Friday, July 25, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of Catherine Hemmerling, author of 'Tempting the Reluctant Viscount'

Catherine Hemmerling has spent most of her career as a technical writer in the software industry, but in the last few years has realized her dream of becoming a novelist. Every day she pinches herself to make sure her new life is real. Living with her family in the hills of southern California, Ms. Hemmerling spends her days devising plot twists, agonizing over titles, and making a lot of new imaginary friends; and loves it.
Her latest book is the historical romance, Tempting the Reluctant Viscount.
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Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

Over-active imagination? Honestly, I have been making up stories since I was a child. I used them to entertain my younger cousins, myself, and anyone who would listen. I guess that tendency never went away.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

Being an author is great. I set my own work hours and get to spend time with my characters all day. The downside is that when working from home there are a lot of distractions. It’s easy to put off writing “just one more hour, day, week”. A schedule is really important! And it’s not just writing. With social media these days, it’s important to check your media pages daily and update them often. It can take some of the fun out of it, but I will never complain. This is my dream job!

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I went somewhere in between. I wrote my book, found an agent (miracle of miracles), and she found me Entangled Publishing. Entangled is a primarily e-book publisher, but with traditional editors and marketing teams. I get all the advantages of e-books (low cost, easy distribution) and all the advantages of a traditional publisher. It’s great! However, both methods of publishing have come a long way. There is still one rule of thumb when trying to get published, though, be patient! It won’t happen overnight, but when it does, it’s a fantastic feeling.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book
written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

Eh, mostly my family thinks I am a major procrastinator. I think they would rather I spend time daily on my writing (remember the schedule I mentioned? LOL), but I typically put it off until the last minute. Then I just hole up and get it done. Luckily, my oldest step-daughter is an aspiring writer and she will assign writing days for us. Really keeps me on track. 

Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

Our cat is a free eater … we fill his bowl sky high and it will last him a couple days. And if we miss filling it up the minute it is empty, he’ll begin eating anything that looks interesting on the floor, beds, shelves, under the couch. The retching usually gets me moving no matter where I am in a sentence!

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

Luckily, I don’t have to worry about a boss, I put the phone on silent and hope it’s not important (most people know to text me if it is urgent), and we share a house with friends, one of whom is a wonderful cook and keeps us all fed. I am a lucky writer!

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

For me, I think it was how quickly the whole thing happened. Everything I had read said it could take years to get your first book published. So when I found an agent just six months into the process, I was stunned. Just a few months later she found an interested publisher. I was floored. Still am, I think.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

Facebook is great and very user friendly. My fellow Scandalous authors have banded together to advertise each other’s releases through FB and Twitter. Twitter is still a mystery to me. I tweet and even have followers, but it’s pretty much a fluke if any of my tweets look interesting. Goodreads is a great resource too. 

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

“I’M A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!” I actually did scream that from a mountaintop when my first book appeared on Amazon. Such an amazing dream come true.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?


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