Today I welcome the lovely Isobelle Cate to the Asylum! Make sure to check below for blurbs, covers and links to her work!
Let’s meet the lady behind the romance herself and get to know her, shall we?
Isobelle Cate is a woman who wears different masks. Mother-writer, wife-professional, scholar-novelist. Currently living in Manchester, she has been drawn to the little known, the secret stories, about the people and the nations: the English, the Irish, the Scots, the Welsh, and those who are now part of these nations whatever their origins. Her vision and passion are fuelled by her interest and background in history and paradoxically, shaped by growing up in a clan steeped in lore, loyalty, and legend.
Isobelle is intrigued by forces that simmer beneath the surface of these cultures, the hidden passions, unsaid desires, and yearnings unfulfilled.
And now for the 21…
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your books.
I’m a mother-writer, wife-professional, scholar-novelist. I currently live in Manchester, UK and I’ve been drawn to the little known, the secret stories, about the people and the nations: the English, the Irish, the Scots, the Welsh, and those who are now part of these nations whatever their origins. My books are fuelled by my interest in the esoterica and my background in history. I’ve always been interested in myths and legends having grown up and shaped by a clan steeped in lore, loyalty, and legend. My books have that tinge of myth and legend that can be real.
My first published novella, Love in Her Dreams is about finding the man of your dreams, literally. In one word, it’s called Kismet. My first paranormal series about the Cynn Cruor is about an immortal breed of warriors, their fight to vanquish evil, and how they find the woman they were meant or destined to be with. Again, it’s Kismet. That said, all of my heroes and heroines have to go through some kind of test or conflict before they can finally find the love they are looking for. It makes the journey all the more fulfilling.
2. What genre(s) do you write?
Paranormal and Contemporary romance. I also write Historical Fiction under another name.
3. What was it like to see your first book published?
Oh wow….speechless, gobsmacked, initially indescribable. J It’s the feeling you get after so much heartache and frustration, then everything falls into place and self-doubt just disappears.
4. How dear to your heart is writing? Do you think you’ll continue to write for the rest of your life?
I think writing is in my blood. Seriously. If I didn’t write fiction, I’d probably be writing reports and that’s what I actually do in my day job. 🙂 A lot of the men and women in my clan write in one form or another. I started writing when I was 14 and continued to do so on and off. Only recently have I been able to really sit down and put the bits and pieces together.
5. Do you ever lock up? Have those moments where you just stare at your screen and think, “Yeah…I got nothing”?
No not really, yet. It’s more of “how do I put what my characters want me to say on paper?”. Sometimes the entire scene is already inside my head. My fingers just don’t want to fly over the keyboard.
6. How difficult is it for you to come up with ideas for your books?
At the moment, not that difficult. The concepts are already there. It’s just really a matter of getting it down on paper.
7. What about characters? Are the names and personalities difficult to develop?
For Love in Her Dreams Alec’s and Tamsyn’s name just came to me. For Rapture at Midnight and Forever at Midnight of the Cynn Cruor Bloodline series, I had to find old names that spoke of the longevity of the heroes’ existence. For my heroines, I had to also look for names that bridged the old and new. Eirene’s name is a derivation of Irene but spelled in a more Gaelic way, perhaps? Deanna is another way of spelling Diana.
The personalities of the couples I’ve written about were not that difficult to develop. I just went with the names and asked “How would they be like?” or “What if s/he was like this or like that?”. However, I’ve come to realize that as the story grows the new characters whose stories I write become more complicated. So far, I’ve been able to weather it and I hope I continue to do so.
8. Do you ever find yourself struggling as a writer?
As in rejections and bad reviews? Oh definitely. It smarts and you feel that you’re no good. But you keep on trying. At the end of the day, agents really look at those stories that sell, that follow the trend. I don’t blame them. It is after all, their bread and butter. Reviewers have a certain type of book in their minds and if my book isn’t what they’re really looking for, then it’s what they comment on. Each review has something that can help make one a better writer. But I do feel bad for struggling writers who are really good in their genre and are not given a chance. Thank God for small publishers and indie publishing.
