Saturday, December 11, 2010

Kiki Howell Interview

Tell me about yourself. How long have you been writing?
I have been composing stories in my head ever since I was young and read a story I wanted to go another way. LOL I remember writing them down even as a kid all the way through college. My goal at the time was to become an English teacher and write in my off time. Life however changes things. I got married, had kids, and I became a stay-at-home mom who didn’t write again for over a decade. In 2007, with my kids older, in school all day, I knew I had to start writing again. I missed it so much. So, it was at that time I started writing my first stories which got sent out for possible publication.
How do you find ideas for your books?
I think they find me somehow. Usually, I am reading, researching I guess you could call it. I read a lot of non-fiction books, mostly pagan or Wiccan in nature. Somewhere along the line something triggers my imagination, and a paranormal story is born. Although there are the odd instances where I am reading a fiction book or watching a movie when a story just comes to me out of nowhere. Last week for example, I saw a blog post on Yule, and from the explanation of one of the customs a holiday story popped into my head. Not sure I will have time to write that one now, but I’ve filed it away for later.
Tell me about your experience with Etsy. Have you paired your books and crafts in other venues?
I just love Etsy. The creativity that shows up in beauty there astounds me. So, when my first print release, Mystic Stones came out, I wanted to do a giveaway. I came up with the idea of putting gemstones on wire to create book thongs. Since the giveaway was so well-received, I decided to pair my print releases with book-related and book-inspired items to sell on Etsy. I have sold my books and matching book thongs, as well as matching mug cozies and book cozies, on Ebay and at a local event we have for crafters. I love to knit, so combining it with my books is a lot of fun.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
My simple advice is to write the story that is in their heart, to stay true to their original vision. Do not let that voice in your head that questions how the story will be received change anything. Writing your story, your way, I think shows in the finished product. I got this advice myself early on from a call for submissions page, and I have taken it to heart, tried hard to apply it in my own writing. What’s next for you? Right now, I’m looking forward to the release of my first full-length novel, Torn Asunder, in January 2011. I have a blog tour as well as public venues in the works. Also, I am working on another novel write now that is my first mainstream work.
How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your writing life?
It is all in the scheduling. The time my boys are in school is my writing time, and I rarely let anything interfere with that time unless something comes up with my kids. After school, I become mom and wife, doing what my family needs. Of course, as I said, there are extenuating circumstances that do change that like a chat scheduled at night or a school function I need to attend during the day, but my family is very supportive of my dreams, and it all balances out in the end.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? You can find out more about me and my stories at My Etsy Store is at You can friend or follow me in Facebook and Twitter at the following links:,

Kiki Howell-Update

I'm having technical difficulties with Blogger this morning, the text from Kiki's interview just refuses to publish. I'll take another crack at it later. My apologies to Kiki and all who stopped by.
I hope to get the interview up soon!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Getting Naughty in the Backseat!

Today, I'm chatting about the music that inspired Howl at Naughty in the Backseat .
Come visit me and find out why sometimes love bites.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Enter The Wolfman-We Have a Winner!

I'm pleased to announce Brandy B as the winner of a free copy of Howl. There's still a chance to win a copy of Howl through the LASR Scavenger Hunt.

Interview with Beth Caudill

Please join with me in welcoming Beth Caudill. Tell me about yourself. How long have you been writing?

I’m a stay-at-home mom of two boys living in central North Carolina with my husband. I’ve been writing fantasy and paranormal short stories since 2005 when I discovered Kelley Armstrong’s Online Writing Group Forum. Writers could get chapter critiques and there were challenges to get the creative juices flowing. I no longer have time to keep up with the group but I really enjoyed my time there. I serve on the Board of my local RWA chapter Heart of Carolina Romance Writers.
I currently have three short stories available at The Wild Rose Press and a novella from Whispers Publishing. You can read excerpts and reviews of my stories at my website.

You've been really busy. How did the inspiration for Healer’s Fate come to you?Most of my stories start from a single scene I’ve imagined or dreamed. For Healer’s Fate, I started thinking about how werewolves would throw a wedding. I knew it would be outside but beyond that I had to play with it. An entire culture could be built around something like a wedding. The story expanded from the consequences of what happened at the mating ceremony. Initially I’d titled the story A Wolf’s Wedding, but by the time I’d submitted the story it had grown and my editor asked me to change the title to something that could encompass the whole story.

