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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Katie’s books offer hope to readers



Hello Katie, and welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

What book are you reading now?
 
My sister loaned me Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet, which I’d call a contemporary, traditional English Village mystery. Malliet is a masterful writer, and her village characters have me hanging on their every word and action. I alternate mystery and romance titles, with a splash of women’s fiction now and then.

Who are some of your favourite authors?

I have to include Jane Austen and Agatha Christie, but many of my favorites are contemporary romance and mystery writers like Mariah Stewart, Robin Carr, Louise Penny, and Sally Goldenbaum. I’m forever in awe of Maeve Binchy and Debbie Macomber.

Do you hear from readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I love hearing from readers, and I’d love to hear more. Many readers of STEPPING UP TO LOVE tell me about their favorite character—most often Manda—and someone called Joel “Swoon-worthy” J Ultimately, most of my readers say my books give them hope, and it warms my heart to hear that.

What place inspires you the most?

Everyplace in the west of Ireland.  My grandparents came from County Mayo and County Kerry, and I feel at home there when I visit. It’s clear to me when I see the rocky fields and the driving rain how they came to be clever storytellers.

Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure?

Write what you love and listen to your readers with a discerning ear. When you feel ready to publish, enlist other published writers for support and guidance.

Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.

First: I always have a working title for my books that includes the name of my hero or heroine (Book One was named “Manda the Brave”; Book Two was “Justin’s Time Out” and Book Three is “Gwen Gets a Clue”). Second fun fact: my office at my day job is just big enough to swing a hula hoop, which is one of my favorite ways to de-stress and un-kink. Third peculiarity: when I plan my semester courses, I use a tiny desk calendar I brought from Ireland with Pat Flavell’s prints of old Ireland, scribbled over with notes about assignments and authors and websites.

Blurb: STEPPING UP TO LOVE

Which takes more courage—getting sober or opening yourself to love with the right man? For Manda Doughty, the answer is “First you get sober and then you do the hard work to get ready for love.” Manda the Brave is a college-town story with a recovery twist. When her boss catches her using the spa shower at The Manse, junior accountant and graduating college senior Manda Doughty comes clean about the alcoholic drinking that has led her into a disastrous relationship with a predatory professor. Joel, who is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and also a trustee of the college, is faced with more problems than a beautiful naked woman in his shower. While he’d rather make love all night with funny, brainy Manda, Joel knows his desire for her has no future if Manda cannot stay sober, grow up, and face her problems squarely. While Manda immerses herself in AA, Joel uncovers harassment and embezzlement that threaten the existence of the college his ancestors founded. Can he fix the problems at the college without exposing Manda to public humiliation? Can Manda clean up her mess and trust the love she feels for Joel? The odds may not be in their favor, but miracles happen in twelve-step recovery programs for those who are willing to change their lives and open their hearts.

STEPPING UP TO LOVE by Katie O’Boyle
Excerpt:
Halfway through the shampoo, she heard him tap on the frosted glass door and slip some clothes onto the hook in the dressing area. “I owe you, Remy,” she said over the noise of the shower.
“Shhh!” he commanded. “I know nothing!” he declared and hummed his way back through the locker room.
The bubble of laughter that rose in Manda turned into a flood of tears. She let them flow and mix with the hundred-degree simulated rainwater pouring from the ceiling.
Finally warm, and thoroughly clean, shampooed, conditioned, citrus-scented, and far less achy than she’d been, Manda turned off the water and drew back the linen curtain dividing the shower stall from the dressing area, and screamed. Standing at the glass door was the big boss. Remy’s boss. Her boss's boss. She wasn’t sure, but Joel Cushman was probably everybody’s boss.
“Geez, Joel, I thought you were a pervert!” she yelled at him. I can’t believe I just called Mr. Cushman “Joel.” I am in so much trouble here.
“Manda? What—?” His voice cracked like an adolescent.
Manda stifled a laugh. His eyes were drinking in her body as though he couldn’t believe what she’d been hiding under her baggy clothes. Drink your fill now, Joel, because I am off men for life.
“I thought you were a criminal. What are you doing in the shower at seven fifteen in the morning? And stop batting that curtain around.”
Manda tried desperately to grab hold of the linen shower curtain, flapping this way and that in the current created by the open door. “Do you mind?” she scolded him.
Giving up on the curtain, she crossed her arms and turned her back on him. He probably likes that view, too. “Could you hand me a towel, please, or get out of here?” Why am I yelling at the boss? Seriously dumb, Manda.
He was silent now, which was worse. What is he doing, standing there, looking at me? Panic overtook anger, and she turned back to look at him.
He had dropped the admiring once-over, and she saw he was taking a second look at her purpling bruises. Silently, he handed her a towel from the top of the stack and looked her in the eye.
Manda wondered if he could read the shame and fear clouding her vision.
Joel cleared his throat and ordered, “In my office. Five minutes. Dressed.”  His jaw was hard as he turned on his heel.

