I had the pleasure to interview Cathleen Ross. Check out her website and learn more about her. Don't forget to pick up her new novel, Dirty Sexy Murder.
DIRTY SEXY MURDER
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m Australian. I was born very premature and fought to survive. I think this nature helps me survive in the writing industry. Every time I get a rejection, I look to see if I can improve my submission and then send it out again.
What inspires you to write?
I get my inspiration in several ways, some of them strange. Sometimes I dream them, sometimes I’m semi awake and the whole story comes to me as if channeled from someone who has passed over. One of my recent submissions was a historical, a genre I don’t write in, about a Scottish knight who fought for Robert the Bruce. I had to do the research so I could write the story and found out the knight was a real person who did the things in my story. Now I want to see if it sells.
For Dirty Sexy Murder, my mystery which is released in print July 1 from Lyrical Press, my daughter was being haunted and I had to learn to harness my psychic gifts so I could help her. I think it worried me so much that writing through the feelings of what it is like to be psychic and yet not trusting the visions formed the basis for my heroine, Marina, my psychic Brazilian Waxer who doesn’t believe in psychic phenomena until she is forced to deal with it.
Do you find that your muse takes over when writing?
I never quite know how the story is going to go which is the beauty of writing for me. I know the beginning, who they are and I know the ending. The characters play out their actions as if I’m watching a play and they feel like real people to me. I fall in love with my hero like the heroine does and then I miss him when I’ve finished the book.
Do you have any have any other works in progress that you want to share?
I’ve just received a contract for one of my favorite books, Love, Lust and Lies. It’s a story close to my heart because I come from an Italian background and it is a look inside the chauvinism of the culture. had a strict Italian upbringing and was brought up to believe that a women should play second fiddle to men. I’ve written a strong heroine who takes a lover when she finds out her husband has cheated on her. The book also elaborates on what it is like to live in two cultures: Italian and American. I Love, Lust and Lies is a book about a woman who refuses to obey convention and takes her culture by the horns.
What would be your advice to aspiring writers out there?
Establish a pattern of writing. Join a good critique group, one that tells you how to fix your work so it’s salable. Keep submitting. Learn to become so hard that when you get a rejection, it doesn’t fuss you anymore. Go to conferences and join Romance Writers or an organization that represents your genre so that you are with like minds. Be open to new ideas, target new lists or lines. People will tell you write what you know and sometimes this works, but writing what you don’t know and honing your imagination works well too. Don’t let fear or your internal editor stop you getting your story down. You have to learn to write past it, then let the story rest and look at it again when you are fresh.
What are your favorite books at the moment?
I’m a huge fan of several authors. I love Nalini Singh, Philippa Gregory, Linda Howard and Gena Showalter, but my all time favorite book is Gone with the Wind – a heroine who wouldn’t obey convention.
What is your favorite word? Least favorite?
Fecund. Anything that names the female genitalia.