Cate Masters brings together extreme sports, the Arctic, and two people who are dealing with grief and pain in her new novel, “Twice in a Blue Moon.” Masters, who also writes as C.A. Masterson, has 32 releases under her belt. "Goddess, Awakened," a romance fantasy, was released last year. She has another book that will be published in June. She writes fantasy, historical, contemporary, and speculative fiction.
Masters has won awards for her literary short stories. “Christmas Eve at the Diner on Rathole Street” won first place in the 2010 Pearl S. Buck Foundation contest and “All is Calm, All is Bright” won second place in the Pennwriters Short Story Contest in 2005.
She talked about her new novel, a contemporary romance, in this Q&A:
Q: "Twice in a Blue Moon" is set in the Arctic. Where did this story come from and what inspired you to write it?
A: The image of a girl standing at the edge of a cliff appeared in my head one day. When she unlatched her bungee cord harness, the vision really gripped me. I had to know her story, what would drive her to do that. Initially, I’d opened the story with that scene, but my critique partners talked me down from that ledge!
Melanie Michaels becomes an extreme sportswoman and launches a reality TV show after the death of her fiancé. She’s absolutely devastated by the loss, and the drive to somehow bridge the gap between this world and the next is the only thing keeping her going. They’d planned to honeymoon in Sweden at the Icehotel, a temporary structure created each year of snow and ice. So she takes her reality TV crew to the Arctic, and her life turns in an unexpected direction when she meets Joe “Buck” Wright, the dogsled musher who guides them there.
Q: Did you do any research or interview people for this book?
A: Oh yes, there was a lot to learn for this story—about dog sledding, Sweden, the culture of the Sami indigenous people, extreme sports, the Icehotel. There were many unique elements to this setting but I loved it. I wish I could visit there one day.
Q: How long did it take you to write "Twice in a Blue Moon"?
A: I had the story in my head for quite a few months before actually beginning to write it in November 2013, during NaNoWriMo. Definitely not my usual pace! Then it took several months of revisions and polishing before submitting it to Lyrical Press.
Q: Give us an idea about your writing process. Do you have a writing critique group or partner? What is your revision process like?
A: Critique partners are essential, and I like to round up some beta readers before submitting a story to get more of a reader’s perspective. Stories generally go through several rounds of revisions so I can do as much self-editing as possible before I send a draft to my CPs, then I revise again after they send their feedback.
Q: With multiple books out at once, how do you juggle marketing and promotion with writing?
A: It can be frustrating to manage a healthy balance between the two. The more notes I keep when writing a story, the more it helps later, and I don’t have to scramble to remember the details of a story I wrote long ago. I write a few blog posts while everything’s fresh in my mind.
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