Author Beeginnings: Cathy Yardley

Cathy Yardley is the author of seventeen books in chick lit, romance and non-fiction. Her books include Turning Japanese, Surf Girl School, Couch World, LA Woman, Enslave: The Taming of the Beast, Ravish: The Awakening of Sleeping Beauty, Crave: The Seduction of Snow White, Baby, It's Cold Outside, One Night Standards, Jack & Jilted, Working It, Guilty Pleasures, The Driven Snowe, Will Write For Shoes, The Cinderella Solution, Come September, and Playing With Matches.

Cathy was kind enough to help us kick off our newest feature, Author Beeginnings, where we will learn more about how authors dropped the "aspiring" and made their passion for writing their careers. She answered several questions for us about how she got started as an author. Check out her responses below and enjoy!

What was your favorite book(s) when you were a child?
I was a huge Frances Hodgson Burnett fan… A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, that sort of thing. But I moved up to fantasy/sci fi pretty early on.

When did you start writing?
I started writing when I was still in grade school, but I didn’t take it seriously until after college.

What kind of writing did you start with? (short stories, poems, articles, etc.)
Novels! Always novels.

When did you decide to become an author and how did you know it was the right career for you?
I actually thought I’d be a publicist for authors, because I didn’t think being an author was a "real" job… it might be something I’d do when I retired, LOL! I come from a family of accountants and engineers, so a creative career seemed impossible. But I joined the RWA, and they encouraged me to try. I sold my first novel in 1999, wrote my first seven or so with a day job. I know it’s the right career for me because I love it – even the business side, even the hard parts.  

What was the most challenging part of starting a writing career? What was the best part?
The most challenging part was figuring out the intersection between what I love, what I’m best at, and what the market wants. The best part is all the amazing people I’ve met – readers and writers.

Describe what it was like to see and hold the first published copy of your first novel. Were you relieved, excited, anxious? How did you celebrate the launch?
I was stunned, almost numb, honestly! But I had a book signing, and that was a blast.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
The best novels will tell you about yourself, so even if one doesn’t get published, it’s worth it. But if you want to get published, the best thing to do is look at what you’re doing: know your process, see what’s working and what isn’t. And then get a support group that you meet with regularly, to keep you on track.

We would like to thank Cathy for taking the time to share more about her career with us. Thanks so much, Cathy!

Check out Cathy’s novels, her blog, and follow her on Twitter. Cathy is also starting a writing blog, which will have helpful writing and business tips. We’ll be sure to share the link with you when the site is launched next month.
What do you think of Author Beeginnings? Can you relate to Cathy's responses? Have you read any of her novels? Let us know!