Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Hello! I am Katie and though I have written what feels like hundreds of books, Conflict of Interest is my first published work. It’s so exciting!
I have been writing since I was a kid but only in the last ten years or so did I realize this is what I wanted my life’s work to be. Life has an awesome and kind of sexy way about it when you realize you’re doing what you were meant to do.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Conflict of Interest is my lastest book, my debut book, and the first book in a four-part series called Taking Chances. The inspiration has been a long time coming. But I wanted a book that highlighted the importance of friendship and family, and also, very successful women and men. It’s modern and contemporary in a way that forces people to choose between success and love.
Let’s get back to the friendships for just a minute because it’s a huge piece of this book and it wouldn’t be the same without this aspect. These four girls; Grace, Aimee, Casey, and Rachel are dynamic and individuals, but they wouldn’t be who they are without the influence of one another. It’s the true definition of unconditional love. I think you’ll be attracted to their friendship and a little sad when you set the book down because of it – in a good way!
And there is LOVE. Love makes this world go ’round. The inspiration between Grace and Luke came from my husband and my romance. We immediately felt a connection and we seemed to know “this was it.” When we knew this was what we wanted out of life, we wanted the rest of our lives to start right away. It was the perfect companion to Grace and Luke as they entered their own whirlwind romance.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Nothing unusual about the writing itself. But the location is another story. I set up our office to be (what I thought) was the perfect writing cave. I painted the walls a sophisticated black, it had regal pictures of stags and antlers. Very den. Very “old” classy. I go in there just to sit and look around because I love it so much.
And after all that work, I write at the old, crappy kithen table. I have no idea why. And I’m sure it drives my husband crazy having papers and cords and my laptop fighting for space while we are eating meals. I just try to pretend it isn’t there in hopes he’ll forget it’s bothering him!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Nora Roberts and Debbit Macomber are the bit two for romance and the inspiration behind the friendships I like to write about.
From a speed and story-telling perspective, James Patterson, John Grisham, and Sanford. I can speed-read any one of their books in a single night if I decide I don’t care about my progress for the next day.
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m putting the finishing touches on a Christmas novel that will be released in November. I’m also completing a manuscript draft for a book that’s a little more risque and errotic than I’m used to but it’s been so fun to write. Then comes the final bit of outline for the second book in the Taking Chances series – this time featuring Casey.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I would say friends and family for spreading the word is big as far as initial reach and getting people (locally) to talk about it. Then comes Facebook and Instagram from a social media perspective. Finally, sites like Awesome Gang, that can spread the word to people who are just like me – dying to read the next great book that makes the FEEL – whether it’s fun, happy, love, pain, etc.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Finish the book! The rest will come.
…and when I say “finish the book” I mean all the way. Go through it, and over it, and add to it, and remove what doesn’t work, and don’t be afraid to have major changes. Be willing to put in the work to make it the best it can be. And focus on enjoying the process. You are perfecting your work of art! Your name is going to be on this book.
For example, I rush through my first draft. Some parts are great, some aren’t. When I go through it that first time I realize there are dates that don’t make sense, names that I’ve changed in the middle of the book, tenses that are all wrong, and that I’ve used different versions of the SAME WORD. I Love the book anyway.
Then, I take a yellow legal pad, and as I read through for my first round of edits, I’ll make changes in-line as I read, but I’ll also write new paragraphs or chapters in bulk on the yellow pad. So by the time I’m finished with the frist major edit of the book I’ll have nearly doubled the book in size by adding hand-written pages.
Then I go through and re-type all of my edits and as I type I’ll continue to make improvements.
Once retyped I’ll go through it once more and put it into grammerly.
After grammerly I’ll do another round of edits myself. After I do that, I’ll send it to a friend who does the first round of major edits and proof-reading for me. I’ll think the book is good at this point – but she will kindly remind me that it still needs tons of work by making between 20-50 suggestions per chapter! (You can laugh here if you want – I usually do to keep from crying).
Then I go through all of her recommendations, make the changes I like, ignore the ones I don’t, and type it all up. At this point the book is pretty good. I go through it again to check names and timelines. As I do this I’ll continually check for grammer and punctuation and tense.
I’ll actually sit down with my editor once more and we’ll do a huge critique on the book all in one weekend. We’ll STILL find things to correct. After this weekend though, we are nearly there.
Then I’ll send the book to a professional editor and I’ll pick and choose which of those changes to make.
Then we are close. Like, close to the point where I’ll reread it and maybe find five or ten things in the whole book that could potentially change.
Then another re-read. If I find nothing, THEN I’m ready to start everything else.
Everything else is: formatting for the ebook, paperback, and hardcover books. Marketing, laying down some heavy promotion (this is not including the promotion I’ve done throughout the writing process to get people interested). Show snipets of the work. Finalize the cover design. And start promoting it on sites like Awesome Gang! Ordering proofs for one final re-read in the form of an actual book. Update any final changes. Then promote the heck out of it straight through the launch of the book.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Finish the book.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading “Juror Number Nine” by James Patterson. “What I Know For Sure” by Oprah Winfrey. And “Savor the Moment” by Nora Roberts (again).
What’s next for you as a writer?
A Christmas novel, an errotic novel, the second and third books in the Taking Chances series, and finally – another Christmas book.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
1. The Firm, by John Grisham
2. The Witness, by Nora Roberts
3. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
4. Sherlock Holmes, the complete volume, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle