What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book, Welcome Home, was based on a patient I had my first year out of veterinary school. Animal Control brought in a large black Lab mix that had been hit by a car. The dog was unable to use its hind legs. I convinced the Animal Control officer to leave the dog in my care to give it a few days to regain use of its legs. The dog was a sweetheart. After a few days, Animal Control informed me that they were unwilling to invest any more money into the dog. I lived in a small apartment that didn’t allow pets, so I was unable to take adopt him myself. A nice couple agreed to take the dog home and he subsequently regained use of his legs.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
As a wife and mother, my biggest challenge is finding time to write. Once I can sit down and focus on writing, it comes pretty easily. I get lost in the story and it seems to flow out of me.
Have you developed a specific writing style?
My stories are completely character based. I develop the character’s identities and then let the story unfold around them. I also write in a simple, fast style. I don’t want the readers to get bogged down in the details of what a drape hanging in the window looks like. I spend more time developing the characters and trying to give the readers a sense of what the characters are thinking and feeling.
Can you tell us about your main character?
Catherine “Cat” James grew up in a very rough environment. She was kicked out of her house at the age of 15 and had to survive on her own. Through hard work and determination, she put herself through college and became an accountant. She chose that career because she likes things to be neat and orderly. She made a promise to herself when she was a teenager that when she was able, she’d become a foster parent. Her life changes dramatically when she takes in a troubled teenage boy whose life closely resembles her own.
How did you develop your plot and characters?
The male protagonist, Detective Mitch Holt, first appeared in Dogs Aren’t Men. Several readers wanted to read more of his story. I try to write books that are personal to me. I have adopted two kids from the foster care system, so I decided to develop the female character as a foster mom. Once I had the two characters, I let the plot unfold around them. I had to come up with a reason for an accountant who was a foster mom to come into contact with a police detective.
Who designed the cover?
Angel Nichols designs all my book covers. She is excellent to work with. She is able to take my ideas and turn them into reality. You can learn more about her at www.freewebs.com/angelnichols
Will you write others in this same genre?
Yes. I am already working on my next contemporary romance. It will also be set in Spring Valley and many of the characters in Dogs Aren’t Men and To Love A Cat will be included in the story.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I have adopted two kids out of the foster care system. I have a real empathy for the number of kids who only want a place to call home. The role of foster parent is an extremely difficult one, but it can also be very rewarding. I hope that readers get a sense of that when they read this book.
How important do you think villains are in a story?
I think a well-written villain can turn a good book into a great book. They can add so much depth to a story. We all love to hate a good bad guy.
Can we expect any more books from you in the future?
I recently quit my job to focus full time on my writing career. I hope to publish many more books over the next few years.
Have you started another book yet?
Yes. I am currently working on another novel set in Spring Valley. The female protagonist is a big city girl working as a Public Relations specialist for a large pharmaceutical company. She gets fired from her job and is offered a job running an animal shelter in a small city. She knows nothing about animals, but doesn’t seem to have any other choice, so she accepts the position.
From the author of “Dogs Aren’t Men” comes “To Love a Cat”, a contemporary romance novel.
Catherine “Cat” James’ life is simple and orderly, and she likes it that way. She loves her job as an accountant. Working with numbers is safe and routine, no surprises. Her childhood had been very abusive and unstable. She vowed not to live that way as an adult. She also made a promise to herself to become a foster parent. She wished someone had been there for her as a teenager, to let her know she wasn’t alone.
Cat agrees to foster Ethan Summers, a troubled teenage boy whose childhood closely resembles her own. Suddenly, her nice and orderly life is filled with chaos and uncertainty. Things really start to spin out of control when circumstances bring police detective Mitch Holt into the picture. He’s handsome, charming, and definitely not what Cat needs right now, or so she thinks.
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Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – PG
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