Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Break Out the Bubbly & the Dark Chocolate: Celebrating Katherine Bone's New Release The Rogue's Prize

Author Katherine Bone
 Ahoy Mates! I've got a special friend and guest on the Veranda today, Katherine Bone. She's a sister writer at two of my favorite chapters, Heart of Dixie and Southern Magic. She got THE CALL last year from Crimson Romance and now she's releasing her second book! We wanted to chat when her first book was released, but life got in the way. But now I'm thrilled to host Katherine and share her publishing journey.

Welcome to the Veranda, Katherine. *Pop*Fizz*Pour* 
Thank you for hoisting your sails and inviting me aboard the veranda today, Christine!!! I’ve wanted to stretch the plank between our two ships for some time now and I’m so glad that our sailing lanes have finally converged!
Me, too! And if you all haven't noticed by now, Katherine's a HUGE pirate fan. What's not to love about a pirate, right? I can think of a few alpha-licious ones right now. Katherine, how did you end up becoming a writer (when you weren't sailing the seven seas)?
With a compass pointing to what you want most, you can get almost anywhere, right? It’s been a long journey. Poetry and romance appealed to me when I was in my early teens. I’ll never forget the joy I felt when my Haiku was chosen to be published in my Junior High Yearbook. In High School, a Literature class tickled my muse as I began to write short stories and got really great grades doing it. A great feeling! Life happened after that: college, Prince Charming, marriage, Army moves, and children. Meanwhile I continued to write poetry until the need to write returned in force. When it did, I sank hook line and sinker into a world of amazing challenges.
I'm so glad you rediscovered your dream and followed your heart. What is your favorite genre to write? 
Hands down (or up) that would have to be historical romance, especially the Regency period, though I have written, and cast aside for now, half of a western trilogy and a published contemporary, Lost Treasure, Captive Princess, too.
Ah, deviations from the chosen genre. I understand that desire, too. So many ideas and so little time. When you do sit down to write, are you a plotter or do you follow the muse? 
Hmmm… very good question, one I think I continue to define. I’m a Heinz 57 aka plantster. I plot characters, they give me the beginning and end of their stories, and then the muse and my fingertips do the rest. ;)
I love character driven stories. After you've plotted your characters and written, how do you relax?
The best relaxation I can think of is cradling a cup of hot tea while watching one of my favorite movies or tv shows, or settling down for a nap with a cozy blanket and my fluffy cat.
Sounds divine! If you're not watching a movie, what do you read? What are your favorite genres? Who are your favorite authors? 
Historical romance tickles my fancy, but I read a variety too. I love to read action/adventure/swashbuckling romance in the vein of Shana Galen, Katharine Ashe, Johanna Lindsey, Julie Garwood, Michelle Beattie, and Jennifer Ashley.  Diane Gaston, Ann Lethbridge, Carla Kelly, and Julia Justiss, along with Lynn Raye Harris, M.V. Freeman, and Annie West round out my list. But there are oh! so many more fabulous writers out there that vie for my attention.
Great list of authors. I've enjoyed reading many of their books. What is your current project? 
I’m currently working on the third book in my Nelson’s Tea Series. The follow up to the first two books in the series Duke by Day, Rogue by Night and The Rogue’s Prize is The Rogue’s Surrender, featuring the antics of Lord Garrick Seaton, aka Captain Blade, and a very passionate, angry Spanish senorita named Lady Mercedes Catalina Vasquez de la Claremont.
Oooh... sounds intriguing. Any new releases? 
What a timely question, Christine! The Rogue’s Prize, the second book in my Nelson’s Tea Series, is a June 24th release from Crimson Romance. This book follows Captain Henry Guffald as he seeks to redeem his military career by rescuing Garrick Seaton from imprisonment in Spain. What he doesn’t count on is being attacked by a female pirate, Captain Belle, aka Lady Adele Seaton, with an agenda of her own and an adventurous spirit only one man can tame.
Wow. Great story. Where do you get your ideas for your stories? 
Oh, Christine, you do know how to bring my passion out into the open! Where do my ideas start? Research. There’s nothing like researching a subject, person, or place and discovering a tidbit that the muse can’t help but snatch onto. For instance, when I was researching Admiral Nelson, I discovered that he was never without his tea, even on board shipduring battle. What a fascinating man, yes? So I took that fact a step further… With the Napoleonic Wars at full throttle from 1803-1815, what if Nelson used ‘tea’ as code for mercenaries, first sons unsuspected by his enemies or the ton, to rally to his cause when a need arose. And believe me, the need arises quite frequently, me hearties!
That's so clever. I love how you extrapolated the idea from one tidbit of information. How long were you trying to get published before you got the “call?” 
Katherine's Debut Novel. Gorgeous!
Oddly enough, I got the idea for my first book when my youngest daughter was only a year old and we purchased our first computer. I’d read so many wonderful stories to help me survive the lonely times Charming was away on duty that I felt a strong urge to help other readers do the same. That was 20 years ago. Though I didn’t write consistently during that time, I taught myself most of what I knew by reading books about writing and struggling through the writing process alone. During this time, my four children were growing up, participating in sports and so on, which gave me little time to write. It wasn’t until my youngest daughter started High School, in 2004, that I joined RWA and a year later, my local writing chapter. I’ve been writing seriously since then and got The Call, an email from Jennifer Lawler at Crimson Romance on June 11th, 2012. Partay!!! (Someone tell Jack we need more rum!)
