Cate Dashwood, Author
We followed your journey in Issue 1 of Holl & Lane of writing your first books, tell us what the final push to finish them was like. It was a lot of work! I didn't realize all the steps it takes to get a book published after you've already done all this work writing and editing the book. Formatting is a whole part of the process I learned about as I did it. You have to format your book one way for Kindle, and another way for Nook, and then a totally different way for paperback. Even after I had the books edited, I had a lot of formatting work to do, which took about five or six different drafts to finally get right.
Walk us through the steps of publishing a book. Write the book, find a good editor to edit the book (mine were edited twice), find a proofreader to proofread the book, format it, and then upload it. Of course there's a lot of side stuff involving the business aspect of publishing that has to be done - I had to set up an LLC and open a bank account, which required me to get a Tax ID number. Then I had to figure out a website. I also hired a professional cover designer, which was probably the best decision I made. Some authors have beta readers early on in the process, too. Really, it can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it - but independent publishing means anyone can publish a book. It's a wonderful thing.
Your first two books were recently released with the third coming soon! What was it like for you on book release day? Surreal! You do all this prep work, and it seemed so far away - and then all of the sudden it was here, and my books were out in the world. I still had to go to my job, which is entirely separate from my writing, so I didn't get to bask in that day too much. Thankfully I work with very supportive, wonderful people, and they were all so excited for me.
We know there are a few "risque" portions of your books- what has that been like in having family and friends read the books? I wish I had some clever, mature answer! The truth is that it is awkward, and I tried to warn my family as best as I could, but at the end of the day it's a romance novel, and sex is part of the story. I cannot stand gratuitous scenes in books, and I really feel like all the scenes are essential in telling a part of the characters' stories. Also, it's not an autobiography. That's what I keep telling people.
Why did you choose the romance genre? I starting reading romance novels during a very tumultuous part of my life, and they were a great comfort to me. I started following my favorite authors on Facebook and Twitter, and loved how they interacted with readers and were so supportive of each other. They would post if another author had a new release or a book on sale, and I just thought that was so lovely. I had always wanted to write a book, and one day it just clicked - why not write a romance novel?
What are you most looking forward to now that they are out in the real world? Just hearing from readers after they finished the books - whether they loved or hated them. I know I need to learn to deal with bad reviews, as that's just part of being an author. Right now I'm concentrating on being thankful that people are reading my books.
You can buy Cate's first and second books, Straight Up (The Dugan Siblings Vol. 1) and On The Rocks (The Dugan Siblings, Vol. 2) on Amazon (available in paperback and for your Kindle), or over on Barnes and Noble (for your Nook).