Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Revenge Welcomes Catherine Bybee!

*Large red carpet thunks down the deck stairs*

We're in for a treat today, my friends. Our guest is not just talented and versatile, she's a USA Today and New York Times Bestselling author here to celebrate the release of her first Montlake Romance title NOT QUITE DATING. Give a warm pirate welcome to Catherine Bybee!  

Bo'sun here again. Jack is, um, out of the office. Okay, so I sent him on a wild goose chase for a rum cake that might or might not exist. Sue me. Now on to the interview.

Bosun: Thank you, Ms. Bybee for joining us on the ship today. It is our pleasure to celebrate your current Montlake release (out yesterday!) Not Quite Dating. Tell us about the book.

Catherine: Thank you for having me. I’m uber excited to be celebrating the release of Not Quite Dating. It feels like I’ve been waiting for this release forever. Not because of any delay in publishing mind you…but holiday stories do need to be released around the holidays.

Single mom, Jessie has no desire to date anyone who she might consider a dreamer. When she meets Jack, he passes himself off as a man with big dreams and little money. As much as his smile might spark emotions buried deep inside her, she can’t give in and actually date the man. You can’t choose who you fall in love with, but you can choose who you date.

Sexy Jack Morrison is ready for the next phase in life…complete with a wife, maybe kids…but the pool of women he’s been dating seem to only want one thing from him…money. The Morrison Hotel Empire is partially his, making him a very wealthy man. When Jessie falls into his life, he keeps his portfolio from her to determine her true feelings.

Oh, the tangled web…

Bosun: A wealthy hero who wants to be loved for more than his money. Sigh. These kinds of men never wonder into my world, dang it. Could you tell us about the rest of the series to come? Where did this idea come from?

Catherine: The idea for this book was born from life. There was once a day I waited tables during the graveyard shift at Dennys. I met many interesting people during that brief time. Not Quite Dating starts in part in the middle of a typical shift for the heroine. I’ve never been a single mom, but knew enough to make this part of the book work.

It is nearly impossible for me to write one book without thinking of book two and three. The second book in the series, Not Quite Mine, features Jack’s sister Katelyn Morrison. I loved her so much from the first book I wanted to take the rich heroine angle and see where it led. This is a highly emotional read meant for the Mother’s Day holiday. Why Mother’s Day? Glad you asked… Well, we’ve all read the story of when a ‘hero’ finds an infant on the doorstep…I wanted to write the book about the ‘heroine’ finding the infant on the doorstep.
And that’s all I’m gonna say on that! *wink*

Book three, Not Quite Enough is about Monica, Jessie’s sister. Another strong character with her own set of baggage she needs to work through to find love. Only Monica is going to fly the globe to find her love. Think Caribbean heat with an infuriating man…and no way to walk away.

Bosun: The thought of a baby on the doorstep sent fear to my heart but then you brought me back with the Caribbean. Good job! Can you tell us about your other Contemporary series, the Weekend Brides?

Catherine: Love, love, love my brides. Here again we have a series that started with one book, Wife by Wednesday, which reached an obscene amount of readers last year and prompted the series to take off. In a nutshell, or a flask, however you want to pour it… the Weekday Brides are all surrounded by a business started by the heroine in WbW, Samantha…This matchmaking business is set up to find the perfect temporary matches to suit the needs of an exclusive client list. Men in need of a bride to ‘look’ the part of family man, perhaps for a job…or to inherit a fortune.

I’ve set out to not write the same book over and over with different character names. Each book has a need for someone to get married for reasons other than love, but that is where the similarities end.

I just finished writing the third book in the series, Fiancé by Friday, and the book comes off much like a romantic suspense…where the first book isn’t that at all, and the second book is only slightly suspenseful.  I want to keep my readers guessing what comes next. And I do my best to introduce the characters of later books in the current one.

Bosun: I love your enthusiasm for these books. Checking out your beautiful website I see you write not only Contemporary but time travel/ historical adventure, werewolves, and erotica. Is there anything you can't do?? How do you keep all those genres straight? And what is it exactly about a man in a kilt? I assume you've done extensive research in this department since so many of your heroes done the Scottish garb.

Catherine: When I first started writing I wanted to write it all. Thanks to e-books and the small press, I could write shorter stories in different genre’s and explore my craft.

I have to admit, my time travels are among my favorite books. I’ve fallen in love with the family I’m writing about. And because it’s fantasy complete with historical and contemporary romance…it’s such a winning combination. And who doesn’t love the kilted hero? Yummy!

I did write a couple short erotic books. I’m not sure I’ll write more. So many authors do that better than me. I have other paranormals sitting in my hard drive that will be published someday.

I love to write and refuse to write inside a box. If Nora Roberts can write a plethora of categories, so can Catherine Bybee. LOL

Bosun: Here here! After all the high concept books you've written, why settle into straight Contemporary? Is it harder or easier to have to stick with reality?

