Cathy Bryant – Author Interview

Tell us something about yourself.

A Texas gal by birth and choice, I live with my husband in a century-old Texas farmhouse, complete with picket fence, flowers, butterflies, and late summer mosquitoes the size of your fist. Besides being a writer and the wife of a minister, I’m also a mother, Nana, teacher and musician, not always in that order.

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

My debut novel, TEXAS ROADS, is a contemporary love story and a 2009 ACFW Genesis finalist. The book tells the story of a disillusioned widow’s search for home.

On a whim, city gal Dani Davis journeys to Miller’s Creek, Texas to visit an aunt she’s never really known. Captivated by the quirky residents and the town’s charm and business potential, she decides it’s the perfect place to start over. Perfect, that is, except for the cowboy who gives her a ride into town…

Dani secretly finances renovations to downtown Miller’s Creek, but malicious rumors force her to choose between keeping her involvement a secret and the home for which she’s always longed.

Cowboy-mayor Steve Miller is determined to save his dying hometown. When vandalism jeopardizes the downtown restoration project, he can’t help but suspect Dani, whose strange behavior has become fodder for local gossips.

Hopefully Steve and Dani will be able to call a truce for a higher cause, and in the process help Dani understand the true meaning of home.

What inspired you to write this book?

For years, it seemed my family and I were destined to be Texas nomads. About the time we’d get comfortable and start to put down roots, God would move us to yet another small Texas town. During the process I learned that home isn’t a place, but the person of Jesus. Only He can fill that home-sized hole in our hearts.

How did you publish this book? Why did you decide on that path?

I published TEXAS ROADS first in eBook format via Smashwords, and I’m currently in the process of getting it out in print via my own publishing imprint, WordVessel Press through CreateSpace. The book was actually being considered by two traditional publishers when I felt like God wanted me to pursue a different path. I pulled it from further consideration at that point and took off down the path of self-publication. I’m not sorry. For me it was the right move to make.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I’ve loved books my entire life. The jump from reading to writing was a natural one for me to make. I started writing stories in elementary school, then in high school, because of various contests, I jumped to essays. My after-school job was at the town newspaper, where my boss encouraged me to write articles for the paper about school events.

I started several novels when my children were young, but shelved everyone of them. Only after I reached the empty nest and a series of life-changing events, did I feel the tug to start writing again. I joined ACFW and started studying every book on the craft of writing I could get my hands on. In November 2008, I participated in my first NaNoWriMo, where I wrote the lousy first draft of TEXAS ROADS (then titled “These Roads Lead Home.”)

What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?

Every part. Writing isn’t for wimps. From cranking out that lousy first draft to spreading the word about the release of your baby, it’s a Mt. Everest-sized uphill climb all the way.

What are you reading now?

I’m reading Thin Places by Mary DeMuth and Double Trouble by Susan May Warren.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

Aren’t writers always working on their next book? Yes, I’m working on book two in the Miller’s Creek, Texas series (working title: A Path Too Narrow). This story will feature Steve’s sister, Trish, as the heroine, and Dani’s attorney, Andy, as the hero. It explores the theme of trusting God in life’s darkest moments.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Study the craft. Read voraciously and widely. Write something everyday. Have a teachable spirit, but don’t let others dictate what you should do with your writing. Pray. Then pray some more.

What are you doing to promote your latest book?

I’ve enlisted some awesome teammates who are helping me spread the word about TEXAS ROADS via social media sites. I’m in the process of lining up interviews and book reviews. I’ve also recently ventured into the world of public speaking, and have a website for the book where I give away one free chapter a week.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?