Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cate Masters on Writers and Fantasies and Surfacing

Today I'm proud to welcome author Cate Masters, who is going to share her thoughts on author fantasies with us, and tell us about her newest novel.

What’s your writer’s fantasy?

As writers, we all have fantasies. Probably too many, lol. But what’s your writer’s fantasy?
Aside from the one we all have, that is – the Big Enchilada. The Big Break that will launch you onto the bestseller list and into the heart of every reader worldwide. Yes, we all have that fantasy.
But what is your writer’s fantasy? The dream story? The one that feels as if it’s descended from heaven, delivered by a host of singing angels directly into your hands, with the appropriate reverence and advice to use it wisely?
Yep, the story that’s eluded you all your writerly life?
I haven’t found mine yet. It’s out there somewhere, I can feel it. But I haven’t quite hit it.
I’m not discouraged though. The notion that my best work is still ahead of me is encouraging. Though I’ve put heart and soul into my writing, I know I still haven’t quite hit my stride as an author. And that’s a good thing.
Johnny Depp once said that if he ever became complacent as an actor, it would be time to stop. And that’s exactly how I feel. Besides, who am I to argue with Johnny Depp? And who wouldn’t like to get inside his, um, head? lol
I never want to stop reaching for that next best thing. It will draw me higher into the realm I want to be. The realm of excellence.
But not just great writing. Great storytelling. For too long, that idea eluded me too. Too many of today’s bestselling authors are, in my mind, not wonderful writers. They are, however, amazing storytellers.
I’m hard to please, I suppose. But that’s also a good thing. I want the best of both worlds – the Killer Combo, of great writer and great storyteller.
If you’re a writer, what’s your writer’s fantasy? Do you have a specific genre in mind?
If you’re a reader, what sort of killer combo does it for you? When you enter a bookstore, do you head for a certain section of the bookstore, or browse the tables near the front in search of any grabber of a book?
Thanks for having me today, Julie! And thanks to any who stopped by. I hope you’ll visit my blog: http://catemasters.blogspot.com where there’s always something going on.
I’ll leave you with the blurb from my fun contemporary fantasy, Surfacing. It was a 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest semi-finalist! It’s now available from Whiskey Creek Press: http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=824 You can read reviews, an excerpt, view the trailer and even see who played the movie version in my head at: http://catemasters.blogspot.com/2007/12/surfacing-contemporary-fantasy.html

Book blurb
 AJ Dillon is trouble. The former lead singer of an indie band has no home, no money and no future. His grandfather is the only relative willing to take another chance on him. AJ arrives in Weeki Wachee, Florida, with his guitar, a few clothes and a bad attitude. The only good thing about Weeki Wachee is the ocean -- the one place AJ feels at home.
 Grandpa lines up a job for AJ at Weeki Wachee Springs, where beautiful women perform as mermaids. Grandpa says real mermaids exist, but AJ doesn’t believe – until he meets Cassiopeia. She helps his passion for music resurfaces. But greedy Chaz finds out about her, and threatens to kill them if AJ doesn't go along with his plan to make a fortune with a real mermaid show. Can AJ save Cassie, even if it means losing her?

Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home for the past 20 years, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. A lover of all great writing, she aspires to entertain and enthrall with her own stories. Most days, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at www.catemasters.com, http://catemasters.blogspot.com, and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.


  1. Thanks so much for having me Julie! Your blog is beautiful.

  2. Thanks for being here, Cate! I'm glad you like it!

  3. The big enchilada! ROTFL!

    I'm going to have to remember that.

    I'm not as prolific or as accomplished as you, Cate, but I decided to narrow my work into worlds, places to base my stories.

    I have three so far and while I love them all, I must admit, it's always the one I'm currently working on that I hope will be the ONE.

    Here's to wishes and dreams. :)

  4. Interesting Maria. I'd love to hear more about your worlds. Now I'll have to go search through your blog to see if I've missed a post on it!
    Hope we all see our dreams fulfilled.

  5. Cate, as usual, I agree with you about numerous things. (I swear. Honest. I'm not a crazy fan...just a fan! :))

    First, why argue with Johnny Depp? I'd love to get in his *ahem* head as well. I've had that fantasy since his days on 21 Jump Street. :) Seriously though, he's turned into a true actor who respects his craft.

    Second, many bestselling authors have only partially mastered their craft--the storytelling part. It's hard to get into an awesome story when the writing (or editing) leaves something to be desired. (I know I'm nowhere near to being the perfect writer, but my career as a writer has made it difficult to be a passive reader.)

    Now for my guilty secret. I have a pet, a baby, the project of my heart. I've been afraid to touch it since I became published. It needs so much work, rewriting of the first chapters and then completion. It's a young adult sci-fi/fantasy. The heroine haunts me. People who have read it want to know when I'm going to finish, but fear locks my fingers. *Sigh.* Maybe one day I'll get the courage...

  6. Emma, you're holding back on us! Any character who speaks so strongly to you has to be let out of your head. Don't think about the readers, just write. Set your heroine free! Seriously, I hope you do.
    I agree about some of the bestselling authors. I concentrate too closely on craft, so errors jump out at me now. Sometimes I wish they wouldn't, so I could just enjoy reading.
    I have a similar book, though it's a question of technique holding me back. I need to jump between past and present in a coherent way. Once I figure out how to do it without jarring the reader, lol.

  7. We should talk...I have a story in submission that jumps back and forth between past and present. The editor gave me a tip for making transition points more smooth.