Sounds intriguing, tell us more.

Corliss Rumdone hides behind her status as Healer to avoid the normal wolf pack hierarchical challenges. A forced mating changes the course of her life. Instead of Raymond, the beta wolf selected for her, she mates with Liam—her best friend and heir to the Alpha pair.

Liam whisks them away to a shifter retreat so they can allow the mating bond to settle in private. But interference from those seeking power and two terminal children arouse past hurts and challenge their new relationship. Even their home is not the haven it should be as Liam must watch Corliss fight for the right to stay his mate. For one healer, death becomes a weapon to balance life.

How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your writing life?

Badly. Seriously, even as a stay-at-home mom it is hard. There are school field trips or personal friends I eat lunch with occasionally – usually when I haven’t seen them in over a month. And then there are some lunches with writer friends where we talk about what we are working on or new publishing news. It doesn’t happen every day but can mess with the schedule.
I’m trying to carve out 4 hours during the day to write. Some things like the grocery store shopping, which I used to do in the mornings after the kids went to school, are now done by my husband at night.
Another big time suck are the social networking sites. Creating blogs is still writing but won’t get your story finished. Also reading other authors blogs, keeping up with Facebook and Twitter will suck you in and the next thing you know an hour has gone by. I’m setting a schedule now where I can only check Facebook/Twitter first thing when I logon and after I’m finished with my word count for the day.

What shapeshifter character do you like best besides your own?

Wolves are still my favorite characters, even if they aren’t mine. I’m anxiously waiting for next year when Hawke (the wolf Alpha) from Nalini Singh’s Psi/Changeling series gets his story. I love Curran, a lion shifter, from the Kate Daniels urban fantasy series by Ilona Andrews. I don’t usually get attached to just one type of paranormal. I like authors that can develop an entire world, like Deborah Cooke’s dragons in the Dragonfire series or Virginia Kantra’s selkies in her Children of the Sea series.
What is on your nightstand right now?

A lamp, telephone, 7 books [two I’m actively reading (Atlantis Betrayed by Alyssa Day and The Darkest Edge of Dawn by Kelly Gay) and the rest have been there for a few years. Guess I should do something with them], 5 remote controls (3 TV, 1 Cable, and 1 DVD), cough drops, tissues, scissors, coaster with a drink on it, and two stuffed animals (a snow leopard and mini white tiger).Pretty much like the rest of my room – lots of books and stuff lying around.

What are your other passions outside of writing?

I spend a lot of time reading. I also grow roses and cross stitch.

There's nothing quite as fragarant as a home-grown rose. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

I’m running a Halloween contest on my website for a few $10 gift certificates to Amazon. I’ll select two people from among my newsletter subscribers (you can sign up here) and one person from the followers of my author blog.
I have a flash fiction free read available here.
You can find at the following places:
Website –

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Enter The Wolf Man

“…his hideous howl a dirge of death.” Tagline from The Wolf Man (1941)
Even with its debut following the attack on Pearl Harbor, The Wolf Man became Universal Picutres’ largest grossing movies of the season. The script had the working title of Destiny. While fate was key to the plot, audiences were captivated by romantic tension between the nobleman, Larry Talbot and Gwen Conliffe, an antique dealer’s daughter
The Wolf Man established much of the werewolf lore that would appear in later novels and movies such as:
  • · Transformation triggered by the full moon
  • · A werewolf bite dooms the victim to become a werewolf
  • · Werewolves can only be killed by silver
  • · Werewolves revert to human form upon death
Due to the popularity of the Wolf Man, Universal had Lon Chaney Jr. portray Larry Talbot in four more films, including Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1943)
Fun Facts
The “wolf” Larry Talbot fights was Lon Chaney Jr.’s own German Shepherd.
Chaney Jr. liked to sneak up on his leading lady, Evelyn Ankers, in full make-up and startle her.
Shooting for The Wolf Man lasted from October 27 to November 25, 1941. The movie was released December 12, 1941.
Estimated budget was $180,000.
I‘ve had fun chatting about these classic horror actors. I believe their performances helped establish horror as a genre in its own right. For a chance to win a copy of Howl, leave a comment by October 29th 8:00 PST about your favorite shifter movie.
Check out the next howlworthy author, Aeryn Traxx, on the tour.

