BookEnds Talks to Kate Douglas

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Sep 21 2006

Kate Douglas
Book: “Camille’s Dawn” in the Wild Nights anthology
Publisher: Kensington
Pub date: September 2006

Kate Douglas has been writing professionally her entire adult life, and says that some days she feels older than dirt, but that it’s certainly a lot more fun with a popular series! She’s also a mom, a grandmother, and a wife, all positions that are equally enjoyable. She counts herself one very lucky woman.

Author Web site:

Awards: Three EPPIES for romance and romantic suspense, 2002 Quasar for cover art, LiFE Award for environmentally sensitive stories, UBER Award

BookEnds: Describe your story in 50 words or less.
Kate: Camille Mason died tragically twenty years ago, but her husband’s grief and rage has kept her spirit tied to the earthly plane. Offered one night of passion with his lost love, Ulrich Mason must somehow give Camille peace, yet find the strength within himself to return to life.

BookEnds: What is your writing process like?
Kate: Since my last book was an absolute bear to write, I sat down and thought about the process and what does and doesn’t work. For one thing, I’m definitely a “pantster,” which means, essentially, I wing it. I start out with a vague idea of my storyline and then wait for my characters to tell me what they’re going to do next. Usually it works, especially if I know my characters well enough. Where I blew it in the beginning of Wolf Tales IV (the most recent novel I’ve written) is that I got cocky and, while I knew my hero, I didn’t take the time to get to know my heroine before I started the book.

Usually I “interview” my two main protagonists. I ask lots of questions so that I know things about them that may never appear in the story, but their answers explain their motivation and keeps it consistent. Things like birth order, where they were born, where they grew up—whether urban or rural. Were they into sports or drama in school, did they have lots of friends or were they more of a loner? I knew all that about Tinker McClintock, my hero. An abandoned African-American baby raised by a white family, his foster parents were killed when he was fifteen and he was suddenly thrust into black society without knowing the rules. Even as an adult, he always felt like the odd man out. Lisa Quinn, the heroine, is the sister of one of my secondary characters in Wolf Tales III. I knew her brother and some of her background, so I made the mistake of assuming I knew her personally. Once I realized what was holding me back, I sat down and had a long “talk” with Lisa. A little wine (in this case, whine) and a lot of girl talk later, I had my character, knew what made her tick, and the story flowed . . . and that is only part of the process of writing a book.

BookEnds: How long does it usually take you to write a book?
Kate: I tend to write in layers, first writing the framework, and then adding depth and emotion. I’ve been known to put out up to 12,000 words a day and not have to change a line, but there are days where I’m lucky to write 500 words and they all eventually get tossed. Of course, it also depends on what life is throwing at me at the time, but on the whole, I would say I can write a 30,000-word novella in from two to four weeks and a full-length novel will take me around two or three months.

BookEnds: Why have you chosen to write in the genre in which you write?
Kate: Since I write erotic paranormal romance, I have to laugh at that question, because it’s the one my mother, bless her soul, continually asks me! I’ve always loved the idea of “what if?” and, while I started out reading science fiction, it was an easy segue to paranormal stories and my shapeshifting Chanku. As far as the erotica—I’m not really sure, but I discovered, when I began writing romances over twenty years ago, that I was good at the really hot scenes. In fact, I imagine that’s partially what kept me from getting a NY contract for so many years. I like to say it just took NY a long time to catch up to me! I think the paranormal subgenre is a natural for erotic romance. The entire story is fantasy, which allows the reader to accept the more outrageous sexual aspects of the story without their little personal censor telling them it’s impossible.

BookEnds: Who are your favorite characters and why?
Kate: Since I write a series, I have characters who reappear in future stories after they’re introduced, and my favorite character, the one who has come to represent Wolf Tales, for me, anyway, is Anton Cheval. He’s the one the readers ask me about, the one they all fall in love with after the first book. He’s older, 51 now, in the novella I’m currently writing, Chanku Journey, and, while he’s the most powerful of all my Chanku, he is also the one who feels the greatest sense of responsibility to their species, to his pack, and to his mate. He is so vulnerable where Keisha is concerned, so open to pain if he can’t protect her, that I’ve ended up blubbering more than once when I write his scenes. He’s also the only one with the true powers of a necromancer. He trained as a wizard long before he learned of his shapeshifting abilities, and his powers grow more in every story. He’s a truly fascinating man with many secrets, and I know I’ve still not learned all of them.

BookEnds: Do you see yourself in any of your characters? If so, who and how?
Kate: All of my women are control freaks. SERIOUS control freaks. They have issues with following orders. They tend to speak first and think about it later. They have an overdeveloped loyalty gene. Most important, though, they understand the power of love and the capacity of the heart to let them know when they’ve found the right man. I’m a control freak in a major way, and the day I first met the man I’ve now been married to for thirty-five years, I knew he was “the one.” I even told a girlfriend he was the man I’d marry. The following spring, we were married. Two kids and four grandkids later, we’re STILL having fun! It’s natural for me to write about love at first sight because I’ve been there, and I know how powerful it can be. I can honestly say yes, there are aspects of me in most of my heroines. They’ve got a lot of my faults and hopefully some of my strengths—they’ve definitely got better bodies!—but most of all, they understand the power of love.

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