On the other hand, when it comes to stories, yes, it can be a struggle especially when you’re at a loss for words. If vocabulary was a person, s/he’d need to take a vacation after the writer is done with a book. J
9. About how long does it take for you to complete a book, from concept to completion?
It depends. When I’m really inspired, it can take me just a little over a month to write two books. At the moment, it’s taking me longer to finish several concepts and write because my day job can get in the way of my writing. I am just very fortunate that my officemates know my secret and have been very supportive. As long as I do well at work, I can write during my office breaks.
10. Do you have a ritual before, during and after finishing a book?
Before writing, I need to have my mug of coffee. I can’t do away with it. During….still coffee. After…..maybe hot choc or a glass of Apothic Red (sorry for the plug but this wine is really good). After I finish writing a book, I move on to the next one, read a favorite author’s book, or edit another author’s manuscript.
11. Do you have a special time or place to write?
I write anywhere I’m comfortable. Sometimes I can’t get the ideal place to write so I have to make do. I can’t let the surroundings stop me from writing especially when I’m on a roll. Like my characters, I adapt. 😉
12. Any funny experiences or quirks you’d like to share with your readers?
If I find an empty space, I tend to fill it up with books and drafts to the exasperation of my family. J
13. How do you find the time to balance your writing and family life?
My family knows that I need to spend as much time in my writing as I can. I spend quality time with them during the weekends so we go out to the movies or talk while we eat. Sometimes we go into town and just walk around.
14. How much down-time do you take between books? Or do you just jump right into the next?
I don’t. I jump right into the next book. Now that I write, I feel edgy if I don’t. If I take a break, there is a reason for doing so….like watch Tom Mison as Crane in Sleepy Hollow or watch a little bit of Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as Dracula.
15. Do you have any interesting hobbies that you enjoy?
Writing was a hobby before I published. I read a lot – works of my favorite authors, manuals to help hone the craft, read the classics (I’m into Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations at the moment), listen to music – pretty eclectic, cook when I can, walk in the park.
16. If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?
17. What’s next on your agenda? Any new books in the works?
I’m co-authoring two books with two authors so at the moment I’m doing loads of edits on the drafts. I’m also in the middle of writing the next books in the Cynn Cruor series. I’ll also probably self-publish a contemporary romance novella.
18. What advice would you give to others who want to make writing their career?
Never give up. It is definitely an uphill climb and it still is. Being a published author doesn’t guarantee smooth sailing. But never give up. Don’t take rejections or reviews personally. If you do, accept the feeling and then move on. And most of all, never, ever procrastinate. That will only make you lose your momentum and you’ll never get anywhere. If you say you don’t have the time, make the time. You want to make a go of writing, right? So do what it takes to make it happen. If you need to take a break do so. If it’s only a sentence that you’re able to write, write it down. If you can’t reach your word count for the day, don’t be disheartened. But never give up or procrastinate. Be disciplined. It’s easier said than done, I know. But if you keep at it, it will become a habit that will make you all the better for it.
19. What authors inspire you?
Those who are tug at the heartstrings authors like Sable Hunter. Those who have created worlds that make you believe they’re real and again who make you feel every emotion, every heartbreak or angst of the characters they create like Donna Grant and Tina Folsom. Those who are incredible wordsmiths in their respective genres like Natasza Waters and Gray Dixon. Last but not the least, those who give me food for thought like Kahlil Gibran or the human condition, like Aurelius, Shakespeare or Steinbeck.
20. What’s something unique about you that not many people might know?
Hahaha. Can we keep it that way?
21. Is there anything you would like to share about your writing and publishing experience that might inspire and support new and struggling writers?
