Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Catherine West

Posted July 20, 2016 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Catherine West, Christian, contemporary, giveaway / 97 Comments


Catherine West interview


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-Author-Headshot-001-200x300Catherine 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

website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

about the book

the things we knewAfter 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.

goodreads button RIMSP  amazon button RIMSP  B&N button RIMSP

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 🙂

apples or oranges

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.

winter or summer

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.  🙂

dogs or cats

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.


coffee or tea

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.

View More: 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!  ( Christopher is a musician living and working in Boston, who is part of The Western Den, an out of this world alternative folk band, ( 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.

the memory of youThirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?

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.

Preorder The Memory of You on Amazon

giveaway RIMSP

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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?

Tags: , , ,

97 responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Catherine West

  1. Kathryn Voss

    I have yet to read one of Catherine’s books, but they all look great! This one seems especially intriguing to me.

  2. I loved this book, keep the kleenex close and be prepared to laugh too. I love that pic of Zuzu. Did she get spruced up for her photo shoot?

    And I agree # teamgray

    Great interview both!!!

  3. Winnie Thomas

    What a fun interview! And–Bermuda!! Wow, how fun would that be? Of course, I love my beautiful mountain valley, too!Thanks Carrie and Cathy for letting us sit in on your chat. I haven’t read any of Cathy’s books yet, but they are definitely going on my TBR list, which, mostly because of a certain blogger we will not mention, is growing by leaps and bounds! I must get to this book soon–although a win of a paperback copy would certainly move it up close to the top of the pile!

    • Andrea Stephens

      I agree with you, Winnie. My TBR list and kindle wishlist is growing by leaps and bounds because of a certain blogger 😉

      • Winnie Thomas

        Do you think they have Book Hoarders Anonymous? Because I know I have a problem, and it seems as if Carrie and Andrea do, too! Maybe we could have a dual program–Book Hoarders Anonymous and Speed Reading Made Easy! 🙂

          • Winnie Thomas

            Only if your rooms are totally full of books, and they topple over on you, and they find your body several days later? I think that would probably qualify! 😀 And we know whatever the internet says is always true!

        • Andrea Stephens

          After losing 3 fully loaded bookcases and several boxes of books to a broken water pipe. I’m so glad to have a kindle…or two, maybe three. I currently have 7694 items in my kindle library. I removed over a thousand last year. I search for free books and bargains every day.
          Hello, my name is Andrea and I am a book addict.

  4. Elma brooks

    Thanks for the interview,now I can’t wait to read The things we knew
    sounds like my kind of book .I can’t recall reading any of her books ,have to go check my list.And I love the cover,beautiful.

  5. Andrea Stephens

    I haven’t read any of Catherine’s books yet. This book sounds interesting, added to my wishlist.
    I think I’d like to read “Bridge of Faith” too. Second chances appeal to me.
    This is a wonderful interview, Carrie. I’d like to ask the author, who seems to be a well-adjusted family person, why or how she writes such dysfunctional family drama?

    • LOL! Great question! I love dysfunction. 🙂 ha. Actually, I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s because I did have a quiet, ‘normal’ upbringing. And really, aside from the usual sibling spats, my own kids did too. But I do know what family drama is like, have much in extended family and have experienced through friends too, and I think a lot of what goes on behind closed doors is never discussed, especially in the church. So my hope is really to open that door, talk about those hard things, explore them and find the road to healing that we all need so desperately in our own way, no matter the situation.

  6. Rebecca Maney

    I am on your “Team Gray”, would love to see him healthy and happy again. “The Things We Knew” is a wonderful book and Carrie, you have a flair for awesome interviews. I am so happy to see Catherine’s work getting such positive “blog buzz”.

  7. Melody B

    I haven’t read any of Catherine West’s books yet, but many of her books sound awesome! 🙂 Hidden in the Heart and The Things We Knew sound like her two best to me, but i’d be happy to read any of the books she wrote in the past or will write in the future.

  8. Brittaney

    I would love to see a sequel on Yesterday’s Tomorrow, but I can’t pick a character. Either one Kristen’s siblings or even Luke’s sister. I find them all fascinating.

    • Brittaney, that’s awesome! Although I have to say that at this point, your chances of seeing spin off stories are probably far greater for The Things We Knew! That’s my hope at least. We’ll see what God has in store. 🙂 I’m not working on anything independently at the moment as I’m under contract.

