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Interview with Young Adult Author Cate Cavanagh

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Cate is a published author, GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT, as well as a syndicated columnist in the spiritual and metaphysical genres. In addition she is a published print columnist in New York and was political commentator for WJFF radio in New York and podcast commentator for. Her work also appears in a number of new age publications including but not limited to Self Growth, Lightsource, E Spirit, Grannymoon, Witch’s Voice and Pagazine. She also writes for Circle of Stars a New Age ezine and is an eclectic Witch.

You can visit her website here.

Welcome to Beyond the Books, Cate. Can you tell us whether you are published for the first time or multi-published?

Although I have had innumerable articles published and have been a syndicated columnist for many years, Her Godmother is my second published book.

Can you give us the title(s) of your book(s)?

My first book, Gifts Of The Spirit is no longer available or shouldn’t be as I fought to get out of my contract with the dreadful publisher, PublishAmerica. Many authors have been burned by this publisher. I would like to add if you happened to have purchased a copy please contact me at catecavanag@gmailcom. My newest book is Her Godmother which is available online with all online bookstores including barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com as well as fine brick and mortar bookstores, including Barnes and Noble.

What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

My first book was Gifts Of The Spirit, which was published by PublishAmerica. My experience with this publisher was extremely unpleasant. After years of battling I won release from my contract so expect to see this book out again in the future!

For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

I lost count of the number of the rejections and really do not put much stock by rejections at all. It’s all part of the business and we, as writers, need to get thick skinned about it. It’s like applying for a job. You win one, you lose lots. But rejections provide writers the opportunity to work on their queries and book proposals which can be very challenging. After PublishAmerica, Her Godmother was accepted by a small publisher but unfortunately this publisher went out of business before the book was published.

How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

At first they were devastating! This is going back many years but here is what I did to not let rejections bother me. I worked in offices for many years out of college. There were protocols I used to follow. For example I would put messages in the order in which they were received–the first one on top and so on. I would do the same for correspondences. As I got management positions I noticed overwhelmed clerical workers, putting letters in a pile as they came which meant the last letters would be on top. I concluded that with the volume of submissions, the same thing is happening in publishing houses and agents’ offices. By the time my work’s turn is up, the quota for how many titles to be published is met. After all, my work is excellent. What other reason could there be? (*wink*)

When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

PublishAmerica published my first book. This publisher was among many I had submitted to and they accepted. Little did I know what a nightmare was to follow. I have since learned a lot and became more knowledgeable about what a reputable publisher is supposed to be and what a “real” contract is supposed to look like. There are many sites that list questionable publishers and agents and I recommend doing the research for anyone looking to get published.

How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

While it lasted I felt as if I had finally arrived! Truth be told it is still to great credit to say yo have been published. Being an author holds great status generally speaking and I was not going to let my later disappointment with the publisher take that pride away from me. I celebrated by letting everyone know. Personally, my celebration was stunted by a lot of personal tragedies that occurred around that time but the main thing was I could cite I was an author and that lent me great credibility.

What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I immediately obtained Janet Elaine Smith’s PROMO PAK and implemented the strategies outlined. This book made navigating the web and getting my name, websites and articles circulated so easy! This book is available through amazon.com and a must for any writer! I highly recommend it. It is a consistent seller! I wrote articles for everyone and everywhere which of course gave me the added plus of plugging myself and my book. With Janet’s book, I learned the importance of tags and the immense availability of free search engines. I also found bookstores all over the world and got my book listed in every database imaginable. The work doesn’t stop with publication.

If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

Absolutely. I would have opted to do what I did with my second book: “self” publish. I decided I did not need the frustration of constantly submitting and then waiting for word which was very time consuming in terms of record keeping and time. My publisher, StarPublish, LLC is great. What is great about exercising this authority over your work is that the publication is quick, and you are immediately released, set up for POD, print on demand, and on board for royalties rather quickly. Many authors are choosing this route now rather than giving homage to the big houses and many fine books are now available in this manner. Let us not forget many best sellers were originally self published books–Dan Millman was one such author.

Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

My second book is out right now (of course I have five other books in the works too) and yes, I have grown. As life happens your whole approach to story telling matures. I find also I am enjoying writing articles and short stories more and more. Writing poetry and short stories are my first loves and I will always consider myself a poet first.

Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

Frankly, in my case, life was my biggest obstacle as there were many things that had to take priority so my creative career really could not have developed in any other way. But my craft was honed during this time as was my perspective on life which of course impacts on what I write about.

What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

I am a recognized author and authority in my genre which is the supernatural, magic and quantum metaphysics and receive invites all the time from other specialists in these fields to join their groups and to write for their newsletters. Of course the biggest accomplishment is enjoying the reality that a childhood dream is realized–I am a published author!

If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

I would have been a lawyer. I have always been drawn to the law but I know I would have also pursued writing even if I had become an attorney. Give me a good legal novel or movie and I am utterly glued!

Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

I would have definitely combined both worlds as I said above. My muse is writing and when you have a muse it tends to tell you what to do, if you know what I mean.

How do you see yourself in ten years?

I do not think that far ahead. I believe it is far more important to focus on the now because all those meaningful and productive nows create what will be in ten years.

Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Learn about the industry! Research who the publishers and agents to avoid really are. Learn about what makes a red flag. Do not be so proud as to not write for free! Getting published is the main thing. It gives you credibility, publicity, hones your craft and more importantly builds your creative portfolio.

I invite all to visit my website, quantumspirituality.tripod.com and my blog, somethingmagicalinourmists.blogspot.com where you will be able to see my book trailer, produced by Valkyrie Publishing, Theresa Chaze publisher (theresachaze.com)

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4 Comments

  1. [...] Cavanagh, author of the fantasy novel, HER GODMOTHER, will be stopping off at Beyond the Books! The UK has Harry Potter. Shouldn’t we have our own Witch? Allie is experiencing a family [...]

  2. Tracee says:

    Very insightful interview!

  3. ccmal says:

    Nice interview ladies. Not a big surprise about PublishAmerica, and glad you made it out of your contract and will be able to release your book again in a better way.

    All my best,

    Cheryl

  4. Margay says:

    Although I’m sorry to hear about your issues with PublishAmerica, I am glad you decided to share these experiences with others who might be considering the same route. Unfortunately, there are those less than savory people out there looking to capitalize on someone else’s dream. So sad. Good look with your new publisher. I wish you much success.

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