Blog Contest: Women and Adversity
This week Katharine Ashe, award-winning writer of historical romances, answered my questions about obstacles she had to overcome to be a writer. She volunteered to send a signed copy of “I Married a Duke” to the winner of my contest. To enter:
1)Sign up to receive my blog in your email.
2)The person who leaves a pertinent comment in the least number of words about what Katharine says will receive the book.
Question: What was the biggest obstacle you had to face when you decided to write romance?
Katharine: Myself. I was in a Ph.D. graduate program and unhappy. I adored the research, the writing, and the intellectual stimulation, but I was coming to dislike a lot about the profession of being an academic. I’d always written fiction, mostly romantic fiction, and I read romance voraciously. But I didn’t think I should write romance as a career.
My parents raised me to believe that whatever I did with my life should help other people. I loved writing romance, but it seemed like a vacation, all just fun and no substance. Scholarship and teaching, I told myself, were serious pursuits that could have a positive impact… somewhere… on someone… I guess. I thought that if I left academia I should at least turn to something social service oriented, to help those in need.
It took a long time to convince myself I could write romance for a living. Fan mail helped with this hugely. Women like me, struggling with both day-to-day and life challenges, needed the escape that my books gave them. Also, I wasn’t writing fluff; my books include things like slavery, addiction, racism, child abuse and other hard stuff that the characters struggle with on their journeys toward love. When readers started writing to tell me how much they appreciated and learned from my books – all while enjoying the sexy romance – I knew I’d made the right choice to follow my heart.
Question: What is the biggest obstacle/s you face now as a writer?
Katharine: Time is my biggest obstacle now. I never left academia entirely; I still teach part-time. Also, I have a family, and they always come first no matter what else I need to do. Succeeding as an author of genre fiction demands an astonishingly rapid pace of writing. While I don’t have trouble writing when I find the time, finding that time is a big challenge. But if my heroines can take on elusive lords and dangerous villains (not to mention their own stubborn hearts), I suppose I can manage it well enough.
Katharine is the award-winning author of historical romances that reviewers call “intensely lush” and “sensationally intelligent.” Her novella HOW TO MARRY A HIGHLANDER is a 2014 RITA® Award Finalist. Her latest, I ADORED A LORD, is a sexy Regency historical romance crossed with a game of Clue and set in a snowbound castle. For more about her books, excerpts, and giveaways, please visit her at www.KatharineAshe.com.