This is the story of an incredibly talented woman who found her passion amidst trials and remained a beautiful person. I am proud to have had the chance to get to know her and I think you will feel the same after you get to know Katie and her love of Sugar.
Katie Mettner was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on June 14th, 1975 as the second child, but within a few years quickly became the middle child. She’s a mixture of English, German, and French Canadian, but pretty much only claims the French Canadian part. As a middle child, Katie learned patience at an early age. Her two favorite things were dolls and books, often times reading books to the dolls while playing pretend in the basement on the hot summer days. She cherished the time she spent with her dad walking or biking to and from the local library where they searched out new lands to visit. As she grew, she discovered her love for watching the NBC soaps. It was a running joke that she could write them, when she’d say the line or predict the plot twist before it happened. When she broke her leg in 1989 she had plenty of time to read, and discovered great authors like Mary Higgins Clark, and read every Harlequin romantic suspense written.
Writing was something Katie enjoyed doing in elementary school when her fourth grade teacher handed everyone a blank white journal and assigned a new journal entry every week. In sixth grade, her love for writing continued when she wrote, and performed, a newscast about Ireland. It’s fair to say her love of writing continued into her later years of schooling. While she loved to write, as Saturday’s child she knew she would work hard for a living, and after high school worked cleaning houses and running a daycare. After a move from central Wisconsin to Northern Wisconsin, she found a new love, her husband. With birthdays only a day apart, they were meant to be. They met at Thanksgiving 1999, engaged in January, married in April, and had their first baby the following February. In the blink of an eye she was the mom of three kids under three, and there wasn’t much time for writing between diaper changes and typing medical reports from home. Characters came and went through her mind during those years, but only one of them stayed with her, Sugar.
When Katie was thirty-five an old injury from the bunny hill where she first went skiing came back to haunt her. After years of walking with crutches, casts, braces, and then forced into a wheelchair, she had to make a change. Out of medical options, she made the decision and became a left below knee amputee in February 2011. It was then she found time to finally write Sugar’s story. Feeling ridiculous, she made sure no one else knew she was this into writing a book about an amputee dancer who lived on Lake Superior, and fell in love with an Irish guy. See any parallels? There were plenty, but she remembered they always said, write what you know, so she did. As winter turned to spring and summer she finished the first few drafts of the story, which weighed in at a hefty four hundred pages. She didn’t care what genre it was or if people would even like it, she had just found joy in writing it as she recovered and found a new way to walk.
Unsure what to even do with it once it was done, she did an internet search to see if there was somewhere she could get it printed and give a copy to some family members. When Google hit on KDP and indie publishing it was like a whole new world opened up. A world she didn’t understand in the least nor was sure she wanted to! She was so obtuse it never crossed her mind if she published it on the kindle platform more than just her family might read it!
That book, Sugar’s Dance, was seven years and thirty-two books ago. After Sugar found success with readers all over the world, and they wanted more, Katie thought it was wise to learn more about self-publishing and everything that goes with it from editing to covers to promoting. She joined a local author group where she was warmly welcomed, even though she was the only romance author, and learned a ton right off the bat from them. As the second and then the third Sugar book released, other characters began to speak to her. She’s now written thirty-two books in nine romance or romantic suspense series, several stand alone romances, and two LGBT romances. All of her characters are real people and most of them have a physical disability that puts them at a disadvantage to finding love, at least in their eyes. She has several more books planned for three of those series, but also has the first baby bird leaving the nest this summer for college, so she’s not thinking too far ahead.
“When I hit the publish button on Sugar’s Dance I had NO idea there would ever be a second book, much less a thirty second. I was so thrilled on Halloween day when Sugar came out because I felt like I’d finally gotten that one book out of me they told me I had. There was no greater feeling than having accomplished a feat I’d been thinking and dreaming about half my life. it was truly a high I still experience on every release day, but what makes me the happiest is seeing one of my books on the shelf in the library.”
What does you like to do when you aren’t writing?
Katie: “I’m pretty much always writing, if not on paper then in my head. During the times when I’m not writing it down, I’m usually lying in bed with insomnia. Kidding, of course. Actually, I’m an active band mom to my 3 E’s, Emily (Sax, piano, and voice), Edward (Bassoon), and Eli (Sax) and when I’m not running them to marching band and pep band, I’m usually at home listening to one of them practice! I enjoy crocheting sweaters for our pet leopard gecko, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, visiting our family in Duluth, Minnesota, crocheting, baking and of course, reading. As a Gemini I’m relaxed and easy going, and since I married another Gemini, our house is pretty chill. My dream would be to live on the shores of Lake Superior and stare out over the lake every day as I drink coffee and write more stories about the wonderful mysteries the lake holds.”
“Being an author is easy, but being a writer is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. There is a difference after all. Being an author is about the face you show the world after you’ve published a book; smiling, happy, chatting about your muse, and basking in the sunshine of success. Being a writer is about the endless cups of coffees, deleted paragraphs, living in coffee stained pajamas, not combing your hair for a week, forgetting how to spell, wondering if that’s you who smells, eating frozen pizzas three nights a week, wondering why you suck so much, hating every word you write, certain no one will ever like this character who is so broken kind of profession. The two are intertwined, but distinct. More importantly, you can’t be an author without doing the hard work of being a writer first. I could give up being an author as long as no one ever forces me to stop being a writer.”
You can find me just about everywhere on social media and my blog. Come on over and visit with me! Follow me on Amazon for updates on all my releases! ~ Katie Mettner
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