We’re thrilled to welcome Katie Mettner to Harlequin! Katie came to the attention of Harlequin Intrigue editor Allison Lyons through a #RomanceIncludesYou pitch event. Her first Intrigue romance will be published in 2023. You can learn more about her at katiemettner.com.
Harlequin: Tell us about yourself. Our readers want to know!
Katie Mettner: My name is Katie Mettner, and I live in a small town in Northern Wisconsin with my husband of twenty-two years. I have three mini-mes, who are all at varying stages of embarrassment about my decade-long romance writing career. They also aren’t so mini anymore, and all attend college on different campuses throughout Wisconsin. After suffering a catastrophic injury to my ankle on the bunny hill in 1989, I became a left below knee amputee in 2011. That was the year I penned my first #ownvoices romance novel. When I’m not writing, which is a misnomer since every experience has plot potential, I love to agate hunt on the shores of Lake Superior, bake, visit my kids on campus, and read the newest Intrigue on my Kindle.
H: Why did you want to become a romance writer?
Watch Katie’s answer below:
H: What were the big steps in your journey to becoming a published author?
KM: Ironically, I never intended to be a published author. When I wrote my first book ten years ago, I wanted copies of the book for my friends and family. I Googled, and up came this site called KDP. I uploaded the manuscript, excited to finally be able to share it, but I didn’t realize I had also published the book in the process! Within days I started getting messages from readers about how much they loved Sugar, which surprised me, but those readers were my inspiration to embrace an author career.
Most of my big steps in the journey early on were missteps, but those missteps not only defined my life as an amputee but taught me how to manage writing, editing, publishing, and marketing with a full-time day job. Would I trade the missteps for the proper steps? While it would have been easier in many ways, the answer is no. I wouldn’t trade my experiences with my early readers, who are now friends, for anything.
H: What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
KM: The first piece of advice I’d offer is to write every day. It all adds up whether it’s a paragraph scribbled on a napkin, a page written on your phone, or a chapter on the computer. Sentences turn into paragraphs, paragraphs to chapters, and chapters to books. By carving out time for your writing every day, you’ll have prioritized it in your life. That will help you down the road as you face deadlines needed to fulfill your dream of becoming a published author.
The second piece of advice is, don’t concern yourself with making your rough draft perfect as you write. It’s more important to tell the story initially than to make it perfect.
Finally, look for and participate in writing groups, follow publishers to see what kind of books they’re buying, follow authors on social media to see how they promote their work, and learn everything about your genre. Most importantly, don’t give up! You never know when your story is the one someone longs to read!
H: What did you do when you got the call from Harlequin?
Watch Katie’s answer below:
Now let’s hear from Katie’s editor, Allison Lyons:
“The moment I started reading Katie’s story, which came to me through the Romance Includes You online pitch, it grabbed me and I knew we had to buy the book. The characters had great chemistry, the action and suspense was non-stop, the trauma of what happened to the heroine so visceral, there was no way I couldn’t share this story with the world. And although the heroine’s journey is crucial to this book and her disability only heightens the tension between the characters, especially when it comes to the hero learning to stop blaming himself for what happened on their last mission, there were so many more layers to the plot that I can’t wait to see the reaction from readers!”Allison Lyons, Editor, Harlequin Intrigue
Welcome to Harlequin Intrigue, Katie! And read more I Got the Call stories from new Harlequin authors at our archive.