Monday, October 25, 2010

On Tour

I'm chatting about Howl this week with the Chicks of Characterization .
Come by and see me!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lon Chaney Jr.

In 1906 Creighton Chaney arrived in the world nearly stillborn after a difficult delivery. His father, Lon Chaney, revived him by plunging him into the frigid waters of Belle Isle Lake. Young Chaney later made his debut at the age of six months as a prop in his father’s stage act.
Chaney worked as a stunt man and extra under his given name. When he realized studios were more receptive to him as the son of Lon Chaney, he used the name Lon Chaney Jr. professionally. As the Wolf Man, Chaney Jr.’s transformation was an arduous four-hour process while the gradual changes in his make-up were made and filmed. The removal of the layers of yak hair and make-up took a painful 45 minutes.
Though Chaney Jr.’s character perishes at the end of The Wolf Man, the popularity of the character caused Universal to resurrect the werewolf to live again in four more movies. With a career that spanned nearly four decades and included more than 150 film credits, Chaney Jr. was the only actor to portray, the Wolf Man, Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster and the Mummy.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Author's Spotlight

I'm in the spotlight at Pam Thibodeaux's blog today I met Pam at The Wild Rose Press Writers Conference in Bandera, TX. She is a gracious author on-line and in person. Stop by and visit!

Bela Lugosi-The Man Behind the Cape

“Listen to them, children of the night. What music they make.” Bela Lugosi as Dracula (1931)
Long before Robert Pattinson appeared in Twilight, audiences were captivated by Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of Dracula. Known for his versatility as an actor, Lugosi toured with the National Theater of Budapest until political unrest forced him to flee the country in 1919. Learning his lines phonetically, the Hungarian actor honed his characterization of the legendary count during 500 performances in the 1927 Broadway production of Dracula.
Due to the death of Lon Chaney, Lugosi was selected for the role of Dracula. Lugosi did his own make-up for the 1931 film. Audiences were entranced by Lugosi’s European accent and aristocratic presence. At one point, he reportedly received as much fan mail from the ladies as Clark Gable.
Lugosi would appear in more than 100 films primarily in the roles of vampires, werewolves, ghouls and mad scientists. He was one of the charter members of the Screen Actors Guild. He died in the summer of 1956 at the age 73 and was buried in one of his Dracula capes.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Interview at Naughty Novelists

This week I'm thrilled to be chatting about
Howl at Naughty Novelists I love the title of her site, don't you?

Leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of Howl.

Hope to see you there!

Lon Chaney-Man of 1,000 Faces

The silent film start began his career in 1913 as an extra at Universal Studios earning $3.00 per day. Chaney faithfully brought his leather make-up kit each day so he could play any character the studio needed. Chaney played over 150 different roles from 1913 to 1930. He later wrote the article on move make-up featured in the 1929 Encyclopedia Britannica.

Chaney said of his diverse roles, "The parts I play point out a moral. They show individuals might have been different if they had been given a different chance."

Chaney often took incredible measures to create his characters. For his sole vampire role in London After Midnight (1927) he inserted fish hooks in his cheeks and used wire around his eyes to achieve a corpse-like leer. Chaney pulled back his eyes and nose with spirit gum and used cotton and collodian to broaden his cheeks in order to create the Phantom's skeletal appearance for Phantom of the Opera (1925). Chaney wore a 50 pound hump to portray Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Norte Dame.

His friend, Boris Karloff said of Chaney, "No one suffered as much as he did to bring a tragic, poignant quality to his roles."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Interview With C.R. Moss

