Kat: This is The End My Friends

iStock_000024694204XSmallAs I get my MS ready to send off to the agents/editors I met with at RWA, I referred back to my McD notes on endings. Lots of great stuff there, but one thing in particular caught my attention.  Start with the last scene. Alas, that gem came too late to save me back in my McDaniel days. I was already knee-deep in Cheyenne and thought I knew where this was all headed.

I was wrong, of course, but now I do (no,really) and it’s time to finish this sucker up. My front end is brushed to perfection (no tittering, please), and my middle isn’t so much saggy as missing teeth, AKA the scenes that I’ll need to build up to the dark moment—which is beginning to glimmer. Continue reading

Kat: New York Story

New York City

New York City

Like the other 8 Ladies I’m still decompressing from my trip to NYC. My writing has definitely benefited from a shot of conference adrenaline, and my imagination is still buzzing with the sights and sounds I experienced on my first trip to NY.

While I didn’t come to NY early like some of the ladies, I still found time to experience the insanity (and sheer humanity) of Time’s Square, the camaraderie of an old-fashioned family style Italian restaurant, and the highlights of the city while on a walking tour with a wonderful young photographer (and daughter of 8 Lady, Michille) named Joanna Caples.

Continue reading

Kat: Play It Again



I had this awesome post written that waxed poetic on the appeal of NYC (the pic left is the only thing I can find from it), but somehow I lost it (and I swear, I scheduled it, previewed it, etc….). So, I’m out of time (and energy) and am posting  this retread, a two-part interview with Golden Heart nominee Jeanne Oates Estridge.

Part I

Part II

As Bogie would say, play it again…

Kat: Judging a Book by It’s Cover – Part I

womenAs the ladies gear up for Nationals in NYC (in less than two weeks, eeeik!), schedules are already jammed with workshops, site-seeing, pitches, social events, receptions, keynote speeches, and even dances (yes, you read that right — at least two of our ladies will be attending events that feature dancing). I’m looking forward to taking part in everything the conference has to offer, save one thing. The dreaded editor/agent pitch.

This year, the agent and editor I’m scheduled to pitch are both high on my interest list. Which means I’m particularly stressed out. Interviews in general are high anxiety for me because I’m verbally challenged when it comes to tooting my own horn.  Last year, I literally had no voice, so I squeaked my way through my pitches. This year, I want to hit one out of the park which means extensive prep work, including developing a strong pitch that includes the GMC for the main conflict and the romance between Cheyenne and Reed. Last year I got nailed on this aspect (what’s keeping them apart, an editor wanted to know). This year, I want to relay the conflict that is keeping them apart in a crunchy way. Continue reading

Kat: How To Write A Romance Novel

YoungWomanWritingAtDeskOh, if only I’d found this four-part, six+ minute primer on writing a romance novel before I spent oodles of $$ and a year+ studying writing at McD ;-). Actually, too many people think this is all there is to it (how wrong they are), but I prefer to take it tongue-in-cheek. Either way, I found it hilarious.

Happy 4th everyone!

Kat: The Interview Series: Bella Andre


Courtesy of bellaandrew.com

Today, my plan was to feature a video interview with a newly published romance author, but as we all know plans have a way of changing (particularly when we’re surfing the web). My research for newly published authors led me to e-publishing which led  me to this interesting video interview with Indie Bestselling author Bella Andre on “Self-publishing, community, and marketing”. Since two of the ladies plan to attend an e-publisher reception at RWA this year, I found this interview particularly interesting. In fact, I’ve begun to rethink my (old) mindset that self-publishing=vanity publishing.

If you have ten and a half minutes to spare, have a look. And hey, if you have a few minutes, come back and post your thoughts on e-publishing and self-publishing. Would you consider it? If so, why? If not, why not?

Here’s Bella Andre.

Kat: The Interview Series

Enter to WIN!My recent two part interview with Jeanne Oates Estridge has spurred my appetite for motivation (and hope) from other writers. So today begins a series of interviews with authors in various stages of their careers. On-the-cusp of success, newly published, working on a series, and first up, an author who managed to reach the pinnacle of success (NYT Best Seller).

Barbara Kingsolver has written over ten books (which may not seem like much, but she’s definitely a quality vs. quantity kind of writer). She’s hit the NYT Best Seller list (multiple times) which makes her an expert in my view.

So sit back and enjoy. Here’s Kingsolver on:

Writing Process: This is an excellent (short at 3:24 minutes) interview from 2013 with Kingsolver on her writing process (“my first drafts are full of clunkiness”).

Being a Writer: Three and a half minutes on her personal backstory (“I really didn’t believe being a writer could happen to me”.)

Characters: A younger and less eloquent Kingsolver talking about specifically combining fictional and real life characters (4:32 minutes).

Next week I intend to feature an author who has just recently been published for the first time. I haven’t chosen anyone in particular yet. Any suggestions?

Kat: Interview with 2015 RWA Golden Heart finalist – Jeanne Oates Estridge (Part II)

rwa, national conference, writer's conference, eight ladies writing, justine covington

Golden Heart, 2015

Welcome back, Jeanne! So last week we talked a little about your writing journey. Your style, the years of sweat and doubt that you endured to get this far. Today, I’d like to turn to the fruits of all that hard work. Tiaras and spotlights, oh my.

What’s life (specifically your writing life) been like since the nomination, Jeanne? 

JE: The nomination came in at the end of March, while I was still polishing Demon’s Wager. Soon after that, I started receiving manuscript requests from editors and agents as a result of the various contests I entered, so I wound up scrambling, trying to get it ready for prime-time.

I know you’ve been scrambling a lot since then. What’s happening right now?

JE: I’m working on plotting the next book in the series. I don’t have a title yet, which is making me a little crazy—it’s like families who call their youngest child “Baby”—for heaven’s sake, give that kid a name. Continue reading

Kat: Interview with 2015 RWA Golden Heart Finalist – Jeanne Oates Estridge (Part I)

Jeanne Estridge clean smallerToday, I’d like to welcome our own Jeanne Oates Estridge, one of nine paranormal finalists in RWA’s 2015 Golden Heart contest. Jeanne has graciously agreed to answer our questions and share her GH journey to date. First, congratulations on your Golden Heart finalist nod, Jeanne. That’s a tremendous accomplishment and we’re all proud of you!

I’m sure everyone is dying to know about “The Call”. Where were you when you learned the news? Did you scream for joy? Drop the phone? Spill, girl!

JE: Like everyone else who entered, I was watching the RWA website that morning, hoping against hope. When names started to populate in the different categories and I hadn’t received a call, my heart fell into my shoes. Then I saw that I had a missed call from an unknown number in California. I told myself it was probably someone trying to sell me something, but my hopes rose anyway. A few minutes later, the same number called back and it was RWA. I cried. Big, fat tears. I asked her if everyone cries and she said, “Some people cry, some people curse. I spoke with a woman in London this morning and she said, ‘Crikey!’”

Once you processed the fact that you’d just finaled in the mother of all RWA contests what went through your mind? What was your primary emotion? Continue reading

Kat: Writing–The Beauty Way


Navajo Sand Painting

Justine’s Tuesday post hit me in a big way, as a writer, certainly, but also as a storyteller. As a writer, we all know the role a supportive community plays in writing success. When support is lacking, we suffer to a degree, but when support turns to outright discouragement (perceived or real)–it’s one more obstacle to tackle.

Justine’s story also resonated with me from a story-telling perspective. Continue reading