever think you will venture away from writing romances?

Kate: Funny you should ask that...the book I just turned in to my editor is a paranormal time-travel romance set in Scotland during the dark ages! LOL I had a blast writing it. I love to read historicals and paranormals, so the chance to do that on a smaller scale (it's a novella) was fabulous. And talk about research! Whew! It's called "Ritual Love"and is part of the Beginnings: A Samhain Anthology Volume I, which will be available in e-book and print format this fall. (All the stories are set around Samhain, the turning of the year at Halloween.)

Right now, I love writing romance so much I can't imagine writing anything else. Even if I do branch out into other genres someday, I can't see leaving romance completely.

SA: Who awes you as a writer? Have you met them? What do you most enjoy about their story-telling?

Kate: As you know, Stacy, we share a fondness for Suz Brockmann. (Okay, in my case, that's putting it mildly!) (SA: mine, too Kate. She is one of my idols.) I'm absolutely in awe of her ability to carry a story arc over multiple books and make it so credible and *real*. I can read her books over and over. And on the rare occasions that I get to go to the RWA national conference, I make it a point to go to her presentations.

I also really admire JoAnn Ross. She's the queen of character -- her books have such depth and emotion to them. I'm on a writer's loop with her and I can honestly say she's one of the most generous, kind, and amazing authors I've known.

SA: If you weren't a writer, what do you see yourself doing? Any unrealized dreams?

Broadway! Actually, I was in drama through high school and college, and would have loved to pursue acting. I just wasn't talented -- or driven -- enough.

SA: What do you see happening with the future of the romance industry, and do you think some stories push the limits too far? Not far enough?

I believe there's a romance out there for everyone, and I'm thrilled that the industry is willing to explore new territory, in all directions. (The two fastest-growing markets are inspirational and erotic romance -- go figure!)

SA: I read my first romance - a Harlequin Presents - when I was around 11 years old. How do you feel about girls that age reading your stories?

Kate: Oh, please, no! My niece is almost 11 and I would be aghast if she read my books at this age. They are definitely for the older reader.

Now, if I ever get my sweet romances published, that'd be a different story. (Literally. LOL) As in the previous question, there's a romance out there for everyone. I'd just prefer to keep my hotter romances reserved for adults.

SA: Any parting words?

Thanks so much for being such an amazing advocate for romance, and thanks for the opportunity to chat with you! I really enjoyed the interview!

***Blushing profusely*** Thank you, Kate, for your kind words and for taking the time to answer my questions. As you know, I'm so excited to see you succeed with your writing, and it's been fun watching it happen from almost the beginning. It's a true inspiration, and as a reader, that makes me very happy *g* Keep on writing :)
Readers, look for a new story from Kate from Samhain called "Strip Tease", to be released October 24!

7 Comments

  1. great interview. Will have to look Kate's book up


  2. Great interview!!!


  3. Stacy another great interview.....


  4. Great interview, Stacy.

    I have read TAKING THE CAKE and can say without reservation it was fantastic. I can't wait for STRIP TEASE to come out. :o)


  5. Thanks for posting the interview, Stacy -- I had a lot of fun answering your questions! (And I noticed from your interjections that apparently we were separated at birth...LOL!)

    Julie, I'm so glad you liked TtC. I'm really excited for Strip Tease to come out, too -- just two more months!


  6. Great interview! Put two of my favorite people together in a blog and I've got to read it even with the family all standing around waiting for me so we can visit more of Vancouver! Kate...thanks for being such a sweetie and I HIGHLY recommend your books, you know that!

    Hugs!


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