I'm pleased to have a fellow Nevada author, C.R. Moss, visiting today. Tell me about yourself. My current bio is: C.R. Moss, resident of the hot, high desert in the southwest, knew she wanted to write at a young age, as early as she learned to read, cooking up stories to entertain herself in the rural, non-kid-laden area she had lived in. But she took a round about way to settle down as a fiction writer, having worked in the corporate and real estate realms writing newspaper articles, press releases, corporate newsletters, etc. Now that she’s settled into the health care industry, she has returned to her first love: creative writing. I’ve been working toward a career in writing for as long as I can remember. I had been creating stories since I started to read, but the thought of writing for a living solidified when I was in middle school and received an A in English. I looked at the grade and that’s when my life was defined. I realized I could do it.
How did the inspiration for this series come to you? The first two books for my latest series, Look What the Cat Dragged, are available at Devine Destinies. The Look What the Cat Dragged In series was supposed to be one story following secondary character, Philip, from my novel Concealed Affairs, but my characters had different ideas. So the one story morphed into three and they center around a cat named Myrddin who believes he’s a matchmaker. In For Evelyn, the first story, the ghost who haunts Raritan Manor is brought forward with the help of Myrddin. Evelyn is able to experience love with the man of her dreams who happens to be the resident ghost. In For Julie, there’s time travel. A Native American gets brought forward during a ritual. Cassandra’s story will have a blast from her past. Philip will be Cassandra’s love interest and readers will see how her familiar, Myrddin, came into her life. The original story idea came to me in the 90’s. If I remember correctly, there was an old house in my neighborhood and I said to myself “I wonder if it’s haunted” and the ideas took off from there.
What was different about writing this series from other projects? The ‘Cat’ books are mainstream stories and are a bit on the lighter side of life, whereas my other titles tend to be darker and are written for the erotic market.
You also have a 3rd book in the series “For Cassandra” coming out. Will there be more adventures ahead for your feline matchmaker? Yep. There are two more books planned. One will follow the three ladies of the ‘Bridge Club’ and the other will be Aunt Mae’s story.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Learn the craft! This means grammar, characterization, plot, etc., all the good things that go into a story. You might be able to ‘tell’ a good story, but, if you can’t write it by showing what the characters are doing/feeling, your writing career won’t go anywhere. Get involved in a critique partnership/group. Learn the non-creative side of the business as well. Be prepared.
What are your current projects and works in progress? I have an erotic romance cowboy story looking for a home. Then there’s Cassandra’s story and the other two as I’ve mentioned. I also have a couple more stories in the works for my Dirty Little series at eXtasy Books.
Who are your writing role models? All my English teachers from middle school through college, including my literature and creative writing professors, along with Anne Rice and Stephen King
How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your writing life? Writing is pretty much my sole focus now so it’s like balancing life with any kind of job, designate certain hours to work and make sure to devote time for myself and family.
What is on your nightstand right now? Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth and its sequel World Without End
That’s an amazing series! What are your other passions outside of writing? Reading. Astronomy/Astrology.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? More about me and my books can be found at: and my blog: Thanks for having me here today!
Excerpt for Look What the Cat Dragged in for Evelyn
A deep, warm laugh rumbled from him.
“You think it’s funny I’m going nuts?” She placed her hands on her hips and glared at him over the horse’s back.
Quinn moved around the horse. “You are not going insane.”
As Quinn took another step toward her, she took a step back. “That’s what Julie says. I’m not convinced though.”
With every step she took, Quinn matched it. In a deep, sultry voice he uttered, “My beautiful, intelligent Evelyn, your mind is very sound.”
Her butt hit the building. Standing in a pile of broken hay stalks, her gaze fixed on Quinn’s eyes and her breaths came in short rasps. Her mind didn’t feel sound at all, neither did her body. Pulse racing, heart pounding against her chest, she was in the midst of losing control. All her senses heightened until colors were brighter. She looked past Quinn at the dark green grass and pine trees and the deep blue sky.
He stood an inch before her. She breathed in his musky, masculine scent. Her clothes tightened and scratched against her sensitive skin. A shiver raked her body though the sun was warm. How could a man rob her of control, of her senses?
Quinn placed his hands on the building, trapping her between his arms. “Tell me,” his husky voice whispered in her ear. “What has gotten you so bothered you think you are going crazy?”
The heat radiating between their close bodies sent ripples of desire through her. She shuddered.
“You,” she whispered in return, not meeting his gaze.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

We Have a Winner!!

Congratulations to Stacey for being the winning commenter! Stacey, contact Sky at to claim your copy of Darkest Memory. Thanks to Sky for an intriguing interview and thanks to all of you for stopping by.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sky Purington Chats About Darkest Memory. Comment to Win!