Catherine: I’m not settling ‘just’ into Contemporary. As a writer, I have to make my deadlines and right now I have several Contemporary deadlines which I will fulfill first. But my time travel readers might just commit mutiny if I don’t get to Amber’s book soon.

That said…It can be difficult writing straight Contemporary. I can’t settle on magic or fur for a plot twist. I’m getting the hang of it…I think.

Bosun: Not Quite Dating is your first Montlake Romance release. For our writer friends who might be curious, how has your experience been with this new publisher so far? (I get this question but I'm not far enough along to have an answer so I thought maybe you could help.)

Catherine: It’s refreshing to work with a publisher that understands marketing the way only Amazon can. So many things are changing daily in the publishing world and Montlake ‘gets’ this. They are incredibly author friendly. They respond within a day of a question… a couple at the most. They give choices about cover art. Who does that? Anyone? I’ve enjoyed the ride so far…with four new titles coming in the next year, and having them re-release my other two Bride books as well, I had to have faith in them. And I do.

Bosun: Aren't they awesome?! I love them so far too. How long were you writing before you got your first contract? Any advice for those still working toward the dream? And what's your best advice for an author about to launch her first book? (Yes, this is a selfish question.)

Catherine: Before my first contract….hmmm, let me think. Serious writing, probably only about two years. I wrote off and on for years before that. Just nothing that ever included the words, The End. LOL –

As for a successful launch. I think the more enthusiastic you are about your book the more others will be. Often times launch day is anticlimactic. You prep your book for months, work on those cover images and banners, tell the world it’s coming…then have nothing to do on release day other than to hit the refresh button on the website to see your Amazon ranking. “I’m sure I’m the only one who has ever done that.” *snort*

Get your readers talking about your book and see if you can get a few to read it the day it comes out. They will tell others about it from there.

The absolute BEST advice I can give to any writer about launching a book, or selling a book…is to write your next book.

Bosun: *takes notes* Excellent. Time for the lightening round. Plotter or pantser?

Catherine: Pantser… but I’ve had to go both ways this last year. Publishers like a synopsis, AKA sucknopsis.

Bosun: Ha! Lefty or righty?

Catherine: Righty

Bosun: Morning, afternoon, or night? (Pertaining to writing, of course.)

Catherine: Yes, Yes, and Yes.

Bosun: Milk chocolate or dark chocolate?

Catherine: Both

Bosun: Twitter or Facebook?

Catherine: BOTH!!!

Bosun: And finally, ever considered writing a pirate adventure on the high seas? You could put him in a kilt!

Catherine: Oh, yeah… I wanna write that book.

Bosun: And we want to read it! Thank you for being such a good sport. Is there something you'd like to ask the crew to get this party started? Anything you want to know from a reader's point of view?

Catherine: I have a question from a reader’s point of view… If you could name a single quality in an author’s writing that keeps you coming back for more…what is it?

As for the crew… Where is that Rum Cake?

Bosun: Excellent question! (Wish I'd thought of that one.) Get to it, ladies. We certainly have no shortage of readers here. 


TerriOsburn said...

Thanks again for joining us today, Catherine, and congrats on the new release! One day in and you're in the top 100. WTG!!

I'm torn on this question. My first response is an author's voice but I think it might be more about characters. Making them real and relatable to me. (Which does not mean they'll be relatable to everyone.) But then I read one lately in which the heroine was not my favorite character. Kept going for the author's voice.

I guess voice wins.

Marnee Bailey said...

Good luck with the new release!

I love the idea of the brides series. I am going to give them a shot. I've been on a little bit of a contemporary kick the past week or so. :) This sounds good because it uses the whole "need to marry for a reason" trope I see so often in historical (which is the genre I'm currently sloughing through) and makes it fresh.

I am also glad to hear about Montlake. I've been watching them (and listening to Terri rave about them) and seeing how it goes. It does seem like they have a bead on the market right now. Very cool and exciting stuff.

Janga said...

Congrats on the new release! I'm so excited to see all the new contemporaries that are being released now. For a while there, they were getting scarce, but now it seems that every week brings a new contemprary author I need to check out.

The one thing all my autobuy authors have in common is their gift for creating characters in whom I believe and with whom I connect. If I read a book and find the characters totally engaging, I'll look for that author's next book and the next and . . .

Maureen said...

I'm the writer who pretty much doesn't pay a whole lot of attention to the separate parts of the books I read...but given a choice... I'd say the world building is what will capture me in a book.

Jim Butcher has created a world I want to know more about and how it's going to survive each new challenge. His voice is also awesome and his characters are fascinating...but really, it's the world that I come back to.

Congrats on taking off so sweetly! Montlake does sound like it has all it's ducks in a row!

Leslie Langtry said...

Catherine - you have the loveliest covers! Although you might trump that with a pirate in a kilt - WHICH WOULD BE AWESOME!
And I love how you get your ideas from life. Very cool!

irisheyes said...

Welcome Catherine and congratulations on the new release!

