Monday, September 6, 2010

Interview with Cathy Bryant

We have an exciting treat for Labor Day! Cathy Bryant, author of Texas Roads, shares her thoughts in the following interview. Join us for Part One today, and on Thursday for Part Two, won't you?

Giveaway!

Cathy has also graciously offered a copy of Texas Roads, Book One in the Miller's Creek Series, to one of my readers. See details below.





Karen: Thanks so much for joining us at Write Now!

Cathy: It's my pleasure, Karen! Thanks for the invite!

Karen: What inspired you to begin the Miller's Creek Series?

Cathy: I reached a point in my life where I had the opportunity and the motivation to test the writing waters. It was something I'd wanted to do for a long time. I see writing as an opportunity to share the gospel and encourage other Christians and I wanted to incorporate the spiritual lessons God entrusted me with into my writing.

When I was a young wife and mother, I longed to find a place to call home. But just about the time we'd start to put down roots in one place, God would yank us up and transplant us in yet another small Texas town. Though it was excruciatingly painful, God used this time in my life to teach me that no place on this earth will ever be home because I belong to Him. He's the only one that can fill that perfectly home-sized hole in each of our hearts. That became the spiritual lesson for Dani in the first book in the Miller's Creek novels, Texas Roads.

I've often heard it said that you should write what you know. Since I've lived in small-town Texas my entire life (and therefore have a pretty good grasp on what they are like - good and bad), the setting of a back roads Texas town was a given. I originally only had one novel in mind, but as I wrote the town of Miller's Creek in Texas Roads, and fell in love with it and its quirky residents, I knew I wasn't ready to "move on" to another place. So now, there will be at least three stories set in Miller's Creek.


Karen: I recently finished reading Texas Roads. I enjoyed getting to know the characters Dani, Mama Beth, and Steve. What did you draw from to create these characters?

Cathy: Thanks! So glad you enjoyed the characters! Dani came to me one day when I was working in my garden. A car drove by very slowly and the lady driving the car stared at me the entire time. (Made me feel like a zoo animal on exhibit.) Anyway, the incident left me a bit irked. As I examined my feelings, I wondered how a city girl, who'd never known the lack of privacy that sometimes accompanies life in a small town, would react.

Mama Beth is a mixture of wise women that I've known - my mom and grandmothers, a Sunday School teacher - women that I've looked up to and tried to emulate. I pray that one day I'll be as wise and wonderful as Mama Beth.

For Steve, I wanted a cowboy. I mean, how can you have a book about small town Texas and not have a cowboy? I wanted him to be a leader in the community, with a heart for God, but also gun-shy around women, especially city women. This set up an immediate conflict in the story, and helped address the issue of how we all make snap judgments about others.

Karen: Texas Roads is published by WordVessel Press. Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?
                                                                                                                                                          Cathy: WordVessel Press is my own imprint. When I set off on my writing journey, I NEVER planned on going the self publishing route. In fact, it was so not an option, Texas Roads was being considered by two different traditional publishers when I felt God telling me to launch out and self publish the book. And as usual, when I feel led to do something I don't wanna do, I fought back. And also as usual, God won. *Sigh* When will I ever learn? =)                                                                                                                                       

Anyway, I did my research and learned that it's much more cost effective to start your own publishing company than it is to go with a subsidy publisher. I highly advise authors NOT to take the subsidy publishing route. Yes. it's a lot more work to start your own publishing company, but it's well worth the extra effort and you won't spend thousands of dollars you won't be able to recoup.

Karen: Are you a plotter or pantster?

Cathy: P.L.O.T.T.E.R. Big Time! =) I'm too big of a chicken to just sit down and start writing. I get soooo lost if I don't take the time to map out the story ahead of time. Even with mapping it out, the story sometimes takes a twist that I don't see coming, so I don't feel like it stifles the creative process at all. Who knows though? Maybe one of these days I'll try the pantster route just to see what happens! Hmmm...then again...maybe not!

