|Author Catherine Castle|
Friday, February 14, 2014
INTERVIEW WITH CATHERINE CASTLE, AUTHOR OF THE NUN AND THE NARC
Welcome Catherine Castle and her award winning novel THE NUN AND THE NARC.
Caroline: Where did you grow up? Siblings? Locale? Were you considered a “bookworm” or a jock? Married, single? Children?
Catherine: I grew up in southern Ohio. Dad had what I called gypsy feet and we’d move every few years or so. It prepared me for married life because we had a lot of different addresses, too.
I was definitely a bookworm and not a jock. I was constantly falling UP the staircase at school. For me, there was no such thing as taking out a single book from the library. I’d walk home loaded down with so many books I’d have welts on my arms from the weight. I got lost in the pages, too, and wouldn’t hear anything going on around me. The house could have burnt down around my ears and I would have sat there oblivious to anything but the world between the pages. When the family would do to visit people the first thing I’d look for was a bookcase. If there were books, I’d ask if I could read one and I’d be set for the entire visit.
Caroline: Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?
Catherine: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Tolkein, Heinlein. I don’t have a favorite contemporary author. I pick up what I think I’ll like. I love romance, and fantasy, historicals, science fiction, suspense, paranormal. I even read non-fiction. The one genre I don’t like is horror. Rosemary’s Baby caused me to stop reading horror as a teenager.
Caroline: What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?
Catherine: My garden is my major recharger. I like working in it, sitting on the deck and listening to the bumblebees in the blooms. I also quilt, knit, and crochet in spurts and have lots of UFOs (unfinished objects) in all of those crafts. Movies are good, too, although when we go hubby and I tend to dissect them. It’s a writer’s curse, we’ve decided.
Caroline: Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?
Catherine: Use what talents you have; the woods would have little music if no birds sang their song except those who sang best. - Reverend Oliver G. Wilson
Caroline: How long have you been writing?
Catherine: I’ve been writing professionally since 1990. I was a freelance writer for 10 years and have over 600 articles to my credit. I’ve written nonfiction in the secular market and the Christian market, for adults and for children. The Nun and the Narc is my debut novel.
On a more personal level, I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. I have written over 200 poems (at last count) and created three, currently unpublished, chapbooks, a couple of short stories (most which have disappeared in one move or another), and a teenage angst-filled romance written in longhand (which I still possess). I’ve completed five fiction works and I have several more in various stages of completion. I’ve also coauthored several plays with my husband. Oh, and music lyrics and music compositions.
Caroline: Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?
Catherine: I have a cluttered office that I work in, which I periodically have a frenzied cleaning spell over. I would love to have one of those clean, decorated-to-the-teeth offices that you see in the magazines, but since I have an organized, piled, filing system, in addition to my file cabinets, the room probably wouldn’t look like that for long.
As for what I need to write—quiet and a laptop that has the keys spaced just so. I’m obsessive about the keyboard spacing and have rejected many a keyboard because the keys were too far apart. I have small hands.
Caroline: Are you a plotter or a panzer?
Catherine: A bit of both. I need to know where the story is going so I don’t waste time when I sit down to write. At the same time, I leave enough flexibility for the characters and story to morph.
Caroline: Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?
Catherine: None of my characters are real persons, at least not yet, unless you count the Biblical characters in one of my unpublished books. I think using events or persons as jumping off point and creating something completely new is easier to do and possibly safer, from a litigation standpoint.
Caroline: Do you set daily writing goals? Word count? Number of chapters? Do you get a chance to write every day?
Catherine: I could write every day, but I don’t. Most of the time I write on a need basis; if I’m on a deadline, editorial or self-imposed; if the characters won’t shut up; if a story, or poem, or blog idea is clamoring to get out. When I do sit down to write I usually write anywhere from 5 – 10 pages in a session.
Caroline: What do you hope your writing brings to readers?
Catherine: I read for entertainment and I want to bring that to my readers. I want them to get lost in the book like I used to as a child. I want it to be a can’t-put-it-down experience. If they are reading one of my inspirational romances, I want the faith element to be organic and not beat them over the head. I want them to enjoy the read, close the book and say, “Wow, I never thought of it that way.”
