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More Q & A's with Cate Noble

Becke, you asked:

 

Would you share your "call" story with us? I love hearing how authors got the news of their first sale!

 

Back in 2000, I worked at a CPA firm in North Carolina. Very few (okay, two) of my co-workers even knew that I wrote. So when my agent called and said she’d sold LONE RIDER to Warner Books, I couldn’t even scream. (The office was jammed with clients that day, too.) My agent was, like, “Hello? Did you hear what I said? You sold. S-O-L-D.”

 

I went to the ladies’ room and cried for probably thirty minutes. I was stunned. I had been submitting work for over fifteen years at that point, so to finally get the call was practically debilitating. Once I pulled myself together, I returned to my office and called my husband, then I took the rest of the day off.

 

I screamed in my car, all the way home. Then I called everybody that did know how long I’d been chasing this dream and screamed some more. Then I called my agent back and screamed for her and made her repeat everything.  It was an amazing experience! Just repeating it here again gives me goosebumps.

Cate Noble
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Re: More Q & A with Cate Noble


becke_davis wrote:

 

I friend of mine wrote a lot of books for Kate Duffy under one pen name. She's just sold a series of mysteries to Berkley and in honor of Kate, she is using part of her name as a pen name. ("Duffy Brown")

 


This gave me chill bumps! Kate Duffy was deeply loved and sorely missed. The first book I wrote for Kensington, PURE DYNAMITE (Lauren Bach) was dedicated to Kate.  And DEADLY GAMES is dedicated to her memory as well.

Cate Noble
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Re: More Q & As with Cate Noble


becke_davis wrote:

 

Geesh, and here I've been behaving myself so well lately, too!

 

And I spelled "aides" wrong, didn't I? That's one of my words-to-watch-for when it comes to spelling. 


Life's too short to behave. :smileysurprised: It's also too short to sweat misspelling. That said, I've caught a couple of my own typos in these posts. Accck! Spit! It's so hard to edit/proof your own posts.

Cate Noble
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Re: More Q & A's with Cate Noble


TiggerBear wrote:

 

Nah they're harmless. Noisy though, worse than crickets and 20 times as loud in the summer.

 


You mean those sounds I'm hearing at night aren't Super Crickets? Sheesh! I must have a small army of them massing in my backyard. No wonder they keep getting in the house.

Cate Noble
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Cate Noble: Life as a writer - part 1

Here's the nutshell version of my life as a writer.  (I say 'nutshell' yet I'm breaking this list in two part.)

 

1)    I usually get the notion of plot first - characters are developed second

2)    I outline the entire book before writing it – even though the finished product rarely resembles the outline

3)    By outline, I mean I plot the story arc (the turning points, the black moments, twists, subplots and resolution.)  Then I weave in character goals, motivation & conflict.  I also plot the romance arc.  In romance, there is usually an HEA – a happily ever after – but the path to love shouldn’t be easy.

4)    From there I draw up a detailed list of scenes

5)    Then I begin writing.  I write sloppy first drafts and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite – especially the first one hundred pages. 

6)    The early chapters are revised dozens of times.  Later chapters not as much

 

Cate Noble
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Re: Cate Noble: Life as a writer - part 2

Nutshell continued:

 

7)    People ask where my ideas come from. Mostly dreams. I never lost my wild imagination from childhood and story ideas literally hit me out of the blue. Consequently, I am never without a note pad or tape recorder. I also have files filled with story ideas I have yet to develop.

8)    I’m a vivid night dreamer and keep notepads and a lighted pen on my bedside table.  Over the years, I’ve trained myself to make notes without fully waking up.

9)    Television, movies and the news don’t spark story ideas for me.  (I don’t watch news or read papers.  Because I have a tendency to nightmare, I’ve learned to be extremely selective about input.)

10)   I’m a world-class brain-stormer.  I love to what-if scenarios.  I’m the one my writer friends call when they’re stumped.

12)   I love nature & being outdoors.  In nice weather I’m outside a lot – the nice thing about writing in long-hand is I can take it anywhere.  (Except humidity hard on paper.)

13)    I travel and spend a lot of time with family.  My extended family is huge and spread out from Texas, Montana, Iowa, to Georgia and central Florida.  I also have writing buddies that are like family but are geographically spread out.

Cate Noble
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Re: Cate Noble: Life as a writer - part 2

Sorry about the mis-numbering in part2  I completely skipped over number 11. Doh! It's getting late...

 

Cate Noble
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becke_davis
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Re: More Q & A's with Cate Noble

 


Cate_Noble wrote:

Becke, you asked:

 

Would you share your "call" story with us? I love hearing how authors got the news of their first sale!

