Service Interview with Kate Collins

Today we're doing a different type of interview, and it should be enlightening to both writers and readers following the blog. 
My guest today is Kate Collins.  Hello!  Welcome back to Writing in the Modern Age!  It’s always such a pleasure to have you here. 

Hello! Thank you for letting me visit.
Of course! 
Can you tell us a little bit about your publishing company, and how Writing in the Modern Age readers can benefit from it?
Well, Solstice is a traditional publisher. We don't charge our authors anything. We take care of the cover art, editing, et cetera. We were also voted the Top Indie Publisher for 2016 by Predators & Editors reader's poll! 

Beyond that, we've been around for eight years and are growing. Everyone on staff is also an author. We've been there, waiting for that first contract offer. Gone through everything our authors have with polishing, editing, promoting, et cetera. As such, we've got a unique view on both sides of publishing. We can see the author's viewpoint as well as the business one.
Wow, that's great! It sounds like a nice environment for authors.

Kate, are you also a writer? What genre or genres should we expect to see you in? Do you use a pseudonym?

I am! I write under the pen name of KateMarie Collins. I write fantasy. Mostly high/dark, but I recently branched off into a more urban/paranormal fantasy. The new book, Guarding Charon, was a lot of fun to write and is garnering some good reviews.
All right.
So, how did Solstice get launched or what spurred the idea? And can you tell us what sets your company apart from other publishers? Also, what is the one thing that you truly love about your job at Solstice Publishing?
Solstice began eight years ago by our founder and CEO, Melissa Miller. She started it originally as 'Hearts on Fire', but changed the name when she branched out beyond romance. 

                   What sets us apart, really, is the sense of family we have with our authors. We haven't met most of them, not by a long shot. But we genuinely care about each other. We celebrate milestones with our authors, as well as sympathize with them when things aren't going as well. My husband had some medical issues last year, for example, which took me out of the office more than normal. Everyone was really good about giving me the time I needed and not expecting me to answer questions when he was in surgery.

                    I love the work environment, for one. We do a virtual office, so I can be in here working in my bunny slippers and no one cares. LOL. Seriously, though, it's the people around me: Melissa Miller, our EIC Kathi Sprayberry, our authors. I've been working with Melissa in one capacity or another for three years now and I still wake up excited to go to work. To be an author and immersed in the business side of things is an amazing experience, one that I hope to continue with for years to come.
Tell do you intend to expand your services or company in the future?
We're always open to submissions! The staff is dedicated to watching Solstice grow by taking chances on new authors, making that dream a reality. We're expanding every month. We've got over 300 authors under contract now, and closing in on 600 titles up for sale.

One of the other great things about the staff being authors is that we often test new marketing ideas out on our own books. We invest our own money, test the waters, and report back to the authors our experiences. This gives them a firsthand accounting for them to decide if that particular promotion is feasible for them.

Let's try some general questions.  
Do you have any favorite authors?
I love Nick Pollotta's writing. He's one of the few authors that would get me to laugh so hard I'd almost fall off the bed. David Eddings will always be another favorite. His 'Belgariad' series is what really turned me onto fantasy. There's a naturalness about his writing that has influenced my own.

Sadly, both of those gentlemen have passed away.
Sorry to hear that. :(
How about a different question?
When reading, do you prefer traditional printed books or ebooks? And why?
I almost always start with an ebook. My shelf space is limited, and it's so much easier to pack a Kindle loaded with books over six paperbacks on vacation!

That being said...if I love a book and know I'll re-read it often, I will purchase a print copy. I don't have a ton of books on my shelf, but they're ones that have truly stuck with me.
I can't blame you there! ;) 
Can you tell us what you're reading for fun now?
That's the sad thing about my job. It's really hard for me to read for fun anymore. I find myself wondering if the book had an editor or wishing they'd submitted to Solstice. LOL. What I do read, though, are the books that have stuck with me from the time I wasn't writing.
All right. wrap this up, here's my last question, or questions, I suppose.
Are there any words you'd like to impart to writers? Any advice you can give us? 
Also, how can writers find out about submitting their manuscripts to Solstice? What is the best way for potential readers to follow you as an author?
When I first got my contract, I had issues one day. I didn't understand why I got a shot when so many other authors I knew didn't. I considered these people to be better writers than I was, and it bothered me a lot. I was talking with one of them online about this. He told me the answer was simple. I got the shot because I hit send. And that's really it. I had the courage to research publishers and send in my completed manuscript. We can't be plagued with fear that it won't be accepted. Because you'll never know which publisher will send you a contract offer unless you submit it in the first place.
                To submit to Solstice, head over to our submissions page:

                   Finding me as an author is pretty easy. My twitter handle is @DaughterHauk. I have a blog at:
                 I've also got a couple of pages on Facebook. You can either find me there at: or 
Awesome! Kate has a really cool job and she sounds like a talented author too!
And Solstice seems like a great place for writers of all stages to check out, which is just about perfect for Writing in the Modern Age, isn't it?
Thank you for stopping by Writing in the Modern Age to tell us all about what Solstice offers to writers and a little about your own work, Kate!
My pleasure! Thanks for having me! 
About Kate Collins
Kate Collins is the Chief Operations Officer for Solstice Publishing. Beginning as an author, she accepted the position as Editor in Chief for their fantasy/scifi/paranormal line, Solstice Shadows in 2013, and as Executive Assistant to the CEO, Melissa Miller. She was promoted to Chief Operations Officer in January of 2014 and now, among her numerous duties, oversees the Editorial staff.

When not working, she is an international best-selling fantasy author writing under the name of KateMarie Collins. She graduated from college in California with a bachelor’s degree in drama, is an avid history buff, and a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. She resides with her family in what she affectionately calls ‘Seattle Suburbia’.
Service Link
Submissions & FAQs Page:
KateMarie Collins' Author Bio
Born in the late 60's, KateMarie has lived most of her life in the Pacific NW. While she's always been creative, she didn't turn towards writing until 2008. She found a love for the craft. With the encouragement of her husband and two daughters, she started submitting her work to publishers. When she's not taking care of her family, KateMarie enjoys attending events for the Society for Creative Anachronism. The SCA has allowed her to combine both a creative nature and love of history. She currently resides with her family and two cats in what she likes to refer to as "Seattle Suburbia".

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