Please join me in welcoming Sky Purington. Here’s a taste of her vampire tale, Darkest Memory.

Could she remember, did she? Gabriel ran his hands the length of Calah, cupped her buttocks, and pulled her lower half against him, let her feel his arousal, his need. This was Heaven. His one light in eternal darkness. Teeth, lips, blood mixed, her blood, like molten silver and sugared wine. Like a slap in the face. He pulled back, shook his head and searched for air. Lust reddened his vision. She breathed rapidly and pushed her hands against his chest while simultaneously clenching the material of his shirt, her voice a strained whisper. “I shouldn’t have done that Gabriel, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have. I don’t know what came over me. I just met you! ” He closed his eyes and tried to tune out her rapid heartbeat. She thought she’d been the one to instigate? He gazed into her face, swollen lips and glazed eyes. So beautiful. Her long, straight platinum hair blew in the wind. Her wide, golden eyes shone bright within his supernatural vision. Her frame, as it had been before, willowy and tall with legs that went on forever. She appeared an angel. Calah looked the same, delicately beautiful and innocent as no other could be. But she wasn’t that way anymore, not according to Alex, not according to her life. He had watched and relished the person she’d become, so strong, vibrant and independent. Calah, still herself yet different―evolved. He saw the way she acted around him, understood the complexities of it though she did not. Her heart beat rapidly beneath his palm. “I kissed you, Calah.” A warm smile came naturally, the first in centuries. “You merely kissed back.” Her full lips curled in at the corners, she released his shirt and dropped her eyes. “This is inappropriate, Gabriel.” As though she awakened from a dream, she glanced around frantically. “Where is Alex?” He pulled back and ran a hand through his hair. Then he thought twice, drove his hand into her hair and tilted her head back until her eyes met his. He let his long repressed emotions overtake. Saw no reason to take this slowly. “I desire you for more than your writing abilities, Calah, do you not realize that?” Calah spoke but no words came out. She behaved as all females did with him. Did she not feel this, know this? He felt his incisors grow again, for the fourth time since he had laid eyes on her. He growled in frustration and pushed away. He was too old for this, knew better. He had done nothing but practice self-restraint for far too long. Touching her once had snapped his self-restraint in half.

Tell me about yourself. How long have you been writing?
Though born in Massachusetts, I grew up in New Hampshire. At age seven, I wrote my first story. Suffice it to say, I won the Young Authors Award. After that, I didn’t start writing again until my late twenties. I haven’t stopped since!
How do you find ideas for your books?
History! Thus far, I’ve primarily focused on The United Kingdom, Italy and New England but intend to branch out. All it takes is 10 minutes on the history channel and multiple story ideas spark to life!

Tell me about Darkest Memory.Darkest Memory is my first vampire tale. Set in modern day Maine, it revolves around Gabriel, a medieval-born English vampire and Calah, a modern day American. Expect a little trip back to the night of King Richard’s coronation. A night of upheaval and vengeful vampires─a night of forgotten passion. Enjoy the concept of reincarnation? This might be for you.

How did the inspiration for this work come to you?
Interestingly enough, I was searching the internet for information on medieval England and came across an article about King Richard. It seems a bat flew around his head as they placed the crown. The people thought this an ill omen. I thought this bit of history a perfect event for vampires to be in the midst!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Write first. Edit later. Let that creative juice flow before becoming self-critical. Set reasonable writing goals and stick to them. Find a dependable, honest critique team!

Sound advice, what are your current projects and works in progress?
Heart of Vesuvius (Sequel to Darkest Memory) is currently in edits. While Gabriel and Calah make an appearance, this romantic tale follows Gabriel’s sister, Alex and ancient Italian vampire, Salvator. With a vicious enemy on their tail, these two embark on a high-stakes adventure deep into the heart of Mt. Vesuvius. Think ancient Pompeii, Roman soldiers and gladiators this time!

Who are your writing role models?Any writer who pens a story that I would read over and over. Off the cuff─Lisa Kleypas, Christina Dodd, Teresa Medeiros and Faith V. Smith.

