Friday, February 07, 2020

OFF THE GROUND - Catherine Richmond - One Free Book

Welcome back, Catherine. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write the stories that come to me. Looking back, worthiness stands out as an overarching theme. You are worthy of God’s love, even if you’re shy like the mail-order bride in Spring for Susannah, even if you fail at your mission like Sophia in Through Rushing Water, even if your boss thinks you’re incompetent like Mabel in Gilding the Waters, even if you have a child with a disability like Caroline in Third Strand of the Cord. And in Off the Ground, my heroine hopes her parents will finally recognize her worth if she sets an aviation record.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
This Christmas was incredibly happy. I was blessed to celebrate Jesus’ birth with my adult children and extended family. We sang, cooked, hiked, played games – nothing elaborate, but everything meaningful because we were together.

How has being published changed your life?
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?  I feel time pressure to write more, market more, do more. Phillipians 4:19 says God will meet all our needs according to the riches of His glory. I need to trust Him for time to write. And stop reading articles entitled “Five Secrets of Publishing Success!”

What are you reading right now?
I recently finished American Eden by Victoria Johnson, about an 18th century physician who built a botanical garden to research the use of plants as medicine. Nearly everyone involved in the founding of the United States crossed his path. In fact, he was the doctor present during the Burr-Hamilton duel. I’m excited to start An Uncommon Woman by Laura Frantz, one of my favorite historical authors.

What is your current work in progress?
The decade before the Civil War saw a number of communal settlements in the US. The most well-known is the Amana Colony in Iowa. I’m writing about a smaller, more obscure group. Why did people join these sects and why did they stay? How did membership impact an individual’s spiritual journey?

What would be your dream vacation?
Many places on my bucket list are inspired by my reading. The Morse Museum in Winter Haven, Florida, was prompted by Deanne Gist’s Tiffany Girl. Ca d’Zan made the list after I read Kristy Cambron’s Ringmaster’s Wife. Dorothy Love’s historicals have me exploring Savannah and Charleston.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
The story chooses the setting. Off the Ground is based on a black diamond my grandfather sold early in his career as a jeweler. His story starts in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area and ends in Royal Oak, Michigan, so that’s where Off the Ground is set.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I’m scanning my bookshelves and thinking how delightful it’s been to meet so many authors, including  Mary Connealy, Lynn Gentry, Lorna Seilstad, Dawn Ford, Julie Lessman. I haven’t met Joanne Bischof, but I’d love to!

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love to travel! In 2018, I was blessed to tour the Holy Land, to see the places the Bible tells about, to walk where Jesus walked. All those Bible stories are now in color and 3-D!

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Find a good critique group. Feedback from other writers will refine your skills. You may not find a good fit in the first group you visit, so try more than one. Writers who build each other up are worth their weight in gold.

Tell us about the featured book.
As the Roaring Twenties come to a close, Mac McFarland falls head over heels for live-wire Corrie Tinley. Now that she’s graduated, they’re allowed to date. But before he can sweep her off the dance floor and into his life, her father gives her a winged death-trap – a biplane. Refusing to stick around to see her crash, Mac leaves without saying goodbye.

Corrie’s family treats her like a dumb Dora, but her former basketball coach is respectful and attentive. Mac has a noble air like Lindbergh and dark hair waving over his forehead like Gary Cooper. She can’t wait to take him flying in her new biplane, but he’s disappeared. If she can’t find him, is she destined to fly solo the rest of her life?

Please give us the first page of the book.
“Swanky.” Miss Sackett, school librarian and girls’ basketball coach whistled. “Corrie’s papa has some heavy sugar.”

“Hope Miss Klemfuss doesn’t hear you.” Mac maneuvered his Tin Lizzie between a Pierce Arrow and the Chrysler parked on either side of the road. One scratch would cost his next paycheck.

Miss Sackett blew a raspberry. “We can sling slang to our heart’s content. No one invites the school secretary to their graduation party.”

He lowered his voice. “Miss Klemfuss hears all, sees all, knows all.”

“Class of twenty-nine! More than fine!” chanted three fellows in slacks and shirts as they crossed the road. None wore a suit coat or tie. Mac let out a breath. He’d borrowed a light-brown suit from Mr. Smooth’s closet. The cuffed slacks fit well, but the double-breasted coat was too big in the shoulders. He’d leave it in the car.

“Which house is it?”

Miss Sackett peered at the library catalog card on which she’d written Corrie’s address. “The big white one. Go ahead and park.”

“I’ll let you out by the front door.” He inched past another long touring car. Who in Omaha could afford a Duesenberg? “Haven’t spent all winter coaching your basketball team to have you hurt your leg again.”

“Ankle’s better than new.” She poked him with her cane. “Park now or I’ll bean you right in the kisser.”

Mac squeezed into the next spot. “What’s your hurry?”

“You got to take your shot before the other guy.”

“What other guy? What shot?”

“Mac McFarland, you’re not fooling anyone. You’ve been carrying a torch for Corrie since the day you met.”

I love the conversation that is authentic to the time period.
How can readers find you on the Internet? I love to hear from readers! Please contact me at or
Thanks for having me on your blog, Lena!

My pleasure, Catherine. I know my blog readers will be interested in your book.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Off the Ground - Paperback
Off the Ground - Kindle

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Patty said...

I read and enjoyed Spring for Susannah, which I think was her very first book. I love historical fiction!

Patty in SC

Cathy Richmond said...

Spring for Susannah was my first book, Patty. Thanks for remembering that!

Melanie Backus said...

What a great book! I would love to read it!
Melanie Backus, TX

Lucy Reynolds said...

This is a new author to me. Thank you for sharing. Blessings from snowy WV.

Abigail Mitchell said...

I love the cover! Looks so good!
Abigail in VA

rubynreba said...

I enjoy historical fiction and Off the Ground looks very good!
Beth from IA

Cathy Richmond said...

Welcome, Melanie, Lucy, Abigail, and Rubynreba! Off the Ground was so much fun to write. The 1920s slang was the cat's meow. The changing role of women - working, exploring the world, competing with men - gave my heroine aspirations to fly. Then the stock market crash shook her dream. What will she do next?

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Cathy Richmond said...

Welcome, Sharon! Abigail, we're friends on facebook - sorry to see you're having floods.

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