I remember celebrating your release in person. That was so much fun. But how did you celebrate the new book contract? 
When I got the email I was sitting in the beauty salon getting my hair colored. LOL!!! I wanted to call my hubby and friends so bad but it’s hard to put a phone up to your ear when dye will get all over it. So I did the next best thing. I sent texts!!! I also took my picture in the mirror at the beauty salon to chronicle the look of happiness on my face for posterity sake, (never mind I looked a mess). A few days later, my family and I celebrated with dinner out and rum!
That sounds just like you! The Text Queen :-) Do you have an agent? 
I’d love to have an agent in the near future but no, I don’t have an agent right now. I’ve got a new series I’m developing so I’m hoping to submit to agents very soon though!
Wonderful, Katherine. What advice would you give aspiring writers? 
This is the best part of being a published writerpumping up other writers!!! First, never doubt your own writing style or voice. Believe in yourself, even when those rejections start coming in, and they will. Second, hind sight is 20/20, isn’t it? I look back now and I’m actually thankful for those rejections and bad contest scores/comments, though I wasn’t at the time. Third, my writing and ability to handle the publishing industry has been buoyed by the bridges and friendships I’ve built to help me get across the chasm. Reach out to other like-minded souls. They will be your life lines. Fourth, at times it will be hard to stay positive, but believe me, it gets easier. Five’s the charm: the main thing to remember is “never, never, never, never, NEVER give up.” (Winston Churchill must have been a pirate. That’s a fabulous signal flag if I’ve ever seen one!) Remember: don’t achieve to believe, me hearties. Believe to receive. It’s in your belief in yourself and your stories that you’ll find success.
I love that phrase Believe to Receive. I'm going to write it down and add it to my quote board.  
Katherine's second novel-Another Hit!
What encouragement can you give writers who face rejection? 
Rejections deflate egos. Your ego doesn’t have to make you do the hempen jig. Banish your ego from the room. Remember you aren’t the one being rejected, though it often feels like you are. The story, the characters, the plot or lack of it, isn’t resonating with the editor/agent/contest judge. If you receive a form letter, set it aside and vow to improve your voice. If the comments are hard on you, set them aside and then return a few days later when your brain has processed the information and you can honestly look hard at what you can improve. Overlook the rest. For instance: I was once told by a judge, “Even Jesus asked why.” If you think that was strange, you should have seen the rest of the contest entry. Let rejections strengthen your will, not weaken it. Remember pirates love to pirate and writers love to write. Never quit! Never surrender!
Ah, "let rejections strengthen your will" is a perfect way of approaching this part of the industry. Once you battled back the Rejection Demon, what's the most difficult part about writing for you? 
Arrrr!!! That would be writing the middle of the book. I always seem to get becalmed at about chapters 7-9. After that point, my sails seem to pick up wind and then before I know it, I’m sailing to that coveted horizon… another finished book. On the flipside, the best part of writing is editing! Oh yes, I adore the editing stage, my friends. That’s when research plays a great part in layering in levels of wit, verve, action and adventures galore. That’s when the characters come alive to the point that I want to be them!
Revision is where I find the heart of the story, too. What is the most surprising thing you discovered after you received the call? 
Time disappears. Strange, isn’t it? It’s like being caught in Davy Jones’ Locker, unable to tell the passage of timeuntil it’s too late. (Hand flail!) When you’re unpublished you dictate how much time you spend on a book. That changes in a heartbeat when you sign that first contract. Before you know it, deadlines loom, panic surges and there are lots of sleepless nights involved. (Actually, if you had a better navigator on board, you might not stress out over deadlines. Hint!) But even through the chaos, there’s a giant learning curve and an insatiable appetite to improve the craft and your storytelling skills. And more importantly: you’re actually getting your stories out to readers everywhere!!!
 I'll have to remember to keep my navigator on Sail Full Speed Ahead, Katherine. Excellent advice!!
Thank you for allowing me to be a guest on your veranda, Christine! I appreciate your kindness and such a great interview!
One last thing, me hearties. Close your eyes. Are they closed? (Well, if they’re closed you can’t read the rest of this paragraph. Pirate!) Seriously now, imagine yourself achieving success. What is it you will do when you get The Call from that agent or editor? Imagine your name on the front of one of your books. Focus on this!!! Contemplate how you can get from point A to point B. Do what you can to improve your craft. Learn. Learn. Learn. Do whatever it takes to finish your book. And as Beverly Barton once told me, “Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.” I don’t promise an easy road, but I can promise you’ll get there if you NEVER quit.
Cue Ace Ventura… “Al-al-al-al-righty-thennnnn.”
Keep your eyes on that horizon!!!
Simplicity is the key for sure. Thanks so much for visiting the Veranda, Katherine. May your sails always have wind billowing them as you go forward in your publishing career!
Katherine Bone lives in the South where she dreams of the power, passion and persuasion of rogues, rebels and rakes and the happily ever afters every alpha male deserves

