10/02/09 - Thanks again to Kate for a great interview and thanks to everyone that showed up and left a comment. Our winners are Chaeya, A.M. Wells and Dyanne. Please contact me at email@example.com so I can get your books to you!
Kate Douglas is an amazing author and I'm so excited that she agreed to let me interview her here on HoR! She signed with Kensington in 2005 and hasn't slowed down since. Keep reading to find out more about this talented writer and don't forget to comment for a chance to win one of three books!
When and why did you begin writing?
Does my first published poem in the local paper in the fourth grade count? LOL...my first writing job was right out of college in 1972 when I went to work for a country/western radio station—KCEY in Turlock, California—writing commercials. I did a lot of freelance over the years and was a newspaper reporter for a weekly paper for three years, but in the back of my mind, I always wanted to write fiction. I never really knew what kind until I discovered romances, but it took me years to act on it and many more years to get published. I sold my first romance to an epublisher, Hard Shell Word Factory, in 1998, but I didn’t sign with NY until 2005 when Kensington bought Wolf Tales. I was fifty-five years old, sort of late to be starting a new career, but I don’t think I’d want it any other way. Timing has worked perfectly for me.
What is a normal day for you? Do you have a regular writing routine?
I generally write seven days a week. I’m up early and in my office before seven most days, coffee in hand. Some nights I’m still here at eleven or even later. Obviously I take breaks during the day, but with my schedule I really do have to write every day. The good thing is, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing!
Where do you like to write and is there anything specific you need - like a favorite pen or a favorite snack?
I work best in my office, in my big old leather recliner with my laptop in my lap and a glass of ice water or cup of coffee beside me. My office is upstairs in a house that’s built on five levels—at this end of the house it’s the second story, but I can go down five flights of stairs to get to my husband’s workshop because we’re built on a hill...at least I know I’m getting my exercise!
How much time do you spend doing background research for a book - and what has been your favorite "find" while doing this research?
It depends on the story. For the DemonSlayers series, my new release from Kensington Zebra that debuts in March, 2010, we actually made trips up to Mount Shasta in northern California, and down to Sedona, Arizona so that I could actually experience the energy vortexes I’m writing about. In my series, the vortexes power gateways between dimensions and demons are slipping through from Abyss, intent on taking over all the worlds of Earth, Eden(heaven), Atlantis and Lemuria, another mythological world. Actually going to the places and hiking to the vortexes makes a huge difference in the writing. I can write with more authority if I’ve actually been to the places I’m describing in my books. For my Wolf Tales series, I’ve done a lot of reading about wolves and pack dynamics, though my Chanku obviously have their own dynamic that’s nothing like the real critters. We also made a trip up to Kalispell and Glacier National Park, since that’s where Anton Cheval has his Montana home. Seeing those mountains and forests really gave me more insight into the descriptions for my stories.
As far as my favorite find? That would have to be a little crystal/metaphysical shop in Sedona where I could have spent days wandering through the displays! I’ve always loved rocks and gems in their natural state, and this place was a treasure trove. I ended up spending way too much money on little bags of rocks that I bought for the sole purpose of wanting to take a bit of the shop home with me.
You write Contemporary, Paranormal and Erotic Romances. Do you find it difficult to switch gears when writing different types of books? Do you write one book at a time or do you work on one or more concurrently? Which is your favorite to work on?
I haven’t written straight contemporary for years, not since I made the switch to erotic romance back in 2001, so that’s not been a hard change to make. I’m not having too much trouble switching gears between erotic paranormal and “regular” paranormal (is there such a thing?) though I have to admit, when I was writing DemonFire, (NOT erotic) where I have two very powerful men in lead rolls, I was constantly fighting the desire to put my two men together in a relationship! LOL...Dax is my hero and Alton is a Lemurian warrior who is brought in to help Dax fight demons, and if this had been erotic romance, they would have ended up as the love interest. As it turns out, Eddy Marks is perfect for Dax and she gets the guy...but Alton finds his woman in HellFire, the second book in the series. I’m writing that one now, and Ginny Jones is a fun character. She’s a young African American woman who works as a 911 dispatcher. She’s got a pretty jaded and cynical view of men in general, most specifically arrogant men, and Alton, as the immortal son of Lemuria’s leader, has arrogance to spare. Putting them together has been fun.
I can only work on one book at a time. I tend to totally immerse myself in a story and actually have to take a day off between books and read a book by another author to get myself out of my fantasy world. The world of the Chanku is totally different from my DemonSlayers, so it’s not an easy segue to make. As far as my favorite? I’d have to say whichever one I’m currently working on at the time. I fall in love (or lust as the case may be) with all of my heroes! While I’m writing in a particular world, it’s more real to me than the one outside my door. If I don’t love a project, I don’t think I could write it very well.
Your Wolf Tales series is one of Kensington Aphrodesia's top sellers. In January 2010 your fans will be running to the bookstores to pick up your ninth installment. I've read almost all the books in this series and you manage to never disappoint. How do you keep your writing fresh and your readers coming back for more?
Thank you—and don’t forget, the series continues in the Sexy Beast books (and that one Wild Nights anthology) so Sexy Beast VII, which just released, is actually the sixteenth story in the series. I’m currently contracted through Wolf Tales 12 and Sexy Beast VIII/Chanku Spirit (which will be my last Chanku novella—only writing novels after this one) and if the series continues as Aphrodisia’s top selling series, I imagine they’ll want more. I find it pretty easy to keep the Chanku stories fresh because they, as a species, continue to evolve. More characters are continuously added, and in one case, we’ll be losing a character, as there is a death in Wolf Tales 10 that will put a whole new set of events in motion. I’m not going to publicly announce who dies, but I’ll be posting the excerpt before the book releases, and the character’s death occurs in the first chapter, so anyone who wants to know in advance will be able to read it on my website.
