Friday, September 30, 2011

Author Patti Lacy--Unexpected Finds On This Journey Called Life

On one hand if one were to try to wrap Patti Lacy into a package
deal you'd be tempted to lump-sum her as a warm, welcoming woman who keeps God foremost in her heart. Yet, on the other hand, Patti really can't be contained neatly into a tidy package because she is way too dynamic of a person. From a casual hello three years ago, to I-definitely-remember-you last year, to let's-have-coffee at this year's conference, Patti has kept in touch with me and I am very grateful. This week, Patti will share with us about her writing and a fascinating account about her trip to China.
Patti's 4th novel, RECLAIMING LILY, is an October release from Bethany House. She is graciously offering one copy of this novel to one randomly chosen commenter. Although it's not necessary to become a Follower of this blog, I would so appreciate it if you would☺ And, to make it easy to contact you if you were to win this book, please leave your e-mail in the comment.

RECLAIMING LILY is your fourth novel. Your plots encompass family secrets, fractured families, segregation, and illness. Do you see an "author's theme" developing through your work?

Elaine, I’m glad you asked! God gifted me a career verse, Romans 8:28, as a theme for my “Spanning Seas and Secrets” novels. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Dear ones, He will work for your good even in the throes of abandonment. Rape. Rejection. Miscarriage. Fatal disease.

Your first three novels also center around music: Irish folk songs, spiritual/gospel tunes, and classical music. How important is music in your life? Do you see music as a connecting link between people throughout the times?

As I type this interview, Ashley Cleveland’s belting out “All It Takes,” from my Pandora site and asking me, “Are you willing?” Music soothes the pain in my soul, motivates me to write, channels my angst into praise for Him.

Oh, yeah, I see music as a connecting link, and I’m talking ALL KINDS of stuff!!! I cram my bookshelf and car storage compartment with CDS that range from Joan Baez and Daniel Bailey to David Crowder Band and Selah. Rock & roll, Celtic, hymns, classical, rap, R&B, soul, gospel, jazz—you name it, I’ve probably listened to it, and even duo-ed with some of the big names. Why haven’t they called me up on the stage? ☺

In researching Reclaiming Lily, have you traveled to China or claim any social, business, or cultural ties to that country?
Funny you ask, Elaine. In 1987-1988, my parents taught English in China via the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board. YEARS later, God whispered, “Write Reclaiming Lily,” which tells the story of a brave Chinese doctor who just HAPPENS to be Mom’s physician. Can you believe God’s ways?

To capture China on paper, I just HAD to go. In May 2010, China unfolded in a BEAUTIFUL way. A soulmate friend who’s a Chinese national guided me to areas rarely seen by Westerners. I explored the complexities and incongruities of this great land.

Elaine, here’s an excerpt from last year’s trip! Hope your readers are transported!! 

My passport proves I spent 17 days in a glorious land. I spanned over 15,000 miles, drank gallons of green tea, dined on food rivaling Europe’s gastronomic delights, tiptoed through courtyards where emperors lived, amid their 8,000 buildings and countless servants.

Contrasts abound: Women rinse clothes in a stream swollen with garbage. Women dressed haute couture stroll by. Mercedes limos swerve past rickshaws.

Post-modern, neon-lit skyscrapers tower over…

…timeless hutongs (walled neighborhoods) fueled by propane, most with no running water or modern bathroom facilities. My heart found the rhythm of these neighborhoods where we sat on stoops and shared drinks and food with locals.

Though I inhaled China books (over 20), the Great Lady blew to smithereens my every preconception. Here’s a few:

Though I inhaled China books (over 20), the great lady blew to smithereens my every preconception. Here’s a few:

1. Religious freedom does not exist.
Expressions of faith reverberate through a culture where Buddhist priests openly make temple offerings, Confucius sayings adorn vases, scrolls, even mountains!
I twice attended vibrant Christian “foreigner” churches (admittance only via Western papers). Philip Yancey preached (couldn’t get THAT in Normal, Illinois!) Familiar praise songs, hymns, and The Truth blazed through the plush modern auditorium. Folks told me about government-monitored Three-Self churches, which some believe preach the gospel, and house churches, some of which suffer persecution. 

Contrast this with the “official” Party “line” of atheism (though some Christians purportedly sit in government offices) for a hot pot of religious stew.
2. China is a Third World country. 
Um, define Third World. Villagers yak on cell phones, play the stock market on laptops, and then go pee in outhouses and pull water from a communal well…According to a Party official, “many Chinese suffer from impoverished conditions, especially those who live in land ravaged by recent quakes. Yet our people get fed.”

