Monday, March 28, 2011

Cathy West Is Here!

I met Cathy through FHL. I haven't met her in person, just online. But I can tell she's a great lady. And she's a fabulous author.

Her debut novel, Yesterday's Tomorrow, released March 15th. I've had the immense pleasure of reading it and encourage you to do so as well.

I asked Cathy a few questions:

Lindi: What inspired you to write Yesterday’s Tomorrow?
Cathy: I get asked this a lot, and the truth is, I’m not really sure. I’ve always been fascinated with the era of the ‘60’s and I guess I’d heard about the female journalists going over to cover the war, so I think I just figured it’d be a cool story.

Lindi:Are you a plotter or punster and how does it work for you?
Cathy: I am definitely a pantser. I have to just get the whole story out before I really know where it’s going. It’s kind of a pain, but I’ve tried to plot and it doesn’t work for me.

Lindi: Tell us a little about your writing process. Do you write a rough draft quickly then revise? Do you revise as you go?
Cathy: I tend to edit as I go. If I’m on a roll, I will keep writing, but I usually go back to chapter one and read all the way through before I start anything new – so I guess it takes me longer to actually finish a book!

Lindi:I want to ask you so many questions regarding the book, but I don’t want to have spoilers. So, I’ll stay with the beginning of the book for questions. What type of research did you do to get the feel of Saigon and the other areas Luke and Kristin visited. Because, I felt like I was there!
Cathy:Thanks! Well, it was a rather daunting task at first. I read a lot of books about the war and especially how it was for women over there. I visited a LOT of Vet websites and studied a ton of pictures. I was literally immersed in that time period and Vietnam for many months. I used to dream about it. I also got some amazing insight from a Veteran who was there, and was kind enough to share some stories with me, and help me with some details I wouldn’t otherwise have known.

Lindi:I felt like this was Kristin’s story, but Luke was an amazing character as well. Are they how you envisioned them when you started the book?
Cathy:Hmm, that’s a good question! Probably not! Kristin especially. She did a lot of growing through the many re-writes of this story. At first she seemed a bit wishy-washy to me. I always tend to struggle more with my female characters though. It was important to me to make her tough, but not too tough, if that makes sense. I think the final result is that she’s an independent young woman who knows what she wants and how to get it, yet she has a soft heart and is willing to give in to that when needed. And Luke…well, what can I say…he pretty much barged in and wrote his own story, but what would you expect? I’m not sure that I will ever come up with another character quite like him, but it’ll be fun to try.

Okay--now we all know a little more about Cathy. Of course, she's a lady after my own heart since she's a panster! And we know more about Yesterday's Tomorrow.

I can't say enough great things about this book.

Cathy will be dropping by today if you have any questions. So feel free to ask.

Click on the Yesterday's Tomorrow link at the top of the post to order. Or, we're giving away a copy here today to one winner from those who leave a comment.

Happy Endings Are Just The Beginning


  1. Hey, Cathy! Welcome! Thanks for the great interview. Although I have to tease Lindi (and her typo) that she asked you if you're a punster. hehe We didn't know you were a standup comic. ;)

    Lindi's been raving about your book. I really look forward to reading it!

    I have a question. Do you do the description as you write the draft? Or is that something you have to weave in later?


  2. Grr, I just wrote a long answer to this and Blogger ate it!! UGH. Thanks Missy! I'll look forward to your thoughts once you read it too. Um, my answer is probably both. I tend to research and write at the same time. If I find something interesting I'll stick it into the scene and go back and work on polishing later. For example, in Chapter One of Yesterday's Tomorrow, when Kristin lands in Saigon and travels through the city to get to her apartment building, I put a lot of that detail in bits and pieces at a time, until I ended up with something that sounded authentic. I guess I won't know for sure how I did unless somebody who was actually there at the time reads the book, which might be kind of cool!!

