Interview with Historical Romance Author Kathye Quick

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 or her blog at www.kathyequick.blogspot.com.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Kathye. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

I’m a happy empty-nester with a hectic day job and a dream of winning the first Pulitzer Prize for Romance.

First the day thing. I’m married to my real-life hero, Don, live in Central Jersey (Exit 10 for those who want to know – LOL) and have three grown sons. By day I work for County government in the Executive Offices dealing with everything and anything. Believe me, dealing with the public on a daily basis is great fodder for books. You can’t make up the stuff I handle!

By night I’m a hopeless romantic waiting for Keanu Reeves to show up and take me to dinner or something (with my husband’s permission, of course. Besides I think he’s waiting for Michelle Pfeiffer anyway). I’ve been writing since crayons and Catholic School lined paper, but didn’t really set my mind to anything until the 1990’s.

Now by the grace of a Higher Power, I’ve had twelve books published in various formats with more in my head to write.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

I am pleased that the Wild Rose Press decided to publish Cynthia and Constantine. Believe it or not, the concept for Cynthia and Constantine sprung up during a season of American Idol. I work for county government and once a month 7 of us get together to have lunch. We call it the Lusty Ladies Lunch Group. We keep in touch via email.

During this particular season, Bo Bice and Constantine Maroulis were competing. Two of the Lusties choose these guys as their favorites. While we didn’t agree on who should win that season, we did all agree that they had ‘romance book cover’ hair; the kind of hair Knights in Shinning Armor had in days of yore.

Well one thing lead to another and we began to serialize a story about them. We named our hero Constantine and his lady was Cynthia, one of the Lusties. We gave Sir Constantine a brother, Sir Braeden and his lady is named Jane, another Lustie.

The story just evolved on a weekly basis with email scenes going back and forth until I had 100 pages.

We thought that was the end of the adventure until I decided to flesh out Constantine and Cynthia’s story and turn it into a 55,000-word book. I was fortunate enough to have the Wild Rose Press express interest in the novel and then publish it.

And yes, you’ll either love this or hate this, but the antagonist of the story is named after one of the American Idol Judges. I’m sure you can guess which.

What kind of research was involved in writing Cynthia and Constantine?

It was part a lot of on-line research, but mostly the love of the Arthurian Legend that led me to write the book.

I have always loved the adventure and story lore of Camelot. When I was a very little girl, and I know I’m dating myself now, there was a black and white television program on called “Tales of Sir Lancelot.” I watched it religiously. I wish I could find it now as a matter of fact.

I chose to write a story from the Arthurian time because it is so much a part of me. I could watch Camelot with Richard Harris every day.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

I gave some suggestions for the cover. I wanted a knight and his lady and possibly the Medallion of Arthur on the cover. I do like the cover a lot, but the medallion on it is all wrong.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

I call myself a ten-year overnight success. Once you get that first book ‘call’ it seems that everything happens so fast. The books that were sitting in the bottom drawer of your desk are suddenly interesting again and the editors want to see them. A few updates and the books I couldn’t sell to my mother are now published an on the shelves. Go figure!!

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

I believe the digital version was out in just under a year’s time and the POD print copy a month later.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

I don’t have an agent to date, but I want to get one for the urban fantasy line I write as P. K. Eden with my writing partner Patt Mihailoff. Urban fantasies are hot right now and the series Patt and I are planning is not anything like is on the shelves right now. We believe this departure from the vampires, shape shifters, werewolves and such will require the expertise of an agent to find the right publishing house for it. While our series is fantasy, our concept is well outside the box. We were writing about gods and goddesses ten years ago when no one wanted that type of story. If we had gotten an agent who believed in us then, who knows the success we may have had by now.

But for my contemporaries and romantic comedies, I haven’t engaged an agent because I really do like writing for the small press at the moment. I have a high-powered, high energy day job and cannot crank out the books quickly, so small press publishers are a good fit for me right at this moment.

Cynthia and Constantine fits into the Wild Rose Press line as both a digital and POD book. It is not super long, but still tells a good story.

Do you plan subsequent books?

While writing Cynthia and Constantine, a secondary character, Jane, came to life. A few readers and reviewers have wondered what happened to Jane and Braeden, and if they could have their own story.

Come to think of it, I wondered about that too.

So that’s the book I write next.

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

I have to write at night after dinner, but before 10PM. I met Janet Evanovich at a book signing of hers and she told me the best way to keep the momentum going was to write at least 3 pages a day. I have tried to do that. Sometimes it’s more; sometimes less. Sometimes life gets in the way and I don’t write at all. But if I can do about 75 days a month, I’m happy.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

I’d do a big ad in People Magazine and a commercial on TV right before they announce who is getting kicked off the island on Survivor, or during the finale of Dancing With the Stars.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

Self-promotion is wildly important, but it’s apparent to me that I need help. I’ve been posting excerpts and the book trailer whenever I can, but I haven’t gotten that bump that I need. I’m sure my virtual tour will be the answer. I’ve already discovered so many sites and opportunities just setting it up with Dorothy.

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

Never give up your dream. It’s what keeps us writing. Your never know when that next submission will turn into ‘the call.”

You can pick up your copy of Cynthia and Constantine by clicking here!
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