Author Spotlight: Kat Mizera

CJC Photography, Temptation's Inferno by Kat Mizera, Kat Mizera book author, Joey Santa Lucia model, Florida photographer, book cover photographer, romance book cover photographer1) How did you get started as an author and what made you want to pursue that field?
I’ve always written, since I was little. I was a journalist in sports and entertainment for most of my career but didn’t really consider publishing my fiction (which was accumulating in boxes and on my hard drive for nearly 40 years). I had hip replacement surgery in 2015 and a mystery writer friend said, “Write and publish something–what else do you have to do while you’re recovering?” And that’s what I did. I’ve never looked back. 
2) What hurdles have your overcome while striving towards your goals?
The indie industry changes faster than most of us can keep up. One day this works, the next day (literally sometimes) it’s something else. It’s really hard to build a business plan, a marketing plan–even a release schedule–when things change constantly. Sometimes it feels like talent doesn’t matter–it’s just luck. That’s not true, of course, although there is a LOT of luck involved anymore. The right trend at the right time could change everything… or not. That’s why it’s important to stay true to yourself and your writing.
3) Which novel has been your favorite to write and why?
The new one, Temptation’s Inferno, is definitely my favorite. It wasn’t supposed to be about two guys; it was plotted as a menage, where this straight guy has a threesome with his friend/teammate and that guy’s wife. The three of them would fall in love and it would become a triad. But the guys wouldn’t have it. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get them to stop falling in love–with just each other. The confusion that the “straight” guy feels was real to me when I was writing it–I’ve never been so immersed in a male character before–and when the conflict starts, it was painful. Usually I sympathize with my characters when I do mean things to them, but this book was different–it haunted me, kept me up at night. I literally wrote the first 90K words in 10 or 11 days. Then I kept going back to make sure it was the story I needed it to be. The guys truly directed this story, start to finish, which has never happened before. I also felt that the underlying message of acceptance meant a lot to me not just as an author, but as a person. Love is love–why does it have to have a label?
4) For those looking to become an author, what advice would you give them?
WRITE. It seems like a cliche, but the more you do it, the better you get. Take classes–even free creative writing classes at your local community center. Hone your skills. Many are born with talent, but most of us need help perfecting it. I’m a big believer in education… do it, learn it, keep updating until it’s better. And don’t give up. If this is your passion, follow your dreams. Keep writing. Keep learning. Keep submitting/publishing. You can do it but don’t expect it to be easy–it will be the hardest you’ve ever worked.
5) Favorite motto?
We don’t stop laughing because we grow old;
We grow old because we stop laughing.
6) In one word, how would you describe your writing style?
Encompassing. My characters and my stories weave and wind intricate paths until they come back together. The characters always come back to help each other, stand by each other, take care of each other. I have friends like that in real life and I know how lucky I am, so I try to bring a fictional (and obviously over-the-top since it’s romantic fiction) version to my stories. 
7) Which author inspires you the most and why?
Too many to count… but Judy Blume was an early influence because of “Forever” and “Wifey.” Forever was so poignant it stuck with me forever… LOL I can still remember the “pain” (I was a young teen when it came out) of the break-up. And then Wifey was my first “dirty” book and I thought it was SO cool that she could write something that was sexy but also a good story. Those book were what I aspired to back then. But in my next life, I want to be Carly Phillips. She’s fantastic.
8) What is your writing process like?
Well…that’s a tough one. I don’t have a specific process. Usually the ideas brew in my head for days/weeks/months before I write anything. Then I usually sit down and write a few paragraphs/pages to see if I’m feeling it. Once I have a vibe, I use old fashioned pen and paper to play with names, locations, ages, profession, etc. Then I write out (somewhere at the bottom of my document) a very loose outline. A&B meet at X. Y happens. Ending will occur when ZZZ happens… hard to explain because each book is SO different. I don’t plot out details, though. I only know how to get from A to B and then that I’ll wind up at E or F. What happens between B and F is up to the characters. Kinda. 
9) Goals for the remainder of the year?
Less stress, getting healthier, more focus. I tend to play the role of “creative artist” a little too much since I started writing full-time. I need to stop working 18-hour days six days a week and focus on making more out of the time I spend at work. This isn’t a 9 to 5 job, but it could be more streamlined and I’m exploring ways to find a better balance. I think with less stress, I’ll also write better–nothing is worse than trying to write on a deadline when you can’t focus and you’re full of stress. That goes for any job, not just writing. 
10) What new projects are you currently working on?
My next series is going to be called “Romancing Greece.” Yes, another sub-genre of romance but I’m a Gemini–I can’t do the same thing or be the exact same person day after day. I love change, adventure, new things–partly why I love to take classes and learn! The first series was Sports Romance, the second is more dark/erotic romance and the new one is going to be straight contemporary romance. Each book will take place in a different city in Greece, with one Greek character and one American (from Las Vegas, of course, since all my books have some tie back to Vegas). I’m half Greek and I speak the language plus I go there often, so taking part of my heritage and putting it into a series seems like a no-brainer. It’s exciting and from the tidbits I’ve shared in my reader group, people are interested. I hope to have the first one–Romancing Athens (title subject to change)–out by late July. Then I have another Sidewinders book in the fall, an Inferno novella and a submission in a summer March of Dimes Anthology. I’ll let my readers and sales direct 2018!
11) Any final thoughts you would like to share with the CJC Photography readers?
One of the most fun things about being self-published is finding the “perfect” model(s) for your cover! There’s only so much you can do with stock images and boy, when you find that right image, it’s amazing. It brings everything together to get a visual of what you imagined in your head. I love these photographers and models who put themselves out there for us! 
Kat it was a pleasure collaborating with you on the cover of Temptation’s Inferno with Joey and I can’t wait to read it!
Stay up to date with all of Kat’s latest releases on her Facebook page!
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