Mistress Bella: Welcome Cate! Would you start by sharing a short bio with us?
Cate: Happy to! Cate Masters’ novels, novellas and short fiction appear at The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press, Wild Child Publishing/ Freya’s Bower and Shadowfire Press. Linked to her web site at http://www.catemasters.com/, readers can find her flash and short stories published with The Battered Suitcase, A Long Story Short, Dark Sky Magazine, Cezanne’s Carrot, The Harrow, Flesh from Ashes, Quality Women’s Fiction, Phase, and The Writer’s online edition. In 2005, Pennwriters awarded her second place in its annual Short Story contest. Her freelance articles have appeared in The Sentinel, Carlisle. She currently lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband, three children, Benji the dog and their dictator-like cat, Chairman Maiow.
MB: Please tell us about your new release and where we can purchase it.
Cate: On July 15, my short contemporary, Going with Gravity, will be available from The Wild Rose Press: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/
I’d read a news article about a plane losing its fuselage mid-flight, and it managed to land with no injuries. Such intense drama made me wonder: Hmm, who could I put on that plane, in that situation? To add to the tension, I devised two polar opposite personalities: an uptight career woman and a live-by-the-seat-of-his-shorts surfer. Set in a paradise I’ve always wished I could visit – Hawaii. (I love that writing allows me to visit cool places vicariously through my characters!)
Here’s a link to the story blurb and excerpt: http://catemasters.blogspot.com/2009/01/release-date-for-going-with-gravity.html
Here's the link to the tailer to the book:
MB: Where do you find inspiration?
Cate: Inspiration’s a tricky thing, isn’t it? I like Neil Gaiman’s explanation of where he gets his ideas – a little shop downtown. :) But sometimes, when I’m lucky, stories will formulate in my head of their own accord, and it’s my job to simply write. And then, of course, the most important part: revise. That’s where the real story shines through.
MB: Is there a genre you haven't written, but would love to someday?
Cate: I have been experimenting quite a bit lately, and tried my hand at fantasy, dark fantasy (or paranormal), contemporary, historical and an erotic romance novella. Each presents its own challenges and opportunities. I love gritty urban fantasy, and have a few stories yet to develop in that genre.
MB: What is your writing routine? Do you write everyday or when the motivation hits you?
Cate: I honestly write as often as possible, which is now everyday. While my kids were little, I’d go weeks without writing, though stories still swirled around in my head. Now they’re grown and I can focus, finally, to the detriment of my domestic duties!
MB: When did you first start writing?
Cate: I had a rather isolated childhood, and loved our home’s country setting—surrounded by forest, deer and wild animals always in view. It felt like a living poem, so at about age ten, I first began to describe it in poetry. Then I wrote for the school newspapers. I’d dreamed of being a journalist, but life, as they say, had other plans. When I turned to fiction, it was a perfect fit for my overactive imagination.
MB: Who or what motivated you to submit your first story for publication?
Cate: It’s always been my dream, but for many years I didn’t send out my work. I submitted to literary magazines in my thirties – I hadn’t yet written a novel. When epresses appeared, I found greater success. The past few years, in particular, I made a whirlwind of submissions to both epresses and webzines, and had fifteen acceptances in about a year and a half. It’s been a blast!
MB: How many times were you rejected before finally getting that acceptance letter?
Cate: I stopped counting! For awhile, I kept a file of all the rejections (back when written submissions were required). I’d read of people who found inspiration in them, but honestly, they depressed me. So a few years ago, I had my own little Bonfire of the Vanities and literally burned them. It felt great!
MB: Is there a publisher you haven't been published with that you would like to submit to in the future?
Cate: Like every writer, I’d love to get that dream contract with a big-name publishing house (any would do, I’m not particular!). Only because a large advance would allow me to quit my day job and fully focus on writing.
MB: What's your favorite genre to write? To read?
Cate: I’m terrible at picking favorites. I love so many types: literary, mainstream, romance, fantasy, historical. Honestly, if it’s well written and the story’s engaging, that’s what matters most to me. So that’s what I aim to give readers with my own stories.
MB: What is the easiest aspect of writing for you? The hardest?
Cate: The story ideas come to me faster than I can set them to paper sometimes. The challenge, for me, is accurately getting on paper the vivid movielike story playing in my head. I want the reader to see as much detail and feel as much emotion as I do.
MB: What do you have planned next for your writing career?
Cate: To keep writing as much as possible, and perfecting my craft.
MB: What is the best way for readers to contact you?
Cate: I’d love to hear from readers! Cate.masters AT gmail.com is the best addy. And please visit my web site, http://www.catemasters.com/, and blog, http://catemasters.blogspot.com/, or follow me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cate-Masters/89969413736?ref=ts or Twitter http://twitter.com/CateMasters though I’m just learning to tweet! But on August 5, Love Romance Novels will hold a romance author chat day, which Twitter users can follow at #askromancewriter. I’ll be there, and I hope you will too!
MB: Any advice for aspiring writers out there?
Cate: Absolutely. First, learn the craft, and keep writing as much as you can. Second, find a good critique partner (or two!). Circulate your stories, and don’t let rejection get you down. Many bestselling novels went through hundreds of rejections before publication (read Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul to find out just how many!). If a publisher rejects your story, take any criticism as positive: they cared enough to let you know what needed work. Resubmit as soon as you revise. Writing is equal parts perspiration and perseverance. Follow your bliss!
MB: Any last words or comments?
Cate: Thanks so much for having me as a guest! It’s been a pleasure.
Thanks so much Cate for stopping by, we look forward to your new release and wish you all the best of luck with your writing:-)