I would have to second (or third) characterization. I love to meet new people and find out what makes them tic and see how they relate to all the other people in their world. Probably why I'm so drawn to series. I not only get into the hero and heroine relationship but all the peripheral relationships as well.

The brides series sounds right up my alley. I also love the rich guy trying to find his true love and avoid all the golddiggers storyline. Sounds like I really need to check out your books. :)

MsHellion said...

Catherine, welcome aboard! Your books sound amazing! I can't wait to read them! I like authors who write all over the place. :)

One thing that keeps me coming back? Probably voice. If I fall in love with a voice I will read anything!

Sin said...

Catherine- I absolutely love your attitude!

Congrats on your new release with Montlake. Thank you for coming aboard!

I think what keeps me coming back to a writer is their voice- how they tell the story, the characters the writer brings to life. To me, when I read, I want to read a book that feels like the writer loved writing.

I'm a huge Kim Harrison fan and the one thing that hooked me was her world. She's built this fascinating alternative world to our own but weaved the world into something an average person can read and understand. I also enjoy when a book doesn't have fifty others between the real story and loses its sense of who the actual hero and heroine are.

I haven't been reading much at all lately since I've been writing. I can't do both, unfortunately.

Marnee Bailey said...

The one thing all my autobuy authors have in common is their gift for creating characters in whom I believe and with whom I connect.

I was just thinking about this last night. I finished up Something About You by Julie James last night. The characters seemed so... normal. Okay, I mean, he's an FBI agent and she's an Assistant US Atty, so they're not just average folks. But, they like normal things. They eat chinese food and wear jeans and she watches the Bachelor. I love that about contemporaries. There's all this stuff in there that I go, "awh, I LOVE General Tso's Chicken too!" and it makes me happy.

Most of the contemporary set stuff I've read lately is paranormal. A lot of paranormals that I've read seem more interested in setting their paranormal world and less interested in making sure it feels rooted in OUR world, if that makes sense. Not in a bad way. I've read some great paras. I just mean that the contemps I've been reading are giving me more of the OUR world stuff and I'm enjoying it.

Catherine Bybee said...

Hi Terri...
Thanks... Top 100, wow I wasn't expecting that.
Voice and Characters are up there for me, too.
Thanks again for having me.

Catherine Bybee said...


Hi, darlin'...
I too love Historicals with the "I have to marry" theme. Did I mention that the hero in WbW is a Duke? Yeah... I love historicals. I think the reason it's been so popular is because we don't see modern Dukes in romance any longer.

Check it out. I'd love your opinion.

Catherine Bybee said...


I agree. Believable characters are way up there. Even in my time travels I try and make it believable. No bit leaps for the reader to take to follow the story.

Catherine Bybee said...


Montlake has been the bomb... did you see the flowers they sent me? Who does that? amazing

Catherine Bybee said...


Kilted Pirate... and that can be the title, too. *scratches head*

Catherine Bybee said...


Love series romance. I can't let my characters go and don't want my reader to either.
Thanks for stopping by.

Catherine Bybee said...

Ms. Hellion,
Love that name BTW.
Thanks for coming by today. I look forward to your reviews. Hint, hint... :)

Catherine Bybee said...


I absolutely love your name. LOL - Thanks. Life is to short for bad attitudes. IMHO. I think that personality translates in my books as well.

It is difficult to read while writing. I try and cram a few books in between manuscripts.

Catherine Bybee said...


I find it interesting how people react to each other depending on their profession. People acted different to me when I worked in the ER as an RN... or as an at home Mom... and now as a NYT's Bestselling, yadda, yadda, Author some people think that I need to act different.

When a book can pull you into the world of whoever and make you 'get' them... that book works for me.

TerriOsburn said...

This has not been my day! And don't you get live in servants and a limitless gold card when you hit bestsellerdom? ;) Don't pop my bubble!

Marn - Nancy Northcott's new para release is contemporary and very much in the real world. I'm enjoying it very much, which is cool since I don't even read paranormals.

I have NOT QUITE DATING up next on the Kindle. Pre-ordered it!

Catherine Bybee said...

LOL - Funny you said that. I actually hired housekeepers for the first time EVER earlier this year. I told my hubby... "I make more money sitting at my computer than cleaning the house." Point for me!

I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it Terri.

Sin said...

I'm doing nanowrimo right now so I can't read without falling precariously behind on my word count. But after you made mention of a duke set in modern time, I went and looked up WbW and have purchased it. I'm so excited. So thank you for talking a little about the story. I can't wait to have a chance to read it. Which means it will probably be in stolen moments at 3am when I should be sleeping :)

Catherine Bybee said...

Ohhh a NANO caper... Last year I had a reader read WbW on her cell phone because she'd given her mother her e-reader to avoid the temptation of reading during November...

Yeah, that didn't work out for her.

How about this for a carrot. And it's a 'quick' read. Candy for the romantic in you...

I'm such a tease...