Today I have the pleasure of hosting Cate Masters. Everyone give her a warm welcome!
1. Tell us a little about yourself. Do you have a "day job?"
Though I now live in a gorgeous rural area of central Pennsylvania, I’m a Jersey girl, originally and at heart. My hometown of Lambertville is a very artsy town, across the Delaware River from New Hope, Pa. Not until I moved to central Pennsylvania did I appreciate how incredibly lucky I was to grow up surrounded in such a rich cultural environment. All my friends loved music, poetry and books, so I took it for granted that everyone’s life was that way. So I used Lambertville/New Hope as the setting in two of my releases – Seventh Heaven and an upcoming release, The Bridge Between. You can see how gorgeous the area is in the trailer for Seventh Heaven, featuring photos from my hometown: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Rqe63e63FU
I have a part-time day job, but my fulltime job is writing. I treat it as my real day job.
2. What made you want to become a writer and how long have you been writing?
I was a very shy, quiet kid. Because my family lived out in the country with no nearby neighbors (and my mom didn’t drive!), I was also a bit lonely. Maybe that’s what led me to writing. As I said, I was also lucky to have incredibly talented friends who loved to write poetry too, although at the time I fantasized they were song lyrics. Growing up, I spent a lot of time in my own head (and still do!) and had a very overactive imagination (and still do!). Writing took a long breather while I raised my kids, but when I went back to it, it felt great. And I was more determined than ever – I took any classes or workshops I could squeeze into my schedule, bought many books on craft, joined writers’ groups and critique groups. In 2009, my hard work finally began to pay off in a string of acceptances, and I’ve been writing feverishly since.
3. What is your favorite genre to write?
I write across a range of genres and don’t have a favorite (don’t believe in them, actually). I need a lot of room for my wild imagination to roam around! So my stories are contemporary, fantasy/dark fantasy, paranormal, historical, speculative, across women’s fiction, mainstream and romance.
4. Do you have any particular writing rituals? Any snacks you must have while writing?
First thing in the morning, I turn on the computer. If it’s a workday, I catch up on emails and blogging and social networking, then head on out. If it’s my day off or a weekend, I start off the same but then get down to work. I don’t associate writing with food (probably a good thing!) but hot tea sustains me throughout the day. Sometimes it’s tough to get in the flow, but when I am, I block everything out, including taste and sound, so I never put music on. It would be a waste of electricity.
5. What's up next for you in the writing world?
Design for Life was released as part of The Wild Rose Press’ Flower Basket series on Feb. 10, 2010. A historical novel, Angels Sinners and Madmen, will be released by Freya’s Bower soon. Surfacing is a contemporary fantasy novel that Whiskey Creek Press will release. They also contracted a contemporary women’s fiction, The Bridge Between. Fever Dreams is a contemporary novel with fantasy elements to be released by Eternal Press in mid-2010. Three novels are circulating with publishers, so I’m hoping to have good news on those soon. And I entered another historical novel in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, so on Feb. 25th I’ll learn whether it made it through the first round cuts.
6. Do you have any advice for the writers/readers?
My best advice for writers is: go with your gut. Don’t try to write to the market, don’t let rejection prevent you from putting your work out there. Never never never give up. For readers, I beg you not to share your ebooks with any other readers. If you love what you read, great – leave a positive review, send the author an email, but respect the hard work that goes into producing the story. Piracy threatens to put hardworking authors out of work, which doesn’t benefit anyone. But finally, thanks to readers for your support!
Design for Life is available now from The Wild Rose Press:
Becca Lyndon puts her dreams on hold by leaving art school to care for her ailing mom. Working full time at The Flower Basket leaves precious little time, but she squeezes in night classes at the local college. When Mike Hunter fills in as a substitute teacher, she worries about a repeat of the critical reviews he gave her work when he substituted at her high school three years earlier. His reason comes as a complete surprise, but can she trust him? Or will he disappear like her father? When that possibility looms all too real, she’s determined never to let the design for her life unravel again. Following her bliss requires work, but pays off in more ways than she ever imagined. She also learns that one door might close, but another can open—and lead to unexpected opportunities.
Cate Masters writes fantasy/dark fantasy, historical, contemporary and speculative fiction, described by reviewers as “so compelling, I did not want to put it down,” “such romantic tales that really touch your soul,” “filled with action scenes which made it a riveting story,” and “the author weaves a great tale with a creative way of using words that makes the story refreshing to read.” Visit Cate online at www.catemasters.com, www.catemasters.blogspot.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
2 years ago