MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR KATHERINE HASTINGS
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Katherine Hastings and I’m a multi-genre romance writer. I’ve written historical, contemporary, and have an upcoming paranormal romance as well.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
My latest release is titled The Other Half. It’s the first book in my Door Peninsula Passions series. This romcom is about a spoiled socialite who goes one step too far with her wild ways and gets shipped to a small town in Wisconsin to live like the other half. When she arrives, not only does she have to navigate learning things like holding a job and grocery shopping, but she also has to navigate how to win the broken heart of the handsome local fisherman who lives next door. It’s a fish-out-of-water/opposites attract romantic comedy.
I got the idea (this is funny actually) while I was at an outdoor wedding in Door County, where the book is set. A woman showed up to the barn wedding wearing stiletto heels and spent the day sinking into the grass, squawking about the bugs, and took off screaming when she saw a chicken. I was in stitches watching her all day while she navigated the “rustic” setting, and the idea for a socialite having to hack in a small-town rustic world took ahold.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I had previously written five historical romance novels, and while I love that genre, I wanted to try my hand at some contemporary romantic comedies. I have to say I love the genre and don’t think I’ll be leaving it any time soon.
Can you tell me about your Series?
This is the first book in the series Door Peninsula Passions. Each book is set in a real-life vacation town in Door County, Wisconsin. Every book will connect in this world, with shared characters reoccurring, but they will each follow a different couple. The first book, The Other Half, features Cassie, the spoiled socialite, and Jake, the local fisherman. In this book you meet Jo and Matt, who are frenemies that end up rooming together in the second book in the series, The Other Room. Readers who enjoy shared worlds will love these books that all intersect but can be read as standalones.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
I was born and raised in Door County, Wisconsin, where the Door Peninsula Passions series is set. It’s a vacation area known as the “Cape Cod of the Midwest”. I thought this picturesque and unique world would make a great setting for some romances.
Yes. The minute I came up with the idea for the first book, I already had ideas for the next ones in the series.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I’m a social media manager so I work primarily from home. I’m very fortunate that it allows me the flexibility to write when my mind won’t stop focusing on a new story. I write almost every day, and my favorite places to write are on my back porch with my dogs curled up on my lap. Every summer when the weather permits, I can also be found in a big inflatable raft writing away on my iPhone. It’s my favorite place to write!
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I have a few books coming out. The second book in the Door Peninsula Passions series, The Other Room, is the next one to publish in August. After that, my first paranormal romance comes out in the Prophecy of Magic boxed set releasing October 15. I’m really excited to be part of such a talented group of authors in this set of paranormal and urban fantasy romances. I’ve got about three more series ideas rolling around in my head so now I’m just trying to sort out which one to write next!
Where do your ideas come from?
More than half of my books came to me as dreams. I wake up with the story idea and hurry to jot it all down. Other times random visuals in the world will trigger an idea. A person or interaction I see, or sometimes a place I pass by. When the ideas come they usually come fast, so I keep a folder on my iPhone to write down my ideas before I forget them. It’s overflowing with ideas right now!
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part of writing for me is the ending. It’s hard to wrap up a book when part of you doesn’t want it to end. It’s always a little sad… I feel a sense of loss when I type the end. The characters and stories become a part of you, and it feels a little like a breakup when you finish and have to move on to the next project.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
I think my best accomplishment was finishing my first book. It’s a lot harder than it looks! LOL It’s a mixture of creativity and craft, but most importantly, it’s about drive. You’ve got to write no matter what… even when you’re tired or uninspired. It’s one thing to have a good book idea, but it’s another thing completely to have the tenacity to turn it into a book. I was very proud the first time I typed “the end”.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Meeting other authors. I had no idea what an amazing community was hidden in the writing world. I’ve made so many friends since I first published. I love the camaraderie and support that authors have for one another and I’m honored to be part of them.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully still writing! 😀
Have you always liked to write?
Yes. I loved it when I was a child, but honestly I didn’t write anything for fifteen+ years before I sat down and wrote my first book. But the minute I started typing I remembered how much it used to be a part of me.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write. Literally, just write. Write when you’re tired. Write when you think it’s crap. Write every day. Make it a habit until it become unnatural to write. More than anything I’ve learned that writing is a skill, like anything else. To improve, you have to use that skill. Writing and reading are the only way for us authors to get better at our craft, and you can’t edit a blank page. Each time I write a book I learn a little more and improve (I hope!) a little more. I try to write a minimum of 3,000 words a day and since I started that habit my productivity has soared!
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I would do what I’m doing now… social media management. I love what I do and the creativity that comes with it.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I do read reviews. I think it’s important for me to find out how my writing is being perceived by readers. It helps me grow as a writer. I don’t respond to reviews, though I’ll like the good ones on Goodreads. As far as negative reviews, I’ve only gotten a couple and, while not fun to read (it’s like someone insulting your child! LOL), I tried to use the criticism to improve my writing and my next books.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Editing! LOL I hate having to go back and rework things over and over again, but it’s an imperative part of putting out a good book.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing energizes me! Sometimes, after a day where I’ll put in 10,000 words in a sprint, I’m exhausted, but most of the time when I’m done writing I feel like I just went on a fun adventure!
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I have so many incredible authors in my life, but my writing “pod” who I rely on every day include Allison Mullinax, Rosemarie Aquilina, Rachel Dacus, Donna Migliaccio, Brittany Pate, and Tessa McFionn.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/passionposse/
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️
THANK YOU FOR ASKING ME!! 😀