The Liberating Power of Taking the Plunge: An Interview with Katy Evans

To celebrate our awesome community of NOOK authors, as well as the recent launch of the NOOK Press print platform, we’re talking each month with authors whose books are making a splash with NOOK readers.

Katy Evans is the bestselling author of the Real series, set in the raw and sexy world of underground fighting; the Manwhore series, about an elusive and intriguing entrepreneur and the woman who figures out what makes him tick; and, now, the White House series, kicking off with new release Mr. President. We talked to Evans about her influences, her latest book, and her path to self-published success.

Tell us a bit about your writing background.
I’ve wanted to be a writer all my life and I began writing my first book when I was 15. It was terrible! But as I kept writing through the years, my writing developed. I began entering contests, taking writing classes, honing my skills, and then things got real with the release of my indie debut, Real!

What made you decide to go the self-publishing route?
I really enjoy the freedom of self-publishing and having the opportunity to step outside of the box. I also love the fast turnaround. Whereas it’s taken at least six months to get my traditionally published books ready for publication, my self-published titles usually take two. This shorter time period really helps keep things flowing creatively and enables me to move onto the next project the exact moment it begins calling to me.

Did you work with other professionals—editors, cover designers, etc.—on your path to publication?
Absolutely. I’ve worked with several highly talented cover designers, as well as editors, copyeditors, proofreaders, and formatters. I truly appreciate having such a talented team of individuals helping me make each release—from the cover to the finished product—really shine.

How did it feel to hit publish on that first book?
Amazing. Liberating. And also very, very frightening. Sort of like climbing up to the tip of a VERY tall mountain, a tall mountain you’ve NEVER been on before, wrapping a flimsy little rope around your waist, and jumping!

Can you describe how it felt when you saw your first self-published book finding a readership?
Humbling. All the doubts, the time spent home instead of out with friends because I’d rather find out what my characters were up to, the many drafts, the sleepless nights wondering if anyone out there would love this book as much as I did…it was all worth it when I realized the answer was yes. Not only one, but many people, could and did!

What does it mean to you to have achieved success and connected with an audience outside of the usual publishing avenues?
I’m very grateful to have connected with such a vast and amazing group of readers that enjoy the same things I do—like super sexy, protective alpha men and very passionate, deep connections. I was once told that when you put yourself out there, you should just be yourself and trust that your tribe will find you. I think they have; or maybe I found them. We found each other.

How do you determine when your books are ready for publication?
Usually once I type The End, give it a few reads, get feedback from my agent and beta readers, and fix any inconsistencies, I realize the characters are no longer talking to me. That’s when I know they’re happy with their HEA and I find the peace I need to start listening to new characters.

How do you handle publicity around your work?
In the beginning, not very well. I would feel either super excited (they liked it, yay!), or very hurt (they HATED it, I’m the worst!). Now I simply know it’s impossible to please every reader, and I LOVE what I write too much to change what I write to appease anyone else.

How do you interact with your readers?
I love interacting with my readers through my Real series Facebook group as well as through my Facebook author page, Twitter, and Goodreads. Instagram, too!

How has being a self-published author changed your life?
Thanks to being self-published I’m now able to write what I like and release my books on my own schedule, plus I love the close connection I’m able to enjoy as an indie author with my readers.

Tell us a little bit about your most recent release.
My latest release is called Mr. President and it’s one of my favorite books. Inspired by the ever sexy JFK Jr, and my own longing to have a sexy presidential book….I decided to sit down and write it.

Tell us a bit about the books and authors that have inspired you.
I have so many favorites. The authors I always mention are the very first romance authors I read. Judith McNaught, Julie Garwood, Jude Deveraux, and Johanna Lindsey. I love these women for every word they’ve penned, and every story they’ve shared, and for shining the light on what it was that I really wanted to do with my life.

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