Welcome to the latest in my series of author interviews from talented writers around the world. Today I am pleased to introduce the very talented, Kate McBrien, creator of the contemporary romance novels, Waiting For You and Discovering You. Kate has selected the self-publishing route with her work and I’ve enjoyed hearing her take on the pros and cons of taking that particular road.
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and live by the beach. I have a BA in humanities and an MA in art history. I taught art history at a local college, but quit when I realized I’d rather be a student than teach.
I love the Beatles, the Kinks, and the Moody Blues (music plays an important role in my books).
2. What do you do when you are not writing?
I enjoy reading, cooking, art, movies, taking my dog to the beach, listening to music…
3. Do you have a day job as well?
I work part-time as a dental hygienist. Free advice: everyone should floss.
4. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I’ve always enjoyed writing for school, but that’s a lot different than creative writing. In 2007, a friend convinced me to try National Novel Writing Month and I loved it!
5. How did you choose the genre you write in and where do you get your ideas?
I started writing historical fiction, and I swear I will finish that book one day, but I wanted to write something with a happy ending. So, I decided to write a contemporary romance.
6. Do you ever experience writer’s block?
YES. Hasn’t everyone?
7. Do you work with an outline, or just write?
It depends. I’m a panster by nature, but I do outline.
8. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Katherine by Anya Seton fuelled my interest in historical (romance) fiction
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett was exquisite.
9. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published (self-published or traditional)?
There are so many books out there, it’s overwhelming. I decided to self-publish. The challenges are great. So many different hats to wear in order to get a book out there. Finding the help you need and can afford is a constant challenge.
10. If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
I would have spent more time working with a community of writers to find reliable beta readers or a critique partner. I’m very social by nature, but when it comes to my writing, I’m pretty isolated. I’m reluctant to show my work to just anyone. I want to really learn the craft and not just gather opinions because listening to so many differing opinions can be misleading. I have to seek advice when I need it, but ultimately, I’m the one who must choose what changes to make.
11. How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I just self-published my first book July 2018, so this part is new to me and I’m still trying to figure it out. The romance market is huge and it’s a challenge to get noticed. I did hire a PR company to do some promo work. It definitely helped get my book in front of people I would never been able to do on my own, but because it’s my first book it’s difficult to know how much this translated to actual sales.
12. Can you tell us about your upcoming or recently published book?
My first book was the first book of a trilogy. The second book will be released in October, and the third book will be released in January.
13. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
My trilogy is about past lives. I had a friend who really believed in it and I thought it would be an interesting subject to work with. I mean, what if it was true?
14. What project are you working on now?
The novella that will follow up the trilogy. Because the trilogy is angsty, I thought it would be fun to write something more fun.
15. Will you have a new book coming out soon?
Waiting for You is the second book of the Indigo Trilogy. It releases October 15, 2018.
16. Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
Writing a trilogy is a world-building experience. I hope to write three spin-off standalone novels using secondary characters.
17. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Toughest: I use the word “toward” too many times.
Best: I write great banter.
18. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Start writing. Keep writing. Never give up. Also, read the books by authors you admire.
19. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I appreciate each and every one of you and I hope to write many more books that explore contemporary relationships with passion and wit.
Please join me in thanking Kate for her comprehensive answers and for sharing her experiences of the modern day publishing landscape. If you would like to ask any further questions, please either use the facilities available below or contact Kate via the following links.
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