Cat Winters (seriously awesome name) knew she wanted to be a writer the moment she put pencil to paper as a child. What she didn’t know at the time was that it would take her almost 40 years to realize her dream. #perspective. #perseverance. In her own words…
I’ve been writing since childhood, but I didn’t sign a publishing contract until shortly after my fortieth birthday. I first started querying agents in 1995, signed with my first agent in 1998, dabbled in self-publishing when my first agented book didn’t sell, signed with my second agent in 2007, and then finally sold a book to a publisher in 2011. The most important things that helped me survive during my long journey were patience, perseverance, courage (including the courage to send my work to countless agents and contests, some of which led to positive results), and flexibility. I painfully learned that it might not be my first novel (or even my second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth) that would be THE ONE to sell, but I kept on writing, listening to feedback from critique partners, agents, and interested editors, and celebrating the small triumphs. It wasn’t easy, but I’m so glad I didn’t throw in the towel.
Would you ever consider self-publishing – why?
As I mentioned, I tried self-publishing in the past, before Kindle, Nook, and other e-readers opened new doors for independent publishers. I sold very few copies and found the experience frustrating. I don’t know if I’d ever go down that path again, but I certainly know why it’s an appealing option when you hear the word “no” too many times from publishers.
What are you currently working on?
In addition to working on various editing stages for my upcoming novels and anthology short story, I’ve started the first draft of a new historical novel, which I can’t yet talk about.
What’s something your fans may not know about you?
In college, I was a deejay for my university’s radio station, KUCI 88.9 FM in Irvine, California, and I played rap, hip hop, ska, alternative rock, and worldbeat. My air name was “The Catmeister.”
What’s the best advice you’ve received in your publishing journey?
When I was a teenager, I met a screenwriter who worked on the TV series 21 Jump Street, and he gave me the age-old advice for writers, “Never give up.” I told him, “I won’t,” and I didn’t.
In the Shadow of Blackbirds, Abrams, published April 2013
The Cure for Dreaming, Abrams, published October 2014
The Uninvited, HarperCollins, August 2015
Slasher Girls & Monsters Boys (YA horror anthology; short story title TBA), Penguin, August 2015
The Steep and Thorny Way, Abrams, Spring 2016