Gotta Write Network: What inspired you, an Anthropology major, History lover, and real estate broker, to write three sub-genres of Romance?
Kat: I never had an inkling that I would become a writer. My future husband, however, had written a historical novel I really loved. He couldn’t sell the book, so I thought maybe I could help him with the grammar and spelling, which I was particularly good at. (better then than now after writing millions of words!!). At any rate, I got hooked, started to think I could write a novel of my own and, sixty books later–the rest is history.
Gotta Write Network: Did your husband, Larry, encourage you to start writing? Or did you have stories demanding to be written without anyone motivating you?
Kat: I’m a very driven person by nature. Once I made up my mind to write a novel, nothing could stop me. Fortunately, Larry loved the idea so we tackled the goal of making writing novels a career together. Both sold within 6 weeks of each other, the books came out within a month or so of each other. We did a lot of promo together in the early days.
Gotta Write Network: Where did you start? Did you take writing courses or dig up the past one era at a time?
Kat: We took a writing course in LA once a week, a 200 mile round trip, for the first six months. The second six months, we rode the train to Fresno, CA for a class. We were dedicated, learned a lot, and it helped us get published.
Gotta Write Network: Did you outline your historical romance manuscripts, write notes, or just jump right into the novel?
Kat: I did 20+ page synopses in the beginning, continued doing that up until a few years back when I just flat no longer had time. I found them incredibly helpful, a guideline to return to when I went off track.
Gotta Write Network: Tell us about your first publishing experience?
Kat: I got turned down by everyone in NYC. I was despondent. Then my agent called, said an unknown publisher loved the book and wanted to make it the lead title for their new line of Romance novels. They were working with Walden books–no returns, they said, a new concept. They flew me to NYC, I got to have dinner with my editor and the president of Walden’s. It was quite an exciting time. Then the line–Pageant Books–failed and I was back on the streets looking for a new publisher. So it was a bittersweet experience.
Gotta Write Network: How have you approached writing over the years?
Kat: As a business, a calling, and a love. It’s a love/hate relationship for sure, keeping me awake at nights when the plot isn’t working or something just doesn’t feel right. But writing pays the bills so it isn’t a pastime, it’s a full-time job.
Gotta Write Network: What trends have you been involved in since then?
Kat: Vampires and shape-shifters, erotica. Digital vs. print. Those have all been huge trends, or changes. Digital publishing has changed writing forever.
Gotta Write Network: You haven’t just written one series, you’ve written many. Your “Against” series has been published since 2011. Where are these books set and what time period?
Kat: I started writing contemporary Romantic Suspense back in 1998 with THE SILENT ROSE, a ghost story, which was nominated for a Rita. (I’m proud of that!). I went back to writing historical, throwing in a Romantic Suspense every once in a while. In 2010, I got the idea for a series starting with three brothers. AGAINST THE WIND, Jackson Raines was the first. Since then I’ve written 12 Against novels, guys who were friends of the original brothers. AGAINST THE WILD, Dylan Brodie, was the first of the Brodies of Alaska. AGAINST THE SKY is the second, released January 27th, Nick Brodie’s story, the eleventh in the AGAINST series. Rafe Brodie’s story, out May 27th, is AGAINST THE TIDE. All are contemporary Romantic Suspense with hunky males and strong women involved in big, action-packed plots.
Gotta Write Network: Your latest novel “Against the Sky” focuses on detective Nick Brodie taking a little break from crime in Anchorage, Alaska by heading to Las Vegas. Who does he meet there? What do neither of them consider after Nick invites her to come home with him?
Kat: I loved the hero and heroine in this book–so completely unsuited. At least at first glance. Samantha Hollis is the owner of the Perfect Pup, a pet grooming chain in San Francisco. She loves shopping at Sak’s and spending the day at a spa. Nick is an ex-detective who lives a hard life in Alaska, a rugged outdoor man, an ex-Army Ranger. Though they are wildly attracted to each other, they realize from the start, they have no possible future. Samantha could never live in remote place like Alaska and Nick isn’t cut out for the city. It made their adventure even more challenging.
Gotta Write Network: One of the greatest challenges any officer, detective, or police chief has is having a normal relationship. How do your characters deal with the non-stop obligation of duty and keeping their loved ones safe?
Kat: Nick definitely has his hands full trying to keep everyone safe. He’s torn between the obligation he feels to help the twelve year old next door neighbor in serious trouble who comes to him for help, and keeping Samantha, there for a very short visit, safe from the dangers around them. It takes a while for both of them to figure out the answer. As for how I do it, I just follow the story line and hope it works out.
Gotta Write Network: When will this book be published and how will you be promoting it?
Kat: It’s out January 27th. One of the ways I’m promoting it is talking to you! I hope to have some chats on my Facebook page, some contests. I’ll be doing some blogging and also some Writerspace Chats. I’m hoping my readers will join me.
Gotta Write Network: Where can we purchase your books?
Kat: AGAINST THE SKY is available both in bookstores and online. Barnes and Noble and independent booksellers, as well as Amazon, iBooks, and Kobo.
Gotta Write Network: What book is currently demanding your creative skills?
Kat: I’m doing the final edits for AGAINST THE TIDE. I’m a little in love with Rafe Brodie. And I really like the heroine in this story, Olivia Chandler. Rafe owns a fishing boat charter company in Valdez. Lots of secrets in this one, lots of action and romance.