3. Street food tastes gross and may endanger your health.

We survived (THRIVED) on street food. Locals who saw us eyeing their entrees waved us onto compact stools and said, “Dig in!” Chopsticks tweezed food into six mouths, then back to a communal platter. Never ate better. Never felt better. Since Chinese only eat right-handed, I was a CELEBRITY…and lost eight Midwestern-winter-gained pounds while gobbling stinky tofu, chicken stomach and feet, quail eggs, dumplings stuffed with wild mountain greens, and a dizzying number of delicious veggies and fruits.  

4. Much of China is dirty and bleak.
China is a ginormous place. But Oh. My. Her beauty swept me away. 

Um, did I gain admittance to orphanages? Interview one who’d relinquished hold on a beloved child? No. Yet if I got it right, China and its people infuse every page of Reclaiming Lily. 

China. Kinda like life. The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.
Oh, China, I do not know you. But I love you.

And finally, Patti, you are a beautiful, strong woman whose heart enfolds Jesus. I've witnessed how you tuck others into this warm & fuzzy spiritual quilt. Have you held onto God's hand ever since you can remember, or have you come to know God as an adult? Any encouraging words to those struggling with their walk with the Lord?

Oh, Elaine, I look in the mirror and see that 12-year-old who, at five foot nine, towered over all the snickering boys, that lonely girl who changed schools every year until 6th grade. Though I was raised in a loving Christian home, I rebelled against authority, including God. I knew Him but chose to disregard about everything He told me. During a tumultuous emotional and physical time, the Spirit whispered for me to let go and let God. In my 40s, I began experiencing what Andrew Murray describes as Absolute Surrender. (If you haven’t read this book, order it NOW!) Oh, the freedom!!! Oh, the joy! All of those painful experiences have been used by God: to write (if you’ve been lonely, you KNOW that sometimes books are your only friends) to mentor to others (2 Corinthians 1:4 explains how, through our sufferings, we can comfort others). 

I could go on and on about the renewal offered through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Remember what Jesus said in John 14:16-17? And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you." The MINUTE we accept Christ as Savior, the Spirit resides in our heart. But He’s a gentleman and is easily grieved by disobedience, headstrongness…all of the traits that lurk at every corner of my soul!!!  

Elaine, thanks for having me at this cozy place today! I’d love for you and your readers to experience China…and a fatal hereditary illness and a rebellious teenager and a joyous sisterly reunion. You’ll find all that…and more…in Reclaiming Lily. Hope you enjoy reading it a FRACTION as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Do you have a travel story you'd like to share, perhaps to a place where you found something very special that you didn't expect to? Patti would love to hear from you!

Author Bio:
At the age of fifty, Patti traded in her grade books for a writer’s pen after the Still, Small Voice encouraged her to novelize the story of her best friend. Patti’s first three novels, An Irishwoman’s Tale, What the Bayou Saw, and The Rhythm of Secrets, explore the secrets women keep and why they keep them. 

Patti’s fourth book, Reclaiming Lily, a Bethany House title, transports readers to the steps of a Chinese orphanage, where two cultures and two women collide. Claiming writers as diverse as Francine Rivers and Jodi Piccoult as influences for this novel, Patti weaves a story of grace and God’s mercy with an insidious hereditary disease and a rebellious teenager. Reclaiming Lily transports the reader from Fort Worth to China to Boston in a quest journey of faith, of love…of Joy.

Patti soothes her itch to teach by leading seminars, facilitating writing classes, and speaking at women’s events. Patti and her husband, Alan, a college administrator, live in Normal.  They have two grown children and a dog named Laura.

Bloggites,Patti would love to be Facebook friends. She post daily Artbites and hymn lyrics and love to meet soulmate writers and readers!!!


You may purchase her books on: 

And visit her on: 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

J.C. Martin, the Fighter Writer

My guest this week is J.C. Martin, aka the Fighter Writer. Twitter brought us together, and despite the Atlantic separating us, this is one writer-soldier I want to stay in touch with! She describes herself as a "butt-kicking, girly tomboy, and a cowardly warrior." J.C. has several short stories published in anthologies. In this week's blog feature she'll be interviewed by one of her characters.

Interview by Kurt Lancer:

Thank you Elaine for having us! Both my creator and myself are really pleased to be here!

