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 theater. 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.
To see pictures of her garden, read her poems and blogs, connect with her, and follow her stop by her blog at http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com or check out her author page on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/author/catherinecastle. She’d love to see you there.
How to connect with Catherine...
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/catherinecastle
Author Interview | Catherine Castle
You & Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I’ve been a writer ever since I learned how to string words together. My first writing was poetry, which I still write. I have some of my poems posted on my blog. Then I graduated to short stories in middle school, which have since been lost. I think one was a sci-fi story about a moon landing. That was big back then. I wrote my first romance as a teenager, in longhand, and bound it in a paper notebook. I still have it, buried in the depths of a file drawer. I pull it out occasionally if I want a good laugh. As for what keeps me writing—I think it’s all the ideas that pop into my head, and when I’m actually writing, it’s the characters who take my story to unexpected places. Even though I plot, I love it when they decide to go their own way.
Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...I love The Nun and the Narc. Who doesn’t love their first published book? However, I think my unpublished devotional—Lessons from Nature-A Gardener’s Devotional— might be my favorite work. That book has been described as having a lyrical quality to it, and the stories contained in the devotional book are very personal to me.
What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...There’s nothing easy, in my opinion, about getting published. Being an author is not a job for the faint of heart. As for easiest thing about getting publishing—I’d have to say it’s the constant smile that’s on my face whenever I say the words, “I’m a published author!”
Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently? Why are you/did you write it?
...The Nun and the Narc didn’t start out as The Nun and the Narc. Sister Margaret Mary was originally a missionary on a house building trip to Mexico. But somewhere along the way, the story got stuck. One of my critique partners suggested I change her from a missionary to a nun, a novice actually. I loved the idea, partly because I love nun stories like The Sound of Music, the television show The Flying Nun, and the movie A Change of Habit with Elvis Presley and Mary Tyler Moore. I decided to take her suggestion and when I did, the story took off.
...Sister Margaret Mary is a bit stubborn, and perhaps not the best nun material, according to Mother Superior, but she’s determined to follow her commitment to take her final vows. Then while on a house building mission to Mexico, she gets captured by drug lords and imprisoned with undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Sparks fly between the two and destinies are changed.
Here’s a blurb of the story:
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.
Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...I absolutely love Sister Margaret. She’s full of spunk and sass, yet holds so firm to her beliefs.
What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...I hope after reading The Nun and the Narc readers will realize there are many ways to serve God, and you don’t have to be the foreign missionary who dedicates his or her entire life in order for your service to be important. Whatever good works we bring to the Lord’s service are important for furthering His kingdom.
Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...I think ideas for stories come from everywhere.We just have to be on the lookout for them. Although I interviewed and know some nuns who left the church to marry, Sister Margaret isn’t like any of them. I do admit to having a curiosity about how those women dealt with leaving the convent, and I think part of that curiosity spurred my story. So, I guess I’d have to answer this questions by saying, the real world and my imagination is a source for ideas.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Learn your craft and don’t give up.
What is one thing you like to do to relax when you aren’t writing?
...We go to a lot of movies, but in some regards that isn’t totally relaxation as my husband and I critique every movie we see. A hazard of being a writer, I suppose.
What is one thing you are looking forward to for the Summer?
...Getting all the gardening cleanup chores done so I can sit back and enjoy my flowers and get back to working on the next book.
Thank you so much for sharing with us, Catherine! Your book sounds amazing and I'm looking forward to reviewing it soon. I can identify with you when you talk about your first works. My dear friend Steffani and I have many of those notebook bound novels...and I know for certain we laugh at them when we re-read anything we thought was "inspired" in your younger years. The wonderful thing is knowing we grow and change as writers.
Make sure you check out The Nun and the Narc and be on the lookout for my review soon :)