 

Back in 2000, I worked at a CPA firm in North Carolina. Very few (okay, two) of my co-workers even knew that I wrote. So when my agent called and said she’d sold LONE RIDER to Warner Books, I couldn’t even scream. (The office was jammed with clients that day, too.) My agent was, like, “Hello? Did you hear what I said? You sold. S-O-L-D.”

 

I went to the ladies’ room and cried for probably thirty minutes. I was stunned. I had been submitting work for over fifteen years at that point, so to finally get the call was practically debilitating. Once I pulled myself together, I returned to my office and called my husband, then I took the rest of the day off.

 

I screamed in my car, all the way home. Then I called everybody that did know how long I’d been chasing this dream and screamed some more. Then I called my agent back and screamed for her and made her repeat everything.  It was an amazing experience! Just repeating it here again gives me goosebumps.


*sigh* I LOVE this story!

 

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becke_davis
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Re: More Q & A's with Cate Noble

WOW! Cate - thank you SO MUCH for detailing your writing process for us! A lot of our readers are interesting in this, and I know the writers among us are taking notes!

 

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Re: More Q & A's with Cate Noble

 


Cate_Noble wrote:

TiggerBear wrote:

 

Nah they're harmless. Noisy though, worse than crickets and 20 times as loud in the summer.

 


You mean those sounds I'm hearing at night aren't Super Crickets? Sheesh! I must have a small army of them massing in my backyard. No wonder they keep getting in the house.


 

Oh yes, Geckos are one of the loudest lizards out there. Will out sound a bull frog, cricket, cicada, anything but those screaming tree frogs. If you thought you had super crickets, you're probably spot dab in a gecko breeding zone. Not much you can do about it either.You do have your windows screened?

 

Count yourself lucky you don't live in an Iguana zone. They get aggressive.

 

Uh if you have a cat or dog, dissuade from you pet consuming one and if that does occur take you pet to the vet asap. Not necessarily poisonous but in quantity...

 

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Re: More Q & A's with Cate Noble

Yes thanks for joining us! Come back whenever you can. (crossing fingers) Soon please.:smileyvery-happy:

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Cate Noble thanks you!

Becke, thank you for inviting me to the B&N Mystery Book Club. I really enjoyed my time here.

 

I'm also sending BIG thanks to everyone who stopped by and posted and/or read. Feel free to visit my website, www.CateNoble.com after you finish reading DEADLY GAMES,  I enjoy hearing from readers.

 

I'll continue checking this board, so keep posting! Becke's got some of my amazing fellow Kensington authors lined up for the rest of the week, so I'll be close by.

 

I hope that the rest of your day is perfectly awesome. Life is too short to settle for anything less.

 

Happy reading!

  

Cate Noble
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Bonus! Tips from Cate Noble - Part 1

I'll leave you with a small thank-you bonus: 16 tips from my handy-dandy speaker's handout, cleverly entitled, "Tips for Writers."  And it's not just for those who write. If you cross out “writing” and substitute anything you’re passionate about the advice still fits.

 

Because it's long, I'll break it in two parts.

 

Enjoy!

 

Cate Noble

 

* * *

TIPS FOR THE WRITING JOURNEY

©2009 Cate Noble

 

1)      PRECISELY DEFINE YOUR WRITING GOALS

Be clear and specific - know your desired end result. 

Start with broad strokes, then break it down to specifics.

Be clear on the “why.”  Why is fuel. 

Be candid – for your eyes only

Jettison hidden agendas. 

 

 

2)      KNOW YOUR FIELD

Learn everything about your defined area of interest:  

  • Publishers & agents
  • Bestselling writers
  • Trade journals & associations
  • Know the market
  • Know your audience. 
  • Accepted practices and standards

   

3)      DEVELOP A LASER-LIKE FOCUS

Decide and execute on a single task

Be in the correct mindset when you sit to work:

  • Right brain for magic. 
  • Left brain for logic.  

 

4)      MANAGE YOUR RESOURCES

View time as a precious resource.

Think in terms of investing time vs. spending time vs. squandering time.

Time management is priority management.

  

 

5)      START NOW

Procrastination is a failure to start.”   

               Hillary Rettig

Commit to a definite start time. 

Willpower and discipline are tools – not personality traits.

Three Magic Words: Today I will…

 

 

6)      DEVELOP BETTER SYSTEMS

Find writing techniques that work and make them part of your routine.

Get organized, but keep methods simple

Know your optimum settings

Create more efficient routines for non-writing events.

 

 

7)      CONTROL YOUR HABITS

Identify your good habits and your bad ones.

