It is my absolute privilege to introduce you to today’s guest, author Catie Cordero. Her 1920s novel Ramble and Roar was one of my fave novels of 2018 (a big feat since I typically don’t enjoy fiction set in that era), and she releases the sequel, Marvel and Mayhem (which I know I will also love) on March 22!
Catie Cordero is a passionate storyteller. She has published two historical fiction novels— Ramble and Roar and Marvel and Mayhem, along with two children’s books—The Magic Snow Globe and Superhero Levi. In 2017, she founded her own publishing imprint called Flywheel Books. Catie has a full and oftentimes spontaneous life with her husband and two children. She loves the simplicity of country life, her small hobby farm, and getting lost in the pages of a story.
She was in the middle of nowhere. She knew no one, and she only had six cigarettes left. She was doomed.
Harrisburg, PA, 1926.
New York City flapper, Mattie O’Keefe, lives and breathes for the next rush. City life is all she’s ever known but a tragic disaster forces her to hide somewhere she never dreamed of, a farm. She despises everything about this forsaken place—dirt, animals, an outhouse, and Grant Emery. But if she leaves its concealed security, it will mean her death, and she’s not ready to die.
Grant Emery disagrees with his grandmother’s decision to take Mattie on as a farmhand. He believes the wild redhead will only create more toil upon their already struggling farm. However, when mayhem ensues, he finds that the person he needs to beat their rival is the last one he’d ever choose — Mattie O’Keefe.
Sometimes survival can take a providential twist.
“A fresh take on the turbulent 1920’s, an era that springs to life under Cordero’s pen. With snappy dialogue and a collision course of city meets country, this novel brims over with heart, wit, and a larger-than-life heroine you can’t get enough of.”
~Jocelyn Green, award-winning author of Between Two Shores
Hi Catie! Welcome to the blog!
Catie: Summer, always. In the summer, I can be found outside—either in my garden, exploring our 3.5-acre hobby farm with my kiddos, in our small pool, tending to the chickens, or catching frogs in the creek with my son.
Carrie: Summer AND chickens? We may not be able to be friends anymore 😉 (kidding. Mostly. #chickenphobia #snowgirl LOL)
Catie: Coffee. I drink it black. I go to sleep at night dreaming about my morning cup of coffee.
Carrie: I have a feeling you’re not alone in this
Catie: Over. All-day, any-day. It pulls down way easier, and you can see where the last sheet left off. It’s a must—over.
Carrie: I’m beginning to think I’m the only person on the planet who prefers under… lol
Catie: Print. I like to hold a book in my hands. I want to physically turn the pages. I feel like I better connect with a story when I’m holding it.
Carrie: I think some books just NEED to be read in print format. That said, my Kindle makes traveling so much easier with the copious books I always need to be reading for something or other.
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Catie: My superpower would be to fly. It’s generic, I know, but I want to fly like a bird.
Q: When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
Catie: Straight to the fiction department- namely, MYSTERY. I love reading a book that makes me think and try to piece the clues together. My all-time favorite mystery author is Agatha Christie. She’s the Queen. Because I love mysteries, all of my books include an element of mystery and a lot of adventure.
Carrie: On this point, we are kindred spirits 🙂
Q: Do you have any strange writing habits/quirks? Any snacks/beverages that are a must when you sit down to write?
Catie: Number one—a cup of coffee is beside me. Number two—my writing storyboard is in plain sight, which contains the calendar of the time period that I’m writing from and my characters pictures. Number Three—I have on my writing playlist music. I have specific songs that inspire me, and sometimes, those change based on my projects.
Carrie: I love that!
Q: Which character in Marvel and Mayhem was the most difficult to write?
Catie: When I started Marvel and Mayhem, I thought my heroine, Mattie, would be the easiest character to write because I thought I knew her. What I discovered as I hit chapter ten, suddenly feeling blocked, was that I only knew Mattie on the surface. I didn’t know her deepest wounds. I didn’t understand her fully. So one day, I sat down to have a heart-to-heart chat with Mattie. She showed up, cigarette in hand, guarded. She didn’t want to give up the goods, but the longer we spoke, the more she opened up, until finally, she told me the most vulnerable part of her soul. It floored me. I cried that day. I finally understood Mattie, not as a live-for-the-moment flapper, but as a woman, longing for love. That day, I went back to the beginning and wrote the story knowing WHO Mattie was and WHY.
Carrie: What a beautiful picture of the author-character-reader relationship ♥
Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote Marvel and Mayhem?
Catie: A big theme in the book is the line from the hymn, “It is well with my soul.” Each character in Marvel and Mayhem is confronted with hardships on some level and must respond to it–either with resentment or surrender to God. My youngest character in the novel, Effie Emery, understands surrender. She knows that no matter how bad things may get, with the Lord holding our hand through it, we can still say, it is well with my soul. Folks, this kind of surrender doesn’t come natural to me. I’m the opposite of Effie. I’m more like Mattie, believing that she has a right to be angry. But God has worked on my heart, before this novel, during this novel, and even now, to help me relinquish my control and place my trust in Him, knowing that “When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll, Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.”
Carrie: This has been a theme God has been weaving into my heart for the past couple of years – some days it comes easier than others.
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Catie: I’m finishing up a contemporary mystery called Shrink Me. It takes place in sunny Florida. When women start disappearing in West Palm Beach, detective Adrian Velez is assigned to the case. Every time a woman disappears, a card is left behind. It’s a riddle in the form of an old nursery rhyme. Adrian has found one common thread that ties all the missing women together—they are patients of a shrink named Jolene Edwards. As the clues shift, Adrian is forced into close proximity with Jolene, struggling to determine what’s real and what’s an illusion. In the end, the only way to discover the truth is to do the last thing Jolene or Adrian desire… allow themselves to be “shrinked” so that they might find the answers and wholeness.
Carrie: eeep!! I can’t wait to read that!!
Catie Cordero is offering a signed copy of Marvel and Mayhem to one of my readers! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you the most about this book?