Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
My pen name is Kate McGinn. I studied nursing in college and worked in that field for over 30 years. Besides nursing, I was an officer in the Army Reserves and ran a Bed & Breakfast. I was born in New York City, lived along the Gulf Coast, and spent a few years living in Sicily. Currently, I live near the Mississippi River in Wisconsin with my husband. We have two adult sons, a wonderful daughter-in-law, and a wild Lab puppy.
Which writers inspire you?
I love Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Tom Clancy, Dan Brown, Janet Evanovich, Mark Twain and Maeve Binchy. There are so many authors I enjoy reading, and too many to list. My favorite books feature strong female characters with vulnerability and personal flaws. I like to read mystery and suspense novels, but enjoy reading multiple genres.
So, what have you written?
(*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
My first novel is called Exodus — Clare Thibodeaux Series Book 1. One of my short stories is included in the anthology Bite-Sized Stories, volume 2. I published Winter’s Icy Caress – Clare Thibodeaux Series Book 2 in June 2017. My website, KateMcGinn.com, features excerpts from my books and short stories and includes my blog on the creative process and my personal viewpoints. The One Million Project (OMP) has featured some of my blog posts and book reviews on their website and e-magazine.
Where can we buy or see them? (* include American, European and any other relevant links. Free, free promotions or prices can be included)
Exodus — Clare Thibodeaux Series Book 1 is available for $0.99. It and my newest Winter’s Icy Caress — Clare Thibodeaux Series Book 2 can be purchased on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk and are also available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited. Bite-Sized Stories, volume 2 is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
What marketing techniques worked for your book/s?
I have used a combination of social media including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Instagram for promotions; book listings on websites for Indie writers and for specific genres; cross-marketing promotions with other indie writers and my website/blog.
What do you advise writers who want to be successful?
Devote time to marketing each day. Actively interact with your followers on social media and help cross-promote other indie authors. Know your genre and what your readers’ expectations are. Write, write, write. Don’t be in too much of a rush to publish, your readers deserve to read your best work.
Do you have any advice on how to sell more books?
Work on building a following and an email list for direct promotions. Offer special incentives and/or prices for signing up. Evaluate which promotions/advertising provide you the most returns on your investment and focus on those promotions.
Do you have any other interests or business other than writing? Tell us a little about them/it?
I love the outdoors and camping. I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I love to travel and I don’t want to see only the tourist sites. I like to people watch, try the local cuisines and go to the local markets.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Clare Thibodeaux is a strong young woman. Her father was an outdoorsman and guide. He taught her how to shoot, hunt, fish and survive in the wild. After the loss of her family, her independent nature takes over. She trusts very few individuals and avoids getting too close for fear of suffering more heartbreak. The caring side of her personality emerges as she cares for her patients in the ER.
Clare’s icy resolve and hard-headedness, when faced with a crisis, might be great in the emergency room, but it keeps her from asking for help in her personal life. She makes snap decisions and rebels against anyone who tries to control her in any way. Her way of coping is picking up and leaving everything behind. When Clare goes into hiding, she isn’t emotionally ready to deal with the romantic attentions of an Ojibwa FBI agent or the stranger with a questionable past; much less the continuing threats to her life.
What are you working on at the minute?
My current project is Never Show Your Hand. It’s the third book in the Clare Series. I’m also working on a novel based on a more humorous character from my short stories.
What’s it about? (*if relevant)
The Red Cliff Casino near Bayfield features prominently in this book. No one is really who they pretend to be. Sex traffickers, black ops, money laundering, and organized crime with a few plots twists and romance thrown in should keep it exciting. I’m also bringing out more back stories about the main characters.
What genre are your books?
Romantic suspense, mystery/thriller, and chick lit are the different genres I write.
What draws you to this genre?
Fear and passion are two strong emotions which can bring out the best or the worst in a person. The possibilities of where your story will lead the reader are almost limitless. I love the challenge of revealing only enough to keep the reader engaged without giving away the ending.
How much research do you do?
I do some research before I begin to write, but I find as I build and adapt the plot, I need to research various aspects of the story for plausibility. It doesn’t mean that I don’t embellish or take creative license with information to align it with the storyline. That’s why they call it fiction.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in elementary school. Although I would start to write over the years invariably I would stop. I began writing again in 2014 because I couldn’t get a story out of my head. The story became Exodus.
Where do your ideas come from?
The ideas seem to just pop into my head. I’ve awakened in the middle of the night to scribble down an idea from a dream, but it can happen anywhere at any time. I also get story ideas from real incidents that have happened to people I know.
Do you work on an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
It’s a combination of both. I have specific plot points I jot down before I begin. I do my research and some character sketches before I start. When I start writing, I have my beginning and possible ending(s) laid out in a loose timeline. I find as I write, I have new ideas I add to the plot. I throw in a few plot twists as I develop my characters. I change the order of events as needed. For me, writing is a journey. I know where I want to go but the paths I take are uncertain. This approach to writing makes it pleasurable to me. I am as surprised as anyone by the directions my story takes me.