MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ISOBELLE CATE
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Isobelle Cate and I write paranormal and contemporary romance novels. I’ve dabbled a bit in historical fiction too.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Midnight’s flight is the 8th book in the Cynn Cruors Bloodline series. This is Luke Griffiths and Adara Kerslake’s story. We last saw Luke and Adara with the Manchester Cynn Cruors celebrating Christmas but Adara leaves Luke for reasons that are explored in the novel.
The Cynn Cruors have always only had male immortals so I decided to explore the possibility of a female immortal and Adara was born.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
Funnily enough, I wanted to be a YA writer, but it didn’t click. I was hesitant at first to write steamy romance even though it was the genre I enjoyed reading. After writing a historical fiction novel (Book 2 is in the back burner), I decided to go for steamy romance with a bit of the paranormal. That hit off but I was still intrigued about paranormal romance. So I took it from there and the Cynn Cruors Bloodline series was born.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Oh gosh, loads! I’m a History major and my publisher back then suggested that I incorporate my love of history with my stories. So in every story, I have a Prologue (I know many in the industry are averse to using prologues) where I set out the time when my vampire/werewolf hybrid immortals grew up in before I segue to the present. For Midnight’s Paradox, I needed to experience what my main character felt returning to Edinburgh after a very long time and how the sun felt on his skin after having to give up his mortality. I woke up at 4:30 am and by 5 am was walking the Royal Mile all the way up to the Edinburgh Castle. It was creepy because this area was where the witches were burned back in the 1700s. When I arrived at the Esplanade (the parking area before the gates of the castle), I was the only one there until two joggers appeared which was a relief because the hair on my arms were standing. I placed that experience in my book as Blake seeing the ghosts of witches. So as for research, I’d go the extra mile to experience what my characters experience. Then I also read a lot of History and watch documentaries about the period I want to use for my book.
Can you tell me about your Series?
These are stories of vampire/werewolf/human hybrids called the Cynn Cruors who are at war with a breakaway faction known as the Scatha Cruors. However, one man’s truth is another man’s lie and this is slowly being uncovered as the series moves along.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
My Haven, My Midnight. This is the story of Colin Butler and Amaryllis Hart. There are a lot of complications here and it was a joy to write about Colin’s burden. Cruel, I know! But there’s a happy ending. There’s always a happy ending in my books.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
I couldn’t find any books to read about vampire/were hybrids. The vamps and the werewolves were always at war with each other. So I thought, why not make a character that has the characteristics of both? I created the Kinaré gene as the DNA that housed the best qualities of both species. But, when the evil inside someone is much stronger, the Kinaré can be corrupted which brings the worst out of the species.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes, it was. However, I had planned it to only be a 5 part series. It’s grown to 8 books and counting plus a spin-off – The Firebinders Series.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
It varies. During the work week, I am only able to write for two hours every evening as opposed to about five hours when I was starting out. Thing is when your series catches the imagination of your readers, you need to spend more time making the stories better than the last. During weekends, I start writing as soon as I wake up and finish when we’re about to have dinner. I’m lucky in that my husband keeps me well fed, bringing food for me so that I can nibble on something while I write. I used to write in coffee shops but no anymore. So I either write in the living room or the bedroom. As for a daily writing goal, I have none.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Midnight’s Flight is coming out this October 16th. This is the 8th installment of the Cynn Cruors Bloodline Series. I am now writing Midnight’s Redemption which will be the 9th installment and will be coming out sometime in March. That is if I can finish writing it! Ha! Additionally, I will be writing two free short stories about some of the secondary characters in the Cynn Cruors Bloodline series. This will be available to those who are part of my reading group and for those who subscribe to my newsletter.
I also have Dragonslayer, Dragon Ring in the works, which is the 3rd novella in my Dragon Hearts Series. I’m planning on releasing this in February.
Last but not the least, I am in the process also of plotting the 5th and 6th books in my contemporary romance (Second Chances) series. This will be released sometime in 2020 yet.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
I want the names to sound unique as much as possible not for any special meaning. For example, when I was writing My Haven, My Midnight, the flower Amaryllis came to mind and thought that it would be a beautiful name for my female character.
Otherwise I stick to common names.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
Yes! I’d like to explore mystery and thrillers. Aside from romance, I’m an Agatha Christie fan. I think she was and is one of the best murder mystery authors that ever lived.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
When I develop the dreaded writer’s block; when I am bombarded with so much information left, right, and centre; and, when I lose my mojo. That is terrifying!
