A Mystic Creek Novel #1
January 2015 (01-06-15)
I'm absolutely thrilled that Catherine Anderson was able to stop by for a visit, because she is one of my favorite authors. What's really neat about this this writer is how she frequently interacts with fans and readers via Facebook and she's a master storyteller who will make you laugh with everyday things that are going on in her life
Ms. Anderson published her first novel, Reasonable Doubt, to Harlequin Intrigue in 1988, and she's won tons of awards ever since. In addition to being on the New York Times Bestseller lists, she's also been recognized by USA Today, Publisher's Weekly, Waldenbooks and Barnes & Noble. She has received nine nominations for the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Awards, as well being a RITA award finalist for INDIGO BLUE. Her novel, CHERISH, was a Romantic Times Award Winner and in in 2004, Anderson was awarded a Career Achievement Award by Romantic Times for Contemporary Romance.
The very first book I read by this prolific and thought-provoking author was the historical KEEGAN'S LADY, the story of Caitlin and Ace who fell madly in love despite her wounded heart from the abuse she had suffered and his misplaced anger towards her for what her father had done. As I read this book, it seemed like a tasty morsel to be savored over and over again. Healing, laughter, patience and determination made this a love story to be reckoned with and I cried like a baby once it was all over. This was a real romance about people we've met in our lifetime and it definitely tugged at my heart strings. EVERY one of her books brings forth that emotion and understanding of the human soul, so I had to get everything she'd ever written and am only missing SILVER THAW, her latest to add to her personal shelf on my bookcase.. Also impressive is how she takes the time to make meaningful dedications before the story is told, giving us further insight to who she is and the people she's interacted with. Sit back and enjoy this unforgettable interview as we get to know this wonderful light-filled writer.
1. YOU QUIT COLLEGE WHERE YOU WERE STUDYING TO BE AN ACCOUNTANT TO FOCUS ON YOUR WRITING CAREER, WHICH WAS A CONSCIOUS DECISION. WERE YOU NERVOUS AT ALL?
I was not nervous about the decision, because I had the unwavering support of my husband, Sid, who encouraged me every step of the way. My late mother also firmly believed in my ability to write, as did my professor. I was nervous about whether I would achieve success, but I was determined to try. It was not a financial hardship on my family because I was already going to school full-time, working full-time in our store, and managing our household. I merely switched from paying tuition to writing.
2. ARE WRITERS BORN OR CREATED IN YOUR OPINION?
I believe writers are born. You can teach someone the correct sentence structure and usage, and you can teach formatting and plot structure, but you cannot teach the innate ability to create magic with words and characters. That said, I know that some people who were born to be storytellers do not realize their gift until later in life.
3. TOTALLY AGREED AND MAKES SENSE. WHO TRULY INSPIRES YOU?
My husband Sid was my rock and my inspiration for the entire 48 years of our marriage. He stood up for what he believed, combined the security of a strong man with the gentle yet firm hand of a loving father, and was a loyal life partner. He epitomized the breathless romance of the ultimate romantic hero. How could I not have become a romance writer, married to a man like that? That said, long before I met him, I was writing. My mom always tried to remember to take a tablet along when we went camping because she knew I would see something that inspired me and have to write on brown paper bags if she forgot. Now I can't remember the stories I wrote on those paper bags. I wish I'd kept all of them.
4. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY COLLECTING?
I am not a collector of anything in particular. I'm not into it, really. But I do enjoy collecting smiles. In a grocery store, smiling at someone who is frowning and getting a smile back makes me feel as if my day has mattered to someone else. And, hello, smiles don't collect dust! Have you ever had someone smile at you when you were having a horrible day? I have. And it always makes me feel a tiny bit better.
5. YOU STARTED WRITING AS A TEEN, BUT WHAT WERE YOU READING?
Anything I could get my hands on. But my fascination with romance began with Forever Amber.
6. WHY DID YOU BECOME VEGETARIAN AND DO YOU EVER CRAVE MEAT IN YOUR MEALS? HOW DID THE REST OF THE FAMILY ADAPT TO THE CHANGE IN DIET?
I stopped eating meat completely for several years. Before Sid died, I went totally vegan and very low fat. I felt absolutely fabulous, and I honestly didn't miss eating meat. At the moment, I'm keeping company with two fabulous chefs, John and Dustin, who cook every night and do dishes. So I'm no longer a vegan. That said, I intend to resume the vegan lifestyle soon. When I don't eat meat, it has no impact on my family members. They continue to eat normally, and I don't object to preparing meat dishes for them.
7. CHICKENS, CATS, HENS AND DOGS – WHAT IS IT LIKE WITH ALL THOSE FRIENDS AROUND?
It certainly keeps me busy! My two Aussies, Buddy and Talili, do not like cats OR chickens, so I have to keep them separated. I will admit to spoiling the chickens a little bit…well, maybe more than a little…okay, a lot, but they really do all have their own personalities. I had no idea they could be so much fun.
