Wednesday, July 05, 2006

BookEnds Talks to Kate Douglas

Kate Douglas
Book: Wolf Tales
Publisher: Kensington Aphrodisia

Kate Douglas is a fifty-six-year-old grandmother, married for thirty-four years to a very patient man. She is and always has been a writer. She feels that her work defines her. . . . What more could anyone ask, to live in a fantasy world of your own choosing and get paid to be there?

Author Web site:

BookEnds: Describe your book in 50 words or less.
Kate: Wolf Tales is an ongoing paranormal erotic romance series following various packs of shapeshifters known as Chanku. There are currently twelve titles contracted, each following the story of a different pack within the species. The stories are sexy and edgy and push a lot of boundaries.

BookEnds: What do you think distinguishes your work from other authors of this genre?
Kate: My series is highly erotic and pushes a lot of boundaries. I fully expect the reviews that are either one star or five stars because readers either love of hate my Chanku, but this is a good thing. At first, I will admit I was horrified by some of the nasty comments from reviewers, but then I realized it meant I had shocked them with my stories. I decided to take their words as my own badge of honor. I don't want to be like every other author out there. I want something so unique and so shocking that my readers will sit up and take notice. So far, they appear to be doing just that.

BookEnds: What was your road to published author like?
Kate: I wrote my first romance in the mid 1980s, entered a contest and won. I fully expected to be a rich and famous romance author within the year. Little did I know . . . it's not easy, but I never quit. I fully believed that someday I would be a published author, and I worked hard at it. I sold to an epublisher in 1998, then discovered Ellora's Cave in 2000 and never looked back. My success as an author of erotic romance gave me the confidence to try my luck with New York . . . that and the fact that my agent was too damned stubborn to quit on me. Thanks, Jessica!

BookEnds: What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Kate: Don't ever quit. Study your craft. Learn how to write—and I do mean the basic technicalities like good grammar and spelling. Read the authors you like the most and learn from them. Find a good critique group, hopefully with writers whose skills are better than yours. Listen to their suggestions, but don't let someone try to change your “voice” to theirs. Enter contests, and write. Never stop writing. Sit down at your computer every day and write something, even if it's just the grocery list or your personal journal. Study people and make note of their little quirks and individual mannerisms, then turn those into characters in your books, but above all, write because you love what you do. Write because, if you don't, you won't feel complete.

BookEnds: What do you see as some of the biggest mistakes beginning writers make?
Kate: I have a lot of new writers ask me to read their work, and two things jump out at me—lack of technical skill (an inability to spell or write a coherent sentence) and trying to write the way they “think” an author should write, not the way they would naturally write—using stilted, overblown language in dialogue and trying to make their characters sound as if they're actually speaking some really dumb things . . . dialogue has to be comfortable and natural. It has to be relaxed.

BookEnds: Has being published changed you or your writing?
Kate: Definitely. I am so much more confident when I sit down to write. My stories at Ellora's Cave sold really well and the publisher bought everything I sent. Suddenly that sense of “will they like this or am I garbage?” disappeared. Once I was published and had readers sending me fan mail and editors asking for more stories, I felt vindicated. I was an author, finally! There's a lot to be said for the money you make writing—financial validation is pretty powerful stuff and it frees you to write the stories the way you want them written. Being published has definitely been empowering.

To learn more about Kate Douglas, see Our Books at

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