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Kathye Quick has been writing since the sisters in Catholic School gave her a #2 pencil and some paper with ruled lines.
From stories about her family for Writing Week in fifth grade, to becoming editor-in-Chief of her high school newspaper, The Blueprint, to 1999 when she realized her dream of being published, Kathye’s love of the written word span numerous genres.
She writes contemporary and career romances for Avalon Books, romantic comedy and historicals for Wings Press, urban fantasy for Cerridwen Press, and most recently medieval historical romances for Wild Rose Press.
Kathye is one of the founders of Liberty States Fiction Writers, a group launched in January 2009 to help writers of all fiction genres in their journey to publication. She had been a member of New Jersey Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America since 1988 and considered it an honor to have been NJRW President in 1992 and 2001.
Kathye’s fifth hardcover romance for Avalon books, ‘Tis the Season, a holiday romance complete with Santa Claus, a sleigh ride and a New England snowfall earned a 2006 HOLT Medallion nomination.
Her debut historical romance, Daughters of the Moon, from Wings e-Press has been heralded as a flawless glimpse into the world of the ancient Greeks.
Writing as P. K. Eden with writing partner, Patt Mihailoff, Firebrand, an urban fantasy based on the fall of the Garden of Eden, has won two Reviews Choice Awards and many five-star ratings.
In August 2009, Avalon Books will publish her three-book contemporary romance series entitled Grandmother’s Rings. The books, Amethyst (August 2009), Sapphire (December 2009) and Citrine (early 2010) follow the Archer family siblings in their quest to find their soul mates using rings given to them by their Grandmother. Kathye used the birthstones from her family for her inspiration for this series.
While writing romances has been her dream for many years, the book of Kathye’s heart, is a non-fiction work entitled, Hi Mom, How Are Things in Heaven, a book that developed after the death of her mother and deals with coping with grief though humor. She is currently still working on the concept for this book.
In her “other” life, Kathye works for Somerset County government. She is married with three sons. You can visit her website at www.kathyequick.com.
Welcome to Beyond the Books, Kathye. Can you tell us whether you are published for the first time or multi-published? Can you give us the title(s) of your book(s)?
It still seems strange to me to consider myself multi-published, but I am so blessed.
I write for a few houses.
For Avalon I write contemporary and romantic comedies. My first book was actually considered a Career Romance (that line has since been rolled into the Contemporary Romance Line) entitled BLUE DIAMOND. It was followed by JESSIE’S WEDDING, STEALING APRIL’S HEART, FALLING FOR YOU and ‘TIS THE SEASON.
‘TIS THE SEASON is a holiday romance in which Santa quits the family business. It was a HOLT (Honoring Outstanding Literary Talent) Medallion finalist.
Coming out beginning in August 2009 is my GRANDMOTHER’S RINGS series for Avalon. The three-book contemporary romance series follows the Archer Family siblings in their quest to find their soul mates after being given their Grandmother’s Rings by their mother. I used the birthstones from my family as inspiration. AMETHYST will be out in August 2009, followed by SAPPHIRE in December 2009 and lastly, CITRINE in early 2010.
I also write romantic comedies and historical romance for Wings ePress. Those titles are ONE RAINY NIGHT, my first book, and DAUGHTERS OF THE MOON, my favorite book an ancient Greek Historical
Most recently I was fortunate to have the Wild Rose Press publish a historical romance set in Arthurian times entitled CYNTHIA AND CONSTANTINE. Second to my love of Greek myths and legends, I am totally caught up in Camelot.
Finally, with writing partner Patt Mihailoff, I write as P. K. Eden. P. K. writes urban fantasy for Cerridwen Press. FIREBRAND, a book based on the fall of the Garden of Eden came out in 2008. FIREBRAND has won two Reviewer’s Choice Awards and many 5-star ratings. In giving us a Review’s Pick from Affair de Coeur, the reviewer said that FIREBRAND was “a story worthy of the Hobbit series and Harry Potter.” Patt and I were blown away with the compliment.
Patt and I are both lovers of sci-fi/fantasy and had a great time with this book.
What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?
OMG. My First Book – what a disaster!! It was called DUTY OR DESIRE and I thought I was the most prolific writer in the world. I quickly came to find out that I knew NOTHING about writing or publishing.
It was never published. It was a train wreck on paper.
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?
Rejection? I think I had the ultimate rejection.
I’ve been writing since crayons and Catholic School lined paper, but didn’t really set my mind to anything until the 1990’s. Being a voracious reader, I decided to try my hand without any guidance. I wrote a book I thought was wonderful without any chapter breaks, without any page numbers (if you could believe it) and without any advice. I just picked a publisher and sent it off.
That was on a Friday.
On Wednesday it came back.
Well, I thought to myself, it must have been mistake, so I put it in another envelope and sent it back out. That was on the following Friday.
That weekend, I ran into Barbara Breton, a romance writer of note who was writing for Harlequin at that time, and we got to talking about writing. She told me about a local writing group that was meeting the next day and invited me to go to the meeting.
