Sunday, March 27, 2011
Educated in Bermuda, England, and Canada, Catherine holds a degree in English from the University of Toronto. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. Catherine and her husband live on the beautiful island of Bermuda, with their two college-aged children. Catherine is a member of Romance Writers of America, and American Christian Fiction Writers, and is a founding member of International Christian Fiction Writers. Catherine’s debut novel Yesterday’s Tomorrow, released March 15th, through OakTara Publishers.
I'm thrilled to introduce you to my friend Catherine West with her debut novel. So tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I suppose there is a bit of me in my characters, but I don’t think a great deal. I like to write about unique characters, and most of them do things I would never do!
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Well, I’m not really a ‘quirky’ kind of gal, but I guess recently – I decided to make my launch party into a ‘60’s themed party, since that is when the book takes place. I’m sure my friends and family think that is pretty quirky!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve always loved to write. I think probably after I completed my first full length novel in my twenties, and my sister-in-law, an avid reader, told me it was as good as anything she was currently reading.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love to read romance, CBA and secular. I love general fiction as well as some historicals. I love British Fiction as well, Rosamunde Pilcher, Maeve Binchy, Barbara Taylor Bradford.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I take breaks by walking with my dog, gardening, reading and watching movies. And of course prayer helps!
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes this is easy and they pretty much tell me who they are. Other times I’ll pick names and end up changing them after a few weeks of writing. I try to go for unique names, but not ‘weird’ ones. Most of the time they’re pretty ordinary though.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Right now I’m most proud of my first published novel. I had a lot of hard days when I honestly didn’t think it would happen. I’m really pleased I stuck with it.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’m a dog person, so I’d have to say dog. They are loyal, faithful, happy, and always eager to please.
What is your favorite food?
I love a roast lamb dinner, and of course anything Italian is just fine with me!
I started out writing in past tense and head-hopping, so I had to work really hard to overcome those habits.
Tell us about the featured book.
Independent, career-driven journalist Kristin Taylor wants two things: to honor her father's memory by becoming an award-winning overseas correspondent and to keep tabs on her only brother, Teddy, who signed up for the war against their mother's wishes. Brilliant photographer Luke Maddox, silent and brooding, exudes mystery. Kristin is convinced he's hiding something.
Willing to risk it all for what they believe in, Kristin and Luke engage in their own tumultuous battle until, in an unexpected twist, they’re forced to work together. Ambushed by love, they must decide whether or not to set aside their own private agendas for the hope of tomorrow that has captured their hearts.
Please give us the first page of the book.
There is a Prologue, but this is from Chapter One.
February 1967, Saigon, Vietnam.
Kristin shuffled along in the line of travel-weary passengers as they exited the plane. She blinked as her eyes adjusted to the daylight, shook off sleep and gripped the handrail of the metal steps. When her shoes hit the tarmac of Tan Son Nhut airport, her hand went to the intricately carved cross that hung around her neck. She rubbed the thick gold between her thumb and forefinger and took in her surroundings.
The early morning sun’s rays jack-knifed off the tarred surface. A stifling heat sliced through her sneakers, raced through her, and smothered her in its welcoming embrace.
Teddy was right. It was hotter than hell.
The pungent smell of gasoline flooded her senses and stung her eyes. Kristin pulled on dark sunglasses, tried not to breathe too deeply, and looked down the runway. She stepped aside to let others pass as she surveyed the area, the slow thumping of her heart picking up its pace as she began taking mental notes.
Aircraft of varying description lined the blacktop. Everything seemed larger in real life, from helicopters to small fighter jets to the Pan American Boeing 707 that had brought her here. Gray, green, and brown flying machines blended together in an impressive show of US military power.
It was impossible to imagine jumping aboard any of them. Or jumping out.
Army personnel moved smoothly around the aircrafts, refueling and working on engines. Rows of enlisted men lined up to board a larger plane also being loaded with cargo. Soldiers sweating in the heat heaved supplies on to the plane’s cave-like interior. Commanding Officers barked like dogs to be heard over the noise as they rounded up their companies. She scanned the groups of soldiers and searched their faces. Some looked anxious, their eyes shifty even as their bodies remained stiff, while others seemed impassive, stone-faced and resolute as they stood between the world they knew and a world gone crazy.
During a lull in the activity on the tarmac, a low rumbling somewhere off in the distance reached her ears. Her throat tightened as she turned toward the outline of mountains beyond the airstrip.
The sound of war needed no introduction.
Very gripping. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Cathy’s Website: http://www.catherinejwest.com/
Thank you, Catherine, for spending this time with us.
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