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Spotlight On, Katie Reus

The chilling words of a killer: This is just the beginning…

Ten years ago, Lilly Carmichael left town without an explanation, breaking Braden Donnelly’s heart. The death of her aunt has brought Lilly home–and face to face with memories she thought were long buried. Still getting over a traumatic incident from her work as an NSA agent, Lilly initially dismisses the face at her window as a figment of stress-induced paranoia.

Now the sheriff of Hudson Bay, Braden has spent the last year hunting a sadistic murderer. But his investigation is turned upside down when new evidence indicates that Lilly is the killer’s next target. Determined to protect the woman he’s never stopped loving, Braden must race against the clock to trap a dangerous psychopath—before it’s too late…

Purchase info (some links available for pre-order):
Direct from publisher
All Romance eBooks
Amazon (Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (Nook eReader)

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been writing before you sold?

I love romance and have been reading it for many, many years (since I discovered my mom’s secret stash). Before I had any clue I wanted to be a writer I read romantic suspense almost exclusively so that’s the genre I first tried my hand at (about 5 years ago). About two years later I discovered I enjoyed writing erotic romance and paranormal romance as well so I entered a contest to see if I was actually any good at writing erotic romance. I ended up placing first with Running from the Past then subsequently selling it to Ellora’s Cave (the final judge was an EC editor). After that, I continued writing erotic romance (and eventually separating my erotic romance from my other stuff) but I was still actively searching for an agent. I signed with one a year later, then another year after that we sold my paranormal series to NAL/Signet.

How has the transition been from ePublishing to NY been for you?

I’ve always had my own ‘personal’ deadlines I like to meet but working on contractual deadlines has been a new experience. With epublishing I’m able to write at my own pace and I don’t answer to anyone as far as turning something in at a certain time. That kind of freedom is wonderful. Right now I have things I have to turn in to my two traditional publishers (Harlequin & Signet) by certain dates so even if I wanted to start on another story, it would have to wait until I’m finished with these two. Luckily, I love the two stories I’m currently writing so that’s not an issue. I’m still publishing digitally and I’ve also self-published a couple novellas recently and I don’t plan to give that up just because I sold to NY.

What are a few things you picked up from the publishing experience that have been a good learning tool for you?

Hmm, things I’ve learned: Don’t settle for an agent just to have one. A bad agent is worse than none at all (I love mine, btw). When I signed with her my first two manuscripts were rejected by NY but she stuck by me and with the third submission we signed a 3 book deal. Her contract and publishing experience were so valuable during the whole process. Another thing I’ve learned is that good critique partners are like gold. If you have a good one, hold on to her.

What has been the toughest obstacle you’ve had to overcome along the way? What was the best experience you’ve had from being published?

I don’t think I’ve had one particular obstacle that’s been the toughest. Constant rejection is really the main obstacle and I’ve received a lot of those over the years. After a while it gets to the point where you wonder if anyone will ever like your writing. My best experience was receiving my first advance check 🙂

You have written quite a few books for ePublishers, how do you feel about the ePublishing explosion, and now the popularity of self-publishing?

I think the popularity of both epublishing and self-publishing is great. All my erotic work is primarily novellas and there’s not much of a print market for shorter lengths unless you’re talking anthologies. I love writing short and having options and I don’t believe in putting all my eggs in one basket. Plus, coming from solely a reader’s perspective, I read almost exclusively on my Kindle so I really love the convenience of epublishing.

What do you feel about the self-publishing market and how do you think it will affect publishing?

I have no idea how it will affect publishing and I’d be a little scared to speculate, but I’ve recently self-published two novellas and I’ve personally loved the freedom of doing it. In addition to gaining more readers, I’ve seen an increase in sales for my backlist so for me it’s been a positive experience. There are pros and cons to being traditionally published, epublished, and self-published and I think it’s great that writers have more options now. They don’t have to choose one or the other anymore.

Tell us about your latest book.

Deadly Obsession is a dark romantic suspense releasing from Carina Press on 8/15/2011. It’s 80,000 words and to date it’s the darkest thing I’ve written. Here is the blurb:

Ten years ago, Lilly Carmichael left town without an explanation, breaking Braden Donnelly’s heart. The death of her aunt has brought Lilly home–and face to face with memories she thought were long buried. Still getting over a traumatic incident from her work as an NSA agent, Lilly initially dismisses the face at her window as a figment of stress-induced paranoia.

Now the sheriff of Hudson Bay, Braden has spent the last year hunting a sadistic murderer. But his investigation is turned upside down when new evidence indicates that Lilly is the killer’s next target. Determined to protect the woman he’s never stopped loving, Braden must race against the clock to trap a dangerous psychopath—before it’s too late…

What’s up next for you? Are you currently working on a new book?

I have a release from Harlequin Nocturne (Cravings) on October 1st (Destined Mate). In January 2012 I have a romantic suspense releasing from Carina. Then in February I have another release from Nocturne Cravings and the first book in my new paranormal series from Signet is also releasing (Alpha Instinct: A Moon Shifter novel). Currently I’m working on the third book in my Moon Shifter series.

What do you like best about the writer’s life?

I love setting my own schedule and being able to work anywhere. Granted, I pretty much work from home, but it’s nice to know that I can pack up my laptop anytime it’s necessary. Being a new mom, it’s doubly nice working from home.

If you weren’t a writer what would career path would you choose?

Ack! I have no idea. I floundered around after college because I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do and knew I didn’t want to be a bartender for the rest of my life so… If I wasn’t a writer it’s possible I might have continued my education to get a Master’s in psychology (I have a Bachelor’s in psychology) and looked for a counseling job within the school system. But really, I can’t see myself doing anything else and loving it the way I love writing.

Who or what inspires you?

Music, various places I’ve traveled, the people in my lives, books I read, favorite authors (Linda Howard will always be a fave of mine)…pretty much anything and everything inspires me.

What are you reading right now?

Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione. It’s my first book by her.

What advice would you offer to the unpublished romance writer?

Don’t give up and don’t make excuses for why you can’t find the time to write. If you want something bad enough you’re going to have to work really hard for it so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Rejection sucks but it’s something you’re going to have to deal with if you want to survive in this business.

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?

I have an addiction to zombie movies, a couple tattoos, and I lived on a boat for one summer during my college years (a year I wasn’t in school).

Katie fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it. However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After graduating summa cum laude with a degree in psychology and working too many jobs she hated, she finally figured things out.

She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense. Her publishers include Carina Press, Harlequin Nocturne (Destined Mate, October 2011) and in early 2012 the first book in her new paranormal trilogy will release from NAL/Signet Eclipse (Penguin). Regardless of genre, she always includes a happy ending. When she’s not creating stories she loves spending time with her husband, family and the eclectic group of animals they’ve adopted.

To learn more about Katie, visit her online at:

www.katiereus.com