Gail's Book Nook

Monday, June 14, 2010

Looking Out the Window: Welcome Cathy Bryant

Today I'm talking with Cathy Bryant. She'll be giving away a free copy of Texas Roads (U.S. entries). Be sure to leave your e-mail address with a comment and use name [at] address [dot] com to keep away spammers. I'll put the names on pieces of paper and draw one on Sunday night.

First, tell us a little about yourself. I’m a wife, mom, Nana, and private music instructor. In between all those rolls, I write. I enjoy walking, bicycling, hiking, canoeing, and gardening—basically anything that gets me outdoors. I live in a century-old Texas farmhouse with my hubby and a phobia-ridden cat.

Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read? Avid may not be a strong enough word. I learned to read early and read everything I could get my hands on. My favorite book from childhood is Anne of Green Gables.

Why do you write? Call it a calling or a compulsion—either would be accurate. I never would have guessed that writing would be so difficult and so addicting.

Avid may not be a strong enough word. I learned to read early and read everything I could get my hands on. My favorite book from childhood is Anne of Green Gables.

Tell us about your latest book. Texas Roads is a 2009 ACFW Genesis finalist and contemporary love story available at Amazon. It tells the story of a disillusioned widow’s quest for home. Here’s the back cover copy:

Dani Davis longs for a place to call home. With quaint country charm, quirky residents, and loads of business potential, Miller’s Creek, Texas seems like the perfect place to start over…except for the cowboy who gives her a ride into town. Then malicious rumors and a devastating discovery propel her down a road she never expected to travel.

Cowboy mayor Steve Miller is determined to rescue his dying hometown. When vandals jeopardize the Miller’s Creek renovation project he can’t help but suspect Dani, whose strange behavior has become fodder for local gossips. Will Steve and Dani call a truce for a higher cause, and in the process help Dani discover the true meaning of home?

What inspired you to write this particular book? The spiritual theme of the story came from my own longing to put down roots. For several years, my family and I seemed destined to be nomads traveling from one small Texas town to the next. God used this time in my life to teach me that He was my true home. Dani learns this truth during the course of the story.

The idea for the plot came one day when I was out working in my garden. A car passed slowly, the elderly driver staring me down. I immediately got riled up. Then I started playing the “what if?” game. What if a city woman moved to a back roads country town? How would she react to the lack of privacy people sometimes experience in small settings? The story took off from there.

Where do you get ideas for your books? Everywhere. A newspaper article. Snippets of conversation. A humorous anecdote. And often a character will introduce themselves by starting dialogue in my head. (Please don’t lock me in a rubber room…) Once I was taking my daily walk when out of nowhere this prim and proper voice sounded in my head, saying: “Tyler, Dent and Snodgrass. Hold please.” From that came the idea for the book that will be Book Three in the Miller’s Creek, Texas series, which will be entitled The Way of Grace.

In three words describe your style of writing. Touching. Humorous. Riveting.

How do you get to know your characters? I fill out extensive character charts for my major characters and a few minor ones before I ever start the story. But they tend to reveal new things about themselves as I write the book.

What themes do you write about? I intend for every novel I write to be interlaced with spiritual truths I’ve learned. A Path Less Traveled, the second book in the series will deal with the natural human tendency to be independent and self-sufficient, when God calls us to put our trust in Him and depend on Him.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer? I’m a HUGE plotter. Can’t help it—it’s part of my Type-A, obsessive-compulsive genetic makeup. When I go on a trip, I like to know where I’m going, how I’m getting there, which roads to take, where I’m staying, who I’ll be traveling with…well, you get the picture. Writing a book is very much like taking a long trip.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us? I love to connect with people online. I’ve met the most wonderful friends there. You can find me at Facebook and Twitter, at my blog, WordVessel (, and my website,

Thanks so much for allowing me to spend this time at your awesome blog, Gail!

Texas Roads is available on Smashwords and Amazon


Miss Mae said...

Hi Cathy,

First, I love your cover, reminds me of the roads I've walked in some of the places where we've lived.

So what happened with the driver who stared you down? In this day and age, it kinda gives me the willies when strangers do something like that! Eeek!

You have a wonderful premise for your book. Best to you! :)

Jan Marie said...

I have been hearing so many good things about Texas Roads and I would love to read this book!


lotus82 said...

I am similar to Cathy as far as loving the outdoors, canooing, etc.

I also love the three words she used to describe her writeing.

Can't wait to read it and would love to win it.


Cathy Bryant said...

Hi everyone!

I fell in love with the photo the first time I saw it, Miss Mae. It reminds me of a road I used to take to get to my grandmother's house. In a small town you get sorta used to people staring--I just stared back. ;)

Thanks, Jan Marie & Steph!

Anonymous said...

I'd love to read this book, it sound so good! I was actually reading about it on another site today and it intrigued me then. Love the cover!

Lourdes said...

Hi sounds like a great book can't wait to read it. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.


Celia Yeary said...

Hello, Cathy--Love those Texas roads--I live on one of them!Your story sounds intriguing and the book cover is outstanding.When I get my TBR pile thinned down, I'll check out your book. I write "all Texas"--mostly western historical, but some contemporary I'm trying to get published.
Nice to meet you--Celia

Silverbill said...

Texas Roads

billd3 (at) gmail (dot) com

Laurean Brooks said...

Cathy, this story sounds wonderful. I write inspirational also. Couldn't see the book cover. Didn't fill in on my slow dial-up. I'll check it out on Amazon.

Could we be related? I have cousins with the last name Bryant?They live not far from Memhphis, Tennessee.

Gail, put my name in the drawing. Email:

A J Hawke said...

Sounds like a book that I would enjoy.

Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.

A J Hawke

Ann Lee Miller said...

I'd love to read Texas Roads.

Ann Lee Miller

Jo said...

Cathy, This book sounds wonderful and I would love to read it. It looks like such a great book.


Julia M. Reffner said...

No need to enter me, I've already read Cathy's book. The winner's in for a treat!

L.M. Montgomery is my absolute favorite children's book author and I think Anne is a lot of my inspiration for writing, too. I really wanted to be like Anne as a child. Every time you find another Anne fan you know there's a kindred spirit out there.

karenk said...

would love to read cathy's masterpiece...thank you for the chance :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Casey said...

Please don't enter me, I already read this book, but have you or your followers checked out Cathy's summer splash contest? It is great fun and going on NOW through July 31st, be sure and check it out on her blog!

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Casey,

Thanks for letting us know about Cathy's contest. It sounds like fun! And, thanks for stopping by.

barbjan10 said...

Hi, I keep trying wherever I can to win a copy of Cathy's "Texas Roads." No success yet!! Maybe this time will do it. Thanks for the chance to win.

Grace, Peace, Love,
Barb Shelton