Interview with Katie O’Sullivan

Jen: Please help me welcome Katie O’Sullivan to Romancing the Book this week. Katie, will you please share a short bio with us?
Katie: Hi, Jen, thanks for inviting me to your blog. Short bio reads something like: I’m a writer, author, magazine editor, and mother to three very active, involved kids. I live on Cape Cod year round, but spend more time behind the wheel of my minivan than I ever do sitting on the beach!

Jen: Tell us about Perfect Strangers and where it’s available.
Katie: Perfect Strangers is my latest romantic suspense novel, available from Amazon.com and from the publisher’s website at www.MoongypsyPress.com. It should also be available from B&N for the Nook really soon.

Most of the novel takes place on Cape Cod in the off-season, in Chatham when it isn’t crowded with celebrities and tourists. There’s a real small-town feel to Cape Cod, where everyone seems to know everybody else. Before we moved here full-time, I never realized this about the Cape, but it’s come to be one of the things I really enjoy.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Katie: I discovered my love of writing stories back in second grade, but it took me a long time (and many career changes) before being able to realize my dream of becoming an author. Five years ago, my third child began full-day kindergarten and I joined a writing group. My stated goal was to be “that woman” at the table in the bookstore, talking with people and signing her books. I finally realized that dream in February, signing copies of Perfect Strangers in Chatham at Where the Sidewalk Ends, a cool little indie bookstore (the picture above is of myself is from this booksigning. I’m the taller woman in black/red).

Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
Katie: self-discovery – sweet – suspenseful

Can I explain what I mean, too? By self-discovery, I mean that my characters do a lot of growing during the course of my novels. They learn about themselves, and learn to change for the better. By sweet, I don’t mean to imply that there isn’t sexual tension and scary situations, but if you’re looking for a hot erotic romance, I’m not the right author for you. And since I’m writing romantic suspense, I like to think I’ve go the readers turning pages and sitting on the edge of their seats, wondering what happens next.

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
Katie: Oh, I usually go with the flow, letting the characters tell me what’s going on. In some writing groups and seminars I’ve been to, the “pants-ing” method is denigrated, but I find it hard to draft an outline and stick to it. The characters don’t always listen to me, lol.

Jen: What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?
Katie: I like the “Happily-Ever-After” aspect of it all. In real life, things don’t always get tied up neatly. There are loose ends, or even just endings, that leave you feeling unsatisfied. With a good romance novel, you have the thrill of the story arc, but the satisfaction of knowing everything ends up okay for the heroine and hero.

Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Katie: We’ve had a summer house on Cape Cod for years, but since moving here full-time I’ve observed lots of things that I never knew about the Cape and its inhabitants. It’s a quirky place and I hope I’ve captured some of that in the book.

Jen: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Katie: Some more than others, lol. While writing my first book, Unfolding the Shadows, the ghosts from the story were always in my dreams. I started to think I was psychic, like my heroine.

Jen: Is there a genre that you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from and why?
Katie: I would love to write for teen readers, and one of my kids has been bugging me to write something for him. I’m working on it. I don’t think I’ll ever write erotic romance – I can’t imagine my dad picking up that kind of story and reading it! I’d be too embarrassed!

Jen: If Perfect Strangers was made into a movie, which actors would you choose to play the hero and heroine?
Katie: I think Amy Adams would make an excellent Jane, as she’s great at portraying both insecurity and emotional growth. For the hero, it’s a little harder for me to picture… but I’m leaning toward a blond Channing Tatum, because he looks so perfect with a 5 o’clock shadow and comes across as such a solid guy.

Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Katie: The three books I took on my recent family vacation to Mexico were all Jennifer Crusie books. I’d resisted buying her collaboration novel, Dogs and Goddesses, before now, and for the life of me I can’t imagine why! What a fun book that was!

Jen: What’s next for you?
Katie: I’ve got two works in progress that are both romantic suspense, as well as the young adult story I’m rewriting (for the millionth time.) Of the two WIPs, one is a sequel to Unfolding the Shadows, and the other is another Cape Cod romance.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Katie: My website is at www.katie-osullivan.com, and I blog several times a week at http://katieosullivan.blogspot.com

In addition to writing fiction, I’m the Editor of CapeWomenOnline magazine, at www.CapeWomenOnline.com. We publish 5 times a year, and cover a wide range of topics. If any of your readers has a Cape Cod connection, they should feel free to query me with story ideas – we’re always looking for new voices.

I’m also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/kt.osullivan

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Katie: I now have two books available to readers, but the first is only available as an ebook. As an author, there is that added thrill of holding and signing a paper book, but the pundits all say we’re headed to an electronic-only future in publishing.

I have to admit that while I love my Nook, when we went on vacation I packed paperbacks instead. I was afraid of my Nook getting broken or stolen on the beach.

What do you think of ebooks and ereaders? Is it the way of the future or a tech-fad that will pass? If you read books electronically, what do you use? Kindle, ipad, Nook, or something else?

Jen: Are we holding a contest during your promo?
Katie: One lucky commenter will win an e-book copy of Perfect Strangers. There’s no location restriction, but the winner needs to be over 18.

Thanks so much for hosting me today! It’s such fun to get out and chat with new readers, whether online or in person.

Jen: Readers, in addition to leaving a comment, to enter the contest, you’ll either need to leave your email address in your comment or send a message to admin.bookblog@gmail.com. The winner will be chosen around Sunday, March 27.