Interview with Kathy Shaw, Romance Author

 

See my interview with the author it I Do, Kinda, and Hide & Seek, A Humorous Contemporary Romance.

•When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I had just finished reading a historical romance that left too many questions unanswered.
As I was driving to work the next day, I caught myself trying to tie up the book’s loose end. It was only a tiny step from mentally fixing someone else’s mistakes to plotting a book of my own. By the time I got home that night, I had a skeleton storyline for my first book TWIN TRAP.

•How long does it take you to write a book?
My  timetable for completing a book depends on the book’s length and how often I  put myself in front of my computer. Although I love to write, if there are other things (errands, chores) that need to be done, I have a hard time  allowing myself the face time with my computer.

•What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
When I was a teenager there was a poster on my bedroom wall depicting Snoopy sleeping on
top of his dog house. A dialogue bubble above him said, “I’m allergic to mornings.” That is soooo me. Generally, I’m being one with my coffee pot in the mornings and try to write in the afternoons.

•What  would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
When I first started writing I used to have the same scented candle burning and the same CD playing while I wrote. Every book had its own scent and songs. I find that distracting now. These days all I need is some peace and quiet and my dog asleep at my feet. Well, that and all the errands and chores done.

•Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Generally, a character comes to me and I try to come up with a plot that will fit that character’s issues, motivation and quirks. And then a counterpart who could and will push all his/hers buttons.

•What does your family think of your writing?
My family is very supportive and has been from the get-go. Actually, I have a funny story
if you’ll indulge me. My mother was so proud when I told her I was writing a book that she told everybody she knew—some she didn’t—that I was writing a book. So after her insistence, I
started bringing her a chapter after I finished it. The next morning we would have coffee and she would gush over my writing. (Obviously, she is bias.) My mother is not a romance reader, so when I brought her the first chapter that had a sex scene in it. I marked the beginning and ending of the sex, assuring her it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if she skipped over it. She huffed at me and asked,
“Do you think I’m a prude? Of course I’m going to read every word.” The next morning I came over for coffee. The chapter was face down on Mom’s breakfast nook. She silently poured our coffee, took a bracing breath and then asked, “Have you thought about using a pen name?”

Gotta love our Mamas!

•How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
I have finished four, all published; but I have dozens that are in various stages of completion. I either hit a plot snag or I get bored with it. I figure if I get bored it that doesn’t bode well for the readers. As far as a favorite, HIDE AND SEEK was my first book published so it has a special place in my heart. That being said, I’m currently working on a Humorous Mystery that is a hoot to write.

•Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
No, not that much. And I’m good with that. I’m a big believer in the adage: No news is
good news.

*What book are you reading now?
I’m reading a couple of books at the moment. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY by E L James and STYXX by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

*What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m a fantasy football fanatic. Go Kathy’s Killer Klowns!!!!!!

*If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
Just recently I’ve found a love for cooking so I think I might like to be a personal chef for the rich and famous.

*How did you come up with your title(s)?
Titles, generally, come to me through a character’s situation, such as I DO—KINDA which is a marriage of convenience book. Yet, sometimes a title will hit me and I have to come up a book to go with. That was the case with TRUE LOVE WEARS A TUTU. I have a full length book version of Tutu that is almost finished and  have published a novella version of Tutu as well.

*How much of your books are realistic?
Obviously (see my answer to the previous question) if I’m writing paranormal romance not too much is set within the realm of reality. My romantic comedies are rooted in reality, but I have been known to wander into the land of the farfetched. To me,  the everyday world isn’t all that funny, but take everyday people out of their comfort zone and funny seems to blossom. The farther away from their comfort they get, the bigger the comical bloom will flourish.

* How do you market your book(s)?
I have to admit, I don’t market my books as I should. I guess I’m hoping I will write a book that will so grab the readers’ interest that it will snowball into something akin to the Harry Potter series. Well, a girl has to have her dreams, right?

* What was the hardest part of writing your book?
On a personal level, putting my butt in the chair and writing. On the craft side of writing, it’s writing the middle. I get exciting about a book so the first third of the book always almost writes itself and I always know how I’m going to solve my character’s conflicts before I ever start writing so the last third generally goes fairly smoothly. But the middle can be tricky for
me.

* Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Find your voice. Don’t force it, it will come. Not every sentence has to be grammatically
correct, though most do. Write like you talk—that’s your voice.

I had a reader who I met after she’d read my books. She said talking to me was like
reading my books. That’s was one of my greatness compliments.

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