Next in our Spring Author interview series, KateMarie Collins. She’s the author of the Waystation Guardians series. Also, the COO of Solstice Publishing. Enjoy.
Tell us about your book
My last release came out in August of 2018, right before I went to Scotland for a week. ‘Guarding William’ is the 3rd book in The Waystation Guardians series. The series is urban fantasy with a twist on Greek mythology. The first book in the series, ‘Guarding Charon’, came out in June of 2016. ‘Guarding Amber’ was the 2nd book.
When did you realize that you were a writer?
The idea was always there, but I was raised in an environment where creative endeavors weren’t encouraged. I heard, from a young age, that I’d never be good enough. Someone else would be better, get the shot, so I shouldn’t even try. By the time I started high school, I thought my talent was nothing more than an ability to b.s. my way through an essay on a test.
Do you have any books coming out this year?
I’m working on the 4th book in The Waystation Guardians series now. ‘Guarding Connor’ should be out before the end of 2019.
If readers are looking to connect with you, what’s the best way to do it?
Twitter! I’m @DaughterHauk there. Or you can follow my blog, leave comments on my website. https://katemariecollins.com/
What are you working on right now?
Two books, actually. ‘Guarding Connor’, which is the next installment in The Waystation Guardians. And one tentatively called ‘Eynhallows’.
Tell us about submitting your book. What was that like for you?
Nerve wracking! My hand shook so bad the first few times I hit submit! But I had to do it. I didn’t want my kids thinking the same thing I had as a child. I wanted them to take risks, go for what they really wanted in life. The best way for me to teach them to do that was for them to see me go for what I wanted.
What author would you say inspires you the most?
I have a special place in my soul for Nick Pollotta. He taught me a lot about the business end of things before I got my first contract. He passed away in 2013, just before my 2nd book came out. I dedicated it to him. I saved all of our conversations and refer to them often.
Who is your current favorite author?
I adore David & Leigh Eddings, Nick Pollotta, and Steven R. Boyett. Patricia Kennelly Morrison is another favorite. I reread their books often.
What was your first favorite book as a child?
There was one I read in jr. high. ‘Masha’ by Mara Kay. I still remember the feel of the dust jacket, the smell of the pages, and how magical the story was for me.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you first started writing?
Don’t listen to the ones who say you can’t do this. They’re scared you will, not that you can’t.
What would you consider the best thing you’ve ever done for your writing career.
It was something Nick Pollotta taught me. He said to be nice and polite to everyone. He deemed the industry ‘incestuous – in that everyone knows everyone else, and they talk.’ One bad email can ruin a career before it gets started. Learning that lesson early was one of the best things that could’ve happened.
What would you consider the most fulfilling moment you’ve experienced as a writer?
Probably holding a print copy of my first book, ‘Daughter of Hauk’, for the first time. It was the physical representation of everything I’d grown up hearing I’d never accomplish.
There’s been some truly touching and/or surreal moments since then, to be certain. No matter if my books sold, though, that one moment taught me I could achieve something others wanted me to never do.
What book would you suggest to anyone who wants to write?
This is a tough one. There’s some great books on writing, yes. But you need to find your own voice, tell the story your own way. Learn grammar, punctuation, and don’t rely on spell check. Pick up books on that, if you need help. The writing itself? You could do great with outlines and set writing goals every day. Or you could do better if you fly by the seat of your pants and write only when the muse speaks to you.
Now, for those who don’t know, you’re also COO of Solstice publishing. What’s your favorite part about that?
It’s uploading the first book by a new author. Knowing I’m making the dream I share with them come true.
Do you ever find it hard to read for pleasure, after spending all day reading for work?
I rarely read for pleasure any more. I have a really bad habit of picking up other authors’ voices! I don’t want to accidentally plagiarize someone, so I don’t read much any more.
How do you balance work for Solstice with working on your own books?
Writing happens after work is done for the day. And after the household chores, errands, etc. I should do better about prioritizing my writing, but it’s hard to get everything done some days and still have a couple hours to devote to writing.
Is there anything in particular Solstice is looking for right now, for people who might like to submit?
Good books that are well written, engaging, and by authors who aren’t afraid to promote their work on social media!
If someone wants to submit to Solstice, what advice would you give them?
Read our submissions guidelines and follow them. Build your social media presence. Don’t give us a reason to say no because you didn’t proofread your book before you submitted it, or because you thought you could wait for your book to come out to get a twitter account.
Check out Guarding William, the third book of the Waystation Guardians, now on Amazon.