Origin Stories – Cate Hart

Please welcome my guest, Cate Hart!

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So I’ll start at the beginning. My mom read to me every night. As a teacher, reading has always been a very important part of her life. When I could read to myself, I devoured everything I could get my hands on – Carolyn Keene, Beverly Clearly, Judy Blume, Laura Ingalls Wilder, everything. But it was in the 3rd grade that I discovered what it was to write my own story.

My teacher, Mrs. Little, let students who’d made a 100 on their spelling test try something different with the vocabulary words the week of Halloween – we got to write a story using all the words. Ironically, I think that little assignment also set my path toward paranormal. Of course, in that list were Vampire, Ghost, and Haunted House. After the assignment, I found I liked writing stories and continued to write a few more.

I’ll just briefly say that when I was in high school, I spent a large part of my time writing. But it was primarily fan fiction, though at the time I had no idea what that was. I wrote to entertain my friends, and they’d read my stuff while we sat out in gym class. I hated gym class. Then I focused on graduating and getting into college – writing took a backseat. Until I picked up a book my mom was reading over summer vacation. When I read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, the story resonated and I realized two things: I wanted something else to read with as good as a love story; I could write it myself. Hahaha. For me that was the first turning point. I knew that people made a career out of writing and I wanted to do that. This was also the naïve part where I had lofty hopes and absolutely no idea what writing entailed beyond getting to the end. I believed if I could just type the last word of the story I’d made it.

I spent another ten years sporadically working on that first manuscript, an historical romance. By that point, I wanted to become published, and I thought that was the story that would get me there.

A year and half ago, the spark of a new story reignited my passion to write. And I never imagined I’d write Young Adult. I found that my writing voice was a sarcastic, seventeen year-old girl still trapped in my body. So I set a goal, met it, and ended with one fabulous first draft novel – okay maybe not fabulous. But I was excited that I had it completed.

On January 1, 2009, I started the real journey to publication, stepping from a naïve writer to diligent learner of the craft. Over this past year, I have found how valuable critiques partners are to show you the imperfections in your writing. I have learned so much about the industry from published writers, agents, and editors who willingly reveal their processes to aspiring writers so that they can achieve success. I have submitted to several agents and faced the rejections as another learning experience. And I have successfully been asked for my full manuscript from an agent and I am in the process of seconds edits for her. I hope I’m ready for the next step, moving from aspiring writer to agented author in search of publication.

Every day I wonder if I am crazy to pursue this dream, but I realize how passionate I am for the written word. I dream and want to put those dreams on paper and to share them.

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Thanks, Cate!

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. Her blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and occasional author interviews.
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