I’m delighted to host Zoë Mullins today, author of Winning Cait and A Risk Worth Taking, both published by Ellora’s Cave. In this interview, Zoë shares her publishing journey and the surprising visual image that finally pushed her to get the first darn book written!
How long have you wanted to be a romance writer?
I was the kid in school who was always in trouble for not doing their homework. Instead I was writing. I wrote my first novel on an old manual typewriter that my dad had bought for me when I was about 12 – it was a teenage romance full of mystery and gypsies and the supernatural. Think Nancy Drew meets Vampire Diaries.
When did you decide to write a book?
I have all my life written on and off, with the intention of one day trying to get published, but building my ‘day job’ career took precedence. I was on vacation when the idea came to me for Winning Cait. I think my thought process went a little like this… “You can be kinky even in the middle of the woods. Not everyone has access to a dungeon. It would be fun to write a story about a kinky couple in a small town.” Everything else flowed from that idea.
Describe your process for writing this particular book.
For me, vacation is the easiest time to for me to focus on new stories. But because our vacations tend to be a little rustic, it also means I write the first drafts long hand. Once I am back in civilization (as defined by access to my Mac) I begin the process of typing in that first draft and as I do that I give it a first edit. I usually do this on weeknights because it doesn’t require my mind to be as fresh. I can’t work on original content after working all day, so I usually save that until the weekend.
How long did it take to complete?
Winning Cait took about a year to complete, but it took a lot longer than that to get up the courage to share it and eventually submit it.
Did you work on simultaneous projects?
I am always working on multiple projects. Sometimes that means I’m playing on Pinterest or Facebook, but usually its means that I am working on the next story or book in a series.
How did you fit your writing into the rest of your life?
I don’t know how people with children do it… I have three dogs, a husband and a home that’s in a perpetual state of renovation, so finding time to write is not always easy. I save weekends for working on original content, whereas weekdays are reserved for editing. I find the more tired I am, the more brutal I am.
What kept you going through the process?
My age. I was turning 40 and that was the now or never point for me. I had this horrible fear of being the woman in the old age home someday who talks about what might have been. Frankly, I creeped myself out. I want to be the woman with a sparkle in her eye, drinking a glass of wine, who talks about the kinky sex books she published during her misspent ‘youth’.
Did you have a market in mind when you started writing the book?
I was and am a big fan of Ellora’s Cave and I studied their writers. I loved what they were doing, giving new authors a home for some very unconventional stories. I saw how writers honed their craft there. I knew I wanted to be an EC writer and I didn’t give up until I could make that happen.
What did you do when you got the go-ahead?
I’ll admit it, as soon as I realized this wasn’t a friend joking with me, I cried. It was overwhelming.
What has surprised you most about this process?
How much I had to learn about marketing. I’ll admit the writing and editing side came easy. My day job is writing and having it edited and picked apart. That doesn’t bother me. I long ago learned not to be precious about that sort of thing and to learn from the experts. Though I will admit I had it easy. We only had one serious round of revisions before it was fast-tracked. It was only six weeks between the day of acceptance and the day it was published. But that meant I had to learn quickly how to promote my work. I knew nothing about Goodreads, author blogs, blog tours etc. I didn’t even have a Facebook or Twitter page ready, let alone a website. I took a few days off to get that all set up.
The other surprising thing… is the support from my fellow writers, especially my fellow Ellora’s Cave authors. They are an inspiring and supportive group, but truly all the writers I’ve encountered have been amazingly helpful and encouraging.
After more than a decade, Cait returns home to St. Augustin and the Dom she left behind. A pampered sub, now widowed, Cait has had to adjust to making decisions for herself for the first time in years. With some help from her friends, she’s been able to begin the business she always wanted.
Then Jackson walks into her studio and it’s as if their years apart never happened. As if she hadn’t left him for his best friend. Their intense chemistry is still there, but she’s already balancing running a new business and making ends meet. Does she have room in her life for Jackson, or better yet, is she willing to relinquish her newfound control?
He’s not going to give her a choice. This time he’s determined to earn her submission, and have her back, not only as his sub, but as his wife.
Reader Advisory: This story has graphic sexual language and scenes—no closed bedroom doors (or other rooms) here!
An adult BDSM romance from Ellora’s Cave
The only reason Zoë learned to type in high school was so she could write even faster. A prolific writer, even in elementary school, she was jotting down poems and stories whenever she had the chance – usually during math class. After years of working in corporate communications, Zoë decided to refocus on the kind of writing she loved – hot romances with strong, independent heroines. Zoë and her husband of nearly 20 years (yes they did marry in elementary school, thank you for thinking so) live in Atlantic Canada with their fur-family (two dogs at this time). When not at her desk or with her laptop in the gazebo, you can find her at her favorite yoga studio, camping by the lake or renovating their money-pit of a house.
Zoë loves to hear from her readers. You can contact Zoë by email, Facebook or Twitter. If you want to get more insights into the characters you’ve read about, or get a sneak peak at what’s ahead, check out her Pinterest page!
BUY WINNING CAIT HERE: