Featured Author: Katy Ames
After a bit of a hiatus, the Author of the Month feature has returned to the Katia Rose blog, and we're kicking things off with one of my favourite authors on the indie romance scene. I'm very excited to announce that Katy Ames will be joining us this month!
If you haven't experienced Katy's steamy island romance trilogy, the Seven Winds Series, get yourself a copy as soon as you can! In the meantime, check out the chat I had with Katy about her journey through indie publishing, what's next in her career, and perhaps most importantly, the correct pronunciation of her last name.
What led you down the path to indie romance writing? Was it a long term goal, or something that came upon you suddenly?
Writing, in general, has always been a long term goal of mine. Since childhood, my answer to the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" has always been the same: an author. But, like for so many, it wasn't a viable option right out of college. I took other jobs, pursued other careers so that I could pay bills and start a family. I always tried to find time to write, but a crazy travel scheduled (and then an insomniac newborn) made it impossible to finish anything. A few years ago, I realized I needed to stop waiting. The timing was never going to be perfect, so I just had to commit to finishing books. That's what led me down the indie path. As soon as I finished a novel I was impatient; I wanted to publish. And, for better or worse, being an indie gives you the freedom to hit that "publish" button as soon as you think you're ready. As for romance, I didn't start writing in the genre, but it's one I've read since college and I love it. Unabashedly. I may delve into a different genre at some point (I have a serious weakness for historical thrillers), but romance is currently where my heart is.
What's been the most exciting moment of your writing career so far?
It's pretty evenly split between the first time a reader - a complete stranger - told me they liked my book, and an author I really respect gave me positive feedback on my writing. Even now, 3+ books in, hearing that a reader has connected with something I've written is still the best feeling.
Has anything about indie publishing surprised you so far, or turned out to be different from what you expected when you started?
Haha, everything has surprised me. I was completely clueless when I started. I knew which romances I loved to read, and which ones I wanted to write, but I was absolutely oblivious to the amount of work required after you type "the end". Finding a good editor you like, formatting, making covers and teaser, building your author platform, creating a newsletter, finding readers, all of the marketing and promotion -- I went into all of that blind. I've learned a lot since I published my first book last summer, but I'm still learning something new every day. I imagine I will for as long as I'm in this business.
Your author bio states that your stories contain "heroines who aren't afraid to kick ass" (a totally true statement!) What do you think makes for a badass heroine, and how would you say your female characters embody strength and independence?
Badassery comes in so many forms! The mom who wrangles crazy kids all day long with no sleep and not enough coffee but who still takes the time to give a really good hug or read a favorite story at bedtime. The girl who bucks all expectations and decides to move somewhere new or do something no one expected, because it's the first step towards the life she's always wanted. The woman who fights to find balance between the career she's passionate about and the partner (or aging parents, or friend in need of help, or kids) that she's determined to support. Those are all forms of badassery in my mind. For my characters, it's about being honest about what they want, and who they are, and trying their best to stay true to themselves while falling in love. Compromise is a part of life, and growth and change are necessary, but I think there is independence in admitting that you want something more, without apology. Whatever that "more" is - more love, a different job, a different home, better health, better relationships, etc. Characters who stand up for themselves and the things they want have always spoken to me, and that sort of strength is something I aspire to every day.
Do you ever doubt yourself as an author? How do you handle the situation?
Every day. Several times a day. It's the nature of the beast. You expose yourself every time you write and publish a story, and if someone doesn't like it (which will always happen), it's incredibly easy to feel like they're rejecting you personally. And I don't know anyone who enjoys rejection. But the thing I come back to every time I'm frustrated or discouraged, is my love of writing. I love it. I do it even when I'm not putting words on paper. That's what drives me to keep going, because the idea of quitting something I love so much is more painful than the doubt will ever be (and that's saying a lot!).
Where is your favourite place to write? Do you have a dedicated space or do you work anywhere and everywhere?
I have an office at home. I still do other non-writing work but I'm lucky to do so from home, so I have room where I can lock myself away for hours at a time. I've gotten so committed to my desk, in fact, that I have a hard time writing anywhere else.
Your most recent release, a hockey romance, just dropped a few weeks ago. Is this going to be a series? Any special information on the book we should be aware of?
Yes! I have a handful releases planned for this year. The hockey romance you're referring to is a standalone novella that I released exclusively to newsletter subscribers. And, yes, it's the kickoff to a new series that I'm planning on publishing in fall/winter. Readers definitely haven't seen the last of the D.C. Devils! Prior to that, however, I'm releasing a standalone small town, second chance novel. Title, blurb and cover reveals will be coming out in the next few months; I'm incredibly excited to share this one with readers!
If anyone wants to subscribe to my newsletter to receive Power Play, they can do so here (it's super easy and I don't send a lot of newsletter emails):
And just because I've always wondered and don't want to look like a dork if I ever meet you in person, how do you pronounce your last name? 'Aimz'? 'Ahmz'? Enlighten me, please!
Absolutely! It sounds exactly like "aims." Like, "he aims the arrow."
Katy will be back later in the month to discuss her tropical romance 'After the Island' in more depth. You can find all her books here on Amazon, and be sure to stop by her website for more information on all things Ames.