1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? Starting has never been the issue for me, rather it’s the inability to stop! I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, although I never really had enough self-belief to think I’d ever achieve the dream of becoming a published author – so for a long time I didn’t even try. In the end, it was my husband who inspired me to have a go, when he set out to row across the Atlantic Ocean. I was so awestruck by the magnitude of the feat he was striving to achieve that it prompted me to dare to do the seemingly improbable, too. Rob made it across the ocean in 68 days, and I decided to reach for my dream.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? I have tried to put structure into my work life but one of the things I’ve found out about writing is that no two days are ever quite the same. Taking the development of a story from idea through to completed novel is a varied process which involves periods of intense research, of frenzied creativity and banging away at the keyboard, of focussed revising and editing.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I never get stuck for what to say, but sometimes get into a knot about how to say it. For me, the best solution is to move past it and keep working rather than let it snarl-up the entire project. Generally the tangles unravel themselves.
4.Are you a plotter or pantser when it comes to writing a story? A bit of both. I love the idea of orderly timelines and colour coded grids of post-it notes neatly marking out plot development and character arcs. I can spend ages faffing around with this sort of preparation but once I sit down to start writing I find I tend to ignore the lot!
5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? I’ll admit to being extremely lucky to find myself in the right place at the right time to be offered the opportunity to publish my debut novel. But I’d also worked hard to get myself into that place. My advice would be: hone your craft – be as ready as you can be in case opportunity comes calling; be professional – make sure you’re the type of person others find it a pleasure to work with; be prepared to say yes – take whatever opportunities come your way (no matter how small) as you never know where they might lead.
6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? That’s easy! Connecting with readers and knowing that people are not only reading my stories, but some actually enjoy them, too. It’s the most amazing feeling in the world.
7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. My new book, Playing With Fire, is the sequel to my debut novel, Melting Ms Frost, and picks up directly where the first story left off – namely with the two main characters, Annabel Frost and Aidan Flynn agreeing to put the past difficulties of their brief, fiery affair aside and start afresh. The only problem is that while the charming and hot-blooded Aidan wants the hearts, flowers and forever scenario, the frosty Annabel is afraid to let the last layer of protective ice thaw and expose her heart. Like the first book, there’s lots of intellectual sparring and sexy power games along this couple’s continuing rocky path to love, and a lot for Annabel still to learn on her journey of self-discovery.
8.What audience is your book targeted for, and what genre does it come under? I’m a bit of a genre buster, actually. I cut my teeth on short erotic romance stories, but for my two novels, my publishers, HarperCollins, have pitched me somewhere between steamy romance and chick lit. The target audience for Melting Ms Frost and Playing With Fire would include any adult readers who enjoy a fair dollop of passion with their love stories.
9.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? The perfect wind down time for me involves reading, watching films, sharing long, indulgent meals with family and friends – basically anything that allows me to lounge around being lazy!
10.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) Social media is key – and the online book community is amazing, with the most wonderful mix of authors, readers, agents, bloggers and publishers who make it welcoming and inclusive. Join in and become a part of it, but always remember to keep the emphasis on the ‘social’. If you’re genuine in your approach and generous with your support, you’ll find yourself treated to the same in return.
11.How much of your books are realistic / based on true experiences/ people? Although my characters and their stories are works of fiction, I do inject them with realistic emotions, insecurities and hopes. I’m especially drawn to exploring the concept of social armour people tend to don as a form of self-protection, and in exposing the vulnerability hidden beneath even the toughest or most confident of exteriors.
Keep up with Kat’s book news or get in touch via www.katblack-author.com
Playing With Fire is published in ebook on 26th February 2015.
Also available from iTunes, Kobo, Google Books and all good ebook retailers