Katie Wicks is the pen name for Catherine Mckenzie, a USA Today best selling author. McKenzie’s books are thrillers, but Katie Wicks is where she writes her romance books.
And you know we love a romance.
Wicks debut novel, Hazel Fine Sings Along, was released under the W by Wattpad Books banner, is about, “Hazel Fine steps out of her crummy hotel room into the bright LA sunshine, she knows she’s got one, and only one, chance.. Her audition for the massive talent show, The Sing Along, could change her life forever. She has the skills, what she needs now is a bit of luck.
Soon Hazel finds herself alongside fifteen other contestants who all have the same dream: superstardom. There’s the beautiful Hollywood golden child, Bella. The bright, bubbly country singer, Zoey. The extraordinarily handsome surfer/influencer, Benji. And Hazel, who has more to hide than her past. She’s got the chops, but can she handle the pressure without self-combusting?
Add in an undeniable attraction to the show’s talented yet brooding musical director, Nick, and the lecherous tactics of one of the judges, Hazel soon finds herself in over her head. But with her guitar strapped to her shoulder, she’s going to sing her heart out—and maybe open herself up to love at the same time. Who says you can’t have it all . . . “
We spoke with Wicks about the change in genre, pen names, tropes and more.
This is a big departure from your thrillers! What excites you about romance writing?What drew you here?
I started out writing similar books at the beginning of my career. And after many years of writing darker books, I wanted to write something fun and light.
Why did you choose to write romance under a pen name?
I didn’t want to confuse the marketplace. It was easier to put this out under a pen name and let the audience draw their own conclusions.
What are your favourite romance tropes and how do you subvert/challenge them in Hazel Fine?
I like enemies to lovers. One of the things I did in Hazel was to have both of them have a secret they were keeping from each other as a further obstacle to them being together.
Tell us a little bit about your music/songwriting and how that inspired/influenced the story.
I’ve been playing guitar since my late 20s when I started taking lessons. Every once in a while I try to write a song, but it’s not my forte! I think I can write good lyrics, but the music part is outside my wheelhouse. I did write all the lyrics in the book.
If you could be on a reality TV show, which would it be and why?
I always wanted to go on Survivor.
About The Author: Katie Wicks was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, where she now lives and writes full time. An amateur guitar and tennis player, Katie has been obsessed with reality TV singing competitions since American Idol debuted twenty-years ago, but has never worked up the courage to audition herself. HAZEL FINE SINGS ALONG is Katie’s debut novel.