August 4, 2018 10:04:57 PM
Kait Nolan grew up with her nose in books penned by a long list of authors she enjoyed. Today, the Starkville resident is a writer herself, with 27 titles to her credit and, now, a RITA Award. This prominent recognition in the genre of romance fiction is presented by Romance Writers of America (RWA). Nolan's award in the Short Contemporary Romance category is for her 2017 novel "Second Chance Summer," self-published through Kindle Direct Publishing. The honor was announced before a capacity crowd July 19 at the RWA Conference in Denver, Colorado.
"I went knowing I was a finalist but did not know until the night of the ceremony that I'd won," she told The Dispatch. "My reaction was shock, dumbfounded shock."
Nolan, formerly of Tupelo, has lived in Starkville since 2004 and holds a full-time position with Mississippi State University. Kait Nolan is a pen name.
The indie author describes her work as "escapist fiction" and writes everything "from short-and-sweet to Southern contemporary romance to small-town romantic suspense."
"Romance is a genre that is entirely about hope," the writer said. "We have a lot of dark, disgusting stuff in the world, and (romance) is a great place to escape and put some positivity in the world."
Her entire brand, she noted, is focused on small-town romance. Her catalog includes the Wishful series, books she describes as "my love song to the South, showing everything I love about my home state of Mississippi."
"When I started my Wishful series, the entire point is to showcase and highlight the things that make Mississippi and the Deep South great," she said.
Kait is a great example of the modern romance writer. ... There is a current trend in romance to go beyond the traditional template, and she's really made that her own with her small town setting approach, said an Amazon spokesman.
Self-publishing through KDP allows authors like Nolan to reach readers worldwide while retaining their copyright and making up to 70 percent royalty on their work, he added.
Running out of ideas for the next book is never a problem, Nolan said.
"They're everywhere -- we're constantly plagued with ideas all the time," she remarked, adding that she currently has multiple storylines in the wings.
Romance Writers of America is a nonprofit trade association to advance the professional and common business interest of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy and by increasing public awareness of the romance genre.
Learn more about Nolan at kaitnolan.com. Her titles are available online from sources including Amazon Kindle, Nook and Google Play.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.