Katherine's 3rd Book Release!
The Rogue's Prize
Lady Adele Seaton has been raised in a family profited by a lucrative smuggling business. Though her parents wish otherwise, she would no sooner give up the call to rove than marry. But obtaining independence is a challenge when her brother faces a hangman’s noose. Planning to save him, she captures an English ship. But things go awry and she is dragged home in disgrace, forced to ally herself with the one man with the power to anchor more than her ship— her heart.


Stephanie Jones AKA Alicia Hunter Pace said...

What a great interview!

Katherine, I love the phrase, "let rejections strengthen your will".

I know that is true in publishing but it could also certainly be applied to many other situations in life! How wise you are!!

Best of luck with this latest release!

Cathy MacRae said...

What a fun interview, Katherine! I love books that make you want to be the characters, too.

Looking forward to reading the next installment! Great job.

Katherine Bone said...

I'm tickled you like that phrase, Stephanie. Thanks!!! It's all in perspective, right?

Thank you for the blessing!!! ♥

Katherine Bone said...

Hey Cathy!!! (Got you in my sights!) Thanks for jumping aboard!!! Cyber hugs!!! ★★★

Crystal Lee said...

Awesome interview! Congratulations on the release of THE ROGUE'S PRIZE. I'm so very proud of you, Kathy. May you soar ever higher on the wings of success!

Katherine Bone said...

Oooh! I want to soar, Crystal!!! LOL! With a very steampunkish canvas sail, I just might. ;)

Thank you for the congrats!!! <3

Katherine Bone said...

Hey Crystal! Apparently, my first response didn't take. So sorry. LOL!!!

Thanks for the congrats! You had a very big part in helping me get this book ready to go and I'm grateful to you more than you know, my dearest CP! Whatever success I experience is partly due to your friendship and expertise!!! <3

Patricia Bradley said...

Fabulous interview! I, too, may pirate your "let rejections strengthen your will" statement. So proud of your success, Kathy. You are such an encourager of other writers.

Katherine Bone said...

Hi Pat!!! Thanks for stopping by!!! <3

I'm so excited that something I've said resonates with you guys. Woot!!! By all means, reuse the phrase. I'm humbled that you want to.

Thank you for your kind words, Pat!!! They touch my heart in a VERY BIG way. Blessings!!!

Katherine Bone said...

Hey I'm not sure why my response to Crystal keeps disappearing. Am I seeing things? LOL!!!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Living the adventure and romance is why so many of us read. :-) Highest of sales!