My special guest today is my friend Cat Banks. I’ve  shared her work before but today I have a special reason to share. One of her books that is up for an award happens to be a book that I edited.  I hope with all my heart that she wins. Yeah,  it’s for selfish reasons as well. 

Please welcome,  Cat Banks!

I need your help! Several of my books have been nominated in multiple categories and I need all of you to vote! It is a huge dream of mine to win an award for one of my novels and I now have that chance.


Below are the categories I have been nominated in and the books in each category. Please note that the book that is bold and has the asterisk next to it is the one that I am asking you to vote for in that category. Links for the voting forms are next to each category. You can vote once per day for ten days. I’m up against some great authors, several of them are my friends, and many have large fan bases. So, I’m asking every last one of you to please vote each day. I know it is a lot to ask, but I really need your support.


Here are the instructions from the site running the awards: Keep in mind these voting links will not be active until midnight Central US time on the early morning of September 1. Readers and fans can vote in any or all genres at the different links. Voters can choose multiple books in a genre as long as they check mark ALL their selections in the genre BEFORE they click vote the first time! Poll Maker will limit voters to one visit per genre per day, so make sure your fans know if they want to choose more than one book, they must mark them all before voting. Voters can return to vote again each day. Voting will cease at midnight Central US time on the early morning of September 11.


Fantasy http://goo.gl/BKB7k4

*Pirate Princess by Catherine Banks
Daughter of Lions by Catherine Banks

NA New Adult http://goo.gl/oviMXu
*Pirate Princess by Catherine Banks
Daughter of Lions by Catherine Banks


Novella/Short Story http://goo.gl/6zVg5y
*True Faces by Catherine Banks


Paranormal http://goo.gl/pJP0qc
*Daughter of Lions by Catherine Banks
Pirate Princess by Catherine Banks
Mercenary by Catherine Banks
Song of the Moon by Catherine Banks


YA Young Adult http://goo.gl/gsq96a
*Pirate Princess by Catherine Banks

Daughter of Lions by Catherine Banks
Song of the Moon by Catherine Banks

Thank you so much for your support and I hope to report good news back at the end of this voting period! Even if I do not win, it’s a huge honor to be nominated. Thank you!

 You can check out additional information about these on her blog:  CatherineBanks 

More of my friends have their books nominated in various categories. Go vote for your favorites!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie Mack

Out of the Comfort Zone

My guest today is Catherine Banks.  We may do an interview later, but today I’m  handing over the  platform to her.  Catherine  has  touched on something that is near and dear to my heart – motivation.  Encouraging words that build you up not tear you down, words that inspire, words that lift you out of the miry muck – words of excellence!  Dare to dream!

Leave her a comment at the end – let her know what you think!


Step out of your Comfort Zone

and Achieve your Goals


Catherine Banks

 Since I was four years old I have been a storyteller. My first recorded short story was when I was five and I told my grandmother a story as she typed it out for me. That desire never left and I continued to write stories or daydream a story throughout the day. As a freshman I was introduced to the world of fantasy via The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien and since then I have been obsessed with fantasy. At the end of my sophomore year I finished my first full length young adult fantasy novel. I had never felt more accomplished. After rewriting the novel a few years later it was suggested that I try to get an agent for publishing. I sent out one query which I received a generic rejection email from one day later. I was crushed and I decided that I would no longer try to get an agent.

In 2010 I discovered Createspace and Smashwords, which are free online self-publishing websites. The fear of rejection was almost overpowering. Most especially the thought of putting my work out there for the world to see, but despite my fear, and with a lot of convincing from my husband who offered to draw my book covers, I self-published my first novel. I set a modest book sales goal and not only did I meet my goal, I crushed it. It was amazing! Since then I have published six other novels and one short story. It still hurts when I receive a 1/5 star rating, but what I’ve learned from this extremely out of my comfort zone adventure is that you cannot please everyone and despite those one stars I also have many five stars and I even have fans! That is still so weird to say.

Never give up on your dreams. I talk with so many people who tell me that they wish they could write a novel. My advice to them: DO IT! Write a novel or poem or play. It doesn’t matter if it’s short, silly, or serious. What matters is that you take the time to do something that you want to do. Writing is your choice and it is complete and total freedom. One thing I recommend to everyone is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It takes place annually in November and is a free online event. You are challenged to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Sounds insane, right? If you break it down that comes out to 1,667 words a day. I went into my first NaNoWriMo thinking there was absolutely no possible way that I could finish it. You know what? I did it in 6 days. Even with my self-doubt and negative thoughts in those first few days I was still able to accomplish something I had previously thought unachievable.

