Join me in welcoming Katie Baldwin to the site today. Her debut novel, A Kiss to Build a Dream On, is available now!
Tell us about you! Can you share some interesting tidbits we may not know?
My first language was Portuguese. I lived in Rio de Janeiro as a toddler. I had a caregiver who thought she was a mermaid! Her name was Merches. I’m pretty sure that is where my ability to go to fantasy land was born.
What inspired you to start writing?
First of all, I’m a passionate reader so almost every author I love inspired me. Anne Rice, Stephen King, Lori Foster, Barbara Michaels, Nora Roberts, Kevin Hearne- I could go on and on! So many great authors. As for a turning point, it was when I began to wonder what happened to my favorite characters after reading a treasured book. It was before fan fiction was a thing, but I wrote my own stories based on Barbara Michaels wonderfull gothic romances from back in the day.
Other than writing, what are some of your passions in life?
Theater! I have directed several amateur plays in my hometown here in Charlottesville Virginia. Writing has taken over, so I don’t do much theater anymore but I go see everything I can. I just love it so much.
What was your debut novel, and how has your writing process changed since your debut?
My debut came out this March. But I wrote it three years ago, and my writing has changed quite a lot. I was a total “pantser” (writing by the seat of my pants . With no clue where I was going.) But I learned that having bios for the characters, outlining the plot and giving myself some great plot points, like the hook, catalyst, inciting incident, and all the other necessary plot points to get your story going. Now I research my characters, outline my plot and then let my pantser out to play 🙂
What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process and why?
My favorite part is the obsession. I pace, worry, walk, and bake as I plan my story and figure out what makes my characters tick. That is my favorite part so far.
What is your most challenging part of the writing/publishing process and what do you do to make it easier?
Editing can be painful. Things that you think are hilarious are often questioned by other people. It can be a bit of a bummer. I have developed a thick skin.
What does a typical day look like for you? How do you find balance?
I work full time so I get up at 5:00 am, write for 45 minutes, walk my dog, make my breakfast and meditate before going to work at 8:00. When I come home I start writing right away and usually work for a least an hour but often more like two hours. The weekends are my writing cave time. I can spend all weekend wrapped up in the drama of my characters.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Be patient. Nothing happens quickly in publishing.
What do you love about writing romance?
We all need an escape and practically everything is bad for you! But not reading. Reading will always be a healthy way to retreat into another world.Romance gives you the ability to know that at the end of the book all will be well. There is great comfort in that knowledge.
What kinds of things do you find romantic in real life? Can you share a story?
I find thoughtfulness very romantic. Humor is sexy and being friends with your lover is key.
I’m introverted and at the time of this story, I was dating another introvert. We would go to parties and then give each other a signal (rubbing the nose) and that meant “let’s get out of here.” We inevitable were giving each other the signal at the same time. Now I know that isn’t super romantic, but being that in sync with someone is truly romantic in my opinion.
Do you read your book reviews? If so, how do they affect your writing (if at all)?
I do read my reviews. I have to consider the opinion and see if I can get something from it to improve my writing or storytelling. If I can, even a bad review has something good for me. If the reviewer is just being mean spirited, I don’t let that stick with me.
What is the craziest, funniest, or most surprising thing that has happened to you since publishing your first book?
The craziest thing to me is still having complete strangers love my book and drool over my male characters 🙂 I LOVE it, but it is still crazy.
Tell us about your most recent (or upcoming) release!
A Kiss to Build a Dream On is my only release currently. I wanted to write an updated fairy tale. Since we tend to treat movie stars like kings, I had an idea of updating the Cinderella fantasy for a modern reader. So meet Aidan Shannon the movie star that makes all women sigh and all men frown with envy. He is the total package: beautiful, fit, a great lover and a wounded soul. Bethany lost her family to an accident long ago and had been living a very isolated existence. When Bethany and Aidan meet – sparks fly. I may not have mice making a ball gown, but it is a fun fantasy that will take you away for a few hours.
Five Facts Just for Fun!
1. What’s your favorite ’90s jam?
I’m a hard rocker – so Alice in Chains song “again” was and is my jam
2. What was the last gift you gave someone?
a black purse with a giant skull on it
3. What were you like as a kid?
4. What was the last thing you binge-watched & what did you think of it?
5. What is the one thing (other than your loved ones) that you cannot live without?
My phone. It tells me to do everything.
A KISS TO BUILD A DREAM ON
Bethany Michaels leads a fairly isolated existence, but she longs to be an outgoing and sexually confident woman. When her celebrity crush comes to town, and literally falls at her feet, her prayers seem to be answered. But can she protect her heart while still experiencing true passion?
Hollywood celebrity Aidan Shannon, drunk and lost in small-town Virginia, finds himself in the home of a beautiful woman, and he finds her more than just a little alluring. Bethany is voluptuous and nurturing, fragile, yet steely. And that is a problem for a man who never wants to be tied to another woman again.
Living in the now is good enough for Aidan and Bethany for the short term. When the universe steps in and shows them what’s important, will Aidan take a chance on love a second time around when his girl needs him?