Let's welcome Kate Condie, a clean Historical Romance author!
"Kate Condie is a speed talker from Oregon. Reading has been part of her life since childhood, where she devoured everything from mysteries, to classics, to autobiographies–and of course, romance. At first, her writing was purely in journal format as she thought writing novels was for the lucky ones. She lives in Utah and spends her days surrounded by mountains with her favorite hunk, their four children and her laptop. In her free time she reads, tries to learn a host of musical instruments, binge watches anything by BBC and tries to keep up with Lafayette as she sings the Hamilton soundtrack."
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want/expect from your genre/sub-genre?
Original. I actually rarely read this genre before I started writing it. My readers noticed--and loved--that I didn't do the usual so now I try to stick to that precedent.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Fenna Edgewood. She's a gem in every way. My fav author friend to chat with. She's full of answers or encouragement. Also, she's a whiz with words and conveying emotion. Love her.
If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
Compared to many of my peers, my childhood was...colorful. :) Those experiences, combined with a natural love of reading and journaling prepared me to be a writer. I just never knew that's what I was doing. I wouldn't do anything different.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
That first, rough draft takes me anywhere between 1-3 months. Then I get to edit, which takes much longer.
What are the essential characteristics of a hero/heroine you can root for?
I'm going the change the question a bit. I don't know that a character HAS to have one characteristic. Rather, I'll tell you one of my favorite characteristics to read: Wounded-- so long as they aren't whiny. I LOVE the wounded characters. Because I write romance I especially love how the right person in a character's life can help heal those wounds. I can forgive almost anything from a wounded person. This is why I tend to fall in love with my villains. I get too into their head and realize there is a reason they are that way. So of course I need to give them their own happily ever after. :)
Has writing and publishing a book changed the way you see yourself?
Absolutely. I learned when I was young that a woman has to be able to rely on herself. I always intended to get a reliable profession, like nursing-- I actually have a degree in science. 🤓 So I fought really hard to set aside my creativity and instead focus on being practical. Thankfully, I have an amazing husband whose support meant I could explore avenues that may or may not lead to monetary success.
Now I realize I am a Creative. If nothing else, it feels really good to spend my time doing something I enjoy. It's even better when I hear from a reader that I've brightened their house/day/life. It's amazing to think people all over the world are reading my words (Thanks, Amazon, for awesome reporting).
Lastly, it has been interesting to write historical women. To imagine what it would have been like to be so oppressed and live in such a patriarchal society. I've learned a bit about myself in the process. We as a society still have a long way to go, but in the meantime I get to network with AMAZING women who are killing it in the romance industry. I love celebrating their successes and I imagine women from the past would be thrilled to see how far we've come.
Where did you get the idea for your first book and/or series?
My grandparents have a rustic cabin that is off the grid in Wyoming. No electricity. No cell service. It's great. Deeper in the forest there is a ghost town called Kirwin. It used to be a mining town back in the late 1800's-early 1900s. The miners would mail-order brides from all over. As we rode back down the mountain I would think of what life would have been like. How desperate a woman must have been to accept a mail-order offer. I decided it would have to be life or death.
In the case of my first book, "A Winter's Vow," she's running from the wanted posters that proclaim her a murderer. "A Winter's Vow" took me less than a month to write. It was one of those stories that must have been in me for so long, just waiting to come out.
There's also a cool fact about Kirwin: They didn't allow single women. It's a rather important aspect to my story, but I love that it was TRUE!