Author’s Roundtable: Catrina Barton


How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing a little more than six years now. I’m a fast learner.

Has writing always been something you wanted to do?

Growing up I wanted to be a singer. After graduating, I went into computer repair. I never thought I could be a writer because I failed English {now Language Arts} horribly.
 
What books or stories have you written?

I have written four novels to date. Three are in the rough draft stage, waiting to be polished up.

Published?

So far I’ve only published the five-chapter preview of “Dangerous Temptation.”

Can you tell us a little about your books? 

My three unpublished novels will probably never get published. They were steps along the path as I started to hone my craft. Bear in mind I’m a long way from completely honing my craft. I don’t think any author will completely do that. Two are YA novels.

What are they about? 

“Dangerous Temptation” is a YA paranormal romance about a teenager who loses her father in the line of duty and is forced to move halfway around the world to live with an uncle she never knew about. She uncovers secrets about her parents’ pasts and falls in love with a tiger shifter {Caspian} named Cadmon, who has a blood feud going with her uncle.

Here is the full blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Kaitlin Sinclair’s world is turned upside down when she moves to Indonesia, and discovers the secrets that threaten the existence of the enchanting Cadmon and his people. She dives into a foreign culture, full of mystique and dangers everywhere she turns, where keeping her heart safe might prove as impossible as staying alive!

How did you get inspiration for the characters?

Tigers are my favorite animals in the entire world! I’ve always been fascinated reading about shapeshifters.
 
Are the books based on personal experiences?

In a way yes. My father is a marine, so I know how tough that can be. One of my best friends is also a marine, and I couldn’t be any prouder of both of them. My childhood was rough, so I can empathize with Kaitlin, and that helps me delve deeper into her characterization.
 
Is there any advice you have been given that you could give to a young up-and-coming writer?

Don’t quit! Seriously, the only way not to succeed is to give up. You have to have confidence in yourself as a writer, and you have to have a strong determination to stay the course through the many trials that lay ahead. My other advice is this: Don’t expect to “get rich quick” because it isn’t going to happen! Stick to your day job. Write for the joy it brings you.
 
Can you talk a little about the benefits of getting your work professionally edited?

It’s a must. Readers are smarter than people give them credit for. Trust me, if you make a lot of mistakes, they will be drawn to them like a shark to blood in the water, or fresh chum.
 
What are some of the hardest things you’ve had to overcome as a writer, in order to be published?

Anxiety of whether or not my writing was good enough. Harsh critiques. Trust me, they may seem hurtful, but they will improve your writing a hundred fold.
 
How do you find enough time in the day to write?

My husband is very supportive of my writing and has been since day one. Despite the frustrations of taking my time away from him and the kids, he’s very proud of me and tells me so all the time. He helps me make time to write, even if it’s only a few hours a day.
 
How did you find time to write your books?

When my husband worked night shifts is when I started writing. I had to be up anyway to keep the wood-burning stove going in winter, so I needed something to do to help me pass the time. When insomnia kicked in, I continued staying up late at night.
 
Do you think writing has any benefits, and if so what would they be?

You create everything from the world your characters live in, to all of the characters’ little nuances and quirks. Letting your imagination fly free and knowing that others enjoy the worlds and people you created. That’s the best part of it for me.
 
Several of my guests have often said writing is therapeutic and relaxes them. Can you talk a little about how writing relaxes you?

Writing is my escape, as much as reading used to be {and sometimes still is}, It lets me forget about the hectic everyday life we live and helps me feel productive, beyond being mama and wife.

Any specific examples you can share?

When my grandmother passed away from cancer in 2007 I wrote a fan fiction called “A Miko’s Love Story.” That’s how I grieved. In 2010, my grandfather passed also from cancer, and I wrote a fan fiction called “My Enemy, My Friend” {both for the Inuyasha fandom and both feature Kagome/Bankotsu}. That’s how I grieved. His death hit me hardest because for the first few weeks all I could do was cry out of the blue.
 
Has writing made you a better person?

I like to think so yes. It’s given me many opportunities that I didn’t have before I started writing.
 
You mention in your bio that you’re a kung fu instructor. What’s that like? Any lessons you’ve learned from kung fu that you could apply to writing?

Being an instructor is awesome. I get to teach others how to defend themselves. Teaching kids is great, although it can be tricky too. All of the lessons I’ve learned in kung fu are adapted into my writing, especially for the fight scenes.

I sense from your tweets and emails that God is very important to you. Can you talk a little bit about how He has helped you on your writing journey? How long have you known the Lord? What are some of the most important lessons God has taught you that apply to your writing life?

Oh yes, He’s the most important person in my life. Actually I met my husband because of God. If you wish to know why God is the center of my life, here is a short story I wrote about it titled “Never Forget.” This story is based on an actual event from my life and was the turning point in my life. 🙂

Do you like to read?

I love to read and have done so since I was three.

If so, what are your favorite genres and why?

Fantasy because of the magical worlds and creatures. Romance because I have been a sucker for a good love story since I was ten. Paranormal because I’m fascinated by shape shifters. I’ve recently gotten into YA. They are fun, quick, easy reads.
 
Can you talk about how important reviews are to writers?

Reviews are more important to writers than money is {in most cases at least.}. Reviews offer insight into what does work and what doesn’t. They are, in effect, the most valuable crituque to a writer. Even after several rounds of ediing, we still feel like we missed something. Reviews are a writer’s true payoff. Hearing how much readers enjoyed our worlds and characters is the reason we publish books.

Have you ever received a bad review? If so how did it make you feel?

When I first started writing, I received a lot of bad reviews, but I learned from them and started honing my craft. Sometimes they hurt enough you want to cry.

About Catrina Barton

Catrina Barton is a licensed kung fu instructor of the Black Dragon style and draws on that experience to make her fight scenes both realistic and action packed. She enjoys being surrounded by the stark beauty of mother nature, whether it’s a moon-lit starry sky or a picnic by a peaceful waterfall cascading from the mountain side.

Growing up no matter where she was physically, she always had at least one book in her hands and spent every free moment lost in a book. It’s only natural that as she grew up, her passion for reading grew into an even stronger passion for writing paranormal romances. She is a proud member of PNRWriters, RB4U, SheWrites and NaNo. She is an active participant at Critique Circle and several other critique groups.

Catrina’s favorite personal quote is, “An author cannot grow without both constructive criticism and encouragement.”

Check out this preview of Dangerous Temptation and Catrina’s blog for writers.

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5 thoughts on “Author’s Roundtable: Catrina Barton

  1. Pingback: Another Interview. « kittyb78

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