JA: Welcome Catherine, please tell us a little about yourself and how you became a writer?
CC:I’ve always considered myself a writer. I wrote poetry and fiction when I was in school. I didn’t start writing for profit until the early 90s when I became a stringer (freelance writer) for our local community newspaper. When the editors made very few changes to my first submitted piece (which I did for free), I decided maybe I could write professionally. I got up the nerve to ask if I could become a stringer and get paid for writing. The answer was yes, and the rest is history. From the newspaper I branched out into writing for children and did a couple of magazine articles too. Seeing my name in the byline was a big boost for meand it was then that I decided I wanted to write fiction on a professional basis, as well.
JA: The writing expertise is evident in your book. Would you share with our followers the inspiration(s) behind your wonderful novel? CC: The Nun and the Narc was written as a contest entry because I wanted to see if I could write an inspirational romance that was different from many I had read. Originally, the heroine wasn’t a nun, but a missionary. Howeverthe book wasn’t working. One of my critique partners suggested I make her a nun instead. I loved The Sound of Music, A Change of Habit, The Flying Nun TV series, and other stories about nuns, so I changed the heroine from Margaret Mary to Sister Margaret Mary, a novice who was about to take her final vows when she got home. The book took off and practically wrote itself after that change.
JA: Some writers are known for a particular genre. Do you envision one genre for your future works or have you considered other genres?
CC: Romance is the genre I usually write in, but I’m not particular about its subgenres as I like to read, and write, in a variety of genres. Actually, I have considered other genres and have actually written plays and other fiction with my husband. Cozy mystery interests me, too.
JA: Catherine, do you have other published works?
CC:I have over 600 non-fiction articles that cover the gamut from news articles, fashion, advertorials, children’s non-fiction and magazine article published under my real name. The Nun and the Narc is the only fiction work I have published under the name Catherine Castle.
JA: Then, you write under a pen name?
CC: Yes. Catherine Castle is one of my pen names.
JA: Have you won any recognition or awards you would like to share with my followers?
CC: My books have placed in several contests, but the two that are probably the most prestigious are the ACFW Genesis Contest and the EPIC contest. The Nun and theNarc was a finalist in the Genesis and is a finalist in the 2014 EPIC contest in the action/adventure romance category.
JA: Is your book available in print, e-book, or both? CC: The Nun and the Narc is available online as an ebook from Amazon and online in print from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
JA: How much of the marketing do you do for your book Carherine, and for yourself as a brand?
CC: Since I don’t have a publicist and my publisher is relatively new, marketing falls on the author for the most part. Marketing has been a huge learning curve for me. Before the book was accepted for publication all I had was a blog that I maintained myself. I still do, in fact. No virtual assistants or anything like that either, although I wish I could afford to hire one. It would make social media sooo much easierand I could spend more time actually writing.
JA: Do you spend a lot of time plotting your stories, or do you just run with it?
CC: I’m a bit of both, depending on what I’m writing. I do like to know where the story is going, the big picture before I sit down to write. I’ve plotted in detail, started out with just an idea, written a whole book out of sequence (which I would never do again), and even dreamt a book. I find some plotting makes the book go faster because I don’t have to sit in front of the screen and think too much. I do leave room to let the characters take the story in new directions. Sometimes they know better than I do what should happen next.
JA: Do you spend much time in research when you are writing?
CC: With The Nun and the Narc I had to do research on Mexico, the drug trade, and nuns. I have also been known to write until I hit a spot that needs research and then I hunt for what I need, or I’ll bookmark a page and say, “Find _______” if I’m writing in the zone and don’t want to stop for research.
JA: What Point of view do you feel most comfortable with Catherine,first person or third? Have you ever tried using the second person in any of your works?
CC: I personally like third person and have never tried writing in first or second. I think first is too limiting and second just too hard to master.
JA Are you on any forums or networking sites? Do you find them helpful? If yes, please list links so readers can find you.
CC Iam a contributing author on Stitches Thru Time at: http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/
and the Soul Mate Authors blog site at http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/ I think they’ve been very helpful for social networking and I’ve met some lovely authors as a result of being onpart of these sites.
JA: What do you think the future holds for a writer?
CC: More hard work than we ever imagined. Being a writer is a changing landscape now with ebook, self-pubbed books, POD books, free books for downloading, and more authors out there than ever before. Getting noticed and distinguishing yourself from the crowd is hard, and the first impressions that make a prompt a buyer are not always about how good your book is, but how well you manage your social network. Marketing is essential to authors. At a recent conference I went to one of the speakers said writing is 90 percent marketing and only 10percent writing. If you aren’t well-versed on social media before your first book is out, then you are behind already. The days of holing up in your writer’s cave, writing, and letting someone else market for you are gone for the majority of writers.
JA: Thank you for visiting with us Catherine, and good luck with your book.
I chose to post this interview with Catherine Castle to give her the added exposure and introduce her to the followers of this blog. Be sure to comment then go to my A to Z Reviews blog to check out Catherine’s book tour. She is drawing for an Amazon gift certificate of $25 at the conclusion of her tour. Stop by there and the rest of the stops to increase your chances to win. Here is a quick link http://bookreviewsbyjackie.com/ Good Luck!
The Nun and the Narc
“Why don’t you tell me,Miss . . . whoever you are?”
“Margaret Mary O’Connor. Sis—“ Her introduction changed into a scream. “Look out!”
Jed’s head whipped around just as the car plowed through a market stand of live chickens. Poultry, wooden cages, and feathers scattered over the car. An angry hen dropped through the car’s open sunroof, squawking and flapping in front of Jed, beating his head with its wings.
Margaret reached over, grabbed the bird, and threw it back out the sunroof opening. But it was too late. The car glanced off an adobe wall into a second market stand and careened toward another building. Jed jammed on the brakes. The car spun three hundred and sixty degrees before screeching to a stop.
The impact threw Margaret sideways against the passenger window. She hit her head on the glass, the blow blinding her for a second. Jed’s body slammed into the steering wheel setting off the horn. The wail echoed in Margaret’s head as she struggled to remain conscious. Warmth trickled down the side of her head. Margaret managed to focus her eyes as the noise stopped. Two Jeds leaned toward her, in slow motion. She blinked to clear her vision.
“You all right?” he asked.
“I think so.” Something warm and sticky seeped down her face. She reached up and wiped her temple. “I’m bleeding,” she said as she stared at her fingers. The words sounded slurred. At the sight of the blood on her fingers, her stomach rolled.