● Does writing energise or exhaust you?
The actual writing part of writing excites me. . . The rush from getting my story idea outlined and then fleshing it out is the same rush I get when I’m creating a painting, making a video or doing other creative projects. I really get into my characters and their stories.
● Do you write other books under different pen names?
Currently, I only write under C.L. Cattrano. If I decide to write in a different style, or change my writing game plan as far as who publishes me, or the type of stories I write, I would probably use a different pen name.
● Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I am actually doing both at the moment. I have one stand-alone published – Cursed Hearts, and am working on a serial called Salvaggio’s Light that will be a ten book series. At the moment I have the three books in the series out. This series is really one continuous story that, while focussed on a specific time period for the characters, actually tells almost the entire life story of the main character, Rafaella Salvaggio. Well, at least the important parts that pertain to what is happening in the story. The first book in the series is Shattered Paradise and it sets the base for the rest of the books. You are introduced into the world of the many characters, and the problems, relationships and drama happening in their world. It and the books that follow are full of all kinds of drama, action and surprises for the characters.
I like both the stand-alone and the serial books projects, and have stories for both types in the works.
● What’s your favourite under-appreciated novel?
Oh, I have a lot of those. Riight – Falling Apart Feels Fantastic by L.A. Hill comes to mind. I think it’s the only book the author has written and it’s not edited great but the story is as fantastic as the title. It’s about growth as a person and it is fun and inspiring. I think I’ve read it four or five times now.
Oh, I also like the Kory M. Shrum Jessie Sullivan Novels that start with Dying For A Living. It is a unique world about a girl who. . . well, dies for a living. I don’t really know how much it’s appreciated but it’s a series I had to buy all the books and devour.
● Do you hide secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Oh, yes, there are lots of secrets and surprises in the Salvaggio’s Light books. I suggest reading them from the beginning or you may miss a lot of important information and themes throughout the books. Sometimes the reader will know more than the characters and at times the reader, unless they are very astute, will be as surprised about things as the characters.
● Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I’m really not sure I write in a single genre. My books mix everything from romance, suspense, drama, sex, humour and who knows what else! In Cursed Hearts, my first book, I even add a little transcendental romance. At the moment, for the most part, I write contemporary fiction by not confining myself to literary boundaries and try to reflect the realities, insanities, farcicalities, ironies, comedies and ambiguities present in our modern culture. I do, however, at times, like to add a little fantasy, history, and strangeness to my work. Sometimes I find it difficult to choose what genres to select when asked to define my work so I usually go with Contemporary Romance. I guess I can’t get away without saying that my books have lesbian main characters, so that is probably a genre too. However, I don’t think the sexual identity of the main characters should limit the readers who might pick it up. Nothing I write about is exclusive to lesbian or straight people. I tend to have characters that span the spectrum of types but if I feel I can’t do a character justice I either let it go or I get help making sure I portray them in a correct and respectable manner.
● What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject or genre, that isn’t so?
That’s a tough one. Maybe they think that they can’t read a story with an LGBT character if they are not LGBT themselves. Believe me, LGBT people read books with straight people so it won’t hurt anyone to read a book with an LGBT character. I can understand people not wanting to read the erotica but there is so much more in LGBT literature than that genre. There are some very powerful and moving stories out there that are worthy of being on the shelf with all other types of mainstream literature.
● Who are some of your favourite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?
I started reading Edgar Rice Burroughs when I was young. (Yes, I saw myself as Tarzan.) Other influences are Elizabeth Peters, Piers Anthony, Terry Goodkind and Robin Hobb. Notice a pattern. . . they all have written serial books. I guess their influence is that I am not afraid to create a world for my characters and tell their story even if it takes more than one book to do it.
● Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Pantser or plotter? Summarise your writing process.
Well, I will add a different term and call myself a planster. I usually start with an idea, character or problem. Then I plot a basic path, timeline or endgame for the book, then I throw up roadblocks that characters have to dig out of to move forward. What determines their success or failure is based on how the character is moulded and how malleable or concrete they become as the story flows and the problems arise. Sometimes the character drives the story in a way that changes my initial intent and that’s when things get interesting.
After getting the basic book, or series, finished, I go back and pay a lot of attention to the interaction of the characters and make sure they all keep within the psychological profile I’ve given them.
● What projects are you working on at the present?
I’m currently on a mission to get the entire Salvaggio’s Light serial edited and published by next year. I’ve written a few other things while waiting for my editor and hope to publish them at some point.
● Are you a morning person or a night person?
I’m a night owl. I think it must be the moon that helps my creativity flow, that what I tell my partner anyway. . . In reality, there are just a lot less interruptions and worries after a certain time at night.
● You have multiple personalities. Describe some of them.
Hmm, well, I’m not really sure how to answer this. I don’t think my personalities speak to each other. . . I think I have one personality that struggles to know when to expose itself and when to stay quiet.
● Do you believe in love at first sight?
No. I know, rough for a romance writer. But, I do believe in lust at first sight. . .
● Have you ever had the feeling you were being watched?
People are always watching so I’ve stopped paying attention to that feeling.
● If you were to turn into your partner for a day, what would you do?
We are so sympatico it’s a really hard question. . .
I would like dogs. . . I mean the drool and everything. . . Not that I don’t like them but they can be gross sometimes. I was never raised with pets so don’t have a lot of experience with dogs or other animals. And, I get grossed out easily. She came with a Belgian Malinois so I’ve had to learn a bit about them.
I would also show my legs off more. . . she has really sexy legs. I would probably be a lot nicer overall. She is the one of us everyone likes and gets along with best. She says she just had more of a filter. . . but I don’t know.
● You have to wear a t-shirt with one word on it for the rest of your life. Which word do you choose?
● You are chosen to make dinner for a very special guest. What will you cook?
● What book do you wish you could have written?
The Bible. Of course, it would have been totally different if I had. . .
● What is your least favourite part of the writing-publishing process?
Waiting for someone to write a review.
● Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
It’s not scenes that give me issues. It’s certain characters. For example, in Salvaggio’s Light it was very difficult for me to write Eden Kingsley at times because she has issues I’ve never had to deal with in real life. I can only hope that I did her justice and portrayed her and her serious issue of chronic anxiety with the care and in an authentic way. I know it’s fiction, and writers take a lot of license at times, but when we give characters certain issues we need to be careful and educate as well as present them as authentically as we can within the parameters of the story.
● What are some of your best book marketing tips?
I like anything free as a self-publishing author. Free sometimes means a time investment, so technically it isn’t totally free. But there are lots of free tools out there to help like Bulk Buffer, Mail Chimp and ThunderClap to name a few. My best tip is don’t reinvent the wheel. There are a lot of authors out there who have put out podcasts and videos about marketing so take the time to listen, learn and repeat.
For further information on C.L. Cattrano, please follow the links below:
Website – https://www.clcattrano.com
Amazon Author Page – https://amazon.com/author/clcattrano.com
(Find my books here in eBook or paperback)
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCL.Cattrano/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/CL_Cattrano