By Kate E. Stephenson
In this second week of December 2012 (woohoo Holiday Season is here!), I hereby call to order the 11th meeting of Kate’s Book Club. Every week, we shall be reading a tome either (a) penned by an author named Kate or (b) that includes a character named Kate. If you missed our last meeting, no worries—check it out.
Club members, this week meet Kate Douglas.
A life-long California native, Kate Douglas has been lucky enough to call writing her career for most of her adult life, but it wasn’t until she discovered the world of the sexy paranormal that she really found her niche. As Kensington Publishing’s lead author for their Aphrodisia erotic romance imprint, she is currently working on her new Spirit Wild series set in the world of her popular Wolf Tales Chanku shapeshifters. Married for over forty years to her very own hero, Kate is mother to two amazing adults and “Dabba” to six perfect grandchildren. Kate gives credit for much of her success to the amazing cadre of generous and talented authors who have helped her over the years, and is a firm believer in the philosophy of “paying it forward.” Follow Kate’s howls on Twitter and Facebook or drop her an email; and find all her books here.
Now settle in for a fantastical ride as Kate answers all our questions:
Who named you Kate and why?
I named me Kate. My name is Katherine and I grew up Kathy. HATED it. Junior high and high school were in the early 1960s, the era of the “Chatty Cathy” doll. Score one against the name. Score two was the fact that I was number eight of seven other “Kathys”, all of whom had blonde hair and boobs. I had dark brown hair, was a little over 5’6”, weighed about 85 lbs and boobs were something other girls had. As soon as I moved far enough away that no one knew my nickname, I changed it to Kate. I’ve been Kate ever since, though my mother hated the name until the day she died. Said I sounded like a tugboat captain. Personally, I was thinking Kate Hepburn.
How did you become an author?
I think I’ve always been a writer—I started out writing commercials for a country/western radio station (KCEY) in Turlock, California, back in the early 1970s. I also drew a cartoon strip for mosquito control agencies nationwide for seventeen years, and that included writing newspaper public service articles and more radio spots. (Anyone remember “Skeeter Mosquito” booklets in school during the early 1980s?) I wrote some freelance stuff and then was a newspaper reporter on a small weekly paper in the mountains out of Fresno (The Mountain Press). But, before all that, back when I was pregnant with our son and working as a substitute teacher’s aide at the high school in Turlock, a friend gave me a Harlequin romance to read. It was Leopard in the Snow by Anne Mather. I loved the book, but the thing that stuck with me the most was that I realized I wanted to write books just like that one. It had a great story, but the thing I loved best was the happy ending. I am still a huge fan of happy endings!
Anyway, fast forward about eight years. We were living in Fresno and I had just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. While I’m in remission now, at the time I had a neurologist who told me I’d be in a wheelchair before I was forty, and that meant finding some way to earn an income that didn’t require walking. Stressed to the max, one night I dreamed an entire story. Sounds bizarre, but I woke up in the middle of the night and wrote down as much as I could recall on one of those yellow legal pads. I still have it.