Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Guest Interview: Please Welcome Cate Masters

I first met Cate through the Eternal Press author boards. Friendly, always willing to answer a question, Cate was the first of many at EP who took the time to show me the ropes. Her writing is fabulous, proven by the sheer number of books she’s published. Please welcome Cate.

Cate Masters
Who is Cate Masters?
Hm, interesting question. Married for 33 years to her best friend, Cate Masters is one lucky woman. She loves great stories, music and all forms of art. A lifelong writer, she’s continually evolving, always reaching for the next level. Ms. Masters is the author of twenty-seven published works of fiction, ranging from fantasy/dark fantasy, historical, contemporary and speculative, from flash to novel length. Reviewers have described her work as “so compelling, I did not want to put it down,” “such romantic tales that really touch your soul,” “filled with action scenes which made it a riveting story,” and “the author weaves a great tale with a creative way of using words that makes the story refreshing to read.” She has finally come into her own, I think.

Tell us your latest news?

It’s been another busy year! Last month, Freya’s Bower released a historical adventure romance set in 1850s Key West titled Angels, Sinners and Madmen, and Eternal Press released Winning, a short with magical realism elements. This month, EP released Follow the Stars Home, a historical centered on the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Also this month, Whiskey Creek Press released Surfacing, a contemporary fantasy about an indie rocker and a mermaid, and WCP will later release a contemporary mainstream, The Bridge Between. I recently signed a contract with Lyrical Press for Rock Bottom, another contemporary novel.
When and why did you begin writing? Because I have a very vivid imagination, I began to set images on paper through poems at the tender age of ten. My friends were all artists or poets, and I still have some of the poems we collaborated on. In my twenties, I experimented with short stories, some of which appeared in various literary or web zines. Ideas tend to pile up in my head, and if I don’t write, there’s a serious risk of explosion. 🙂

What inspired you to write this book?
Another author mentioned she hadn’t seen a mermaid story in awhile, so I trolled the Internet for mermaid lore. I’m a research addict, so can get lost in it, especially when fascinating legends abound. When I came across a video of the mermaid show in Weeki Wachee Springs, it seemed the perfect place for an authentic mermaid to surface without too much notice. Mermaids love handsome guys with great voices, so AJ Dillon was born.

Surfacing by Cate MastersHere’s the blurb for Surfacing:
AJ Dillon is trouble. The former lead singer of an indie band has no home, no money and no future. His grandfather is the only relative willing to take another chance on him. AJ arrives in Weeki Wachee, Florida, with his guitar, a few clothes and a bad attitude. The only good thing about Weeki Wachee is the ocean — the one place AJ feels at home. Grandpa lines up a job for AJ at Weeki Wachee Springs, where beautiful women perform as mermaids. Grandpa says real mermaids exist, but AJ doesn’t believe – until he meets Cassiopeia, and his passion for music resurfaces. But then greedy Chaz finds out, and threatens to kill them if AJ doesn’t go along with his plan to make a fortune with a real mermaid show. Can AJ save Cassie, even if it means losing her?

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Most of my stories have an underlying theme of encouragement to follow your bliss. I’m always in awe of women who write when their kids were young, plus hold down a job. I only wrote sporadically while my kids were little. Now they’re grown, and I am following my own advice, and it’s the best time of my life.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

(Has anyone ever realized it?) No, I’m too big a believer in karma to use real experiences or people. 🙂 Though I do sometimes use names of people I love. For instance, the editor in Picture. This is named for my sister Claudia. In Angels Sinners and Madmen, Annette and Julian are dolls, but in real life, they’re my sister and brother-in-law. The hero in Rock Bottom is Jerry Trently, a dear friend who was an inspiration to everyone he met.
What books have most influenced your life most? Tolkien’s Rings trilogy made a huge impression on me when I was 13, and I couldn’t get enough Ray Bradbury or HP Lovecraft after that. Authors such as Margaret Atwood, TC Boyle, Alice Hoffman and Michael Chabon showed me writers could incorporate fantasy in a realistic setting, in a literary style. I’m in awe of them all.

What book are you reading now? What do you like, or not, about it?

I have a stack of books waiting to be read! The most current is Gena Showalter’s The Darkest Night. I have a feeling I’ll be sending for the next two in the trilogy. I love urban fantasies, and this novel is a gripping, fast-paced read.

Do you ever have problems with writers block?
If so how do you get through it? My biggest problem is lack of time. I have so many more ideas than I can possibly follow through on. I find that working on several projects at once lends greater perspective, so if I run into a wall on one, I pick up on another and eventually the problem comes clear on the other.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Stopping. I love these characters.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I’d love to hear from you!

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