Author Spotlight: Catrin Russell

Catrin is from Sweden, but writes exclusively in English. She’s a trained nurse and digital designer, and shares a home with 3 kids, 2 dogs, and her husband. In her spare time, she loves to do activities with her family, attend dog shows, draw, and read. But any other minute she can spare, she spends writing. For writing is not just a passion – it’s a lifestyle. 

When did you write your first book?

I wrote my first book (also my latest release), The Power of Conviction, during the end of 2018. I first started the project back in 2017, but I shelved it because I couldn’t quite decide on the plot, even though I had my characters planned out. But once that bridge was crossed in the autumn of 2018, I took off running, writing the first 3 books in only a few months.

How many hours a day do you write?

It depends, mainly on my kids. Some days, I get a few hours, other days I only get a few minutes, but I try to write every day, no matter what. I feel it is essential to keep the momentum going, and seeing that total word count go up, even though it might be slow at times.

How do you keep yourself motivated to continue writing?

I love to write. That in itself is motivating enough for me, to be perfectly honest. I rarely find myself doing other things if I am ever given a chance to write. But one thing I have noticed since I started writing, is that – for me – it’s important to write not only key scenes at the beginning of a project, but also the connecting scenes. It’s much easier to stall if you’ve already penned down all the exciting parts of a story.

What’s the best way to market your books?

When it comes to marketing, the – by far – best thing that has ever happened to me is finding a publisher. Marketing is hard to master and do well, and I’ll be honest, it is not my strongest suit. However, my publisher has been fantastic, and I learn new things every day. One day, I might just be able to wrap my mind around marketing too.

Has writing and publishing changed the way you see yourself?

Not so much on a personal level. I’m still me, writing the books I’d want to read myself.  Although I suppose my imposter syndrome runs deep. I still struggle to see myself as a proper author despite writing several books and having a full series (The Light of Darkness) scheduled for release throughout 2021. I’m hoping this will change soon, and that I’ll be able to call myself a published author without feeling like a fraud!

What books do you enjoy reading?

Nearly anything fantasy and/or romance-related! Preferably combined. But some of my favourite authors are Lois McMaster Bujold, Janny Wurts, and David Gemmell. I am also starting to find some really great indie authors out there, like Angel Haze, CF Welburn, Michael Evan, etc. They write different subgenres of fantasy, but they are all just as fabulous! Check them out!

How do you market your books?

Most of the marketing is handled by my publisher, who waves his magic wand and makes my book sell (or, so it feels because I am honestly at a loss! It might as well be true!). However, I also make sure to work on my online presence, through social media, my website, running a blog, and participating in interviews such as these, etc. I have a fantastic PR guy who helps me with plenty of this.

What genre of writing do you prefer?

I write predominantly Epic fantasy, with High fantasy prose. Add to that some dark fantasy, blood and gore, and a sprinkle of steamy romance, and I think we’re just about there!

You could say my series, The Light of Darkness, is perfect for readers who enjoy visceral, gripping epic fantasy tales with dark undertones.

How do you celebrate when you finish your book?

I don’t really celebrate finishing a book. It’s a great feeling, but I’ve never really considered celebrating it. I might just go ahead and do that next time! Maybe a nice meal and my favourite ice cream!

Does anyone in your family read your books?

My mother-in-law is my most loyal reader in the family. I am so grateful for all the help she has offered, supporting me so much throughout my journey towards publishing. She is an avid reader, and she just happens to enjoy similar genres to what I write. It’s been great because she’s ended up as one of my test readers, and (despite being family) she will tell me as it is! And I love her all the more for it!

Whom do you trust for constructive and objective criticism of your work?

Like I mentioned above, my mother-in-law is a great test reader. Another person I have complete trust in is a very dear friend of mine who serves as my muse and alpha reader. She looks over the earliest drafts, and I can discuss everything with her as I go along. She’s a great asset, and I’m so happy to have her! Last, but not least, is my partner-in-crime and test reader extraordinaire Laura, a book blogger who runs The Magic Book Corner. She is fabulous to work with and so supportive of the indie community!

What do you do in your spare time?

I’m not really sure what spare time is, but when I do have something that remotely resembles it, I spend it with my family. We often go out on activities (if Covid allows), or I spend the day at home, reading and drawing.

If you are to change your profession, what would you prefer to do?

At the moment, I work as both a writer and a registered nurse. If I were to change my profession, I would want to go fulltime as a writer! It’s an absolute dream, and I really hope I can achieve it!

Are you working or planning on writing another book?

I’ve got plenty of projects in the pipeline! I have 3 books ready for publishing: The Power of Conviction (released), The Path of Salvation (releases in March), and The Resurgence of Light (releases in April). Book 4 is being edited, and book 5 is my current work in progress. I also have a new novelette which I will be releasing through my newsletter (offered free for signing up, along with 2 prequels for The Light of Darkness series). Links for that can be found under the last question!

So yes! I’d say I’ve got quite a lot planned!

What advice would you give other writers?

I think what is most important to new writers is to keep writing. You can’t edit a manuscript that doesn’t exist! And if you ever feel like your work isn’t good enough, remember it is all part of growing as an author. It’s only a sign of you becoming better as you start seeing your own potential and room for improvement!

Now, go smash out some words on that keyboard!

How can other writers/readers contact you?

I love interacting with any and all bookish people, readers and writers alike! I’m available on plenty of social media platforms, and it’s free to message me on any of those! Check out the links below for where to find me.

And visit my website for more information on my books and series.

Oh, and sign up to my newsletter for those freebies!

Website: http://catrinrussell.com/

FREE prequels: https://catrinrussell.com/books/freebies.html

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Catrin-Russell

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/catrinrussellauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/catrinrussellauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RussellCatrin

Blog: https://blog.catrinrussell.com/

More links can be found here: https://linktr.ee/catrinrussell

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