At that meeting, I learned exactly why my manuscript had come back so fast. I had done everything wrong. I was no where near ready for submission let alone publication.
Needless to say the manuscript came back again. On Tuesday this time!
How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?
Rejection is awful. Anyone who ever got a rejection notice knows that. It’s like someone looking at your baby and telling you the baby is ugly.
But you have to go on if you really love to write and are serious about it. It’s much easier to give up if you were only dabbling.
I wanted to have a book out, so I kept on writing. After learning more about the right way you do things, and after finally getting a book that was at least ready for submission, I just kept sending it out and growing a thicker and thicker skin.
Writing is a humbling process. For everyone who loves your work, there is someone who thinks it is the worse thing he or she ever read.
But if you keep it at and keep perfectly your style and technique, you’ll not only find your voice, but also your audience.
When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?
My first book was published in 1999. It was called ONE RAINY NIGHT and was about a hero and heroine who met during a Hurricane. I got a few rejection letters from the New York houses like Harlequin and Silhouette, but I believed in the story and kept submitting it around.
Then Hurricane Floyd hit the east coast. The foundation of my house collapsed and I lost just about everything I owned up to four feet on the first floor.
But I also got a call from an eBook publisher – Starlight Writers – who said they wanted to publish my book. I think that call helped me through the next eight months of rebuilding.
Starlight Writers does not exist any longer, but the book was then placed with Wings ePress which is going strong today. In fact I still get some small royalty checks for ONE RAINY NIGHT because it is an eBook and Print on Demand. I will be forever grateful for that call. It helped me through some pretty dismal times.
But if I thought my first book would have been sp prophetic, I would have written about a lottery winner instead of a hurricane!
How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
There is nothing in the world like getting “the call.” Writers know it; non-writers cannot really relate.
Because I was in the center of a disaster at the time, there was no time to celebrate. I had to rebuild my house so I could get my computer room back and write book two!
What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
ONE RAINY NIGHT came out in time for a writers’ conference the following year. I purchased magnets in the shape of an umbrella with the book title and website address on them, and gave them to each conference attendee. I think they were 50-cents each at the time and there were 400 conference attendees. I did make up the promotional cost in sales, although it took a lot longer than I would have liked. EBooks were in their infancy at the time.
If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
I may have tried to get an agent, but I think it would have taken more books and a few more years.
I am very comfortable in the ay things have turned out since that first book. I am very happy with small press and eBooks right now because I have a high-powered day job I love and am not ready to give it up. Especially in today’s economic climate.
Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
I am fortunate to have become quasi-successful in the small press and eBook market. I don’t think I have submitted to a large house since I was first published, but I may have in the early years.
Patt and I, writing as P. K. Eden our fantasy alter-ego, are planning on securing an agent for our urban fantasies, however. Based on the success of FIREBRAND, we have a series planned that we would like to see in a larger house to get more exposure. We are in the planning and first draft stage of that process and are excited about the concept. We both love the sci-fi channel and are voracious about it. We sometimes do a MST3 (Mystery Science Theater) commentary when we watch it.
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?
I think my post on rejection covered this to the fullest. Doofus me!!
What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?
I think that meeting my writing partner, Patt Mihailoff, has made the biggest difference in my life and my writing. My weaknesses are her strengths. With her, I can write way outside the writing box and write the story that had been stuck inside my head for years.
With her, I have won two Reviewer’s Choice Awards. Having someone else like your writing besides your family (which was my biggest fear) has been the most rewarding thing ever. If I did this without the help of Patt, I know it would have taken years longer to accomplish.
If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?
Both my professions seemed to have chosen me. If I wanted to be a successful writer or find the job I have in government, it would not have worked.
I can’t imagine not being in government now that I have been for over 18 years. It’s an ever-changing job with nothing scripted or the same every day beings a new challenge that requires insight, forethought, creativity, networking skills and the ability to find answers. There is nothing routine or mundane about it. Who could want anything more?
Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?
I do believe I have the best of both worlds. In my ‘daytime’ job I have met so many people and discovered so many resources that I can call upon them it I get stuck in a writers block or write my character into a corner.
I can find law enforcement professionals if I need to find about how the system works or how to MacGyver someone out of a jam. I’ve worked with environmentalists, lobbyists, researchers, lawyers, medical professionals, senators, you name it, and have a vast wealth of information, both valuable and useless locked inside my head or my computer.
More than once something I have remembered has ended up bridges scenes in one of my books.
I am totally grateful for those opportunities. So what I’m saying is keep your eyes open and keep a journal. Writer everything down from a quirky name to an unusual fact or source. You never know when you’ll need it.
How do you see yourself in ten years?
I’d love to be on my 50th book with one or two as Lifetime Movies. Hey, we can dream, can’t we?
Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
Never give up polishing your work and submitting it. I can’t remember who said it right now but one of my favorite quotes is “Failure is simply not knowing how close you were to success before you gave up.”
I truly believe that.