Award-winning author of fantasy romance
in magical worlds
I’m sure I was born with a book clutched in my teeny fists. (Sorry about that, Mom.) Reading was my first love, and writing became a force in my life when clever elementary school teachers assigned weekly creative writing projects. I wrote through high school, particularly when bored in class. (Rumor has it those early pages consisted of fantasies about Duran Duran, but I’m silent on the issue and keep those notebooks from prying eyes.)
I put fiction aside to earn a Ph.D. in the biological sciences, but my muse, even while stuffed in a dark closet, never shut up. I joined an online writers group, but was still afraid to fail at the thing I loved most. Eventually I learned of an upcoming contest for unpublished novelists: the Winning Beginnings Contest. I realized this was the boot in the butt I needed. I snared every thread of courage and began my first novel. You can read about the genesis of that novel, The Source of Magic, in the Crumbs in the Keyboard anthology.
The Source of Magic won second place in my debut contest and the final judge, an editor at a well-known publishing house, requested the full manuscript in 2001. That began the “Summer of Writing, Stress, and Butt Glued to the Chair.” I finished the manuscript in two months.
I wish I could say that writing is always that fast or that easy. Despite polite follow-ups, that editor never read the full manuscript even though it had been on her desk for nearly four years. Over the years I had three smart and respected agents, 36 contest wins or finals, and some heartbreakingly close calls with editors. I was also a two-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist. Fortunately, some of those contests paid off in unexpected ways. For example, when NYT and USA Today bestseller Alyssa Day read the opening of Kismet’s Kiss in a contest, she loved it so much she offered a cover endorsement for it—and yet it continued to be the bridesmaid and not the bride.
I took my career into my own hands in 2010 and published Kismet’s Kiss. The amazing Alyssa had this to say:
“Magic, passion, and intrigue—Kismet’s Kiss has it all! Cate Rowan’s uniquely compelling fantasy debut is set in a fascinating and fully realized world where danger lurks in every shadow. Rowan is definitely an author to watch!”
(Wowsa! And go read Alyssa’s books, folks. They’re tons of fun. 🙂 )
The next year I published The Source of Magic, which has sold more than I’d thought possible. Having these books find fans and earn acclaim has been one of the biggest delights of my life. I continue to write stories in the world of these books and I love sharing that world with my readers.
I credit my favorite childhood authors—a list that includes J.R.R. Tolkien, Guy Gavriel Kay, Anne McCaffrey, Nora Roberts, Ursula K. Le Guin, James Herriot, and C.S. Lewis—for my love of fiction, great characters, and a rich imagination. I also thank my family for forgiving all those times I brought a novel to dinner.
I love to hear from my readers! To get in touch, just click on my Contact page.