Welcome to my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, scriptwriters, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with paranormal romance / urban fantasy / horror author Catherine Green. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Catherine.
Catherine: Hello Morgen, lovely to meet you!
Morgen: And you. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Catherine: I am a married mother of one living in South Cheshire, UK. My professional writing career began about three years ago, but I was a writer long before then, as most of us are.
Morgen: I started writing when I went to a college class eight years ago but only seriously the last three years, I’m still working on the ‘professional’ bit. 🙂 What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Catherine: My genre seems to fall naturally as paranormal romance, although I cross over into urban fantasy and horror as well.
Morgen: What have you had published to-date? Do you write under a pseudonym?
Catherine: My current published books are the first two in my Redcliffe series. They are Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel) and Love Kills (A Redcliffe Novel). All are published under my married name, Catherine Green. I also have short stories published in The Mirador Fantasmagoria and Devils, Demons and Werewolves (in that one I am Catherine Hargreaves). For more details see my website http://www.catherine-green.co.uk
Morgen: Have you ever self-published? If so, what led to you going your own way?
Catherine: I am partnership published. That means I contributed to the costs with my publisher, Mirador, but they had to approve my work. I have control over the design and layout, but I don’t have to stock thousands of books in my house. The publisher takes care of all the logistics for me, and ensured I am registered on all the appropriate wholesaler websites, along with Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Waterstones. It was an easy process, and a huge learning curve.
Morgen: Are your books available as eBooks? How involved were you in that process? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
Catherine: Yes my books are available either direct from my website http://www.catherine-green.co.uk or from websites such as Smashwords, where you can obtain all eBook formats. I had just started reading eBooks when I was writing my first novel, and then I invested in a Kindle. Now I switch between that and my good old favourite paperbacks. I will never be able to give up real books!
Morgen: 99.9% of the authors I’ve spoken to say they won’t (as will… er, won’t?… I). Do you have a favourite of your books or characters? If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
Catherine: At the moment I have a fondness for my supporting vampire character Marcus Scott in the Redcliffe novels. He is an experienced vampire, incredibly attractive, a millionaire businessman, and he develops an obsession with our protagonist Jessica Stone, which she finds hard to resist.
My leading actors might have to be new names, since the Mason brothers are identical twins and it is imperative that their actors are the same to remain true to the story. I would like a British actress to play Jessica Stone, and Irish actors for Jack and Danny Mason. For Marcus I am not sure.
Morgen: The only twins I can think of are the blonds in The Matrix but there are bound to be many more out there. Which author(s) would you compare your writing to?
Catherine: Hmm, probably Charlaine Harris, although I aspire to write like Laurell K Hamilton. I love how these authors push the boundaries on a well-established genre. They go beyond the physical violence of the supernatural world, and explore themes and emotions that even in the 21st century we are uncomfortable to reveal.
Morgen: Did you have any say in the titles / covers of your books? How important do you think they are?
Catherine: Yes I did. The titles are all my own decision, and I gave outlines of the cover art. It was wonderful to find that the design team at Mirador shared my vision, and together we came up with something that I am very happy with. The covers and titles are hugely important, since they are an author’s selling point. They have to be relevant, memorable and unique.
Morgen: They certainly do; a hard job. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Catherine: My current project is actually my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel; a vampire story set in Blackpool, England. I love the old seaside town, and I can easily picture its supernatural community hiding amongst the tourists. The plot is still quite sketchy but that’s all part of the fun. So far my reclusive medieval vampire has been in a fight with a vampire hunter and has the makings of a friendship with a young witch. She is currently exploring her hidden desires and forgotten emotions…
Morgen: It sounds great. I’m about four hours from Blackpool but am pretty sure I’ve never been. 😦 Do you manage to write every day, or ever suffer from writer’s block?
Catherine: I cannot write every day at the moment, mainly because I have a demanding toddler! I rarely experience writer’s block, but on those occasions it is easily remedied with a good walk in the countryside.
Morgen: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Morgen: Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Catherine: My writing has definitely improved within a short space of time, as I have written more novels and short stories. I still like to do several edits of a manuscript, and then of course it has the scrutiny of my publisher before final approval.
Morgen: Do you have to do much research?
Catherine: Not at the moment. Most of my stories draw on real-life experiences and memories of events and situations.
Morgen: Do you write any poetry, non-fiction or short stories?
Catherine: I do write short stories and I dabble in poetry very occasionally. It depends on my mood and inspiration. I plan to write non-fiction in the future.
Morgen: Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
Catherine: No. I have a few unpublished manuscripts, but eventually I will self-publish them if I don’t find suitable representation. I write with the intention of being published.
Morgen: As should we all. 🙂 Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Catherine: Yes I have. They were actually very polite and nicely written, so I didn’t feel completely dejected. Actually, they were all part of my learning curve and developing experience.
Morgen: That’s the best way to look at them. Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Catherine: I do not have an agent, and no, I don’t think they are vital to an author’s success. I would still like to sign with an agent, but only one who I feel will do the job I require. I see them as a means to connecting with the big publishers who have the marketing budget to properly promote my work.
