Cate Dashwood's journey to the world of romance novels started with a happy event and a traumatic one: she finished her Masters degree in journalism around the same time her mom's house flooded. Needing an escape from mucking out a house, she picked up "The Lost Duke of Wyndham" by Julia Quinn. A few hours later, she immediately bought every Julia Quinn book she could find at her local bookstore and started devouring romance novels like candy.
When she's not writing her own romance novels, she's reading anything written by Lisa Kleypas, Jill Shalvis, Pamela Clare and of course Julia Quinn. Cate lives in Indiana with a house full of animals.
When did you start writing?
I was taking the ISTEP (Indiana’s standardized test) in fourth grade, and I had some extra scrap paper. I don’t remember what prompted it, but I just started writing a story about some dolls I had. I have always loved reading, and I love telling stories. When I was in college, I was fortunate enough to take some creative writing classes, and those really helped me see how I could improve my writing.
Why write romance novels?
I started reading romance novels during a rocky time in my life - my mom’s house had just flooded, and I had finished grad school and couldn’t find a job. Romance novels were a great comfort to me during that time. Originally, I had just spent five years immersed in academic writing, and just wanted to read something that didn’t take loads of analysis. But then I discovered that romance novels were so much more than that. I love reading new ones and rereading old favorites. My bedside table usually has about four or five romance novels on it at any given time.
What are your books about?
My first series centers around the five Dugan siblings, Moira, Abel, Cade, Kieran and Finn, and the Irish pub they own in the fictional college town of Red Bridge, Indiana. “Straight Up” is Moira’s story, while “On The Rocks” is Abel’s. They’re available now, while the third book, “Another Round,” covers Cade’s love life, and comes out in early December.
Do you have to read the books in order?
Nope, I purposely wrote them so you can read them in any order. Of course some things might be given away in future books, but let’s be honest, it’s the journey that’s the interesting part of a story!
Who are your favorite authors?
Oh gosh, I have so many! Among the romance community, Julia Quinn was my gateway author, and I always love anything she writes. I read everything from Eloisa James, Victoria Dahl, Pamela Clare, Jill Shalvis, Lisa Kleypas, Monica McCarty, Jamie McGuire … really, the list is endless. I’m very fortunate to have a wonderful friend who is also an independent author, Traci Hilton, who has given me so much advice and is always willing to answer my many questions. Outside of the romance genre, my favorite author is Jhumpa Lahiri.
What are your next projects?
I’m planning to publish the fourth and fifth books in the Dugan Siblings Series, which means I have to finish them! They cover Kieran and Finn’s stories, and I’m really excited about them. Beyond that, I already have my next series planned. All I know right now is that it involves one of my favorite sports: ice skating!
Moira Dugan is perfectly happy keeping men at arm’s length. She’s prepared to finish her college degree, and doesn’t have time for a relationship. What she’s not prepared for is the weak feeling in her knees when Liam walks into her family’s Irish pub.
Could Liam help Moira banish the haunting pain of her past?
Polly Wilson, not one to mix business with pleasure, has spent years avoiding Abel Dugan, whose family owns the Irish pub where she works.
Abel, a bold firefighter, just has one regret – never taking a chance to be with Polly. Will a life-changing crisis be the fuel that ignites their forbidden love?