How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your writing life?
With a lot of patience! My son is four and very active. Therefore, I’m a complete night owl when it comes to writing and all that goes with it. I devote a certain amount of time to various things. Usually, 1-2 hours for promo (loops, newsletter, updating sites, you name it), 1-2 hours for email correspondence and at least 3-4 hours for writing. Naturally this varies when other writing related projects come up. But I’ve found if I set a schedule and stick to it, everything goes fairly smooth!

What vampire character do you like best besides your own?
While I’ve always been partial to Anne Rice’s, Vampire Armand, I’d have to say right now…Charlaine Harris’, Vampire Eric Northman. Sighs. Swoons. Gimme a tall, Viking, blood-thirsty hottie any day of the week!

Eric Northman is irresistible! What is on your nightstand right now?Dunbar’s Curse by Faith V. Smith

What are your other passions outside of writing?
There are other passions besides writing? LOL. Just kidding! I love gardening and home-improvement. In fact, I write lifestyle articles for online magazines under a different pen name. J
What is your favorite romantic locale?
I have two!
Venice, Italy. You haven’t experienced the crux of romance until you’ve taken an evening ride in a gondola between all those ancient buildings. Ah, and the beautiful voice singing in Italian helps some too.
Second spot─which I have to mention as it’s my home away from home─Aruba’s, Eagle Beach late at night with a full moon overhead, the palms swaying in the breeze and the waves quietly lapping at the shore.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?Yep, a few things. I’m all about contests! In fact, I’ve three to tell you about.
~Enjoy blogging? Right now, my Sizzlin’ Hot Heroes of Scotland, Ireland, England & Wales blog event is full throttle. Each week, a romance author with a hero out of The United Kingdom will be popping in to chat about her latest release. Leave a comment for a chance to win an Ecopy of the story being discussed as well as a $6 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press. Swing into my blog anytime Monday-Friday through the beginning of September and join the fun!
~Keep up to date on the latest. Join my Yahoo Group before October 1st and be entered for a chance to win a $10 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press.
~Familiar with Coffee Time Romance? Simply post a reply to any thread at my CTR coffee corner today through October 1st and be entered for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Coffee Time Romance!

Don’t forget for a chance to win an Ecopy of Darkest Memory be sure to leave a comment by Sunday July 18th at 2:00PST

Visit Sky at her Website or Blog. Follow Sky at Facebook and Twitter.
Watch a book trailer for Darkest Memory.
DARKEST MEMORY by Sky Purington available now from The Wild Rose Press http://www, or You can also buy the Ebook from most online Ebook sellers.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Howl Scores a 4 Book Rating at LASR!

To quote the reviewer:

"I love a good werewolf/vampire/shape-shifter story and this one doesn’t disappoint. Ms. Cruz spins a story that kept me right in my seat throughout. The characters are rich with detail and I felt like I was part of the tale, right alongside them. "

Monday, June 7, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

I'm chatting about Howl's hero and heroine at Sky Purington's blog this week as part of her Spring has Sprung series. Stop by and comment for a chance to win a free e-copy of Howl.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Interview at Practical Paralegalism

Today I chat about balancing writing and my day job at Lynne Devenny's blog, Practical Paralegalism, Lynne does a fantastic job of reporting all aspects of the paralegal community and I'm thrilled to be her guest!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cate Masters Interview

Today Cate Masters talks about her May 7th release, Fever Dreams. Welcome Cate!

