My Writing Life: Kate Perry

When did you first discover a love of writing?

I always made stuff up as a child, but it never occurred to me to be a writer. I wanted to be a gypsy. I was going to have my own cute little red wagon with a bull named Philippe pulling it. Turns out, you don’t get paid for being a gypsy, but you can get paid to make stuff up and write about it, especially in cafés wearing pajamas, which is almost as cool as having a bull.

What’s your favourite book?

I have a long list that I love. I can’t get enough of the Sookie Stackhouse series. I hear the next book is going to be her last, and I just put my fingers in my ears and say, “La-la-la-la-la!” Also on my must-read list:

The Lightbearer by Donna Gillespie

The Lymond Series (all the books) by Dorothy Dunnett

See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson

Where do you get your story ideas?

My Laurel Heights series sets itself up for more ideas. Each heroine is a business owner or lives in this adorable San Francisco neighborhood. I know the value of close friends, so I give the women in my books tons of girlfriends, and then I find myself wondering… when’s the girlfriend going to have her day with a hot guy?

A few weeks later, after endless pestering from my editorial team, a couple nights tearing my hair out, and a lot of glasses of champagne, another book pops out.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received as a writer?

The writing advice I ever received came from Nike. Just do it.

Where do you usually write?

When I’m home, I write in a few favorite coffee shops and bars that are within walking distance to my house. I live in one of those rare sunny San Francisco neighborhoods (sun in San Francisco—not just a myth!), so sitting in a coffee shop almost feels like vacation.

But I travel a lot, so I’m often sitting in cafés, bars, and museums all around the world. I just had my honeymoon, which I timed with a book deadline (when am I not on book deadline?), so I wrote poolside in Thailand. My new husband kept the mai tais coming, which I’m pretty sure was one of our wedding vows.

Do you believe in Writer’s Block?

I believe in deadlines, peer pressure, and whips. And what was that about mai tais?

If there was one writer (living or dead) that you would love to meet, who would it be?

Gerard Butler. I’m pretty sure he’s written something. A diary entry, maybe? A tweet? That counts, right?

What’s your favourite literary genre? Any guilty pleasures?

Romance! Read it. Write it. Live it. But don’t feel guilty about it.

What made you decide to self-publish?

I was traditionally published with some achievement. They (marketing, sales, editorial…) told me what to write, and how often I could publish it. I didn’t like being at the mercy of people who didn’t care as much about my career as I did, so I took the plunge and haven’t looked back since. Now I’m in control of my career and my work.

Are there any self-publishing tricks of the trade you’d like to share? What rules of craft or promotion do you live by?

Shh—don’t tell anyone, but the key to being a successful writer is to actually write. Also, it helps to write things that people want to read.

Wink.

Seriously though, my biggest trick is to write a quality book as often as I can. My publication schedule is demanding, with a new novel out every other month. I write what I love and tell the best story I can. As it turns out, people seem to like them.

Make up your own question and answer it here. (Be sure to include the question!)

Q: Are you related to Katy Perry?

A: Yes. She’s my younger sister. We’re still waiting for her to come into her own.

 

*************************

KatePerry_2Kate Perry is the bestselling author of the Laurel Heights novels, as well as the Family and Love and Guardians of Destiny series. Her books have been translated into several languages and she’s big in Slovenia. All her books are about strong, independent women who just want love.

Most days, you can find Kate in her favorite café, working on her latest novel. Sometimes she’s wearing a tutu. She may or may not have a jeweled dagger strapped to her thigh…

9 comments

  • Kate, You are so funny, and inspirational! I just have to say that you’re role models. I love your sassy, smart, and sexy heroines. And your heroes are Yum! High five to your high flying career. And I want to be just like you. But in Oakland, where we get more sun, probably, than you do.

    • authorkateperry

      Thanks so much, Beth! But, really, even Alaska gets more sun than SF does. Also, your check is in the mail. 😉

  • Kate, you should visit my neck of the woods – tons of sun. On cloudy or rainy days, there’s always the newspaper . . . The Brandon Sun!

    By the way, that’s a nice interview. If I have one question it would be whether you have a favorite retail platform? I think most writers treat them the same, but should we?

    • Ha ha–you probably have more light than you’d like, Lawrence.

      My favorite retail platform is the one that I have the most sales on, and the one that offers me the best merchandising. 😉 Retailers aren’t the same. Sometimes you may even have to customize your meta info to target readers differently in certain stores (especially BISAC categories and such).

      Really, it comes down to the relationship you cultivate with your retailer and how excited they are about your work. I think a more common mistake is to think that the retailer is a faceless computer, but there’s always a person at the other end who could become your greatest ally, just like in a traditional bookstore.

  • Ha ha–you probably have more light than you’d like, Lawrence.

    My favorite retail platform is the one that I have the most sales on, and the one that offers me the best merchandising. Retailers aren’t the same. Sometimes you may even have to customize your meta info to target readers differently in certain stores (especially BISAC categories and such).

    Really, it comes down to the relationship you cultivate with your retailer and how excited they are about your work. I think a more common mistake is to think that the retailer is a faceless computer, but there’s always a person at the other end who could become your greatest ally, just like in a traditional bookstore.

  • Pingback: My Writing Life: Kate Perry | Presse & Infos Bundestagswahlen 2013 - Die Wahlen – Parteien – Arbeit – Sozial

  • It would be hard to travel with a pet bull. I think you made the right choice, Kate. 🙂

  • I’m so tickled to read this article. Kate, you are delightful and I thank you for sharing. I am a newbie indie author/publisher, and have taken a great deal of inspiration from people like you who have self-published successfully. I am taking your advice, and working hard to turn out another quality book. If there are any other words of wisdom for this newbie, I would be delighted to hear them. All the best for your continued success!
    Sincerely,
    Carla Doolin

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