My name is Chaoscat and I have an alter ego. Okay, that sounds cool and makes me, for a moment, feel like a super hero. I wish my alter ego donned shiny spandex and headed out each night, ready to fight crime in the big city—-I should be so lucky. No, my alter ego is a writer named Samantha Storm. I know, sounds like a stripper or porn star name. Something my husband pointed out to me AFTER I decided to use it for a pen name.
What can I say I have always liked the name Samantha. And while I was trying to find a good surname to go with it, I happened to be outside, and it happened to be storming. Seemed like a good idea at the time. My other half still ribs me about the name.
So who is Chaoscat? Who is Samantha Storm? How did Chaoscat morph into Samantha Storm? And how on earth did Romance Junkies get started? These are questions I get, usually after a few rounds of drinks, when hanging out with a group of writers.
Before Chaoscat and Samantha Storm I was Cat Brown. I spent my days working as a freelance web designer. Since I was a kid I had dreamed of one day being a writer, but it was one of those secret dreams that would only come out in late night or tequila tainted conversations.
I liked being a web designer. I enjoyed working a full time job from home. I especially liked the part where I could work while wearing my pajamas. Life was good. Paychecks were good. Then as often happens in life, everything changed. 9/11 happened. The economy took a spin for the worst and suddenly all my web design clients were going bankrupt. I worked for small to middle size companies who took the hit the hardest and couldn’t weather the bad economy.
There I sat in my scuba diving monkey covered pajamas wondering what had happened to my great working at home gig. I was devastated. I would have to go out and get a real job. A job where the boss expected me to show up at work at eight in the morning, dressed in real clothes. Gone were the days where I could stumble out of bed, grab a cup of coffee and pound away on my keyboard, totally ignoring the fact my hair was a rat’s nest. No more would I be able to schedule my lunch breaks to correspond with a movie I wanted to catch on the blue tube that day.
That’s when my husband, Todd, spoke up.
Todd: “We’re broke right?”
Cat: “Looks like.”
Todd: “It was pretty good while it lasted. I guess we’re back to one income and eating top ramen at the end of the month.”
Cat: “Do we have any alcohol in the house?”
Todd: “Since we’re going to be broke anyway, why not take this time to go for your dream?”
Cat: “What dream? Hey, where did you put the tequila?”
Todd: “You’re always saying you want to be a writer. Well here’s your chance. Go do it.”
Cat: “Do what?”
Todd: “Go write a book.”
Cat: “Did you already get to the tequila? Are you serious? You can’t be serious. I’ve only written short stories for my own entertainment. Write a book? Are you nuts?”
Todd: “Look, your birthday is right around the corner. You’re going to be thirty-six. At this point you can either figure out how to write a book and give this writing thing a shot, or you die without trying your ‘secret dream’.”
Cat: “Holy shit, you’re serious.”
Todd: “Go write a 200-300 page book.”
Cat: “I have no idea how to write a 200-300 book.”
Todd: “Well, go figure it out.”
And so Samantha Storm was born. I cruised around the net and stumbled onto eharlequin.com and into an aspiring writers thread. Eight months, and much mental sweat, and a dozen skirts with insanity, later I had pounded out my first book.
On my quest I met and befriended other aspiring authors. One of those writers was also named Cat. Chaos was a joke between me and my husband. He claimed I was organized chaos. In order to delineate between myself and the other cat I started using the tag Chaoscat. The nickname stuck.
About the time I finished my first book one of my writing friends sold her first book. After we got done cyber celebrating her sale, she asked the question, “Okay now what do I do?”
Honestly none of us had ever thought about what happened after you sold a book. What happens after? Authors promote their books. They promote in hopes of getting their name out there, and if they do a good job of it readers might try them out and hopefully get hooked by their brilliant story telling.
So my friend went forth to promote and shortly came back to complain.
Friend: “I’m a broke writer.”
Friend: “Promotion costs money. I don’t have any money.”
Chaoscat: “Okay, that’s a problem. Where are you supposed to promote?”
Friend: “On review sites.”
Chaoscat: “What’s a review site?”
One rainy weekend after scoping out review sites I realized I was a web designer and I had friends who read a lot of books. Why couldn’t I build a site and con my friends into reviewing? I could make the site a place where everyone could promote, including the not so flush authors. We would only be doing a few reviews every month. RJ wouldn’t take up much of my time. Famous last words.
Anyone that knows me well will tell you that for the most part I’m a pretty laid back chick. But there is one thing that can rile me up—–bullies. Especially bitchy ones. Romance Junkies was going to be a small– work on the weekend only– site. But that all changed because I got riled up. All my time and effort went into making RJ grow and five years later here we are. So there you have it–the many faces of Chaos.
Cat Brown AKA Chaoscat
(Chaos – It’s not just a lifestyle, it’s a state of mind)
Owner/Operator Romance Junkies
http://www.romancejunkies.com writing as Samantha Storm – http://www.samanthastorm.com/
*Shadow Vision ** On Sale Now!! http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/shadowvision.htm
Eye of the Storm – now in print from NCP
My Space – http://www.myspace.com/samanthastormbooks
Blogs- Butterscotch Martini Girls – http://www.butterscotchmartinigirls.com/
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=532401128
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