Tell us about yourself. How long have you been writing?
Poetry was an early passion, from about age ten, because I had a somewhat solitary upbringing. We lived in the country, and though I had three brothers and three sisters (I was lucky number seven), they were all older and considered me a pest. :) Although I didn’t realize at the time how lucky I was, I grew up in a very artsy community, and my friends were all artists and poets. From grade school on, we nurtured each other and are still close friends. In my twenties, I mostly set writing aside while my kids were young but once they needed me less, went back to it.
Who are your writing role models?
Wow. So many. For their incredible imagination and excellent writing, T.C. Boyle, Margaret Atwood and Michael Chabon are definitely my top three. Neil Gaiman and Alice Hoffman follow close on their heels. For jaw-dropping writing, Charles D’Ambrosio and Richard Russo. I’m also trying to catch up on a slew of fellow authors, too many to name.
What genre do you like to write best in and why?
The one I’m writing in at the time. :) Honestly, I don’t have a favorite. I love writing what I also love to read –fantasy/dark fantasy/urban fantasy, humorous and serious, historical and contemporary.
How do you find ideas for your books?
I love Neil Gaiman’s answer to this: The Idea Shop. Jennie Crusie calls them something like the “Girls in the Basement” who surface sometimes without being summoned. Anything can spark the initial idea. Inspiration’s a tricky, sometimes elusive thing.
Tell us about your latest book, Fever Dreams. from Eternal Press on May 7. The novel contains many fantasy dream sequences that allowed me to delve into the subconscious of the heroine, Diana, in a unique way. Through her dreams, she recognizes her feelings for Cal overwhelm her reason and better judgment. She knows the relationship has wonderful elements, but in almost a sensory overload way. I hope readers will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! A blurb, excerpt and the trailer appear on my blog:
How did the inspiration for this work come to you? For Fever Dreams, it was a caption beneath a Valentine’s Day photo in The New York Times. Can’t remember what it said exactly, but whatever it was, I’m thankful I read the newspaper that day!
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
The old joke about how to get to Carnegie Hall comes to mind: practice! I once asked bestselling author Ian McEwan the same thing at a booksigning, and he said: keep writing. At the time I thought it was his way of disposing of me to move the line along, but it’s true. The more you write, the better writer you will be. Workshops help, and critique partners are essential.
What are your current projects and works in progress? I just finished revising (again) a contemporary novel, Rock Bottom. I’m about 62k into a fantasy romance novel, and have started about a dozen other stories.
I have a few other releases coming up: Angels, Sinners, and Madmen, a historical novel from Freya’s Bower. Whiskey Creek Press will release Surfacing, a contemporary fantasy novel, and The Bridge Between, a contemporary women’s fiction novel. In addition to Fever Dreams, Eternal Press will release Winning, a short story with magical realism elements, and Follow the Stars Home, the historical novel about the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. A speculative short called Love and War will be included in an XOXO Publishing charity anthology.

That's wonderful! How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your writing life? Lately, the balance tips in favor of writing! For so many years, I put off writing to raise my kids, or concentrate on the day job. Now I’m making up for lost time, housework be damned.

I agree with you. My grandmother always said "I'd rather have cobwebs in my house than in my mind."
Of your published work which one is your mom’s favorite?
Unfortunately, my mom passed away several years before I was published. I would have loved for her to read my work because she was also an artist and writer, and years before I was born, won an award in a writing contest. Because she was a bit of a bohemian herself, I’m guessing she’d have best liked my upcoming novel, Angels Sinners and Madmen, set in 1850s Key West, Florida. Maybe some of the fantasy stories too. I try to include little tidbits about her in stories as an homage.
Did you have a playlist in mind while writing your book?
Although I consider music essential to my sanity, I don’t listen to any while writing. I save it for car rides, and other times I can sing along without fear of being heard. :)
What is on your nightstand right now?
About 20 books about to topple over! My husband, smart and wonderful man that he is, actually made me a bookcase for beside the bed, and it’s stuffed with books, magazines and DVDs. Among them, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, and Neverwhere; Natasha Mostert’s Season of the Witch, and Keeper of Light and Dust; Alice Hoffman’s Probable Future; Linda Robertson’s Vicious Circle and Hallowed Circle, and Black and White by Jackie Kessler and Caitlyn Kittredge. Some reference books too, for some stories I’m writing.
What are your other passions outside of writing?My family, photography, music, reading, gardening. I used to paint, make jewelry and play really awful piano, but stopped, the latter at my family’s request (just kidding).
Where can readers find you?
Web site:
Facebook fan page:

Cate, thanks for joining us today!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Longhorns, Cowboys & Chocolate Chip Cookies

April 28th to May 1st, the publishers, editors, authors and friends of The Wild Rose Press gathered at the Silver Spur Ranch in Bandera, TX for TWRP's first Writer's Conference. The staff was friendly and attentive (and kept the jar filled with chocolate chip cookies).

The retreat provided the right mix of workshops and field trips (including a visit to the Bandera Gun Club and the local rodeo). The keynote speaker, Jo-Ann Power shared her expertise on author promotion.

