Author Catie Rhodes: Journey into the Mist

 Today we have guest author Catie Rhodes talking about her path to publishing her first story in TALES FROM THE MIST, a collection of spooky tales just right for the Halloween season. Take it away, Catie . . .

I started this journey in 2007 with the dream of traditional publishing.  As I learned all I could about the craft of writing, the publishing industry changed at warp speed.   My dreams evolved along with these changes.

Dreams are, after all, fluid.  They are made of stardust and wind.  We have to stop and reassess them along the way, or we’ll never find the yellow brick road and get to see the wizard. After much thinking and soul-searching, I decided indie publishing was the best choice for me.

Rhonda Hopkins has always been a good friend to me.  She introduced me to both the W2GE Street Team yahoo loop and the W2GE Street Team Facebook group.   She mentioned that the W2GE Street Team might publish a fall anthology.

The idea of publishing in an anthology sounded very attractive.  I could learn about indie publishing at a lower cost and have the benefit of working with experienced authors. I had a finished novel that was book one in a paranormal mystery series, and I had some short stories I wanted to compile into a collection.   One of those short stories could be repurposed.

The story in question was “Haste.”  It is a less-than-twenty-page short about a woman who kills her husband and his lover in a fit of rage and learns that karma has its own brand of justice.

There it was.  My chance to dip my toe into indie publishing.

Though I had been writing for five years and had gotten my share of “good” rejections, I wasn’t sure I was ready yet.  I was afraid.  To tell the truth, I still am.  But finally I gave myself a much-needed kick in the butt. I screwed up my courage and told Rhonda I wanted to submit to the W2GE Street Team anthology.

From that moment forward, it was ON. Before I knew it, I had agreed to read submissions for the anthology and to provide critique for the stories chosen for publication.  I no longer had time to think about whether I was ready or not.

I learned pretty quickly that the W2GE Street Team is a family.  From the first moment I participated, they treated me like a long lost cousin.  It wasn’t long before they treated me like a sister.  Anytime I asked for help, someone stepped forward with advice and kindness.  Working with these folks warmed my heart.

Both publishing and life are “ride at your own risk” propositions.  There are no promises, and there’s way more failure than success.  The W2GE Street team has given me the confidence to take risks and to strive to succeed. This anthology represents the very thing that defines the W2GE Street Team.  A single genre is not the glue that binds us.  Nor is that glue a particular approach to indie publishing.  Instead, we are drawn together by a desire to support each other, to help each other as best as we can, and to publish entertaining fiction.

Like the W2GE Street Team, the Tales From the Mist anthology is a mix of genres and a mix of approaches.  It is a blend of both experienced authors and newbies to the publishing world.   It will make you laugh, and it will make you look over your shoulder to make sure nothing is lurking behind you.   We hope it entertains you.

Many thanks to both Alicia Street and DD Scott for all the work they’ve put into W2GE, the W2GE Street Team, RG2E,  and for their support in the creation of this anthology.   We couldn’t have done it without you ladies, and I’m grateful to you both.

Catie Rhodes is that kid your mother warned you about. She cusses, doesn’t wash her hands after petting the dog, and she tells lies. But in Catie’s family of storytellers, a lie is simply a story you didn’t get people to believe. Traveling through her native land of Texas has given her enough weird, spooky, and funny to write about for this lifetime and the next ten to come.

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22 thoughts on “Author Catie Rhodes: Journey into the Mist

  1. Fantastic post, Catie! And thank you for the mention. I can’t tell you how much I value your friendship. I’m glad you joined the Street Team and that you joined us for the anthology. I’ve enjoyed working with you and the rest of the anthology team on it. I learned so much working with everyone. The WG2E Street Team is like one big happy family and I’m thankful to be a part of it. I loved your story, Haste, and can’t wait to read the rest of your work.

    • I value your friendship, too, Rhonda! Finding the Street Team has been a huge deal for me. I could not have done this without you guys. I’ve learned and I’ve gained confidence. It was the right thing at the right time.

      Thanks for saying you loved my story. I am looking forward to collaborating with you on the project we talked about. 😀

  2. I absolutely loved Haste! I couldn’t decide whether or not it was my favorite story of the collection… because I also loved Beneath Still Waters… and a few others! Wishing you continued success!

    • You’re so sweet, Tamara! Your story was very good, too. I’d been curious about your heroine, Jade O’Reilly. Cozy mystery heroines are often too sweet or too silly. Jade O’Reilly is neither of those things. She really caught my interest. I’m looking forward to reading the other stories in her series.

      And I loved “Beneath Still Waters,” too. It really hooked me.

  3. I loved loved loved Haste, Catie. You are dead on about the Street Team being a family, too. I’m glad Rhonda bludgeoned you into joining and submitting Haste ;-), because it certainly wouldn’t have been the same without you! Cheers to what’s coming up next!

  4. What a lovely post, Catie. It has been such a pleasure getting to know you – and Greg is right, it wouldn’t have been the same without you, your common sense, and your fab story. That one knocked me over the first time I read it. Can’t wait to read more from you. 🙂
    ~Cate

    • Cate, I have genuinely enjoyed getting to know you. You are a treasure trove of information about paranormal this ‘n’ that. I have read REST FOR THE WICKED in addition to THE MESSENGER. That a writer as accomplished as yourself has something kind to say about my writing is quite the honor.

  5. I loved “Haste!” Such a fantastic twist (and twisted, LOL). I think we all worry that we’re not ready, even when we’ve published a number of books, or even been traditionally published. But sometimes the best way to learn is to jump in where you are – I’d say it worked fabulously for you. Congrats again on the publication!

    • Jennette, I am so glad you took Haste in the spirit it was intended. You’ve known me for a while and know I have a twisted sense of humor. LOL

      It was a difficult decision for me to give up the validation traditional publishing offers. For many years, that has been the final hurdle for aspiring writers. Deciding it just doesn’t matter was a big leap. Thank you so much for your encouraging words.

  6. Great post! I’m looking forward to reading all of the stories, since TALES FROM THE MIST is already on my Nook. Wonderful to hear how Catie’s involvement developed.

  7. I’ve just started reading the anthology. Liked the first story. Loved Rhonda’s entry. You’re up next Catie. I can’t wait to read it. Tales from The Mist is an interesting compilation of genres and authors – guaranteed (from what I’ve read so far) to scare me to deaht. well done.

    • Glad you are enjoying the anthology, Louise. The anthology is a mix of genres, and we hesitated to call it horror or even spooky. But I think all the stories have eerie elements.

    • I am so glad you enjoyed it, Sheila. And you didn’t see the ending coming?! Wonderful! I’ve had several people tell me they saw that ending coming a mile off and were satisfied with the execution but not surprised. That it surprised you made my day.

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