Today on Awesome Authors I get to interview multi-MULTI genre indie author, Kathy Rowe. Kathy is a contributing author on Indies Unlimited, and has written romance, horror, sci fi, and erotica. I’m sure if there’s a genre she hasn’t written in, she’ll be tackling it soon! Here’s her bio:
(From the author): K. Rowe is a multi-genre author and retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant. She has been writing for the last twenty-plus years. Stationed at various bases around the U.S.A. and in Europe, she draws from her years of active service. Blending fact and fiction, she spends hours researching technology and locations for her work.
She lives on a 100-acre farm in eastern Kentucky with her husband, four dogs, three horses, two cats, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and a pig named Sherman. When not pounding out several novels a year on her laptop, she can be found working in the garden, or in the fields proudly driving her 1953 Ferguson tractor.
Her favorite part about being an author is interacting with her fans, and she appreciates reviews and feedback. You can find more info on her here:
D: Welcome to Awesome Authors, Kathy! Please describe your latest release in two sentences or less.
D: You write in multiple genres: sci-fi, contemporary romance, erotica, horror. What’s it like switching between such vastly different genres? Opportunities? Challenges?
K: I used to think I could only write military thrillers- since “Project: Dragonslayers” was my first book that took me 20+ years to write. But after that, I started looking around to see what else tickled my fancy. So I took a stab at horror (no pun intended) and also romance. I had a few folks read them and said I should try other genres. One of my horror author mentors dared me to write sci-fi. Well, you know what happens when you dare someone? And then along came the “Space” series. I tend to fall in love with my characters, so just making one book doesn’t always seem to satisfy me, I’m quite happy writing series.
K: I know I’ll probably get my wrist slapped for this, but I rarely have time to read fiction. I spend far more time (what I have) reading non-fiction to either gather information for stories, or to learn more about the writing craft itself. My shelf of writing/screenwriting books is ever growing. As for my favorite genre, that’s a hard one. I have very much enjoyed writing sci-fi, but the romances have also been personally rewarding.
D: When it comes to writing, are you an early riser or a night owl?
K: Totally an early riser! 20 years in the military has my mind and body conditioned to being up early—well, around 7 am now. And I also have morning barn chores which includes feeding close to 30 animals and turning our three horses out in their paddocks. Once that’s done, I come back to the house and can sit down and write.
D: How much research do you do when you write?
K: Depends on the book. The military thrillers have MONTHS of research done before I even start writing. Sci-fi, well, a lot of that I can make up, but remembering to be consistent can be tough. And you must try to play by the rules of physics; although breaking them is sometimes okay. Romances require some research to make them plausible. My novella “Cowboys and Olympians” threw me into a new realm of equestrian sport: reining. I knew nothing about the discipline, so I had to contact folks that did. Once I had all the information, I think it really helped make the story. I also e-mailed the racing manager for Keeneland Racetrack here in Kentucky for my book “Silks and Sand.”
“…Everything gets done in time.”
D: What do you struggle the most with when writing? How do you overcome it?
K: A lot of times I get a great idea, I rush to the keyboard, and hurriedly type everything into a Word doc. But once the initial “steam” bleeds off, I hit walls. Case in point: “Money Breakers”—it’s a story about crooks that manage to hack into the Federal Reserve Bank computers and steal millions of dollars. Sounds like a cool idea, right? I thought so, but all that will require vast amounts of research into the possibility of being a workable storyline. So it sits on my computer in a folder to come back to later. Most of my stories are pretty self-revealing, and once in a while I’ll hit a snag and put it aside to work on something else. Eventually, an idea will pop into my head and I’ll go back to work on the first project. Everything gets done in time.
D: What type of book promotion has worked the best for you?