Allow me to quickly introduce myself: my name is Kurt Lancer. I’m a Detective Inspector in the homicide department of the London Metropolitan Police. In J.C.’s novel Oracle, she puts me on the trail of a series of murders that all seem to be re-creations of ancient Greek mythology. With the 2012 Olympics looming, you can imagine this can be pretty bad publicity for the city, so yeah, the pressure is on me to catch the psycho before he executes his grand finale – at the Opening Ceremony of the Games itself!

Phew! Talk about being put in a stressful situation! And I have J.C. to thank for that! Speaking of which, let me introduce you to my creator, J.C. Martin. 

J.C. writes all sorts of fiction, from flash to novels, and across a wide range of genres: horror, fantasy, paranormal...but she has a particular leaning towards crime and thrillers. She has published short stories in various anthologies by New Asian Writing, Pill Hill Press, Static Movement and more. She was also the winner of IFWG Publishing’s 2010 Story Quest Short Story Contest.

J.C. writes all sorts of fiction, from flash to novels, and across a wide range of genres: horror, fantasy, paranormal...but she has a particular leaning towards crime and thrillers. She has published short stories in various anthologies by New Asian Writing, Pill Hill Press, Static Movement and more. She was also the winner of IFWG Publishing’s 2010 Story Quest Short Story Contest. 

J.C. also co-edited the charity anthology Stories for Sendai. Full proceeds from sales of the short story collection go towards aid efforts in the earthquake and tsunami hit regions of Japan. She blogs at the Fighter Writer, and she is also on Facebook and Twitter

Oh, and she has recently begun querying Oracle, so fingers crossed you guys will see more of me and the gang soon. 

Today, I will be interviewing J.C. about her inspirations for Oracle, particularly the influence of her martial arts background in the writing of the book

KL: So, J.C., what gave you the idea to create me?

J.C.: Well, Kurt, I wanted a protagonist with a difference. We have enough white, middle-aged, alcoholic detectives in crime fiction already. On the other hand, I didn’t want to end up looking like I’d cloned my own Alex Cross, so I decided on the best of both worlds, a half-white, half-black detective, complete with cornrows. 

KL: Interesting. But coming from a Chinese background, why didn’t you consider a Chinese detective? That’d be very different, don’t you think?

J.C.: You’re right, that would have been different, too. It would definitely have involved less cultural and demographical research, but somehow, every time I head “Chinese detective”, one of Jackie Chan’s films come to mind. Now I’m a massive fan of Jackie, but I don’t want my detective ending up being a carbon copy of him. Besides, I already have plans for a thriller series featuring a Chinese cage fighter and the Chinatown Triads. I want my cast of characters to be ethnically diverse.

KL: I think I know which cage fighter you’re talking about *wink*. He made an appearance in Oracle, didn’t he?
J.C.: Yes, and he refused to go away. I think it’s awesome when a fringe character takes on a life of his own and demands to become a star!

Courtesy of stock.xchng
KL: Let’s talk about your martial arts background, as fighting features a lot in your stories. What are your qualifications in butt-kicking?
J.C.: I have a purple belt in Karate, and a 2nd degree black belt in Wing Chun Kung Fu, which I am also a fulltime instructor of.

KL: Wing Chun. The same martial art you made me proficient in.

J.C.: Yes. I decided to write what I know in that respect. Gave you the upper hand in the scraps I got you in, didn’t it?

KL: I suppose, although personally I think you throw too much trouble my way. You do like your fight scenes, don’t you? 
J.C.: I love them! And I’d like to think that I write them in a realistic way.

KL: Any advice on writing a believable fight scene?
J.C.: I wrote an article on this once. The basics: short, tight sentences to reflect the fast pace; not getting overly bogged down by complicated fight terminology; utilising all five senses; and do not sanitise it! Fight scenes are meant to be messy, and it will not be realistic if your hero emerges from taking on ten people unscathed. 

KL: So apart from being able to write realistic fight scenes, how else do you think martial arts have influenced your writing?
J.C.: I believe martial arts and writing have tons in common, and have written an article comparing different writing styles to different fighting styles. Both arts require long-term dedication, constant practice, and unswaying focus and perseverance in the face of adversity (or a pile of rejection letters). Above all else, to succeed in either, one must have a burning passion for the art. I’d like to think that I have applied some of the discipline I developed from learning Wing Chun to my writing habit.