  3. Thanks, Cathy. That's helpful to know. Lindi was raving about your wonderful description and how she could almost feel everything. So I was really curious as to whether the writing came out of you so richly on the first draft. :) So maybe there's hope for me! :)

  4. Hi, Cathy! Your new book sounds great! I was a Navy veteran during the tail end of the Viet Nam era and served with a lot of former POWs. But I never got any closer to a war zone than San Diego! I did have a Navy lieutenant instructor who'd been the only or maybe one of the few women officers in country except for nurses. I'd love to read your book.

    caralynnjames at yahoo dot com

  5. Cara, I should have remembered that when I heard about the book! I bet you would love it.

  6. Hi, Cathy. Congratulations on the book. It sounds wonderful.
    Great interview Lindi.

  7. Cathy,
    You do a great job with description! I really enjoyed that about your book.

  8. Cara,
    Thanks for stopping by. I know you'd enjoy the book.

  9. Missy, I thought I fixed that typo! Did you? I probably did it twice. I need to double check everything anymore. :) Thanks!

  10. Lindi, I didn't catch it when I put up the post. But I got a real kick out of it. :)

  11. I've had the pleasure of being one of Cathy's critique partners on Yesterday's Tomorrow!

    Congrats! Congrats! Congrats!

    What did I tell you about this book? I knew it would one day be published. Just had to be the timing. It was too good not to happen--and Rachelle knew, too!

    It's a great story--and so is the next one Cathy's been working on.

    Lindi, Thanks for having Cathy.

    And Cathy, Thanks for being here today. Sorry I couldn't stop by before now.

  12. Cathy, I love that ideas kind of seep into our brains....

    Delightful interview ladies. Always so fun to pop in over here and see if you guys are keeping Missy in line.

    And Lindi in line...

    And Christy in line... You get it, right????

    Cathy, congrats again! God bless you.

  13. Looking forward to reading your book, Cathy! Thanks for being on FAITH today. Lindi has been raving about your book.

    Cathy, you talked about your writing process. How long does it take for you to complete a manuscript if you edit and research as you go?

  14. LOL, Ruth... I'm still laughing about Captain Jack Sparrow on Seekers today...

  15. Okay, Ruthy, I can see keeping me in line. And even Lindi. But Christy?? She's too sweet.


  16. This is the second time trying to leave a comment, Blogger needs a kick in the butt. Lindi, get Luke over here wouldya?!
    Okay, let's try this again!
    Cara - I would LOVE for you to read this book. I really tried hard to make sure I gave due honor to the men and women who served over there - researching the Vietnam War was quite an experience and I developed a profound respect and admiration for all who serve in the Armed Forces.
    Jen, yes, you were right. Doesn't that feel good?!! Christy - how long does it take? As long as it takes!! It really depends on the story. This one went through numerous rewrites. Some books don't require as much research either, so I am sure they'll go faster. Fortunately I haven't ever been on a deadline with a book -yet- so I'll get back to you when and if that day comes!!

  17. No, Missy, I think Ruth has seen a glimpse of the real me, muwaahhhh!

  18. Cathy, I ask because in prior books I've worked on, it extends to YEARS! I'm trying to cut down on that time frame to become more productive. Good luck & God's speed as you face deadlines!!!

  19. Ruthy,
    Moi? In line? Oh, yeah, probably needs to happen.

  20. Cathy,
    Blogger has been acting funny. I appreciate you keeping on. Sometimes it's frustrating.
    I'm so glad we had this opportunity to have you on today. I'm going to keep the comments open until Thursday night.
    Then I'll announce the winner Friday morning.

  21. Christy,
    I, like Cathy, am not a plotter. (I'm a punster! Ha. :))
    Anyway, the book that is coming out I wrote in 74 days. The one I'm getting ready to submit I've been writing for 3-4 years. Crazy. I think it depends on the story. I know your last book took a while, but I think you can write one quickly as well.

  22. Well, Lindi, we need to pray hard for that miracle ;)
    74 days ROCKS, WOMAN!!

  23. I loved Cathy's book. I felt like I could see it all movie-style in my head. That's why I think it should become a movie :-)

  24. Thanks, Angie! Lots of people have said that! It would be cool, ha. I think we need to get a few more people to buy it first though and then somebody can send it to Hollywood for