The number of different paths to success are amazing! Here’s one writing path that led contemporary romance author Katherine L. Evans from Wattpad to bestselling status with works that are “superbly captivating.” But let her tell you all about her books and her writing process. Here’s her official bio and then we’ll dive into the actual interview.
Katherine L. Evans is a bestselling author of emotionally-driven love stories that stay in your heart long after you reach The End. With a background in 19th-Century English Literature and Journalism, she has been honored with several writing awards, and her work has been featured in academic literary journals and anthologies. As the author of more than thirteen contemporary romance novels, Katherine’s work has been described by readers and book bloggers as “heartfelt, entrancing, and superbly captivating.” She is a native of Austin, Texas, where she lives with her three best guys, her husband, son, and yellow lab named Dave.
Betty: How many books have you written and published?
Katherine: I just celebrated the publication of my thirteenth novel earlier this month. Outside of novels, I’ve contributed to three anthologies, with two more slated for the forthcoming year.
Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?
Katherine: The vast majority of my novels (eleven out of thirteen) are contemporary romance. I’ve always been drawn to stories about relationships. As a child, I read books that focused on friendships, and now it’s exclusively romantic relationships. People can be fascinating and the dynamics within which we relate and interact with each other is not only entertaining, but is an endless source of complexities that can teach us more about ourselves.
Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release and why were they important to your story?
Katherine: Breaking the Rules is all about off-limits affection and embracing the unexpected. We can’t always get the exact happy ending we have in mind, but if we have an open heart, we can often find something even better. The story follows a woman who starts out head-over-heels in love with someone who has some very problematic shortcomings and doesn’t have her best interests at heart, but she soon realizes there’s something else out there that ultimately gives her what her heart always truly desired.
Carson McDermott does what he damn well pleases. As the eldest son of one of the wealthiest families in New Orleans, he did his time in college and law school, and now he placates his family by keeping a day job as a contract attorney. By night, however, he’s gunning for the title of the city’s most eligible bachelor and samples the finest women the Big Easy has to offer—including the beautiful blonde at the bar next to him one particular evening, who seems to be in a really foul mood. And Carson knows just the way to cheer her up.
Sabrina Deneau is unlucky in love and back in her hometown of New Orleans after ten long years away. When the man she’s been pining after for two years gives her the ultimate brush-off, Sabrina slinks off to a bar to drown her sorrows—and the sexy stranger attempting to coax her out of her bad mood at a bar one evening is the perfect place to start.
After a mind-blowing one-night-stand, Sabrina is in much better spirits and opts to join her older brother and his friends for dinner the following evening—only to find herself seated right next to Carson.
Sabrina and Carson agree there can’t be a repeat of the one night they had together, but she’s still got his phone number… and he’s still got hers.
She’s still stuck on using him to heal her broken heart.
And Carson can’t seem to tell his best friend’s hot-as-hell baby sister no—even though he knows it might literally get him killed if anyone finds out.
Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?
Katherine: I am a couch writer! We have the softest, squishiest couch in the world, and honestly, writing at a desk feels too much like being back in school.
Betty: Do you have any writing rituals while you write? Did you have a special drink, or music, or time of day that you gravitated toward?
Katherine: I always have a coffee and a water, and for every book I’m working on, I create a new playlist to fit the tone of the story. Headphones are also a must, given that I live with three very loud boys.
Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A mentor or organization or something else?
Katherine: I started out writing fiction on Wattpad back in 2014, and the story I posted got so much traffic and enthusiasm that it became one of the most popular ones in the romance category, so I thought I’d query a couple of publishers. I got three contracts within a week and picked the one with the best reputation. After being with them for three years and five novels, I decided to go the indie author route and now publish exclusively through Amazon.
Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your writing?
Katherine: Tapping into the depth of emotions. All of my books consistently receive reviews that state the reader ran the gamut of emotions. So when you read any of my books, prepare to laugh, cry, swoon, and pretty much everything in between.
Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story: setting, situation, characters?
Katherine: Generally, I take something I see or hear in real life that involves some kind of complicated relationship dynamics and let my imagination run wild from there. So it’s typically a situation, and from there I figure out what the characters’ histories are that would land them in that situation, and eventually choose a setting that compliments the story.
Betty: Do you have a structured time to write or is more fluid/flexible? Do you have to write between family obligations or do you set aside a block of time?
Katherine: I adopted Chris Fox’s concept of the “tortoise enclosure” and starting my day with writing. To avoid being interrupted, I start writing at 5 a.m. every morning, which gives me two hours of uninterrupted writing time before everyone wakes up.
Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your writing?
Katherine: The quantity of books I’ve written over the past twelve months has caused me to recently develop serious emotional exhaustion. My Romance in New Orleans series is a true saga in that it’s long and emotionally complex, with many characters that share multiple complex connections to each other, and also has a great deal of tragedy in varying degrees. It’s been a marathon, and as I approach the end, I’ve noticed my stamina is waning a little.
Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? Why or why not?
Katherine: I participated in Camp NaNo earlier this year to help my friend get enthusiasm for her cabin, however I never saw the need for NaNoWriMo given that I typically write a 90-100k word novel every month anyway.
Betty: What are you reading right now?
Katherine: As a huge supporter of my fellow indie authors, I’m currently reading Holding Out for Paris, by Gabrielle Ashton, which is her debut novel. It’s wonderful, and I can tell this young lady is going to go far.
Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?
Katherine: Romance, of course! But I also love Nineteenth Century British Classics
Betty: What are your keeper books? How often might you reread them?
Katherine: Wasted by Marya Hornbacher and Jane Austen’s Persuasion. At least once every couple of years.
Betty: When you’re writing, do you read in the same genre as your work in progress or something else?
Katherine: I do! If I’m ever struggling to get words out, I know it’s that my creative tank is low and I need to refill it with inspiration from my peers in the romance genre.
Betty: Do you have a “day job” or do you write full time?
Katherine: I am very fortunate to be a full-time writer! Prior to writing books, I was a freelance writer in the marketing industry, so writing has always paid the bills for me.
Betty: What do you wish readers knew about the publishing industry?
Katherine: That it’s nowhere near as glamorous as it seems and it is a LOT of work. It also stops feeling super exciting after releasing your second or third book. You arrive at a point where it’s just part of the job. You still love it, but it is WORK.
Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?
Katherine: You can’t avoid marketing, even if you are traditionally published, so get started on learning the ropes as soon as you can.
Betty: Any hints of what you’re next writing project might be?
Katherine: I have a wildly dramatic and emotional series finale in the works for my Romance in New Orleans Saga, one that is going to break a lot of hearts of the readers of this series, but that will also mend those broken hearts in beautiful fashion. My next series will be a spin off set in a fictional mountain town just outside of Portland that follows one of the relatives of a major character from the RNO saga. Tentatively titled Eastwood Valley, this new series will debut in 2020.
Betty: What kind of writing would you like to experiment with? Or what’s a different genre you’ve considered writing but haven’t yet?
Katherine: I’m secretly dabbling under a pseudonym in Gaslamp Fantasy, which is similar to Steampunk except that the focus is on the magic rather than the machinery.
What an interesting path to publication and finding your readers, Katherine! Thanks so much for stopping in and sharing your background and writing process.
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