About Kate Douglas --updated February 14, 2019
I should have just said, "it's all about me," right? And since I've just updated my photo, it's definitely an older looking me... I've been on this journey for over twenty years now--I sold my first book to an independent ebook publisher, Hard Shell Word Factory, in 1998, but it never did get published for whatever reason. HSWF went on to publish a number of my books over the next few years, but this was essentially a baby step on a long journey.
It was proof to me that my decision to write romances was the right one. I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but I had no idea what I would write. I really do believe that some people just seem to know they are meant to write. I've felt that way since I was little, but it took me quite a while to narrow it down to WHAT I wanted to write! I started out writing radio copy for KCEY radio in Turlock, California back in 1972. How could I know at the time that those 30 and 60 second commercials selling everything from pig feed to refrigerators would help me write "back cover copy" as an author? I also wrote and illustrated an educational cartoon strip for mosquito abatement districts around the country for a number of years. If you remember Skeeter Mosquito cartoons (they were handed out in a lot of elementary schools) from the seventies and eighties, that was me. Fortunately, they had little if no impact on my writing...
In the mid-eighties, I was a reporter for a small town weekly newspaper where I covered everything from high school sports to drug busts, including a huge forest fire that burned much too close to our house. I got a lot out of that job--how to meet deadlines, how to write concise prose (well, I do try... ) and what people are really like in emergencies. How they react when terrible things happen, or wonderful things. I think I connected more with a world outside mine during that short three year stint than I ever would have in my fairly insulated middle-class life. It was an experience that changed the way I see the world around me.
All during this time, I was reading romances, and thinking that one day I'd like to write one. One night--it was around 1983 or so--I actually dreamed an entire story. I felt as if it was some sort of gift from an unknown muse, and I got up and wrote--in longhand--as much as I could recall. I still have that legal sized notepad, covered with my always illegible handwriting. From those scribbles, I started to write.
I entered the first three chapters in an unpublished writers' contest and won first prize. I thought I'd be published within the year, so I worked really hard at finishing the book. I called it Rite of Passage, and then I found the names of publishers (Not easy in the pre-internet world) willing to look at a manuscript without an agent (there weren't many) and I sent it off. And waited. You could only send to one publisher at a time (they didn't take simultaneous submissions) and of course it was printed and mailed in a big box with enough postage to get it back if you wanted it returned. It was a slow, arduous, and ugly process.
And depressing, when the rejections showed up, often months after submission. For what it's worth, many submissions and rejections followed. While I waited, I wrote. And wrote some more. Rite of Passage was never sold, but...
I mentioned my first sale to Hard Shell Word Factory. What I didn't mention that this was before hardly anyone knew what an ebook was. I honestly didn't when I first heard of them, but it turned out there were people all over the world reading books on their little PDAs.You might not be old enough to remember them: Personal Daily Assistants, the precursor to cell phones only you couldn't make phone calls on them. What you could do, however, was keep a calendar, take notes, and read text, and owners of those little numbers bought ebooks. Lots of ebooks to read on their PDAs. Enough that companies started building dedicated readers. I had a Rocket eBook Reader, one of the first. It was bulky and heavy but I loved reading on the blasted thing as I wrote more and more books.
Besides HSWF, there was Ellora's Cave (where I first stretched my wings with the erotic stories) Loose Id, and Changeling Press. By 2001 I was beginning to sell books and I finally found an agent. Her name was Jessica Faust and she was part owner of BookEnds, an agency that had only recently started looking for clients. She took on representation after reading my romantic suspense, Last of the O'Rourkes. That book didn't sell, either, but I kept writing and Jessica kept submitting. She never gave up on me, and that faith helped keep me going. It wasn't until 2005, a full twenty years after finishing that first romance and after writing many other stories for epublishers, that I signed with Kensington Publishing in New York. That first book, Wolf Tales, the one that got its start at Changeling Press as an online serial, changed my life. I think that contract was just as exciting for Jessica--I'm sure she'd been wondering if we'd ever get a contract!