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I believe that book trailers are a good way of promoting one’s book. It may not be the ‘in’ thing now but it does give a potential reader something to imagine instead of just reading the blurb when promoting.
I have been doing my own book trailers. I planned on doing one for each of the Cynn Cruors books but never go around to doing it consistently. I do, however, have one for each of my dragon shifter novellas.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
What’s the best thing about being an author?
That I’m able to put my stories out there. It’s very scary, too, because there will be many who will pan the books. But I don’t write for them. I write for those who love the stories I tell.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still writing, but probably not concentrating in the romance genre.
Have you always liked to write?
Absolutely! I started writing when I was 14 but only had the guts to get published at 33.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Never give up. There is a huge world out there thirsting for all sorts of stories. Write what you enjoy reading.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Maybe become a lawyer.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
Take the good and the bad BUT don’t give trolls the time of day. That’s why they live under bridges and scare people to inaction or giving up. That’s their role. Your role is to write and entertain.
What I’ve noticed also is this. There may be reviewers there who have not read one sentence of your book and pans it immediately. Think of them as having infinitesimally small minds (like peas) with idle hands who have nothing better to do but criticize behind the anonymity of a computer. They are not the really critics/reviewers.
I used to read the reviews of my books but not anymore. I don’t expect the entire world to like my books. I cannot write as good as many of the writers who have the absolute gift of wordsmithing. I am at the point in my writing journey that I am happy that there are enough readers who enjoy my books.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Writing blurbs and promoting. Ugh! I wish I had a clone to do all the promo for me so that I can write in peace!
What are you working on now?
I’m working on Midnight’s Redemption.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Mack slowly woke from a dreamless sleep, blinking several times until his surroundings came into focus. He had no recollection of when he returned to his cell or if Ewan had taken him back. All he could think of was the castanets sound of his teeth colliding against each other that pounded at his temples, and ripples of icy cold that had taken over his body.
To think that all Cruors were immune from freezing.
He stretched out from his foetal position on his bunk bed and sat up. Shit, his bed was soaked from his wet clothes. No matter, he was used to sleeping on the cold floor anyway. Not that The Hamilton or his guards demanded he lie on the ground. Even if they did, he would not do it. No, Mack lay on the ground because he did not want his body to be comfortable and it was not because he thrived on discomfort and pain.
It was because he wanted to atone for the pain he had caused by killing many of those he had called brothers once.
Blood fucking conscience with scruples coming in a close second. That was what happened when a firebinder’s blood invaded his system, pulling out the poisonous Scatha blood he had been terrified to imbibe in the past when he was forced to become one of them but craved for when all he wanted to happen was to become a Cynn Cruor once more.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I just love paranormal and contemporary romances. How do I balance them? Carefully. 😉 I make a conscious effort of not making the paranormal and contemporary manuscripts read like each other. If I have been writing paranormal, I take a break, say a couple of days before I dive into the contemporary. So far, so good.
Where did your love of books come from?
From my grandmother. She was always reading the Reader’s Digest, TIME and Newsweek Magazines, biographies especially of the Kennedys. As for mysteries, I fell in love with this genre the first time I read Nancy Drew.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Yes! J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, Tina Folsom’s Scanguard Series, Laura Adrian’s Midnight Breed Series, Donna Grant’s Dragon Kings Series.
As for poems, I love Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. It’s my go to book when I get overwhelmed with life.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Gosh, loads! But right now, I think it’s Herod D’Argyl. He’s a conflicted soul and did bad things to keep a good thing safe from harm.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both. It’s exhilarating when you’re in the zone; but when real life butts in? It can be exhausting especially when your mojo decides to get a mojito down in Mexico which is a far cry from the UK!
What is your writing Kryptonite?
My long term chronic condition. I become too weak to even think.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Both. Many readers may want to read something similar to what they read from other authors, but as writers, we need to give readers a variety of the same theme. There are times, though, that I accede to what the readers want.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I once had the good fortune to meet Donna Grant and Tina Folsom. They are and still will be my unicorn authors. They help me when I read their books and I can learn from their writing style. Reading their stories also inspires me to plot some more.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
My double life as a romance author. Not exactly a bombastic title but there’s a reason why I don’t use my real name. 😉
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Sign up to newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dIFu8b
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️