About Kat

Katharine Duarte is a gypsy at heart, a romantic by nature, and a lover of all things otherworldly. The first time she saw "Frankenstein" with Boris Karloff, she cried when the monster died. is it any wonder she writes stories that feature heroes with preternatural powers and heroines who see beyond their rough exteriors straight into their hearts?

Kat was born and raised on the far south side of Chicago. She was fortunate to have two parents who both loved reading and the arts. Her father worked at U.S Steel and her mother worked at Marshall Fields, but both her parents took time to make regular trips downtown to the museums and theaters. they encouraged Kat in her writing. When Kat was in grade school, they even sat through original plays in which all the roles were played by either Kat or her dog.

Kat studied art in Europe, explored the British Isles and then returned to her home in the States. She's a Chicago girl born and raised. No matter where she travels, her heart remains in the Windy City.

Most of her story ideas arrive late at night after being walked by her dog, Rosie. Her cat, Gondor, helpd her iron out the details, but he prefers to stay curled up inside their book-filled, ivy covered condo.

Up Close and Personal

Kat on Writing

Kat got hooked on writing in the third grade when her teacher suggested that a short essay she wrote could be rewritten as a poem. That suggestion made her realize two important things: that someone found her writing interesting and that being a writer involved more work than just putting thoughts down on paper. Editing and rewriting that essay to make her first poem, she discovered how much she loved playing with the order of words and choosing the right words to capture a mood and please and audience.

Through the years, Kat wrote anything and everything--poems, songs, short stories, and even a few novels. She submitted them to publishers and had them all rejected. Discouraged, she tried to give up writing entirely once, but it didn't work--the stories just kept popping into her mind and she had to write them down. Oddly enough, though she read romance novels she hadn't thought of writing one because her stories always seemed to end up involving some type of monster or supernatural being. Then Gabrina Garza, a writing buddy of Kat's, suggested she give paranormal erotic romance a try. Gabrina sent her off for more advice to fellow writer Sloane Taylor and (after much mentoring, moaning and rewriting) everything started to click.

After about a year of whipping the story into shape, Kat sold Rise of the Wolf, her first paranormal erotic romance, to Eternal Press. "I heard once that anyone can get published if they have two out of three things: persistence, talent, and luck. Persistence did pay off for me. Finding the right writers to help me learn my craft was equally important, so maybe that was the luck. I hate to name drop, but there's no way around it. Along with Sloane and Gabrina, writers Beth Anderson and Melissa Bradley are among those who have helped me on my way. " Asked about the third part of the equation for success--talent--Kat view is that, "only time and my readers can weigh in on that one."

Kat's next two stories were also published by Eternal Press and she plans to continue with that publisher, "for as long as they'll have me. I've learned so much from EP's great staff of editors, their cover artists and my fellow EP authors. I've found a place where I can grow as a writer and feel like part of a family. You can't beat that."

For tips and more discussion on writing fiction, head over to Kat's On Writing page.

At Home With Kat

Kat remains a Chicago girl at heart, but for the past few years she has made her home in Northwest Indiana. The more time she spends writing, the more she finds that getting outdoors for a change of pace has become a necessity. "Gardening is a great escape for me. It gets me out in the fresh air, gets me moving and lets me create pictures with something other than words."

Finding a house with a large yard was the ideal solution. The front and backyards were both flat, unbroken lawns when Kat moved in, but that's changed. The first year she put in two flower beds, the next year two more, and this past year she planted a red bud tree to the back yard. "I try to plant mainly perennials and bulbs in the flower beds. Low maintenance gardening is the best. It gives me more time to expand each year. The more room the flower beds take over, the less lawn there is to mow!"

Kat's other home is the fictional town of McKenna and its Cafe Lotti. Both were settings from her first ebook. "When I finished writing Rise of the Wolf, I began to miss the Lotti, so I decided to keep it going as a virtual cafe in the form of a blog." Through the Cafe Lotti blog site, she also enjoys writing as what she calls her "more girlie alter ego"--April, a secondary character from Rise of the Wolf, who took over management of the cafe at the end of the story.

At Work With Kat

Writing is a full time job for Kat--or rather two full time jobs. She writes non-fiction (under another name) for her day job and then comes home to write her fiction at night. She is fairly certain this is why she's still single.

On weekdays, a normal day consists of getting up, walking the dog, feeding the dog and cat, going to work, doing errands, coming home, gardening or exercising, watching an hour or so of TV, checking email and then working on her fiction until bedtime.

Kat confesses that some days by the time she responds to all her email--which includes doing chats and promos on readers and authors loops, Twitter, Facebook, etc.-- it's past time for bed so she doesn't get much writing done on her stories. It's her wish to someday get out of that time crunch and become as prolific as one of her writing heroes, Nora Roberts. "It's good to be Nora," Kat says. (It's also a combination mantra/motto of Kat's and part of the reason she has her sights set on moving into novel length romance.) "Ms. Roberts is such a great story teller and it's helped her to achieve the level of success to which most writers aspire: being able to do what you love six to eight hours everyday."

A perfect writing day for Kat can only happen right now on weekends, vacations or holidays. That type of day begins with a trip to Starbucks and a full day of writing on her stories, then a nice dinner and a few hours spent reading.

All writing and no play could make a writer go completely insane, so Kat does try to add variety to her routine. She loves to go to dinner or the movies with friends. Visits to Chicago are also a great pleasure and regional events like Pierogi Fest or shows by her favorite local band Nomad Planets.

And what about romance? "I believe in true love," she says. "It just hasn't come my way yet, but I'm still hoping."

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