Debut Spotlight: An Interview with Cathrine Swift.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing journey?
I’ve been in love with storytelling for as long as I can remember. In books, and in real life. When
I meet a new person I click with, I want to know everything about them. Each person on earth is
full of amazing stories. Maybe not all good or happy ones, but amazing ones.
And we come from generations of amazing stories. Love and adventure and heartache and
lessons learned. When we share them with others, we can come back to them long after the
people who lived them are gone. And in books, we can keep them safe forever, or we can alter
them, reimagine them and relive them in far off magical places or in different time eras.
Writing is magical, and I think magic is beautiful.
Your novel Let it Reign releases on June 29th ! How are you feeling?
Overwhelmed. Excited. Terrified. Exhausted. Proud.
Like I want to puke and throw a party.
Could you pitch Let it Reign for us?
Let it Reign is a steamy and empowering medieval romance about a queen who decides to take
her power -and her kingdom - back from the wicked king she was forced to marry, with the help
of her closest friends and true love, Lady Caroline.
It has both queer and heterosexual love stories, with its diverse cast of characters exploring
themes such as found family, community, redemption, and inner strength. I am passionate
about equality and representation so I did my best to include various racial, cultural and
What was the most rewarding part of writing this book?
Proving to myself that I could do it. I live with anxiety that can mentally and emotionally cripple
me at times, especially when it comes to things like putting myself out there. And other writers
will know, we often pour ours hearts and souls into our work. So Let it Reign is very much a part
of me, and putting such a huge piece of myself out there in the world for people to love or hate,
and ultimately judge, was very triggering. But I did it! And I’m very proud of myself for doing
How might it appeal to someone outside the target audience?
I did my best to write it so there was something in it for everyone by having a variety of beta
readers from different walks of life. If someone is just there for romance, we got it. If they are
into clashing swords and battle scenes, that’s there too. If they are into psychology and
relationships, religion and diversity, I sprinkled that in and around. I wanted to write something
spouses could read together, regardless of gender identity. And that would inspire not only
young women like the main character, to stand up for themselves and what they believe in, but
anyone looking to unlock their inner strength. That’s why I chose to write from multiple points of
view throughout the story as opposed to just Queen Amelia.
Which character do you think will be a fan favorite?
Well, if beta reader feedback is any indication- Fredrick, the queen’s military leader, is high up
on that list. In my head, he looks like Sterling K. Brown, and I don’t know anyone with a
heartbeat who doesn’t find that man charming. His character counterpart is no exception.
Every time I think I’ve chosen my personal favorite character, another one pipes up and it’s just
impossible to settle. Dagger to my throat though, I’d probably go with (King) Spencer, the
villain’s brother. Especially because he gets an enemies to lovers arc in the sequel. But that’s a
surprise... so, shhh...
Is there anything about the publishing process that challenged you, or in
retrospect, you would have done differently?
Everything challenged me. Everything. The learning curve was so steep and intense. I’m a big
fan of researching and self-educating, however in the final weeks it felt like I was learning and
executing a brand-new task almost daily. Thank goodness for YouTube tutorials!
If I hadn’t been so impatient to publish, I think I would have at least liked to take a year querying
agents and attempting traditional publishing. But I’m also a type one, control freak and the idea
of giving away my book baby -even to a team of highly trained professionals- freaked me right
Plus I figured, if I can survive self-publishing my debut novel in a pandemic with a toddler, what
couldn’t I do?
What has been your favorite aspect of preparing for your debut novel?
Meeting other amazing writers and creators through social media. Between Instagram and
TikTok, the support and excitement for my story has meant the world to me. Not only that, but
the relationships I’ve formed.
Until recently, I had no friends who were serious writers. No one who understood what I meant
when I said my characters were talking to me, or how much time, energy and effort indie
publishing takes. And I know social media can be toxic , but I lucked out and cultivated a
community around myself, and even if my book flops for some reason, I’ll always have these
Any other projects in the works?
Oh. So, so many. I have over 30 novels in various stages of completion, from scribbled plot
ideas to full fledged manuscripts in need of editing. All romance, but the genres change
between contemporary, fantasy, mystery and sci-fi . One series I’m just in the planning stages of
is about a female PI in New York who works alongside her brother and all the shenanigans they
get into both inside and out of the office.
But, after the summer, I’ll be hunkering down and focusing on Let it Reign’s sequel. My hope is
to have it published late 2022/early 2023, but we’ll see how cooperative my lovely characters
Do you have any advice for other debut authors?
Take notes. Learn as much as you can from fellow authors. And whatever advice doesn’t speak
to your soul, throw it out.
Start your author platform early and let it grow organically.
And take yourself seriously. This book idea came to you because you were meant to write it. It’s yours and it’s worthy. And so are you.
Where can readers find you and your book?
I’ll be publishing through KDP and Ingram Spark, so I’m happy to say Let it Reign will be
available through all major online book sellers in e-book, paperback and hardcover starting June
29th, 2021! I will be spending the summer following release coordinating with local bookstores and libraries to get it on shelves, but I’m told the best way to do that is for people to call their favorite store and request it be ordered in. also have a fans only Facebook group, kind of like a fan club, specifically for Let it Reign readers, called The Queen’s Order. And of course, my official website is www.authorcathrineswift.com
Anything else to add?
Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my story! I cannot wait to see what the future
has in store.
Follow Cathrine on Instagram