KL: Thank you, J.C., and thanks again to Elaine for inviting us to her lovely blog! If you have any further questions for J.C., or for myself, feel free to ask them!  

I'm a guest in England!!

I'm a guest on J.C. Martin's--Fighter Writer--blog. Want to make my day? Come for a visit. I'll see you there!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Author Ginny L. Yttrup On WORDS, Listening, and Writing

My guest this week is Ginny L. Yttrup, author of WORDS, a beautifully written, inspiring novel. It's a story about a child unable to speak and a woman who needs to talk and what happens when fate brings them together. It originally caught my attention because as a child, although I wasn't mute, I endured years of speech therapy, and was able to relate to Kaylee's struggles in speech. Yet, WORDS, is much more than a story about communication. I contacted Ginny and she graciously accepted the invitation to appear on Everyone's Story. I hope this interview is a source of encouragement for you.
1) Ginny is giving away 1 copy of her novel WORDS to one randomly chosen commenter. Please leave your e-mail address in the comment so you can be contacted.
2) To celebrate the awesome reception of this blog since its launch in April, Everyone's Story is giving away 1 $25 Barnes & Noble gift card to 1 lucky person who Follows this blog.
You may enter both contests.

An Interview With Ginny L. Yttrup:
10-year-old Kaylee is clearly an intelligent child facing the multiple problems of parental abandonment and sexual abuse. Do you believe if a more mature-frame-of-mind for most children is a blessing or hindrance when it comes to coping with such conflict?

Wow, Elaine, that’s a great question and one I’ve never been asked. As I ponder it, I believe suffering matures us, whether as a child or an adult, if we allow it to do so. For a child, abandonment and abuse place the child in situations that demand they act as an adult, whether they’re prepared to do so or not. Therefore, growing up quickly isn’t an option; it’s survival.

Later, as they mature physically and emotionally, they will have the choice of how they handle those painful circumstances, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If they choose to surrender to God and, hopefully, get professional help, then, I believe God will use their suffering for good and for His glory.

That’s not a direct answer to your question. A therapist might be the best one to respond. I answer instead out of my own experience as a survivor of childhood abuse.

Kaylee collects words, yet she is mute for the majority of the story. Is it unusual for children in stressful situations to be as creative as Kaylee?

In the research I did on selective mutism, I found that these children come up with some great coping skills. Not speaking is one of those skills. I can’t say I noted creativity in the cases I read, but rather I had the sense that many of the children shut down emotionally. Again, Kaylee was created out of my own experience and I lost myself in words as a child—mostly through stories I read. I was very quiet and found an escape from the pain I suffered through the books I read. I never stopped speaking altogether, but I can certainly relate to those who do.
In my own walk in life I, like Sierra, struggle with forgiving myself . . .I should have done this . . .could have done it better . . .should have been . . . Why do you think we hold ourselves prisoner against a brick wall of guilt and shame in light of others’ forgiveness?

I wonder if our self-condemnation isn’t habit. We’ve listened to the lies for so long, that it’s become our normal. The enemy hisses his accusations into our minds, and we believe them. You’re not good enough. No one will ever love you. God couldn’t possibly really forgive you. Whatever the lie, it’s become so much a part of our thought process that we have to become intentional about replacing the lie with truth—about taking every such thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ.

We see the place where Kaylee and Sierra meet, Bonny Doon, from two perspectives: as both a place of terror and a safe haven for Kaylee, and from Sierra’s artistic POV as a beautiful, almost enchanting area. Have you modeled Bonny Doon after a real place you’ve visited?

Yes, Bonny Doon is real. It’s in Santa Cruz County, California, in the coastal mountain range. It’s a small town that started as a logging camp in the 1800’s. It’s a beautiful redwood and fern studded area that seemed, in my mind, to encompass all you implied. It’s a picture of the grandeur of God’s creation, yet it’s dark and shadowed because it’s heavily forested. 

Courtesy of stock.xchng

Symbolically, did you purposely drop Kaylee and Sierra into a land of redwoods to show their resilience or was that one of those “author blessings” when you realize the power of telling a story is in the hands of a genius muse who seems to magically handle the fascinating coincidences of plot, character, and setting?

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use the redwoods as a metaphor, however; that’s unusual for me as a seat of the pants writer. Typically, those things come as you described in your question. I begin writing and the Holy Spirit whispers those ideas into y mind and heart. I’m typically more surprised that anyone about the direction my novels take. 

