Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Writers' Wednesday: An Interview with Cate Masters

Welcome to Writers' Wednesday! Today I'm excited to help fellow Wild Rose Press author Cate Masters celebrate the release of her contemporary romance Going with Gravity. Here's the blurb, to whet your appetite...

Publicist Allison Morris plans her own life – what’s left of it – around the life of her boss Michelle McCarter, the ex-wife of a famous rock star. When Michelle needs emergency public relations patchwork in Hawaii pronto, Allison arranges a flight to the dream destination. At the airport, she meets Wes Hamilton, a six-foot-three sun-bleached blond whose blue eyes and dazzling smile rekindle her fizzled-out sizzle. A world-renowned surfer, Wes captivates her with his charm and wit, though his easy fame and on-the-edge lifestyle are the polar opposite of her own. When their jet loses its fuselage in mid-air, she takes advantage of what she thinks are her last minutes alive with Wes. The plane lands safely. Wes takes care of her when her carefully constructed life begins to unravel. When Michelle accuses Allison of using Wes to gain fame for herself, Allison’s world falls apart in an explosive confrontation. Wes is waiting with open arms when she has nowhere else to go, but can Allison learn to stop planning and go with gravity?

Cate, congrats on your release. First, can you tell us a little about your background?

If you promise not to yawn… I was a very shy, quiet kid. Because my family lived out in the country, I was also a bit lonely. Maybe that’s what led me to writing. I certainly spent a lot of time in my own head (and still do!) and had a very overactive imagination (and still do!). Writing took a long breather while I raised my kids, but when I went back to it, it felt great. And I was more determined than ever – I took any classes or workshops I could squeeze into my schedule, bought many books on craft, joined writers’ groups and critique groups. Lots of rejection helped me grow a thick skin over the years. Last year, my hard work finally began to pay off in a string of acceptances – woo hoo!

That's wonderful! Tell us about your latest writing project or published title.

Today, The Wild Rose Press released my contemporary short romance, Going with Gravity. 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!)

What advice would you give to new writers just starting out?

First, learn the craft, and keep writing as much as you can. Second, 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 for a boost!). 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!

Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?

I don’t often hit a snag like writer’s block, but occasionally. Writer’s block is a signal, I believe, to step away from a story. Sometimes when we concentrate too hard on a thing, the focus can become too narrow. Stepping away can renew the story, help me see what element is missing -- maybe I didn’t develop a character deep enough, or follow an idea far enough. It always leads to something better, in the end. Plus, I’m always working on several stories at once, so if one throws up a road block, I detour to the next.

Describe your writing space (or include a picture!)

Ah, my writing space is my little sanctuary. When we moved a few years ago, I was lucky enough to be able to finally have a room dedicated to my writing. It’s very soothing, all in shades of blue from sky to indigo. Photographs of all sizes decorate the walls, and my books line the shelves (with another ten boxes or so lurking in the closet). My computer screen is extra-wide so I can have two or three documents open at once – the story plus a few background files if I need to refer to something. The trailer for Going with Gravity includes a peek at my PC, dressed up with stickies and other props for the role. Here’s the trailer:

Lovely! Now, what do you like to do when you're not writing?

Lately, if I’m not writing, it’s not by choice! I’ve learned to treat my writing as another job and dedicate as much time to it time as possible. Marketing is the necessarily evil component to writing. Another component is making book trailers, but I find that a lot of fun, and use much of my own photography. When I am able to take a breather, I love to just sit out on our back deck under the stars with my husband and a glass of wine, and listen to the frogs singing in the pond. Ahhh.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book(s)?

For Going with Gravity, I was surprised to learn how evocative the Hawaiian language is. With just a few syllables, words take on complex meanings. The meaning of the word Hawaii itself is such a gorgeous example – ‘Ha’ means ‘the breath of life’ and ‘wai’ means ‘fresh or living waters’ plus ‘i’ refers to ‘the divine in each of us.’ No wonder it’s such a beautiful inspiration! Someday I hope to find out for myself.

Cate, thanks so much for joining me today -- best of luck for tons of sales!! Readers, make sure to visit Cate's website to find out more...


Diane Craver said...

Hi Cate,

I agree with you about marketing. That's great you enjoy making your own trailers - I always have someone make them - like Allie and Marianne. :) But I write the text and get the photos.

I enjoyed reading your interview and your blurb. Book sounds great!

Cate Masters said...

Thanks so much, Diane!

Judy said...

Great interview! I really enjoyed the blurb and the trailer. Going With Gravity sounds like a great read!!

Cate Masters said...

Thanks for stopping by, Judy!

Mary Ricksen said...

What a place to have to research.
Great trailer. The best of luck Cate! May you be #1 in your line at TWRP!

Cate Masters said...

You're so sweet, Mary! Thanks a bunch!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Cate,
Nice interview. Going With Gravity sounds like another great read from you. Best of luck with it.

Cate Masters said...

Thanks so much, Margaret!



I didn't realized until I started to read ebook that the authors had to do their own promo work. I can understand not liking to do that. Good luck with the book, it look like a good read.


Cate Masters said...

Yes, marketing takes too much time away from writing! But it's great when readers actually comment on the loops. Thanks for stopping by, Loretta!

SharonJM said...

Thank you for the tip about treating reading like a job. I need to remember that. Also I like (and with my type A behavior), the title "Go with Gravity." I will also remember that.
Loved your you tube.

Cate Masters said...

Thanks, Sharon! Hopefully this "job" will pay off!

Cate Masters said...

Thanks again for helping me celebrate the release of Going with Gravity! My daughter picked a name from a bowl and the winner is....
Judy! Judy, I couldn't find your contact info. Can you email me at and I'll reply with your prize! Hope you enjoy it.

Virginia said...

Great interview! I really enjoyed the book trailer!