Kait Nolan is a RITA® Award-winning Mississippi author who calls everyone sugar, honey, or darlin’, and can wield a ‘Bless your heart’ like a Snuggie or a saber, depending on requirements. She believes in love, laughter, and that tacos are the world’s most perfect food. When she’s not writing, reading, working the evil day job, or wrangling family (both the two-legged and the four-), you can find her obsessively watching The Great British Bake Off.
1) When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most?
I think I knew when I was twelve and wrote my first book with my then BFF. We kept rewriting that book (that featured thinly-veiled versions of us, natch) and aging up the characters. Eventually, she lost interest in the project, but I was hooked! I didn’t start pursing the dream though until I was in the middle of my master’s thesis in grad school and had a come to Jesus meeting with myself about the fact that absolutely nothing but writing was ever going to make me happy.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
I write small town, Southern contemporary romance. Between all my series (there are several), there’s something for everybody. Family saga romance, military romance, town as character and a town where everybody knows your name. A complete list of my books is available on my website https://kaitnolan.com
3) What projects are you currently working on?
At the moment, I’m writing the third and final book in my military romance trilogy (Rescue My Heart series). Made For Loving You is a second chance romance between a former Army Ranger who doesn’t believe he deserves love and his former high school girlfriend, who’s now the ultimate romantic—a romance novelist. My latest release is Let It Be Me, an empty nest, friends to lovers, hot younger firefighter next door romance that’s first in a new series, Men of the Misfit Inn.
4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
My biggest achievement thus far is absolutely my 2018 RITA® Award win for my standalone novel Second Chance Summer. It was such an honor to be selected as a winner by my peers in the industry. In the next five years, I see myself as finally making the transition to writing full time and being able to take on more of the projects that don’t currently fit on my plate.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
It hasn’t really been an issue. My brief stint pursuing traditional publication effectively taught me that their business model did not suit me. As a self-published author, I make all the decisions, hire all the professionals, and run my business on my own timeline. I…uh…might be a little bit of a control freak.
6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
I have a production schedule for what I plan to put out in the course of a year and a target date for when I need to have that manuscript finished to go to my editor or audio book narrators. As to a day-to-day schedule, that basically flew out the window when the pandemic hit and suddenly my entire family was working and schooling from home. I squeeze it in wherever I can. I absolutely outline. And it varies wildly how long it takes me to finish a book because I have a very talky teenager.
7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
I don’t think it’s ever too late to pursue a dream. You just have to want it enough to put in the work. A late start doesn’t hinder anything if you’re willing to learn.
8) What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?
I’ve read thousands of books. There is no possible way to answer that question. But I will say that the first book that pulled me to romance as a genre was Nora Roberts’ Montana Sky. I became an instant fan and never looked back. Because of that, she’s certainly one of my favorites. At the moment, I’m reading Barbara Freethy’s Beautiful Storm.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work? Do you ever just sit down and curl up with your own book?
I do, actually. Because I write series and will jump between them, I sometimes need to go back and reread the previous book or few to get my head back in the right space for that series. And sometimes I just want to revisit those characters.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing?
I think traditional publishing is about to become a bastion of nothing but nonfiction and textbooks. They refuse to change their business models and are pushing more and more of the marketing onto the authors themselves and overcharging for ebooks. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to make a living through traditional publishing unless you’re those who’ve been at the top forever. Virtually every author I know who started traditional has at least become hybrid or has moved to fully self published in order to cut out the needless bureaucracy and middle man. Why wouldn’t we do that to keep a higher percentage of our royalties if we have to do all the work anyway?
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
I specifically write small town romance because I want to give people a safe place where they can feel community and love. I want to offer up hope to women and a fantasy of a partner who sees and attends to their needs without having to be beaten over the head and asked. And of course, I’m a native Mississippian, so I bring my unique Southern perspective on things. As to empowering my purpose…writing gives me more freedom than anything else. I’m expressing myself and, hopefully, bringing joy and hope. My day job definitely doesn’t do that.