The conference brought together writers from British Columbia to New Hampshire and it was a wonderful experience. Kudos to Rhonda Penders & RJ Morris!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Highlights from TMCC Writers' Conference

TMCC Writers’ Conference Highlights
This is third year I’ve attended the Truckee Meadows Community College Writers’ Conference( . In its 20th year, the TMCC Writers’ Conference once again delivered the right blend of market perspective, writing tools and inspiration. The 1-day conference featured 8 speakers including 3 literary agents and 1 E-publisher and had a turnout of about 150 participants.
Smashwords founder, Mark Coker noted 3.6 million people have downloaded Stanza, a free e-book app for the iTouch. He declared “Mobile phones are the unsung heroes of the e-book revolution.
I was fortunate to chat with TWRP author, Leigh Bale, during one of the breaks. A gracious lady in person and on stage, Leigh delivered an intriguing presentation on the use of an intangible villain such as a character’s inner conflict or external forces such as natural disasters, war or time.
Mystery novelist and POD specialist, Don Meyer recommended editing chapters out-of-sequence . By reading your work in chronological order it is easy to get caught up in the story and miss something.
Literary agent and author, Sheree Bykofsky recommended writers learn the industry with a field trip to the local bookstore –find out which books are in the prime real estate sections (front of store and end caps) which ones are buried in the back. Check the titles on the shelf where your book would reside. What distinguishes your book from the competition?
Even more amazing about this conference was the price, $99.00 for a whole-day seminar. One-on-one appointments with individual speakers were available for an additional cost. With such an abundance of information it was tough to narrow it down to a few key tips for this post. For writers who live within driving distance to Reno, I would highly recommend this conference.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Monster Leading Men

Today I'm talking about the original monster leading men (Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr.) at Rachel Brimble's blog Stop by and find out how their performances shaped an emerging genre.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

On the Road Again

Today I'm visiting Rachel Gattuso's blog chatting about writing role models. Check it out.

On the Road Again

Today I'm at Rachel Gattuso's blog talking about writing role models and what's on my nightstand.
Check it out.

Friday, March 19, 2010

On Tour

Today I'm visiting Cate Masters' blog chatting about Howl and some of my favorite reads. Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 15, 2010

On Tour

Today I'm chatting with Karen Michelle Nutt on her blog about Howl's shapeshifters. Stop by and say hello.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Law of the Jungle

"As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk, the Law runneth forward and back--
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack"

I read Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, while doing research for Howl. I loved the eloquence of the jungle citizens and decided my wolves would live by Kipling's The Law of the Jungle.

Imagine my surprise when I heard the above lines revently recited by the entire audience prior to a UNR Men's basketball game. Go Wolf Pack!

I'm thrilled to announce Howl is now available from The Wild Rose Press. http://

On the Road Again

Come visit me at Sandra Sookoo's blog for my first interview for Howl

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Howl Release

I'm so excited. Howl is going to be released this Wednesday, March 10th!
As if Kate Owens doesn't have enough problems as a struggling single mom and paralegal, a brutal animal attack outside her office plunges her into turmoil. At work, she is attracted to her rescuer, Jack Walker, an attorney wary of commitment. Every morning after the attack she awakes drenched in blood beside the body of a mangled stray. Kate's days become a battle to maintain control while her nights are a disturbing blur of dreams. Will Kate's nightly madness harm her young daughter?
Lone wolf attorney, Jack Walker understands the reason for his paralegal's exhaustion and haunted demeanor. Jack has pursued the beast since law school graduation and he knows the creature's relentless thirst for revenge. Can Jack save Kate from her attacker and her own savage nature?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Working with Less Distractions

If you tell your kids to only interrupt you for emergencies while you’re working, then every problem from lost socks to stubbed toes escalates into a crisis requiring a platoon of Marines and your full attention.
Sometimes you’re better off hearing the latest grievance than explaining that you’re busy. However, after the 5th interruption calmly remind them that since they are taking away from your time, you will take time away from them-less time with a favorite video game or an earlier bedtime.
Most kid-related problems arise out of boredom. The next time Junior appears eager to tattle on little sister ask if he has cleaned the cat box or picked up after the dog. You can also suggest cleaning the toilet or catching up on homework if you don’t have a pet. This technique also works well if you are plagued with calls from home at your day job. The interruptions should slow down once the kids figure out that interrupting you results in more chores for them.