Morgen: Sadly I think few of them do these days. I’ve only had two authors say their publisher does the majority of their marketing. It tends to be up to us, although the good thing is that it means we get direct contact with our potential readers. How much marketing do you do?
Catherine: I currently do all my own marketing, which is a huge job in itself. I would love to hand it over to somebody else very soon, so I can free up some valuable time simply to write.
Morgen: It’s a real balancing act. What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Catherine: My favourite part is receiving the first paperback copies of my new books. It provokes a childlike excitement and I smile just remembering the first time! My least favourite aspect is having to do all the marketing and promotions. It is so time-consuming and such a thankless task. I was surprised to learn that the hard work was only just beginning when I actually published my first novel. I didn’t have a clue about building my author platform or marketing via the internet and local bookshops, so I have come a long way in a short space of time.
Morgen: It really is a learning curve. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Catherine: Learn everything you can about the industry, so that you can see it from a business perspective. Never give up on your dreams, but make sure you make them happen!
Morgen: I love that. Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
Catherine: Yes, I like the quote “Join us on the other side!” It was the slogan for a ghost hunting company I used to work for that are no longer operating. I can apply it to lots of things in my life!
Morgen: 🙂 Are you involved in anything else writing-related other than actual writing or marketing of your writing?
Catherine: Yes, I am. I keep a journal charting my experiences and training as a shaman. It is vital for me to record what happens during meditations, dreams and other specific events in daily life.
I also write for an author community website called Write and Share (http://www.writeandshare.co.uk/category/author-catherine-greens-advice-corner)
Morgen: What do you do when you’re not writing?
Catherine: I do lots of things! Well, I am training to be a shaman and I practice witchcraft. I enjoy hobby crafts, particularly making greetings cards and bead jewellery, and I enjoy reading. Oh, and I am a ghost hunter!
Morgen: Wow. That’s you write from experience. 🙂 Are there any writing-related websites and / or books that you find useful?
Catherine: Yes, there is Write and Share as I mentioned above. I also use the World Literary Café frequently as a tool for networking and book promotion (http://www.worldliterarycafe.com). The most useful book for me is the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook, which you can buy online or you can borrow from your local library, since it is revised annually.
Morgen: It is. Published every July (in advance, and changes quickly). I have that and the Writers’ Handbook (although I prefer the W&AYB) and an English version of the US Writers’ Market (if that makes sense). What do you think the future holds for a writer?
Catherine: Whatever we want! I know the industry is tough, and there are endless stories of those who struggle and strive to be seen and heard. Ultimately, we write because it is in our blood. We cannot ignore the vocation, whether it becomes our career or not. The beauty of writing is that you can fit it into and around lots of other jobs or interests.
Morgen: We can. 300 words a day is 100,000 words a year. 🙂 Where can we find out about you and your writing?
Catherine: I have an active online presence, here is the list:
- Website http://www.catherine-green.co.uk
- Twitter https://twitter.com/SpookyMrsGreen
- Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CatherineGreenAuthor
- Author blog http://www.catherinegreenauthor.blogspot.co.uk
- Personal blog http://www.spookymrsgreen.wordpress.com
Morgen: Thank you very much, Catherine.
I then invited Catherine to tell us more about her novels…
Set in Cornwall, England, the Redcliffe novels follow the adventures of bookshop owner Jessica Stone as she unwittingly falls in love with a vampire, becomes entangled with his identical twin brother’s werewolf pack, and then discovers she is a witch. Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel) is the first book in the series.
In the newly released sequel Love Kills (A Redcliffe Novel) Jessica Stone recovers from an horrific werewolf attack and comes to terms with revelations that her lover, Jack Mason, is a vampire, his brother, Danny, the werewolf pack leader, and her best friend, Simon, is a werewolf. Add to that her discovery that she is a witch, and life is suddenly a whole lot harder than it used to be. Jessica has to fight for her own life and Jack’s when faced with his jealous vampire master who wants her old lover back. But things are never easy, and a vampire master is not so easy to defeat…
Catherine Green lives in South Cheshire, UK, and fits her writing career around raising a young family. She has always been fascinated by the paranormal world, and when not writing about vampires, werewolves and witches, she is usually found ghost hunting or studying witchcraft and shamanism.
Update March 2013: Catherine has since released the third in the Redcliffe series, ‘Love Redeems’:
Life has changed forever in Redcliffe, Cornwall. Jessica Stone used to be a normal, happy human. Now she is an angry, conflicted and confused witch. It all happened when she met Detective Jack Mason and his identical twin brother Danny. Jessica almost died twice, fell into a love triangle, and she became a murderer. Now she faces the ultimate challenge as she continues the fight to save the man she loves, while simultaneously struggling with her lust for his werewolf brother and their vampire friend. Can she survive, or will love finally end her life completely?
Set in Cornwall, England, the Redcliffe novels follow the adventures of bookshop owner Jessica Stone as she unwittingly falls in love with a vampire, becomes entangled with his identical twin brother’s werewolf pack, and then discovers she is a witch.
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