Like with everything you want in life, it entails sacrifice. This is also true with writing. Even with small publishers, they will expect you to make sure that your manuscript is as flawless as it can be. Typographical and grammatical errors must be avoided. Most importantly, read. Always read. Whether it be works of other authors, the newspaper, or manuals about writing, keep reading. Please don’t be disheartened too.
The one thing I learned about writing is that if you want to get people to read your stories, make the stories interesting. If you want to use real life in your writing, by all means do so – but what is it your story can do that in real life you’d probably hesitate doing? Always raise the stakes to keep the readers turning the pages and make sure that all the loose ends are tied at the conclusion of the book. If there is a cliffhanger, try to resolve some problem in the story so that readers will want to read the next book to see the resolution to the cliffhanger you previously created.
When you think that your manuscript is good enough for a publisher to look at, don’t send it. Yet. Leave it for a week or two and then come back to it. You will have a different set of eyes and you’ll want to make the manuscript much better. When you really feel that it’s the best that it can possibly, then send your manuscript out.
Take your time when you write. The pressure can be really intense to be able to come out with a book but if your gut is telling you that your manuscript is not going to pass muster, then you need to listen to it.
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Cynn Cruor Bloodline Series – Paranormal Romance
Rapture At Midnight
There is an on-going war between two breeds of immortal warriors who carry human, vampire, and werewolf blood, the Cynn Cruor and the Scatha Cruor. The Cynn Cruor wants to live in harmony with the human race. The Scatha Cruor wants to enslave them. Finn Qualtrough, a Cynn Cruor warrior is on a mission to find Dac Valerian, the leader of the Scatha Cruor responsible for the deaths of many, including his parents. When he pursues three Scatha warriors who can lead him to Dac, he happens upon a woman who awakens a desire within Quinn to claim her as his own.
She is the very essence of his immortal life.
Eirene Spence is an insomniac and a computer genius who loves walking in the park at midnight. She stumbles upon the Scatha Cruor and is almost killed until a handsome stranger rescues her. His touch ignites a hunger inside her that only he can satisfy.
He is her soul.
By some twist of fate, one of Eirene’s clients is Dac Valerian. She is able to tell Finn and the rest of the Cynn Cruor where Dac is hiding. Now Dac wants her dead.
Will Finn be able to keep Eirene alive and at the same time fulfill his mission? Will Eirene’s wish to be part of Finn’s life come true knowing that he is destined for someone else?
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Forever At Midnight
Roarke catches a glimpse of Deanna in Dac Valerian’s club. He is unable to believe that Deanna is alive when he buried her himself nearly five hundred years before. He searches for her in the streets of Manchester just to prove that he hasn’t lost his mind. But when Deanna turns up on the street facing the Cynn Cruor’s headquarters, Roarke needs to know why she hid herself from him.
Knowing that her secret can only destroy whatever feelings Roarke has left for her, Deanna remains silent until circumstances force her to reveal everything.
Hearts are broken on both sides but Roarke and Deanna have to work together if they are to find a way of ending Dac and the Scatha Cruor’s power once and for all. Desire rises and passions are rekindled.
Will their pursuit of Dac lead to another chance at happiness?
Or will it forever tear them apart?
Backlist: Love in Her Dreams, a Contemporary Romance
Alec and Tamsyn know they are meant to be together though they have never met. And yet their passion for each other consumes them when they dream.Alec knows that Tamsyn is the woman for him, but finding her at the moment is an impossibility. Or is it?
After resigning from her job, Tamsyn takes a break in Scotland when she feels the presence of the man who haunts her dreams. He is tangibly near and in Edinburgh. The sex they have in her sleeping moments becomes more real. But how can she find him in the streets of Edinburgh when the only thing she remembers is his touch, his scent, his passion?
Secret Cravings Publishing: http://bit.ly/15zacRg
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/18wDtOY
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/15cFFKe
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Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us here today! Now, inquiring minds need to know…where can your readers stalk you?
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorIsobelleCate?ref=hl#
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/isobellecate
Thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed the interview.