Gail's Book Nook

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Looking Out the Window: Welcome Catherine West



Hi Catherine, first, tell us a little about yourself.

Okay, here goes! I was born and raised on the island of Bermuda, where I still live with my hubby and two-college age kids, when they’re home. I went to school here and in England, and Canada, where I earned a BA in English from the University of Toronto. We also lived near Toronto for the first seven years of our marriage, which convinced me I’m not cut out for Canadian winters! I love dogs and gardening. I’m pretty shy around strangers, but I love meeting new people and traveling.

Sounds like you got to live in some fascinating places growing up. Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?

Oh yes! I loved to read everything, mostly Enid Blyton when I was little, she is a British author who wrote fabulous children’s stories. My mom used to enjoy mysteries so as I got older I read a lot of those, and then we started reading Wilbur Smith. I started the bent toward romance in my late teens I think.

Why do you write?

I love it. That’s a simple answer, but I honestly can’t imagine not doing this.

Tell us about your latest book.

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.

That’s an interesting plot. What inspired you to write this particular book?

I’ve always been fascinated with the Vietnam era. I’d read about the young female journalists who made their way over there to cover the war, often without a job at first, and I thought it would make an amazing story.

Where do you get ideas for your books?

Everywhere. Talking to people, watching people. Reading the paper, watching the news. Everybody has a story.

What themes do you write about?

I love to write about healing, forgiveness, redemption and restoration.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer?

Definitely a pantser! Sometimes I wish I could plot, but I really can’t. I just have to sit down and write and go from there. It takes a lot longer to come up with a completed manuscript that you don’t want to burn, but it is the only way I can do it.

Does your faith affect your writing? How?

I like to think that all my stories will have some spiritual element in them. While I don’t like to overdo with heavy preaching or conversion scenes, God is definitely there. Whether I write for CBA or ABA, I know that I’ll always keep that element woven into my writing. It’s just who I am.

Do you put yourself in your books?

It depends on the book. Usually, no. But I am sure at a subconscious level there is a bit of me in each character.

What are you working on right now?

Right now I’m working on a family saga called Reprisal. Lots of interesting characters with a ton of issues. It’s the kind of book I like to read, so I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. I’m also working on a romance that takes place in a California vineyard. I was recently there on vacation and think I may have to go back for more research.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

I always love to encourage new writers, because were it not for the many authors who encouraged me along the way (and still do), I probably would have given up. Study your craft, go to conferences if you can, get some great critique partners and just believe in yourself. It’s not an easy road, but if it is the one you feel called to, you will succeed eventually.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I love to hear from my readers and you can find me at the following locations!
Twitter: @cathwest
Book Trailer:


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, will release in 2011, through Oak Tara Publishers.
Oak Tara Website:

To Win a copy of Catherine's book leave a comment with your email address.


Catherine West said...

Thanks for having me, Gail!

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Catherine,

Congratulations on your new book, and thanks for sharing on Peering Through Life's Window. It's great to have you.

Miss Mae said...

Hi Catherine! Nice to meet you, and wishing you much success with your book. :)

Speaking of female journalists in the Vietnam era -- interesting to note that Rose Wilder Lane reported from the area. She was aged even then, but determined to do it.

Not me, though. War torn zones aren't for me! Leave me here with my doggies, burros, birdies, and lazy days under shade trees. LOL

Catherine West said...

Yes, I don't think I'd be brave enough to jump on a plane and head into a war zone either! Those journalists were amazing!

GABixler said...

I too have an an interest in the Vietnam war...yes I was around...LOL But most I've read has always been from a soldier's perspective. Yours sounds intriguing!

Best wishes for success!

Lisa Lickel said...

Cathy, I'm so delighted to see you here! Everybody, this was one fabulous read. Don't enter me in the contest, Gail- I already read the wonderful, wonderful book.

Finbar said...

Books about the Vietnam war or even books that mention the war are about the only way America will ever remember it. Works of fiction are as valuable as a documentary on the History Channel and will probably last longer in the mind. Good Luck, maybe they will make it a movie...

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

What a great interview! It's nice to learn about a new author. The book sounds intriguing. I would love to enter this contest and review this book. Thanks.