Those of our blog readers who hang out in the eHarlequin community forum will already know Catherine's amazing story. She took a manuscript that had been rejected by Harlequin and self-published it on Amazon. That story, Wife by Wednesday, has become a runaway success, and she is here today to share a little insider info behind the story.
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What is your writing process?
I’m a pantser. I have an idea in my head with a basic outline of my characters and I run with it. Lately I’ve not been writing as much as I’d like, but when I’m in the ‘writing groove’ I will dedicated five hours a day to getting new words on paper.
Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
I understand that in order to keep readers I need to infuse the net with a new book a few times a year. Very few authors can write one book a year and call this a career. I try and remember that and force my butt in the chair. It helps that I have fans now that tweet me and ask when my next book is coming out. It’s like a little cyber whip reminding me to get to work. LOL
Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?
Ah, yeah… about that… I wish I could say that I’m on top of a good exercise routine but I’m not. I try and walk or get to the gym a couple of times a week but often fail. Does a sticky note reminding me count as points toward my goal?
Do you believe in writer's block?
Not as its own entity. I think if something is going wrong in the story the book won't flow and the writer has a hard time moving the story forward. When this happens to me I will re read all I’ve written to that point and usually find where the problem is. Some stories flow like water and others get caught up in the stream. Doesn’t make one book better than the other, just easier for the author to put out.
Have you ever used an incident from real life in a book? If so, did it get you into trouble?
Certainly there are little glimpses into my life. I have a character or two that are nurses and I’ve taken what was my day job into this work. I waited tables when I was younger and will never forget those ‘lovely’ experiences. LOL – does it get me in trouble? No. I would never compromise a patient’s privacy or anything like that. As for my friends in books… I guess you could say that I will sometimes tie in certain personality traits that I see daily. And of course there are those people in my life that have ticked me off and we all know we as writers paint them as our bad guys. LOL “just kidding”.
In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be?
I guess I saw more glamour to the job. But the truth is I’m sitting in my bathrobe right now in an empty house writing. Unlike some, I knew promotion would be a part of being a bestselling author, so that doesn’t bother me. I actually like the promo part of the job.
Promotion is no longer a dirty word. In what ways do you strive to reach more readers?
I respond to each and every positive comment I’m given on the social networks. I won’t debate someone who didn’t like a book, or something I did in my work. I try and do interviews often. I tweet, facebook and blog. But I don’t try the hard sell. I don’t go on daily and say ‘buy my books’ – I will retweet a positive comment or a review. I’ll let others say they like my work and then tell the world about that. But not to the point where it looks like spam. Nobody likes spam.
What is your top promo tip for other authors?
Write your next book! All the promotion in the world isn’t going to sell your books if you don’t have books to sell.
What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned that I could write a novel without anyone turning furry or shifting in time. Most of my work is paranormal so this book, Wife by Wednesday, is a straight contemporary and I wasn’t sure I could do it.
Guess I can!
What was the most fun part of writing this book?
Rich hero and needy woman. I took a basic romantic outline and then twisted it and made it new and exciting for many readers. I really enjoyed writing this book.
And just for fun: what would your hero’s honeymoon destination of choice be?
A tropical island in the South Pacific where they never left the hut.
Rich, titled, and charming… And in need of a wife by Wednesday so he turns to Sam Elliot who isn’t the business man he expected. Instead, Blake is faced with Samantha Elliot, engaging and spunky with a voice men call 900 numbers to hear.
Owner of Alliance, her matchmaking firm, and not on the marital menu... That is until Blake offers her ten million dollars for a one-year contract. All she needs to do is keep her attraction to her husband to herself and avoid his bed. But Blake’s toe-curling kisses and charm prove too difficult to combat. Now she needs to protect her heart so she can walk away when their mercenary life together is over.
Big note: Wife by Wednesday is currently selling on Amazon.com for just $0.99, so if you haven't already, get yourself one! It is also available on Amazon.co.uk.
You can find out more about Catherine and her books on her website, at her blog, and check out this video blog she recently posted on YouTube on Becoming a Bestseller.