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In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling. Erotic romance. Most of my story ideas seem to centre on romance but the heat level is always high. At the moment I’m obsessed with medieval knights and crocodiles though not for the same book. My Forbidden Fantasy line is doing well, plus I am still targeting single title publishers, but only the larger ones. I find I sell easily when I write erotic romance, so I guess it chose me, rather than the other way around. I love the romance genre, read widely and write in both historical and present day settings.
What time of the day do you write? I try to write six days a week because I can keep the flow better. I write whenever I can. Mornings work well because my husband is at work and my daughter at university. If I have the house to myself I can get more done. For some reason my family still find me fascinating. I have no idea why, except I’m a good cook and my daughter enjoys my psychic predictions. She likes to do her study by my side but sometimes I think I’m getting a degree in law. I already have two degrees and two diplomas so I don’t feel I need anymore.
I try to write until lunch, have a quick break, then go on until the afternoon, then stop to make dinner. After dinner, I usually do editing for clients because I can do it while my husband watches whatever sport he is interested in on TV and he’s happy because I’m in the same room. Mentally I’m not with him, but he doesn’t care if the sport is on.
Where do you write? I lost my office when I sold my last house. Although I have a desk, I use the back sitting room and write on my laptop. I also just bought a county house, which has a lovely view. I prefer to write up there when I go away, though I seem to come back to a lot of housework that is not of my own making. I can’t write when the house is a mess, which means I’m constantly doing jobs and writing.
Are there any particular rituals you do to set the mood / harness your muse? I always check my emails but I try not to spend too long on it even though I enjoy it or an hour or two can slip past when I should have been writing. Sometimes, I try to leave blogs, book reviews etc until the weekend. It’s important to me to support other writers, so I try and read at least one of each RWA author’s books. I only leave a review if I like it, which is why my reviews are often 4 or 5 stars.
What’s the first thing you do before you begin to write?
I always have the scene in mind. At the moment I can see a burning castle set in the north of Scotland, a young terrified woman from the enemy clan cowering from the Douglas knight coming into her bedroom to kill any of the clan who haven’t escaped. Fortunately for her he can’t kill a woman and he’s hot. My knights are always gorgeous.
Do you spend much time reading over the previous day’s work? I edit my work on the next day, filling in scenes or taking them out. I find it helps me get into the story better. If I’m organised, I try to aim for a thousand words. If I do that consistently, then the work builds quickly. If I’ve reached my word count, I move on to editing a client’s work or preparing my cover for the next Forbidden Fantasy. I also have a couple of books from my backlist to get up. They don’t make money sitting in a drawer. I’m mindful that this is a business and I treat it as such. I’ve become very careful about the clauses in publishing contracts, especially reversion of rights clauses. There are authors making a lot on money publishing their backlist now. I’m also working on a single title Australian romance set both in Sydney and in Cairns. Plus I’ve just finished revisions for my agent for a paranormal romance set in New York. I’m used to juggling and having a lot on. With self-publishing, I give the publisher a certain amount of time. If I haven’t heard, I self-publish the work. I’ve had offers after waiting two years but for me, that’s too long to get back to an author. This is a business and I’m not prepared to wait that long.
To learn more about Cathleen, please visit her web site : www.cathleenross.com
Thank you Cathleen for sharing a day in your writing life. We wish you all the best with your new releases.