Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Today I have the awesome privilege of interviewing my even-more-awesome long-time critique partner, Catherine West.
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 in March 2011 through OakTara Publishers.
Cathy (the blonde in the picture, in case you were wondering...) and I met through the ACFW forums, tried to practice pitching together by instant message (her sarcastic comments during my first attempt were what endeared her to me), and were conference newbies together in 2006. She's represented by the esteemed Rachelle Gardner. Yesterday's Tomorrow is set during the Vietnam War and is gathering quite the collection of 5-star reviews. Yay! But instead of gushing more about my dear friend and writing buddy, I'll just go ahead and let her "speak."
JW: Cathy, you know you are officially a guest of the Ponderers' site, so this question is a must: When you need to ponder, what do you do?
CW: When the words won’t come, I leave the computer and head outside either to play with the dog, do some gardening or go for a walk. I also find watching movies very helpful, provided they’re good! Oh, and reading. A good book definitely gets those creative juices going again.
JW: What would be your dream writing retreat? (Besides any My Book Therapy one, I mean. :-) )
CW: Wow, that’s fun to imagine! Of course I have to say I’d love to go on a writing retreat with my favorite critique partner – her name rhymes with Dennis – you may have heard of her. I’d just love to hang out with other authors, spend time brainstorming and talking about writing. I wouldn’t care where, as long as it wasn’t too cold.
JW: Or maybe we could just all come to you. I'm sure Susie and Rachel would be game. I know I would! Next question: What was your favorite scene to write in Yesterday's Tomorrow?
CW: Ha. Love this question. Hmm. I have so many. :-) I guess if I had to narrow it down, without giving too much away, I’ll say the scene where Luke finally realizes how he feels about Kristin. It’s that moment when all bravado, tough guy exterior and get out of my face gruffness is stripped away and he’s just Luke. Real, honest and totally exposed. You can tell he’s a bit terrified. And she loves it. I also loved writing (and re-writing and re-writing…) the ending.
JW: Ah yes. Good stuff. Although I do like Luke's gruffness. :-) Yesterday’s Tomorrow is filled with vivid descriptions and details of living in Vietnam during that time period. What did you do to research this book?
JW: Probably a good idea...athough I hope you took notes! Do you think you'd write another book in that same setting--a sequel, maybe? Or during another historical time period?
CW: I’m not really partial to historicals. When the book was first completed, it wasn’t even pitched as an historical, so I found it interesting to see it in that category now that it’s published. I definitely have interest in doing a sequel, but we shall see. :-)
JW: But think of all the cool themed launch parties you could throw! (Note to readers: she had a 60s party for Yesterday's Tomorrow. Great pics, including her husband with bling and a 'fro. Fun stuff. You can find the evidence on facebook.) On a more serious note, what do you want your readers to learn or be reminded of when they finish your book?
CW: I think the biggest takeaway from Yesterday’s Tomorrow is forgiveness, hope and restoration. We may never understand why things happen the way they do, and perhaps we’re not supposed to, but I believe we’re called to forgive, and that often starts with ourselves. Hope is something we all need to survive, and I think it can be found in even the bleakest of situations. And of course, when we forgive, both others and ourselves, we allow God to restore us to wholeness through His unfailing love, grace and mercy.
JW: I love it. Thanks so much for sharing with us.
Everyone, don't miss this unique book! Learn more about it here. Watch the book trailer here. Learn more about Cathy here. Oh, and she's running a contest. Don't miss it!