STEPPING UP TO LOVE by Katie O’Boyle (Soul Mate Publishing, Inc, NY)

Author Bio

Once upon a time, Katie O’Boyle was a stellar student and closet substance abuser at a picture-perfect small college. She credits loving friends, 12-step spirituality, and plenty of hard work for her transformation into tech-savvy college professor and passionate author of warm-hearted romance. Born in the upstate-New York village known as the Birthplace of Women’s Rights, Katie passionately loves the Finger Lakes in every season. She enjoys lunch with friends on many a lakeside porch, and she cherishes the lakeside porch as a place for intimate sharing, laughter, and inspiration. She is hard at work on book three of the Lakeside Porches romance books and novellas.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Paisley's imagination fired by ancestor's account of wagon train trek across the plains

Hello Paisley. Welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

 
What inspired you to write your first book?
I am a storyteller at heart. After searching through the genealogy books my Mother put together, I understood the desire to put my stories onto paper. Paper? Yes, all those years ago the computer as we know it was not invented yet. Two writers showed up on the family tree. My great, great grandfather Charles Kirkpatrick kept a journal on his long trek across the plains by wagon train. This beautifully handwritten day-by- day account tracking his adventure is kept under glass at the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, and is rated five star.

His wife, and my great, great grandmother, Mary Kirkpatrick, wrote seven stories and from what we understand, they were the first stories published by a woman in a magazine.

I had dabbled at writing for years before I knew about the writing genes that were handed down to me. Once I read my grandfather's journal, I was hooked and knew I wanted to write a story using what he saw along the trail. First person information on what the mode of transportation entailed was perfect for the first story I wrote. MARRIAGE BARGAIN was released in March, 2013.

My next story came completely from my imagination, so you can imagine the shock I had when I read Mary Kirkpatrick's first story published and found two lines in a similar situation to be verbatim with my own words. I later learned her first story was an accounting of her life. What do you think? Could I have inherited her memories or maybe inherited her?

How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I am finishing up writing my fifth story in my Paradise Pines Series. The first two are published and the third is coming out the end of October of this year. Actually the first story in the series to be published is the third book I wrote. Each story stands alone, but after October they can be purchased in order. Night Angel was published last August. This is my favourite story so far. The heroine is loosely based on my great grandmother who was an actress on the stage in San Francisco before the
1906 earthquake. In my story she rolls into Paradise Pines as a poker-playing saloon singer and takes the mountain community by storm, interrupting their complacent lives.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?
I've always loved historical. Lucky for me, I live where my stories take places, only 164 years before I arrived here. It's hard to believe people can create stories better than lives lived in the past. As a child I visited my grandparents in Nevada City, CA, which was also a gold rush town. Like in Placerville, Nevada City is still full of old buildings and lots of ghosts and memories of the exciting days of gold miners, gamblers, and daring heroes and heroines. I loved to hear stories my granddad told us and find those stories are fun to write and expand on.

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?
Quilting is a great passion for me. Over the past eleven years I have made and given away forty-four quilts in memory of our daughter who died from cancer. I started out making baby quilts out of colourful flannels. Once I learned about putting photos on fabric, I have added memory quilts to my hobby. Some of the designs are my own, but for the most part I stick to the two styles I like best -- a stack and slash for the baby quilts and a modified long cabin quilt for the photo quilts. Sewing has always been easy and fun for me. Now it also has helped with my grieving and also given many quilts to snuggle in.