K: Some, none! I’ve used a shotgun approach to promotion. I don’t heavily promote on social media because I know it bugs the crap out of folks to be constantly spammed by book promos. When I get ready to launch a book, I may put a few posts on Facebook and Twitter, but that’s about it. When the book launches, I post a few more. I may even post a review (if someone writes one) and links to buy the book. I have one free book, Space Crazy that I’ve sent out to the big eBook sites that post freebies. EReader News [Today] posted the book, and in one day, I had over 1,000 downloads on Amazon! It’s also free on Smashwords, and to date, I’ve had over 2,400 downloads on that site. Some people think giving something away for free downgrades us as authors. Well, I took the advice of another Indie writer who put up a book for free, and he got so many fans that bought the next book in the series (and so on) that he got to quit his day job and become a writer full time. I’m not there yet, but one of these days. And there’s always “face time” in the local community by doing book signings and other events.
“…just write—every day if you can. Write anything and everything. A little, a lot. Just write!”
D: Who is your favorite author? Why?
K: Oh, tough one. As I look over my shoulder in my office at the 16 shelves of books, 14 of them are non-fiction! And the 2 shelves that have fiction, 1 is equestrian fiction, and the other miscellaneous authors. Truly I don’t have one favorite fiction author, but for non-fiction, it would probably be Alois Podhajsky- a former director of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. I have several of his books on horse training and love the way he wrote.
K: Best: just write—every day if you can. Write anything and everything. A little, a lot. Just write! Worst: keeping locked to a word count every day. No, I’m not going to write 2,000 words a day. Sometimes my muse can’t do that, or I have other things that need to get done around the farm. I find doing that only stifles my creativity. So what if I only write 300 words one day? You better bet they’re going to be 300 great words.
D: What are you working on now?
K: Another contemporary romance titled, Farmer Boys and City Girls. It’s about a Chicago city “girl” (divorcee) that moves to rural Kentucky (okay, yes, I’m writing some of what I know) and meets a guy at a tractor rally. He’s good looking, but not without some scars. She falls for him, but is unsure how to make her intentions known once she finds out he’s a fairly staunch Christian. The story takes an interesting twist when two other brothers get thrown into the equation. I consider it a “hot” romance, not erotica. I’ve kept my mind adjusted for romance. And the sex scenes, while definitely hot, are not erotic-type graphic.
D: In light of the huge changes in publishing, where do you think the industry is headed? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
K: I think the Big 5/6 will have their work cut out as more Indie authors break into the big time. As long as an author takes the time to put out a high quality book that has a great story, why do we need traditional publishers? From everything I’ve read lately, if you’re a new author with a publishing house contract, you’ll get your book published, in stores, and maybe a teensy bit of promo. We all know the days of brick and mortar chain book stores are numbered. So by being Indie, yes, we will not see our books on store shelves, but we can see them on the bestseller list on Amazon, Smashwords, and BN! And look at Amanda Hocking and Hugh Howey- NYT bestsellers!
In 5 years, I’d like to see myself with several more novels out, and my biggest hope would be selling a screenplay adaptation of one of my novels, or even an original screenplay. I’ve always been intrigued by Hollywood and scripts. Having a movie done of my book would seriously be the icing on the cake.
“As long as an author takes the time to put out a high quality book that has a great story, why do we need traditional publishers?”
D: What advice would you give to new writers?
K: Stay focused. Write. Write well. Study the craft. And if you want to publish, take the necessary steps to put out a quality product: professional editing, beta readers, formatting, and a quality cover. Following those steps will give you the best chance of attracting readers because if you put out crap, they will give you bad reviews, and you won’t get anyone to buy your books. I may love telling a story, but I also like seeing those royalty deposits going into my bank account.
D: If you could time travel (past or future) where would you go and why?
K: I think medieval time was a cool era in our history. Granted, as a female in that society, we didn’t have many rights or freedoms, but I think seeing how everything really worked and how folks lived would be interesting. So far I haven’t dabbled in that era. I have quite a few non-fiction books on it, but not sure if I’m ready to tackle historical fiction in that time. I’m having enough trouble with a Civil War screenplay right now!
D: I can imagine! I’ve stayed away from historical fiction because of the massive amount of research required.
Thanks for stopping by, Kathy. It’s been a fun interview! For more information about Kathy and her books, please click on the links at the end of this post. But, before that, how about an excerpt? Here’s the description for Space Available. The excerpt follows.