8. YOU RELAX BY WALKING YOUR DOGS, BUT WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
Walking my dogs became impossible when my husband grew extremely ill, but I plan to resume the activity soon. I also enjoy reading, cooking, crocheting, and visiting the Oregon coast, one of the most beautiful in the world, I think.
9. TELL US ABOUT YOUR HIDDEN TALENT.
Hmm…hidden talent? I wasn’t sure I had one, so I did some asking of my nearest and dearest. I was told that one thing they had all observed was that I had the ability to put people at ease and make them feel at home. I’ll go with that. It sounds good to me!
10. SOUNDS PERFECT TO ME AND A GREAT ABILITY TO HAVE! WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE GIFT TO GIVE?
I can’t say that I have a particular favorite. I always try to match the gift to the person. I like giving something that I know will mean a lot to someone. Sometimes it might be something a person wants…another time, it could be something a person needs. It depends on the circumstances.
11. WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR?
I stand for loving each other and respecting each other.
12. THAT'S A GREAT THING TO STAND FOR! WHAT’S YOUR PET PEEVE?
People who make disparaging remarks about romance novels, romance readers, and romance writers--when they obviously have never read a romance.
13. ARE THERE ROMANCE NOVELS THAT YOU BELIEVE ARE TOO NAUGHTY?
My personal choice is not to read erotica, but that doesn’t mean I believe they are in any way objectionable. And on rare occasion, I've stumbled upon erotica with deep emotion, which is fabulous.
14. WHEN GOING TO THE GROCERY STORE, HAS ANYONE EVER ASKED YOU FOR ROMANTIC ADVICE?
I live in a very small town and everyone knows who I am. No, I have never been asked for romantic advice.
15. IN COMING UP ROSES RELEASED IN 1993, KEEGAN'S LADY RELEASED IN 1996, STAR BRIGHT RELEASED IN 2009 AND HERE TO STAY PUBLISHED IN 2011, YOUR THEME FOCUSED ON ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS. AS AN ADVOCATE FOR VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, I’M INTRIGUED. DO YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO HAS EVER BEEN PHYSICALLY OR EMOTIONALLY ABUSED, AND ARE THOSE BOOKS DEDICATED TO THAT PERSON?
I’ll answer the last part of the question first. No, I have not dedicated those books to abuse victims out of respect for their privacy. And yes, I know several people who have suffered horrific abuse. I will always feel very blessed that my husband was so wonderful, and I never had to endure that kind of pain. In each of the above-mentioned books, the woman somehow escaped and rebuilt her life. The stories are a tribute to the courage of real-life women who have found the courage to do the same.
16. IN ONLY BY YOUR TOUCH, RELEASED IN 2003, I FELL HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE WITH BEN’S PERSONALITY. AS IN REAL LIFE, PEOPLE SO OFTEN JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER, NEVER REALLY TAKING TIME TO KNOW THE REAL PERSON. TO THE WORLD BEN SEEMED COLD, YET A MAN WHO LOVINGLY TAKES CARE OF ANIMALS IS A KEEPER FOR SURE. HOW DID YOU CREATE THIS TORTURED SOUL ALONG WITH CHLOE, THE UNIQUE AND TENDER WOMAN WHO LOVES HIM?
I didn’t exactly set out to create them. I had the idea for the novel and the characters just appeared and introduced themselves. Being of Shoshone descent and living in central Oregon, surrounded by Shoshone historical sites, inspired me as well. While writing Only By Your Touch, I was describing my home on Cinnamon Ridge as I envisioned it before we remodeled, and, in a way, I was describing my family's lineage when it comes to the mystical. The actual revamping of the house on Cinnamon Ridge turned out differently, but that doesn't matter. I have cougars, coyotes, bears, skunks, and every other kind of creature imaginable on the ridge, and my Shoshone heart, along with clairvoyance, which runs in my family, played a huge part in the story. Ben was a natural product of my lineage, and Chloe--well, what woman wouldn't fall in love with him?
17. CREATING A CLAIRVOYANT CHARACTER LIKE LONI ,WHO WAS ALSO A VIRGIN, WAS BRILLIANT AND WITH YOUR SKILL FOR WRITING, TOTALLY BELIEVABLE TO THE READER. BUT WE KNOW IT WOULD TAKE TIME TO CONVINCE CLINT IN YOUR NOVEL, MORNING LIGHT. THE RAPPORT THAT FORMED BETWEEN THE TWO OF THESE MAIN CHARACTERS WAS POWERFUL AND EMOTIONAL, AND I COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA TO WRITE THIS SORT OF NOVEL?
I have a relative who had what I’ll term “second sight,” so I know, up close and personal, that such an incredible gift is not always well-received by others. My relative was nothing like Loni, but the “what if” took over, and I let myself imagine what the possibilities were. Once I had my clairvoyant, then I had to find a character who would be hard pressed to believe in clairvoyance. Enter Clint.