What place inspires you the most?
Scotland -- all of Scotland, every nook and cranny of the beautiful country where my Mother's family came from. My hubby and I spent 23 days driving the sheep trails the Scots consider roads and lived to brag about it. We went off the tourist grid and for certain, I left my heart there. One place in particular -- a very small community called Balquhidder has a beautiful old church with a graveyard. Rob Roy MacGregor and is family are buried there. I knelt before their gravesite and imagined bagpipes and swords clashing in the surrounding mountains. I will never forget this wonderful adventure.

Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?
I am a Gerard Butler addict. Yes a card-carrying fan who hasn't missed one of his movies. I have cried at several of his movies, especially P.S. I Love you and 300. This gorgeous Scot inspires me in most of my heroes and when I see his movies they always bring a sense of awe.

Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
For ten years I was the president of country singing artist Kevin Sharp. It was a very special time in my life. We ran Kevin's booth at Fan Fair in Nashville, TN, for five years. This is where most country artists come to meet their favourite artists. Our booth was situated across the walkway from LeAnn Rimes. The best experience at Fan Fair was standing on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry next to the famous orange barn backdrop and watch Kevin perform three songs. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.

One of my daughters-of-my-heart and I were standing across the road from the Chinese Grauman Theatre in Hollywood when Gerard Butler walked out of the building. When he saw us across the road, he took off his dark glasses, smiled and waved at the two of us. Yes, I did melt all over the sidewalk. And, yes, he has the most beautiful green eyes.

I have made too many wedding cakes to remember how many. Most of the little girls I had in my Camp Fire Girls group remembered I promised them I would make their cake when they got married. I had to go light on the decorating once I had carpel tunnel surgery, but nobody complained. Most of them were three tiers and rewarding to make.

Paisley Kirkpatrick bio:

Discovering that riding off into the sunset was a lot easier on a computer screen than in real life, not to mention those saddle burns. Paisley Kirkpatrick began her career as an author. Hiding in the Sierra Mountain Range of California with her husband of 44 years, Paisley spends her time roping in the cowpoke of her dreams, or can be found wandering the streets of California's gold rush towns to find inspiration for her books. She might not have found gold in them there hills, but she did find a love for the old west and the prickling of the stories that make up her Paradise Pines series.

Drawing on family history and a healthy imagination, Paisley kicks off her wild ride on a dusty trail with Night Angel. Don't worry your little heads, though. It's the first of many adventures in a time when men were men, and women knew how to put them in their place. If you love your cowboys rugged with a sensitive side, and your heroines with enough fire to light up the western sky, you've got a home waiting in Paradise Pines. Just be sure to bring a six-shooter because the Lady Paisley aims for the heart, and when she fires, she never misses.

Blurb: The Marriage Bargain

Abandoned by her sisters, her father in jail, Marinda Benjamin takes on the care of her ailing mother the best way possible -- working for an unscrupulous man with the power to crush her.  Forced to spy on a decent man, Marinda's honesty saves her virtue and revenge restores her self-respect.

When Ethan Braddock discovers his brother's poker pot cleaning his private office, he jumps to the right conclusion -- she's there to spy for his nemesis. Ethan can't help but find her irresistible. In spite of what his heart tells him, his brain reserves judgment on her character. Until he unravels the mystery of her connection to Danforth, trust is the one thing he can't allow himself. For that, she'll have to prove herself.

Marinda Benjamin won't marry until she finds the forever after kind of love. Has the man she's dreamed of loving been beside her all along?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

New Zealand's goldrush history a spur for Mary's books

Hello Mary and welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

Can you give us some details about your recent release?
          My latest book, SWIFT RUNS THE HEART, was released by Escape Publishing on 1st September. Escape is the e-book only imprint of Harlequin Australia, and has been great to work with.

          SWIFT RUNS THE HEART is an historical romance set during the gold rush period in Otago, New Zealand. Both Geraldine MacKenny and Bas Deverill have escaped to the goldfields. Geraldine finds the life of a wealthy run holder’s daughter stiff and constraining. On the goldfields, she can be herself.
          Bas may be of aristocratic blood, but he thrives on the challenges of commerce and the freedom of the colonies. Cheerful, casual, uncommitted — that’s the way he likes his life on the goldfields. Then both run afoul of the same notorious bandit, and nothing is the same after.

