Monday, August 22, 2011
I recently asked author Cathy Pegau if she'd be willing to do an interview and she was gracious enough to answer my questions. Cathy has just had a book, Rulebreaker, published and I loved it. Because I enjoyed it so much, I'm giving away 2 Kindle copies of Rulebreaker woot!
I hope you enjoy the interview : )
First, congratulations on your first published book! Did you know this day would come? Or did you fear it would take a lot more time? How many stories do you think you’ve completely written to get to this point?
Thanks so much! When I first started writing, I had delusions of grandeur and a five year plan that took a dozen to come to pass. With Rulebreaker being such a niche book, I was quite surprised it didn’t take longer to find a home. I was fully prepared to have it make the rounds then get stuffed in my virtual drawer.
I know EXACTLY how many stories I’ve written. Four full novels and three halves of novels. Plus dozens of pages of storylines for future novels.
You created an interesting character in Liv. She’s fairly complex in that she lives outside the law, and yet, she seems to have an inner code of honor. Was there someone in particular you based her off of?
You’re not the first person to ask me that : ) Liv is, I think, the Bad Girl (which, not so incidentally, was the original title for Rulebreaker) many of us have inside. Not evil, just willing to do certain things, mostly for cash, when normal means of acquisition are difficult. I didn’t have a particular person in mind, no, but reading about a couple of famous/infamous females helped shape her.
This blog is focused on promoting f/f stories. So I’d love to ask a few questions in that direction.
I know you love reading Sci-fi, so it’s a no brainer that you’d write a story in that genre. But what was it that made you decide the main love story would be between two women?
Did you find it more difficult to create a love story and write sex scenes between two women more so than writing a m/f story?
As much as I enjoy f/f, I didn’t consciously set out to write about two women. I knew it would take a very special person to cause Liv to break her personal rules. Almost immediately, Zia’s character popped into my head. I was a bit startled, but it felt right. The love story was organic enough that writing it came about relatively easily. I wasn’t trying to hook up two women merely for titillating girl-on-girl action. I actually found it easier to write the more sensual and emotional aspects of their relationship than when I write m/f. The physical scenes were new to me, but I don’t write graphic love scenes, even in my m/f stories, so a little extra reading and research worked to manage that. The hardest part was keeping the pronouns straight : )
In m/f the masculine/feminine dynamic makes for a great contrast/ conflict between two characters in a love story automatically. There’s so much to play with even if the male is a beta and the female is an alpha.
Both women, Liv and Zia, are strong alpha types in their own right. I noticed that Liv is more feminine around Tonio but more commanding with Zia, while Zia, who is definitely an alpha in her work, becomes rather soft and vulnerable when it comes to Liv.
Did you think when writing these women that you needed that contrast/conflict to make it interesting and not have two women who are too similar, or did it just want to happen that way?
I wanted two strong women, each with her own life, career, ideas and problems, but they still had to be individuals. Liv had been Tonio’s equal, but yes, in some ways she was willing to defer to him. When she felt like it, anyway : ) When she goes to work at Exeter Mining Liv has to take the reins in order to get her job done, so it suits her to be more forward with Zia. She plays the good little coffee girl in the office, but uses that to her advantage. Zia, on the other hand, is the cool, aloof exec when it comes to her job, but her personal life allows her softer side to come through. I actually wrote a character exploration scene with Zia and her former lover to get a stronger sense of her vulnerability.
I was quite amazed when you shared that your book had been picked up. This is because f/f still isn’t that popular, or nowhere near as popular as m/m in GLBT. While I do feel that more authors are writing it and more readers are open to reading it, I know publishers are still not as willing to go for publishing it.
The f/f market is way smaller than m/m, but hopefully it’s growing. There are some amazing authors and publishers out there. Carina Press is one of the larger publishing imprints to take f/f, making it more mainstream. Rulebreaker isn’t the only f/f story they offered this summer. Michael Merriam’s Last Car to Anwnn Station is a great fantasy with a f/f relationship. I think most people equate f/f and m/m with erotica, no matter what the heat level, and that may put them off. We’d find more readers if that assumption wasn’t made, which means more word of mouth about what’s available. Fingers crossed that f/f will get more exposure in the near future.
Did you fear that having a love story between two women would mean that your book would be passed up or that you’d be told to change it to a m/f?
As I wrote Rulebreaker, I honestly wasn’t thinking about the marketability. I just wanted to write an interesting story. I think if I had stopped to consider the market I might have put it away. But maybe not. I was having way too much fun with it. After writing and revising, as I researched the market, yeah, I was worried it was going to be passed up. I was told by more than one person the writing was fine but selling the story would be hard. No one suggested changing it to m/f. Which is good, because I wouldn’t have : )
I loved this story and think you have a great writing voice. Are there any plans for writing another f/f in your future?
Aw, thanks! There is definitely more f/f in my future! I’m working on the third book set in the same ‘verse as Rulebreaker (number two is a m/f). I also have a f/f historical paranormal western that’s been circling my brain for some time. That’s it at the moment, but I’m always coming up with something to distract me from what I should be doing : )
Thanks a bunch for having me here! I appreciate your support and enthusiasm on a personal level as well as for the f/f genre!
Just comment to enter to win a copy of Rulebreaker. I'm keeping the contest open until Sun. Aug. 28th. The winners will be announced at 6 PM PST on Sun.
If you don't have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle for PC or the apps for iTouch, iPad, iPhone. You can also read Kindle books on android phones and tablets as well.
Edited: All three commentors won a copy of Rulebreaker. Congrats! See comments section for info.