Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cate Masters is here with us today!

CJ: I want to offer a warm "Hello" to Cate Masters. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to us today, Cate. We’re excited to have you here!

Thanks so much for having me here, CJ! It’s a real pleasure.

Q: So, first of all, we want to know about your latest novel. What can you tell us about Fever Dreams?

A: I had a blast writing Fever Dreams, a contemporary novel with fantasy/dream sequences. Diana and Cal are both flawed characters who become stronger after meeting. They challenge and encourage each other, as the best relationships will. Their feelings grow so strong, both become overwhelmed and have to step away, but that, too, is a good thing in the end.

Q: I think everyone would love to know what inspired this particular novel. Can you tell us about that?

A: Initially, a caption beneath a photo in the New York Times intrigued me. I can’t remember it exactly, but it had to do with Valentine’s Day cards, and Valentine’s Day figures prominently in Fever Dreams. I wrote it almost twenty years ago, and it began as a much shorter story but through revisions, I fleshed out the characters and scenes until it became a short novel. The title incorporates several layers of meaning – dreams of following your goals to achieve happiness, as well as dreams of finding the person who’s right for you, in addition to the literal fantasy dreams that haunt Diana after meeting Cal.

Q: I’m dying to know more about the Main Characters of your novel. Can you give us a brief description of each?

A: Ah, well – Cal is very sexy. :) He’s also very moody, as poets can be, but the poetry he writes for Diana melts her heart. And he helps Diana realize her own talents as a photographer. She’s very talented but has no self-confidence until she meets Cal. She also learns to recognize what’s best for her, what’s detrimental and most importantly, how to stand up for herself.

Q: Okay, I’m a huge fan of quotes taken from novels. Would you tell us one of your favorites quotes from Fever Dreams?

A: Hm, that’s a toughie. How about a line of poetry that Cal wrote for Diana:
Let me feel your softness, your hardness,
let me explore every mountain and valley,
every shadow and light
of your body—
the embodiment of your soul,
so kindred to mine.

Q: A little about you. When did you decide to write your first novel?

A: I began writing poetry at about ten. My friends and I all exchanged poetry, which we thought would become song lyrics. Sadly, none of us ever had a music career – for good reason! We were weird little kids who sang Beatles songs during recess instead of playing. Anyway, I turned to fiction in my twenties, mostly short stories. I never thought I could write a novel, but now have written about seven, so it just goes to show you, you never know until you try.

Q: Do you have a system or particular ritual you do before/ during writing to keep the words flowing?

A: There’s a writer’s saying for it, something like: Sit in Chair and Place Fingers on Keyboard. That’s really the only trick I know. The only way to write is to sit and do it. And then revise at least three times on my own before sending it to critique partners, after which I’ll revise it another time or two to polish it up before submitting.

Q: What do you find the easiest part about writing? The hardest?

A: Easiest are ideas – my muse is overactive and throws far too many ideas at me to follow through on. The hardest part is revision, but I know that’s where the real story comes out, so I do it.

Q: We all know writers spend a great deal of time researching. Can you tell us one of the most interesting things you’ve discovered while doing research for your writing?

A: When my family and I visited Key West, Florida, the history of the wreckers intrigued me so much, I knew I had to write about them. These incredible men saved so many shipwrecked people without benefit of diving equipment and under the worst conditions. I’m now in edits for Angels, Sinners and Madmen, which will release from Freya’s Bower hopefully next month.

Q: If you could physically visit the world in any book, which book would it be and why?

A: I’d love to tag along with Mark Twain while he wrote his travelogue, Following the Equator. Not only was he a great writer, but his quick wit would have made the trip one to remember, in addition to the amazing places he traveled to. I always felt I was born in the wrong century anyway.

Q: What one work of fiction do you think has made the biggest impact on your life? How?

A: The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I read it when I was 13, and it just knocked my socks off. The worldbuilding amazed me, though at the time it just seemed like a complex story (the downside of being a writer is that I recognize those things now when I read). It hooked me on fantasy, which has now evolved to urban fantasy, which I absolutely love.

Q: Last question before we wrap this interview up. Please finish this sentence in a way that best describes you, for us. “People would be surprised to know that I…

A: …have a black sense of humor.” It’s genetic, my entire family suffers from it. :)

CJ: Thank you, again for visiting with us, Cate. I would invite all our guests to check out Fever Dreams by Cate Masters on sale now at ETERNAL PRESS .

Thanks again for having me, CJ!

Below is an excerpt from Cate’s novel, Fever Dreams. Please read on!

Cocking his jaw, he scanned the room. “Last weekend, I called your apartment about twenty times.” His short laugh revealed his embarrassment.
“I moved,” she stammered. So that’s what he tried to tell her that morning when Jack interrupted.
He flicked his gaze to hers. “I know… now.”
“I didn’t realize.” What an idiot she’d been. “I disconnected my answering machine.” Trying to avoid Adam’s calls.
The ring of her cell phone interrupted. Adam’s name showed in the display. So much for her avoidance techniques. She sent the call to voicemail.
By his forcibly dissolved grin, he must have deduced the caller had been Adam.
She had to cut to the quick. She knit her brow. “Look, I don’t play games.” Losing had grown tiresome.
“Me either,” he quickly agreed, the image of sincerity.
If only he didn’t look so good—his hair uncombed, the layers tousled. His steely blue eyes piercing hers. “Why are you here? You said you don’t want to get involved with a coworker.”
He slid toward her. “I said I was hesitant to get involved.”
“No, no, no.” To put distance between them, she stood and paced in front of the table. “I distinctly remember your exact words. You said you did not want to be involved. And, it’s probably the best solution.” She stopped and folded her arms, avoiding his gaze. Until he spoke in that deep, low voice that reached inside, twined around her spine. Made her yearn to open herself as never before.
“Maybe I was wrong.” He spoke slowly. Deliberately. “Maybe I didn’t know how much I wanted you.”
A shiver ran through her, and she could barely respond. “Oh.”
Narrowing his eyes, he studied her. “You scare me.”
“Scare is probably not an adequate word for what you do to me.” She wouldn’t be able to articulate how he made her feel—unlike her usual self, but more like her true self than ever. As if his presence uncovered her core.


  1. Hi Cate and C.J.-loved the author interview and excerpt! Cate, your book is right up my alley.


  2. Glad you enjoyed it Maggie! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. And thanks again for having me CJ! I love your new blog background - very cool!

  4. Fantastic interview Cate. I love the excerpt! I can't wait to read more of Fever Dreams.

  5. Hey, Guys! Thanks for stopping by!

    Cate~ Great interview and spectacular excerpt.

  6. Thanks so much Nightly! :)
    And for the kind words, CJ.

  7. Great interview Cate and CJ. I loved the excerpt.

    Mark Twain sounds like a great companion for an adventure. :)

  8. Thanks Mary and Stephanie! I appreciate you stopping by.

  9. OMG, I loved that Poem, Cate! And the excerpt too! So funny, we're two-of-a-kind: I would choose Lord of the Rings too!
    Looking forward to reading your latest!
    Wishing you great sales!

    Hugs, Kari Thomas

  10. Aw thanks Kari! I loved being able to use some of my poetry, through Cal. :) Fantasy's really my first literary love. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Hi Cate,
    Great excerpt. You know all are on my TBR list. And yes, the easiest part of writing is the ideas, but the real work is in the rewriting. Thank goodness for crit partners.
    Wishing you much success.

  12. Hey Lorrie! I know, I'd be lost without my critique group. They're great support, and a reality check. :)