The Tales of a Contemporary Romance Writer

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's Talkin' Tuesday with Cate Masters!!

Welcome back world! And, I mean that literally. My combo phone, internet and cable provider messed up the disconnection from the mobile home we're living in, and the reconnection to our home dates. I was without it for a whole week. It wasn't bad with the phone not ringing but the internet was tough with three kids and me who works online. Hopefully, we'll be in our home by Sunday! Gosh I hope so. :)

Today I have the wonderful Cate Masters who always has magic, mayhem and a little romance swirling in her world. Please give a huge round of applause! *confetti raining from the ceiling* 

Multipublished, award-winning author Cate Masters loves stories with a dash of magic, mayhem and romance! When not spending time with her family, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. 

-What's your favorite read & series? 
CM-I have a terrible time picking a ‘favorite’ anything. My tastes are very eclectic, and there’s no formula for grabbing my attention. Now that I have a Kindle (yay!) I’m buying books faster than I can read them, lol. And I’m finding great new authors all the time. A few of my idols include Alice Hoffman, T.C. Boyle, Michael Chabon and Margaret Atwood. My bookshelves are literally bulging with books by so many authors!

-What/who got you reading?

CM-My parents – my Dad loved the newspaper, especially The New York Times, so getting the Sunday Times is still a treat. We lived in the boonies and my mom didn’t drive, so she subscribed me to The Best in Children’s Books club at a young age, so I stalked the mailman every month. After I began selecting my own books, I devoured Tolkien, Bradbury and Lovecraft. Well, the mailmen are kinda cute!

-You write contemporary, romance, historical, fantasy/ paranormal. WOW! How hard is it to keep it all straight and is there a genre you'd love to write one day?
CM-I just follow the characters wherever they lead! No matter the genre, it’s about creating a believable world with compelling characters and a story that makes you want to read on. Historical requires a bit more research, but I also do quite a bit of research for my paranormals and contemporaries.

I’m itching to try steampunk, such an intriguing and fun genre. Definitely would let me stretch my imagination. First I need to read a few books (yep, my Kindle’s loaded with a few steampunk stories now) to better acquaint myself with the genre before attempting it.
I love my Ereader. I can review an erotic book in public and not feel my face crimson. Okay sometimes it still turns that color. LOL
-Too organized Plotter or Maniac Panster?
I’ve tried the whole organized plotter thing and it didn’t work out very well for me. Nope, the characters always hijack the story anyway, and they’re always right! And they come up with better ideas than I ever could.

-You had four stories go to the finals in the EPIC Ebook Awards in 2011. CONGRATULATIONS! What was your first reaction in finding out?
Thank you! That was such a thrill. I tried not to get too excited, but couldn’t help it! I wish I could’ve attended the conference, that would have been a blast.

-You seem to be a very private person. Do you have a hard time keeping the creepers, local and otherwise, at bay? (I had a really hard time getting dirt on you! LOL)
CM-That’s where a pen name comes in handy - mwahahaha! No, mostly I’m just boring, so I don’t put private stuff on my blog for fear readers would fall into a deep sleep, possibly a coma out of self-defense. I haven’t had any problem with creepers (hm, that I know about – maybe they’re exceptionally good at creeping!). Hopefully they’re just more interested in my stories. I love creepers. Most of them are really funny!

-Is there anything we all would be shocked to know about you?
CM-I used to be horribly shy, and am still somewhat, but then, many writers are, so that doesn’t qualify. Hm, I’m tempted to make up something outrageous so as not to disappoint, but unless you’d find my lack of domestic skills a shock, then no. You know it's funny, I'm finding most authors to not do well in the domestic and cooking area. Hhmmm... at least I'm feeling better and better about burning soup!

For Fun

Red & sexy or Black & mysterious?
Depends on my mood, though I tend toward black. It would take a team of stylists to make me appear mysterious, though.

Wine with cheese or Beer with TV?
Not a fan of either beer or TV, so I’ll go with wine (white merlot, please) and cheese.

Paperback or ebooks?
I used to love print, but since my kids gave me a Kindle for Mother’s Day (did I raise them right, or what?) I am loving ebooks more and more. Pre-Kindle, it was too difficult to sit at my computer to read ebooks after writing for so long. And I’d feel like I should be writing instead of reading, so now it’s all feng shui.

Great cook or master at ordering take out?
My sister Claudia snapped up all the cooking genes in the family, but I manage to prepare a meal every night. I doubt it qualifies as great, but my family eats it. I occasionally make a mean dessert though. (So there, Claude! ha ha)

Romance, comedy, or horror movies?

As you might guess from my writing, my tastes are pretty eclectic. Romance, comedy, scifi, fantasy, quirky, whatever – if the story’s great and it’s well made, I love it. Oh, and pretty much any Johnny Depp movie. Except The Tourist. (Sorry, Johnny. That movie, and your hair, just didn’t work for me at all.)

What's your biggest pet-peeve, in the world, that makes you want to beat something/someone?
Hm, possibly someone beating someone else? lol Definitely someone taking advantage of a vulnerable person. Or animal. Other than that, I’m pretty laid back. Life’s too short to sweat the small stuff, and negative feelings are a waste of energy, whereas I find positivity can come back to boost you too.


Back to Work

-I love your blog on self-editing. What made you decide to do such large multi-series blog about a topic most authors dread?

