Author Spotlight: Kat Baxter
March 13, 2023 • News
CJC: How did you get started as an author and what made you want to pursue that field?
KB: I’ve been writing for a long time. In fact, Kat Baxter is what I consider to be my writing career part 2. I started out writing full-length historical romances because they were my first love as a reader. In all honesty, I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t want to write. It’s just always been a part of me. Thankfully I had parents who encouraged and nurtured that dream.
CJC: What do you find to be the most rewarding and challenging part of being an author and what hurdles have you overcome while striving towards your goals?
KB: How much time do you have? 🙂 Since I’ve been in this industry for a long time, I’ve seen so many changes. Once upon a time there were seven big publishing houses that did romance, then some merged and there were five. I started in trad publishing and so I was still in that world when the self-publishing indie author boom started. I was certainly skeptical at first and frankly, a bit overwhelmed. Suddenly everything I knew about publishing was irrelevant. I mean except for writing a quality book, I knew nothing of the new ways for doing stuff. It’s been a steep learning curve, but thankfully I’ve met amazing people along the way who are generous with their knowledge.
CJC: Which novel has been your favorite to write and why?
KB: Oh, now that’s not even a nice thing to ask. LOL. All my books are delicious. But if you twist my arm just enough, I will admit that writing Virgin Cowboy, things just came together. That’s probably one of my readers’ favorites as well. Also, Lone Star Ex-Con, I adore those characters and was honored to write their happy ending.
CJC: For first time readers of your work, which book would you recommend?
KB: As an author, I make a promise to bring Heat, Hilarity and a Happy Ending. I think all of my books are funny, but some are funnier than others. So for new readers, I’d suggest Big, Bearded and Brilliant or Hot Mess Wedding as the best examples of my writing style.
CJC: For those looking to become an author, what advice would you give them?
KB: Read! Never stop reading. So often authors become too busy to read books for pleasure and I think this is such a mistake. We start first as readers, it’s how we learn what we love as authors and it fills our creative well. I burn out as a writer much faster if I’m not refilling my well with other author’s books. (I’m not talking about filling a well to borrow things from other writers). But never forget that you’re a reader too. It’s also a great and authentic way to bond with readers. I love to chat with other romance readers and we can geek out together over our favorite books.
CJC: Favorite motto?
KB: I don’t know that I have a specific motto that I go by, but I’m a big believer in failure. There’s no real growth of character or skill without those screw ups. They can be painful to endure, but ultimately they matter. I’ve failed a lot in my career and maybe that’s why I’m having some success now.
CJC: What do you do to overcome writer’s block?
KB: Brainstorm! More than likely my “block” is because I don’t know what comes next in the story. So I go back to the characters, look at my tropes, see what I could write that would highlight those tropes and push my characters along on their growth arc. For my Kat Baxter books because they’re short and I don’t do very heavy conflict, the growth arcs are much smaller than in my big books, but they’re still there. And I still get stuck. Brainstorming often unlocks magic in the story. The other thing I do though is if I do know of a specific scene further into the book, I’ll jump ahead and write that one and often, that will help me figure out why I’m stuck.
CJC: In one word, how would you describe your writing style?
KB: My readers have dubbed me: the Queen of Adorkable. So I guess I’d go with Adorkable.
CJC: Which do you find harder to do… writing the blurb for your story or selecting the cover?
KB: I have no visual arts skills so definitely that. But I have a handful of cover designers that I work with that make magic. I am probably a nightmare client because I will send them a picture and be like, ‘hey, here’s a mountain man, but I don’t want like traditional mountains, so have fun!’ I rarely have a vision for what I want because I just don’t “see” them if that makes sense. Now I can see a cover image and have characters start talking to me. Which is totally what happened when I first saw the image of you that became my cover for Micah.
CJC: Do you have authors who inspire you? And if so, who and why?
KB: Of course. So many from over the years, but right now, Hope Ford. She’s become a dear friend and has held my hand through much of my learning curve. I started as a reader of hers and just slid myself into her DM’s and she’s been kind and gracious ever since. Also, Nichole Rose. I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone more forthcoming and generous with her knowledge. There are so many though, I truly love this writing community.
CJC: What is your writing process like?
KB: Frenzied. LOL. Okay, not always, but I often am on a tight deadline because I keep up a rapid release schedule. Writing shorter stories definitely helps and that’s a natural fit for my voice. Basically, I come up with the characters and tropes and then dive in. There are lots of emails and calls to my bestie, Emma Lee Jayne, because she knows the extent of my crazy. She’s always helpful to talk me off a ledge and help me get back on track. And we’ve been friends long enough that sometimes she just tells me to get out of head and get back to work!
CJC: What new projects are you currently working on and what are your goals for the remainder of the year?
KB: I’ve got 2 new releases every month for the next couple of months so I’m moving quickly from one couple to the next. Right now, I’m loving having all these books set in my fictional small Texas town of Saddle Creek and my readers love it too! My goals for the rest of the year are to continue hitting my current income while managing to write books that feel full length as far as the depth of character and authentic emotion on the page.
CJC: Any final thoughts you would like to share with the CJC Photography readers?
KB: I want to thank Christopher for his picture! It made Micah come to life for me.
CJC: Thank you so much Kat for featuring me on the cover of Micah. That is now available to purchase here!
Stay up to date with all of Kat’s latest releases here.