Where Dreams of Love Come True...

Author Interview - Kathy Douglass
Favorite Color:
Favorite Food:
Favorite Kind of Music:
Favorite Movie:
Celebrity Crush:
June 17
Smooth jazz
Wuthering Heights
I don’t have one
Give me one word you would use to describe yourself.
2. How long have you been writing?
Fourteen years.
3. What convinced you to get started on your first book?
I started writing when my kids were in preschool for two hours a day. Their school was a ways away from home so it didn’t make sense to go home. The preschool was located on a university campus, so I started going to the library. After a while I found a shelf with used books for sale and picked up some Harlequins. They were older, but still good. After a while I had bought and read them all, so I decided to try my hand at writing my own. The first books I wrote were really terrible. Some authors joke about the bad books they keep under the bed. Mine were so terrible that I recycled the notebooks. I like to think they are enjoying life as paper plates.
4. What challenges, if any, did you face in becoming published?
The biggest challenge was learning how to write a good story. I knew my first books were awful, but after writing a few more, I thought my books were good and ready for publication. I was sadly mistaken. They were still bad. I submitted to Harlequin and received many form rejections within weeks.
Then I discovered the Harlequin online community and met many wonderful people who helped guide me. I started entering contests and getting feedback. I joined the RWA, took several online courses, and even went to the national RWA conference. My writing improved and I felt comfortable submitting again. I still received rejections, but they were detailed. Eventually I received a request for revisions and sold.
5. Did you ever imagine that you would become a published author? What do you enjoy most about being published?
I always imagined I would become published. Sometimes it was hard to believe. It was taking so long to sell, that I was tempted to become discouraged. I saw other people selling and wondered when my time would come. I still couldn’t quit because I knew that was the only way to guarantee that I wouldn’t sell.
My first book is a February, 2017 Harlequin Special Edition, so I have not been published very long and have limited experiences to choose from when deciding what I enjoy most about being published. HOW TO STEAL THE LAWMAN’S HEART was available in bookstores on January 17, 2017, so I went to two different Walmart stores and one Barnes and Noble. I loved seeing my book on the shelf and took pictures of it. I enjoyed that very much. I felt a sense of accomplishment that I had persevered and finally my book was available to readers.
6. Who are some of your favorite authors and books?
I’ll start with my favorite books. My two absolute favorites are A Prologue to Love by Taylor Caldwell and LIFE AND TIMES OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS. It’s his autobiography. Frederick Douglass has been a hero of mine since I read FREDERICK DOUGLASS FREEDOM FIGHTER when I was seven years old.
I also love TROUBLE DON’T LAST ALWAYS and SOMEBODY’S KNOCKING AT MY DOOR by the late Francis Ray, THIS HEART OF MINE by Brenda Novak, THE TAMING OF JESSI ROSE by Beverly Jenkins, and GONE TOO FAR by Suzanne Brockmann. To be honest, I love every book written by these wonderful authors and reread them all the time.
I have a lot of favorite authors, but I won’t list them all.
Beverly Jenkins, Brenda Novak, Francis Ray, Suzanne Brockmann, Lauren Canan
Allison Leigh, Farrah Rochon, Caro Carson, Michelle Major, RaeAnne Thayne
Phyllis Bourne, Piper Huguley, Janice Kay Johnson, Rochelle Alers
7. What do you do when you are not writing?
I like to hang out with my family. I also like to read. I’m a huge sports fan and I enjoy watching baseball, tennis, football and hockey. When the weather is nice and warm I like to go outside.
HOW TO STEAL THE LAWMAN’S HEART is your debut release from Harlequin Special Edition line.   Tell us a bit about this book and the series.
is a love story about forgiveness and redemption. The hero, Trent Knight, is a widower raising his two daughters. His wife was killed in a car accident seven years ago and he holds the heroine responsible. She wasn’t driving, but she still feels guilty.
The Sweet Briar Sweethearts series is set in the fictional town of Sweet Briar, North Carolina. Right now the series is three books long, but I hope to add to that. I love the people in this town. They are wonderful and neighborly and I would like to give each of them a happily ever after.
The second book in the series, THE WAITRESS’S SECRET, will be released in September, 2017.
2. What inspired you to write it?
I love small town romances so I knew my story would take place in one. Then I just sort of set my imagination free. What kind of people lived there? What had their lives been like? What were their hopes? Dreams? Trent was born from that. Once I knew his backstory I had to find a heroine for him. Enemies to lovers stories are among my favorites, so I decided that his heroine would be someone he truly hates. Then I needed a reason. Once I had that, I just set them free and decided to see where they went.
3. How has the response, from reviewers and readers, been so far?
I haven’t had much response yet, but what little I have had has been positive. Right now I have one five star rating on Amazon and a 4.67 rating from three reviews on Goodreads.  Hopefully once the book is available in all formats I will get more responses and they will be equally as good.
What advice or encouragement do you have for aspiring authors?
The first bit of advice I have is to keep writing. Don’t give up. It took me thirteen years before I finally received an offer in 2016. There were times I felt discouraged, but I knew the only way to guarantee that I didn’t get published was to quit.
The second thing I would advise is to get a good critique partner. I have a tendency to get so far inside my characters’ heads that my writing is not always clear. I think the reader knows what I - and the characters - are thinking which is not the case. Having a critique partner point out flaws is very helpful.
Third, I would advise aspiring authors to enter contests. If you win, there is a possibility of getting your work in front of an agent or editor. Even if you don’t win, you will receive valuable feedback on your work.  You may or may not agree with it, but it can be helpful.
Finally, I would advise aspiring authors to learn all you can. There are many online classes available as well as books that can help you improve your craft. The more you know, the better you will become.
2. Do you have any reader events coming up (book signing, tours, etc.)?
Not yet.
3. How can your readers stay in touch with you?
I am on Facebook. I also have a website, kathydouglassbooks.com. Readers can stop by and sign up for my newsletter or drop me an email.