Friday, 17 October 2014

AUTHOR LOWDOWN with Kate Squires

You’re being abducted by hunky aliens and they’ve never watched a DVD. What five movies do you take to watch with them?
This question made me laugh out loud. Hmm, the first movie would be Twilight, just because I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a Twi-hard, and would leap at any opportunity to watch any one of those movies. Second would be Letters to Juliet. Again, I just like it. Then, I think they’d need to see some comedy, so I’d pick a selection starring Robin Williams (RIP). He made too many great movies to count, so either Mrs. Doubtfire or RV. Next, we need an adventure. How about either Superman (with Christopher Reeve or Henry Cavill), or Transformers? What can I say, I have a young son. And lastly they should see something from the Disney vault. Although I love Frozen at the moment, I am going to have to pick my all-time favorite, Beauty and the Beast. I’m not sure dear old Walt could ever top that movie in my eyes.

Do you have a favourite author? Who is it/are they?
I have several favorite authors, as far as the style and genre in which they write. However, there is one author who stands out, and has decided to pay it forward. When I was a struggling newbie, before I had anything published, I decided to try to contact a few of the authors that I followed on Facebook, to see if I could pick their brains, so to speak. I think I private messaged about four or five of them, and figured the worst they could do was ignore me. Well, most of them did ignore me, but one best selling author had the courtesy of emailing me back at length. Jennifer Probst is her name and I can never repay her for the kind words of advice and encouragement she has given to me. She not only answered my plea, but she made me feel like I was not so alone in this sometimes isolated business. We have spoken, via Facebook messages, several more times and I felt compelled to thank her in the acknowledgement section of my first book, That Kiss. Because of her, I too have vowed to pay it forward by answering any reader mail that I might get.   

How did you start your writing career?
I hated reading. It’s ridiculous to say now, but I did. As a child in school, I felt forced (because we all were) to read whatever the powers that be deemed necessary for our education. I can’t name one of those books that I actually enjoyed. Growing up, I was a book hoarder. I’d beg my mom to buy books from the Weekly Reader order form, but I just liked to look at them. It was as if they gave me comfort, even though I didn’t want to read them. I was, however, great at writing. I got quite a few compliments on everything from school reports, to applications that required me to answer questions in detail. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I picked up a romance novel, out of curiosity, and quickly became hooked on reading. The more books I read, the more I realized that I could do this. I could write just as well as these well-known authors. And so I began. I started with one simple sentence and the characters came to life. I always joke and say that I didn’t write these books, I was just doing what the people inside my head told me to do.

Which character was the hardest to write and why? 
It’s hard to say, because each person spoke so clearly to me, but I’d have to say Maxim was the most difficult character to write. It wasn’t so much his personality that gave me pause, but more the fact of his dialogue. English was his second language, even though he’d mastered it quite well. I still had to give him a type of speech pattern that is typical of someone in that position. In other words, he might not use contractions like most people do. For instance, he would probably say, “Do not underestimate the power of love” versus, “Don’t underestimate the power of love.” I had to make him sound different than the other characters so my readers would understand that he has an accent, and to some extent, broken English. He was still so much fun to write about.

How would you classify the genre you write? Why did you choose that genre?
The genre I write is contemporary romance. I’m not sure that I chose it as much as it chose me. It might be because those were the first types of books I enjoyed reading, or maybe because I can relate to them. I’m not sure. Whatever the reason, for now, romance is my genre of choice. That’s not to say I won’t change to a different genre in the future. I never know where my imagination will lead me.

If you weren’t an author, what would you have ended up doing?
Being in this industry is a lot like being on a roller coaster, in that I cannot rely on the income from the sales of my books. Authors get an obscene amount of money for every book sold, and I don’t mean that in a good way. If the readers truly knew how little an author gets, I’m sure they would be shocked. I know I was when I got my ‘reality check'. Having said that, I have to make ends meet somehow, and currently hold down several jobs to support my writing aspirations. My first job is taking care of my family, which I don’t get to do nearly often enough. The other jobs include Nurses aid and Dance teacher. I have no plans on quitting either of those jobs anytime soon, because they both give me a sense that I am making a difference in the lives that I touch. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Do you have any rituals/habits when you write?
No, I don’t do anything out of the ordinary when I sit down at my laptop, at least I don’t think I do. When I finally have alone time, and it’s quiet, I sit down at my desk, say a prayer asking for a good story, and I begin. I drink Twining’s Lady Grey tea by the gallon, and have chocolate nearby, always. If I get tired or my story ideas start to dwindle, I lie, face down, on my bed for a few minutes. That’s usually enough to time to recharge my batteries, and I type until my fingers fall off.

What is on your current and upcoming release schedule?
This question excites me, as I am really happy about my work in progress. Currently, I am working on a standalone book, which doesn’t have a title yet. It’s basically a story about people in a relationship where one of them has a past that motivates them to build up emotional walls, while the other has to try to break through them in order to get closer. I don’t want to give too much away but I am pleased with it so far. I don’t have a release date yet though. Anyone who is interested can check out my website. I list everything on there.

Where are your books available?
For now, my books are available at and in the Kindle store. I am hoping to get them on Smashwords, and have them available for Nook. However, you can find me at book signings where I will have copies available for purchase. I also want to mention It’s a free website where readers who bought digital copies of my books, or any other author’s books, can request an autograph. If any of my fans send me a request, I will personalize the autograph. It’s just one more fun way to connect to my readers.

I want to say a huge Thank You to Kate for such great and in-depth answers to the questions. ~Mandy~

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