CATHERINE WEST 'S BIO:
Bermuda, England and Canada, Catherine holds a degree in English from the . 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 University of Toronto , 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. island of Bermuda
1. How did you come up with the idea for your book, Yesterday’s Tomorrow?
Honestly, I think it came up to me and asked to be written. :0) I got the original idea way back in the '80's, but didn't do much with it until about seven years ago, when I decided to get serious about publication. I thought the Vietnam War and the era of the '60's was fascinating, and then I began researching and learning about the journalists that went over to cover the war, and the story bloomed from there. This was actually the manuscript that I landed my agent with, and even though it took a while to finally get it into print, it's been the story of my heart from the first draft, and there were a
LOT of drafts!
2. Could you share some of your testimony with us?
I grew up in a Christian home, went to church every Sunday and knew the Bible etc... but it wasn't until I was sixteen, attending a Young Life camp in upstate
that the gospel was presented to me in a way I understood. I met Jesus that weekend and decided to live for Him and with Him. It's been a rocky road with some interesting turns along the way, but I've come to accept that I am a work in progress and He loves me anyway! I am extremely grateful for His grace and mercy. New York
3. Could you tell me how the book cover process works for you? The cover on your book is very eye catching, just wondered if you had a say in how they turned out?
This is actually an interesting story. I love how God's fingerprints are all over this particular book's journey to publication. I have a friend in
Canada, Yvonne Parks, who I met several times in Bermuda over the years because she would come to visit a mutual friend who used to live here. Yvonne went into the graphic design business many years ago, and always made my one sheets for me, and designed my first website. She actually designed the one sheet for Yesterday's Tomorrow when I first started pitching it. She's recently started her own company, Pear Creative, ( http://www.pearcreative.ca ) and she was hired by my publisher OakTara at the same time that I was contracted. Of course I requested that Yvonne be the one to design the book's cover, and voila! I couldn't be happier with the end result!
4. Can you tell me of two “Wow” moments you’ve had since you’ve been published? What made it a “Wow” for you?
The greatest 'wow' moment for me has been the response to Yesterday's Tomorrow. Because of the sensitive topic of the Vietnam War, and knowing what a hard time we had finding the right publisher for this book, I was really nervous about actually having it 'out there'. I have to say that up to this point I have not received one negative comment about the story. In fact I've had people write to tell me that it's given them a new respect for Veterans, and the military in general. One friend told me God used a particular part of the story to help her deal with some hard issues she'd been avoiding. To me, those are huge 'wow's'!! I am awestruck and extremely humbled at the way God has taken my words and blessed them into this.
5. Is being an author everything you thought it would be? What surprised you?
I think it's a mixture of "Is this really happening?" to "Can I get off at the next stop, please?" There is a TON of hard work involved in marketing a book. That didn't surprise me, but some days I do wish it was easier. I'm not a terribly organized person, so I have to work very hard at creating a schedule that works for me, allows me time to market, which involves answering interview questions, contacting potential reviewers, keeping up with social media and my blog, and also finding time to keep writing. So far I have not found any magical formula to share, so I'm trying to plod through the best I can. All that said though, it's an incredible journey, a wonderful privilege to have my words in print, and I wouldn't trade a moment.
6. Can you give us a sneak peak into what book you are working on right now? When does it release?
I have two potential novels on the horizon. One is called Hidden in the Heart, and it's with my publisher, but I have no other news to report on it yet. It's about one woman's journey to find her birth family, loosely based on my own experiences, so it was quite an emotional story to write. I'm hoping to see that in print in the near future, but we'll see. The book I just finished has the working title of Reprisal, and it's about a family of five estranged siblings, all with plenty of issues, who reunite to decide what to do with their family estate on
Nantucket, and their father who is showing the early signs of Alzheimer's. That manuscript is currently with my agent, so we have a long road ahead on that one. I'm going to take a bit of a break over the summer, but the next book I'll be working on is called First Harvest and takes place on a vineyard in , and it will be a romance. California
7.Where can my readers find you on the web?
OakTara Website: http://www.oaktara.com
QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK!!
1. What are your THREE Favorite books of all time?
Hm, tough one! Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell, for sure. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, I definitely want to read that again soon. And probably David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens. I just love that story.
2. What THREE things would you rather not live without?
Easy! My family. My dog. The Internet.
3. What THREE movies could you watch over and over again?
Ha! Gone With The Wind (are we seeing a theme here?) The Sound of Music (I know, I know, but I LOVE it, and yes, I do sing along to every song!) The Notebook. Is that cliche?
4.If you had the opportunity to hang out with any two people in the history of the world—alive or dead; who would you pick and what would you do? (someone other than Jesus)
I'd love to hang out with Barbara Walters. She's interviewed so many fascinating people over the years it would be wonderful to sit down and chat with her about her experience as a journalist and hear about her life.
The other person I would choose would be Martin Luther King. I hold him in highest regard, and it would be an honor to sit with him and listen to his stories of such a turbulent time in history.
5. A friend of yours has a time machine that they are letting you use. But you can only witness two events in this history of the world. What two events would you experience? Why?
Interesting. That's a tough one. I think I would like to be present at the parting of the Red Sea.
How cool would that be?
And then I think I'd like to be able to walk into the Sistine Chapel and watch Michelangelo paint awhile. Although I'd have to lie down on the concrete to avoid a crick in my neck!
6.here would you visit if you had a chance to? Why?
Italy is on my bucket list! I love Italian food, I love the pictures of the beautiful countryside, the vineyards, the sunflowers and the fields of lavender in particular, and of course the amazing architecture. One of these days we'll get there!
7.What three books did you just love as a child?
I loved Heidi. I can't remember how many times I read it! I also loved The Swiss Family Robinson. And The Secret Garden.
ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR MY READERS CATHY?
Thanks so much for letting me visit with you, Nora. I would just like to say to any aspiring authors out there, don't give up! Pursue your dream with passion, do the work involved, study your craft, make those valuable connections and keep writing! Believe in yourself. Anything can happen!
Wow, Cathy you sure to have a few books that sound really interesting. I'll be praying that the right publisher is matched up with your book ideas. I appreciate the opportunity to get to know you and your books. Thanks for stopping by and giving us an inside look into your book Yesterday's Tomorrow. Hope to see you here again!
Blessings on your writing journey.
The Book Club Network
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