Thank you for joining me as I speak with Best Selling Author, KATE DOUGLAS, author of Dark Refuge, Book 4 of Spirit Wild, a Chanku series.
1) You write erotic, paranormal, suspense, and contemporary genres. Is there a historical novel in your future?
Absolutely not! My husband is the historian in the family, and while I enjoy history, I don’t feel confident enough to be able to write within a particular time period without screwing up something important. Fans of historical romance know their history and I think I’d be a basket case over getting the facts right!
2) How long have you been writing professionally?
Since 1972—I started out writing commercials for a country western radio station in a tiny town in Central California right out of college. I wrote 30 and 60 second spots selling everything from hog feed to refrigerators. I went on to write public service articles for Mosquito Abatement agencies nationwide, along with a weekly cartoon strip and booklets for school kids on cleaning up water sources and such. I understand some districts still use them—Skeeter Mosquito was all mine. After that, I went on to work as a newspaper reporter and eventually turned to fiction. I quickly discovered that I much prefer making things up.
3) What was the genre of your first book?
I wrote a contemporary romance that never sold, and then sold another contemporary to Hard Shell Word Factory back in 1998. I wrote a number of contemporary romances for HSWF and branched out into erotic paranormal for Ellora’s Cave back when it was a really tiny publisher. I think there were twelve authors and three of them were the owner, Tina Engler, under three different names! My first NY contract was with Kensington, and that was my Wolf Tales series of “over-the-top” erotic paranormal romances that launched their Aphrodisia imprint in January 2006.
4) How did it feel to branch out into other genres?
I loved writing paranormal, but I also enjoy contemporary. My new publisher, St. Martin’s Press, is getting contemporary romance with a bit of suspense thrown in.
5) Do you do a lot of research for the details in your books?
I never really thought I did, until one day I actually noted the number of times I was online researching things, and it was a lot. Plus, when I’m writing about an unfamiliar area, I like to go there and get a better feel for a place than Google maps and Google Earth can give me. I have a retired husband and a motorhome—if there’s a road, we can get there! My DemonSlayers series with Kensington Zebra was fun because that one meant trips to Mt. Shasta in northern California as well as Sedona, Arizona. After I’d spent time in both places, it was much easier to write with authority. The entire premise of my Dream Catchers series came from a trip to see the Allen Array, a huge array of satellite dishes up in the Sierras near Mt. Lassen. They were built as part of the SETI project in the search for extraterrestrials in conjunction with UC Berkley. Fascinating place, all these huge satellite dishes listening for signals from space. You never know what will strike a chord.
6) How many books do you release in a year?
I averaged two novels and two novellas a year for most of the time I was at Kensington, though there were a couple of years where I wrote three novels or more. Right now I’m establishing a new schedule with three novels and a novella to write for SMP, as well as my Spirit Wild series, so it looks as if I’ll be doing at least three novels this year and one novella. Or maybe more.
7) How do you manage your time between each of them?
There is no time between them. I actually do better if I stay on schedule of writing daily unless something comes up. I’ve cut back on my fourteen to sixteen hour days—it’s not healthy to spend that much time in my recliner with my laptop, so I take breaks to walk daily if I can, and try to spend more time with the grandkids. Nothing keeps you on track like grandchildren! But I still write every day.
8) Is there one genre that you like best to write in?
I really just love to write romances, no matter the genre. I love those happy endings, but I also would have to say I love paranormal the best of all. It’s a “my world, my rules” sort of thing where I get to make up so much stuff. LOVE that! Plus, I freely admit to being a control freak. Any author will admit that it’s generally the story and characters who take charge, but when I’m creating their world, I can at least feel a modicum of control.
I was a serious science fiction fan as a kid, and read anything and everything with aliens or ghosts or make believe. (There was no such thing as a paranormal genre when I was growing up—it was either SF of fantasy, and I read both of them) My dad used to say, “Don’t ever say you don’t believe something you don’t understand.” Think about that—it leaves you wide open to think wide open.
9) Do you have a favorite book?
Many, but I do have an old favorite from the early nineteen hundreds called FRECKLES by Gene Stratton-Porter that was probably my first romance. I still pull it out on occasion and read it. Another book is Anne Stuart’s CRY FOR THE MOON, an old Harlequin American that, in my opinion, is the perfect romance. It has everything including a lot of humor and the kind of hero I love—he’s flawed, he makes mistakes and he’s got a dark past, but he’s a good man and love makes him better. I enjoy stories that delve into the healing part of love, and the fact that until you love yourself, you really can’t love someone else.
10) Do you have a favorite author?
Again, many. I would have to say Joey W. Hill is one of my favorites—her writing just flows. I’ve never read anything of hers I didn’t love. Robyn Carr is another, and Jayne Ann Krentz—both of them for their versatility as much as their terrific stories. I love good writing, the kinds of stories where you can get caught up in the magic of the words as much as the story itself. JR Ward is another—she has such a powerful voice and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series has the same impact with the current books as she did when she started the series. I find that really impressive. A new favorite is Anne Carter—I recently read a two book series by her that absolutely blew me away—UNMASKING PAULIE BINGHAM and FOR THE LOVE OF KATRINA BINGHAM that beautifully explore the tangled relationship between a young woman and a gay British pop star spanning many years. I ended up reading each of the books multiple times, enjoying them more each time through. That rarely happens, to be so caught up in a story that you can’t walk away from it.
11) Based on the rapid changes in the industry, how do you see the future for authors?
I wish I had a crystal ball—the publishing industry is undergoing huge changes, but I believe that quality stories will always find readers. I will continue to write. I’m 64 and still have no desire even to consider retiring. I love the connections with my readers and love losing myself in the stories that keep coming from somewhere. (I’m afraid to find out, actually!) I want to go out like Anne McCaffrey—I got an email from Annie the day before she died of a stroke. I think she was 86, and she was celebrating because she’d just turned in her last manuscript. The next day she was gone. I think that’s the perfect way to go.
12) What can readers and lovers of your books look forward to in 2014/2015?
I’ve just finished a novella for SMP called TANGLED, and then I have a novel for them due November 1. It’s actually almost done, and I have a second one I want to finish ASAP as my editor wants to do a ‘back to back’ release (successive months). Then, if I can, I’d like to squeeze in another Spirit Wild story before starting on the third SMP book, but I’ll have to see if I have time. I also want to finish up a little threesome story I’ve written for Changeling Press. The first two books, A VERY GOOD THING and SOMETHING EVEN BETTER introduce two guys who fall in love but feel as if there’s something missing until they meet Ginny in the second story. I want to get them settled in the final story, IT’S ALL GOOD. We shall see!
13) If you were a bird, what type of bird would you be? (hahahahahahahahahahaha)
Really, Sloan...I am so disappointed in you. <snort> Readers, I told dear Ms. McBride that I’d love to do an interview as long as she didn’t ask me stupid questions—the bird question was an example from an interview I’d recently declined to do. I’ll talk about writing, about my books, even about my husband (after over forty years he’s still REAL cute...) but I don’t have time for questions like that. But for you, m’dear, I’ll answer it...I’d probably be a harpy...