Kate is a woman of many passions. She holds a tertiary qualification in chemistry, half a diploma in naturopathy and a diploma in psychological astrology. Her published work includes two erotic novellas (Breaking the Rules and Bloom – Random Romance), short stories in 3 anthology’s, and a debut novel, The Yearning (Simon & Schuster).
Kate believes in living a passionate life and has ridden a camel through the Australian desert, fraternized with hippies in Nimbin, had a near birth experience and lived on nothing but porridge and a carrot for 3 days to prove it.
Kate writes and loves in Melbourne, juggling her strange, secret affairs with her male characters with her high-maintenance partner and daughter, and a menagerie of neurotic pets. She blogs on erotica etc weekly at The Ecstasy Files (http://ecstasyfiles.com)
What inspires you to write?
Life. Writing is like breathing to me, I can’t not do it. I’ve written since I was 8 years old, kept diaries most of my life and written lots of very bad stories and flowery prose. Writing is such a wonderful way of connecting with other people’s minds. It’s like a direct link, an umbilical cord, where I can convey an idea and plant it in someone else’s imagination where it takes root and grows into something unique to them. Words are powerful, they can change the world.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write fast. Thankfully I learned to touch type so the words fairly fly from my fingers onto the keys. Once an idea has hold of me I feel compelled to get it down as fast as I can. I have imaginary conversations with my characters. They show up at odd times, like when I’m alone on the train or washing dishes, and they tell me things. I keep a notebook and pen with me all the time, so I don’t miss anything if it shows up at an inconvenient time. Only when my characters are satisfied do I know that I’ve finished a story.
I’ve had to learn to plan my writing much more. I balance a busy family life with writing, so I need to be a bit organised or my writing simply takes over everything and people start yelling at me. I am a terrible housekeeper because of it.
I have a notebook for each project and draft up sections on characters, plot, plot triggers, setting, background. I know a lot of what I scribble in the notebook won’t make it into the manuscript but it’s important to sketch out a good sense of the story before I begin. My first novel, The Yearning, I just wrote, without planning. The damned thing took me four years to finish because I hadn’t thought about it enough before I wrote the first draft. I like to plan now, so I’m not wasting lots of time thinking things through as I write. That said, the characters still need room to speak and I’m continually surprised at what finds its way onto the page. I’ve been known to say ‘My God, I would never have thought of that!’ after writing a scene.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Always talk and listen to my characters. It’s their story after all, not mine. They are the experts and I need to listen to their wisdom. If I can’t climb into their world with them I haven’t a hope of sounding authentic on the page, and that’s what writing is about. Emotional authenticity is what readers connect with. Without it, the prose is flat, dead.
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep trying. Learn to rewrite. Learn to recognize constructive critique. Don’t let ego get in the way of letting your best work emerge. Learn to kill your darlings, your work will be the better for it. Take advice. Network with other writers. Learn from your mistakes – but most importantly – make mistakes – it’s the best way to learn. Be patient. When you are ready to give up, don’t. A writer who gives up never gets published.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I find the idea of self-publishing utterly terrifying. I can barely cope with the self-promotion, let alone everything that goes into self publishing. I worked hard on getting my manuscript, to get it as good as I could, then hooked up with a very professional, active writers group, then found myself an agent. I love her. She’s there to give great advice on everything. She’s invested in my career because my success is her success. She knew the industry really well and strategically pitched my novel to publishers she felt would be interested in it. Now all I have to do is worry about writing and self promotion because other people are taking care of the other stuff, which is a huge relief to me.
Each writer has to find their own way into publishing, a model that fits with them and their work. I also believe a bit in fate. You will be drawn to the people/experiences best suited to your work.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
We are witnessing the demise of the dominance of the paperback. I don’t think it’s doomed, I think it’s just threatened. Really, there’s no argument for the continued production of print books, given the environmental resources that goes into them. Ebooks are the way of the future. I look forward to a time when they become a complete sensory experience, with music and visuals embedded within them to enhance the reading experience.
Having said that – I still prefer the physical artifact of a book. I like its weight and feel. I will always buy second hand and new print books while I can.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Contemporary women’s fiction, erotic romantic fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print