Through Kaylee, Sierra learns that she must listen more to God. Was writing WORDS a cathartic experience for you in the sense of re-learning to listen to God in a different way?

Actually, writing WORDS was a way of embracing who I am as a listener. It’s hard to explain, but as a very quiet child and young adult, I didn’t hone my speaking skills—instead, I think God honed my listening skills. I didn’t see the value in those skills until the story of WORDS began to take shape in my mind. Listening and observing has served me well as a writer. Listening for God and watching for His hand in my life is my greatest joy.

You openly share with readers that Kaylee’s story of sexual abuse is also your story, one suffered by many children. Do you have any resources/contacts that you can share with viewers?

I have a list of resources that I found especially helpful through my own healing process. Those resources are posted on my website:

WORDS is a redemptive story. Together Kaylee and Sierra go from Speaking+Truth=Freedom to Jesus=Truth=Freedom. Any last thoughts?

I fully believe, because the Word of God tells us so, that the Truth, Jesus Christ, will set us free. I also believe it because it’s my personal experience. Believing on the truth of who Jesus is, the Son of God, and God Himself, has freed me to accept His mercy, grace, and healing. Also, speaking the truth, in love, has also freed me to live a life free from bondage and free from shame. 

The equation in WORDS that you reference in your question always makes me laugh. I hate math! It makes no sense to this right-brained writer. When it came to mind as I was writing, I had to check it out with a math professor to see if it actually made sense. 
I take that back—to conclude, would you like to preview your upcoming novel?

Yes! I’m excited about the release of my second novel, LOST AND FOUND, February of 2012. The Advanced Reader Copies will be out any day now and reviews will be coming in. It tells the story of two women who’ve compromised for the sake of security—each in their own way—and what happens when they lay down their lives for Christ’s sake. It’s set in San Francisco and the Napa Valley, both beautiful California destinations, and contains all the components of great drama. Including an emotionally abusive relationship, glitz, glamour, life, death, captivity and freedom. It’s also a tender love story between the protagonist and the Lover of her soul.

I’m praying that through LOST AND FOUND readers will get a glimpse of what it means to live wholly for Jesus Christ.
*~*Ginny looks forward to hearing from you.*~*
Author Bio:

Ginny L. Yttrup spent nearly two decades learning the craft of writing. Through annual writers conferences, study of writing books, and the publication of devotionals and magazine articles, Ginny honed her craft and realized her dream of writing fiction.
Ginny is working on her third novel and is speaking across the country and in Canada this year. She loves spending time outdoors in the grandeur of God’s creation or around a dinner table with dear friends. She is the mother of two wonderful young adult sons and the owner of multiple beloved pets.
Facebook author page:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Interview With Author Catherine West

It's amazing how the love of story can unite readers and writers. When the buzz on this week's debut author's novel YESTERDAY'S TOMORROW started to circulate, my curiosity piqued. I contacted Cathy and she graciously agreed to being a guest on Everyone's Story . . .and so I began reading her novel. Raised on my father's love of all war movies, truthfully, though Cathy's premise sounded interesting, I wasn't sure what to expect. I must tell you--this is one of the best books I have ever read. I fell so in love with the characters that I didn't want the story to end.

And, for that reason, I'm excited to say that Cathy is offering one copy of YESTERDAY'S TOMORROW to one randomly chosen viewer who leaves a comment. Please include your email address so we can contact you. I'd also appreciate if you become a 
Follower to this blog. Plus, there's a fun poll at the very end if you'd like to vote.

A short blurb on YESTERDAY'S TOMORROW:
Vietnam, 1967. 

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.

Interview on Catherine West
In her first few days in Vietnam, your character Kristin experiences things she has never seen before such as a child killed—yet the child was about to kill her. As an author, what was it like to paint the picture of an enemy—a child—and then have the boy killed? How can present-day readers relate to those grim days of the 1960s and 70s?

I don’t particularly enjoy writing scenes of violence, death and destruction, but I knew that for this particular story to be authentic, I would have to do so. The scene you’re talking about takes place early on in the story, and is Kristin’s first introduction to the horrors she’s about to face. As hard as it is, she needed to look past the fact that he was just a kid, because he wouldn’t have thought twice about shooting them. Luke’s quick reaction, although brutal, was necessary. Out there a lot of the time it was ‘kill or be killed.’

You’ve taken a lot of chances as a debut author in Christian literature, such as writing a story placed in a war setting and characters that drink. Was this intentional so you could perhaps grow the market or was it more a situation that this was the story burning in your heart to tell?

