I’m talking today with lesfic author C.L. Cattano. Welcome C.L.!
C.L. Cattano, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, is the author of four books and counting. She created the stand alone lesfic fantasy/romance novel, Cursed Hearts and she has also written and released three books of the 10 books she has planned for the Salvaggio’s Light romance series.
Anne: Let’s talk first about your Salvaggio’s Light series. You call it a serial.
C.L.: Yes. The series is really one continuous story that, while focused on a specific time period for the characters, actually tells almost the entire life story of the main character, Rafaella Salvaggio. The first book in the series is Shattered Paradise and it sets the base for the rest of the books.
Anne: Your writing is very much mixed genre. Can you tell us more about it and why you write things the way that you do?
C.L.: My books mix everything from romance, suspense, drama, sex, humor and who knows what else! In Cursed Hearts, I even added a little transcendental romance. At the moment, I write contemporary fiction by not confining myself to literary boundaries and try to reflect the realities, insanities, farcicalities, ironies, comedies, and ambiguities present in our modern culture. I do, however, at times, like to add a little fantasy, history, and strangeness to my work.
Sometimes I find it difficult to choose what genres to select when asked to define my work so I usually go with Contemporary Romance. I guess I can’t get away without saying that my books have lesbian main characters, so that is probably a genre too. However, I don’t think the sexual identity of the main characters should limit the readers who might pick it up. Nothing I write about is exclusive to lesbian or straight people. I tend to have characters that span the spectrum of types but if I feel I can’t do a character justice I either let it go or I get help making sure I portray them in a correct and respectable manner.
Anne: So, you’d still say lesfic is your overall genre?
Anne: Given that, what is the biggest thing you believe people think they know about lesfic that isn’t so?
C.L.: Maybe they think that they can’t read a story with an LGBT character if they are not LGBT themselves. Believe me, LGBT people read books with straight people so it won’t hurt anyone to read a book with an LGBT character. I can understand people not wanting to read the erotica but there is so much more in LGBT literature than that genre. There are some very powerful and moving stories out there that are worthy of being on the shelf with all the other types of mainstream literature.
Anne: Amen sister! Tell it.
Anne: So then, who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?
C.L.: I started reading Edgar Rice Burroughs when I was young. (Yes, I saw myself as Tarzan.) Other influences are Elizabeth Peters, Piers Anthony, Terry Goodkind and Robin Hobb. Notice a pattern…they all have written serial books. I guess their influence is that I am not afraid to create a world for my characters and tell their story even if it takes more than one book to do it.
Anne: I find your list interesting for a few of reasons. 1. I enjoy writing in series myself and building the world my characters inhabit, 2. None of the authors you named are writers of LGBT themed fiction and, 3. They write in genres like mystery, fantasy and sci-fi that have little or nothing to do with contemporary romance type fiction yet, taken as a whole, I can see their influences in your work that, as you’ve already alluded, can be quite eclectic.
Anne: Okay, so switching gears again, tell us, do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
C.L.: Oh yes, there are lots of secrets and surprises in the Salvaggio’s Light books. I suggest reading from the beginning or you may miss a lot of important information and themes throughout the books. Sometimes the reader will know more than the characters.
Anne: Besides working on the Salvaggio’s Light series, what other projects are you working on at the present?
C.L.: I’m currently on a mission to get the entire Salvaggio’s Light Serial edited and published by next year. I’ve written a few other things while waiting for my editor and hope to publish them at some point. I also have plans for another series of books that will be more crime and mystery-oriented.
Anne: What is your least favorite part of the writing and publishing process?
C.L.: Waiting for someone to write a review…
Anne: I am so with you there but that’s getting better for me. I’ve managed to find a few readers who read and review all my stuff as soon as it comes out. They’re a true blessing. I hope you find at least a handful of those folks as well.
Anne: Now, to wrap this up from the author perspective, I’ve found that a lot of other authors, especially indie authors like you and I, read these interviews. What are some of your best book marketing tips for the other indies reading this?
I like anything free as a self-publishing author. Free sometimes means a time investment, so technically it isn’t totally free. But there are a lot of free tools out there to help like Bulk Buffer, Mail Chimp and ThunderClap to name a few. My best tip is don’t re-invent the wheel. There are a lot of authors out there who have put out podcasts and videos about marketing so take the time to listen learn and repeat.
Getting More Personal with C.L. Cattano:
Anne: Do you believe in love at first sight?
C.L.: No. I know, rough for a romance writer. But, I do believe in lust at first sight…
Anne: LOL. Got you.
Anne: What’s your favorite season?
C.L.: I’m probably a hybrid of summer/fall. I hate shoveling snow. I like getting out and swimming and having fun in the summer and in the fall I like the snuggling in quilts, campfires and Halloween.
Anne: This has become one of my favorite interview questions: If you were to turn into your partner for a day, what would you do?
C.L.: We are so Sympatico it’s a hard question…
I would like dogs…I mean the drool and everything… Not that I don’t like them, but they can be gross sometimes. I was never raised with pets so don’t have a lot of experience with dogs or other animals. And, I get grossed out easily. She came with a Belgian Malinois so I’ve had to learn a bit about them.
I would also show my legs off more…she has really sexy legs. I would probably be a lot nicer over all. She is the one of us everyone likes and gets along with best. She says she just had more of a filter…but I don’t know…
Anne: You mentioned a dog. Do you have any other pets now or are there other pets you’d like to have?
C.L.: My parents had a cat when I was younger but it was an outdoor cat so I really hardly saw it except when it was hungry. I would not, however, want an indoor cat as they are pretty smelly… Remember I am grossed out a lot.
Anne: And lesbians everywhere are in total shock…
C.L.: If I could choose a pet, and had to be grossed out, I would probably choose – maybe a hermit crab…maybe just the shell so people would think I had a pet.
Anne: A fun personal question for authors: If you have to wear a t-shirt with one word on it for the rest of your life, which word do you choose?
Anne: I don’t get hit with new to me words too often but I had to look that one up. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of ‘ratiocination’ is 1: the process of exact thinking: reasoning. 2: a reasoned train of thought. Good word!
Anne: Now, let’s carry that out a bit further. What punctuation mark best describes your personality and why?
The ellipses. … Because there is always more that I may not say.
Anne: I like that too. Great answer!
Anne: Finally, what’s your favorite TV show of all time and why?
C.L.: Of ALL time… that’s a tough one. Probably the Masterpiece Mysteries. I love Sherlock, Hercules, Mrs. Marple and all the others.
Anne: It’s not a show I would have picked right off the bat but I have to agree with you. I love those too.
Anne: That’s all we have time for today. I look forward to meeting C.L. Cattano and some of the other authors I’ve profiled over the past few weeks or who I’ll be talking with in the near future when we all meet up next Wednesday afternoon at the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) Convention in Chicago, Illinois July 5th through the 9th. We hope to see and meet you there too!
Meanwhile, please check out C.L.’s website and her other social media links as shown just below. Her books are all available at Amazon. in eBook and in paperback.
Amazon Author Page: https://amazon.com/author/clcattano.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorcl.cattano