Thursday, July 8, 2010

Introducing Cate Masters, dark fantasy author supreme

If you're into fantasy and looking for a gripping read, you might want to try Cate Masters. She's visiting my blog as part of her Virtual Book Tour and will be talking about how she got into writing and will give us a juicy excerpt from her latest book. Welcome Cate!

Cate Masters on the E-volution

Years ago, I wrote my first novel and submitted it to a few agents. A few even nibbled and asked for more, but the process always fell apart somewhere along the line. I kept writing, though. I signed up for local workshops and online classes. I joined a critique group, and have learned to depend on them for straightforward pointers. I bought about fifty how-to books, everything from workbooks to author essays. I focused on short stories to teach myself to write more concisely, condense the story and convey it in a few thousand, sometimes a few hundred, words. That paid off in publication in literary magazines, and eventually, web zines.

The e-volution had begun. One of my critique partners introduced me to e-presses, and it changed my life. I thought it was great to be able to submit electronically to agents, but submitting an entire novel directly to a publisher? Great! The savings in postage alone made my husband happy. No more envelopes addressed to me, from me, prompting my kids to ask why I was sending mail to myself. Yes, rejection by epublishers is much more private. :)

Luck had turned in my favor, though. For the many long years of rejection by the “big publishers,” I found widespread success with epublishers. My stories were getting out to readers. Hooray! Reviewers used generous descriptions like “compelling,” “uniquely intriguing,” and “marvelous imagery.” One even started the review with a “Wow!” To which I responded in turn, Wow! There’s nothing like a good review to make your day. Week, even.

The state of the publishing industry, too, seemed to be turning in my favor. Oh, and a lot of other e-pubbed authors too. Ebook sales skyrocketed while print took a landslide in the down economy. Some said the release of the iPad would revolutionize publishing. Now enhanced ebooks are on the horizon, promising to be the next best thing.

Still, I wondered: are ebooks what readers really prefer? I would love to hear from you. Do you regularly purchase ebooks? Or only sometimes, for certain authors you love? How can epublished authors better grab your attention? Do reviews sway you? Will contests entice you?

My full-length historical adventure romance, Angels Sinners and Madmen, will release in ebook format on July 27 from Freya’s Bower:
Are you more likely to read shorter stories than a full-length novel in ebook format?

Can I entice you with an excerpt perhaps? :)
Her intense scrutiny made him uneasy.
“Did someone hurt you? So much you distrust every other who shares her gender?”
Her face, illuminated by the setting sun, appeared so innocent, so youthful. She could not possibly know of the terrible danger inherent in offering oneself to another. The intricacies of a relationship.
“Yes.” The lone word revealed more than he had ever shared with anyone else. He stood rigid, unwilling to display himself further through any action or language.
“Then I am truly sorry, Sam. To close yourself off in such a way you can never know happiness again. It makes me sad for you.”
His laugh was hollow. “You needn’t pity me.”
Her face hardened, her beautiful lips retreating to a thin, disapproving line. “No. You’re right. To choose such a life willingly is your own doing. You deserve no pity.”
This was the kind of woman he was used to. Whose tender caresses turned to merciless clawing, so deep his very heart was at peril. “Such harsh words from one who would have me believe—”
“I will not be so pathetic as to cling to false hope. To wait for you to sort out your feelings could take years.” She bowed her head. “I hold you to nothing, Sam. Forget yesterday, if you must.” She lifted her head to hold his gaze for a moment, perhaps waiting for him to open himself to her. In resignation, she turned and walked out.
Stunned, Sam stood there, looking at the closed door.
She knew him. She knew him completely, her sweet touch had divined his true self, had breathed into his mouth and captured the essence of his soul. Her openness, her honesty, entranced him more than her beauty.
Yet he still could not move, could not will himself to go after her, confess his feelings.
The sensation of being in Livvie’s arms could not be more opposite to his time with Helen. When Livvie looked at him, she exposed herself completely. Nothing else existed in the world. Her giving nature resulted from her feelings, and what she did not feel, she would not give. He knew it to be true.
If Livvie left Key West, he would likely never meet another near her qualities. Her inquisitive nature inspired him to share his thoughts, his world. He trusted her reaction to be true, not a response designed to please him. Her skills of comprehension and analysis exceeded those of many educated men. Were it not for the constraints of society, Livvie could have risen to great power, if she’d aspired to.
He had never encountered another girl like her. That was perhaps what frightened him most. Yet he still felt rooted where he stood, even as he saw, in his mind’s eye, her figure grow smaller and disappear altogether. One thought repeated in his head: I will never forget.

Bio: Cate Masters writes fantasy/dark fantasy, historical, contemporary and speculative fiction, described by reviewers as “so compelling, I did not want to put it down,” “such romantic tales that really touch your soul,” “filled with action scenes which made it a riveting story,” and “the author weaves a great tale with a creative way of using words that makes the story refreshing to read.” The proud mom of three adult children, she currently lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband, Lily the dog, their dictator-like cat, Chairman Maiow, and dozens of characters inhabiting her imagination. Visit Cate online at, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
Cate loves to hear from readers. Email her at:


Cate Masters said...

Thanks so much for having me Cindy!
Wow, I may have to steal that title "dark fantasy author supreme" for my author tag! :)

C. Margery Kempe said...

Great piece, Cate. I'd add, in addition to the cost savings, is the speed! Not only the speed in turn around to submissions (and yes, the privacy of those rejections) but also the speed in publication. Without all the worries of warehousing, printing, shipping, time as well as money is saved.

Cate Masters said...

Thanks KA! Very true. I'm excited about the Expresso (sp?) kiosk machines that will print ebooks on demand. Hope they become more widespread soon, I'd love to have one in my area.

Unknown said...

Hi Cate,
As I read your post, when I read to the paragraph starting with "years ago," I thought I was reading my writing journey. How eerie. I wonder if we all go through that same process.

E-books are certainly the wave of the future, there is no denying that fact. But, I also wonder if the flood of ebooks will make it tougher to get your name out there.
I'll have to ponder on that one.

Cate Masters said...

It's probably true, Lorrie, that most "overnight successes" take about ten years of hard work!
I just read an interesting article about how the "cream" would rise to the top in the wave of published ebooks, but who's to say who's the cream when there are so many? It'll be years before we know, I bet.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Cate,
Great blog, you have certainly done the hard yards when it comes to getting published and deserve all your success.
I personally think e-books are the way of the future. I only wish they would take off at a faster rate here in Australia.

Cate Masters said...

Thanks Margaret! I hope Australia catches up soon. In fact, I hope my relatives catch up soon! None of my family will read an ebook, so it made me wonder.