Monday, April 18, 2011

Catherine West on Her New Release, Yesterday's Tomorrow

Cathy, first congratulations on your new release, Yesterday’s Tomorrow! I know how rewarding it is to hold your first book in your hands. How long have you been writing? When did you first know you wanted to be a published author?

Thanks, Lynnette! I’ve been writing seriously for the last ten years. I think I knew I wanted to be published long before that, but I just didn’t know how to go about it.

You live on the island of Bermuda. That has to come with its own set of challenges for meeting agents and editors. (And, now that your book has released, marketing it.)  Yet, you are represented by Rachelle Gardner of Wordserve Literary. How did you become her client?

Yes, living on a small island does have one or two disadvantages!! Fortunately we have the Internet. J I actually came across Rachelle through blogging, before she was an agent. I had talked with her about Yesterday’s Tomorrow and asked for her thoughts on it, so she knew I was working on it when she entered the agency field, and asked me to send her the full when I was finished. I was probably one of her first clients. I don’t think she had any idea setting out just how much of an impact she would make on the publishing world! It’s wonderful to see what a natural fit being an agent is for her.

I love to hear author’s stories of what is was like to get the call that your book had sold. Can you tell us how that happened for you?

This particular book for me was an extremely tough sell. It’s also the book of my heart, which made it even more frustrating when we couldn’t find a publisher interested enough to even read the full. They felt the Vietnam backdrop was too depressing and wouldn’t even give it a chance! We actually set the book aside for two years whilst I worked on other things, and then finally submitted it again to some smaller publishers, and it ended up on Ramona Tucker’s desk at OakTara. She loved it, and here we are!

Your book is called Yesterday’s Tomorrow and is set during the Vietnam era. Tell us a little about it.


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.

What led you to write in that setting and time period?

I’ve always been fascinated by that era. I suppose I may have watched a couple of movies that sparked the idea of a female journalist going to Vietnam to cover the war – I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to write that story. Once I started my research however, I knew I had to.

If you had to pick one character as a favorite, which one would it be, and why?

Ooo, just one?? Well, I don’t think its any secret that I’m partial to Luke. Not just because he’s gorgeous, lol! I think he’s such a flawed character at the beginning, so rough around the edges that we wonder if he’ll ever change. When we find out why he is the way he is, we begin to understand. It was fun to watch him grow through the struggles he goes through in the story.

Everyone who’s ever tried their hand at writing knows this business comes with a lot of ups and downs. What has brought you the most joy in your writing? What has been the most difficult aspect of writing?

What’s brought me the most joy? Honestly, I have to say it’s the readers’ reaction to Yesterday’s Tomorrow! It has been totally amazing and every day I hear something else from somebody that tells me why I wrote this book. It’s definitely speaking to people, which is amazing.
I think the most difficult thing to handle is the rejection, especially when I was just starting out.  Fortunately I think I’ve managed to develop a healthy outlook on it and have accepted that it’s all just part of being a writer.

Tell us about your writing schedule. Are you able to write full time? Or do you have to work it in around another job?

I find it difficult to maintain a schedule. I tend to write in large chunks or a bit at a time, whichever way my week happens to be going. And especially now with doing so much marketing for the book, it’s more difficult to carve out time to continue working on my wips, so that’s hard.

Are there any words of wisdom you’d give new writers?

Yes, I think it’s really important to know what you’re getting into. Join a writers group and a critique group. There is SO much to learn and you want to be sure that you’re getting the right information from the right people. Go to conferences if you can, they’re really vital in helping you network with agents and editors and of course connecting with other authors. Realize that it may take a long time to see your dream become a reality, but if you really want it, don’t give up!

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 March 15th, through
OakTara Publishers.

OakTara Website:

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