Author of the hot new Urban Fantasy series, Immortalis, Katie has always had a desire to entertain. Since, early childhood, she’s dreamed up fantastical characters and scribbled them into pages of various journals and notebooks. Taking an interest in vampires at an early age, she devoured every book, featuring those mysterious, blood sucking creatures, in any genre she could find. She claims that, of all the monsters out there, vampires had always been the most interesting.
It was only natural that a love of reading about vampires, and a love of writing turned into a desire to write her own stories.
A Las Vegas native, having grown up in the famed City of Sin, Katie loves to feature it as a recurring setting for many of her stories.
Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Katie. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
A: I guess you could call me multi-published. Halloween Fantasies is the second book in my erotica novella line. I also have a full-length novel, Immortalis Carpe Noctem, book 1 of my Urban Fantasy series which was published earlier this year.
Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?
A: Immortalis Carpe Noctem was the first novel I had ever completed and published. Other stories I had written prior to that were too short to print. It is my baby and the first in a 4 book series. I plan to put out a new book in this series each year.
Q: 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?
A: I have quite a few rejection letters from the year I spent trying to go the traditional route, but I try not to dwell on them. The market is flooded right now with Paranormal fiction and Vampires, while “in” do not guarantee a publishing contract. In fact it is actually harder to break into the market traditionally when you write something that is so “in.” After I spent time trying to hunt down agents and editors for my book I realized I could do it myself. The ultimate goal was to share my story with the world and I had the time to really focus on putting it out, so I did.
Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?
A: Rejection is hard to take no matter what anyone says. You just have to let yourself go through the emotions. Don’t bury feelings of sadness but don’t dwell on them either. I always let myself have a small pity party and then get right back on track again.
Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?
A: I actually created my own self-publishing label, Rising Sign Books. I started looking into what really goes into self-publishing and took it step by step, hiring book cover artists, editors, learning layout and interior book design. It was a hard process but well worth it.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
A: My husband took me out for a nice dinner once my book was out. I can’t describe how good it felt to really call myself an author!
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
A: Lots of giveaways!! I think I have given away at least 100 copies of my first book. People like to try before they buy and word of mouth really sells. One copy I gave away turned into a 7 book sale. The person loved my book so much they wanted to buy a copy for each of their adult kids.
Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
A: I would have liked to have been traditionally published just for the fact that the production and marketing side of the business really takes up a lot of time that could be devoted to writing, but I am extremely happy to be able to put a book out that is 100% my creation.
Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
A: Aside from my full-length print novel, I have put out a couple of ebook novellas. With each new book or novella I put out, I learn so much. Not just about writing, but about the business of producing and selling books.
Q: 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?
A: There is no way to speed up the publishing business. It’s a slow process no matter what you do. Traditional publishing takes years to hit print because there is so much involved. Self-publishing, while it seems quicker to the untrained eye, is also a time consuming process. Books need to be written, edited, revised, edited again, and so on. Then you have exterior and interior design. Trying to speed that up just ends up making things look sloppy. It’s best to take it slow and really make something you are proud of.
As or mistakes, I have made many and I will still make many more. It’s a learning process. The best thing anyone can do is study. Get books on writing craft, self-editing, publishing, etc… Just get as much knowledge as you can.
Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?
A: Being published is the accomplishment. That is huge thing all by its self.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
A: Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Know what you want to do and go for it!