    • Carrie

      i still need to read Yesterday’s Tomorrow and now I will be reading it, thinking of a sequel for these characters!! 🙂

      • Yes to reading it, noooooo to me working on a sequel!! No time right now. I should have done it a few years back when I had the chance. But there are some books that can just stand alone quite happily. This may be one of them. 😛

  9. Catherine is a new to me author, so I would say at this point any of her books would be good. 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!!

  10. Pam K.

    I don’t think I’ve read any of Cathy’s books yet. The Things We Knew looks particularly good.

  11. Bonnie Roof

    Loved this interview, and yes – you do have a flair for interviews as with everything else you do, Carrie!!

    I loved ‘The Things We Knew’, however, I have just added SEVERAL books to my “leaning tower of Pisa” as I’m yearning to read Cathy’s other books (please add me to the Book Hoarders group as an addict, Winnie – as a speed reader member, uh – no!! That’s why my TBR pile may be larger than yours or Andrea’s, lol).

    I loved Gray, but as with Cathy, would love to see a sequel based on Liz or ANY of the other characters. I love books with lots of dysfunction for exactly the reasons Cathy writes them.

    Was wondering how long Cathy has lived in Bermuda and her thoughts about the Bermuda Triangle theories?? I’m guessing since she flies frequently, she’s never had any serious flying issues.

    • Winnie Thomas

      LOL, Bonnie! We’ll add you to the group. So far–Carrie, Winnie, Andrea, Bonnie. 😀

    • Carrie

      ooo great questions, dear Bonnie! And yes, we will happily add you to our book addicts group haha!

    • Hey, Bonnie! Nope, no triangle issues! I can’t explain it exactly, but I believe there are a few theories on why planes went missing in that area. I was born in Bermuda. Have lived in England and Canada, but Bermuda is home.

  12. Patty

    I’m not familiar with Catherine’s writing, but The Things We Knew sounds great! Would love to read it.

  13. Marilyn

    I have not read any of Catherine’s books. They all look good so any character to write a book on is a winner with me. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. Christine Olson

    My love of reading is fairly new so I haven’t read one of your books yet to tell you which character to write a sequel about. I started out only reading thrillers and now I’m realizing there is SO MUCH MORE out there! I would love to check these out ?

  15. Jeanna Massman

    I have not read any of Catherine’s books but I would like to read The Memory of You!

  16. Terrill Rosado

    I have not read a book by Catherine, but became aware of her when I saw The Things We Knew on pre-order. After reading the blurb, I was already pulled in. Do I have been dutifully waiting for it to finally release. 🙂

  17. Brenda W

    I don’t believe I have read any of Catherine’s books so I can’t answer the question. They all sound interesting!

  18. Winnie Thomas

    Carrie, I think your site is a little wonky today. I couldn’t get it to pull up earlier. It was traumatic!! 😀 Anyway, I think we need to rethink the name of our Book Hoarders group. I don’t think it sounds classy enough. Maybe something like Literary Advancement Guild (LAG)? I’m sure you could come up with something awesome!

    • Carrie

      yes… sigh… the server was having “issues” 😛

      LOL i will have to think on an appropriate acronym

  19. I just finished reading The Things We Knew (so good!), my first by Catherine West, so if I were to choose whose story I’d like to read more of it would be between Liz and Ryan.

  20. Gena S

    I haven’t read any of your books yet, but I have put both The Things We Knew and The Memory of You on my to read list on my goodreads account. Thank you for the interview and the giveaway!

  21. Joyce Guard

    Hello, I am so happy to read about an author I havn’t heard of before. I would like the chance to read her work. The submission about The Things We Knew sounds
    like it will be a very interesting book to read.
    Thank you for this opportunity.

  22. Nancy M

    I haven’t read any of Catherine’s books! Gasp! So this must go in my wish list! It sounds excellent!

  23. Books about family secrets seem be appealing to me. Now I am trying to understand why! Perhaps it is due to being so hard to keep them from family members. Anyway, these books sound “up my alley”!

  24. Judy Jordan

    I’m interested in The Things We Knew. I’ll admit it, I’m judging a book by its cover on this one. That cover makes me swoon.

Leave a Reply