Let’s see – the first thing people ask when they meet me, is “How did you end up in Bermuda?” Actually I had the good fortune to be born here. My parents were already living here and quite settled into island life by the time I came along, and here we all remained. Growing up on a tiny island has its advantages, in that I’ve done a lot of traveling, and it’s definitely a simpler way of life. I love it.
When I’m not writing, I’ll work in my garden (which is in a sorry state right now!), walk my dog and hang out with my family. I also love to sing, and I’m on the worship team at our church. I kind of have a crush on the worship leader guy. (Who I happen to be married to, btw). We have two grown up kids, our daughter and her husband live in Bermuda, and our son is just about to graduate from Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read?
Oh, definitely! My parents were great readers so it was kind of a family activity. I was an early reader and went through all the books at school quite quickly. I think at some point they just let me bring my own. I loved mysteries, anything with animals, fairy tales. I was a huge Enid Blyton fan, read all her books, every series. Basically I read whatever I could get my hands on!
Let's talk about your writing. Often people wonder why writers write. Why do you write?
I suppose it’s in me? Hard question and I’m always asked it, so I like to challenge myself to find a good answer! Really, I think I write because I can’t imagine doing anything else. And it’s the most comfortable way for me to express myself. I love the excitement of thinking up stories, creating characters and watching their lives unfold on the page. I love the thought that one day my words might help somebody in that same situation. But really, I just can’t imagine anything else I’d be any good at!
Two lives taken down different roads - one enduring love - one shot at starting over.
When an assignment in the Middle East ends in tragedy, popular news correspondent, Reid Wallace, returns to his hometown seeking answers and peace of mind. Confronting his past was not in the plan.
Now he’s asking different questions. Like why the only woman he’s ever really loved still mesmerizes him. Why the haunted expression she wears reaches right into his soul.
And why her twelve year-old son looks just like him.
They say you can’t go home again. Sometimes you don’t have a choice.
What do you love about this book? And what do you hope readers will tell others about it?
I love the characters. Reid and Julia are about as real as you get. They’ve both been hurt. They’re both dealing with the hard things life has thrown at them, and they are both in need of God’s healing touch. Both a little stubborn, but eventually they come to realize that forgiveness is the only way forward. It’s my hope that this will challenge my readers as well, because I know from my own experiences that sometimes forgiveness is really the hardest thing to give. I hope my readers will tell others that it’s a book for everyone!
In three words describe your style of writing.
Realistic. Emotional. Challenging.
How do you get to know your characters?
Usually I just write and see what happens. My stories tend to play out like movies in my head, and that’s the best way for me to get to know my characters. I try to think like them, to wonder what they’d do in certain situations and why they’d react that way or say something like that. It’s an ongoing process for me, which makes it all the more fun.
What themes do you write about?
I write what I tend to call ‘Reality Fiction’. The stuff of real life. I think all my books will have various themes in them, but for the most part I’d have to say always forgiveness, redemption, hope and healing. And of course none of these are possible without God’s grace.
Does your faith affect your writing? How?
I hope so! I really hope that my writing conveys the depths of God’s love for us. While I prefer to weave a spiritual message subtly, it’s always there. I don’t think I could write a book that didn’t point people toward the cross. It may not be in blazing neon lights, but sometimes it’s in the smaller details that all of a sudden just pop out at you. God gets our attention in the strangest of ways at times, and that is also true for my characters.
What are you working on right now?
Well, I’m working on marketing, really. I have some ideas mulling around for something new, but I probably won’t get started on that for a little bit. I’ve got some good news on the horizon which I'll be able to share soon, but my readers can expect more books from me in the future!
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Oh yes! First thing of course, read as much as you can about craft. There’s so much to learn, but don’t let it intimidate you. Be humble. Ask as many questions as you need to. Find a critique group and don’t ever be afraid to submit your work. Join writers groups like ACFW, attend conferences if you can, or local seminars. But really, have fun with it. If this is what God has called you to, He’ll provide all that other stuff. Don’t take it or yourself too seriously, life is too short for that!
Bio: Catherine West is an award-winning author who writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Her first novel, Yesterday’s Tomorrow, released in 2011 and won the INSPY for Romance, a Silver Medal in the Reader’s Favorite Awards, and was a finalist in the Grace Awards. Catherine’s second novel, Hidden in the Heart, released in September 2012, was long listed in the 2012 INSPY’s and was a finalist in the 2013 Grace Awards. Catherine’s latest novel, Bridge of Faith, is now available on Amazon.
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. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com
Learn more about Catherine and Her Books on the following sites
Bridge of Faith Buy Link Amazon