In January 2006, Kensington launched their Aphrodisia imprint of erotic romance with Wolf Tales, a compilation of the first five stories from my online serial. The book sold out before its actual release date, and eventually went into eleven print runs before finally going to ebook only. It is still a Kensington title, and continues to sell. It's a sexy paranormal series about a lost race of shapeshifters called Chanku. I eventually published twelve novels and nine novellas to complete the Wolf Tales series. After that series ended, I wrote an erotic science fiction romance series--Dream Catchers--which included the opening novella, Dream Catcher in the NightShift anthology, and two novels: Dream Bound followed by Dream Unchained which tied up the story arc. (I have rights back to those book and hope to bring them back out before too much longer.)
During that period, I was also writing a series for Kensington's "not erotic" Zebra imprint. DemonSlayers was completed with four novels--DemonFire, HellFire, StarFire, and CrystalFire, as well as the novella Crystal Dreams in the Nocturnal anthology. (I now have rights to all those books as well, and hope to re-release them as soon as possible.) However, I really missed my Chanku, and I returned to their world with the Spirit Wild series, which follows the lives of the children of the original Chanku characters from Wolf Tales. I'm having fun with that series, even though Kensington is no longer publishing them. Paranormal romances aren't as profitable as they once were, but luckily I have wonderful, loyal readers who don't seem to mind who publishes the stories, as long as I keep writing them.
The dynamic of the original Wolf Tales series has changed, and my shape shifting Chanku now live in a world that knows of their existence. The first book, Dark Wolf, released in April 2013. Both Dark Spirit and Dark Moon came out nine months later and can be read in either order. Dark Refuge followed, then Dark Terror and most recently Dark Captive. All six books are available in both ebook and print format, and I have just finished Dark Stranger, the 7th book in the series. It should be out, with any luck, by May or June.
I took a break from my Chanku in between Dark Refuge and Dark Terror to write for St. Martin's Press, another traditional New York publishing house. I signed with SMP in the spring of 2014 to write a romantic suspense series set in the northern California Wine Country where we lived. Tangled was in the HOT ALPHAS anthology with New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh that released in May 2015. The three novels in the series, Intimate, Redemption, and the third and final story, Awakened followed.
The series turned out great, and it was fun to write something fresh--reviews were good, including a great one from Publisher's Weekly for Intimate, and another excellent review from Manhattan Book Reviews.
I also wrote a three book erotic paranormal series with St. Martin's--Feral Passions, which is part of the SMP Wolf Games collection. Feral Passions released as an ebook duet with AC Arthur in Claimed by the Mate, Vol. 1, and in a print three book anthology titled Growl with both AC and Eve Langlais. Wild Passions is in Claimed by the Mate Vol. 2 as well as in the Wild anthology, again with AC and Eve Langlais. The final book in the series, Dangerous Passions was in both Claimed by the Mate Vol. 3 and the Hunger anthology. All three of my Feral Passions stories are now available as a single ebook bundle by the same name.
On the home front, my husband is still putting up with me after close to fifty years, though I'm convinced it's got to be hell living with me when I'm deep into a new book. We've got two grown kids and a total of six perfect grandchildren, which we don't see as often as we used to. Doug and I have recently moved back to the mountains. We gave Healdsburg six years and never did feel like it was home, but now, after moving across the state to the wonderful little town of Georgetown in the Sierra Nevada gold country, we both feel as if we've found our forever home. (sort of sounds like animal rescue, right?) We'd almost given up on our dream of living in the country again, but one night I came home from a walk and asked Doug what he thought about moving.
His answer was a simple, "Where?"
It took us a while to sell our house and even longer to find our perfect spot, but we found it. Acreage with a pond, an old orchard, a beautiful forest and a lot of mining history associated with our property. There's even a big pit from hydraulic mining deep in the woods. We're back to having seasons, and have had a couple of snowfalls so far this winter. Honestly, we're both slightly giddy that we actually found this place. Since Doug and I will both be seventy in less than a year, we figured that if we were going to do it, we needed to do it now, and we're so glad we did.
Just to give you an idea of why we love this place so much--this is the view out our kitchen window. The one on the left taken the day before we got snow. I actually look forward to doing dishes now that this is what I see!