Author Interview: Kate Sebastian

12:01 PM

Yesterday, the spotlight is on the novella, Old Enemies Make The Best Lovers as part of the Backlist Revival Project. Now we have its author, the lovely Kate Sebastian, answering some questions.

What made you join the #buqosteamyreads workshop? How did you find the whole process?    
I originally joined the first #RomanceClass, but at the time my classmates were all writing books with a heat level of 1 or perhaps 2 at the most. I had this thought that that was the kind of book I should write, but I found right away that I enjoyed reading and writing what you might call the "full frontal" effect a little too much. So when I heard about #BuqoSteamyReads class, I thought, why not take it? It might be fun, and it might spur me to actually publish something. And it was fun, if harrowing! I'm a notorious crammer, and I wrote my first draft in about a day, then rewrote it almost entirely for my final draft in about three days. Only about two pages of text in the published work were kept more or less intact from the first draft. I think Mina mentioned somewhere that I and writers like me may be to blame for the Hunger Games format she's used in later classes.

Your "About" page in your website says your "first published work of fiction was Old Enemies Make the Best Lovers, after which she decided her heart wasn’t in contemporary romance." How did you get to this decision? 
There's some back story to this, so I'm going to take the scenic route to get to the answer to this question.

First, the "first published work of fiction." This is a somewhat semantic phrase as while it's the first novel of mine to see the light of day, it isn't the first novel I've written. I am a little bit weird as a writer in that when I first started writing novels, I would joke about being published but mostly didn't want to bother. I've been editing books for almost a decade now, and for a long time, I was perfectly happy leaving the writing of books to other people. I did write novels and novellas before this (Old Enemies is actually something like the fifth novel I've written from "Chapter 1" to "The End," with a few other novels being over 50,000 words and fully outlined if I should care to return to and finish them). But for the most part, I was happy writing them and then chucking them into a drawer (or file folder) and leaving them there forever.

Then people I'd known from writing groups I'd joined, like Ana Tejano (author of Fall Like Rain), Anne Plaza (author of In Over Her Head and Bloodline Maharlika), Mina, and more started getting me thinking. And they also rather ruthlessly played the sayang card with all the skill of Macau casino dealers. So I gave #RomanceClass and #BuqoSteamyReads a try and had fun with it. But I kept wanting to throw in diwatas and aswangs and manghuhulas and the like. And it occurred to me that there was probably a reason why 90% of my writing fell into either the paranormal romance or fantasy genre. So I made a rather bold declaration that I was going supernatural or bust from then on out.

And now the joke's on me, because without any prodding from anyone else, I've started working on another contemporary romance! So yes, I'm a hypocrite. And that makes me wince sometimes, but mostly it makes me smile. Because while I'm certainly more comfortable writing fantasy and about things that go bump in the night, it's nice to know that as far as modern-day love stories go, my writing muse has made a few exceptions rather than dumping me entirely.

So no more hope that we'd get to know more of Christy and Kyle's story?
I actually have their story outlined. And I actually wrote the prequel to this book, that is, Tracy and Victor's story (tentatively titled Best Friends Make the Best Booty Calls), a while back, but I wasn't happy with it. Then I made my sweeping pronouncement and shoved that book into the dark moldy folder where I shove all my books. But I'm now thinking I may need to revisit that, especially since I have the outline for Christy and Kyle's novel in my WIP folder already, as well as Christy's sister Serena's story. So if all goes according to plan, I will be even weirder in that I wrote book 2.5 in this series before I wrote books 1, 2, or 3.

Any upcoming projects we need to watch for?

I am about 8,000 words into a romance novel involving two musicians with a rocky history who find things really aren't over until the fat lady sings. (Okay, that was a really corny summation, but I'm going to leave that out there.) I'm also getting some pressure to fix up and serialize an erotic urban fantasy novel I drafted a few years ago, but interred in my little writing tomb, so I might just go and raise the dead once I'm done with this WIP!

I must say I'm pretty satisfied of Kate's answers. She was too kind that she replied promptly even when I sent her the interview questions the last minute. From one notorious crammer to another, thanks so much, Kate!!! I do pray to your muse to provide you enough inspiration so you can write more about  Christy and Kyle and the whole gang. :)

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