Why yes, yes I am clapping like a fangirl because CATHERINE WEST is chatting with me on the blog today!! I love her book The Things We Knew which just recently released. (Stay tuned to find out how you can win a copy!)
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 novel, Bridge of Faith, won the 2015 Grace Award for Romance.
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’s latest novel, The Things We Knew, released July 2016, through Harper Collins Christian Publishing. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com
After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to harbor animosity toward their father, silently blaming him for their mother’s death. Nobody will talk about that dreadful day, and Lynette can’t remember a bit of it.
But when next-door neighbor Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, he brings the past with him. Once her brother’s best friend and Lynette’s first crush, Nick seems to hiding things from her. Lynette wonders what he knows about the day her mother died and hopes he might help her remember the things she can’t.
But Nick has no intention of telling Lynette the truth. Besides the damage it might cause his own family, he doesn’t want to risk harming the fragile friendship between him and the woman he once thought of as a kid sister.
As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets begin to surface—secrets that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question all they ever believed in.
yaaaaay! I’m so excited about this interview!!
Catherine, welcome welcome welcome to Reading Is My SuperPower! I start everyone off with a “fast four” so let’s get to it 🙂
Catherine: Oranges. Because they’re orange and they taste yummy! 🙂
Carrie: I think apples and oranges are about even now – for a while there, more authors preferred apples.
Catherine: Winter but only if it’s in Bermuda, because I hate snow, and I don’t like the heat.
Carrie: I’m with you on the “don’t like the heat” part, but SNOW! It’s so fabulously beautiful and cozy. We’ll just agree to disagree on that. 🙂
Catherine: Dogs. And that why is rhetorical, right?
Carrie: It is when someone answers correctly like you did. But I always include the “why” in the questions I send to authors just in case someone is silly enough to say “cats”. Which, believe it or not, some have. Oh – and Zuzu wishes me to have you tell Noah hello for her. I think she has a crush. She even made me pick a “cuter” picture of her for this post.
Catherine: Coffee first, in the morning. Tea in the afternoon. Because that’s the way it’s done.
Carrie: Or just diet coke all day. But here – since I’m nice to my guests lol – a cup of coffee for you to enjoy as we move on to questions that mostly matter 🙂
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Catherine: Haha – to be able to write a perfect first draft in one week. 🙂
Carrie: LOL! Well… writing IS its own superpower anyway, I think 🙂
You are the only person I know who lives in Bermuda (I think) , and I must admit to being slightly jealous. What do you love about your home country? And what would you change if you could?
Catherine: I love the beauty of the ocean, our pink sands, and the slower pace of life. What would I change? Hmm. Probably the way people view each other here. Lots of racial tension and political craziness. And I would also make it so that all my friends were a drive away instead of a plane ride. 🙂
Carrie: “Lots of racial tension and political craziness.” Are you sure you don’t live in the States?!? If I flew (which I don’t) I would have to come for a completely non-stalkerish visit. But you’re safe because as already stated, I don’t fly lol.
You have an adorable dog – Noah. (As I said earlier, I’m pretty sure Zuzu has a crush on him… but don’t tell her I told you.) If Zuzu interviewed Noah (ooo – fun idea!) and asked him to describe you and what you do for a living, what would he say?
Catherine: LOL! He’d say, “My Mom writes books, but I can’t read them so I don’t really care what they’re about. All I know is, they take up way too much of her time. I would like to eat the books. All of them.”
Carrie: hahaha!! I loved the blog post that “Noah” wrote for you back in June. He did seem completely unimpressed about the books but you could tell he loves you. And chasing pigeons. And peeing on trees. So… there’s that.
The Things We Knew is – at its heart – about family. Tell us about YOUR family.
Catherine: Sure! Hubby Stephen is a paediatrician, and we have just celebrated our 30 year anniversary!! We have two amazing kids, Sarah, a family and lifestyle photographer, her work is beautiful! (www.sarahe.com) Christopher is a musician living and working in Boston, who is part of The Western Den, an out of this world alternative folk band, (www.thewesternden.com) and his girlfriend Deni is the other half of the band! Sarah’s husband of 3 years, Randy, is a firefighter here in Bermuda, and we’re so proud of the work he does. I also have family in the US and Canada, so we’re always busy traveling. 🙂
Carrie: You just got back from Nantucket, as a matter of fact – the setting for The Things We Knew – where you signed your book at Mitchell’s Book Corner on release day!! Such a fun surprise from your husband!!
In The Things We Knew, the Carlisle family has a lot of secrets. Specifically, each sibling has his/her own secrets that they keep from one another. Without giving away any spoilers (of course!), did you have it all plotted out before you started writing the book or did any of their secrets surprise you?
Catherine: Not at all. I don’t plot. 🙂 The story just took on a life of its own and I kept writing. I had to work extra hard on the editing to bring it all together, but I think it worked. 😉
Carrie: Umm…YES. It more than worked lol.
Speaking of characters… there seems to be a general consensus that Gray Carlisle needs his own story. (I may or may not have started a petition.) But I think we would all be happy with a follow-up on any of these layered characters. If you were able to pick a character from The Things We Knew for a sequel, who would YOU choose and why?
Catherine: Ha, that’s a totally unfair question! I would pick ALL of them!! I have actually been writing a bit of Liz’s story. I think she has many layers to her and there are things in her past that make her the way she is today, and of course those things need to be dealt with before she can move into this new life she so desperately needs. I’m having fun with her anyway! Of course Gray . . . #teamgray . . . but I’d have to really think about that one. He’s on the road to recovery and healing, so I don’t know where I’d start with him. Maybe we’d do a Star Wars thing and go back to the beginning of his story. 🙂
Carrie: Ooooh! YES! I love that idea! And I would love a Liz story too. I won’t be picky haha! But… #teamGray
Side note: Cathy created a Pinterest board for The Things We Knew & I did too. It’s fun to see how we pictured the main characters a little bit differently in some cases. Check out Cathy’s board and mine to see our separate imaginings for Gray and Liz in particular.
Catherine – I love talking with you! Please come back again! Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Catherine: It’s been my pleasure! Up next is The Memory of You, which releases in March 2017.
When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.
And Natalie never says no to her father.
Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.
But finding freedom from the past means facing it.
Because Cathy is so awesomely-awesome, she is giving away a PAPERBACK copy of The Things We Knew to one of my readers! (US/CAN mailing addresses only.)
Winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and notified by email. If I have not heard from you within 1 week of contacting you, I will choose a new winner.
What about you? If you were able to pick a character from any of Cathy’s books for her to write a sequel about, who would you pick and why?