I’m pleased to have author KateMarie Collins, a suburban Seattle resident, here to speak about her writing and new release, Guarding William. KateMarie also happens to be the Chief Operating Officer of Solstice Publishing.
Hi, KateMarie. Please tell us how long you’ve been published and what titles and/or series you write.
I just released my 21st title, ‘Guarding William’ – book 3 in The Waystation Guardians series. All of my titles are through Solstice Publishing.
Amber has a roommate. William’s curious, kind, and intelligent. He’s also gorgeous
Wanting to do something to help him connect his past life with now, she takes him back to Toulouse, France. Where he was born over 900 years ago.
What starts as an impulsive vacation becomes something far more sinister.
The full moon is coming again. Amber must be back to do her job as Guardian. Will she make it in time?
And what if that means leaving behind the man she’s starting to love?
Congratulations, KateMarie! Your new book sounds incredible. As you know, I also publish with Solstice Publishing. They’re wonderful! Can you please tell us how long you’ve been working as Chief Operating Officer and how you came to be in that position?
I’ve been with the company for 5 1/2 years, started about a year after my first book came out. Melissa Miller, the CEO, emailed me a job offer out of the blue. I asked her once why she offered me the job. She said it was because I was “real” online and knew I wouldn’t tell her what she wanted to hear, but what she needed to hear.
What a great story. Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.
I write fantasy! Everything from high/dark/epic to urban. I love exploring the different subgenres. I have a few series out. Most recently, I’ve been concentrating on The Waystation Guardians. I didn’t expect the first book, ‘Guarding Charon’, to morph into a series but it has. The second book, ‘Guarding Amber’, was released in January of 2018. ‘Guarding William’ came out in August of 2018. And I’m plotting out the 4th book now.
Excellent. I also like writing in different subgenres and different genres, as well. My mystery series features cozy books, but I also have a standalone thriller, Reason to Die. In addition, my latest Solstice book, Cloudy Rainbow, is a paranormal romance.
Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
My goal is to not just entertain readers, but to grow as an author. I always want the next book to be better than the last. I believe that books should challenge readers to think about what’s possible. For both the characters and themselves.
Nice goals. I feel the same.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
I’m always hoping to get a reader who is wanting to ask why characters do what they do. Most of mine have motivations that I know but don’t always get conveyed on the page. I put them through some interesting situations, but there’s always a reason why.
I like to read books that make me think and question and try to write those, too.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Be ready to do the work! Being published isn’t a get rich quick scheme. It takes a lot of time and effort, especially if you’re new to the job. Don’t play at being a diva, be willing to take criticism, and do the work.
I never realized until I was published how much work for little monetary reward was involved in writing, but it pays off if you persist and build a following. Like you, I’m working on that.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
I was raised in an environment where creativity wasn’t encouraged. I was told by everyone from teachers to my parents that I’d never be good enough…someone else would get the shot….so it wasn’t even worth trying. By the time I started high school, I thought my talent was nothing more than an ability to b.s. my way through an essay on a test. The biggest struggle for me was getting the courage to share that first story, and then submit it to publishers. What drove me was not wanting my children to grow up with the same mindset I’d had. The best way to teach them that the risk was worth taking was for them to watch me do it.
Interesting. I’m lucky that my parents and teachers all supported my interest and talent in writing. I’m glad you were able to overcome those initial challenges.
Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.
I took a creative writing course through our city’s parks and recreation department for about a year. And I also participated in an online writing group. Both taught me how to look objectively at my work and accept criticism with an eye of how to improve things.
I believe writing courses are helpful. I took several online Gale publishing courses and attend a writing workshop at my library. I also just became involved in an online critique group with Sisters-in-Crime.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
I’m a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, and spend weekends recreating the middle ages. I’m also a huge movie buff. Star Wars is my fandom of choice.
My daughter loves to attend Renaissance Fairs, and I find them fun, too.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
Most has to be the feeling of accomplishment I get with each new release. It’s a constant reminder that I am so much more than what people around me gave me credit for as a child. Toughest is the constant promotion. It’s hard to get on Twitter and stay positive when sales are down. But I do it, because that’s part of the job.
I think social media marketing and in person promotion are the hardest challenges for authors.
Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. so readers can connect with you.
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/KateMarie-Collins/e/B008I67BBE
Thanks so much for the interview, KateMarie, and best of luck on your new release and series.