Author interview - Cate Cameron (Bayview)

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    Author interview - Cate Cameron (Bayview)

    Cate Cameron is a fiction writer from Canada - also published as Kate Sherwood and Catherine Dale across several genres.
    Better known to WF members as Bayview, her picture is a sketch by an artist for her author image.
    Cate's new book 'The Billionaire's Forever Family' is due out on December 4th.

    Hello Cate, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Can you tell the readers a little about yourself and your background?

    Iím in my forties, single, Canadian, and work full-time in a fairly demanding job. Writing is a hobby, but itís one Iím trying to turn into something more permanent. I donít hate my job, but Iíd definitely prefer to write full-time!

    As a published author, can you tell us about your experience of the process and any advice you might have?

    HmmmÖ Iím pretty wary about giving advice, because one of the things Iíve learned is that everyoneís experiences are different, and thereís no one-size-fits-all approach to writing or publishing or much of anything else. So I guess thatís one piece of advice Iíd giveótake all advice with a grain of salt!

    Other than that? I think itís been really valuable for me to keep an open mind and really try to keep learning. Iíve deliberately worked with a lot of different publishers, I keep trying self-publishing even though I donít make much money from it, I experiment with different genres, different approaches, etc. Thereís always more to learn and doing the same thing over and over must get tedious!

    Iím fairly prolific, which I think helps keep me open to experimentation. If Iíd been working on a single project for years or even decades, as some writers apparently have, I think Iíd be much more nervous about trying a new publisher or whatever. As it is, though, I write about four books a year, so itís not a huge deal if I try something and it doesnít work. I donít know exactly what a writer should do to become prolific, but I think itís a goal well-worth shooting for, if possible!

    Do you have the support of an editor, agent, proofreader etc. If so, how important is this support to you as an author?

    I have an agent; thatís about the only constant. And actually, she doesnít represent me for my m/m stuff because the market is so small that I already know all the major players and donít really need an agent to get my foot in the door with them. I like working with the editors my publishers provide (well, as Iím being edited I HATE it, but I know itís good for me in the long run), but I wouldnít really say I have a relationship with them or that they support me as opposed to supporting the book weíre currently working on.
    Having an agent is a valuable support, though. Obviously itís lovely to be able to just send novels to her and then not worry about them anymore (rather than going through submission hell first-hand), but sheís also great for bringing new opportunities my way and consulting on larger career issues.

    Your books cover several genres, but your early work focused on all male romance. What drew you to this specific area of relationships?

    Like many m/m authors, I came to the genre by way of fanfiction. I never deliberately set out to write fanfic, or even read it, but I was browsing the net one day and came across a great story, read it, tracked down more from that author, and only then realized that she was writing fanfiction for a TV show Iíd never watched (Supernatural). I never really got into the show itself; I found the stories being told by the best fandom writers were much better than the stories on the screen. Eventually I started writing fanfics myself, and the Supernatural fandom is overwhelmingly m/m, soÖ thatís what I wrote! When I decided to try writing original fiction, m/m seemed like a natural place to start.

    Your most recent book 'Breakaway' continues the story of the lives and loves of an ice hockey team. Are you a fan of the sport?

    I used to be a fan. I went to university in Montreal, and then moved to Vancouver, so living in cities with NHL teams definitely made it easier to care about the sport. And now I live in a small town where the arena is the social centre of everything, all winter long, so while I donít exactly follow hockey anymore itís hard to remain unaware of it.

    Your new book 'The Billionaire's Forever Family' seems to have all the ingredients of a blockbuster television series. Ideally, which actors would you choose to play the leads?

    Iím going to allow myself to travel through time on this one, because this is one of the few times when I actually had a picture in mind when I was writing the book Ė the female lead should definitely be Courtney Cox as she looked when she was in Springsteenís Dancing in the Dark video.

    The male lead? Generic good-looking, rich-looking dudeÖ honestly, now that thereís a guy the cover of the book, thatís all I can think of in terms of what the character looks like. So, okay, buddy, youíre not just a model anymoreóyouíre going to have to be an actor, too! Hope thatís okay.

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    What first drew you into writing fiction?

    Iíve always been a huge reader, but the few times I tried writing when I was younger I quit almost immediately. I think in terms of novels, not short stories, and writing a whole novel without any feedback was just too much of a slog for me. So fanfic was a great playground for meówriting a chapter and getting feedback right away was absolutely what I needed to give me the confidence to try something longer on my own.

    Which authors or books inspire you?

    I really wish I could remember who wrote that.

    Could we ask for a small excerpt from one of your books?

    HmmmÖ maybe the first meeting between the two main characters in the Billionaire book?

