This weeks Author of the week is romance author, Catherine Charles. Catherine is working on the New Age Romance Series: Tag with the following books, Book One: Tag You’re Mine Book Two: Tag Forever Mine Book Three: Tag Fight for Me Hi Catherine, how wonderful to meet you, can we start with getting to know a little about you? After growing up military and moving around the world, a small town in Texas is where I call home. Just outside of a large metroplex, the small town reminds me of where my family is from in Nebraska. When not writing I love to spend time with my littles, going into the city to fill my foodie cravings, or spending the nights outside around a fire pit with a glass of wine, good friends and good music. As far as hobbies...writing is my hobby. I absolutely love it. If I’m not actively writing, I’m thinking about writing, developing new characters and bringing them to life in my mind before I even put their names on paper. I think the country is the best place to live in! What got you into writing? I had a college professor suggest that I look into publishing a piece I wrote for my final. At 19 years old I thought she was a crazy old lady; she was well into her 70’s, and I just blew her off. There was no way I was talented enough to attract the attention of a major publishing house. I was a completely different person then, and was too afraid of rejection to even make an attempt. I was clueless about self-publishing. It wasn’t until a year and a half ago that I found out about it. At the time I was reading amateur works on the gaming app, Chapters. They held a summer writing contest and I had no intention on entering. However, the morning the contest went live an idea pop in my mind and I decided to enter. The story took a completely different path than what I original had planned, but I trusted my muse and couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out. The story, Tag You’re Mine took off, with over 100k reads at the end of the contest, and though I didn’t win, it did finish in the top 10%. Readers wanted more, and three additional books stemmed from that first book. At that point I seriously considered taking the leap into self-publishing. It was scary, and I doubted myself in the weeks leading up to it, but I had gained such supportive fans while putting the story on the app, it made taking the leap seem plausible. I may not have a huge following...yet, but those that do follow me mean the world to me. They are like family to me. They follow and support my work because it means something to them. It’s touched them in one way or another, and that’s all I could ask for. I know eventually, I will have a stronger following, but I’m just embracing this time. Paying my dues and praying that one day I’ll have a name for myself. Readers and fans always come in time, you've got a wise head on you, a small following always leads to bigger things! What’s the main thing you love and hate about writing? The thing I love about writing is the emotion that I feel. I love when I can go from laughing to crying, to being pissed off. I love developing characters. I love their flaws and their strengths. I won't ever write a perfect character because humans aren’t perfect. I wouldn’t say there is anything I hate about writing. The thing I worry about the most is creating a portion of the book that is just plain boring and it’s a struggle to get through it. Those in-between filler portions are strongly disliked, but when I go back to read it, usually I’m pleasantly surprised and think “Hey, that wasn’t as bad as I thought.” Who is the worst villain you’ve ever written, and why? I think the worst I’ve written has got to be Jace in my third instalment of the Tag series. He’s just scum. A true snake with wicked ulterior motives. He is all about deception. But I love to challenge myself, and believe me, there are way worse villains, they just haven’t been written yet. Jace sounds like a real charmer, NOT! What is next on your list to write/publish? This year I am focused on rewriting the stories I had originally published on the Chapters App. Currently, I’m working on a stand-alone sarcastic romantic comedy with foul-mouthed characters while Tag book three is in edits. I also have planned to rewrite book four of the Tag series and release it this year on Amazon as well...I hope. Currently, the way it sits it has eighty some chapters, I think my editor will kill me if I turn that in to her so I’m trying to figure out where to cut it and if I can change the storyline at all without losing too much. I’m addicted to my characters so it’s a little bit of a challenge. Maybe make the eighty Chapters a two-part book? Who is your favourite author, and why? Favourite Author of all time is Jane Austin. I love the fire her women possess. There’s something empowering about the way she writes them and the loves they develop. The men absolutely have to work for their affection. Who encouraged you the most to write? I would say my mother, she’s an elementary school teacher that never let us take the summers off; we had to do weekly book reports growing up during summer break. That’s where I developed a love of reading and a flavour for words. Eventually required reading turned into reading for entertainment. I still prefer to lose myself in a good book than watch television. I love a book more than TV too, and kudos on your mum being a school teacher! Are you as avid a reader as a writer? Unfortunately, I am more of an avid writer at the moment. I’ve found that when I read while writing I start comparing myself to others and start finding faults in my writing style, especially since I write in first person and flip viewpoints often. I question if every word is good enough and I start to spiral into self-doubt. Netflix is there when I need to take a step back and regroup. Maybe one day I will read again, but until then I’ll focus on just being me; writing in a way that stands out from other authors. Catherine, self-doubts catch even the most confident writer, it's good that you've found a way to combat them. What’s your favourite genre? I’m a sucker for romance. I love the build-up, the mess, the doubt, the realization, the will they won't they, and the OMG pull your head out of your ass moron. I’m a lover of love in its purest form. Do you listen to music when you write? I have a playlist for all of my books and sometimes for each character, but I absolutely must have complete silence when I write. The voices in my head are so loud sometimes that it’s hard to focus if I don’t shut out the world around me. I give each character my undivided attention and in return, they develop flawlessly. I think this may be one reason my books seem to pull readers into them, the characters demand the reader experience what they experience. They want the reader to know everything about the scene, the sights, the scents, every emotion. Nothing is ever left to question. If you could interview any famous author who would it be and why? I think it would have to be Mitch Albom. His book Tuesdays with Morrie. I was a senior in High School when the book came out and it caused me to really evaluate what I found important in life. It’s not what you collect in life, but what your contribution is to society is when you leave this world. It changed the way I defined success. Tell me a secret that none of your fans know! It’s so nerdy, but I love looking at and reading maps. I also love to draw architect plans and design homes that I will never live in. I think about the setup and layout of the house and then pick everything out for it. Also if I’m ever in a funk, I’ll find a long stretch of highway or a dirt road somewhere, turn the music up as loud as I can, and get lost for an hour or two. That is an unusual secret! Tell me what your main character would say about you! That she has a drinking problem. Haha. You will always find my characters enjoying some type of liquor while being completely honest and straightforward. LOL, maybe we ought to edit your characters! Finally, any words of advice? Comparison is the thief of joy. You wrote a story, whether it be on an app, for a school assignment, or it finished in book format. You started something and finished it. That in its self is a huge accomplishment. Own who you are. Be proud of your accomplishments, and one day you will hear the words that you inspired someone to take the same leap you did. The world needs dreamers. It needs the wild-hearted. Thanks, Catherine for that wonderful advice, and thanks for sitting down and interviewing for us! If you want to find out more about Catherine, please look or her at the following links:- Author email: Author.Catherine.Charles@gmail.com Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Catherine-Charles-Author-111072457128827/?modal=admin_todo_tour Instagram: https://instagram.com/author_catherine.charles Amazon: amazon.com/author/catherinecharles
Disclaimer. The opinions and views expressed in the article are the interviewees and may differ from the interviewer/general public. The works and images published here may be subject to the Authors copyright, please do not copy the images or claim them as your own.