I put these “Meet the Author” features together the way I do for a reason. I like to give a glimpse of the author as a person, their process, and product. Part of it all is putting a face with the name. For me, that makes it more real. However, mild-mannered author Katheryn Lane declined to provide a photo. Knowing what I know about Katheryn, there can only be one reason for this: she’s a superhero. So, for the benefit of advancing the cause, I had our staff artists come up with a likely picture of Katheryn. I assume they got it pretty close, so let’s go with that.
Katheryn writes contemporary ‘sweet’ romance with a lot of plot, but a low heat level. “Even though my first book, The Royal Sheikh is set in the present, I refer to it as being ‘old fashioned’, as it is, in the words of one reviewer, ‘reminiscent of a classical romantic read.’ Many romances that are published nowadays have quite a high heat level and while I don’t disagree with this, I think there’s also a place for romance that closes the bedroom door. Overall, it is the type of romance that you would let your daughter read and you could give your mother (as I did!) without blushing,” she says.
Katheryn’s book, The Royal Sheikh was inspired by her life in the Middle East. She says she moved there several years ago when her husband was offered a job in the Gulf. After she had been there a few months, she went on a trip with some friends out of the city and into the desert, probably to test her superpowers away from prying eyes. After a few hours they came across a deserted beach and although she says she wasn’t swept off her feet by a royal sheikh, she did see a Bedouin tent and some camels out in the distance. Katheryn says, “I didn’t approach them, but it did set me thinking about who might live there and what they might be like. In addition, back in the city, I was amazed by some of the immense wealth that you see in the Middle East. Sadly this wealth seems to elude both my husband and myself, but it did help with some of the descriptions. For example, the passage in which I write about artificial flowers made of solid gold and precious stones is based on real life.”
Katheryn says the main challenge for her, as with many writers, is finding the time to write. “I am a full-time teacher and I also have two young children, so most of my time is taken up with work and being with my family. I also love to cook, so I spend a lot of time trying out new recipes with varying degrees of success! I do however have a very sympathetic husband, who doesn’t mind me spending my evenings in front of the computer, but most of that time is spent trying to promote my first book and following what other writers are doing, rather than getting on with my next novel,” she says, slyly avoiding any mention of crime-fighting.
Like many of us ordinary folk, Katheryn uses social media for her book-marketing. “This has meant learning a lot about modern technology and social networking (I had never even heard of social networking this time last year), but it has also meant that I have met some fantastic people as a result.” Hmmm… anybody else struck by the choice of the word “fantastic” there?
Katheryn does read other indie authors as time allows. She says she is currently reading Dial “L” for Loser by Christy English, which she describes as a fun, chick-lit type of novel. “As well as being a great read, it is an interesting book due to the fact that the author also writes non-indie historical romance, but has decided to publish this particular book herself. I think that this is a trend that will grow as more and more authors decide to by-pass the traditional publishing houses,” says Katheryn.
She says, “In addition to romance, I try to read a variety of other genres as there is such a huge amount of talent out there. One example of a great non-romance author that I’ve recently discovered is Philip Catshill, who writes mystery novels. His first book, Who Else Is There, is based on the idea of a corrupt British police force. I was drawn to this book by the fact that the author is a retired policeman himself, so he is able to provide the reader with a lot of interesting ‘inside’ details. As well as being a good read, it did leave me wondering how much of it was based on real life.”
Katheryn advises aspiring writers, “Read, read, read and read some more! You can learn from all writers of all genres. For example, I don’t write YA fiction, but J. K. Rowling is a great example of how to write a gripping novel. Also, keep writing. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect! Believe in yourself and keep writing!”
Clare McKay is a dedicated architect with no time for womanizing men. That is, until she accidentally meets Sheikh Rafiq Al Kahil, an Arabian prince, known in the international press as the Playboy Prince. Clare is intent on not falling for his seductive charm, but when he asks her to design a mansion he presents her with an offer that she can’t refuse. Once she finds herself alone with him in the Arabian desert, how long will she be able to hold out against his advances? And will he be able to cast aside his womanizing past for her, as well as a secret engagement to an Arabian Princess?
Katheryn reports that her novel has had several good reviews on websites such as Amazon, Goodreads and Smashwords. Some of the comments call the book, a super good beach read, and a charming old-fashioned romance. One review simply said, “This was a great read. I have read it four times since I have downloaded it.” Dang! I haven’t even read my own book four times since downloading it. No superpowers my eye!
Thanks for a super interview, Katheryn!
Katheryn’s book The Royal Sheikh is available from Amazon and Smashwords. You can learn more (but not everything) about Katheryn from her blog. You can also find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.