The way I chose to tell the story really had nothing to do with the market. It is what it is. Again, I think it comes down to being authentic without crossing the line and offending all my Christian readers. I realize that some readers will be offended because of the actions of my characters and the decisions they make, but that’s life. I’m not really expecting those readers to pick up the book anyway, but if they do, perhaps they will look past the parts they don’t agree with and resonate with the final restoration.  

I’ve already had to address this issue, and while I do respect the beliefs and lifestyles of those who may take offense, my passion is to write stories about the real world that reach those who would not necessarily pick up a “Christian” novel. I could not have written a story about Vietnam in a way that came across as fluffy or too good to be true. The second reason is that I don’t believe I can accurately portray the love and saving grace of Christ without first portraying the sin He came to save us from. 
Your two protagonists are journalists. Do you come from a journalism background? If so, do you believe it has aided your fiction writing?

I did want to be a journalist in my early days! I worked for three summers at newspapers, and did a bit of reporting. While I enjoyed it, my heart was really in fiction. I did learn how to talk to people and ask questions though, which does help when you’re writing a novel, especially one that requires research. 

I can relate to Kristin. She’s full of fearless determination, willing to face obstacles despite past struggles, yet she suffers from daily anguish that makes her incredibly realistic. Is there any of you in Kristin?

Oh, probably not! I’m not at all adventurous and would never put myself willingly in a situation that might get me killed! I do relate to her struggles with her faith though. I have been there, and know the obstacles that stand between a life in the world and a life with God at the center. 

It wasn’t until I had lunch with a friend recently and she asked what I needed to edit the most—character or plot and I had replied plot—that I realized my stories center more on character. YESTERDAY’S TOMORROWS has a lot of exciting plot peaks and twists. Would you say you’re a plotter or character driven in writing?

I’m definitely character driven. I really don’t plot much at all, which can be to my detriment, as it takes longer to figure it all out. Usually what happens is that I’ll get a vague idea of a story, setting or premise, then the characters will begin to introduce themselves. Most of the time it’s like a movie playing in my head and I’m constantly re-writing until the end of the first draft. 

Cathy, I love the Oscar Wilde quote Kristin uses: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” Would you say that since launching your writing career you’re seeing your dreams come alive?

Yes, for sure! Becoming a published author has been a dream of mine for longer than I can say. It’s not easy to get to this point, but it’s rewarding to see all the hard work pay off when I hear from a reader who loves my writing. The hard work continues though, with marketing and of course writing more books!

Your skill of dialogue made me fall in love with Kristin and Luke and prompted me to keep reading. How have you developed this talent?

Thank you! Dialogue actually comes pretty easy for me. When I first started out, once I was in critique groups and getting feedback from writers who knew what they were doing, I struggled a lot with POV and really had to work hard to get that right, and I loved writing in past tense, which was an extremely hard habit to break. I’m happy to say that I have broken the curse!

Cathy, how would you describe your story(ies): mainstream fiction with love-story elements or romances with mainstream elements?

Hmm. I think my books are more mainstream with romantic elements. I love romance though and will always have it in my stories, but sometimes they are issue driven as well, like my next novel, Hidden in the Heart, which is about a young woman’s search for her birth family. 

For fun: if you were a movie director, whom would you cast to play the roles of Kristin and Luke?

Oh, I’ve been asked this before and I still don’t really know! For Luke, people have said Charlie Hunnam or Chris Hemsworth. I have no ideas for Kristin as of yet. 

Charlie Hunnam
Chris Hemsworth

****Viewers, which celebrity do you think should be cast as Cathy West's hero, Luke?****

A Preview of Cathy's novel HIDDEN IN THE HEART- releasing soon from OakTara 

After losing her mother to cancer and suffering a miscarriage soon after, Claire Ferguson numbs the pain with alcohol and pills, and wonders if her own life is worth living.

Adopted at birth, Claire is convinced she has some unknown genetic flaw that may have been the cause of her miscarriage. She must find a way to deal with the guilt she harbors. But exoneration will come with a price.
With her marriage in trouble and her father refusing to answer any questions about her adoption, Claire begins the search for her birth mother. For the first time in her life, she really wants to know where she came from. 
It never occurs to her that the woman who gave her life may not want to be found.

Author Bio:

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. Catherine’s next novel, HIDDEN IN THE HEART, will be available in the near future, also through OakTara

OakTara Website:

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