I have another fantastic interview for you today. A lovely author by the name of Catherine Green contacted me and asked to be part of my interview series. I of course, obliged and now I get to share some juicy interview questions with you. Here's an insight into Catherine's writing process and her life;
Hi Catherine, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Hello! Thank you for inviting me. I am SpookyMrsGreen: The Pagan Housewife. I am a married mother of two and live in Cheshire, but I am originally from the Staffordshire Moorlands. I grew up with books, and my Mum used to take me once a week to visit our small, local library, where I would borrow six books (the maximum allowed), read them all, and return the following week for some more. Those were the days!
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
My ambitions are to develop a career that is financially sustainable, where I have a dedicated reader base, and maybe the possibility of fame and fortune at some point in the future! Basically, I want to earn a living from my writing so that I can continue to do what I love.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Oh, I have several main characters. I suppose the biggest character is Jessica Stone. She is the protagonist in my Redcliffe novels series, since she tells the story. She was just your average almost 30-year-old single woman until she met a man and fell in love… and discovered that her friends are not all human.
I have a female vampire hunter featured in a novel that I am currently editing, and that story is set in and around my home town in Cheshire. Then I have a male vampire that tells his story involving hunters and witches, and they are in Manchester and Salford Quays. These characters are all British, and all inspired by people that I know and have known throughout the years, so the North West is a big influence in terms of behaviour and cultural background.
Would you mind sharing a favourite quote from your book?
Again, I have several books, but let me have a quick look and I will find something to share… OK, here is an excerpt from my debut novel, Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel)
“She is connected to the job in Scotland; they both are.” he said, “I’m sorry Jessica; it looks like we have inadvertently drawn you into our mess. I need to find Jack and go sort this out. Please promise me you will stay home, don’t answer the door unless you know who it is, and phone Jack or me if you get worried about anything, no matter how small or trivial. Will you do that?”
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s? (* please provide a link to trailer if you have one)
I don’t currently have a trailer but it is in consideration, just as soon as I find the time and the resources to create a good one.
Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas come from everyday life. I observe people and places as I go about my daily activity, and the location for the Redcliffe novels was inspired by regular visits to the seaside town of Looe in Cornwall. Occasionally I might jot down a snippet of conversation, or a quick description of a building or landmark. I also take photos to remind me of details for my stories.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Oh no, I am what they call a “pantser.” I write whatever comes to mind, and make sense of it later. I tried to create a plot and backstory when I wrote my first novel, and I do still refer to character notes and histories for correlation as the series progresses. But the storyline is completely natural.
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
I wish! No, I have two young children currently on holiday from school, my husband works long hours fulltime, and we have many other distractions in our lives. My writing is sporadic at best, although I do use NaNoWriMo to ensure I at least have a few manuscripts to work on. Once I’m in the flow with a novel, it will take precedence over everything else, and I have been known to sit in front of my computer for a whole day writing a story, only stopping to do the school run, meals and bedtime routine etc.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Not really. Usually I like to ensure that I can at least write a chapter per day, which equates to around 1500 words, but again, it doesn’t happen every day.
How much research do you do?
I don’t need to do much specific research, since most of my stories are inspired by personal experiences and the work I did when I studied vampires in popular culture at university (that was the subject of my dissertation).
Do you ever get writer’s Block?
Not really. There are times when I sit in front of a blank page on my computer and I don’t know where to start, but once I get going, it all flows out, albeit not necessarily in a coherent form.
What book/s are you reading at present?
I am currently reading The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon for my book club. And I am reading Reiki for Life by Penelope Quest for my personal spiritual development (that’s my alter ego, SpookyMrsGreen)
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
Yes and no. I have mixed feelings about this, because truthfully, I would rather not give my books away for free. However, I do make use of free downloads to discover new authors, and if those authors make the system work for them, so be it. We must embrace a new way of doing things in the 21st century, and stop being so nostalgic about the days of booksellers past. It is all about gaining trust with new readers, and if we give them a fair chance to try our work, we trust them in return to help develop our careers. Give and take, and all that.
Did you format your own book?
I did format my latest book, The Vampire of Blackpool, but the previous novels were published traditionally. It was an experiment, and I am still learning from it. I have deduced that perhaps I should enlist the help of a professional in the future, so that I am free to concentrate on my writing.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
Oh, I would be a bookshop owner for sure, or a librarian! I keep checking my local library for vacancies, just in case… and maybe I will have enough money to open a shop of my own one day.
Are there any more ideas for future books on the cards?
Yes, I am currently finishing the Redcliffe novels series, writing books 5 and 6, which will bring it to an end. I also have a collection of vampire hunter novels set in and around Manchester and the North West that are awaiting further attention. I even have a few ideas for contemporary stories involving angels and demons, so who knows where that will take me…
Advice to aspiring writers?
Just write. When you feel the desperate need to write, let the words flow and see where they take you. Be warned, the publishing industry is very complicated and contradictory, and you would need to think very carefully about whether you want to pursue a professional career, or whether you are content to simply write for yourself. Don’t expect to earn a living purely from writing unless you have established a career in journalism or something similar. Be realistic, but don’t give up.
About the Author:
Author of British paranormal romance series The Redcliffe Novels, Catherine Green was raised on books from a young age, and has happy memories of Saturday mornings spent in her small local library, devouring the contents of the shelves. Catherine has always been fascinated by the supernatural world, and it feels natural for her to write about vampires, werewolves, witches and other mystical creatures in her contemporary stories.
If you sign up to Catherine’s newsletter, she will send you a free copy of her Redcliffe short story, It’s Complicated, to introduce you to her fictional supernatural seaside town in Cornwall, England.
More recently, Catherine released her contemporary English Gothic novel, The Vampire of Blackpool. These novels will show you the darker, sexier side of our favourite British seaside resorts!
You can find Catherine in the following places:
Author blog: http://www.catherinegreenauthor.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter page: https://twitter.com/SpookyMrsGreen
The Pagan Housewife Blog: http://spookymrsgreen.com/