What inspired you to write your first book?
          The first book I wrote was a very long, romantic science fiction epic. That came from a dream I had one night, which gave me the two main characters, the basic conflict and the opening chapters. It’s now in two books, remains unpublished, but is still very special – my first literary baby.
          My first published book was A Heart Divided from Escape Publishing, a NZ historical romance set at the time of the Otago gold rushes. I happened to read about the tragic story of the unknown number of miners lost in blizzard conditions on the Old Man Range above Gorge Creek, Otago, and knew it would make a dramatic climax for a story. Then I had to find the characters. On a sunny day in Central Otago, I visited an old stone cottage near Gorge Creek. Sturdy and made to last, it’s a house made to be a home, a refuge for any rootless wanderer, and that gave me my heroine. My hero had to be like that house; strong, rock-solid, and needing with all his heart to love and care for my heroine – if only she would let him.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?
          I like both science fiction and historical romance, and prefer to swap between the two. I’m working on a science fiction book at the moment, one set on an imaginary planet.   There is a romantic element, but I haven’t quite decided whether it will have a HEA ending. A couple of historical romances are bubbling away in the back of my head as well, so will see which is fermented enough to start writing when I finish the SF book. I do little formal plotting before starting a first draft, but usually have worked out a general idea of the beginning and end, plus basic personalities for my main characters. I’m a pantser, so the rest (hopefully) appears during the first draft.

What book are you reading now?
             I tend to have more than one on the go at a time. Currently it’s Dorothy
 Dunnett’s Pawn in Frankincense, Anne Gracie’s The Perfect Stranger and Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Who are some of your favourite authors?
            For historical and romance, my favourites include the amazing Dorothy Dunnett, Nora Roberts, Jayne Anne Krentz and her alter egos Jayne Castle and Amanda Quick, NZ authors Karina Bliss and Frances Housden, especially her Scottish historical novel, A Chieftain’s Curse, M. M. Kaye, particularly for Trade Wind, Stephanie Laurens, and of course the Queen of historical romance, Georgette Heyer. As for science fiction & fantasy, my go-to authors include Orson Scott Card, Robert Heinlein, Catherine Asaro, Lois McMaster Bujold, Ian M. Banks and Juliet Marillier. Then there are the wonderful paranormals, which can be made up of SF, fantasy and historical romance. I have all of Nalini Singh’s books, I love Thea Harrison, and have recently discovered Australian author Shona Husk. 

What books have most influenced your life?
          Georgette Heyer’s April Lady and the Sergeanne Golon Angelique series introduced me to the world of historical romance, Mary Renault’s historical books were a major reason for an early fascination with ancient myths and legends, Isaac Asimov’s SF books opened up the endless possibilities in both fiction and science, Man Alone by John Mulgan raised ideas of what it is that makes us New Zealanders,  and an old copy of a history of the Country Women’s Institute found in a second hand shop introduced me to the treasury of local stories to be found in old NZ books.
            I tend to haunt second hand shops now, and the NZ history section of the library. There were a number of local histories put out around 1940, to commemorate New Zealand’s first century, and they are packed full of the little stories that bring to life times past. Those old NZ books gave me my two published books, and that means the world to me.

