Katie May is a USA Today bestselling author who loves to write about strong females and the men who love them. She writes everything from paranormal to horror to contemporary to comedy. She’s a caffeine addict and horror movie fanatic. Feel free to message her anytime on Facebook!
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 have been writing since I was in elementary school. I remember writing short stories constantly in my notebook and sharing them with my teacher. But surprisingly enough, I didn’t know it was possible to make a career out of writing. I actually went to college and received a degree in political science and legal studies with the intent to go to law school. I only published my first book because of a bet I made with my sister. I had no idea what I was doing or why I was doing it, but I purchased a cheap cover and published it into the world through Amazon. To my immense surprise, the book gained popularity after a famous indie author promoted it in her group. I decided to publish a squeal, and from there, I knew that this was what I was always meant to do. I love being able to craft stories and characters from my own imagination. There are so many thoughts running through my head, and writing allows me to put them all onto paper. It’s empowering to know that people are actually reading your words and stories.
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 everything from paranormal to contemporary to fantasy to horror. I love being able to find my limit and then break through it. All of my books have romance in it, usually unconventional relationship pairings, and my signature humor. I love writing about strong females and the men who love them. Usually, my books are reverse harem, meaning that there’s a happily ever after for all of the characters involved. The main character never chooses just one man to end up with, but all of them. They can follow me on Amazon here, https://www.amazon.com/Katie-May/e/B07HLQ6WGR/ or join my reader’s group here Facebook.com/gropus/KatiesGang. I also have a newsletter that I send out whenever I have a new release, which you can sign up for here https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/u6a9m7
3) What projects are you currently working on?
Right now, I’m alternating between three projects. One is a shifter reverse harem standalone and is a part of the Kingdom of Wolves series with a bunch of incredible authors. You can actually pre-order it here https://books2read.com/TornToBits. I’m also working on the sequel to my bestselling book, Blindly Indicted, which features a blind girl who travels to a paranormal prison and becomes protected by some of the most dangerous inmates. It’s a reverse harem as well! Finally, I’m finishing up the final book in my co-write with the incredible Ann Denton that features a bunch of crazy demons and one sweet, innocent female who accidentally summons them.
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 most significant achievement was when I achieved USA Today Bestseller status. I still find it surreal to even think about it. I was also able to become an international bestselling author after my book reached the top 100 in all of Amazon in five different countries. In five years, I hope to continue releasing books regularly and writing a variety of romance – both reverse harem and traditional MF. I would love to be able to have more co-writes in my future. I don’t know for sure where I want my career to take me. All I know is that I want to continue to write for however long people will read my books.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
I simply move on. Life is too short to focus on small things. For example, when I turned eighteen, I tried to send query letters to professional agents. Of course, I received numerous rejection letters back. I was devastated, but I quickly decided to take control of my own future and self-publish instead. I knew I wouldn’t get the backing of some of the bigger publishing houses, but I now have full artistic control of my books and am able to make a career out of writing.
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 do have a schedule! I try to write a few hours every day, excluding the weekends, and write at the very minimum 5,000 words a day. Sometimes I can write up to 12,000 words and other times I only get a few hundred words in. I usually only outline my standalone novels, mainly because I want to make sure every plot-point is touched on before the end. With my longer series, I allow the muse to take me in whatever direction it goes. I am usually capable of finishing a novel in one to two months, depending on how many projects I’m working on at the time. Then, it goes to alphas for a few weeks and then betas. I send it to my editor and then my proof-reader before publishing it. The overall process takes a few months, give or take.
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?
Not at all! Readers don’t care if you’re twenty years old (like me) or fifty. As long as you write what you want and find a market who’ll read it, you can become successful. One of my closest author friends started writing when she was in her late fifties and she’s absolutely flourishing. You just need to know how to market your books. I truly believe that age doesn’t matter if you write what you love and find a market audience for it.
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 honestly don’t know the answer to the first question! I used to average a book a day before I started writing. I suppose the series that inspired me to write paranormal romance was the Night World series by LJ Smith. I read it in middle school and became obsessed with vampires and soul mates and witches. I don’t have a favorite author at the moment either, but I have been reading a lot of reverse harem romances. I’m currently reading Hell Hath No Fury by Cate Corvin.
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?
Nope! The only time I’ll ever read my own work is A) if I’m doing a proofread before publication or B) if I need to re-familiarize myself with the world before writing the sequel. Both times, I look at it like a job instead of something I do for pleasure. I always tend to judge myself too harshly and usually end up hating everything I’ve written by the end.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing?
Only a few years ago, publishing independently was simply unheard of. You needed to be backed by a big publisher house in order to make a splash. With the invention of Kindles and online reading, smaller independent authors like me are actually able to get their books into people’s hands…and make a living out of it! At the same time, the market becomes oversaturated. The moment a trope becomes popular or successful, everyone tries to write their own version of it, and books tend to get lost in the shuffle. It’s more important than ever in this landscape to carve a place out for yourself.
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?
My humor! I always add my humor into every book, regardless of genre. Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing it until someone from my team points it out to me. In a way, it’s a piece of my soul that I add into every single one of my books. Even if I write a serious novel with heart-wrenching twists and character development, there will be moments that will showcase my usual humor. Writing is my escape from this world, and I often look to it whenever I’m feeling low or emotional. I think it’s for that exact reason that a tiny sliver of me will be placed inside of every book, no matter the genre. In a way, my books are an extension of me and my inner thoughts. It’s actually why a lot of my books, even my more humorous ones, will touch on mental illness, such as depression and anxiety. It’s something I can relate with, and it allows me to use my stories as an outlet for my own emotions.