18. DO YOU PERSONALLY CHOOSE THE NAMES OF ALL YOUR CHARACTERS?
19. YOU HAVE WRITTEN BOTH CONTEMPORARY AND HISTORICAL NOVELS. WHICH DO YOU PREFER, AND WHY?
I have no preference between the two. It’s the story that intrigues me, not the time period. That said, I do enjoy alternating between historical and contemporary fiction because it gives me a change of pace.
20. WHAT ARE YOUR TWO FAVORITE MOVIES OF ALL TIME?
I have many favorites, but as with books, I can never say with certainty which are my favorites of all time. Here is a wide spread list. I loved Somewhere in Time, and I loved Lonesome Dove, and I loved Gone with the Wind. I bounce around. What matters to me is that I bounce into deep emotion.
21. I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN. I CAN NEVER JUST PICK ONE FAVORITE - EVER! (LOL) IF YOU NEVER WROTE ANOTHER BOOK, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
I don’t really know. It’s been nearly thirty years since I had that option. I can’t imagine not having a book in progress.
22. OUT OF THE 30+ BOOKS YOU HAVE WRITTEN, DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE?
No. Every book is my favorite while I am writing it, so it constantly changes.
23. YOUR BOOKS HAVE A RELIGIOUS TONE WHICH IS HEARTWARMING. DID YOU EVER WORRY THAT THIS WOULD MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO SELL YOUR BOOKS?
It troubles me that I can't please all of my readers all of the time. But I am who I am, and early on, before I sold my first book, I was told by writing instructors to write from my heart. At the beginning of my career, I knew that my tendency to make God a secondary character might turn some people away from my work, but for me, writing was never all about the money, and I made a conscious decision to remain true to myself. I think my stories would lack something vital if I had chosen to do otherwise. I receive an occasional letter of complaint, but overall, I think most readers know what they are getting when they buy my books and would feel betrayed if I failed to deliver. So I focus on sticking with the fellow who brought me to the dance, so to speak.
24. SOME WRITERS HAVE THEIR BOOKS ACCEPTED AND PUBLISHED RIGHT AWAY AND OTHERS HAVE TO WAIT A LITTLE WHILE. HOW ABOUT YOU, AND WHAT DID YOU DO WITH YOUR FIRST ROYALTY CHECK?
It took a little over two years for me to become published. I was lucky because some writers must wait much longer for that first sale. As for my first royalty check, I think you must mean my first advance. Normally most authors make little money from royalties for many years after a book is released. I suppose a few "super authors" make a lot from royalties, but I think it's more likely that their agents negotiate for such large advances that it still takes a while for their titles to earn out. When I got my first advance check, it was only five thousand, I had two sons in school, my husband was starting up a new business, and the money went into our family bank account for exciting things like paying the electric bill. I know, I know! That doesn't sound very fun, at all. But such is life when you're a mother and wife.
25. IF I ASKED SOMEONE WHAT YOU WERE LIKE AS A KID, WHAT WOULD HE OR SHE TELL ME?
Probably that while I was what you’d term an old-fashioned girl, with very traditional values, I was also a good friend and, even then, an animal lover.
26. WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH OUT LOUD?
The sound of a baby or young child laughing. They are so innocent and haven't yet developed their laugh. It is spontaneous and straight from the gut. I'm particularly disarmed by the laughter of babies. They are so precious! I also can laugh out loud over the antics of animals. At present I'm staying at my son John's house, and at the back of his property, there is a mini donkey named Rupert who is pastured with two full-size Fjord geldings. Rupert has a bad case of Little Man Syndrome and picks fights with the Fjords almost daily. I cannot watch him without cracking up. Amazingly, he holds his own.
27. WHAT DOES YOUR FAMILY THINK OF YOUR BOOKS?
My late husband Sid and my two sons, are very proud of my career accomplishments. Sid often read my books before he grew ill.
28. IN CLOSING, WHAT’S NEXT FOR CATHERINE ANDERSON IN THE FUTURE?
Having very recently lost my husband, I am in a life-altering transition period. I fell wildly in love with Sid when I was only fifteen, and he was the center of my world. At first, I was so devastated by his death and felt so lost that I feared I might never be able to write again. But just the opposite has occurred. I find myself reflecting on our romance, which was truly the love of a lifetime, and picturing him as he was before he grew ill. My nieces called him their "Hunky Uncle," and he definitely was a hunk. Remembering him as he was is inspiring me and making me eager to write again.
My next book, working title New Leaf, is a part of my new contemporary Mystic Creek series. The hero, Barney Sterling, is a challenging and fascinating character, a blend of sexiness, funniness, and gentleness, with a dash of kick-ass tough guy added for flavor. He is a deputy who was once a state cop, so he's complex, a man raised with deeply ingrained family values who went out into the world and encountered the seediness and cruelty of the criminal populace. I hope when you read New Leaf that you grow to love Barney as much as I do!
There you have it. All the latest info on this fab author. Feel free to purchase Silver Thaw by clicking on one of the links below, and you can also visit her website to find out more about her books. Don't forget to visit her Facebook Page to find out even more about what's going on. Hugs...