Excerpt SWIFT RUNS THE HEART

The Dunstan goldfield, New Zealand, 1862
          A hand snatched at the cap on Geraldine’s head. “You’ll do nicely,” said a voice behind her. The accent was the educated English her stepmother tried hard to emulate, the masculine tones too self-assured, and the owner of the voice quite unknown.
          Geraldine swung round to do battle, only to find a strange man standing so close she could not move without pushing past him. She froze, looking for an escape route, even as her mouth opened to tell the intruder into the saloon’s kitchen exactly what she thought of his behaviour.
          The man showed no sign of shame at alarming her. He was too busy gazing at her uncovered hair with a look of decided satisfaction. Her mouth closed and she groaned silently. Like too many before him, it seemed the stranger was drawn by the hair that was the bane of Geraldine’s life. Like living strands of amber, her father used to say. Wild, uncontrollable and a nuisance, was Geraldine’s opinion. Too many men had lauded its beauty in the past. She set one foot back in slow retreat, even as his hands began again, hauling at the pins holding her hair in place at the base of her neck.
          “Stop that!”
          Her hands reached up, but to no effect. He batted them away and continued to release the vibrant curls she had hoped to keep hidden in this new place. He stepped back to admire his handiwork, the widening grin setting his face alight as he saw the effects of his changes. Too annoyed now to be frightened, she gave him back stare for stare.
          It was a mistake. Time became irrelevant as her eyes slowly tracked up the newcomer and a strange fancy took her. His face seemed caught in an instant of endless motion. Taut skin tracing lightly over long bones, bright, sun-kissed hair and laughing sea-blue eyes.
          Her world tilted sideways. She breathed hard, striving to fight off a rare feeling of confusion. Control. She must take control of the situation.
          “What do you think you are doing?”
          “Making you pretty for the gentlemen, of course,” said the stranger. “I need someone to distract the fine fellows awaiting me in the bar while I make my escape.”
          “Whyever would I do such a thing?” she said, as she vainly attempted to return her hair to some kind of order and her senses to normality.
          “Because if you don’t, they will kill me.”
          It was said so matter-of-factly that she paid it no heed. His next action drove the words from her thoughts completely. Those wayward hands reached up for the neckline of her plain but serviceable gown and pulled the buttons open, laying back the two sides to bare a voluptuous swelling. His hands lingered in a caress that sent her heart into the oddest of thudding strokes.
          “Molly has lost none of her ability to pick staff,” he said in a slow, husky drawl.

MARY'S BIO

     Mary Brock Jones lives in Auckland, New Zealand, but her childhood years in the stunning Otago region of the South Island live on in the romantic adventures of her heroes and heroines. When not fending off the demands of a determined cat or being towered over by her four grown sons, much to their endless amusement, she writes historical romances and science fiction.  Her two books, Swift Runs the Heart and A Heart Divided, both set during the goldrushes of Central Otago, are available now from Escape Publishing.

Thank you for joining us today, Mary. Wishing you many sales.

Jean

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Cindy dreams of writing serial killers full time

Hi Cindy, welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

What book are you reading now? 

Right now I’m reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’m reading it for book club and I actually nominated it for our September read. I nominated it because I’d hear so many good things about it from authors I admire. I’ve just started it so I’m looking forward to putting aside a chunk of time this weekend to really get into the book.

Do you see writing as a career? 

Right now I have a day job but I would like writing to be my career. I have that dream of being able to write full time and still help support the household. I have enough ideas for writing to be a career. It’s just a matter of finding the time to write them all while still going to a 9 – 5 job.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

I like a few different genres. I prefer to think of myself as a crime writer and all the other genres are subs to that. I write paranormal crime fiction, urban fantasy crime fiction, science fiction crime fiction, contemporary crime fiction. No matter what “genre” I’m writing almost all of my stories have a crime element (usually a serial killer or sometimes just one murder).

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc? 

Reading of course, though I don’t do enough of that. I love watching movies. I also love (maybe too much) playing The Sims 3. I can spend all day, literally, playing that. When I have more time I would like to get back into painting. I used to paint landscapes in oil and found it to be very satisfying.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? Writing, or something else?
When I was a child I wanted to run a restaurant. Being eight, I wasn't allowed to actually use the stove so my friends and I would try to cook with hot water that we got out of the taps in the basement. We always ended up with soggy raw fries and the weakest tea you can imagine. When I got to high school I wanted to be an astronaut. I didn't figure that one out in time because when it was time to go to university I didn't have the maths and science I needed. But through it all I loved to write stories. I decided when I was eighteen that I wanted to be a writer and I've never looked back.

Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know. 
I flew a flight simulator at the NATO base in Germany when I was eighteen. Still can’t get the landing right on any simulator I try. I played Trivial Pursuit with Melissa Gilbert. Patrick Swayze kissed me.

Thanks so much for having me here today, Jean!