Karen: What time of day do you consider to be the perfect time for writing? Why?

Cathy: For me, there's no perfect time to write. Every day comes with its own set of special challenges, so I try and fit writing in whenever I can. Sometimes that's early in the morning and sometimes it's late at night. Summer months are good for me because I'm not teaching, but there also seems to be a lot more travel that cuts into my writing time. But I have learned that I must have at least one day a week where I don't write at all. That one day off gives my imagination a much needed boost.

To be continued...:)

Texas Roads Giveaway Details

To Enter:
  • Leave a comment to this post, include your email address like so: karenelange(at)gmail(dot)com. Entries without email address are not eligible.
  • Receive an extra entry by becoming a follower, or by reminding me that you already follow.
  • Receive a bonus entry by posting about this giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Please be sure and comment telling me so.
  • Receive a bonus entry by posting about this giveaway on your blog. Please leave a link with your comment.
  • This is only open to US residents. For those of you who follow outside the US, I apologize.
  • Deadline to enter is midnight Eastern Standard Time, Saturday September 11, 2010. Winner will be announced Monday, and notified via email, and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
Be sure and join us on Thursday for Part Two. If you like, in the meantime, stop by Cathy's blog. I'm sure she'd love to see you!

What are you reading this week?


Happy Labor Day!

Karen

50 comments :

  1. Hi Karen..thanks for the wonderful interview with Cathy. Earlier I was a pantser, but now I am a PLOTTER. Texas Roads sounds interesting. Would love to read it.

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  2. Interesting post. I loved hearing about Cathy's decision re her publication route!

    Blessings,
    Patti

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  3. Interesting about starting your own publishing house! Great start to the interview. :O)

    estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

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  4. I love the part two's Karen! Just means I get double the awesome! This book sounds amazing so I look forward to snagging a copy!!!

    I'm currently reading Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt and it's wonderful!!!

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  5. Cathy, excellent advice about the subsidies! I tell writers the same thing. They can start their own publishing company for a third of the cost.

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  6. A great interview Karen. I especially like her take on self-publishing. Interesting!

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  7. Rachna,
    You are welcome, glad you enjoyed it! Texas Roads was a good read:)

    Patti,
    I did too, and would love to hear more of the mechanics of starting a publishing company. Another post for another day, perhaps:)

    Diane,
    It is interesting, isn't it? I'd not thought of it for fiction. Got you entered!

    Jen,
    I like two parts too. Kind of spreads out the fun:) Thanks for stopping!

    L. Diane,
    It is a viable option to check into. May as well look into all the possibilities before forging ahead.

    Lynn,
    Thank you! I think I may need to ask Cathy back for another post so she can elaborate.

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  8. Wonderful interview! I loved the background on where her story and characters came from. Thanks for sharing! :-)

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  9. I enjoyed the interveiw. (And I like the new look to your blog)

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  10. Congrats setting up your own imprint and publishing your book. I can't imagine the amount of work and time that takes. I also liked that every day has it's own challenges and that you fit in writing where you can. So many people ask me how I have time to write, and this is what I want to tell them. :)

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  11. Hi everyone! So sorry I'm late arriving, but we've had a houseful of company and they just took off for their respective homes.

    The decision to self-publish wasn't an easy one, nor was it one I took lightly. However, I don't regret the decision one bit. Thanks so much for all your comments.

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  12. Thanks Karen for a great interwiev... I am in Europe... bummer :)

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  13. Shannon,
    Thank you! This is something I always wonder - where authors get their characters from. So I thought I'd ask:)

    Victoria,
    Glad you like the look. I'm still playing around with a few things, but getting where I want to be. Also glad you liked the interview.

    Elana,
    I've wondered the same, about the time involved in setting up your own company. Like I said, I'll just have to have Cathy back soon!

    Cathy,
    Hope you had a good time with your company:) As you can see, your publishing company has met with much interest:)

    Marja,
    You are welcome! Say, don't you have a California address as well? If so, if you won, it could be sent there.

    Blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  14. Enjoyed the interview, Karen, and loved reading about your publishing journey, Cathy. You've given us a different avenue to publication to think about. Thanks to you both...

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  15. I think it is so cool she started her own publishing company even with the offers from traditional publishers. Wow--what a step of faith to take:)

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  16. Good luck with the publishing house. Hope that works out for you. And I'm a little more than halfway through Dante's Inferno.

    Stephen Tremp

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  17. Hi all,

    I want to be the first to say that self-publishing isn't for everybody. It may take years before I'm able to actually make a living at my writing, because it takes a while to build up a readership. But with the advent of eBooks, the publishing world is changing. I'm not saying we won't have print books anymore, but as generations grow up using eReaders, they will become less and less a part of the market. Of course, this is all my very humble opinion, but that's how I see it playing out.

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  18. Great interview, I enjoyed it very much! I had the privilege of meeting Cathy at the ACFW conference last September. She's an awesome lady!

    Karen, I just become a follower of your blog.

    debracollins(at)tds(dot)net

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  19. Really want to read Texas Roads. I am new to Texas and I would love to see it through Cathy's book.

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

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  20. I am a new GFC follower to this blog. Thank you, Cathy for introducing it to me.

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

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  21. I posted this giveaway on my profile page at FB.

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

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  22. Thanks for your kind words, Debra! Right back atcha, sweet lady!

    Carol, thanks! =)

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  23. Kenda,
    Glad you did! It is an interesting story! As is Texas Riads:)

    Terri,
    It would be a big step, but clearly, Cathy shows it can be done!

    Stephen,
    Yes, you know quite a bit about the journey from other angles, don't you? It's nice that there are numerous options for us writers.

    Debra,
    Thank you for following, and nice to meet you!
    I've added your name to the list and noted your entries:)

    Carol,
    Nice to meet you too! Thanks so much for sharing this on Facebook too. Got your entries down as well:)

    Cathy,
    This is a good point, one I haven't fully considered. I need to, as I have a booklet that could definitely work as an e-book.

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  24. Hi Karen & Cathy -

    I'm fascinated you started your own publishing company. I hope you talk more about it in Part II.

    Please enter me in the drawing:

    susanjreinhardt AT gmail DOT com

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  25. Hi - Thanks for the great post. The idea of starting my own publishing company sounds daunting. I'd love to hear more about that.

    Please do enter me in the drawing (I am already a dedicated follower). :) My email is: writinginthebuff(at)hotmail(dot)com

    I'll see you on Thursday!

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  26. Karen--just a note to let you know I have something for you on my blog :-)

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  27. I'd love to win!
    Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

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  28. Lisa and Susan, it sounds a lot more complicated than it is. It basically required getting a DBA (doing business as) certification at the county courthouse and a tax permit from the state of Texas. Then you hire out the printing. I used CreateSpace and Lightning Source, but plan on just using Lightning Source for the second book. I'd be happy to answer any questions.

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  29. Lisa,
    I've noted your entry, thanks! Glad you enjoyed the interview. :)

    Kenda,
    I'll hop over there now, thanks! Just getting around to my usual blog visits tonight:)

    Ann,
    Nice to meet you! Entry noted:)

    Cathy,
    Thanks for this info! May have to do a post about it since the interest is so high.

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  30. Good info about the publishing route.
    Texas is so big the stories could never end. I enjoy driving on the Texas roads. And much of the time a Texas town will have a Dairy Queen. Last year when I was driving across Texas in August I stopped at a few Dairy Queens.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  31. Hey, Karen! Thanks for stopping by my blog and I'm glad you did. It reminded me to peek in at you. This was a great interview and I can't tell you how much this line spoke to me personally:
    "God used this time in my life to teach me that no place on this earth will ever be home because I belong to Him." This is something I struggle with everyday. So much so that it's the main force/theme behind most of my main characters and/or stories. My husband calls it: "A longing for a place that doesn't exist." Of course, it does exist, you just have to recognize it for what it is. ;D I keep looking for the perfect house, the perfect home. I probably will all my life. Sigh. Still, hearing someone else say that made me understand that at least I'm not alone. :) Thanks!

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  32. Very interesting interview! Nice getting to know Cathy.
    I'm a follower (as you know) :)

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  33. Arlee, you are so right! I could write a million stories about Texas. And yoo-hoo for DQ! (It's almost a Texas landmark, and what's not to love about Blizzards?)

    Victoria, I feel like we're sisters under the skin. Women, in particular, seem to have that craving for home. So glad that the lesson God taught me about home resonates with you. We may never find the physical representation of home here on this earth, but just think how much better it will be when we experience "home" in heaven.

    Nice to meet you, Jennifer!

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  34. Great interview! Fascinating that she started her own House. I love th cover on the book too. Thanks ladies!

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  35. Lee,
    I never thought about the DQ. Will have to remember that when I visit TX someday!

    Victoria,
    Good to see you:) Always happy to stop by your blog. I think many of us have the challenge of finding home and being content. As Cathy says, heaven is the ultimate home:)

    Jennifer,
    It has been fun getting to know Cathy. Learning about her road to publication has been interesting.

    Cathy,
    I'm thinking you're a hit with my blogging gang:) They're a great bunch!

    Jessica,
    You are welcome! Glad you enjoyed it. Part Two will be good as well, I think:)

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  36. Very interesting to hear about her publishing journey. I've looked at the online companies, but nothing has felt right so far.

    What am I reading? I nearly always have a mystery book going of some kind or other.

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  37. Wow, you started your own company? Amazing. Kudos to you, dear.

    Please enter my name to win this delightful-sounding book.

    jeanettelevellie(at)gmail(dot)com.

    Thanks to you both!

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  38. Hmmm, will the hubs start our own publishing house and become my agent? Very tempting. I mean she had offers. WOW. Step of faith indeed. And it all turned out so well for her. Great interview, Karen. Can't wait until tomorrow.

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  39. Rhonda,
    I agree, it needs to be a good fit, and you really need to feel led to be successful. Cathy is a great testimony to this!

    Jeanette,
    It is amazing, isn't it? Got you entered my friend! :)

    Robyn,
    Hey, that's a thought! I don't think my hubby will want the agent position, so I may need you to do it! :) You in?

    Blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  40. The series sounds wonderful! I am a Texas girl from Corpus Christi and would love to win a copy! I am a follower!

    sanctifiedtogether(at)gmail(dot)com.

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  41. Very interesting interview I enjoyed reading about what inspired you to write this series.
    sonflower277(at)gmail(dot)com

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  42. Oh, I've been interested in this book. I'd like to enter the giveaway.

    nina4sm[at]gmail[dot]com

    I am a follower.

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  43. Count me in, please.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  44. Alisa,
    That's right, I forgot, you are a TX girl too! Added your name to the list:)

    Karen,
    Thank you, and thanks for coming by. Your name is on the list.

    Sylvia,
    Thanks for becoming a follower! Glad you stopped by. Added your name to the list too.

    Linda,
    Nice to meet you. Got your name on the list too!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  45. karen,

    a wonderful posting/interview...thanks for the chance to read cathy's masterpiece :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  46. This book sounds wonderful! Carman sent me and I would love to be entered in the giveaway! ih823putt@cox.net. Thank you!

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  47. This book looks quite interesting! Please enter me!

    Kait
    knownasjane@yahoo.com

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  48. Karen K,
    You are welcome! Thanks for stopping in:)

    Katie,
    Carman's site is a good one, isn't it? Good to see you here:)

    Kait,
    Thanks for coming by! I appreciate it.

    Blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  49. Please enter me in the giveaway! Thanks!

    legacy1992(at)gmail(dot)com

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  50. You can pencil me in for the giveawat. My emil is golionssss at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!