Howdy, Delighted Readers!
We’ve got a special guest today. I’ve been loving on her books for the last couple years now and some of you have been around long enough to witness this between her fantasy story, Sacratic and last years’ four part romantic suspense series, Common Law. Did I give you enough hints?
Today we’re welcoming for her first visit, author Kate Sherwood, to talk about a bit of quirk in her writing routine that might have influenced her latest release, Shelter From the Storm.
Writing with Pets
The last couple years have been pretty rough for me, pet-wise. First I lost my cat of eighteen years, then my dog of thirteen years. They’d both lived rich, full lives and it was time for them to go, but, damn. I sure missed them. Still do.
Luckily, I had the sense to make sure I wasn’t left totally petless, so I adopted two kittens soon after my cat died, and they had the chance to spend their early kittenhood with a patient, if somewhat confused, Lab. Cleo and Oscar are from the same litter, so they must be at least half-siblings, but Cleo is fine-boned, light and shy, while Oscar is sturdy, heavy and outgoing. They get along well, although sometimes their play fighting gets a little too real for poor Cleo’s taste—typical siblings.
Anyway, I’ve found that writing with two older pets was not real preparation for writing with two kittens in the house. The seniors were content to curl up beside me (dog bed on the floor, cat bed on the desk) and snooze as I tapped away at the keyboard. The juniors? Holy smokes!
Oscar wants to be on my lap all the time, which would be fine if he’d just lie there. But of course that’s not all there is. He does a weird thing where he jams his feet against my thigh or my belly or the arm of the chair or whatever he can reach and then pushes himself back, almost off my lap. Then he waits. And I know from experience that if I shift even just a little it’ll be enough to make him slip off the edge, and of course as he’s falling he’ll have no choice but to grab hold of anything he can, with his claws extended to full. So I try to shift him back to the middle of my lap and he leans into my hand or my arm with even more weight, so now if I move the supporting hand he’ll fall for sure and I’ll be both shredded and be the jerk who told her cat she’d hold him and then let him fall. I don’t need two hands to type, do I?
Cleo is more of a keyboard walker. She’s really good at finding esoteric functions to activate, and consistently hits the combination of keys that makes all my “L”s turn into strangely accented “E”s. Seriously, it takes three keys, pressed simultaneously to do this. I know, because I had to spend half-an-hour googling to figure out what the hell had happened and how to undo it. Apparently those three keys are just where her paws want to fall when she jumps onto a keyboard, so…?
The juniors also want snacks. And they want to tell me about a cool bug they saw, and they want to tell me it’s raining, or sunny, or that there’s a chipmunk in the garden. Oscar has a way of making every meow sound as if he’s in pain—not physical, but a deep, horrible emotional pain that can only be soothed by vigorous snuggling. Cleo’s meows are more questions—See that? Everything okay? You still here? Oscar here? Everyone okay?—but they can, again, be best answered via snuggling. Or treats. She’ll accept either answer.
Anyway. My peaceful days of companionably snoozing pets are over, at least for a decade or so. Maybe that’s why my newest release, Shelter from the Storm, is a novella instead of a novel. How could I be expected to write a full-length book with all these interruptions?
About Shelter from the Storm
A healer and a warrior fight to survive the winter . . . and each other.
Grif is tired of life as a mercenary—tired of life, period. So he heads off into the mountains, not much caring whether he lives or dies. But when his indifference leaves him unconscious in a snowbank, a stranger finds him and insists on dragging him back from death.
Kiernan doesn’t really have time to nurse a stranger back to health; he’s on an important mission. He doesn’t know why the message he’s carrying is significant, but he’s determined to deliver it, even if it means risking his life in the winter mountains. Still, he can’t just walk away from a fellow traveler in need.
Grif didn’t want to be saved, and he sure as hell doesn’t want to be stuck with an annoying, naïve do-gooder. But since when do the mountains give men what they want? The snow is too deep to travel. Food is scarce. Grif and Kiernan learn to depend on each other, and eventually to care about each other. Neither of them wanted it to happen. But sometimes the mountains don’t give men what they want; sometimes, the mountains give men what they need.
About Kate Sherwood
Kate Sherwood started writing about the same time she got back on a horse after almost twenty years away from riding. She’d like to think she was too young for it to be a midlife crisis, but apparently she was ready for some changes!
Kate grew up near Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and went to school in Montreal, then Vancouver. But for the last decade or so she’s been a country girl. Sure, she misses some of the conveniences of the city, but living close to nature makes up for those lacks. She’s living in Ontario’s “cottage country”–other people save up their time and come to spend their vacations in her neighborhood, but she gets to live there all year round!
Since her first book was published in 2010, she’s kept herself busy with novels, novellas, and short stories in almost all the sub-genres of m/m romance. Contemporary, suspense, scifi or fantasy–the settings are just the backdrop for her characters to answer the important questions. How much can they share, and what do they need to keep? Can they bring themselves to trust someone, after being disappointed so many times? Are they brave enough to take a chance on love?
Kate’s books balance drama with humor, angst with optimism. They feature strong, damaged men who fight themselves harder than they fight anyone else. And, wherever possible, there are animals: horses, dogs, cats ferrets, squirrels… sometimes it’s easier to bond with a non-human, and most of Kate’s men need all the help they can get.
After five years of writing, Kate is still learning, still stretching herself, and still enjoying what she does. She’s looking forward to sharing a lot more stories in the future.
Connect with Kate:
To celebrate the release of Shelter from the Storm, Kate is giving away a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 26, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!