Description of Space Available: Book three of Dar’s Adventures in Space:
Captain Dar Meltom sets his sights on a mission of utmost importance. With the stolen Plexus in the cargo bay of the Marsuian, he heads to Satiris, the planet of his ancestors. Once there, he encounters dangerous creatures, and Lukxia, the last purebred Satiren female on the planet. Dar deploys the Plexus, hoping it will bring Satiris back to life. Rather than keeping Lukxia as a second mate, he presents this most precious gift to Krodus, his long-time worst enemy, now friend.
But that’s not enough adventure for Dar. Lurking not far from Erotis is a wormhole. It’s the very one that brought his father Edward Meltom, Earthling astronaut, to the Ontarrin Galaxy. The explorer in Dar wants to find his father. So together with his mate, Parnela, and Schmuff his Nouian engineer, they tempt fate and enter the wormhole.
What awaits them is anything but a warm Earthling welcome. Quickly taken prisoner by humans, Dar and Parnela are imprisoned and subjected to a battery of tests. Dr. Robert Ciroli is tasked with studying them. He’s given two weeks to extract as much information before the aliens will be terminated. Knowing there is little on Earth that matters to him, Robert helps Dar and Parnela escape.
They arrive back in the Ontarrin Galaxy and find Satiris a planet reborn. Where sand once claimed the settlements, it is now lush and green. Dar returns to Erotis and asks Krodus to address the Satiren High Council for permission to repopulate the planet. After much deliberation, council agrees. Dar is thrilled that Satiris is once again for Satirens.
Dar looked over his shoulder as they walked. The town was only a small glimmer in the late afternoon sun. He tore open a package and pulled out a piece of jerky. “Hey, it looks the same as the stuff we have at home.” Taking a bite, he chewed. “Hmm, this has a sweet taste.” He took the bottle of orange liquid and opened it. “Well, let’s see if this is Manko soda.” Taking a sip, he blanched and coughed. “Oh! Definitely not Manko soda!”
“What does it taste like?”
“Uh, it’s a fizzy-like soda, but the taste is really sweet.” He offered it to her. “Try some, you might like it.”
The princess took the bottle, held it to her lips, and took a tiny sip. “Hmm, actually, it’s quite good!” She took a larger swallow. “I like it.”
“Enjoy, I guess I’ll be drinking water.” He took another piece of jerky and munched on it. “I need to find us a place to stay; it’s gonna get dark soon, and I bet even colder.”
“Why didn’t we stay in the town back there?”
“Too many Earthlings, they may have gotten suspicious.”
“Oh, you’re just paranoid, Dar.”
“And rightly so. I promised I’d keep us safe.” He looked down the road. “There’s a structure not far. Let’s see if it’ll make a good place to stay the night.”
“It appears to be a big red house.”
“Not many windows if it’s a dwelling.”
Parnela heard noise behind them. “Look at all those black objects coming at us.”
He turned around. “Let’s get off the road, they seem to be in a hurry.” They stepped from the pavement and continued walking. The objects came to a screeching halt behind them.
“I have a bad feeling.” Dar dropped his bags, grabbed Parnela with his left arm, and pulled her close. His right hand went behind his back, ready to brandish his knife.
The doors of the objects opened, and Earthlings poured out. They swarmed around Dar and Parnela. They were surrounded by large Earthling males dressed in black. Their faces were covered, and they wore something that looked like armor on parts of their bodies. They held black things that Dar thought were rather primitive phaser rifles. Knowing he was outnumbered, he slowly took his hand from behind his back, moving it away from his body.
“Don’t move!” one of the males bellowed. Dar didn’t understand the words, but he had a good idea about what was being implied.
“Stay calm,” he whispered to Parnela, hoping she would comply.
“I know. We’re strangers and they don’t understand us. Just stay calm and hopefully they’ll help us.”
“Who are you?” one of the Earthlings said.
Dar didn’t reply.
“Who are you? Are you from another planet?”
Again, Dar was silent. He truly wished he could communicate. And then he remembered the words the male in the store said. “Have a nice day,” he said slowly.
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