CM-I like to help other authors. And I’m a perfectionist. It started with Catholic school (eight long years), where the nuns took English a tad seriously. My career always revolved around journalism – whether writing, working as an editorial assistant for an AP-owned company, or at the state newspaper association – I had to be a stickler for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and all things associated with writing, so it carried over into my fiction. Yikes! Catholic school. *cringes a little* My husband went for a few years and says he doesn't remember much of the torment inflicted upon him. LOL Just Kidding. But, he is a natural hell raiser so that caused a LOT of problems. :P

-Are you insanely organized or are there notes written on everything?
CM-Organization’s another goal, lol. My notes are mostly electronic – I’ll grab links or info from research and copy it into a Word file for reference. I do have a multitude of notebooks piling up in front of my computer. Sometimes I think they mate at night and multiply that way. LMAO

-What's the biggest misconception people have about you & your writing?
CM-Hm, I have no idea! I’d love to hear someone else’s opinion.

-Do you ever get so overwhelmed you want to quit?
CM-Not overwhelmed, really. Discouraged, yes sometimes. But I’ve been writing since double digits, and will always write, whether for myself or not.

-How hard was it to go from being Indie published with Smashwords, to traditional publication? And, if you could go back, would you change anything?
CM-Actually I did it backward – I was published for a few years with several online presses before turning to self-pubbing. First, when story rights reverted to me, I rewrote and republished those myself. I had a few stories that had been languishing on the hard drive for a few years, so I decided to put those through the critique process and self-pub them as an experiment. I queried only one publisher before launching The Goddess Connection series myself, mostly because I didn’t want to lock myself into one publisher for an entire series (less pressure to finish that way, lol). And with Dead to Rights, I went the indie route because I couldn’t quite pinpoint the genre. It’s not a romance, and I call it a dark paranormal but I’m not sure that’s accurate, so I’ll just call it a cool story!
I find that with my own writing. And now that authors are branching out and crossing genres, I think indie is getting more and more popular. 

-What part of writing makes you want to pull your hair out and scream like a banshee? CM-Possibly revisions, though I’m not generally a screamer, lol. (Heeheehee) I go through about five pass-throughs on my own before turning a story over to my critique partners, and by the time they send their changes, I’m sick of looking at it, lol. But that’s why it helps to have a few stories in the works. It lends some perspective to set a story aside for a bit and then go back to it.

-Any advice for aspiring writers?
CM-Hang out with other writers and talk shop. Write, write and write some more. The more you write, the better you will become, and the thicker your skin will grow. A thick skin comes in handy sometimes for reviews. 
Very true. No one told me how think my skin needed to be. I learned quick!

Dead to Rights
Identity theft sucks. But it’s worse when someone steals your life -- body included. All memory of her life before waking up in a mental facility has vanished. Or was erased. Now she has to figure out how to get it all back.

Her only hope of learning the truth lies with one man, the sole person familiar to her now. Problem is, he’s the leader of a cult. Her only choice is to follow him into his sordid world, where a darker evil lurks.

With a little help from an archangel hell bent on revenge, she might have a chance to learn the truth. But it will force her to make the hardest decision of her life – or death.

Available on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords:

Here's another one of Cate Masters' awesome books!

Read the blurb, excerpt, view the trailer, Casting Call (who I envisioned in these roles) and more at:

Look for her at, and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.

Some of Cate’s other online hot spots:




Thank you Cate for excepting my invitation to sit down with me! It was great learning so much about you and no, I don't think you could possiblly be a borring person. :)

I will be taking next week off to move my family back into our home. Three and a half months in this steal box is enough! Our home isn't completed from the ice damage we incurred this winter, but it's almost there. It's soooo beautiful that it makes me cry with joy almost on a daily bases. 
Everyone Have a Sparkling Day!
Rebecca Rose  :)


  1. Great interview, Cate and Rebecca.
    Completely agree about characters hijacking a story (I've just written what I thought was going to be the final chapter of WIP, but my characters thought otherwise!)
    I just got a Kindle for my birthday from my two daughters - so, like you, I must have raised them right!
    Giood luck with your latest publications.

  2. Thank you for stopping by Paula! Isn't it funny how characters take on a life of their own? :)


  3. I'm happily reading one of Cate's latest, now. A quirky, funny and sexy story showing the grim reaper in an entire new light. Thanks for yet another great interview, Rebecca. It's lovely to get to know new authors, and even better to learn more about one's you've read and adore.

  4. Thanks so much Paula! Characters know what they want, don't they? Thank goodness! Thanks for stopping by!

    And thanks again for having me Rebecca! Sorry I'm late, we had a storm and our power went out. One of the downsides of living in the boonies!

    You're so sweet Arlene! So glad you're enjoying the story. :)

  5. Hi Cate,
    You are one of the most versatile writers I know.
    Your stories run the gamut of genres and for that I feel very lucky to have read them. Like you,I read many genres, and with yours, lol, I'm never bored. So keep it going.
    Best of luck with all of them.

  6. Aw thanks Lorrie! Coming from a wonderful writer such as yourself, that's a great compliment.

  7. Cate, you are amazing. I'm glad you can't cook. There had to be something you weren't terrific at.

  8. There are too many to list, Susan! But hopefully writing's not on that list, lol. Thanks for stopping by!