    He shouldnít have come. He was too angry, and it was going to be too hard for him to handle this the way he insisted his affairs be handled. He couldnít be smooth, not after this womanís deception. But it was too late to turn around. ďI got the DNA results,Ē he growled.

    She wiped her hands nervously on her apron and looked around as if confirming that the diner was empty. ďAnd?Ē she finally asked, her chin jutted out in challenge.

    ďAnd the swab came up negative. No relationship whatsoever.Ē

    ďWell, I said this wasnít a sure thing. In my email, I said I was just chasing down possibilities. Youíre the one who made it a big deal. Iím not sure why youíre so angry.Ē

    ďAngry?Ē Sheíd seen it, had she? Good. He wanted Cassidy Frost to know how he felt, and know how eager he was to exact his revenge. ďIím angry because of the other test.Ē

    That froze her. Again, he took a vicious satisfaction in seeing her uncertainty. ďWhat other test?Ē

    ďThe test from the straw Emily was chewing on that day. The straw my lawyer took with him after talking to her.Ē He watched her closely as he said, ďThe straw that carried her DNA. DNA that shows sheís my daughter. My child.Ē

    Are you a plot or character driven writer, or is it something else?

    Totally character-driven. I think most romance writers are, but even when I write in different genres, the characters are the focus. Plots, for me, are mostly just ways to get the characters into stressful situations so theyíll reveal more about themselves!

    If you were a superhero, what superpower would you choose, and what would you call yourself?

    I guess Wolverine is taken? The invincibility is pretty damn appealingÖ but I guess itíd be hard to watch everyone else dieÖ so Iím going to go for the ability to heal on command, myself as well as others. No, wait, cellular manipulation of some sort, so I could adapt peopleís bodies for better or for worse! Donít mess with The Healthalator!

    As a member of Writing Forums, what are your favourite sections, and do you derive any benefits from membership?

    HmmmÖ I think the benefit is just sort of recreational. Itís a place to spend a little time when I want a break from whatever else Iím doing. And I think I spend most of my time in the Writing Discussion areas, soÖ I guess those must be my favourites!

    Do you have an ideal writing environment?

    Iím pretty boringóI sit at a desk, write on a laptop, donít want music or other noiseÖ but, yes, sometimes a glass of wine. But I try to make sure not always a glass of wine, because if Iím serious about making this a full-time gig at some point, I need to not depend on alcohol as part of my work process!

    Have you travelled. If so, where is your favourite destination?

    Iíve done the standard travel stuff (most of Canada, the US, a few Caribbean countries) but I donít really enjoy travelling. I find travel itself exhausting. I think I might enjoy taking more extended vacations, like going somewhere and renting a place for a season at a time? But just flying off for a weekís vacation doesnít work too well for me, and the thought of a travelling holiday, hopping from place to place, is like a nightmare. I like to have a nest!

    Do you have any hobbies outside of writing?

    Horseback riding, gardeningÖ I think thatís about it in terms of things people would consider legit hobbies. Reading, drinking, hanging out with my friends on the dockÖ those probably donít count?

    Any favourite quotes or sayings?

    Too many. I used to have a little booklet and Iíd write down quotes when I heard them, but it was totally unmanageable. I spent half my time writing!

    You say your book 'Dark Houses' is a deliberate departure from romance into dystopian fantasy. Did this present any specific challenges to you as a writer?

    It certainly presented challenges in terms of publishing. The story itself came easily enough, but trying to market to a brand new audience, with a brand new pen name, really made it clear to me how challenging it is to start off as a self-publisher. I do self-pub some of my stuff under my other pen names, and it generally does okay. Not great, probably because Iím terrible, terrible, terrible at marketing, but enough sales to pay for my cover and my editing and formatting within the first few months, meaning that anything after that is actual profits. But Dark Houses? I think Iíve sold about fifteen copies, total. Itís just really hard to get noticed if you donít have the support of a publishing house or you arenít a great self-promoter (which I definitely am not).

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    What sort of music do you enjoy?

    I like just about anything with good lyrics that I can actually hear and understand. So I donít like screaming metal or hardcore punk orÖ songs in different languages, I guess? But other than that, Iím pretty open.

    Where can the readers find out more about you and your work?

    My website is pretty ugly (I keep calling it a work-in-progress, but thatís probably a little generousóitís just a half-assed job, really), but itís got the basics on it:

    Is there anything else you wish to say to the readers?

    I donít think so Ė thanks for the interest, if you got this far in the interview!

    And thanks for putting the interview together. Itís always a lot more fun to do these when the questions are a little personalized, not totally generic.
    Last edited by PiP; January 3rd, 2018 at 11:10 PM.

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    Good stuff. Enjoyed the interview.
    Hidden Content
    "From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it." - Groucho Marx

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