FWIW, I have first chapters of all my books through Sexy Beast VIII/Chanku Spirit on my website at www.katedouglas.com/eroticromance I have an 18 and older button readers need to click, but it’s there for my protection as well as to keep younger readers out. My books are NOT pornographic, but they are sexually explicit, and I’m not comfortable posting things for younger readers, even though I’m well aware that there are a lot of high school kids hooked on my books. (Of course, if Wolf Tales had been around when I was in high school, I imagine I’d have been reading them!) I’m glad to hear you think the stories remain fresh. I try!
Your Demonslayers series comes to Kensington Zebra in 2010. Can you tell us a little about it?
This one is so much fun! Dax is a demon who’s too good for hell—he’s kicked out of Abyss (hell) and ends up in the void, where he’s hired by the good guys to fight a demon invasion on Earth. He’s not the most heroic of heroes—he’s hit with a curse the minute he steps into Earth’s dimension and ends up working with the pragmatic newspaper reporter who saves his life and a tiny will-o’-the-wisp named Willow who helps him access his demon powers while he’s in a borrowed human body. They’re accompanied by Bumper, a mutt who’s a cross between a standard poodle and a pit bull—sort of a pit in a Shirley Temple wig look. They are eventually joined by an exiled Lemurian warrior (Lemuria is a mythological world much like Atlantis—you can read about it online) named Alton, battling demons in the little town of Evergreen, California, on the slopes of Mount Shasta. Dax has just seven days in his borrowed body before he’s sucked back into the void, so the whole story is a race against time to save the world. My tag line says it all: It’s the battle of good versus evil—and the demon’s the good guy.
I’ve got the first chapter posted at www.katedouglas.com Just click on the DemonFire cover.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Never, ever give up. The one who said that to me, Patricia Lucas White, just passed away this summer after a long battle with cancer, but years ago when I was very discouraged and wondering if I’d EVER sell a book, she encouraged me to keep at it. If I hadn’t believed in her belief in me, if I’d quit when I wanted to, I wouldn’t be where I am now, enjoying my career to the fullest and watching my books selling around the world. It’s been an amazing experience, and I will always owe Pat for forcing me to see that if I quit, I was giving up on something I’d never be happy without.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
See the above—and remember that writing isn’t something you do—it’s who you are. If you can easily walk away from writing, you’re probably not meant to be doing it in the first place. This is not an easy job and it’s not one where you’re ever through learning. Even well-established, famous authors I’ve gotten to know are quick to say that if you don’t keep putting out books that are always better than your last one, you won’t make it as an author. It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done, the most rewarding and at the same time the easiest, because there’s nothing I’d rather be doing. If you love it and if you have the stubbornness to stick with it in spite of rejections, it’s the most rewarding career in the world.
Which reminds me of another bit of advice—when you get a rejection from an editor or a bad review, remember that the editor is NOT rejecting you as a person, merely that particular piece of work. The same with reviews—reading, whether as an editor or a reviewer, is subjective, so take the comments/critique as that person’s opinion of that piece of work at this particular time. Learn never to take it personally, or the negatives will eat you alive.
Do you have a favorite book(s)? What makes it/them your favorite?
LOL...whatever I’m reading at the time. I love to lose myself in a good book—I’ve got favorite authors and I’m discovering new ones all the time. I’ve just gotten into Christina Dodd’s new series—haven’t read her before and she’s wonderful. Anything by Jayne Ann Krentz, Susan Andersen, Angela Knight, Virginia Kantra, Stella Cameron, Joey Hill, JR Ward, Elizabeth Hoyt...and the list goes on! I want my books to flow, to have a rhythm to them when I read, and all of my favorite authors write that way. I love Jayne’s characters, Susan’s dialogue, AK’s amazing action scenes. Stella sets a scene so beautifully you practically fall into the pages, and Joey Hill captures her readers with absolutely beautiful prose. Elizabeth Hoyt sets her historicals so perfectly that you feel as if you’ve entered that period along with her characters, and when I read JR Ward I swear I can hear heavy metal playing in the background—point being, I like really good writing. I want to read well-written books, and hope to some day write as smoothly as my favorite authors manage to do.
Is there anything you would like your readers to know?
I hope my readers know how much I appreciate their support. I spend so much time on my computer that the online community has become my social life, and my readers are the friends I interact with the most. I love their encouraging letters and the funny notes they send me. I really love hearing what they think of my books, even if they don’t particularly like a story or a character. That interaction is important to me, and it often gives me ideas for new stories.
I would also love it if all my readers were on my newsletter, as those folks are the ones who know where I’ll be traveling and how we can get together. I don’t usually do regular book signings, but when Doug and I are on the road, we make planned stops at bookstores and I get a chance to meet readers who live in the area. It’s turned out to be such a terrific way to meet the people who read my books, and I’ve loved getting to know every single person who’s made it to one of my stops. We always have a good time, but the only way I’ve found to plan these stops is through my newsletter. You can subscribe by sending an email to KateDouglasfirstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for this opportunity. As I told you, and will tell anyone reading the blog, I will be in Hawaii when this is published, babysitting our three year old granddaughter Ella and one year old grandson Owen—along with our daughter and HER daughter, five year old Gracie. It should be a blast, but if I don’t respond right away, that’s why
For more information about Kate and her books, visit her website at www.katedouglas.com.
Thursday, October 01, 2009 | Category: | 34 comments