Caroline: What long-term plans do you have for your career?
Catherine: I think I want what most writers do—write more books. I have lots of book ideas, enough to last the rest of my life.
Caroline: Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?
Catherine: I’m trying to decide between the partial books I have now. Since I read in several subgenres of romance, I don’t want to limit myself to writing in only one subgenre. I have several different directions I could go now as I have a historical inspirational, a sweet romantic comedy, and a couple of contemporary sweet romances with inspirational elements waiting in the wings for my attention. I tend to work on several projects at a time.
Caroline: What advice would you give to unpublished authors?
Catherine: Keep writing and learn everything you can about your craft, and start your social media way before you ever send your manuscript out. Getting a handle on that while you are going through the editing and publishing process can be crazy.
Caroline: Tell us a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you.
Catherine: I own five different Christmas trees, and as many themed decoration collections, that I rotate through each year. The family never knows what Christmas will look like at my house. Will it be southwest themed? Traditional looking with ornaments collected over the years? An all gold Christmas with a gold-colored travel themed ornaments? Maybe crocheted snowflakes and snowmen will dominate. This year it was Grandma’s aluminum tree, complete the color wheel and handmade ornaments. Or if I’m lazy, I might just stuff silk poinsettias in the tree branches. Which, by the way, makes a very classy tree. If I’m really lazy we just set up the small fiber optic table tree and run the train set around it.
Caroline: A kindred spirit! I love decorating for Christmas. Share something about you that would surprise or shock readers.
Catherine: I’m a huge Bachelor/Bachelorette television show fan. I’m thrilled Katherine and Sean are still together and will be watching their televised wedding. Yes, I know most people think it’s a big, orchestrated hoax, but I root for the contestants to find true love, because I believe in true love. Everyone has a soul mate and I hope everyone could find that happiness in life. My belief in true love is why I love to write romance.
Caroline: Is your book a series? If so, how long? Family saga, other?
Catherine: No. THE NUN AND THE NARC is a stand alone book.
Caroline: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?
Catherine: My book, THE NUN AND THE NARC is an EPIC finalist in the action/adventure category. I’m very excited to be a finalist.
Congratulations, Catherine. Now here’s more about THE NUN AND THE NARC:
The Nun & the Narc
By Catherine Castle
THE NUN AND THE NARC Blurb:
Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicable attracted to him he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them, because he is making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.
Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what
Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.
THE NUN AND THE NARC Excerpt:
Another row of pottery shattered, sending fragments into the car like tiny projectile rockets. Sending up a quick prayer, she covered her head.
Slamming the door shut as he passed, the man leapt over the trunk. He jerked open the driver’s door then jumped behind the wheel. Jamming the car into gear, he roared out into the market street. Shoppers and vendors screamed, leaping out of the car’s path.
Margaret scrambled into the passenger seat. “Stop this car immediately!”
“Keep down,” he ordered, “unless you want to get shot.”
The rear window glass erupted into the car’s interior, punctuating his words. The man fired at the attackers through the shattered back window.
“Shot?” Her voice rose an octave. “Oh, dear Lord in Heaven, what have I gotten into?”
“Trouble, Lady.” He fired off another round. “Big trouble.”
Margaret slid deeper into the front passenger seat, grabbing the door handle as the car careened around a corner.
I’m going to die. In a car crash. With a strange man. Heart pumping madly, she let go of the door handle just long enough to cross herself then grabbed it again as the car swerved. A guardian angel would be good here, Lord. And make it Dale Earnhardt! They swerved around another corner and she held on for dear life.
Oh, Mother Superior, maybe you’re right. Maybe I’m not good nun material after all. Who else in the convent could get themselves into a mess like this?
Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, and attending theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.
Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist and is a 2013 EPIC finalist.
Catherine’s website: http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com
Catherine’s blog: http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com/blog/
Catherine’s Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/catherinecastle
Catherine’s Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7085414.Catherine_Castle
Thanks for stopping by!