Today I am pleased to present an interview I just had with debut author, Cathy Bryant about her new book Texas Roads.
Two places really. First of all, the storyline came one day when I was out working in my garden in the small town I live in. A car drove past really slow, the driver staring like I was an animal in a cage at the zoo. It kind of irked me, but as I continued to dig in the dirt I started asking questions. If the minor incident bothered me, as a woman who’s lived in small-town Texas her entire life, how much would it get to a woman who’s grown up in the city and never experienced small towns?
The spiritual theme—finding true home—came from my own spiritual journey to find a place called home. For years my family and I seemed destined to be nomads. Just about the time we’d start to put down roots, God yanked us up and moved us on to some place new. He used that time in my life to teach that only He could fill that home-sized hole in my heart.
• How did you come up with the title?
The title was originally These Roads Lead Home, to play on the symbol of roads used in the story and the spiritual theme of finding home. At the ACFW conference, an agent I met with mentioned that since it was set in Texas I should use it in the title. Later in a question and answer session with a publishing house, an editor mentioned they had a standing joke that if you put the word “Texas” in the title it would sell. The rest, as they say, is history… =)
• How long did it take you to write this novel?
The spiritual theme has been with me for years. Then the characters started introducing themselves in the summer of 2007. I did the pre-writing (my obsessive-compulsive A-type personality insists on this!) in October of 2008, and wrote the lousy first draft during NaNoWriMo (November) of 2008. After that I laid the manuscript aside for a month to go on a mission trip to Southeast Asia and for the Christmas holidays. (In my naiveté, I assumed I would only have to check the manuscript for typos…ha!) I did edits and revisions for the better part of 2009, so all in all from first hints of characters to publication, two-and-a-half years!
• What was the best moment of this novel, be it publishing or writing experience?
The most overwhelming moment was hearing that the book had finaled in the Genesis contest. I had entered on a whim to get professional feedback from authors and editors, never imagining the book would make it to the top five. It’s still a “pinch me” moment.
However the best thing has been hearing from people who enjoyed the book, especially those who said it helped them through some difficult times. One lady even said it brought healing to her life. I can think of no greater compliment, since my prayer for my writing has always been that God would use it in whatever way He saw fit.
• When will your second book be available?
I’m helping with the music for our church’s Vacation Bible School the first full week in June. Once that is over I’ve already given my husband fair warning that I’m going into hibernation to finish book two. I have about 53,000 words already written (thank you NaNoWriMo 2009!), so I’m hoping it will be available by this fall.
• What have you found to be the most enjoyable about being a published author?
I have to go back to what I mentioned above. Honestly, it’s both humbling and gratifying to know that your story has made a difference in someone’s life.
• Do you have a favorite character or maybe moment in this novel?
My favorite character is without a doubt Mama Beth. The mother figure for all of Miller’s Creek, she’s all I want to be—caring, nurturing, wise. Of course, that kind of wisdom usually comes at a price—in this case it’s a painful secret.
• How much of yourself did you put into this novel?
The spiritual journey Dani Davis takes is all mine, though I was a believer when I went through it. I would have to say the resemblance pretty much stops there. Dani is much more generous, altruistic and outgoing than I am. Instead of being me, she’s really a lot of the things I would like to be.
Thanks so much for the interview, Casey! I enjoyed it!
2009 ACFW Genesis finalist
by Cathy Bryant
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, 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?
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