Today’s interview is with Katie Graykowski, author of Place Your Betts, a finalist in the Contemporary Single Title category of Romance Writers of America’s® 2013 Golden Heart® contest for unpublished manuscripts. This is the premier contest (worldwide) for writers of the romance genre. Welcome, Katie!
Tell us a little about yourself:
I’ve been married for almost 19 years to a very loving, patient, and tolerant man. I have a daughter and 3 K-9 kids. I live on the top of a hill outside of Austin, Texas where my home office has an excellent view of the Texas Hill Country. When I’m not writing, I’m scuba diving.
Now tell us about your manuscript, Place Your Betts!
Place Your Betts is a classic reunion love story small town Texas style. In other words, two people fall in love…again, somebody gets pregnant (spoiler alert—it’s NOT the hero), someone almost gets gored by a bull, they eat some fried food, and everyone lives happily ever after.
How do you feel about the Golden Heart experience?
It’s always an honor to final in the Golden Heart; this is my second time. What I learned from my first final in 2009, is that you need to focus on polishing your manuscript. While it’s wonderful to work on your website, tweet, Facebook, and spend giant amounts of time online shopping for the perfect GH dress, polishing that manuscript is going to get you further. Of course someone told me this back in 2009, but I didn’t listen. This time, I am neck deep in my manuscript—online shopping be damned.
As far as the process, Carol Ritter with RWA® is a Goddess. She runs the Golden Heart and RWA like a well oiled machine. I can’t say enough good things about her. And just wait for the conference—people you don’t know will come up to you and congratulate you on finaling. Overall, you feel like a princess.
Where do you get the ideas for your stories? And/or for this story, in particular?
Ideas come to me…just like people. I guess I’m one of those people who have that please-tell-me-your-life-story-and-don’t-leave-ANY-insignificant-detail-out kind of face, because whether I’m in the bathroom at PF Changs or on a transatlantic flight, strange people feel like I really care to know their life stories. FYI-when the iPad comes out of my bag and I put on my headphones, stop talking to me…YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.
As for the story idea for Place Your Betts, I don’t know. Betts has been with me for a long time. And I like the idea of a story where the heroine goes onto fame and fortune while the hero stays home and raises the kiddo. Plus, someone almost gets gored by a bull—what’s not to love?
What has your writing journey been like?
My writing journey is kind of like Little Orphan Annie goes to Six Flags. I was a little orphan writer (minus the red hair and tap shoes-although, I sure could use some tap shoes) finishing my first manuscript when I stumbled across Austin RWA. They have adopted me and have taken me on a rollercoaster ride with twists and turns, loops upside down, and occasionally makes me feel like I’m about to crash and burn. But I don’t because someone from ARWA is always there to talk me down off the ledge, push me in the right direction, or bitch slap me into not giving up. Breaking into the publishing biz is hard and anyone who says that it isn’t has WAY better medication than I do.
What’s your ideal writing environment?
My ideal writing environment—a lonely stretch of beach where a legion of heterosexual cabana boys fight to do my bidding…but I’ll settle for my home office with the door closed.
How can fans (and agents and editors!) reach you?
My website should be up soon, but until then, please contact me on Facebook or at kgraykowski at yahoo dot com.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Leslie, thank you for inviting me to blog with you today. And good luck with the Golden Heart.
Thank you, Katie, for visiting Leslie Lynch Writes – and we wish you the very best in your publishing future!