Then do more of the good things.

You can’t fix everything at once – concentrate on key areas.

 

  

8)      IMPROVE YOUR WRITER’S SKILL SET

Define a successful writer’s skill set.

Inventory your skills then assess and hone/improve

Two more magic words: Acquired skill.

Cate Noble
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Re: Bonus! Tips from Cate Noble - Part 1

Numbers 4 and 7 are areas where I need improvement - well, there's ALWAYS room for improvement in all the categories you mentioned, but in those especially. Thank you for this!

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Bonus! Tips from Cate Noble - Part 2

TIPS FOR THE WRITING JOURNEY - PAGE 2

©2009 Cate Noble

 

 

9)      REFILL YOUR CREATIVE WELL

Know your creative needs. 

Find uplifting places and activities – and visit regularly

Be open to new experiences. 

 

  

10)      ENJOY THE JOURNEY

Honor all parts of the creative cycle.

Enjoy the sloppy parts of creation. 

Remember to enjoy the clean up stage, too

 

  

11)      LEAVE A TRAIL OF GENIUS 

(Hat tip: Marriott Hotels’ notepads)

Thoughts, words, and actions leave a psychic trail, or wake, that ripples outward

What does your imaginary “trail “ look like? 

What sort of wakes (left by others) have you been caught up in?

 

  

12)      CREATE BETTER LUCK

A lucky break is simply an opportunity to get your foot in the door.

Luck requires action.

Luck is a temporary phenomenon. 

Be ready for your next lucky break. 

 

  

13)       BECOME A BETTER PLAYER

View yourself as a player in a game freely chosen. 

A game means it's fun. You want to be here! 

Know the rules of the game you’ve agreed to play. 

Study established techniques

Compete only with yourself. 

Know your personal stats.

Learn the odds of the game.

It’s a gamble – so know your risk tolerance.

 

 

14)      ACT LIKE A PRO

Know your core genius.

Read the professional journals and blogs in the industry. 

Study the bestseller’s lists 

Read the best in your field. 

Take nothing personally

 

  

15)       FAN YOUR PASSION

If it’s worth doing, do it with gusto!

Can’t be passionate about everything

Know the difference between mere interests and true passions. 

Recognize & treat burn out. 

 

  

16)       GO. WRITE.

Take action!  Make messes.

Remember:  At the end of the day, you’ve either written or you haven’t.

 

Cate Noble
www.CateNoble.com
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Re: Bonus! Tips from Cate Noble - Part 2

Cate

 

Sorry for joining this party so late but Welcome :smileyhappy: and thank you for joining us this week.

 

So I just have a few questions for you...I'll start with the fun one first.

 

I saw that you liked the TV show Bones, it is definatly one of my favorites and I was wondering...are you for or against the Booth/Bones hook up?

 

When you are writing what would you say is your favorite part of the actual process?

 

How long do you normally spend writing a novel?

 

Thank you for the wonderful tips, I just printed them out so I can have them near me when I am writing. 

 

Leigh

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Re: Bonus! Tips from Cate Noble - Part 2


Mysterylover1138 wrote:

 

I was wondering...are you for or against the Booth/Bones hook up?

 

A little of both! An ongoing, unresolved conflict between two romantically-inclined characters keeps me hooked. (This is true whether the two characters are on the screen or in the pages of a book.)

 

I need to see the sizzle of attraction frequently enough to make me root for their togetherness – while at the same time, a degree of tension/uncertainty over whether they will *ever* overcome their conflicts and have a lasting relationship keeps me on edge. (On edge means I will keep tuning in to a television show. I will keep turning pages in a book.)

 

 

When you are writing what would you say is your favorite part of the actual process?

 

Writing the first draft. I write fast and furious and sloppy, and while I have a general idea of where the story is going, I am always surprised by the new angles and twists and layers that come to me while writing the first version. Granted, much of that first draft is discarded – but the process itself *feels* magical. Do you know what “flow” feels like? The sensation that you can’t write fast enough to keep up with the thoughts pouring out of your head? (Can we call it “writer’s high?”) When I am in that zone, that flow, it’s AWESOME.

 

 

How long do you normally spend writing a novel?

 

6 – 9 months. And, yes, I want to figure out how to speed that up – or at least have it be more consistently toward the 6 months versus the 9 months end of the scale.

 

 

Thank you for the wonderful tips, I just printed them out so I can have them near me when I am writing. 

 

Glad you enjoyed the tips, Leigh! Writing is such a uniquely individual process, and yet... I love hearing other writers' viewpoints on the topic. Happy writing! 


 

Cate Noble
www.CateNoble.com