REFLECTIONS:

Stay away from the mirrors
A road trip without a plan sounded like a good idea when Lena and her friends hit the road. A mini vacation and support for Steve, recently dumped, have the friends travelling through small towns and back roads. After hours of driving in the heat in a cramped car they're all ready for something to eat and a good night's rest.
Reflections Inn looks perfect for the group of friends. Though a little run down, it hides a supernatural horror.
Don't read the curse
Everything looks normal when they check in, except an old woman yelling about a curse. Intrigued, some of the friends decide to investigate. Some stay behind and learn about the curse first hand.
Run
A curse that replaces people with their repressed alter egos forces the friends to fight for their lives. And they realize they didn't know each other as well as they thought.



Check out my website: http://www.cindycarroll.com
Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CindyPCarroll
Sign up for my newsletter: http://www.cindycarroll.com/blog/newsletter

Buy on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1avH00L
Buy on Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/19Ti2ux
Buy on Kobo: http://bit.ly/13CBz9M
Buy on Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/15oFc4a


About Cindy: Cindy Carroll is a member of Sisters in Crime and a graduate of Hal Croasmun’s screenwriting ProSeries. Her interviews with writers of CSI and Flashpoint appeared in The Rewrit, the Scriptscene newsletter, the screenwriting Chapter of RWA. She writes screenplays, thrillers, and paranormals, occasionally exploring an erotic twist. A background in banking and IT doesn't allow much in the way of excitement so she turns to writing stories that are a little dark and usually have a dead body. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her fiancĂ© and three cats. When she's not writing you can usually find her painting landscapes in oil or trying space paintings with spray paint.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Search for singer sparks time travel

Hello Cathy, and welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.  

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

I have a couple favorites. My first book is a time travel romance centered around early rock ‘n’ roll in 1957, and the second book in the series will be another music-themed time travel romance that takes place in the 1970s. I've always enjoyed reading time travel romances (Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series being my all-time fave!), but mainly it was my love of popular music that inspired me to write WISHING YOU WERE HERE, so I hadn't set out to write “time travels” or necessarily romance. It just happened that way.

My favorite genre to read is suspense—romantic suspense, thrillers, psychological mysteries, you name it. If it has a buried secret, I’m there! :-) So ultimately, that’s where I think long-term my writing will take me. I have one young adult suspense novel near completion and recently plotted a second one while giving a teen writing workshop at the local library earlier this summer.

What books have most influenced your life most?

I was heavily influenced growing up by the early V.C. Andrews books and gothic romances, and I love the middle grade ghost stories by Mary Downing Hahn. A book from my childhood, The Ghost Next Door by Wylly Folk St. John, has stuck with me since I was 10 years old. I’d like to write similar “creepy” books along those lines, but for older teens.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book was inspired by a rockabilly song from 1989. It was a tribute song about two musicians from the 1950’s that I didn't know much about when I first heard the song, but the lyrics made me curious to find out more. When I looked the duo up, I discovered one of them sang a song I was very familiar with, but strangely, I hadn't known his name. This piqued my curiosity even more, so I read the singer's biography and discovered he died in a car crash when he was only 20 years old, years before I was born. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. Such great musical talent and…just gone like that. My emotional reaction to learning that boy’s fate inspired the idea for WISHING YOU WERE HERE and is echoed in the opening chapter when my heroine Callie discovers what became of the famous Joey Tempo back in 1957.

Do you see writing as a career?

Most definitely. And I treat it like a regular day job too. I have a home office, which also doubles as my craft and sewing room, where I keep regular hours Monday-Friday. I thrive on routine, so going to work at the same time every day keeps me productive. I’m not one of those writers who can snatch 15 minutes here or 10 minutes there and write something usable. Sitting down at the desk at the same time each morning is what works best for me. And having the weekends off gives me time to take a break and spend time with my family.

What book are you reading now?
I just finished Home to Whiskey Creek by Brenda Novak (Book 4 in the Whiskey Creek series), which I loved so much I included it on my “Recommended Reads for August” blog post. Now I’m reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King. I hadn’t read any King novels in a while (although I own them all), but in anticipation of the upcoming TV series Under the Dome, I read his novel of the same title last month. It reminded me why I should pick up his books more often. Genius, just pure genuis. The man has a way with characters that I just adore.

Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

The one I remember most recently was War Horse. I hate animals-in-jeopardy movies but wanted to see this one because in the previews it looked so dramatic and moving. And it was. It was a very good film, breathtaking visuals, a lovely story, but I cried during most of it. Just the anticipation of the horse getting in trouble got me going.

Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.

1. I love Pokemon. Thanks to my son, I’m like a walking dictionary of names, types and stats. My son’s friends are impressed. LOL! I have my own little pink Nintendo DS (complete with fashionable pink tartan carrying bag) and all the Pokemon games, even some Game Boy ones.

2. I know all the Godzilla/Gamera monsters, their backstories and the movies that feature them. My favorite Godzilla movie is Godzilla Final Wars (2004) because it features so many of the monsters in one film and Godzilla looks bad-ass in it, not all rubbery suit or anything.

3. I’m a champion for beneficial insects and I particularly love praying mantises. Every spring and summer my garden is filled with them. I once counted 20 in only half an hour of searching. I just love to watch them grow from tiny newborns to full-blown adults and frequently move them (yes, by hand. LOL!) to my flowers or vegetable gardens where they clean up destructive pests like aphids and cabbage worms. In the fall and winter I take extra care to protect the egg sacks they leave behind so there’ll be plenty of new babies come spring.

EXCERPT
 
Callie approached the departure area and slowed. Her lack of a plan and a growing sense of what-the-hell-am-I-doing interrupted her frantic actions. What could she accomplish by finding Joey Tempo, anyway? She’d only seen the teen idol in pictures. Would she even recognize him in person? Another few steps and she had her answer. She inhaled sharply
He’d been standing with his back to her, but now he turned to speak to a man behind him. He held a dark blue suit jacket by the collar and casually flung it over his left shoulder. That face! She rested her shoulder against the wall to keep from crumpling to the floor.
"This has got to be a dream," she whispered. "Leah's right. I’ve gone crazy. I'm …hallucinating."
But Joey looked so alive. So real. And so completely and utterly adorable. Crisp white shirt, a blue patterned tie loose on his neck, tan pants. Her heart beat so fast her entire body trembled. Trying to steady herself, she glanced around the airport again. Wake up, Callie. Wake up. She even pinched her arm. But images of 1957 continued to pass before her eyes.
This couldn't be happening. It wasn't possible.
But watching Joey move and talk to the people near him, she began to believe the impossible. He looked like every other person in the airport—ordinary. Except he wasn't ordinary, as far as Callie had deduced from reading about him, and she could not have dreamed him up in such detail. He paced, stealing frequent glances at his wristwatch. She could actually see the worry lines across his forehead.
He's anxious to go home. A lump caught in Callie’s throat. But he won't make it.
Every time he smiled, her heart broke a little more. Why did she have to see this? It had been bad enough to read about it when he was just a picture in a magazine. But now…
Callie’s breath trembled. Standing before her was a living, breathing person. A guy who had no idea he was going to die in a few hours. A boy her age with such phenomenal talent he could make music history.
He was so young, so vibrant… He deserved…
More than he got.
She forced back tears as a sense of purpose rose within her. She could stop this. She could save him. Give him another chance to show the world what he could do. If this was a dream, she'd make sure it had a happy ending.
Callie took a step forward, then hesitated. A group of five girls approached Joey’s party only to be pushed back by two men in dark suits. Her heart sank. Bodyguards. She’d never get near him.
Callie twisted the newspaper in her hands and struggled with indecision. The intercom system sounded overhead.
"…Global Airlines flight 632 is now boarding at gate three…"

Joey and his group reached for their carry-on luggage and something in Callie’s mind snapped with terrifying force. Hundreds of thoughts and emotions battled inside her, but she focused on only one. Save Joey. 

BIO:

Catherine Chant is a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and a Golden Heart® finalist. Her first novel, WISHING YOU WERE HERE (Soul Mates #1), is a young adult time travel romance available in both print and electronic editions at Amazon.com.

Catherine worked for 15 years as an IT computing & communication consultant at Boston College before becoming a full-time writer. She currently teaches four online workshops for writers at various RWA chapters throughout the year. Her non-fiction work has appeared on numerous websites where she writes instructional articles about computing, gaming and crafts.

Catherine is currently working on a new young adult suspense novel, and the next book in her Soul Mates series. You can find out more about Catherine at her website CatherineChant.com, Twitter @Catherine_Chant or Facebook Catherine Chant Novels.



LINK TO BOOK: