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
- 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.
What are you reading this week?
Happy Labor Day!