Writing and self-publishing novels has given me more confidence in my writing and personally that has helped me even in my professional life. Now I know that if I receive a negative comment, there are still those positive comments and events at work that out shadow it. My advice is to constantly work on improving yourself. Step outside of your comfort zone and take on new and challenging tasks! Before gaining this confidence I would not have asked for new or challenging work. Step outside of the box you put yourself in and strive to improve yourself in ways seemingly beyond your reach.

If you try and fail, know that at least you tried because that is more than most can say. Set goals and write them somewhere you can see them every day. Once you achieve one, cross it off and then set a new one. It’s a fantastic feeling to see the goals you have achieved and to see the new ones that you want to push yourself to do. If you have questions about writing or the free services that I use please feel free to contact me and I will gladly help you.


About Catherine:

I’m just your average nerdy bibliophile. I love books, video games, music and movies. I spend my days off work writing one of my novels or with my husband and children. I love writing stories and they seem to flow out of me constantly. I just want people to read my stories and enjoy them.

Connect with Catherine







Cat Banks 4







To participate in NaNoWriMo go to: www.nanowrimo.org this is absolutely free and really is fun to participate in! Once you’re signed up be sure to add me as a buddy http://nanowrimo.org/participants/cbanks/

Write on my friends, write on!

How I NaNo – Catherine Banks

My guest today is Catherine Banks. She is sharing with us  her why and how for NaNo. Please welcome her to my blog!


I look forward to NaNoWriMo every year. Two years I tried planning my novel with an outline and the key scenes’ details written down and the other year I just let the story come to me as I wrote with only a character in mind.I seem to write best when I just have a character in mind and let the story and the characters go where they will.

Sometimes I get so excited about a scene that isn’t supposed to happen for a long time, that I will write that scene, leaving several blanks for the rest of the story, and then once I’m satisfied with that scene I will go back and fill in the gaps.

I finished my first NaNoWriMo in 2011 in 11 days by using the method of just creating my character and it was the greatest feeling ever. Not everyone has the same style and you have to figure out what works best for you. One year I didn’t finish the challenge and that was perfectly okay because sometimes things come up and you can’t berate yourself for not finishing. Just think of it as practice.

If you don’t hit the 50,000 mark by the 30 days then just use that as determination to finish the next year. Try altering your methods like I did and see if one works better for you than the other. My husband knows every November that I won’t be speaking to him at night because I will be busy writing my novel, but I also try to remember not to push myself. If the story isn’t flowing at that moment or I feel like my writing is suffering then I set it aside and pick it up the next day.

Generally I spend 3-5 hours per day writing for NaNoWriMo, but some days I only spend one hour and get the minimum 1,667 words. Use NaNoWriMo to find your writing style, find a story that really ignites your creativity and that love of writing we often lose sight of, the one that makes your fingers fly across the keyboard, and remember that this is a very rough, first draft and it is not supposed to be perfect in any way. Get your story on paper (real or digital) and ignore your inner editor until a month or two after you finish NaNoWriMo.

You aren’t doing this for anyone else, just yourself and that means you do it how you want and damn those NaNo veterans who tell you their way is best!


      image022Catherine Banks’ bio:

I’m just your average nerdy bibliophile. I love books, video games, music, and          movies. In 2010 I self-published my first novel and now I have several titles          under  construction and several published. I love fantasy and have an extreme love   for  werewolves. I spend my days off work writing one of my novels or with my      husband and 2 children. I love writing stories and they seem to flow out of me  constantly. I just want people to read my stories and enjoy them.






My Books and Links to Purchase:





Song of The Moon (Artemis Lupine #1): NookBook Paperback Kindle Smashwords








Kiss of a Star (Artemis Lupine #2): NookBook Paperback Kindle Smashwords








Healed by Fire (Artemis Lupine #3): NookBook Paperback Kindle Smashwords









Taming Darkness (Artemis Lupine #4): NookBook Kindle Smashwords








Mercenary (Little Death Bringer #1): NookBook Kindle Paperback Smashwords











Protector (Little Death Bringer #2): NookBook Kindle Paperback Smashwords









True Faces (Ciara Steele Novella #1): NookBook Kindle Smashwords